Why is vaccination important?

Pets can and do become seriously ill or die from infectious diseases that could have been prevented through vaccination every year. One easy way in which you can help to ensure your pet is protected from infectious diseases is to ensure that they are vaccinated from a young age and regularly throughout their adult life.

How vaccines work

Vaccines work by training the white blood cells in your pet's body to recognise and attack viruses or bacteria contained in the vaccine. This should protect against disease caused by that particular organism if your pet is exposed to it again.

Primary vaccinations

For the first few weeks of life, young animals are usually protected against disease from the immunity they receive from their mother's milk. However, this maternal immunity may also neutralise any vaccine given at this time. Gradually this protection decreases, and the maternal immunity acquired at birth declines to a sufficiently low level for the animal to no longer be protected. This also allows the animal to respond to vaccination and so this is the best time to start the vaccination programme.

Annual vaccination

Many people believe that if they have their pet vaccinated when it is young the immunity it receives will protect it for the rest of it's life. Unfortunately this is not always the case. After the first vaccine course, the immunity level reaches a peak and then begins to decline. After a year (six months for rabbits), the level of protection offered to your pet may no longer be sufficient. Re-vaccination stimulates the immune response so that protection is maintained for another year. Without these yearly boosters, your pet's immune system may not be able to protect it from serious, often fatal diseases. Therefore, maintaining your pet's booster vaccinations is critical.

What diseases do vaccines protect against?
Dogs are vaccinated against:-

  • Parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Leptospirosis
  • Parainfluenza (kennel cough)

Dogs can also be vaccinated using an intranasal vaccine against bordetella (another form of kennel cough). When necessary, due to oversees travel, it is possible to vaccinate against rabies.

Cats are vaccinated against:-

  • Feline infectious enteritis
  • Feline herpes virus
  • Feline calici virus
  • Feline leukemia virus

When necessary, due to oversees travel, it is possible to vaccinate against rabies.

Rabbits are vaccinated against:-

  • Myxomatosis
  • Viral haemorrhagic disease

Speak to your Heene Road vet who will advise a programme of vaccinations to suit your pet's particular requirements.

Puppy and kitten pack

Puppies and kittens will receive a special pack containing their vaccination and health record booklet with lots of useful information on how to look after your pet. You will also be given a free flea and worm treatment and 4 weeks free insurance with Petplan. You will be invited to attend a free adolescent health check with one of our nurses at six months old, to check on your pet's growth and development, and discuss neutering, diet and ongoing preventative care.

Why not come along to one of our puppy parties - great for socialisation and tips! 

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Here at Heene Road Vets we are passionate about pet care. We use a caring, flexible approach to put you at ease when you are worried about your pet.

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