The vaccination of animals is a subject that attracts a lot of attention, discussion and controversy.
What is known, is that the level of contagious disease in the animal population – particularly in dogs – in the UK has decreased dramatically in the last 20 years.
Vaccines prevent your animal getting ill (and in some cases dying) from many contagious diseases. If everyone vaccinated their pet, we would have a high level of what we call “herd immunity” in the population, which would mean that unvaccinated stray and feral animals would be at less risk as well.
The annual vaccination is also a health-check, and provides the chance to pick up many conditions and illnesses before they become serious (and costly to put right).
Your pet will need to be vaccinated to go into boarding kennels, either for holidays or during an emergency.
Here at Oak Tree, we ensure all our animals have routine healthcare checks before being rehomed. This includes vaccination, neutering, worming and flea treatment and microchipping.
What should my animal be vaccinated for?
In cats – we recommend vaccinating against the two major types of cat flu and also the killer diseases Feline Infectious Enteritis (“Feline Parvo”) and Feline Leukaemia Virus. In some areas of the country your vet may also recommend a vaccine against Feline Chlamydophila.
In dogs – Canine Parvovirus, Canine Distemper, Canine Leptospirosis, Canine Parainfluenza and Kennel Cough (Bordatella)
It is always important to follow the advice and guidance from your vet.
Cats and Dogs
The initial puppy or kitten vaccination course will depend on the product, but usually a first dose at 7-9 weeks of age followed by another 2-4 weeks later (your vet will advise you). This then needs to be followed every 12 months with a single booster.
Adult animals not vaccinated in the last 12 months will need a course of 2 vaccines around 3 weeks apart. If the annual booster lapses, the vet will recommend you restart the course.
Vets currently must follow the data available with any product they use. Until such time that vaccines are tested against longer intervals between doses, the only sure data available is based on 12-month re-vaccination.
Is it not expensive?
It is frequently a lot cheaper than you think (often cheaper than a car MOT every year) and many practices offer packages such as Vaccine for Life or Pet Health Plans enabling you to spread the cost or pay a lower one-off fee to cover several years.