Our Vaccination Policy explained

The routine use of companion animal vaccinations has saved many pets from suffering preventable and often fatal contagious diseases.

Vaccination against contagious disease in our pets has greatly contributed to their health over the past few decades and we have seen a large reduction in the number of deaths attributed to these diseases. However we must not be complacent. We still regularly see clinical cases of cat flu, myxomatosis in rabbits and canine leptospirosis which can all be prevented by regular vaccination.

The canine vaccination we use is manufactured by MSD who have done much research and development on the interval of booster vaccinations. It has been proven that the Leptospirosis  component needs to be given every year but the Distemper, Parvovirus and Hepatitis can be given every third year. We have been following this recommendation since it was published.

In cats we tailor the vaccinations given according to their individual circumstances. Some house cats can be vaccinated against Cat Flu and Enteritis only. Whereas cats who go outside should be vaccinated against Feline Leukaemia Virus too. There is no data available to support longer intervals than 12 months for the Cat Flu vaccination but the Leukaemia and Enteritis components are licensed to be given every third year. It is not uncommon for us to see Cat Flu in cats whose booster has only just lapsed and this supports the annual booster interval recommendation in the product’s licence.

We always aim to provide the highest standard of veterinary care to all pets entrusted to us. We therefore follow the best scientific advice and recommend a health check and booster vaccination every year. We follow the recommendations in the data sheets published by the manufacturers. The vaccines are licensed by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate only after satisfactory testing to ensure their efficacy and safety. The Veterinary Products Committee, an independent, expert advisory group (advising and reporting to both the Government and the licensing authority) has emphasised the safety and value of vaccination, and presented data on the extremely low prevalence of adverse reactions to these products in dogs and cats.

We fully endorse the recent joint statement from the British Small Animal Veterinary Association and British Veterinary Association regarding the recommendation for annual vaccination. Read it in full at and also check out the most recent independent study regarding vaccination safety.

As veterinary surgeons, we have a duty of care to animals under our care and we must ensure that as many pets as possible are fully protected against killer diseases such as: parvovirus, hepatitis, distemper and leptospirosis in dogs; cat flu, feline enteritis, feline leukaemia virus in cats; myxomatosis and haemorrhagic viral disease in rabbits; and that this protection is maintained throughout their life.

We advise all dogs are protected by vaccination against the following major contagious diseases:

  • Distemper (Hardpad)
  • Parvovirus
  • Leptospirosis–four types
  • Infectious canine hepatitis

The primary course of vaccination involves two or three injections. They can be started from six weeks of age, with the final injection of the course being given at a minimum age of ten weeks and four weeks after the first.

Your dog should be fully protected three weeks after the last injection. It is important to keep your puppy in your house or garden until protected but we will advise on a managed socialisation program for your puppy.

It is essential a booster vaccination is given every 12 months to maintain your dog’s immunity to these diseases.

Additional Vaccination

This is available against:

Kennel cough - Vaccination is of great help in reducing the incidence of this disease and is given by nasal drops. It is best given a few weeks prior to periods of high risk. e.g. boarding or every spring. The vaccine lasts for 12 months.

Rabies - We can vaccinate your pet against rabies. This is required if you wish to take your pet abroad.

Which diseases will my cat be protected against?

We use the most up to date and safe vaccination regime against the following four diseases as standard:

  • Cat Flu-Calicivirus
  • Cat Flu-Herpes virus
  • Feline Enteritis
  • Feline Leukaemia Virus
Vaccination Course

The primary course of vaccination involves two injections. They can be started from nine weeks of age, with the second one being given three to four weeks after the first.

Your cat should be fully protected seven days after the second injection and should be isolated until this time.

If necessary we can blood sample your cat for the leukaemia virus before starting the vaccination course. Cats & kittens from an unknown source or those living near a feral cat population are at higher risk of carrying the virus. The vaccination can only prevent your cat becoming infected, so would be ineffective if the virus had already taken hold.

Annual revaccination is essential to maintain your cat’s immunity to disease.

Basic Vaccination Regime

We also offer a more basic vaccination regime if your cat does not require the more comprehensive protection for any reason. This will protect your cat against:

  • Cat Flu-Calicivirus
  • Cat Flu-Herpes virus
  • Feline Enteritis