All puppies and kittens should initially have a course of two vaccinations. We welcome all new arrivals for free ‘hello’ visits before their vaccines are due. The general protocol is as follows:
- Puppies should be vaccinated and health checked at 8 and 10 and 12 weeks of age – our new protocol (see below) means that a puppy’s second vaccination is split into two parts – the first at 10 weeks to enable early socialisation, and the second at 12 weeks to give full coverage for leptospirosis – please contact the surgery for more information.
- Kittens should be vaccinated and health checked at 9 and 12 weeks of age.
Puppies and kittens are fully covered 10 days after their final vaccination. Before this point they should be kept indoors, away from other dogs and cats. Puppies should be carried in public places. Socialisation at this age is important, so we run puppy parties for all puppies from first vaccine until 10 days after their second vaccine.
After the inital course, annual health checks and booster vaccinations are recommended.
If your pet’s annual vaccination has lapsed, then another booster course may be required – please discuss your pet’s individual needs with the vet.
Feline vaccination protects against:
- Cat flu (calicivirus and rhinotracheitis)
- Infectious enteritis (panleucopaenia)
- Feline leukaemia – not given in all cases. Please feel free discuss your cats needs for leukaemia vaccination with the vet.
Canine vaccination protects against:
- Distemper – potentially fatal cold-like disease.
- Hepatitis – liver disease, can be fatal in young dogs.
- Parvovirus – potentially fatal gastro-enteritis.
- Leptospira – attacks liver and kidneys (see update below).
Other optional vaccines:
- Kennel cough (dogs) – often required before stays in boarding kennels.
- Rabies – required before travelling abroad. Please see the pets abroad section for more information.
We strongly advise that all pet rabbits are vaccinated against myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease, please see the ‘Rabbits – vaccinations’ section for further information.
Canine Vaccination Protocol Notes
Leptospirosis is a disease associated especially with rodents and still or slow-moving water. It can cause fatal liver and/or kidney failure, and can be passed from an infected dog, some of whom may not show any significant signs of ill-health, to other dogs or to humans.
Made by the same company as our current vaccine, Nobivac Lepto2, Nobivac Lepto4 will provide protection against two additional types of leptospirosis which are becoming increasingly common in Britain and the rest of Europe. While the current vaccine provides protection against about 34% of the strains isolated in the UK, the new vaccine will boost this to about 85% of those strains isolated. Despite the additional components, it remains one of the purest vaccines available, significantly reducing the risk of side effects compared to many other vaccines.
Our local laboratory has already demonstrated exposure to one of these additional leptospiras (Serogroup Australis serovar Bratislava)in several samples this year. Whilst the new vaccine will boost the immunity provided by the previous generation Lepto2 vaccine, to obtain the best immunity against these newer strains, two doses of Lepto4 must be given to all patients, separated by a four week interval.
Kennel cough is especially prevalent in mild humid conditions. It can be caused by a range of viruses and bacteria. One of these (Bordetella bronchiseptica) is largely preventable by vaccination. This is a very safe once yearly vaccine which may be given as drops into the dog’s nose at the same time as the annual injectable vaccine booster.
Infection with Bordetella can, in some patients, progress to a life-threatening pneumonia and is generally be treated with long courses of antibiotics. The vaccination is required by some kennels prior to boarding and may be considered advisable for other patients depending on their perceived risk levels.
Vaccination against both Leptosporosis and Kennel cough are included in our Pet Care Plan.