Puppies and Dogs.

It is essential that all dogs are regularly vaccinated. This provides protection against infectious diseases which can often be fatal, especially to puppies and older dogs.

Puppies should begin their vaccinations between 6 and 10 weeks of age. A second injection completes the initial course. This is given from 10 weeks old and must be at least 4 weeks after the first injection.
Older dogs can start their vaccine course at any age with 2 injections given 4 weeks apart.
Your pup can go outside 1 week after it has completed the primary vaccine course but should not be allowed into areas where other dogs have access before this time. Your pup may go out into an enclosed garden or yard.

Annual booster vaccinations are then needed to maintain your dog’s protection against disease.

Diseases covered by the vaccinations include:

  • Parvovirus – virus which causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea. Often fatal in puppies.
  • Leptospirosis – may be contracted from rats or rat urine. Leads to liver problems and can be fatal.
  • Canine infectious hepatitis.
  • Distemper.
  • Canine parainfluenza virus.

Your dog can also be vaccinated against Kennel Cough. This is most commonly caused by a bacteria called Bordetella bronchoseptica, which causes a dry hacking cough. It is easily spread when lots of dogs share one area, such as in kennels. Vaccination is intra-nasally rather than by injection and should be given at least a week prior to kennelling. Annual vaccination is required to provide ongoing immunity.

Kittens and Cats.

Again it is essential that all cats are regularly vaccinated. Kittens can start their vaccinations at 9 weeks of age with a second injection 3 weeks later. Kittens should not be allowed contact with other cats until a week after their second vaccination. Older cats can be vaccinated at any age with 2 injections 3 weeks apart. Annual booster vaccinations are then required to maintain protection.

Diseases covered by the vaccinations include:

  • Feline Leukaemia Virus – most commonly spread by fighting and salivary contact. Can cause leukaemia, tumours and immunodeficiency problems.
  • Feline Infectious Enteritis (panleucopaenia) – causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting. Can be fatal in kittens.
  • Cat Flu.

It is possible to vaccinate cats against just cat flu and feline infectious enteritis, without the feline leukaemia virus cover. This will satisfy most cattery requirements but leaves cats vulnerable to the leukaemia virus. Therefore it can only be recommended for cats that are kept isolated and never go outdoors.


Rabbits are vaccinated against Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease.


 Affected animals develop swollen eyes and lips with a thick white discharge. Respiratory signs and skin nodules also occur and myxomatosis is very often fatal. It is transmitted by direct contact or by biting insects such as fleas and mosquitos, so separation from wild rabbits by a fence does not guarantee safety.

Viral Haemorrhagic Disease

VHD  virus can cause multiple organ failure and death. VHD is transmitted by direct contact with carrier rabbits but can survive well on hay, bedding or grass. It is therefore very difficult to eliminate the risk of virus introduction, so vaccination is the best policy.

There is now a new combined vaccine that covers both Myxomatosis and VHD. The vaccine can be given from 5 weeks of age and give protection for 12 months.  Immunity takes 3 weeks to develop after the vaccination.

Useful Links:

Rabbit Vaccination update

Dogs Trust

International Cat Care

Cats Protection

Kennel Cough



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