2 The Green, Thurlby, PE10 0EB
T: 01778 420462
Market Deeping Practice
4 Stamford Rd, Market Deeping, PE6 8AB
T: 01778 380111, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Market Deeping Practice
4 Stamford Rd, Market Deeping, PE6 8AB
T: 01778 380111
Why is vaccination important?
Cats, dogs, rabbits and ferrets of all ages can and do become seriously ill or die from infectious diseases that could have been prevented through vaccination. Vaccination offers the most effective way of protecting your pet, particularly cats and dogs against many of the most serious infectious diseases.
How do vaccines work?
Vaccines work by stimulating the body’s immune system to mount a protective response against specific diseases. The immune system then remembers these diseases enabling it to defend the body against any natural exposure to that disease in the future.
What happens at a vaccination consultation at Animates?
Vaccination appointments at Animates are routinely 15 minutes long to allow plenty of time for an informative consultation. At your pet’s vaccination consultation the vet will ask you questions about your pet’s health and perform a full physical examination to ensure your pet is in good health. They will also discuss any concerns or queries you may have. If you are interested they can also give you information and advice on other types of preventative healthcare such as parasite treatment and dental homecare. If your pet is microchipped we will check to make sure it is reading so you can be reassured that there is more chance of reuniting you with your pet if they went missing. At the end of the consultation providing your pet is healthy enough to receive the vaccination it will be administered. Most vaccines are given by an injection under the skin around the top of the neck. Kennel Cough vaccination is administered by squirting a small volume of liquid in to the dog’s nose.
Does Animates have any discount schemes for vaccinations?
If you bring more than one pet for their vaccinations on the same day, then receive 10% off the cost of their vaccinations. This is a permanent offer at Animates! Vaccinations are also included in Animates puppy package, kitten package and Pet Care Plans.
What Vaccination Course is recommended?
In the first few weeks of life puppies and kittens are normally protected against disease by antibodies (immunity) from their mother’s milk. This immunity decreases over time. Vaccination is then needed to stimulate the body to produce its own immunity to protect against disease. It is important that vaccination is given at an appropriate time to provide protection as soon as it is needed but not too early as the antibodies from the mother’s milk interfere with the effectiveness of the vaccination. The standard puppy primary vaccination course involves 3 injections against Distemper, Parvovirus, Infectious Canine Hepatitis and Leptospirosis, the first two being separated by a minimum of 2, and a maximum of 4 weeks. This course can be started as early as 6 weeks of age; however, the puppy must be at least 10 weeks old before the 2nd part of the vaccination can be given. After the 2nd vaccination it will take one week for immunity to develop before the puppy can go out. The 3rd vaccination is recommended because research suggests that a proportion of puppies will require a third vaccination at 16 weeks of age. This is because these puppies have a high level of their mother’s antibodies, preventing the initial vaccination course from being fully effective. Kittens generally receive a course of two vaccinations 3 to 4 weeks apart with the first at 9 weeks old.
After vaccination the immunity level reaches a peak then starts to decline. Vaccinations last different lengths of time, depending on the disease they are protecting against. Booster vaccinations “remind” the immune system and enhance the level of protection.
What happens if my dog or cat’s vaccination is overdue?
Immunity wanes after a period of time which may vary between individuals. As standard policy if a vaccination is more than 3 months overdue re-starting a full vaccination course to ensure full immunity is recommended. However, immunity may wane considerably before this and there is the option for re-starting the course at any point if they are overdue. It is particularly important that the first booster after the primary vaccination course is not overdue.
As my pet doesn’t meet other animals do they still need vaccinating?
The diseases can be contracted by direct contact with infected animals, however some diseases also survive in the environment and can be transferred via indirect contact e.g. on peoples shoes. So even if your pet doesn’t meet others or lives mainly indoors they may still be at risk.
What diseases are routinely vaccinated against in dogs?
Parvovirus is a very serious viral infection, with several outbreaks reported in the UK every year. Infection can cause severe vomiting, bloody diarrhoea and dehydration. The most severely affected cases are usually young unvaccinated dogs, however it can affect dogs of any age. Intensive emergency treatment is necessary however despite this many don’t survive. After the primary vaccination course dogs require a vaccination one year later then every three years.
