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Cat and Dog Vaccinations, the facts

Should I vaccinate my pet?


Vaccinations are the only effective way to protect your pet against life threatening and sadly often fatal disease.

We strongly believe in not over-vaccinating any animal and therefore have strict vaccination protocols in place to ensure your pet is fully protected and safe.

Which disease are dogs vaccinated against?

The WSAVA core vaccines are against:

  • Parvovirus. Still widespread throughout the UK. This severe disease is often fatal, especially in young puppies.
  • Distemper. Historically this disease was irradicated in pet dogs, but sadly has now been reported again in the UK in unvaccinated dogs. This awful disease is potentially fatal, and the only way to protect your dog against it is by vaccination.
  • Infectious Hepatitis. Thankfully this disease is fairly uncommon in the UK, but it does still exist. As another potentially fatal disease, we routinely vaccinate against it.

Additional vaccinations we recommend

  • Leptospirosis. This disease is widespread and present in our area; any dog that is exercised outdoors is potentially at risk as it is transmitted by contact with the urine of any infected animals, often wildlife. Annual vaccination is the only way to protect against this fatal disease and this is what we recommend. It is also a zoonotic which means if your dog catches it, you can also catch it!
  • Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (Kennel Cough). This highly infectious disease is easily transmitted from one dog to another in any situation where dogs mix; parks, training classes, walks, doggy daycare and grooming parlours; it can even be passed through the air, or indirectly via contaminated objects.  This disease is extremely unpleasant, and can be life threatening in the young and old. We also highly recommend vaccinating against this disease if your dog has any underlying conditions affecting their heart or lungs, or if they are a brachycephalic breed, such as a Pug or Bulldog.

What do we vaccinate cats against?

  • Cat Flu. This extremely unpleasant and highly infectious disease is widespread among the UK cat population; and can be fatal in young kittens. Regular vaccinations are the only way to keep your cat protected.
  • Infectious enteritis (Panleucopenia). Although fairly uncommon in the UK, this severe disease is often fatal, so protecting your cat by vaccinating them is always recommended.
  • Feline leukaemia. This widespread disease can be very severe if contracted, and can prove potentially fatal unless protected by vaccination.

Can my dog have a blood test to see if my pet needs vaccinating?

A blood test is available to check antibody titre levels against Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus. We only use the gold standard laboratory test rather than the quicker and cheaper in house methods you may see advertised elsewhere as these are often very inaccurate.

Unfortunately here is no blood test available that will effectively tell you if your dog has effective immunity against Leptospirosis or Kennel Cough, so the only way to ensure they’re protected against these diseases is by vaccination.

Are there any risks?

The most common side effect following vaccinations is a mild and transient sting at the site of the injection. The risk of side effects following vaccinations are characterised as “rare” by regulatory authorities. The Veterinary Medicines Directorate said the incidence of adverse reactions to Nobivac L4 is 0.064 per cent. Or, in other words, for every 10,000 doses administered, the VMD has received reports of six reactions. We are constantly monitoring the scientific updates looking at risk of side effects versus benefits of vaccinations and the current advice is the benefit greatly exceeds the risks.