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Vaccinations and annual health checks

Regular health check-ups are important for the long-term health and welfare of all pets. Routine examinations allow us to take a pro-active role in preventive health care. Actual or imminent health problems will hopefully be spotted earlier and appropriate treatment or preventive action taken.

We normally carry out regular check-ups as part of the annual booster vaccinations that are recommended for all dogs, cats and rabbits. This is an ideal opportunity to discuss any aspect of your pet’s health or well-being (e.g. weight problems) that is of concern to you. If appropriate, further investigation (e.g. blood tests, x-rays etc.) may be suggested.

It is of course possible to perform health examinations at times other than the annual vaccination. We often recommend more frequent check-ups for pets with chronic problems (e.g. heart disease, arthritis). Remember, one human year is considered equivalent to seven for a dog or cat.

Vaccination protocols

Puppies

Puppies are routinely vaccinated against Distemper, Leptospirosis, Parvovirus, Hepatitis and Parainfluenza. The initial course is two injections two weeks apart. The first injection can now be given at eight weeks of age allowing the puppy to “socialise” from twelve weeks of age. Annual booster vaccinations are given.

Dogs can also be given vaccination against kennel cough (Bordetella bronchiseptica). This is most effective if given one to two weeks before going into a “high-risk” situation – most often kennels, but also pet-shows, training classes, etc.

Dogs can also be vaccinated against rabies (a requirement for the pet passport) and Leishmaniasis – please ask the vet for details.

Kittens

Kittens are routinely vaccinated against “cat flu”, enteritis and feline leukaemia. These can all be given together as a single injection at nine weeks and then again at twelve weeks, allowing the kitten to “socialise” from thirteen weeks of age. Annual booster vaccinations are given.

Rabies vaccination can be given to cats for the pet passport or for export.

Rabbits

Rabbits can be vaccinated from six weeks of age against Myxomatosis and from twelve weeks against viral haemorrhagic disease. Both are very serious and fatal diseases and vaccination is highly recommended. Both diseases can now be protected with a single combined vaccination. Annual booster vaccinations are given.

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