Here at Peak Vets, we believe that vaccinations are an important part of protecting your pets from severely harmful, yet preventable diseases and are an essential part of responsible pet care. Dogs, cats and rabbits are susceptible to a number of life-threatening diseases, but scientific advances and the introduction of immunisation has been very effective in reducing the number of cases dramatically.
It is tempting to assume that they are no longer a threat to our pets as we hear little about them, but they still do remain a constant danger, meaning the correct vaccination programme is the best way to keep your pet safe.
How do vaccines work?
Vaccines contain harmless (either weakened or dead) variants of the viruses and other infectious agents. When an animal is vaccinated the immune system in the body responds by generating a protective mechanism through the formation of antibodies. If the animal then becomes exposed to the actual disease at a later date, those antibodies will prevent the disease from developing. The type of vaccines Peak vets recommend will be based on your pet’s lifestyle, risk factors and current guidance. Modern vaccines give protection to multiple diseases with just one or two injections. It is important to remember though that vaccines don’t give lifelong immunity and that is why regular booster vaccinations are recommended. It is also an excellent opportunity for your pet to have a full health check. We send out reminders for all vaccinations; please contact us to book an appointment.
The primary vaccinations for puppies help to overcome the remaining anti-body protection that they still have from their mothers and ensures reliable protection at an early age. The first vaccination is usually given at 8 weeks old, followed by a second two to four weeks later (no earlier than 10 weeks old), allowing for an early socialisation programme. At the second vaccination appointment, we will provide you with your certificate of vaccination.
Peak vets recommend that yearly boosters are obtained to ensure immunisation is up to date. Annual boosters usually cover leptospirosis and kennel cough (can be given every six months) however distemper, parvovirus and canine hepatitis are usually needed every three years. Therefore a dog would need a vaccine every year to have maximum protection against diseases. As veterinary professionals, we would always recommend vaccinations. It is not a legal requirement to have a dog vaccinated, but it is highly advisable.
The team here at Peak Vets can provide the following dog vaccinations:
- Canine Infectious Hepatitis
- Herpes vaccination
- Kennel Cough
A full health check is booked for every dog that is having a vaccination to ensure that they are in good health before giving the injection. If your dog is nervous or anxious, please speak to our team and we can make a plan to reduce the stress for your dog as best we can.
The primary vaccination course for kittens consists of two injections. As with puppies, kittens will have some protection from their mothers in their bloodstream, which is why a second injection of the vaccine is required to complete immunisation.
Kitten vaccinations start from 8 weeks of age, with the second vaccine administered three weeks after the first. A certificate of vaccination will be provided at the second vaccination appointment.
It is important for annual boosters to be taken to make sure immunity remains effective. Indoor cats still require vaccines, but this may be a reduced course that only includes cat flu and enteritis. Deciding not to vaccinate runs the risk of your cat contracting various harmful diseases. Also if you want to travel with your cat or need them to stay in a cattery or boarding facilities, most sites require up to date vaccination status and will not accept unvaccinated animals. A yearly vaccination course can help to protect your cat so they can live a healthy and happy life.
Here at Peak vets, we can vaccinate your cat against the following diseases:
- Cat Flu
- Feline Enteritis
- Feline Leukaemia Virus
- Feline Chlamydophila
We can talk you through any type of vaccination that may be required for your cat.
We recommend that rabbits are vaccinated against myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD).
Previously this would have been administered through two separate injections, however, our new rabbit vaccine means that your pet can be protected against myxomatosis and both strains of VHD with just a single injection. Vaccinations are essential for providing your rabbit with adequate protection from life-threatening and debilitating diseases. To ensure your rabbit is kept happy and healthy, we recommend annual checkups, as well as consults if you are worried about your rabbit's health.
Vaccinations FAQ section
Why does my pet need to have vaccinations every 12 months?
Depending on the disease that your pet is being vaccinated against, the period of time that they are protected will differ. Certain diseases, such as leptospirosis in dogs and flu in cats only carry around 12 months of protection, which is why a yearly booster is recommended. Even though your pet might be being vaccinated every 12 months, it is not always against the same diseases – your vaccination card will show you which diseases they are getting boosters for each visit. Visiting us every 12 months for vaccinations also means your pet gets a full annual health check, which is equally important!
Does my pet need to be vaccinated if they live inside?
Although your pet may not go outside, it is still possible for diseases to be brought into the house. This could be via soil on a dirty boot or via other wildlife that could enter the home. Therefore, having full vaccination can provide the protection needed for all circumstances, meaning you don’t have to take the risk.
I have heard that vaccines are risky and to avoid them – is that true?
Any veterinary procedure that is performed can carry some sort of risk, however, in the case of vaccinations, it is important to remember that for the majority of pets the benefits of being vaccinated greatly outweigh the risks. Vaccination reactions are rare and where they do occur, they are mostly short-term and mild. Reactions of this nature show that the vaccine is effectively stimulating the immune system. The team at Peak vets are always happy to talk to you about the benefits and risks associated with vaccinating your pet to help identify the most suitable strategy as part of their wider preventative healthcare programme.
Are there any schemes/offers to help with covering the cost of my pets’ vaccinations?
Protect your pet against preventable diseases from as a little as £16.00 a month by ensuring their essential treatments are up to date with a membership to our Pet Health for Life plan.