pet vaccinations

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Vaccinations for Cats and Dogs

Why do puppies and kittens need a series of vaccines? When and how many do they need?

When a kitten or puppy is born, its immune system is not fully mature and they are vulnerable to infection. Fortunately, nature has a system of protection. The babies’ mother produces special milk in the first few days called “colostrum”, which is rich in all the antibodies that the mother has to offer. 

As the babies drink this milk, they will be taking in their mother’s antibodies. After the first couple of days, regular milk is produced and the babies’ intestines undergo what is called “closure”, which means they are no longer able to take any antibodies into their systems. This period is critical in determining what kind of immunity the babies will receive from their mother until its own immune system can take over.

How long these maternal antibodies will last varies among individuals. It can depend on the birth order of the babies, how well they are nursed, and a number of other factors. By 16-20 weeks of age, the antibodies are gone and the babies are then dependent on their own immune system.

A vaccination stimulates the babies to produce immunity against some fatal diseases, and it takes time after vaccination for puppies and kittens to produce these antibodies on their own. The timing and interval between each vaccination is critical to ensure your pet is protected, as their mother’s antibodies can interfere with a vaccination’s immune response. 

Benefits of Pet Vaccinations

Vaccinating your pet has long been considered one of the easiest ways to help them live a long, healthy life. It gives you peace of mind knowing that your pet is protected against some very nasty, and potentially fatal diseases, such as rabies and distemper.  Vaccinations also help avoid costly treatments for diseases that can be prevented.

Vaccination Schedules

Our recommended vaccination schedule for both puppies and kittens at the age of:

6-8 weeks

Puppies and kittens can start their vaccines from 6 weeks of age.

Dogs
1st DHPPi + L4 (5-in-1 vaccine)

Cats
1st FVRCP (3-in-1 vaccine)

10-12 weeks

Puppies and kittens get their second vaccination after 10 weeks old.

Dogs
2nd DHPPi + L4 vaccine
Rabies vaccine*

Cats
2nd FVRCP vaccine

14-16 weeks

Puppies and kittens can get their third vaccination after 14 weeks old.

Dogs
3rd DHPPi + L4 vaccine

Cats
3rd FVRCP vaccine

The vaccines can be given 2-4 weeks apart, followed by booster shots every 1-3 years.

* In Hong Kong, all dogs above 5 months of age must be vaccinated against rabies and licensed with the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD).

What Diseases Do Vaccines Protect Against

The 3-in-1 vaccine is fundamental for cats, in particular young kittens. It protects them against certain infectious diseases and some of them are incurable.

Feline viral rhinotracheitis*
Feline calicivirus*
Feline panleukopaenia virus

* Commonly know as "cat flu" and kill many kittens every year

The 5-in-1 vaccine is a core vaccine, it protects against viruses that are highly contagious, cause serious disease, and have high fatality rates.

Canine distemper virus
Canine hepatitis
Canine parainfluenza
Canine parvovirus
Leptospirosis#

# we provide both L2 and L4 vaccines to protect against 2 and 4 strains of Leptospirosis

Cat and Dog Vaccination FAQs

Are there any side effects to vaccination?

Vaccine reactions are uncommon and usually mild. Your dog and cat may be a little quieter than usual or have a mild temperature. Swelling or firmness near the injection spot can occur but this usually settles in time. If it doesn't, please bring the animal back to get the swelling checked. 

What to do if my pet misses a booster?

It depends on how long over their booster due date you missed. If it has been too long after their last vaccination it may be necessary to start the course all over again if they were young puppies and kittens.

Can my pet be vaccinated if they are on medication?

It depends on what medication your pet is taking. Some medicines may affect the immune system and interfere the response of the vaccine. Please talk to our vet any medication your pet takes when vaccines are due, as they may have to be delayed to ensure immunity.

Can my pet be vaccinated if they are unwell?

No, they cannot be vaccinated if they are sick. Your dog and cat need to be fit and well when they are vaccinated. This can ensure they obtain the desired immune response.

Shall I vaccinate my senior pet?

Definitely. Senior pet's immune system is no longer at its strongest and their immune system's effectiveness diminishes with age. They are more at risk in old age and less able to fight off infections and diseases.

I adopted a pet and I don't know its vaccination history. What can I do?

If your pet comes to you with no vaccination history it is usually better to assume that they have not had vaccines. It is best to start the course from the first vaccination, to ensure that they are fully protected. There is also an option to do an antibody titer test to check if their antibody levels are adequate.

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Why Choose Us

A choice that makes the difference

Pet Space aspires to make premium veterinary services an accessible and intimate experience.

Our scope of service includes consultation, vaccination, dental care, diagnostic x-ray, ultrasound scans, physical therapy, as well as Traditional Chinese medicine and therapy specially designed for animals.

Extensive Network of Vet Clinics

Our team of excellent medical professionals across 11 clinics in the city, providing comprehensive quality pet care services for our community animals. With experienced vets and skilfully trained nurses on board, we guarantee you and your cherished companion are well cared for.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine heals the root cause of diseases and focuses on restoring the body’s natural balance; whereas Western medicine aims at speedy diagnosis and treatment. Here at Yang Sheng Tang, we combine the best of both, so that they complement each other and become an excellent alternative medical treatment for animals.

Emergency Vet Services

The Ark Veterinary Hospital, located in the Western District of Hong Kong, operates 24/7 throughout the year. Our on-site veterinarians are on duty round the clock, to ensure that your pets can receive necessary medical service, whether it's first aid or intensive care, at any hour.