Guarding Your Cat or Dog from Diseases: Core Injections

Mrs Bobinoz walked back into the house this morning; she had a cat carrier in her hand with two cats inside and a dog on the end of a lead. “That’s all the pets’ injections up-to-date for another year!” She said. Before adding…

Don’t ask me how much though.

Of course, I then had to ask.

$389.45!! Gosh.

What were these injections for? For that kind of money, I would expect our cats and dog to be immune to…

And if any of them decided to go for a swim in the sea or to jump in a billabong for a splash, unlikely in the case of the cats, for that money I would expect them to be immune to sharks and crocodiles as well.

But what did we get instead?




Canine Distemper

This is a virus that affects dogs and can be spread through food and water as well as through contact with an infected animal. It comes with a pretty long list of nasty sounding symptoms and can ultimately lead to your dog being put down for humane reasons.

Canine Infectious Hepatitis

Just as nasty as the above, can lead to death due to liver failure although some dogs do recover without treatment.

Canine Parvoviral Enteritis

This may be the scariest of the lot for dogs; this disease is highly contagious and if it goes untreated can kill up to 91% of dogs.


Coco & Remy

Coco, who wants to stay in the cat carrier, and Remy

Feline Parvovirus

Highly contagious and very often fatal, especially in kittens. 95% of kittens under two months old will die, sometimes within 24 hours.

Feline Herpesvirus

Upper respiratory or pulmonary infection which can, again, lead to death.

Feline Calicivirus

This is another virus and it causes respiration problems but cats can and often do fight this one off with the help of their own immune system, often making a full recovery.

So, these injections were worth it, you might think.

Maybe not, we may have actually wasted some of our money.

Do dogs and cats need annual vaccinations?

Yearly vaccinations for cats and dogs are not necessary, apparently.

It’s a shame I decided to write a post about vaccinations for dogs and cats AFTER ours had been done, because if I’d investigated this subject before, they probably would not have gone and we would be $225.50 better off.

Vaccinations for the above diseases last for three years according to the experts, but here in Australia vets still recommend this vaccine on an annual basis. These days though, international standards recommend a three yearly top up and that’s what now happens in both the UK and New Zealand.

Australia is still doing it “the old way”. With around 5 million cats and close to 8 million dogs in this country, and at $70-$80 a jab, I’m sure the vets prefer “the old way” as well.

As many Australian vets do still “recommend” annual vaccinations, I suppose it is down to us as pet owners to make our choice of frequency on behalf of our pets. If that’s a decision you need to make, here are a couple of links that might help out:

Other treatments

Our 3 pets had other treatments today as well. Our dog, Hippy, had a heartworm injection which does last for one year, that one cost $110. She also got some chewable tablets at $24.95, this one helps prevent some kind of intestinal worm or other.

For the record, her injection was actually called the C5 Vaccination (at $79.50) which also helps prevent kennel cough.

Our cats got similar intestinal worm tablets at $14.50, and their jab is called the F3 Vaccination and they cost $73 each.

So yes, our pets are all up to date for another year, and maybe for the next couple of years we will skip those C5 and F3 jabs, saving us over $250 in the process.

What do you think? How often do you vaccinate your cats or dogs? Let me know in the comments below…

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{ 64 comments… add one }
  • Smokey September 26, 2016, 11:40 am |

    Very interesting I have a cat got him when he was 6wks old he got vaccinations for the very firsr year as a kitten then never got him yearly vaccinated. Vets in my honest opinion are just in it for pure GREED after reading lots of information online about this subject.

    My cat lived till he was 17 years of age which makes him 85yo in human age, he never ever got sick. Now that I have read up about dog vaccinations only need to be done every 3 years that sounds much better to me, honestly we dont know exactly what toxic crap they put in those vaccinations, my dog doesnt go into boarding kennels. She gets her yearly heartworm injection I know its expensive but least you dont have to worry about giving them tablets constantly. Vets in Australia need to start caring for our furry friends instead of being so greedy. Then there possibly wouldnt be much dumping of pets because people just cant afford high vet costs. Vets need to keep their costs down.

    I rang several vets and got different prices for kitten vaccination $69.00 to $100 like, really?
    No wonder why the seller is selling her because he couldnt afford vet fees oh apparently kitten has never had any vaccinations grrr ?

