We strongly recommend for your pets to be vaccinated, to protect them against preventable diseases. What a lot of people don’t realise is that not having vaccinations up to date can invalidate a pet insurance policy.
In dogs, we vaccinate against canine distemper, canine adenovirus (herpesvirus), canine parvovirus (DHP) and leptospirosis (L4). We also offer kennel cough vaccination and rabies vaccination if you plan to travel with your pet.
In cats, we vaccinate against flu, enteritis (RCP) and feline leukaemia virus (FeLV).
In rabbits, we vaccinate against myxomatosis, and rabbit haemorrhagic disease 1 and 2 (RHD-1/2).
Primary course, depending on what age puppy is first presented:
If pup is six weeks old, we will give a DHP and L4 vaccination, then a second vaccination of DHP and L4 again at 10 weeks of age. There must be a four week gap between the L4 doses.
If pup is eight weeks old, we will give a DHP and L4 vaccination, then a second dose of DHP at 10 weeks, followed by the second dose of L4 at 12 weeks of age. This may seem confusing, but the second DHP dose must be given from 10 weeks of age, so any immunity received from mum (called maternally derived antibodies) has sufficiently reduced to ensure the pup develops an adequate response of their own. The reason we split the DHP and L4 is to provide protection to parvovirus at earliest possible opportunity.
Pups can go out one week after receiving their second DHP dose, so they can start socialising and being walked in towns, but full protection is not reached until three weeks after the final L4 dose.
It is important to keep their vaccines up to date annually, as the immunity can wane over time. After the first-year booster, the DHP dose needs to be repeated every three years, but the L4 coverage needs reboosting every year.
Primary course from eight weeks of age. Whilst we recommend for protection against all parts – flu and enteritis (RCP) and Feline Leukaemia (FeLV) – with more and more cats being raised as “house cats”, the FeLV doesn’t have to be given as it is a disease that is spread by contact with other cats, for example if fighting. However, you never know when things may change or a cat may escape, so we would still recommend coverage.
- First RCP and FeLV given at eight or nine weeks of age.
- Second dose given three of four weeks later at 11-12 weeks of age.
- Again, annual vaccinations are required.
You may sometimes see RHD listed as VHD instead – they are the same disease but the name is used interchangeably between rabbit haemorrhagic disease and viral haemorrhagic disease. These are all fatal if contracted, and RHD is a leading cause of sudden death in pet rabbits.
Myxomatosis is also a fatal disease, which will kill a rabbit slowly, often by removing its ability to look after itself and feed. It causes severe swellings around its face and eyes, and anogenital region. It is spread by bites from insects or contact with infected individuals.
RHD is fatal in most cases as it attacks the rabbits internal organs and causes internal bleeding. Both myxomatosis and RHD are highly contagious, but avoidable if appropriately vaccinated against.
We strongly recommend for all rabbits to be vaccinated as the effects of these diseases are catastrophic. It is just a yearly injection, and a full health check will be performed at the same time, to assess their dentition, ear, thoracic and abdominal health. We can also discuss rabbit management e.g. nutrition basics, housing and socialisation.