Why are vaccinations important?
Pets can and do become seriously ill or die from infectious diseases that could have been prevented through vaccination every year.
For dogs we vaccinate against:
- canine parvovirus
- canine distemper
- canine hepatitis
- leptospirosis (using the new L4 vaccine which protects against 2 extra strains)
- canine parainfluenza
- kennel cough – this is not included in annual vaccinations but can be given when requested
- rabies – this is not included in annual vaccinations but can be given when requested and is required when taking your pet abroad
For cats we vaccinate against:
- feline herpes virus
- feline calici virus
- feline panleucopenia virus
- feline leukaemia virus
For rabbits we vaccinate against:
- viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD)
These vaccinations are also annual and can be given in a single dose.
For the first few weeks of life, your pet is usually protected against disease by the immunity they receive in their mother ́s milk. Gradually this protection decreases, and the maternal immunity declines to a sufficiently low level for the animal to no longer be protected. This allows the animal to respond to vaccination and so at this stage it is possible to start vaccination.
When should you get your pet vaccinated?
At Tremain Veterinary Group we recommend a puppy is vaccinated from the age of 8 weeks, a kitten from the age of 9 weeks and a rabbit from the age of 6 weeks. The initial course is three injections, 2 weeks apart in puppies, and two injections, 3-4 weeks apart, in kittens. Rabbits only require a single dose.
What’s included in the primary vaccination?
As part of your puppy’s primary vaccination we offer your puppy a free six month health check. This involves coming to the practice to meet the nurses and discuss subjects such as feeding, dentistry, insurance and neutering.
We run puppy parties which are also included in the primary vaccination. These are run by our nurses and provide owners with lots of information and tips. They also allow your puppy to socialise with lots of other breeds in a safe environment. Another benefit of puppy parties is that your puppy will come into the practice and have a very positive experience which will help prevent him/her from becoming nervous on subsequent visits. This reduces the stress level for both your dog and yourselves.
Why do you need to get your pet vaccinated annually?
Many people believe that if they have their pet vaccinated when they are young the immunity they receive will protect them for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately this is not always the case. After the last injection, the immune level reaches a peak and then begins to decline. After a year, the level of protection offered to you and your pet may no longer be sufficient, particularly against Leptospirosis. Re-vaccination stimulates the immune response so that protection is maintained for another year. Without these yearly vaccinations, your pet’s immune system may not be able to protect from serious, often fatal disease. Therefore, maintaining your pet ́s annual booster vaccination is vital.
We can also offer a Kennel Cough vaccine. Kennel cough is a misleading name as dogs do not have to have had a stay in kennels to be infected. Any dog meeting other dogs socially can contract this infection. Therefore we advise vaccination against the most common causes of kennel cough (bordatella bronchispetica and Parainfluenza) yearly in all dogs, especially those going to dog shows, doggy day-care, dog walkers, puppy school or agility and flyball events. Kennel cough vaccination is discounted by 10% if you are a member of the Tremain Pet Health Plan: