Annual Vaccinations

  • We know one of the biggest worries is vaccinations lapsing. There is a three month window in which to get vaccinations done. Should your pet exceed this we will be offering the start up course for the same price as the standard booster from Monday 18th May 2020.
  • You will still receive a vaccination reminder so you can book those appointments in your diary – starting from Monday18th May 2020. 
  • If you are concerned that your pet has lapsed already or the three month period is too long – email us on [email protected] and we can discuss your individual situation.
  • Please be aware that advice may change depending on the advice from the government and the veterinary awarding bodies. 
  • If you puppy is aged 10 weeks to 20 weeks please give the practice a call on 01179571110 or email us on [email protected] so we can talk to you on a one to one basis. 

Dog Vaccinations

The dog vaccinations are call DHP + L, they stand for Distemper, Infectious Hepetitis, Partovovirus and leptospirosis. Please find below a write up about each disease the vaccination covers.


  • Distemper is a disease caused by a virus. The virus spreads easily between dogs.
  • It causes a wide range of symptoms including a cough, runny eyes and nose, diarrhoea, high temperature, thickened pads, tremors and fits.
  • Vaccination has meant we now rarely see distemper in the UK, but it does still occur in areas with many unvaccinated dogs.

Distemper is a virus that spreads easily between unvaccinated dogs. The virus spreads in the air, via bodily fluids (such as urine and saliva) and can live in the environment where an infected dog has been. Young dogs are most at risk of catching distemper.

The distemper virus attacks several different organs in the body – the guts, heart, immune system, lungs, brain and nerves. It causes a variety of symptoms ranging from mild cold-like signs to seizures and death.

Distemper is much rarer than it used to be in the UK, but an unvaccinated puppy is still at risk of getting distemper today, they should receive their vaccinations before you let them mix with other dogs in public spaces.

Infectious Hepatitis (Adenovirus)

  • Infectious hepatitis is a serious disease also known as ‘canine adenovirus’ or ‘Rubarth’s Disease’.
  • It affects the liver and other major organs, which causes a range of symptoms.
  • Your dog can catch infectious hepatitis from contact with an infected dog, or somewhere an infected dog has been.
  • Young, unvaccinated dogs are most at risk of catching infectious hepatitis.

Infectious hepatitis is a virus that attacks the liver, blood vessels, immune system, kidneys, eyes, lungs, and heart - the more organs that are affected the more serious the symptoms.

Infectious hepatitis spreads in bodily fluids i.e. urine, stools and saliva. Most dogs catch infectious hepatitis from an infected dog, or somewhere an infected dog has been.

Dogs that survive infectious hepatitis are often a risk to other dogs because they shed the virus in their urine for 6-9 months after recovery. The virus can then survive in the environment for months

Vaccination has led to infectious hepatitis becoming much rarer than it used to be, but an unvaccinated puppy or dog is still at risk. Don’t let your puppy meet other dogs or walk on the ground in public places until they have had their puppy vaccinations.


  • Parvovirus (parvo) is a nasty virus that attacks the intestines.
  • Parvo can affect both dogs and puppies.
  • Parvovirus causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting, and is often deadly if left untreated.
  • Parvo is still common in the UK, with outbreaks more common in areas with lots of dogs. Our PDSA Pet Hospitals see nearly 1,500 cases of parvo each year.

Your dog may have caught parvovirus by coming into contact with an infected dog, or from something an infected dog has touched i.e. a contaminated dog poo, area of grass, lead, food bowl or bedding. Humans can also transfer the infection from one dog to another via their clothes or hands. Parvovirus can survive in environment for a whole year, so the risk of infection lasts a long time.

Before your puppy has had their vaccinations, ensure they stay as safe as possible by keeping them off the ground/floor in public spaces, away from unvaccinated dogs and use your front and bark garden for toilet training. Your puppy will be safe to go out for a walk and meet other dogs 1-2 weeks after their vaccination course.


  • Leptospirosis is a nasty disease caused by bacteria.
  • Leptospirosis spreads via other infected dogs, mice, rats and cows and can also be caught from infected water.
  • Your dog is at higher risk of catching leptospirosis if they regularly kill rodents, live on a farm or spend a lot of time in water.
  • Leptospirosis can infect people and is commonly known as Weil’s disease.

Leptospirosis (often shortened to lepto) is an infectious disease caused by bacteria. Dogs can catch lepto by coming into contact with urine from an infected animal or from contaminated water. Rats can carry lepto and are a particular risk for dogs that like hunting and spending time in water. Lepto is a serious, often a fatal disease that damages the liver and kidneys. Leptospirosis can also pass to people and make them very poorly.

There are a group of bacteria that cause lepto – each one slightly different. We vaccinate pet dogs against the types of lepto most commonly found in the UK.

Cat Vaccinations

The cat vaccinations are call RCP FELV, they stand for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Feline Calicivirus, Feline Panleukopenia and Feline Leukaemia virus. Please find below a write up about each disease the vaccination covers.

Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis

  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis is an infectious disease caused by feline herpes virus type-1.
  • It is a major cause of upper respiratory disease in cats and is the most common cause of conjunctivitis (inflammation of the tissues surrounding the eye, especially the lining of the lids and the third eyelid).
  • The typical symptoms involve the nose, throat and eyes and include sneezing, nasal congestion, conjunctivitis, excessive blinking, squinting and discharges from the eyes and nose that range from clear and watery to thick and purulent (containing yellow/green pus).
  • The virus may also cause keratitis, or inflammation and infection of the cornea, leading to corneal ulcers. In chronic or severe infections, the keratitis can lead to corneal scarring or chronic 'dry eye'.

