At Sandhole Veterinary Centre, we believe that prevention is always better than cure.
Vaccination gives protection against a number of potentially fatal diseases, which is why we recommend keeping your pet's immunity levels high with annual vaccinations throughout his / her life. Booster vaccinations are then recommended every year and the dose is tailored to your pet's needs and lifestyle each time, ensuring that we don’t over-vaccinate.
Vaccination is the ideal time to discuss any questions or concerns you may have and to undertake a thorough annual health check. In this way we always have accurate and recent records to measure any changes against.
Pets are very good at hiding any pain or discomfort they may be experiencing, and any changes occurring in the appearance or behaviour of a poorly animal often only become visible when things are more advanced. With a gentle, but thorough, nose to tail examination we can spot any underlying issues early and discuss further investigations as required. And as a Cat Friendly Clinic, we understand that examining your cat without causing stress requires a specific approach - we promise that we will never lift a cat by its neck and will always wait until your cat is calm and ready before starting any examination.
We aim to work in partnership with all our clients to ensure the health and happiness of every pet, every day. Annual health checks and vaccinations play a key role in this, but of course we are always here for you, whenever you need us.
At Sandhole Veterinary Centre, we routinely vaccinate puppies from the age of 8 weeks with an initial course of two injections given 2-4 week apart. Vaccination protects against the following five serious diseases and viruses with one single injection:
- Distemper. This infectious, and often fatal, disease can cause symptoms such as fever, coughing, discharge from the eyes and nose, vomiting and diarrhoea and eventually, cracked footpads and noses. Some dogs may suffer from neurological symptoms such as seizures.
- Hepatitis. Attacks the liver, kidneys and lungs and signs often include coughing, vomiting, diarrhoea and pale gums. Fortunately the disease is relatively rare, as it progresses rapidly and can cause death within 24-36 hours. Some dogs recover but will then shed the virus for many months, posing a threat to other dogs.
- Parvovirus. This potentially fatal virus is highly contagious and very persistent - regional outbreaks are relatively common. Dogs of all ages can become infected but puppies are particularly susceptible. Parvovirus often causes vomiting and diarrhoea, which is generally bloody. Infected dogs are also lethargic and refuse to eat or drink.
- Coronavirus. Affects dogs of all ages, with puppies being particularly susceptible to infection. Symptoms may include diarrhoea and digestive upsets and when contracted together, coronavirus may increase the severity of other diseases.
- Leptosporosis. This is a condition that can be passed on from animals to humans, caused by bacteria picked up from watercourses and the urine of other infected animals. It targets the internal organs and signs vary from flu-like symptoms to severe abdominal pain.
After discussion with you, we may also recommend additional vaccinations:
- Kennel Cough. The name is a bit of a misnomer, as 'kennel' cough can be picked up through any contact with infected dogs, such as on your daily walks. The disease is spread via infectious agents passed on in airborne droplets - Parainfluenza is one such component, as is Bordetella. The main signs are a harsh hacking cough, accompanied by gagging and retching. Vaccination is administered with a spray up the nose.
- Rabies. Fortunately the UK is rabies-free, but if you plan to travel abroad with your dog a rabies injection is required by law. Learn more about taking your pet abroad
At Sandhole Veterinary Centre, we routinely vaccinate kittens from the age of 9 weeks with an initial course of two injections given 3-4 week apart. Vaccination protects against the following serious diseases and viruses
- Feline Panleucopenia. This often-fatal disease can affect cats of all ages, with kittens particularly at risk. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration. This virus is passed on in the faeces and can persist for a long time in the environment.
- Cat Flu. Easily transmitted from other infected cats and cat bowls, several organisms are involved and regular vaccination is required to help keep them at bay. The signs of Cat Flu can be similar to those of a human cold – runny nose and eyes, and a sore throat - whilst some cats develop fever and mouth ulcers.
- Feline Leukaemia virus. This viral disease can cause severe damage to the immune system and may also cause tumours. It is spread through close contact such as grooming, fighting and sharing food and/or water bowls. There is no effective treatment and vaccination is the only way to ensure that your cat is not at risk.
- Rabies - as required. Fortunately the UK is rabies-free, but if you plan to travel abroad with your cat a rabies injection is required by law. If you are considering taking your cat abroad, give us a call and we can advise you accordingly
We vaccinate routinely against myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease. Rabbits can be vaccinated from five weeks of age and require a yearly booster vaccination in order to maintain protection.
Myxomatosis is a deadly, highly infectious, and sadly all-too common viral disease. It causes rapidly progressing swollen eyes, nose and genitals and in almost all circumstances is untreatable - vaccination is therefore vital in order to prevent your pet contracting this awful disease. It is transmitted mainly by mosquitoes and fleas, so even if you have an indoor bunny it really is important to vaccinate every year.
Oh, and did we mention that we are recognised as a rabbit friendly practice by the RWAF?!...