Why do we vaccinate our pets?
The development of vaccinations has radically altered the disease picture in this country, Parvo virus infection in dogs in the 1980’s led to a large number of dogs dying or suffering from very severe gastroenteritis. People with longer memories will remember dogs being similarly affected with canine distemper virus. As a result of successful vaccine campaigns the incidence of certain diseases has diminished, and fortunately we now rarely see cases of canine distemper, other diseases such as Leptospirosis are still just as common. It has also been demonstrated that some parts of the vaccine don’t need to be given every year, and some researchers have suggested that too frequent dosing with distemper vaccine may have caused epilepsy in some dogs. Consequently for dogs we recommend annual dosing against Leptospirosis and Parainfluenza, and vaccinating every 3 years after the first years vaccinations against Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus.
Kennel Cough vaccine is recommended for dogs that come into contact with lots of other dogs, previously we would only recommend it for dogs going into kennels. However as we now see more cases of kennel cough, and in dogs that havent been into kennels we recommend using it in dogs that go to kennels, shows, agility training and in any case where they will meet significant numbers of other dogs. It is given as a small quantity of liquid into the nose. Kennels usually request that it is given at least two weeks before your dog goes in.
We recommend vaccination for all cats against cat ‘flu and feline enteritis , these are infections that can be picked up by direct contact or via owner’s clothing which is why indoor cats are still at risk. Cat ‘flu is still a common condition to see in unvaccinated cats, whereas the feline enteritis is less commonly seen. A vaccine for Feline Leukaemia Virus became available in the 1990’s and we now recommend this for all cats except indoor cats, which have an extremely low risk of infection.
Myxomatosis infection is still very common in the wild rabbit population and unfortunately can be easily spread to domestic rabbits via blood sucking insects; we now recommend that the myxomatosis vaccine is given every 6 months. VHD is a serious rabbit illness that usually causes sudden death and has no cure, the virus causing the disease can live in the environment for up to 3 months and can easily be spread by direct contact, via owner’s clothing or insect vectors.
For more information on any of these diseases please follow the link; http://www.future-of-vaccination.co.uk/diseases-dogs-cats.asp Rabies vaccines are given to cats and dogs which are travelling outside the United Kingdom on the Pet Travel scheme, this is the scheme that enables cats and dogs to travel to certain countries and back to the UK without having to go through quarantine. For more information see the DEFRA website. There is no need for animals resident in the UK to have a rabies vaccine .