Just like humans, animals can be affected by infectious diseases, some of which can be transferred to humans. As responsible pet owners that want to keep your animals safe and healthy, we highly recommend that you vaccinate them in line with current guidelines.
Puppies and KittensPuppies and kittens receive initial protection against infectious diseases from their mother’s milk as long as she has been regularly vaccinated. However this protection only lasts for a few weeks and so your new addition will need to be vaccinated from an early age. Many puppies or kittens will go to their new homes having already received their first vaccinations, but check with their former owner when you collect them. If they have not yet been vaccinated, we recommend that get their first vaccinations done as soon as possible after taking ownership of them.
As a guideline:
Puppies should be vaccinated at 8 and then 10 weeks.
Kittens should be vaccinated at 9 and then 12 weeks.
Booster injections should then be given 12 months from the initial vaccinations, and annually thereafter.
Your canine friend should be routinely vaccinated against the following:
- Canine distemper virus
- Canine parvovirus
- Infectious canine hepatitis
- If your dog is going to spending time in kennels they may also be vaccinated via the nostril against kennel cough, which is a combination of parainfluenza virus and bordetella bronchiseptica
- Dogs traveling abroad should also be given a rabies vaccine
CatsYour feline friend should be routinely vaccinated against the following:
- Feline calicivirus
- Feline herpes virus
- Feline infectious enteritis
- Cats dubbed ‘at risk’ should also be vaccinated against feline leukemia virus
RabbitsRabbits are also at risk from infectious diseases and two, in particular, can cause intense suffering for them. These are:
The early symptoms include puffy and swollen eyes, ears and face which can cause blindness. These then spread to the anus and genital area. Your rabbit will also have a high fever and will struggle to eat or drink.
Myxomatosis is spread from rabbit to rabbit very quickly, and thrives in unclean environments.
Vaccinated rabbits may catch milder forms of the disease and recover with veterinary care. However, recovery for an unvaccinated rabbit is extremely rare and euthanasia is considered the most humane option for them.
- Rabbit Viral Hemorrhagic Disease (RVHD)
RVHD is spread from rabbit to rabbit by contact only, but can live within the environment it is living in. It causes high fever, internal bleeding and liver disease and bloodstained fluid around the nose and mouth may sometimes be seen in post-mortem in affected animals.
It is almost always deadly and there is no effective treatment against it. Vaccination is the only way to avoid it.