    • BobinOz October 2, 2016, 5:34 pm |

      I had a tortoise who woke from hibernation with one eye closed and it would not open. I took him to the vet and he diagnosed possible pneumonia and said he needed to keep the tortoise in over the weekend for observation.

      I agreed, I got the tortoise back on the Monday, eye still closed, but the vet confirmed no pneumonia. That tortoise is still alive today with that eye still closed and living with my sister in the UK.

      I got a vet bill for £180, back in those days that would have been around $500 Australian. It was 1991.

      Vets being expensive is not just an Australian thing 🙂

  • Chloe January 22, 2016, 4:13 pm |

    The AVA (Australian Veterinary Association) has released new information and you can easily access this through this URL ( which I discovered whilst researching for my Vet Nursing Certificate I am currently studying for. The “expert” recommendation (depends what you define as an expert) is that each animal should be individually assessed for regularity of vaccines and a triennial recommendation was made as a general rule, but some animals do not remain immune as long as that and will need more regular vaccines and some animals will remain immune for more than the three years. These are general figures and you should choose based on what is best for your animal. Not vaccinating regularly enough can lead to your dog or cat picking up some pretty nasty viruses and over vaccinating has been linked to tumours forming at injection sites, which is why they actually updated their guidelines.
    Another thing that should be noted is that because the Veterinary Field is self-regulated, there is no need for Veterinarians or practises to register with the AVA or to follow their guidelines. This however, does not mean that your Vet does not have your animals best interest at heart.
    There is testing available that you can request (not available at all clinics, so best to check your clinic offers the service) to see if your pet is still immune.
    Pets are very expensive and especially their health costs, Pet Insurance actually covers almost all vet costs, and can be quite affordable if you shop around.

    • BobinOz January 22, 2016, 6:31 pm |

      Great information Chloe, thanks for providing it. I haven’t been able to read it yet, I’m on holiday and my Internet connection is early 90s. Are they saying each breed is different or each individual dog? Good luck getting your certificate.

      • Chloe February 12, 2016, 8:46 pm |

        They’re saying every single dog is different, but I’d say different breeds would have different resistances to vaccines. It’s always best to get a vets opinion though and perfectly reasonable to seek a second opinion if you have doubts. Thanks for the encouragement.

  • a May 29, 2015, 11:36 pm |

    the Australia veterinary association suggests 3 yr for core vaccines and annually for this extra bits that don’t have prolonged protection from single injections
    The data sheets(instructions in with the vaccines) are out of date in Australia and make the whole situation big nightmare.
    They still suggest annual revaccination on many products, often these same products in different markets in the world have 3 yearly suggestions… it is just full of pitfalls

    • BobinOz June 1, 2015, 3:06 pm |

      Yes, it is a bit of a mess and somebody needs to sort it out. As others have mentioned, if you don’t have annual vaccines then your dog will not be allowed to stay in kennels here and that seems wrong to me.

  • Joey May 15, 2015, 12:23 pm |

    Our vet has just gone in to retirement, he was very caring, never over charged and always told us when things weren’t necessary but still gave us the option, we trusted him so much and we want to find another Bruce!. We went to a new vet a few weeks ago with our 18 year old dog, they told us they would do a few test the bill cam back at $1200!! I couldn’t believe it! Although we love him very much he is 18 there would be nothing they can do even if they did find something, he is way too frail.
    We also have a 12 week old puppy that is due for her 12 week vac, I have been told by vets I have called that we need to get the 16 week vac too. So I tried a few more and found one that told me the 16 week one isn’t necessary and its just a money grabbing exercise for vets! I think we might have found ourselves a new vet!

    • BobinOz May 15, 2015, 9:16 pm |

      I have to say, it concerns me some of the things vets do for very old dogs. Our dearly beloved chocolate Labrador, Baggy, who passed away a few years ago at the ripe old age of 15 had all sorts of things wrong with him.

      Cancer, heart problems, and basically just being very old. My wife loved him dearly, we all did, but since when did that start advising hart tablets at something like $200 a month? Of course, we paid for them and they may have extended our dog’s life for a while, who knows.

      But $200 a month? I think there comes a time in a dog’s life when we all have to accept they are old and they are not going to be with us for much longer.

      $1200 for some tests on an 18-year-old dog is pretty outrageous, stinks of money grabbing. I hope you find a decent replacement vet soon, I think your guy was from the old school, not many of those around these days.

  • Maureen Newman May 10, 2015, 3:36 pm |

    If you look on the Australian Veterinary Associations website they also advise 3 yearly vaccinations once a puppy has had its full course of vaccinations and one yearly booster.
    If your dog goes into a kennel then it has to have yearly kennel cough vaccinations but for the others only tri-annual.
    Our vet has not told us this so from now on it will be tri-annual for our dog.

    • BobinOz May 10, 2015, 9:19 pm |

      Ah, that’s very useful to know, thank you Maureen, Bob

  • Jenny H April 1, 2015, 9:39 am |

    Years ago I attended a seminar help basically for vet nurses. When the question of vaccinations came up and ‘why every year?” the answer was “Because if we do not recommend yearly booster shots people will not bring their animals in for an annual check.”
    Solemn noddings, but nobody asked why should a healthy animal NEED annual check ups?

    • BobinOz April 1, 2015, 9:39 pm |

      I think I know the answer to that one: money?

    • kitty April 2, 2015, 4:34 am |

      I am in the US, and our AAFP (American Association for Feline Practitioners) have been recommending 3-year intervals for DECADES (though it depends on the vaccine). The extended interval recommendations started from Feline Vaccine-Associated Sarcoma (I am surprised Australians seem clueless about it ) Task Force which was created in 1990s to investigate reports of post vaccination sarcomas in cats. The recommendations for longer intervals have been used by some (though regrettably not the majority) of vets even when my previous cat (died last year at 14.5) was still a kitten. The recommendations have been as follows (I think it’s different in Australia because you don’t have Rabies and we do):
      FVRCP (distemper, calici, herpes,etc.)- kitten series, a yearly booster, then NO MORE OFTEN than every 3 years — note that they say “no more often” meaning greater is OK but not less. There actually are studies that show immunity lasting much longer e.g. 5-7 years.

      Rabies — (not applicable to you) as a kitten, following year, then 1 to 3 years depending on the vaccine and local laws.
      FELV – non core, not recommended for indoor-only cats, yearly for outdoor/cats living with FELV positive cats.

      Back 15.5 years ago when my first cat was vaccinated, the vet had already written FVRCP 3 years. When my cat was 6 or so, the new vet said that my cat probably has enough antibodies as the immunity has been shown to last 5-7 years, and she is indoor only anyway, so it’s up to me if I want anymore boosters. I opted not to. With my current new cats (a year and a half old), the new vet (previous one moved out of state) wrote 3 years, but 3 years from now, I’ll talk to her about if my indoor-only cat really needs it.

      While there are many US vets that don’t follow these guidelines and vaccinate more often, I noticed from stumbling upon a couple of Australian web sites by accident that a) they are lying that FVRCP boosters are needed every year, and they are lying when saying these are what the recommendations are – they are not; world small animal association like AAFP say no more often than every 3 years. They are also conveniently forgetting to mention Feline Injection Site Sarcoma as a possible risk. You guys really need to do something about your vets…

      • BobinOz April 2, 2015, 4:28 pm |

        Fascinating information Kitty, I think all of us pet owners here in Australia really do need to have a serious head-to-head conversation with our vets about this. If I’m understanding what you have said correctly, not only is it completely unnecessary for annual vaccinations, it could also actually be detrimental to cats.

        Everything they do should be in the best interest of our pets, not simply for financial gain.

        • Ann May 1, 2015, 10:54 pm |

          Unfortunately, most of the Australian Vets have “2 Dollar sign Eyes” , what they can see are only dollars/money, what they think is only money, money and money, how to get more money from pet’s owners pocket. That’s why they charge $94 for 1 vaccination (even RSPCA charge $80 for vaccination of a dog). It seems vet can charge any amount as they like, there is no price regulator to monitor and control the price in veterinary clinic in Australia.

          • BobinOz May 4, 2015, 2:53 pm |

            Not just Australia though, is it? I think vets are expensive in many other countries as well, including the UK.

  • Simon March 6, 2015, 3:53 pm |

    Well not only do I think that yearly vaccination is over the top, I also think that the way we get our dogs desexed just. because. is sick! I’m from Germany where people tend to not get their dogs desexed anymore so I did a bit of research on it. Turns out there are more reasons against it. Just check out the internet and you will be amazed of what ‘modern’ vets do recommend these days. Australia is so far behind its not funny anymore – at the expense of our dogs!