Canine Distemper cases in the UK have vastly decreased due to vaccination. Distemper can cause severe disease affecting many organs in the body. Signs can include a high temperature, discharge from the eyes and nose, coughing, vomiting and diarrhoea. Thickening of the skin on the foot pads and nose can occur. Dogs which survive the initial stages can develop neurological complications including seizures. After the primary vaccination course dogs require a vaccination one year later then every three years.
Canine Infectious Hepatitis
The signs of this disease can be variable. Some dogs show no obvious signs and others develop serious signs including fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain and jaundice. In some cases sudden death can occur before any signs of disease are evident. After the primary vaccination course dogs require a vaccination one year later then every three years.
This disease is caused by a bacteria which is shed in urine of infected rodents and dogs and can be passed to humans. When the urine enters water systems it is rapidly spread. The most common clinical sign is acute kidney failure (90% of cases) with acute liver failure in 10-20% of cases. Other signs include fever, depression, anorexia, vomiting, abdominal pain and in some cases breathing difficulties. Jaundice will also occur in cases with liver failure. In severely affected animals intensive treatment is needed with intravenous antibiotics and supportive care in hospital. Some animals can become carriers and need a prolonged antibiotic course to prevent them shedding it in their urine and spreading it to other animals and people. This vaccine is the one least likely to provide adequate and prolonged protection, and therefore must be administered annually.
There are many different types (serovars) of leptospirosis bacteria. The most important ones are:
- Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae (Weil’s disease in humans) – This can be passed to humans causing Weil’s disease. It is responsible for the majority of cases diagnosed in the UK.
- Leptospira canicola – clinical cases of this disease are now rare thanks to vaccination.
- Leptospira gryppotyphosa – this has not been found in UK but is commonly found in a number of European countries, in particular Germany but also Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Slovakia, Croatia and the Czech Republic.
- Leptospira bratislava – this has been isolated in the UK however not so commonly as in Europe and clinical disease is most likely to occur when large numbers of dogs are kept together.
There are 2 types of leptospirosis vaccination in the UK:
- Lepto 2: This is the classic leptospirosis vaccine used in the UK and protects against serovars Leptospira. canicola and Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae (serogroups L. canicola and L. icterohaemorrhagiae). Currently, due to the known circulating pathogenic serogroups in the geographical area we advise vaccination with a Lepto 2 vaccine as standard. For any dog with no intention of leaving the UK then this vaccine usually provides adequate protection.
- Lepto 4: With the increasing number of dogs travelling to Europe under the Pet Travel Scheme the risk of bringing novel strains of Leptospira bacteria into the UK is increasing. With this in mind it is recommended to vaccinate any dog travelling to Europe with the new Lepto 4 vaccine. Lepto 4 protects against serovars L. canicola, L. copenhageni, L. bratislava and L. dadas (serogroups L. canicola, L. icterohaemorrhagiae, L. australis and L. gryppotyphosa). The vaccination interval between 1st and 2nd vaccination for Lepto 4 is 28 days. We are continually re-assessing the situation in the UK and our advice may change in future. You can discuss this in more detail with a vet.
This upper respiratory tract infection is spread very easily between dogs in any environment and they can easily be exposed to it on a walk. Dogs are often contagious before any clinical signs develop. While fatalities are rare, it can be a very uncomfortable illness causing a hacking persistent cough often followed by retching. There are many different pathogens that contribute to Kennel Cough, but the most common are the Canine Parainfluenza Virus and Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria. Vaccination against Kennel Cough should be considered if your dog has any contact with other dogs (for example on walks) due to the airborne spread. Occasionally for a few days after vaccination a mild discharge from the eyes and nose with a mild cough or sneeze can occur. This vaccine does not provide prolonged protection, and therefore must be administered annually.
Are there any other vaccinations available for dogs?
