• Vaccinating your pet

Dog, cat, rabbit and ferret vaccinations

What are vaccinations and why do our pets need them?

Vaccinations protect pets from potentially deadly diseases.

Our pets are injected with very weak or man-made versions of the diseases we are vaccinating against. This triggers your pet’s body to produce antibodies that fight and defeat the disease. This means that if they catch the same disease in the future, their bodies are able to efficiently recognise and resist the disease.

Pets need to be vaccinated early on in their lives to ensure they stay safe from disease. Young pets are at a much higher risk of catching serious illnesses and if they do fall ill, these diseases are more likely to be fatal or have the power to cause lifelong health issues. This means it is vital your young pet is vaccinated at the right time and that you follow all of the instructions given by your vet. 

Are there any side effects to vaccinations?

Serious side effects following vaccination are extremely rare. While your pet may seem slightly quiet, under the weather, or off their food for a day or two following their injections, this is short-lived, and they should be back to normal quickly.

It is widely agreed that any mild side-effects are seriously out-weighed by the benefits of vaccination and the long-term protection provided against diseases.

Your vet will be able to assess the individual needs of of your pet, based on their age, over-all health, and lifestyle to ensure they will not be harmed by a vaccination.

For further information, please contact your Medivet vet.

Vaccinations for dogs

We advise your dog is vaccinated against:

  • Canine Parvovirus, normally known as Parvo
  • Canine Infections Hepatitis
  • Distemper
  • Leptospirosis
  • Kennel Cough
  • Rabies (if travelling)

Vaccinating your puppy

Puppies are vulnerable to serious diseases like parvovirus and canine distemper, so it is vital to get them vaccinated at the correct time:

  • Puppies should receive their first vaccinations at 8-weeks-old.
  • They then require a second set of injections at 12-weeks, and a third set at 16-weeks-old.
  • Your puppy should not mix with any unvaccinated dogs until they’ve had all their jabs and are fully protected – this is usually two weeks after their second injection.
  • It is fairly common for puppies to have already received their first set of injections before they go to their new home. Check your pets vaccination history before you take them home.

Booster vaccinations for dogs

Your pet will need regular booster injections throughout their lifetime to maintain their level of protection.

Some boosters for dogs are needed every year and others every three years.

Dogs require:

  • Boosters for distemper, parvovirus and canine hepatitis every three years
  • Boosters for leptospirosis and kennel cough every year

Vaccinations for cats

We advise your cat is vaccinated against:

  • Feline viral infectious respiratory disease (Cat flu)
  • Feline panleucopaenia (Enteritis)
  • Feline leukaemia
  • Rabies (if they travel)

Vaccinating your kitten

Diseases like cat flu may affect cats of any age but kittens are especially vulnerable. It is important to get them vaccinated early.

  • Kittens receive their first round of vaccinations at 8-weeks old.
  • They’ll need a second round of injections at 12-weeks old, and their third round at 16-weeks.
  • Your kitten won’t be fully protected until two weeks after their second jabs so keep them indoors and away from any unvaccinated cats.

Booster vaccinations for cats

Your cat will need booster vaccinations every year throughout their life to ensure they remain protected.

Vaccinations for rabbits

We advise your rabbit is vaccinated against:

  • Myxomatosis
  • Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Type 1 and 2 (RHD1 and RHD2)

Vaccinating your baby rabbit

Young rabbits are more vulnerable to illnesses, therefore it is important to get them vaccinated early. They need to be over five weeks old to receive the vaccinations for the fatal Myxomatosis disease and both RHD Types.

Rabbits, in general, are susceptible to infection spread by insects such as flies/mosquitoes/fleas. Ensure your home and all pets are treated for fleas as advised by your vet.

Booster vaccinations for rabbits

Your rabbits will need annual booster vaccinations throughout their life.



Vaccinations for ferrets

Our advice for ferrets is:

  • Ferrets need to be vaccinated against distemper.
  • They are vaccinated at 12 weeks old.
  • They require a distemper vaccination every year.

For more information, please contact your Medivet vet.

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