Just How Often Should I Get My Cat Vaccinated?

The question was presented: How often should I vaccinate my five-year-old cat? She last had a vaccination two years ago, but I may need to put her in a cattery for one-week this June.

Dr Bruce Chard writes:

“As long as your cat has had her full vaccinations as a kitten and repeated at one-year of age, she should have immunity that will last at least three years. This applies to the two respiratory virus groups that cats are vaccinated against, plus panleucopenia [this causes vomiting and diarrhoea]. As your cat is going into a cattery, which puts her at risk of being exposed to the respiratory viruses, she should have a booster vaccination at least two weeks before boarding. For cats that are not boarded and mostly stay in their own house, then a vaccination once every three years should be sufficient.

‘My four-year-old Dachshund called Monty sometimes has episodes of making snorting noises for no apparent reason. They tend to only last for 10 to 20 seconds and then he seems fine. Should I be worried about them?

‘It sounds as though Monty is having episodes of reverse breathing/sneezing, where air is forcefully inhaled through the nose causing a snorting sound. Many dogs will do this and it is considered harmless. Sometimes it is triggered by your dog being excited to see you, but it can occur after eating, drinking or exercise. It usually only lasts for a few seconds and then dogs are normal. It is thought to be caused by irritation in the throat region or to the soft palate. If Monty only does this occasionally, then I would not worry further. Very rarely, some dogs may suddenly start reverse sneezing due to a foreign body in their throat and this would require treatment by your vet.”

Dr Bruce Chard owns North Harbour Veterinary Clinic in Auckland. He has been a vet for 42 years and has a pekingese dog and two burmese cats. Visit nhv.co.nz or email northharbourvet@paradise.net.nz