Vaccinations are an integral part of ensuring that your puppy has the best start to their new life.
When should I start their vaccinations?
In their early days puppies obtain their initial immunity through drinking their mothers milk. However, as the weeks go by this starts to decrease and that is where vaccinations come into play. Puppies are vaccinated from 7 weeks old and again at 10 weeks. It is important puppies do not come in contact with unvaccinated dogs or public outside areas until 1 week after the 2nd vaccination. In addition to administering the vaccination your puppy will have a thorough examination by a veterinary surgeon to ensure he/she is fit and healthy.
Why should I vaccinate?
We are all familiar with the saying “prevention is better than cure” and this is exactly the thought process behind vaccinating. In order to fight a disease you need antibodies to overcome it. By vaccinating you are giving your pet a head start on producing these antibodies. As a result, if they come into contact with the illness they have already acquired an immunity and are less likely to become unwell. Certain diseases we vaccinate against can be fatal if contracted so therefore prevention is obviously best!
What exactly is my puppy vaccinated against?
Canine Parvovirus: Parvo is a serious life threatening viral disease. Vaccinating has decreased the prevalence of the illness today but we still see it particularly, in young unvaccinated puppies. Symptoms of the virus include severe vomiting and diarrhoea which despite veterinary intervention can lead to death.
Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis is a serious bacterial disease. There are several strains that can affect dogs and these are all included in the one vaccine. Lepto is not only spread dog to dog but it can also be contracted from swimming/drinking from water sources that have been contaminated by rats urine. As it is a bacterial disease people are often naive in thinking that it can simply be treated with antibiotics, however, Lepto often causes irreversible damage to the kidneys and liver which ultimately are fatal. In addition, this is a zoonotic disease which means it can be spread to humans.
Parainfluenza: Parainfluenza is the viral component of the common condition known as “kennel cough”. Dogs generally present with a harsh, hacking cough often producing white phlegm. As this is a viral disease there us no specific treatment for parainfluenza and in some severe cases it can cause lasting damage to the chest.
Canine Distemper: Distemper is a viral disease that primarily attacks the gastro-intestinal tract, respiratory and nervous systems. Common symptoms include fever, eye inflammation and eye/nose discharge, laboured breathing and coughing, vomiting and diarrhoea, loss of appetite and lethargy, and hardening of nose and footpads. It a lot of cases the disease is fatal and even if the dog survives they are likely to have lifelong clinical symptoms.
Canine Adenovirus (Infectious Hepatitis): As the name suggests this virus primarily affects the liver but also attacks the kidneys, eyes and lungs. The disease progresses very quickly and can cause death within 24 hours. The small percentage of dogs that recover from the illness become carriers of the virus and can shed it for months hence infecting others readily.
Bordetella Bronchiseptica: Bordetella is the bacterial component of “kennel cough” and is commonly the additional vaccination that boarding establishments will ask for prior to your pets stay. Just like parainfluenza, the clinical signs are very similar, however, this condition can be treated with a combination of anti-inflammatories and antibiotics. This is a separate vaccine from the above mentioned diseases and is administered by the intra-nasal route. Although it can be treated some animals with severe clinical signs/the very young and or old can be left with damage to the respiratory system therefore prevention is better than treatment!
Rabies: Rabies is not a condition we have in the UK as of yet. If your pet is going abroad with the PETS they will need it in addition to the vaccinations above. Info on Pet Passports here.
Vaccinations are an integral part of ensuring that your kitten has the best start to their new life.
When should I start their vaccinations?
In their early days, kittens obtain their initial immunity through drinking their mother's milk. However, as the weeks go by, this starts to decrease and that is where vaccinations come into play. Kittens start their immunisations at eight weeks of age and are given a second vaccine at 11-12 weeks. It is important that kittens do not come in contact with unvaccinated cats or outside areas until one week after the second vaccination. In addition to administering the vaccination, your kitten will have a thorough examination by a Veterinary surgeon to ensure that he or she is fit and healthy
Why should I vaccinate?
We are all familiar with the saying “prevention is better than cure” and this is exactly the thought process behind vaccinating. In order to fight a disease, you need antibodies to overcome it. By vaccinating, you are giving your pet a head start on producing these antibodies. As a result, if they come into contact with the illness, they have already acquired an immunity and are less likely to become unwell. Certain diseases we vaccinate against can be fatal if contracted so therefore, prevention is obviously best.
What exactly is my kitten vaccinated against?
Cat Influenza: Cat flu is a multifactorial disease made up of Feline Herpes virus, Feline Calcivirus and Chlamydophila Felis. Clinical manifestations of flu include sneezing, runny eyes and nose, eye and mouth ulceration, lethargy, fever and inappetance. Treatment of the disease is mainly supportive, including fluid therapy, enteral feeding and antibiotics in case of secondary infection. In severe cases, some cats will be left with lasting respiratory damage and/or reoccurring symptoms.
Feline Panleukopenia: This disease is caused by Parvovirus and produces similar symptoms like its canine counterpart, such as severe vomiting and diarrhoea. Infected cats require rigorous treatment and in many cases, it can still be fatal. In addition, it is extremely dangerous to pregnant cats because the infection can not only kill her but also spread to the unborn kitten and interfere with the developing brain. Subsequently, the kittens that are born can have serious neurological problems and often have to be put to sleep.
Feline Leukaemia (FeLV): FeLV is a very dangerous disease which there is currently no treatment for. Clinical signs are extremely diverse but include fever, lethargy, poor appetite, weight loss, and persistent or recurrent respiratory, skin and intestinal problems. FeLV is an important cause of disease and death in cats. In a cat persistently (permanently) infected with the virus, there is significant risk of developing many severe illnesses, such as anaemia (low red blood cells), immunosuppression and cancer. It has been estimated that 80-90% of infected cats die within three or four years of FeLV diagnosis.