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Vaccinations

Dogs

Which diseases do we routinely vaccinate against?

  1. Canine Parvovirus: A very nasty viral disease causing severe vomitting and diarrhoea. Still occurs in pockets throughout the UK. Usually fatal.
  2. Canine Distemper (Hardpad): Another severe, usually fatal disease. Rare in the UK in recent years due to vaccination
  3. Infectious Hepatitis: Still exists in the UK, although now rare due to vaccination. Often fatal.
  4. Leptospirosis: Contracted from the urine of rats and / or other dogs. Canals and rivers can be contaminated and bacteria that cause this disease are widespread in the UK. Can also cause severe disease in humans (Weil’s disease).
  5. Kennel Cough: Causes whooping cough-like symptoms. More common in areas where dogs gather together i.e. kennels, dog shows, training classes, anywhere where lots of dogs are walked.

Vaccination courses for puppies

Puppies need 2 vaccinations:

  • 1st vaccination - usually given at 6-8 weeks of age
  • 2nd vaccination - usually given at 10 weeks of age

Puppies can then safely go out for walks in public areas 1 week after the 2nd vaccination.

Booster vaccinations for dogs

To maintain immunity against the diseases mentioned above. Dogs require an annual booster vaccination.

After the first booster vaccination, dogs only need vaccinations against Parvovirus, Distemper and Infectious Hepatitis every 3 years but booster vaccinations to protect against Leptospirosis and Kennel cough are required annually.

For further information about the diseases outlined above, please go to the Dog Info section of this website.

Cats

Which diseases do we routinely vaccinate against?

  1. Cat ‘Flu (Upper Respiratory Tract Disease): Unfortunately this remains a very common disease in the UK. It can be very serious, especially in young kittens and elderly cats. Several microbes are known to cause the symptoms. Cats with ‘Flu suffer from a runny nose and eyes and a high temperature; they feel lethargic and often won’t eat. Damage to the eyes (ulceration) can also occur.
  2. Infectious Enteritis (Feline Panleucopenia): An unpleasant and often fatal disease. Fortunately vaccination has been extremely successful in controlling the disease and it is now relatively rare.
  3. Feline Leukaemia*: A viral disease, transmitted by close contact with other cats or fighting. The disease can take months to develop but then it begins to suppress the cat’s immune system causing secondary infections, tumours and death. We are seeing less cats suffering from this horrible disease since vaccination became available.

* Vaccinations against Feline Leukaemia may not be necessary for cats who do not have access to the outdoors and do not come into contact with other cats.

Vaccination courses for kittens

Kittens require 2 vaccinations:

  • 1st vaccination - this is usually given at 9 weeks of age
  • 2nd vaccination - this is usually given at 12 weeks of age

Booster vaccinations for cats

Annual booster vaccinations are required to maintain immunity against ‘Flu, enteritis and Feline Leukaemia.

For further information about the diseases outlined above please go to the Cat Info section of this website or visit www.icatcare.org

Rabbits

Which diseases do we routinely vaccinate against?

  1. Myxomatosis: Myxomatosis is caused by a virus. It is spread by blood sucking insects such as the rabbit flea and possibly mosquitoes. The insect transmission means that all rabbits spending any time outdoors are vulnerable to infection. Following a bite from an infected insect the symptoms of Myxomatosis take from 5 to 14 days to develop. Infection with Myxomatosis causes swellings around the head, face, anus and genitals. These swellings progress to the point where eating and drinking become progressively more difficult and death usually follows within about 12 days.
  2. Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD): This is a deadly disease that any rabbit over the age of 6 weeks can catch. It is fatal in most cases. First seen in the UK in 1992, this disease has been found to occur all over the UK. The virus that causes this disease can be spread very easily between rabbits but also indirectly via people, clothing, footwear, other objects and fleas so even the ‘House Rabbit’ is at risk.

Vaccinations against Myxomatosis and VHD

There is now a single vaccination which will provide immunity to both diseases for one year. Vaccinations can be started from 6 weeks of age. Annual booster vaccinations are required to maintain immunity.

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