Here at Riversmeet Vets we believe that vaccinations are an important part of protecting your pets from severely harmful, yet preventable diseases and are an essential part of responsible pet care.
Dogs, cats and rabbits are susceptible to a number of life-threatening diseases, but scientific advances and the introduction of immunisation has been very effective in reducing the number of cases dramatically. It is tempting to assume that they are no longer a threat to our pets as we hear little about them, but they still do remain a constant danger, meaning the correct vaccination programme is the best way to keep your pet safe.
How do vaccines work?
Vaccines contain harmless (either weakened or dead) variants of the viruses and other infectious agents. When an animal is vaccinated the immune system in the body responds by generating a protective mechanism through the formation of antibodies. If the animal then becomes exposed to the actual disease at a later date, those antibodies will prevent the disease from developing. The type of vaccines Riversmeet Vets we recommend will be based on your pet’s lifestyle, risk factors and current guidance. Modern vaccines give protection to multiple diseases with just one or two injections. It is important to remember though that vaccines don’t give lifelong immunity and that is why regular booster vaccinations are recommended. It is also an excellent opportunity for your pet to have a full health check. We send out reminders for all vaccinations; please contact us to book an appointment.
Vaccinations for Dogs
The primary vaccinations for puppies helps to overcome the remaining anti-body protection that they still have from their mothers and ensures reliable protection at an early age. The first vaccination is usually given at 8 weeks old, followed by a second two to four weeks later (no earlier than 10 weeks old), allowing for an early socialisation programme. At the second vaccination appointment we will provide you with your certificate of vaccination.
Riversmeet Vets recommends that yearly boosters are obtained to ensure immunisation is up to date.
The team here at Riversmeet Vets can provide the following vaccinations for your dog:
- Canine Infectious Hepatitis
- Herpes vaccination
- Kennel Cough
A full health check is booked for every dog that is having a vaccination to ensure that they are in good health before giving the injection.
Vaccinations for Cats
The primary vaccination course for kittens consists of two injections. As with puppies, kittens will have some protection from their mothers in their bloodstream, which is why a second injection of the vaccine is required to complete immunisation.
Kitten vaccinations start from 8 weeks of age, with the second vaccine administered three weeks after the first. A certificate of vaccination will be provided at the second vaccination appointment.
It is important for annual boosters to be taken to make sure immunity remains effective.
Here at Riversmeet Vets we can vaccinate your cat against the following diseases:
- Cat Flu
- Feline Enteritis
- Feline Leukaemia Virus
- Feline Chlamydophila
We can talk you through any type of vaccination that may be required for your cat.
Vaccinations for Rabbits
We recommend that rabbits are vaccinated against myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD).
Previously this would have been administered through two separate injections, however our new rabbit vaccine means that your pet can be protected against myxomatosis and both strains of VHD with just a single injection.
Why does my pet need to have vaccinations every 12 months?
Depending on the disease that your pet is being vaccinated against, the period of time that they are protected will differ. Certain diseases, such as leptospirosis in dogs and flu in cats only carry around 12 months protection, which is why a yearly booster is recommended. Even though you pet might be being vaccinated every 12 months, it is not always against the same diseases – your vaccination card will show you which diseases they are getting boosters for each visit. Visiting us every 12 months for vaccinations also means your pet gets a full annual health check, which is equally important!
Does my pet need to be vaccinated if they live inside?
Although your pet may not go outside, it is still possible for diseases to be brought into the house. This could be via soil on a dirty boot or via other wildlife that could enter the home. Therefore, having full vaccination can provide the protection needed for all circumstances, meaning you don’t have to take the risk.
I have heard that vaccines are risky and to avoid them – is that true?
Any veterinary procedure that is performed can carry some sort of risk, however in the case of vaccinations, it is important to remember that for the majority of pets the benefits of being vaccinated greatly outweighs the risks. Vaccination reactions are rare and where they do occur, they are mostly short-term and mild. Reactions of this nature show that the vaccine is effectively stimulating the immune system. The team at Riversmeet Vets are always happy to talk to you about the benefits and risks associated with vaccinating your pet to help identify the most suitable strategy as part of their wider preventative healthcare programme.
With the current COVID restrictions, are you accepting appointments for vaccinations?
Read our COVID guidelines for the latest information at Riversmeet Vets.
Are there any schemes/offers to help with covering the cost of my pets’ vaccinations?
Pet Health for Life has been designed to cover the essential needs of your pet, whilst also saving you money. You’ll pay a lower-cost monthly fee, which works out cheaper than purchasing treatments individually. Learn more about saving on your pet's vaccinations with our Pet Health for Life plan.