Protect your pet from serious infectious disease by vaccination followed by annual boosters.
- Puppies are generally vaccinated at eight and ten weeks of age. We also recommend a third parvovirus vaccination at sixteen weeks old.
- Kittens are vaccinated from nine weeks of age, the initial course consisting of two vaccines three weeks apart
- Rabbit kittens can be vaccinated from five weeks old with a single injection
Full immunity to the infectious diseases we vaccinate against develops approximately ten days after the complete initial vaccination course. Therefore, until this time young animals should be kept away from potential sources of infection.
Diseases we vaccinate dogs against:
Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that can affect all dogs but especially puppies up to a year old. The virus predominantly causes a severe gastroenteritis, and in many cases can be fatal, even with intensive treatment. The virus is spread in the stools of infected animals but can survive in the environment for long periods - up to two years.
Canine distemper is less common now in the UK due to vaccination programmes. The virus attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous system of puppies and dogs. It is usually spread through an infected dog’s cough or sneeze. Initially the disease can cause non-specific signs of fever, nasal discharge, coughing, lethargy, reduced appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea. In the later stages the virus can attack the nervous system causing seizures, twitching, or partial or complete paralysis. Distemper is often fatal. Even if the dog does not die from the disease it can cause long term damage to the nervous system.
Leptospirosis is caused by a type of bacterial spirochetes. These organisms are found in soil and water, contaminated with infected urine. Humans can also be affected by Leptospirosis. The signs of leptospirosis in dogs vary greatly, from no signs at all to severe illness leading to liver or kidney failure and death.
Infectious canine hepatitis is caused by canine adenovirus which is spread from infected dogs in their urine, stools and saliva. It can survive in the environment for weeks or months. The virus primarily attacks the cells lining the blood vessels and cells in the liver and kidney. It can lead to bleeding disorders, organ failure and death.
Kennel cough or canine infectious bronchitis is a very common contagious illness in dogs. A number of viruses have been associated with the condition, a common one being a parainfluenza virus. The most commonly isolated bacterium being Bordetella bronchiseptica. The infectious agents damage and irritate the lining of the wind pipe (trachea) and upper respiratory tract resulting in coughing. The kennel cough vaccination protects against Bordetella bronchiseptica and parainfluenza virus. Please note these vaccinations will not prevent all infectious causes of coughing.
Titre testing. Your dog's vaccinal status can be checked to ensure that protection is maintained against the more important of the diseases we vaccinate against (Distemper, Parvo, Hepatitis). This may be of interest to clients concerned about over vaccination. The results of a blood test which can be performed 'whilst you are here' give a good indicator to the protected status of your dog. The cost of performing this test is similar to the cost of the booster vaccination. The practice has already taken steps to reduce vaccination where we consider it safe. Clients following standard recommendations regarding vaccination can be assured that their pet will be correctly protected. Please note that the protection that vaccination gives against leptospirosis cannot be tested and annual vaccination against this particular disease is always recommended.
Kittens and cats are vaccinated against:
Feline calicivirus and feline herpes virus type 1: together these two viruses cause the vast majority of upper respiratory infections in cats (cat flu). Both viruses are spread in the following ways: direct contact with infected cat saliva, ocular or nasal secretions, inhalation of sneezed droplets, sharing of food bowls and litter trays or a contaminated environment.
Feline panleucopenia virus, and feline parvovirus (feline infectious enteritis) cause a very severe gastroenteritis, the virus causes severe damage to the lining of the intestine and also travels in the blood to the bone marrow and lymph nodes where it damages the immune system, often leading to death. The virus is spread in the stools of infected cat and can survive for several years in the environment.
Feline leukaemia virus belongs to a group of viruses known as oncornaviruses which have the ability to cause tumour development in infected individuals. Cats infected with feline leukaemia virus can develop lymphoma, leukaemia and some other cancers. However, more commonly infected cats develop severe immunosuppression and become ill with other conditions before they develop cancers. It has been estimated that 80 – 90% of infected cats die within three to four years of diagnosis. Persistently infected cats shed large quantities of virus in saliva and potentially the stools, urine and milk. The virus is fragile so close contact is required to transmit the virus and cats generally become infected by ingesting the virus orally, following prolonged social contact, i.e. following mutual grooming, shared food bowls and litter trays.
Rabbits are vaccinated against:
Myxomatossis, a type of pox virus, is usually transmitted from infected rabbits by insects. Occasionally it can be contracted following close contact. The disease classically leads to fever, lethargy, swelling of the mucus membranes around the eyes, mouth and genitals, and ultimately haemorrhage and death in 90% of cases.
Viral haemorrhagic disease is highly contagious and often the only signs of disease are sudden death, with blood at the nose and anus. The virus is very stable and can remain in the environment for a number of months. Therefore the virus can be spread indirectly from infected wild rabbits to domestic rabbits on clothing, shoes, insects, birds, rodents etc.
To maintain maximum immunity, annual boosters are required for adult pets. All pets receive a complete health check at the time of vaccination. To help you keep everything up-to-date we send you a reminder before the boosters are due.