Ask Dr Bruce Chard: Is it safe to let a puppy out after the second booster vaccination?
We have a 12-week-old poodle cross puppy having his vaccinations. He had his second booster at 12 weeks and has one more to go. At puppy school some of the owners say they will not let their puppy outside until they are 16 weeks old. Our vet has said it is fairly safe after the second booster. Who is correct?
Recent recommendations are for all puppies to have a series of vaccinations starting at 6-8 weeks of age and finishing at 16 weeks. Kennel cough protection is established three days after drops of vaccine are given in the nostril. Similarly leptospirosis vaccine, which needs two doses, can be completed at 10 weeks so this will mean protection for both is established by 11 weeks. The Distemper and parvo virus vaccines are the vaccines needed to be given as a last dose at 16 weeks. However in New Zealand conditions once the second full vaccination is given it is reasonable to allow your puppy to have controlled outdoor access.
Our 6-year-old cat, Missie, has recently developed sores along her back which she constantly licks. She receives a flea and worm treatment about every two months. We have no other pets and Missie does not go outside. What is causing this?
With skin irritation on the lower back of cats, the first thing to rule out is an allergy caused by flea bites. The cat reacts to flea bites anywhere on the body, by developing small sores along the lower back which are itchy. Even though Missie is indoors there may be a low level of flea exposure. There is a new flea treatment available for cats given by drops on the neck which lasts for three months. This should lead to improvement after two to three weeks. There is also an excellent flea product for cats given by tablet once a month. Unfortunately this can be difficult for owners to administer. Check with your vet as Missie could also have other types of allergies, such as to food.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org