The development of effective vaccines to protect animals against serious (often fatal) diseases, has played a huge part in the improvement in health and longevity of our beloved pets over the last half century. Some of these diseases are now seen so rarely that many people have forgotten how dreadful they are. We cannot afford to become complacent.
We consider ourselves very fortunate to be practising veterinary medicine in an era when watching a young puppy die of distemper, or a kitten succumb to feline enteritis, is such a rarity that some of our younger colleagues have never seen it. When it does happen it is even more heartbreaking, just because it is so readily preventable.
These vaccines provide antibodies against contagious, life-threatening diseases that your dog or cat will come across during their lifetime. Many of these diseases have either no cure, or would involve long, expensive and often unsuccessful treatments for you pet.
We routinely vaccinate dogs against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus and two strains of Leptospirosis.
Routinely we would give a puppy two injections (one at 8 weeks and one at 10 weeks of age) with a full booster a year later. Then we continue to vaccinate every year with a reduced booster (Leptospirosis only) for two years and a full booster every third year.
This complies with the vaccine manufacturer's data sheet recommendation and ensures the maximum level of “group immunity” amongst the population of dogs that we are responsible for.
A Kennel Cough (Bordetella Bronchiseptica) vaccination is available. This vaccination is administered as drops up the nose and most boarding kennels now insist on it.
If your pet will be travelling abroad we can also vaccinate against Rabies which is a legal requirement of the Pet Travel Scheme.
We vaccinate cats against the two cat flu agents, Herpes virus and Calici virus, the severe enteritis infection, Feline Panleucopoenia virus, and also against Feline Leukaemia virus. Kittens get two injections (one at 9 weeks and one at 12 weeks of age) and then annual boosters against all four diseases.
Feline Leukaemia virus transmission requires quite intimate contact between cats (usually mating or fighting) so the owners of indoor cats, that will never be allowed out to meet neighbouring cats, may opt to do without that component of the vaccine.
We can protect rabbits against the ever present Myxomatosis with a vaccine from 8 weeks of age and then a booster every 12 months. We also vaccinate them against Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD1), which is a fatal disease common in wild rabbits and is easily spread. There is a single vaccine that covers Myxomatosis and VHD1 and a seperate vaccine for the second strain of VHD.
We are confident of the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines we use and the staff all follow these regimes for their own pets.