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Vaccinations


We strongly recommend regular vaccination for dogs, cats, and rabbits alike.  Vaccinations generally require a first course, then boosters at regular intervals.  It is important to keep up to date with your pets’ vaccinations as these can help to prevent diseases that can prove fatal.  At the time of vaccination a full health check of your pet is performed, this can help to identify problems early, and instigate any treatment felt necessary.

What is a vaccination?

A vaccination usually consists of a small injection, or for kennel cough in dogs, a spray given into the nostril.
These are all relatively pain free and quick to administer.  They work by inserting a small, calculated dose of a disease into the animal.  This is small enough to not induce symptoms in the animal, but triggers the body to form antibodies to eradicate the disease in future. 
Note:  Vaccines to not guarantee that the animal will not become infected in the future, but should reduce the chance of the disease being so extreme, potentially saving your pets life.

What should my pet be vaccinated against, and when?

Dogs

Canine Distemper
This virus attacks the gut, lungs and nervous system and is usually fatal.
Canine Parvovirus - An aggressive disease that attacks the immune system and cells lining the guts.  It causes serious, often fatal, vomiting and diarrhoea. Young unvaccinated pups are most at risk.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis This virus rapidly attacks the liver, lungs, kidneys and eyes. Many cases are fatal but some dogs can recover.

Canine Parainfluenza Virus
This virus is an important component of `kennel cough’ , a highly infectious upper respiratory tract infection of dogs which causes a dry hacking cough.

Leptospirosis
This disease is caused by bacteria from the family Leptospira. Two types of disease are seen but both can be protected against. The first is passed on in watercourses from the urine of infected rats and this strain can also affect humans. The second is caught from the urine of infected dogs. Whilst antibiotics can help to treat Leptospirosis, cases can often be fatal or cause lifelong damage to the kidneys.

All of the above should be administered as a double dose, 2 weeks apart, this can be done from 8 weeks of age.  After this initial course, the vaccines should be repeated annually.  If the time lapses by 6 months or above, then it should be re-started with a dual course.

Kennel cough vaccines protect against a bacteria called bordetella bronchiseptica which is one of the more serious strains of `kennel cough` infection. Vaccination is often a requirement of boarding kennels to reduce its spread, it should be administered yearly, and usually started at least 2 weeks before the dog goes into kennels (dependant on kennels – check first).

Rabies vaccines are used only occasionally but can enable pets to travel freely from the UK to Europe provided they comply with the rules set down under the Pet Travel Scheme. 

Cats

Feline infectious enteritis
Feline infectious enteritis (a severe and often fatal gut infection) is caused by the feline parvovirus (or feline panleukopenia virus). Vaccination against feline enteritis has been very successful. Unvaccinated cats are at great risk because the virus is widespread in the environment.

Cat 'flu
Two types of cat 'flu are vaccinated against; feline herpesvirus (FHV-1) and feline calicivirus (FCV). These viruses are very common and vaccination will protect your cat against prolonged illness, but because there are many different strains of cat 'flu the vaccine will not totally eradicate the threat.

Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV)
FeLV is a lifelong infection and unfortunately most cats will die within three years of diagnosis, usually from a subsequent disease like leukaemia, lymphoma (tumors) or progressive anaemia. It is not an airborn disease and can only be passed on via direct contact between cats (usually by saliva or bites). This vaccine is a recommended addition to the two above when a cat has outdoor access.

Feline chlamydophilosis
This bacterium, which causes conjunctivitis in cats, can't survive in the atmosphere but is spread by direct contact between cats.  It affects multi-cat households and kittens most commonly. This vaccine addition may be recommended for your cat, dependant on circumstances.

These vaccines can be given as combination injections of two or more vaccines (flu + enteritis with the options of added FeLV and Chlamydia).  The cat should have two injections, the first can be given from the age of 9weeks, and then the second should be given three weeks later.  From there on a yearly booster is required.

Rabbits

Myxomatosis
This is an untreatable disease transmitted through direct contact with an infected rabbit, or by fleas and sandflies that have recently bitten an infected animal.  It causes painful swellings around the eyes, nose and genitals and causes fever and listlessness, within days it proves fatal.

Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD) – This causes internal haemorrhage in rabbits, leading to a host of painful and altogether unpleasant symptoms, including anaemia, seizures and coma.  It causes fatality within 2 days of infection.  It is caused by the rabbit calicivirus and is highly infectious, carried by anything that has come into contact with an infected animal, even down to the wind.

Vaccination against both diseases is highly recommended.  Myxomatosis vaccines can be given from 6 weeks of age, and repeated every 6-12 months (6months is recommended in our area due to the locality of Cannock Chase, where the disease is common amongst wild rabbits).  VHD vaccines are given from 10 weeks of age, and should be repeated annually.  The vaccines are separate injections and should be given 2 weeks apart.

 

Contact

No.1 Brereton Road
Rugeley,
WS15 1DN

01889 574452
james@number1vets.co.uk
www.number1vets.co.uk

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“I am a small animal clinician concentrating on looking after your pets rather than trying to care for all species. I am helped by a team of qualified, experienced veterinary nurses to care and attend to your pets' veterinary care, health and happiness! I will be providing my own emergency cover so your pet will see your vet when they need help out of hours!”


James Cadwallader BVSc MRCVS - Proprietor Number 1 Vets

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