Vaccinations – what you need to know
At Victoria Vets, we strongly recommend that your cat, dog or rabbit undertakes a comprehensive programme of regular vaccinations throughout its life to protect it against many serious diseases, and keeping your pet as healthy and happy as possible. Without vaccination, many insurance policies refuse cover, so your policy may be invalid.
Why do I need to vaccinate my pet?
When animals are very young, they receive some natural immunity to a number of infectious diseases from their vaccinated mother, via her first milk. However, as the animals grow and are weaned, this immunity fades, and it is therefore important to provide continued protection through early vaccination and then by regular boosters throughout its life. If you wish to use kennels or catteries, or to take your pet abroad, you will have to provide evidence of a complete vaccination history.
What diseases do we vaccinate against?
Cat flu (Feline Upper Respiratory Tract Disease). This condition is still common in the UK and can be very serious for infected cats, especially kittens and senior cats.
Cat Parvo / Infectious Enteritis. Often fatal, this awful disease is now relatively rare thanks to widespread vaccination.
Feline Leukaemia. This serious viral disease suppresses the cat’s immune system, causing secondary infections and tumours.
Rabies. This fatal disease is thankfully not present in the UK. If you wish to take your cat abroad, you must vaccinate against rabies.
Distemper. This serious respiratory disease is related to the measles virus in humans and without protection from vaccination, as many as one in five dogs that catch the disease will die.
Parvovirus. This nasty infection attacks the gut and suppresses the immune system.
Myxomatosis. This well-known disease is now relatively rare amongst the UK pet rabbit population, thanks to effective vaccination programmes. It is spread by biting insects carrying the Myxoma virus.
Viral Haemorraghic Disease (VHD). This disease progresses rapidly in affected pets and can cause death within 2 days. Vaccination offers protection against this distressing disease, which has no cure.
How often does my pet need to be vaccinated?
Your pet will require an initial vaccination programme starting around the age of 8-9 weeks, and normally consisting of two staged injections two to three weeks apart to provide comprehensive protection. Annual boosters must be given to ensure that your pet remains protected throughout its life, and we will always send you a reminder when this is due.