The vast majority of responsible parents understand the importance of having their children protected from serious and potentially deadly diseases with a series of vaccinations. The same principles apply to the young animal members of your family. Getting pets vaccinated protects them from extremely painful and serious illnesses which could go on to kill them.
A vaccination is an injection containing a small, inactive amount of the germ which causes the disease you want to protect against. Your pet’s body builds antibodies to fight off this germ, meaning if it comes into contact with the disease in future it has already learnt how to defeat it. Once the initial vaccine has been given, your pet may need annual boosters to maintain its immunity.
Our experienced staff will ensure your animal is as relaxed as possible ahead of any vaccinations, which will reduce the risk of your pet feeling discomfort or pain. The injections are administered quickly and several vaccinations can be given in a single injection. If you have a fear of needles just let us know and the vet will make sure you don’t see your pet being treated.
Some pets will be sleepy for 24 hours after treatment or suffer a swelling at the sight of the injection but in the vast majority of cases the side-effects are very minor.
To protect your puppy from illness it’s important they aren’t allowed to leave your home until one week after their second vaccination. They mustn’t come into contact with areas where other dogs or wildlife have been, which means the back garden is out of bounds and you should keep them off the floor when you bring them into the practice.
Puppies should have their first vaccination between six and eight weeks of age and their second two to four weeks later when they are ten weeks old. The core vaccines we recommend protect them against:
We also strongly recommend they are protected from kennel cough, which your dog doesn’t need to go into kennels to catch but could pick up from any other dog it meets. This vaccine is given as nasal drops and needs to be administered once a year.
Kittens need to be kept inside the house until a week after their second vaccinations to ensure they are not exposed to diseases before their bodies are ready to fight them off. Ideally they should also be neutered before being allowed out as even very young females are at risk of being impregnated and young males may get involved in fights.
The core diseases to vaccinate them against are cat flu and enteritis, with protection against feline leukaemia highly recommended if they’re to spend any time at all outdoors.
The two diseases which pose the most danger to rabbits, myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD), are both fatal and very hard to treat once they’ve been contracted. Both can be protected against through vaccinations which can be given from five weeks of age. Vaccination against myxomatosis needs to be repeated every 6 to 12 months; it can be backed up with insect repellent strips and flea treatments.