Vaccinations are available for the following diseased but are not advised on a routine basis. Speak to one of our vets for more information on any of these:
This disease is spread by ticks and is present in the UK. A vaccination is available, however current advice is that the best form of protection is regular tick treatment.
This is a serious disease, but it is not present in the UK. If you are travelling with your dog to areas of the world when Leishmania is present a vaccination is available. This should be in addition to protection against sandflies which transmit the disease by biting your dog.
Vaccination may be considered for some breeding bitches.
What about Titre testing?
Titre testing is a blood test that measures the immunity level at a particular point in time. Some people opt to check this before deciding if their pet needs a booster. At Animates we will perform titre testing if requested, however we don’t routinely recommend it. This is because immunity levels can drop suddenly so if the immunity is just above the required level at the time the sample is taken we have no way of knowing how long it will stay there. It is possible if this was tested one month later the levels may have fallen to a level where your pet is not protected. We therefore prefer to work with the manufacturers guidelines from the extensive research they have done and vaccinate at their advised intervals. Scientific studies have also shown that there is no harm in re-vaccinating if the body already has adequate immunity levels. Titre testing is only available for distemper, adenovirus and parvovirus. These are vaccinations that we only vaccinate against every 3 years anyway as per WSAVA guidelines. Leptospirosis titres are not available because the vaccine is very different from other vaccines and it doesn’t create memory in the immune system and as a result the vaccine needs to be given yearly.
What diseases are routinely vaccinated against in cats?
Feline Infectious Enteritis (Panleucopaenia/ Feline Parvovirus)
This often fatal disease has become much less common thanks to vaccination. This disease attacks white blood cells, reducing immunity to other illnesses. The most common symptom is severe gastroenteritis. After the primary vaccination course cats require a vaccination one year later then every three years.
Cat Flu (a combination of Feline Rhinotracheitis (Herpes) and Feline Calicivirus)
This very common, highly contagious disease causes sneezing, coughing, runny eyes, nasal discharge and ulcerations to the mouth and nose. It can prove fatal to older cats and kittens. It also has the potential to become latent and clinical signs can recur throughout life particularly at times of stress. After the primary vaccination course cats require yearly boosters for this disease.
Feline Leukaemia Virus
This virus is one of the biggest killers of cats in the UK. Infected animals may not show any signs for months or even years and can spread the virus in saliva and blood so infect each other by fighting, grooming or sharing food bowls and litter trays. The virus attacks white blood cells and bone marrow, making the cat vulnerable to secondary infections. It also causes anaemia and cancers of the blood, intestines and other parts of the body. Animates recommends that this vaccination should be given to any cat who goes outside or is in contact with cats who go outside. After the primary vaccination course cats require yearly boosters for this disease.
Are there any other vaccinations available for cats?
What diseases are routinely vaccinated against in rabbits?
Please note in high risk areas or in large populations of rabbits some rabbit vaccinations may be recommended more frequently than suggested below.
Myxomatosis is a fatal disease transmitted by biting insects which is very common in the UK. Initial symptoms include lumps and swelling of the face and genitals. The rabbit becomes very unwell, develops breathing difficulties due to the swelling of the airways and often secondary infections and pneumonia take hold. Myxomatosis vaccination is given as a combination vaccine with Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease strain 1 vaccination. It can be given from 5 weeks of age and then annually.
Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Strain 1 (RHD1)
This is a rapidly fatal and highly contagious disease. Often rabbits show no clinical signs prior to sudden death. RHD1 vaccination is given as a combination vaccine with myxomatosis vaccination. It can be given from 5 weeks of age and then annually.
Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Strain 2 (RHD2)
Over the last few years there has been a new strain of RHD causing outbreaks of rabbit deaths in the UK. Unfortunately vaccination with RHD1 vaccine does not protect against this new strain so a separate vaccination is needed. This has to be given at least 2 weeks apart from the Myxomatosis/RHD1 vaccine and as standard is given from 10 weeks of age. Boosters are then annually.
What diseases are vaccinated against in ferrets?
Ferrets, like dogs are susceptible to Distemper and can be vaccinated annually off license with the dog canine distemper vaccination.