    • Kamma March 6, 2015, 8:08 pm |

      Hi Simon. There is reason to desex your dogs, which is to avoid unwanted puppies and it can help with behavioural problems, and it’s hard to get cancer in something you don’t have, but you’re right. Many, many vets and owners do it far too freely. A six week old pup should not have surgery! A dog shouldn’t be desexed, unless there are health reasons, before it is two years old.

      • Simon May 5, 2015, 2:15 am |

        An intact bitch is getting in heat every 6 to 12 month, for around one week you have to be careful not to get in contact with an intact male dog. If you don’t feel able to take good care of your dog for one or two weeks a year… well poor dog!
        Behavioural problems are not to be solved by desexing but training, and with good training and a normal start in life behavioural problems should not even occur at all! And most of the time desexing does not solve behavioural problems anyway.
        A dog can get all sorts of cancer, just like us. Should I get rid of my breats, bowel, brain, skin, …, just because of cancer? Seriously, what sort of thinking is that?

        • Kamma May 5, 2015, 4:47 pm |

          First, a bitch is in heat for a month, not a week or two, and she might smell very attractive for a few weeks before and after, but that’s individual. Some get depressed when they’re in heat, won’t even eat, some get desperate for male companionship, some get aggressive, and some don’t even notice it. There is at least one good reason to desex in that list, if not three. I have two intact girls, currently in heat.

          True, most any behavioural issue can and should only be solved by training, but there is the odd issue that only desexing can really deal with, or at least be a great part in dealing with.

          If you know you’re in a high-risk group, which you can predict, I see no reason not to take steps to avoid cancer. Which, yes, includes cutting off you breasts. Not like you’d be the first. I can’t really blame people who don’t want to take that risk, especially not with their pets.

          • Simon January 8, 2016, 10:42 pm |

            Dont want to be too rude in any way but you might want to re-read about the duration of heat again. The critical duration is about a week, of course things happen before and after that you still call ‘in heat’ but a bitch wouldnt even let a male dog get too close in her first, third and fourth week. Of course its still a risk but my dog is not kept in the backyard and its not my fault that there are heaps of poor puppies around that are. If a dog in our neighboorhood is feeling sad cause there’s a bitch in heat next door he will get over it after 4 weeks – being kept outside all life long is worse I dare to say. My dog is not unhappy in any way and I have, in my home country where things are a bit more progressed, by maybe 10 to 15 years, heaps of friends that decide against desexing and so far out of maybe 15-20 only one dog (we have a FB group and are talking about these things & their experiences all the time) goes through unhappy 10 days a year where she carries around every soft toy she can get hold of. Still not the end of the world and as a real Retriever she’s still eating fine.
            My male non desexed bunny rabbit is also said to be sexually frustrated and of course the only option is desexing. Never seen a bunny more relaxed and happy than him but sure he must be secretly suicidal. PS A person that just met him, never seen him before (or after!!) let alone seen him all happy at home told me about his terrible state of mind. A person that makes money with it of course.
            ‘The odd case’, yeah, but are we talking about the odd case or about the majority here???
            Also you must have had removed a lot on your body to make sure you are not risking any sort of cancer, so no blood, skin, brain, breast,…….left. All removed to make sure to keep the cancer out?

            • Ruby March 18, 2016, 8:48 pm |

              What makes you think Australia is behind you by 15 years? That’s rude. Also a lot of people in Australia leave their dogs intact.

  • Tracey Devine February 11, 2015, 11:26 am |

    I agree, I am currently studying Cert 4 in Vet nursing. And we were told unnecessary to do yearly. 3 yearly is fine. xx

    • BobinOz February 11, 2015, 7:05 pm |

      Sounds like confirmation to me Tracey that it really is just all about the money then.

  • kayte December 17, 2014, 10:34 pm |

    I was told by a dog breeder that vaccinating every 2-3 years was all that was necessary. Vets in Aus recommend yearly purely for monetary reasons. I recently had to have my 14 yr old spaniel put down because of a massive tumor. . But she was vaccinated every 4 yrs and until the last week of her life she showed no signs of illness. Apart from being spayed and 2 bouts of conjunctivitis she never went to the vets. Spaniels in particular are prone to autoimmune diseases and breeders say that yearly vaccinations can increase their chances of getting an autoimmune disease. My new puppy will get all the necessary puppy vaccinations and then one every 3/4 years.

