Vaccination for your Pet
A number of dangerous diseases can still affect pets in the UK, and some of these can even be transmitted to humans. Vaccination is the only safe way to provide immunity against all these diseases. if carried out regularly it can protect your pet for life. Regular boosters are vital to maintain protection ................... show you care.
Vaccinations for your Dog
Immunity is the body's natural ability to fight infection. By vaccinating we expose puppies to antigens (parts of the disease causing virus or bacteria) so that they can mount an antibody response so protecting them against the disease. As long as the mother is immune. puppies are usually protected during the first few weeks of life, thanks to the immunity passed through the mother's first milk (colostrum). However. this immunity fades rapidly, leaving the puppy susceptible to disease within a few weeks. At this point, vaccination can take over from the mother in providing protection.
The initial vaccination course is made up of 2 injections given at least 2 weeks apart. You will then need to wait a further 2 weeks after the second injection before taking your puppy for walks in public places. The primary course can be started at 8 weeks of age. It is important to begin socialising your puppy as soon as possible so introduce him to various sights and sounds from your arms until fully vaccinated.
Immunity to disease doesn't last indefinately, and will gradually fade, leaving your dog at risk. Annual boosters are essential to maintain protection. but the frequency of diseases boosted will vary. On completion of your dog's primary course. you'll be given a certificate that contains a record of the vaccination and tells you when the next booster is due. Boarding kennels wi ll need to see this certificate so keep it in a safe place.
What diseases do we vaccinate against?
A hardy virus that can survive for long periods in the environment.
Caused major epidemics in the 1970's and remains widespread in pockets throughout the UK. Usually fatal.
CANINE DISTEMPER (HARD PAD)
Another severe, usually fatal disease, causes multi organ failure.
Still exists in the UK, although now rare due to the
success of ongoing vaccination programmes. Often fatal.
Contracted from the urine of rats and/or other dogs.
Rivers and waterways can be contaminated, and forms of the disease are widespread in the UK. Can also cause severe disease in humans (Weil's disease).
CANINE PARAINFLUENZA VIRUS
Affects the upper respiratory tract and cause damage to the windpipe,
allowing secondary infection. Dogs will have a cough.
INFECTIOUS BRONCHITIS (KENNEL COUGH)
Extremely unpleasant whooping cough-like infection,
usually transmitted in places where dogs gather together (kennels, shows, etc). It is rarely life-threatening, but can cause severe airway damage.
Fatal disease, not found in the UK. Vaccination is required if your dog is travelling abroad.
Vaccinations for your Cat
Several dangerous diseases still affect cats in the UK. Vaccination is the only safe way to provide immunity against these diseases, and if carried out regularly, can protect your can for life. A kittens vaccination course will usually start at 9 weeks of age. A second vaccination is given 3 weeks later. Your kitten is fully protected 10-14 days after the second vaccination.
Currently cats can be vaccinated against 6 different diseases:
1. Feline panleucopaenia -feline infectious enteritis -feline parvovirus
2. Feline herpes virus type 1 (FHV-1 ) -feline rhinotracheitis
3. Feline calicivirus (FCV)
4. Feline Chlamydophilia infection
5. Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV)
Rabies vaccination is only required for cats who are travelling abroad or have entered the UK from abroad.
Just as in human vaccines. the immunity provided by vaccines wanes over time. Booster vaccinations are carried out yearly. All cats should keep up with their boosters to help maintain good health.
FELINE PANLEUCOPAENIA INFECTION
This is a disease that causes severe and fatal gastroenteritis.
Vaccination provides a high level of long-lasting protection.
FELINE RESPIRATORY VIRUS
Commonly known as cat flu.
A common disease in unvaccinated cats causing severe "cold-like" symptoms.
FELINE CHLAMYDOPHILIA INFECTION
A particular problem in colony cats. Chlamydophilosis is a bacterial infection causing painful
inflammation and swelling of the conjunctiva (memberane around the eye).
FELINE LEUKAEMIA VIRUS
A viral disease, transmitted in the blood or saliva when cats fight each other - or even during grooming. Can take several months/years to develop after infection but then begins to suppress the cat's immune system, causing secondary infections, tumours and death. Not long ago, feline leukaemia was both widespread and common, but vaccination is now gradually bringing it under control.
There is no satisfactory treatment for many of these serious diseases, which can kill your pet. In the absence of vaccination, or if the interval between vaccinations is too great, your pet may be unprotected against fatal disease. If you are in doubt as to whether your pet is properly protected please contact the office.