Do I need to vaccinate my pet?
Vaccinations are required to prevent some very unpleasant diseases. All of the diseases that we vaccinate against can cause severe symptoms and sometimes even death. Pets do not need to meet an infected animal to pick up most of these diseases. Some viruses and bacteria can remain active in soil and water for years, or can be carried by insects.
Regular vaccinations are safe and important to help our pets stay healthy.What can we vaccinate dogs against?
- Canine Distemper Virus
- Canine Parvovirus
- Canine Adenovirus (also known as Canine Hepatitis)
- Parainfluenza Virus
- Rabies (this is necessary if your dog is going to travel abroad on the Pet Passport Scheme – see our Pet Passport leaflet for more details)
- Kennel Cough bacteria (Bordetella bronchiseptica). It is essential to vaccinate against this highly contagious disease if your dog visits kennels or shows. Confusingly, around TWO THIRDS of dogs that contract Kennel Cough have not recently stayed in kennels, and are therefore as likely to contract the disease when out for a walk where other dogs or foxes have been. Consequently, we recommend that all dogs are vaccinated against Kennel Cough.
- Lyme Disease. This disease is spread by ticks. The Lake District has a significant tick population and Lyme Disease is known to be present in the local tick population. Please see our Ticks leaflet for more information.
- Leishmaniasis – This is a disease that is present in other countries, so if your pet is traveling abroad please speak to us about whether this vaccine will be required.
- Cat Flu. This is not actually a ‘flu’ virus but rather two different viruses – Feline Herpes Virus and Feline Calicivirus
- Feline Panleucopenia
- Feline Leukaemia Virus
- Rabies (this is necessary if your cat is going to travel abroad on the Pet Passport Scheme – see our Pet Passport leaflet for more details)
- Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (type 1 and type 2)
Please see our Rabbits leaflet for more information about rabbit vaccination, health and welfare.When should vaccinations start?
The earliest date to vaccinate your dog or cat is EIGHT weeks of age. Rabbits can be vaccinated from FIVE weeks of age.
Note: There are exceptions, so please speak to one of the vets at Windermere or Ambleside branches of Oakhill Vet Group for further advice. A vaccination programme can be tailored to your pet’s requirements.How often should we review our pet’s vaccinations?
It is important to review dog, cat and rabbit vaccinations annually. We also give them a full health check at this time. We do not vaccinate them against the same diseases each year as the duration of immunity varies for different diseases:
- Canine Distemper Virus and Feline Panleucopenia virus immunity lasts for at least two years following vaccination.
- Canine Parvovirus, Leptospirosis, Cat Flu virus and Feline Leukaemia Virus immunity lasts about a year.
- Rabbit Myxomatosis vaccine only provides six months of good immunity. It is important that your rabbit is well protected over the summer months
For more information please speak to one of the vets at the Windermere or Ambleside branches of Oakhill Vet Group about what your pet should be vaccinated against and when.If it has been over a year since my pet was vaccinated, what should I do?
Speak to one of the vets at the Windermere or Ambleside branches of Oakhill Vet Group who will look at which vaccine your pet last received and when. You pet may need to repeat their primary course of vaccinations again. We frequently offer a vaccine amnesty scheme where pets restarting their primary vaccination course receive the second part of the course FREE OF CHARGE. Please ask one of the Oakhill Team for details.
Remember, vaccination provides peace of mind and helps prevent these potentially fatal diseases. It is important that your pet is protected.