    • BobinOz December 18, 2014, 1:23 am |

      Doesn’t surprise me to hear that, it’s sort of what I suggest in my post. I also think every two or three years is fine for most pets and that it is mostly about money for the vets.

      A few people have suggested that if your pets vaccinations are not up to date then they will not be allowed to stay in kennels, my answer to that is don’t use those kennels.

      I’m not a vet though, so what do I know 🙂

  • Sophie November 4, 2014, 1:07 pm |

    What does everyone think about pet insurance? I’m about to buy a (rather expensive) purebred Corgi and think it could be worth it.

    Does anyone have experience with this?


    • BobinOz November 4, 2014, 4:51 pm |

      It’s difficult to say Sophie, like most insurances, some people win and some people lose. I have no direct experience with any pet insurance company, but when our dog Hippy ate an indestructible toy when she was still only about one year old, the operation to remove the object cost us nearly $3000, I sure wished we had taken out pet insurance.

      Anybody else got a view?

    • Kamma November 4, 2014, 8:25 pm |

      Hi Sophie,
      I’ve got a health insurance on both of my dogs. Vets are very expensive, and what could take years for the insurance company to claim from you the vet can take in an hour. Say, if your dog breaks its leg or swallow a toy whole… Those are costly, especially if it happens at night and you need to head to an emergency hospital.
      If you have an insurance on yourself, then you already have all the arguments needed to get one for your dog.

      • Prue January 20, 2015, 3:42 pm |

        Hey Sophie,

        I’m a little late to reply but I just picked up my (rather expensive) purebred corgi on the weekend and after watching my Mum hand over upwards of $8000 for surgery on our 13 year old corgi who had cancer and passed in November (we don’t regret spending a cent of that on her as she survived the surgery against the odds and had the most wonderful 8 weeks with us afterwards before the cancer got her) I insured our baby as soon as she hit the 8 week mark, before we’d even brought her home – we may find in years to come that we had no need for it but even so I’m happy to keep paying it so that she will always be covered and that we can give her every chance of living a long happy and healthy life with us. My Mum was fortunately in a position where she could pay the money for Oakley’s surgery and we gave her every chance possible but my fiance and I are just starting out in our first home and we would struggle if something major happened to our little pup so there was no way I was going to go without it!!

        • Eve rampling January 8, 2016, 10:19 am |

          We have two domestic shorthairs and a Kepie puppy. Our gorgeous 12 months old kitten was bitten by a snake and had to be taken to an emergency hospital. Anti-venom is $900 per dose (and they could need up to 3), not to mention all of the tests and support. Total bill $4,400. There was no question about the money but gee i really wish we had got pet insurance! I guess it depends on risk factors in your area, do you have high fences, are your cats indoors etc… but my feeling is you would pay the bill regardless then insurance is a good way to go!

          • BobinOz January 11, 2016, 5:23 pm |

            Wow! $900 a pop? That’s a lot of money as was your final bill. As you say, it’s probably worth trying to assess the risks to your pets and maybe think about pet insurance.

        • Pam February 11, 2016, 11:39 pm |

          Hi Prue, just read your comment re getting insurance due to not having enough finances. Did you realise that you have to pay the vet bills first before you claim the money back? I inquired a little while ago about insurance and rang vet clinics and vet specialist to check. They all told me i had to pay the bills first then try to claim it back. So you actually have to have the finances first anyway so you can pay for the procedures.

          • BobinOz February 12, 2016, 8:40 pm |

            Really? That sounds like a dumb system if ever I heard one. That’s a warning to everyone then, always best to read the small print. Thanks for the tip Pam.

            If anyone knows of any pet insurance companies that don’t operate in this way, we’d love to hear about it here.

            • Pam February 14, 2016, 1:15 am |

              I phoned several pet insurance companies at the time including RSPCA. Was told by all of them, I had to pay for the procedure at the time it was done and then put a claim in. Pet insurance is a good idea I guess if you can get some of your money back but I was disappointed you still had to pay the full bill. I actually thought you would be able to tell the vet or specialist what company you had the insurance with and then they would put it through to the company and I would pay what was left over. But NO. It does not work like that. I was really angry because when you see the ads on TV, they all make it sound like everyone can now get treatments for their pets but in all honesty it makes no difference. If you don’t have the money to pay the bill yourself at the time, you can’t get the treatment done. I don’t think it’s a fair system. I also think it is false advertising by all the companies because they are making out that everyone can now afford to get any treatment for you pet when that is not how it works.

