Vaccination is vital in protecting your pet from various diseases that cause pain, distress and can be fatal. Annual vaccination appointments also provide an opportunity for regular health checks for your pet.
Vaccinations for cats and dogs usually consist of a primary course of 2 vaccinations to stimulate an immune response, followed by annual boosters as the initial immune response gradually fades over time.
For dogs, the first vaccination is done at 8 weeks, with the second vaccination given 2-4 weeks later. Core vaccinations for dogs are distemper, parvovirus, canine infectious hepatitis, parainfluenza, and leptospirosis.
Your puppy can go out and enjoy walks and meeting other dogs or start puppy training classes one week after their second vaccination.
All dogs should have an annual booster to keep them fully protected. It is important to ensure that you keep these timescales otherwise you may need to restart a full course.
Cats can be vaccinated from 9 weeks of age, with a second vaccination 3-4 weeks later. Core cat vaccinations include feline herpesvirus and calicivirus (two agents responsible for cat flu) and feline panleukopaenia virus which causes feline infectious enteritis. We also recommend vaccinating your cat against the feline leukaemia virus, a virus which suppresses the immune system and is potentially fatal.
Grown up cats should receive annual booster vaccinations to keep themselves covered and particularly if cats are entering catteries.
It is important to kep your pet’s vaccinations up to date, as a delay in their booster allows for a decrease in immunity, and may mean that your pet needs to restart their primary vaccination course.
Rabbits receive 2 vaccinations per year. 1) Nobivac Myxo-RHD covers myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) – the original strain. 2) Filavac covers RHD and RHD2 – RHD2 is a new variant of rabbit haemorrhagic disease and is thought to now pose more threat than the original strain.
The diseases the vaccines prevent Indoor and outdoor rabbits are at risk and should receive yearly boosters of both, however ‘high risk’ rabbits such as breeding rabbits, show rabbits, those who go into boarding or those in contact with wild rabbits outside should receive 6 monthly boosters. The 2 vaccines, Nobivac Myxo-RHD and Filavac, can’t be given at the same time so a minimum of 2 weeks between is advised.