Articles – Vaccinations

Vaccinations

We all know that vaccinations are given to prevent disease. Many of the diseases that we vaccinate our pets against are life threatening.

Vaccinations are made from the disease causing bacteria or virus in a safe form, either dead, attenuated, or modified. Ie enough for the body to react but not become sick.  Most vaccinations are very safe and it is rare to get side effects.  

Valley Farm Animal Hospital vaccinates dogs against: Distemper, Parvo virus, Kennel cough, Hepatitis, Corona virus and Rabies

Valley Farm Animal Hospital vaccinates cats against: Calici virus, Viral Rhinotracheitis, Panleucopaenia virus and Rabies.  Feline Leukaemia virus and Bordetella Bronchospetica are optional extras.   

Puppies and Kittens

When a kitten or puppy is born it has no antibodies / immunity to diseases. The first milk, the colostrums has antibodies from the mother, maternal immunity. It essential for the baby to suckle within the first 12 hours to get this benefit. These antibodies only last for +/- six weeks so need to be replaced by antibodies produced by vaccinations.

This is why we give the first puppy / kitten vaccination at 6 weeks of age. This first vaccination primes the body to recognise the vaccination as a pathogen and the body’s immune system then makes antibodies against the disease.  It takes the body’s immune system about 3—4 weeks to make the antibodies. We would recommend that that a puppy or kitten is not re-homed until they are 8 weeks old, so the first vaccination is fully effective before they go out in to the big wide world! 

The “booster vaccinations” are to refresh the body’s immune response to the disease. Sometimes the maternal antibodies last longer than 6 weeks in the baby so additional vaccinations are required to make sure they are effective.

Puppy and Kitten course of vaccinations

 6-8 weeks of age – First vaccination

10-12 weeks of age – Second vaccination

14-16 weeks of age – Third vaccination

9 months of age – Fourth vaccination (Rabies booster)

To ensure full immunity, it is very important they complete the course.

If the puppy or kitten is unwell or poorly nourished the vaccinations may not be fully effective. This is one of the benefits of feeding a super premium food, they support the immune system and therefore the response to the vaccination. 

Adult dogs and cats

The annual booster vaccination for adult pets is essential not only to maintain maximum immunity but to allow us time to see your pet and give them a through health check, answer any questions that you have, clip nails, express anal glands etc. It is said that pets age seven years to our one year so I think you’ll agree a check-up every “seven years” is a good idea!

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