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SINGAPORE VACCINATION GUIDELINES FOR DOGS AND CATS 2020

News > Latest News 2nd December 2020
 


The Singapore Vaccination Guidelines Working Group, comprising veterinarians from NParks/AVS and the Singapore Veterinary Association, have developed the very first Singapore Vaccination Guidelines for Dogs and Cats.

Is it important to vaccinate our pets?

Vaccines are important to protect our pets from severe and life threatening diseases such as canine and feline distemper virus and parvovirus. Proper vaccine guidelines for animals also protect people from zoonotic diseases.

At Mount Pleasant, we support the practice of evidence-based veterinary medicine and emphasise the importance of preventative healthcare. In fact, we are already practising these vaccine guidelines across our 8 clinics and advising pet owners to schedule annual health checks (twice-yearly for senior pets) to detect and treat any diseases as soon as possible.

Why is there a need for these vaccination guidelines?

Over the years, there has been an increase in pet ownership, large numbers of pets travelling across borders, pet events, dog runs, pet cafes and shelters where animals are in close contact with people as well as other animals of unknown health and vaccination status, and viruses can spread easily.

These guidelines give a clear recommendation for the vaccination protocol of pets in Singapore, which would aid in standardising practices here for the overall health benefit of our pet community. Proper vaccine guidelines will protect our animals from infectious diseases and also protect the public from zoonotic diseases.

Are there pet owners who refuse or do not want to vaccinate their pets?

Most pet owners are up to date on their pets' vaccines. There are some pet owners who are worried about over-vaccinating their pets, especially when their dogs or cats are in the senior years.

To owners of senior pets or owners who are generally more wary of vaccinations, serology test - antibody titer test - is available as an objective measure to recommend vaccination. So the owners do not have to worry about over-vaccination.

For adult animals with a low risk of infection (e.g. a senior dog or cat above 7 years old, mostly indoors with little to no contact with other animals), we may recommend an off-label booster interval (e.g. to vaccinate every 2 or 3 years) if the dog or cat has sufficient amount of antibodies and protective immunity against the specific diseases.

We hope the vaccination guidelines will encourage more pet owners to embrace vaccination as part of integral healthcare needs for their pets. With these guidelines, we can personalise pet vaccination to benefit their individual pet. E.g. taking into consideration their age, health status, lifestyle and living environment.

Dr Kasey Tan, Senior Veterinarian
Mount Pleasant Vet Centre (Serangoon North)

Photo: Dr Kasey Tan with Bhasinder and his 7-year-old Shetland Sheepdog, Lucky, who comes in for yearly health checks and vaccinations (Photo taken in 2018)

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