Vaccinations for dogs, cats and rabbitsKeep you pets protected and healthy ...
Regular vaccinations for your dog, cat or rabbit is essential to protect them against some major infectious diseases.
Fortunately the incidence of these diseases has been reduced in recent years, but they have not been eradicated and few specific treatments are available. Thus, vaccination is the only reliable method of protection.
If you are planning on taking your pet abroad then rabies vaccinations are required in order to re-enter the UK. See our information on the Pet Travel Scheme.
We’ve compiled some useful information about vaccinations for your pet below.
Puppies should have two injections, given 2-4 weeks apart. These can start from 8 weeks of age. Two injections are required to ensure that antibodies from their mother do not interfere with the immunity acquired from the vaccine.
First vaccination consultations are also an excellent opportunity for one of our vets to give your puppy a full health check and to discuss other important health issues.
We vaccinate dogs and puppies against the following diseases:
- Distemper: A viral infection which can cause a variety of signs such as fever, pneumonia, vomiting, diarrhoea and fits.
- Infectious Canine Hepatitis: A viral infection which can quickly lead to a fatal form of hepatitis.
- Leptospirosis: A bacterial infection that can cause kidney and liver failure. Can also infect humans (zoonotic).
- Parvovirus: A viral infection which causes severe bloody diarrhoea and death.
N.B. There has been a steep rise in the number of cases of parvovirus in recent years following a drop in the number of dogs being vaccinated.
- Parainfluenza: A viral infection which causes respiratory disease.
We recommend annual health checks and booster vaccinations. Immunity to some components of the vaccine will last for up to three years but it is important to boost immunity to Leptospirosis and Parainfluenza every 12 months. Your pet will be given a full health check by a vet as part of their annual check-up.
Certain boarding kennels and training schools will request vaccination against kennel cough. The bacteria involved are Bordetella bronchiseptcia and the disease is similar to whooping cough in children. The vaccination is given intra-nasally (liquid drops into the nose) and lasts for up to 12 months.
Kittens are given two injections 3 weeks apart, starting from 9 weeks of age. Our kitten vaccination consultations are also an excellent opportunity for our vets to give your kitten a full health check and to discuss other important health issues.
We vaccinate cats and kittens against the following diseases:
- Feline Herpes Virus (FHV): A viral infection that causes ‘flu-like symptoms and can make cats reluctant to eat.
- Feline Calicivirus (FCV): This viral infection causes cat flu and like FHV can make cats very unwell. A newer strain of the virus has occurred recently which can be fatal.
- Feline panleucopaenia: A viral infection which can cause bloody diarrhoea, decrease your cat’s immunity and ultimately cause death.
- Feline leukaemia (FeLV): A viral disease which affects the immune system and can cause a range of symptoms. It also has a role in the development of some tumours such as lymphoma.
Kittens which are going to live solely indoors may not require vaccination against FeLV, please discuss this with the vet at your vaccination appointment.
We recommend annual booster vaccinations for the diseases listed above. Your cat will also be given a full health check by our vets as part of this annual check up.
We strongly recommend vaccinating pet rabbits, including house rabbits, against two important life-threatening diseases. Your vet will give your rabbit a full health check and be able to offer advice on everything from diet to parasite control.
The diseases we vaccinate rabbits against are:
Myxomatosis: A viral infection that is spread by insect bites. The signs include swelling of the eyelids, nose and genitals and it is often fatal. There have been severe outbreaks in our area over the last few years and so we recommend booster vaccinations every 6 months.
Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD): A viral infection which causes internal bleeding and death. It can kill rabbits very quickly and without any warning. House rabbits are equally at risk of this infection. Annual boosters are required to maintain strong immunity.
A new vaccine is now available which combines protection against the two fatal disease above. This also lasts for 12 months for both diseases!
Formby and Southport are high-risk areas for myxomatosis so vaccination is strongly recommended. Your rabbit will receive a full health check by our vets as part of this vaccination appointment.