We strongly recommend that all pets are fully vaccinated to reduce their risk of infectious diseases which are difficult or impossible to treat once the animal is infected and in many cases are fatal.
The initial and booster vaccination visits always include a full examination of the animal which is in itself invaluable for picking up problems which may not be apparent to the owner. These visits also offer a useful opportunity for owners to discuss any concerns they may have regarding the animal's health or behaviour with a vet.
Dogs should be vaccinated against Distemper (D), Hepatitis (H), Parvovirus (P), Parainfluenza (Pi) & Leptospirosis (L).
Puppies can be vaccinated from 6 weeks of age (we advise 8 weeks old). They then receive a second vaccine two to four weeks later at a minimum of 10 weeks of age and are able to go out 5 days after this second visit. The earlier they complete this course, the better so that they can be safely taken out and socialised with other animals, people, traffic etc.
Booster vaccinations are required annually to maintain immunity to these diseases. However, different parts of the vaccine provide immunity for different lengths of time. To ensure that we don't 'overvaccinate' animals we give a full DHPPiL vaccine every third year and in the intervening years only a partial LPi vaccine.
Some dogs will also need to be vaccinated against Kennel Cough. This is required for animals when they will be mixing with many other animals in close proximity eg. dogs going into kennels, working dogs at shoots, dogs attending training classes. This is a live vaccine given as a small amount of fluid up their nose. It provides one year's immunity and must be given at least 3 full days before the period of risk.
Cats should be vaccinated against Calicivirus and Herpesvirus (cat flu), and Panleucopaenia (cat parvovirus).
Kittens can be vaccinated from 9 weeks of age. They receive a second vaccination 3 to 4 weeks later. They then require an annual booster vaccination.
Cats can also be vaccinated against Feline Leukaemia. This is not part of our standard vaccination policy as there appears to be a low incidence of FeLV in our rural area. However, we are happy to continue vaccinating animals new to the practice that have been previously vaccinated or where an owner specifically requests it. In these cases we advise booster vaccinations every 2-3 years until around 10 years of age, after which the risk of infection is low and the animal's immunity is sufficient in most cases.
Rabbits should be vaccinated against Myxomatosis and Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD).
Rabbits can be vaccinated from 6 weeks of age. A single vaccine provides one year's protection with the strongest immunity over the first six months. For this reason we recommend annual boosters should be given in the spring to give the most protection over the summer/autumn risk period.
Myxomatosis is spread via fleas from wild rabbits. VHD is spread directly by other rabbits or indirectly by a number of other animals, or people, if they have contact with an infected rabbit.
We all lead busy lives, so our practice operates a free booster reminder service whereby our staff will identify if your animal becomes overdue for their booster vaccination and post a reminder card to your address.