              • BobinOz February 15, 2016, 5:09 pm |

                I agree with you Pam, this does sound very wrong. Sounds to me as though there is an opportunity for an insurance company to step into this market and cleanup, simply by paying vets direct.

                But I wonder if this problem is on the vets side? They probably want paying straightaway, maybe before they will even release the pet. Perhaps it’s just impossible for insurance companies to comply?

                Whatever the reason though, it’s still wrong, and these insurance companies should make it absolutely clear in their advertising that this is the case.

  • Amanda bray October 4, 2014, 7:23 am |

    My beautiful lilly died 26/10/14.
    She was almost 5 a lab retriever. I am heartbroken.we have never done the regular vet thing. I am a big believer in the body being given a chance to heal itself.she was vomiting diarrhoea. In the morning… Still walking around and drinking water…by 5 pm we found her despondent. She took her last breaths in our arms 2 minutes later. I’m riddled with guilt…if I’d been at work,I wouldn’t have even been there for her last moments. Whatever the cause,.she was taken soon quickly.if I could turn back time I’d pay it all…she can never be replaced.:(

    • BobinOz October 6, 2014, 2:41 pm |

      So sorry to hear about your dog Amanda, very sad. Do you know for sure that your dog would have been fine had you had all the treatments done? What was the actual cause of death, do you know?

      • Lindi October 25, 2014, 11:20 pm |

        Sounds more like poisoning 🙁

        Sorry for your loss.

  • Kirsty September 24, 2014, 11:11 am |

    I just think it’s all a con and merely serves to keep veterinary clinics in business and there are certainly thousands more vet services than there were years ago. When I was growing up cats and dogs roamed the streets and everyone I knew’s dog lived to a ripe old age. People took their pets to the vet only when they were sick. I don’t even get human annual health checks and vaccinations (only the early childhood ones) yet I’m expected to get my pets checked annually and pay hundreds of dollars for these vaccinations. Humans don’t need annual vaccinations. Why do pets? I think this is really unnecessary.

    • BobinOz September 24, 2014, 6:39 pm |

      I’m sure a vet would have a very clever answer for you Kirsty, but I don’t, I’m sort of inclined to agree with you. I think some vaccines and treatments are very beneficial, particularly when protecting against ticks, but it seems to me that most pets get way too much medication. As you say, more than most humans.

      Cheers, Bob

  • BERNIE June 8, 2014, 11:08 pm |

    I’ve had six dogs in my years in Melb Australia, and have never vaccinated under 3 years with any of them: usually much longer. Not because I’m “tight”, but because I believe nature does a great job 99% of the time. None were pedigree which is half the battle. So many problems I see with so called pure breeds must have something to do with “breeder greed” that practice unconscionable inter-breeding (incest) because of convenience, instead of mating with a mate known to be totally un-related, or at least from an extraordinary distance away thus minimising the chance of INCEST.
    I neither have the desire to waste money for egotistical reasons of owning a so-called pure breed, nor wish to promote this activity, and so purposely buy a Mixed Breed Dog: I’ve always been rewarded with a Magnificent & Intelligent Friend that I chose personally, from one of my friend’s co-incidental litter!
    Has anyone ever heard of a vet with average means ? I am sure they ALL make double that of your family GP. I have never known one to live in an average home and suburb and driving an average car, but rather at the high upper end of the scale!

    • BobinOz June 10, 2014, 3:56 pm |

      Ha ha, yes, the search is on. We are looking for a vet with a concessions card. Anybody?

      I didn’t think so…

    • mez August 14, 2014, 10:58 am |

      Well Said!!!!
      I also have 2 mixed breed dogs from pet rescue and I just took them to the vet for the annual C5 jab!
      $270 which obviously included the “check up” I was in and out in 20 minutes with a quick feel/jab/teeth inspection!!!
      I just had that amount in my bank account and I am now waiting for pay day with just $10 to my name!
      Sad but true 🙁

      • BobinOz August 14, 2014, 7:10 pm |

        Yes, the vet knew exactly how much you had in your bank account, if you’d have had $380, he would have charged you $370 🙂

    • Lindi October 25, 2014, 11:18 pm |

      My old cat who is 17 yo had hyperthyroidism and had to be on daily medication until I found a vet willing to operate on him. The medication was costing $55 (for a month supply) a bottle and it was the same as human medication for the same complaint. I spoke to my local chemist about it one day and they said I could get it from there for $14 and all I needed to do was get a script from the vet. I spoke to the vet who wanted to charge $40 per script for just writing a script. So I went to a different vet, who stated that they don’t supply the medication as I can get it from a chemist for less than half the price but he would write me a script and that repeat scripts could be written for $5 for 6 repeat scripts (ie 6 months supply)! What a difference. He was on heart medication at that time too (due to heart problems due to the thyroid issue) and while “only” $25 from the vet they were only $8 from chemist so similar situation. The second vet was also the vet who operated on him and got him off daily medication completely eventually anyway. So also be careful when they try to charge you for medication. Ask if you can get it from the chemist and what the price difference will be as if it is human medication you are likely to be able to get it cheaper if they will write you a script!!!

      • BobinOz October 27, 2014, 1:55 pm |

        I wish I’d have looked into this myself, we were paying (I think) about $250 a month for medication for our Baggy during the last year of his life, that was heart medication amongst other things. Maybe we could have got it much cheaper with some effort.

        Good tips Lindi!


  • Sandie April 6, 2014, 10:59 am |

    I think That the Vets do a great job, but no wonder people shy at going every year.. I have just been Quoted $87.95 per dog ( I have 2 small dogs that weigh under 10 kg.

    I have asked a Vet Directly if it was true that the vaccine (c5) can last up to 3 years and was told yes, except for the Kennel cough part of the injection… Of cause the Vet recommends vaccinating you pets every year and obviously I want to keep my babies healthy.
    However, Last year my 3 year old poodle had an insatiable thirst and would drink all the time, the Vet ran test after test to make sure he didn’t have a disease called Cushings. He had all the symptoms, but because Cushings is only in old dogs they wanted to be sure he did not have it… $1200.00 later the said they still didn’t know why he was drinking the way he was, so they referred me to a Vetinarian Specialist ? First consoltation fee $180… I did not go.. I manage his water intake by leaving him with what should be normal for a dog of his breed & Weight..

    He is doing really well, he seems really healthy..

    Do Vets take advantage of us? …. My experience say yes they do..

    But try to get you pet into a boarding facility without their vaccination certificate being older than 12 months…. Impossible… But understandably so…

    • BobinOz April 7, 2014, 5:56 pm |

      Glad to hear your dog is doing fine, as you say though, vets are expensive, and it’s not just here in Australia.

      I remember taking my tortoise to the vets in the UK many years ago, probably around 1991. He told me it had pneumonia and said it would be best for me to leave him there for a few days so the vet could keep a close eye on him.

      When I picked up my tortoise it cost me £180! At the time, that would have been equivalent to over $500 and that was over 20 years ago.

      I didn’t know they had Veterinarian Specialists now though, that scares the life out of me!

      Cheers, Bob

  • Suzi February 9, 2014, 11:48 am |

    Thanks Bob what a God send you have just saved me some big bucks and believe me, I need it at the moment!!!!! Great work!!!!!

    • BobinOz February 10, 2014, 2:51 pm |

      Glad to have helped Suzi, but do bear in mind I don’t really know what I’m talking about 🙂 That’s why I have included the links to other articles with experts do talk about this, so be sure to read up on that before making your final decision.

      I suppose it depends who you decide to believe, but there is certainly money to be saved depending on who you agree with.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Ruth December 30, 2013, 11:17 am |

    The RSPCA (which is where we got our dog and had him vaccinated the first year) recommend the DHP every 3 years but the KC vaccination for Kennel Cough every year. I am going to look into the annual heartworm vaccination as I do tend to forget to give him the tablet on time. Do you have the cost for that. Since I don’t live near the RSPCA I want to find the most economical way to do the vaccination and checkups (not that the RSPCA was cheap).

    • BobinOz January 1, 2014, 11:50 pm |

      No, sorry, haven’t had that done for any of our pets. Anyone else know?

  • Mary Mayhead December 5, 2013, 7:20 pm |

    I don’t get my dogs vaccinated unless Titre testing indicates they need doing

    • BobinOz December 6, 2013, 1:15 pm |

      Well, of course, I had to Google that one, but on the face of it it seems quite a sensible thing to do. Worth looking into, thanks.

  • Kamma October 3, 2013, 5:08 am |

    I do vaccinate them yearly, but after what you just said, I might change that to every three years, too.

