Did you know that under Townsville City Council Legislation it is now compulsory for all "new" dogs and cats to be microchipped??

So what is a microchip and how does it work??

A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is embedded with a unique number. A microchip is inserted by a needle under your pet's skin, in between the shoulder blades. This can be done during a normal consultation. The microchip number and all your details and your pet's details are then stored on a national computer database with a microchip registry company.

If your pet is ever lost and is handed in at a Veterinary Clinic or animal shelter, a microchip scanner is passed over the animal. The scanner picks up the microchip number. The vet or animal shelter can then refer to the database to identify your pet and obtain your contact details.

Collars and id tags can be lost or removed but a microchip will be with your pet for life!! It is the most effective form of permanent identification.

If your pet is not microchipped please give us a call to make an appointment to have one inserted. If you find a lost pet please call us to arrange a scan - we can reunite microchipped pets with their worried owners.


Vaccinations have revolutionised control of infectious disease in our pets. It is essential that all pets are adequately vaccinated to help protect them from contracting a dangerous infectious disease.


Feline Enteritis (also known as Feline Panleucopenia)

It is very contagious and the death rate is high, especially under 12 months of age. Pregnant cats may lose their young or give birth to kittens with abnormalities, quite often with brain damage. Symptoms are depression, loss of appetite, uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhoea, often with blood and severe abdominal pain.

The virus spreads so easily that heavily contaminated areas may need cleaning with a special disinfectant. Cats that do recover may continue to carry the virus for some time and infect other cats.

Feline Respiratory Disease (Cat flu)

It is caused in 90% of cases by feline herpes virus (feline rhinotracheitis) and/or feline calicivirus.

Feline respiratory disease affects cats of all ages, especially young kittens, Siamese and Burmese cats. It is highly contagious and causes sneezing, coughing, runny eyes, nasal discharge, loss of appetite and tongue ulcers.

Fortunately, the death rate is low except in young kittens, but the disease is distressing and may persist for several weeks. Recovered cats can continue to carry and spread the infection for long periods, and can show signs of the disease again if they become stressed.

Chlamydia (also known as Chlamydophila)

Feline Chlamydia causes a severe persistent conjunctivitis in up to 30% of cats.

Kittens are more severely affected by Chlamydia when also infected with "Cat Flu", and Chlamydia can be shed for many months. Vaccination against cat flu and Chlamydia helps protects against clinical disease.


Canine Parvovirus

Canine parvovirus is a disease that affects dogs of all ages but is most serious in young pups and older dogs. The virus attacks the intestines causing blood-stained diarrhoea, uncontrollable vomiting and severe abdominal pain. Dogs often die from severe dehydration despite intensive veterinary care.

It is not necessary to have direct contact with other dogs for the disease to be spread. The virus is so persistent that the infected dog's environment needs to be cleaned with a potent disinfectant to prevent spread to other dogs. Outbreaks occur regularly throughout Australia, especially in Summer.

Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that can affect dogs of any age with young puppies being at highest risk.

Symptoms vary but can include fever, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and depression. Muscle tremors, fits and paralysis usually occur later in the disease. Treatment is usually ineffective and the recovery rate very low. Dogs that do recover may have permanent brain damage.

Canine Hepatitis

Canine hepatitis is a viral disease which, like distemper is extremely contagious and often fatal. Dogs of any age can become infected, however severe cases are rare in dogs over two years of age.

Symptoms include high fever, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea and acute abdominal pain. In severe cases death can occur within 24 to 36 hours. Dogs that recover may develop long-term liver and kidney problems and can act as carriers spreading the disease to other dogs for many months.

Canine Cough

Canine cough is a condition produced by several highly infectious diseases, which can be easily spread wherever dogs congregate, such as parks, shows, obedience schools and boarding kennels. Among the infectious agents associated with canine cough is the bacterium known as Bordetella bronchiseptica and the canine viruses parainfluenza, adenovirus type 2 and distemper.

Affected dogs have a dry hacking cough which can persist for several weeks. It is distressing for pet dogs and their owners. It is a major problem for working and sporting dogs. Pneumonia can also be a consequence of infection.

So when should I get my pet vaccinated??

Kitten and Puppy Vaccinations

Kittens and puppies are "temporarily" protected against many diseases by antibodies received through their mother's milk and while in utero. These maternal antibodies decline after the first couple of months of their lives, therefore they end up with no antibodies to protect them.

It would seem simple then to just give the vaccination at an age when the antibodies have gone. It's tricky though because there is no exact age as every pup and kitten is different. Furthermore, if the vaccine is given too early, the antibodies can neutralise the vaccine making it useless. We therefore give a series of vaccinations to all puppies and kittens to make sure that they are getting the best coverage and protection from the vaccines.

The best time to start these vaccinations is between six and eight weeks of age, followed by one at 12 weeks and then one at 16 weeks of age. We will recommend a different schedule of vaccination if your pet starts late or misses one or more of these initial shots.

Adult Cat and Dog Vaccinations

The immunity from puppy and kitten vaccinations weakens over time and your pet can again become susceptible to disease. Annual health checks and booster vaccinations, as required, will provide the best protection for the life of your pet.

At Hammett Street, we give your pet their vaccinations during a consultation with a Vet. During this consultation they also check your furry family member over thoroughly to make sure they are healthy and happy. This also gives you an opportunity to ask any questions about your pet or raise any concerns you may have.

Following any vaccination your pet may be off-colour for a day or two, or have some slight swelling or tenderness at the injection site. Access to food and water and a comfortable area to rest are usually all that is required for a quick recovery. However, if the response seems more severe, you should contact us for advice.

Please give us a call to discuss a suitable vaccination regime for your pet.