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"Caring for your pet"


“…prevention is better than cure, and what if there’s no cure at all!”

Most of the diseases that pets are vaccinated against are life threatening and whilst treatments are available to ease the symptoms of some, their effectiveness is limited. Vaccination is the only proven method of protecting against these diseases.

How do they work?

As with all vaccines, a small dose of either dead or live organisms is injected into your pet. Your pet’s immune system will then produce antibodies against these diseases. If your pet then comes into contact with any of the diseases his or her immune system will recognise it and begin producing the antibodies needed to fight the disease.

Why do I have to wait until my pet is a specific age to vaccinate?

A mother passes on antibodies, (Maternally Derived Antibodies, MDA) to her puppies and kittens through her milk. This immunity though short term, can prevent the puppy or kitten creating its own antibodies when vaccinated. The levels of MDA normally drop between 6-8 weeks of age so starting a puppy/kittens vaccination course at a specific age maximises the chance of providing protection.
Vets will occasionally move away from the normal time limits if for example, there is a question mark over the health and nutritional state of the puppy or kitten.

Why does my Chihuahua have the same vaccine dose as a Great Dane?

Vaccinations are given to stimulate the immune system to make antibodies therefore the levels will be the same regardless of body mass.

Why does my pet need an annual booster?

Recent studies have shown that high levels of antibodies are produced by the immune system against some diseases for longer than others, this is why in the case of dogs, their ‘booster schedule’ will differ from year to year.

Are vaccinations safe?

Yes. Before manufacturers can sell their vaccines, the vaccines have to go through very strict, rigorous testing. This is regulated by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD). All data is available to the public once the product has been approved.

It is extremely rare for a pet to show any serious side effects following vaccination.

Mild reactions, such as pets being off their food for a day or two, or being a little quiet may occasionally occur, but these are normally short-lived.

For dogs

Puppy Vaccination

Combined course of Distemper(D), Hepatitis(H), Parvovirus(P) and Leptospirosis(L2)*
1st Course 6 to 8 weeks of age
2nd Course from 10 weeks of age
*We use the L2 vaccine as standard in our practice. If you require the L4 please discuss this with our vets.

Booster Vaccination

Annually – L2
Every 3 years – DHP

All these diseases are preventable by vaccination:



Distemper virus is a highly contagious disease that can be fatal.
It is spread through direct contact with an infected dogs saliva, urine or blood.
Chances of survival are possible however the patient may be left with brain damage and seizures.

Canine Hepatitis

This potentially fatal disease is spread through the faeces, blood, saliva and nasal discharge of an infected animal. Symptomatic and supportive treatment can be given, though survivors can be left with kidney and eye damage.


This virus is so easily spread, either through direct contact with another dog or via your clothes and shoes, it can quickly infect a whole litter of puppies, wiping them out in process.
This disease can be fatal especially in the young.


This is a highly infectious bacterial disease spread via the urine of infected dogs and rats.
It is also a zoonotic disease (which means it can spread to humans via contact from infected urine).
Severe forms of the disease are difficult to treat and can prove rapidly fatal

Kennel Cough Vaccination

Annual intranasal vaccine

Infectious Tracheobronchitis (Kennel Cough)

Commonly known as kennel cough, this is an extremely contagious respiratory infection. It spreads when dogs come into close or direct contact with each other. The incubation period is roughly between 7-14 days, this is why most boarding kennels will insist dogs are vaccinated up to 3 weeks before their stay.


For cats

Standard Vaccination

Tricat – FCV,FHV & FPV
1st Course 9 weeks of age
2nd Course from 12 weeks of age
Annual booster vaccination

All these diseases are preventable by vaccination


Feline Calicivirus (FCV)

This is a common respiratory disease that as well as attacking the lungs and nasal passages, it also attacks the musculoskeletal system. Pets are left finding it difficult to breathe, with mouth ulceration and pain when moving. Severe cases can lead to pneumonia and death.

Feline Herpesvirus (Rhinotracheitis) FHV

Widely known as cat flu, this is a highly contagious disease and is spread through direct contact with an infected cat. Whilst symptomatic and supportive treatment can be given, this disease can swiftly become severe and life threatening. Eyes are commonly affected. Ulcers form leading to long term eye complications, causing pain, vision impairment and possible enucleation (removal).

Feline Parvovirus (Panleukopenia or Infectious Enteritis) FPV

Extremely contagious, this virus is spread though urine, faeces and nasal secretions. It can also be spread through fleas of infected cats.
Kittens are very susceptible to this disease and the likelihood of recovery of those under 8 weeks of age is unlikely. Older cats have a higher chance of recovery if diagnosed early enough but will require intensive hospital nursing care.

Feline Leukaemia Vaccination (FeLV)

1st Course 9 weeks of age
2nd Course from 12 weeks of age
Annual booster vaccination

This is an incurable viral infection that, because of immunosuppression, inevitably produces a fatal illness in the infected cat.
Many infected go onto develop tumours, and sadly survive only 3-4 years after diagnosis.
Vaccination is strongly advised in multi-cat households or highly cat populated areas.