    • BobinOz October 3, 2013, 11:12 pm |

      It’s hard to know what to do for the best, isn’t it? These days you just don’t know if someone is giving you good advice, or whether they just want to take your money.

      In the end we all have to make our own decisions, but you know I’m not a vet, don’t you? 🙂

  • Gail June 5, 2013, 5:42 pm |

    Maybe the reasons most people are still getting the treatments done annually are because
    1) The pet boarding establishments won’t accept your pet unless you can prove it’s injections are upto date, which they stipulate is annually. No injection=no holiday (no Aussie is going to miss that are they!)
    2) The vets try to scare you by saying that if you don’t have the treatments done annually you will have to start the course of injections again from scratch and it will end up costing you more in the long run. We have had this said to us by two different practices.

    The whole thing is a money making racket for the vets and drug companies. You can ring several vets and they charge almost the same for C5’s (so much for competition), I suppose it’s their bread and butter money.

    If too many pet owners do the sensible thing and have it done every three years you can guarantee the vet and drug company lobby groups would start advertising that “good and responsible pet owners” have their cherished animals injected every year without fail and “wouldn’t dare risk harming or loosing a family member” or something similar.

    We have found the AWL (Australian Welfare League) are usually about $10 dollars cheaper than most vets for injections and micro-chipping and occasionally run special promotions for treatments plus you know the fees are going to a good cause but unfortunately they only have a few centres

    • BobinOz June 5, 2013, 7:25 pm |

      Yes, I think we have to ask ourselves why the kennels demand yearly vaccinations and why the vets continue to bully us pet owners into this when the international standard is now for three yearly jabs.

      As consumers, we should vote with our feet. It is our choice to only get our pets vaccinated once every three years, if vets say they won’t do it, find a vet that will. If the kennels won’t take your pet, find a kennel that will.

      By the way, me and my wife also run a pet care company, we visit pets in their homes whilst their owners are away on holiday, it’s way less stressful for cats and dogs to stay in their own environment for a week or two getting fed, watered and walked by us regularly while their owners are away.

      Maybe you should look into a home visiting pet care service where you live, then you can tell the kennels where they can go for your holidays 🙂

      • Lindi October 25, 2014, 11:06 pm |

        I used to vaccinate my pets every year, however, they have now not had a vaccine for the past 6 years. I think that after the initial ones their immunity has built up. I have 3 cats and they are all very healthy. They are now 17 years old, 15 years old and 11 years old. My oldest has health issues related to his age and that is it!

        In regards to kenneling, I have not put them in kennels ever. They have always had house sitters or a pet care service that visits them daily in their home. They are well looked after by this wonderful service and happy and relaxed in their own home. The old one is also given his daily medication as needed.

        • BobinOz October 27, 2014, 1:51 pm |

          That’s exactly the kind of service that me and Mrs Bob run locally here, pets are so much happier staying in their own backyards whilst the owners are away.

  • Joyce June 5, 2013, 1:12 am |

    Even though a completely different country; when i was still living in Holland we had a cat that we rescued from the pound. At which of course he had received extensive worm treatment, heart worm vaccine’s, he was “helped” and probably prodded and poked with any other needle they found beneficial. “panter” (Dutch for panther cause he was all black) lived to the old age of 20 without EVER another visit or vaccine to the vet, until the end. and even still while having fluid in his chest and surviving a stroke of old age he fought when he had to put him down, which even amazed the vet.

    On the other hand i used to own my own cat, Waffle, who spent a weekend at the vet because she had the rare condition of only having one uterus, Yep, cats have 2.
    and another night after that because she licked open the incision and then had to wear the cone of shame and take antibiotics.

    So, i think it’s just as different for animals as it is for humans, some get sick some don’t. I personally believe that the more you vaccinate, medicate and supplement the weaker the body and immune system gets from relying on those chemicals.
    But, that’s personal belief and opinion. each his own 🙂

    – Joyce.

    • BobinOz June 5, 2013, 6:28 pm |

      “The cone of shame”. 🙂

      Yes I think it is the same for cats as us humans, some just don’t get ill, others do.

      In a way I agree with you, for the most part I think we should be letting our immune systems deal with these things as best they can, but there sure is still a place for vaccines in the world.

      We really don’t want to be going back 300 years when our children were dying of whooping cough, measles, suffering polio and a whole host of other infections which vaccines have clearly gone a long way to wiping out.

      Cheers Joyce!


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