There is no cure for herpes virus infections. Most cats respond well to medical management of the condition and lead normal lives. Minimizing the chance of infection, ensuring excellent nutrition by feeding a veterinary-recommended diet, reducing stressful situations, and following an appropriate vaccination schedule are your cat's best defence against this disease.

The virus is spread in saliva and in discharges from the eyes and nose of an infected cat. Therefore, an infection occurs when a susceptible cat comes into direct contact with an infected cat, or comes into contact with inanimate objects (e.g., clothing, food and water dishes, furniture) that have been contaminated with viral particles.

Feline Calicivirus Infection

  • Calicivirus is a highly contagious virus that is one of the major causes of upper respiratory infections (URIs) or ‘cat flu’ in cats.
  • Symptoms include an acute upper respiratory infection. The symptoms are sneezing, nasal discharge, ocular discharge, conjunctivitis, ulceration of the tongue, lethargy, inappetence and fever. Signs may last from a few days to a few weeks and vary in severity. In young kittens the virus may also cause pneumonia.
  • Symptoms also include gingivitis and stomatitis, limping syndrome in which the kitten or cat may be extremely uncomfortable with painful joints during this time.
  • In rare cases of severe strains, it can be associated with severe disease including pneumonia, hepatitis (liver inflammation), pancreatitis, skin swelling and ulceration, and bleeding from the nose and intestine. Fortunately, these outbreaks are very rare, however up to 50% or more of affected cats may die

The virus is transmitted between cats from direct contact – through contact with saliva, ocular or nasal secretions, inhalation of sneeze droplets, sharing food bowls and litter trays and a contaminated environment (including bedding and grooming aids) – the virus can potentially survive up to a month in the environment, although often does not survive more than 7-14 days. Infected cats can be given supportive treatment and good nursing care.

Feline Panleukopenia

  • Commonly known as feline infectious enteritis or feline parvovirus.
  • This is a serious virus that depletes the cat’s white blood cells and can cause severe damage to the lining of the intestines.
  • The disease is often fatal for kittens despite treatment.
  • Symptoms typically seen in this disease include a fever, weight loss, vomiting, severe bloody diarrhoea, lack of appetite, unusual lack of energy or seizures.

This disease can be spread if your cat has contact with infected faeces. A pregnant cat can pass the disease to her unborn kittens and it will remain in the environment for a long time. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Feline Panleukopenia Virus but if caught in time, vets can try to treat the symptoms and give intensive nursing care to support your cat’s recovery.

Feline Leukaemia Virus (FELV)

  • This is a viral infection which can lead to the development of cancers such as lymphoma, leukaemia and other tumours. FELV weakens the immune system of affected cats meaning they catch other infections very easily.
  • The virus can have a long term impact on the health of some cats, others can recover with no lasting effects. Cats who are vaccinated are more likely to be able to fight off the virus without showing symptoms or spreading the disease.
  • Kittens are a higher risk than adult cats, but both can be affected.
  • Mild symptoms can display as tiredness or a fever.
  • The following symptoms may occur when the cat’s immune system weakens: Unusual tiredness or lack of energy, depression, weight loss, fever, recurrent diarrhoea, frequently getting unwell and ongoing breathing, digestion or skin problems.

Cats can catch the virus through other cats’ saliva, faeces, urine and milk. This usually happens due to mutual grooming or fighting. There is no cure, but if identified they need to be treated as soon as possible to avoid infected cats becoming seriously ill. Sadly, most cats with Feline Leukaemia Virus will die or have to be put to sleep due to complications associated with FELV, this is often within three years of being diagnosed with the disease. It is important for cats to have a health check and vaccinations with a vet once a year, as well as regular flea and worm treatments.

Rabbit Vaccinations

The rabbit vaccinations are call Myxo, VHD1 and VHD 2, they stand for Myxomatosis and Vital Haemorrhagic Disease 1 and 2. Please find below a write up about each disease the vaccination covers.


  • Myxomatosis is caused by the myxoma virus, a type of pox virus that only affects rabbits.
  • It is a very serious disease and is almost always fatal.
  • Symptoms include swollen eyes, localized swellings around the head, face, ears, lips, anus and genitalia.

Myxomatosis is common in wild rabbits, it spreads easily to pet rabbits via direct contact and typically by blood sucking insects such as the rabbit flea.

Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD)

  • VHD is caused by a calicivirus which only affects rabbits. This disease is almost always fatal.
  • The virus attacks the internal organs (especially the liver). It causes massive internal bleeding which results in a very poor prognosis for the rabbit.
  • Symptoms include depression, collapse, difficulty breathing, convulsions, high body temperature, lethargy and blood around the nose, mouth or bottom.

VHD is spread by direct contact between both wild and pet rabbits but also via the air, indirect contact such as people, clothing, contaminated hutches and insects such as fleas and flies.

Viral Haemorrhagic Disease 2 (VHD-2)

  • There are now two strains of VHD, and they are both just as fatal.
  • Rabbits infected with the RHD-2 virus do not show the symptoms that are common with RHD-1 infection, so it is far more difficult to diagnose from simple observations.

 Sadly, there is no cure for either RHD1 or RHD2 and the chances of survival are slim. If symptoms are severe, euthanasia is often the kindest option.

If your rabbit has caught RHD2 they have a 50% chance of surviving with intensive care from your vet. However, recovery can take weeks to months and symptoms are often so severe that euthanasia (putting to sleep) becomes the kindest option.

In addition to vaccinations, you can also help prevent these diseases.

  • Prevent insect bites: Keep your rabbits and their living environment clean to avoid attracting insects. Use fly nets or hang insect repellent strips around your rabbits’ living space. Speak to your vet for advice on the best flea protection for your rabbits. Fleas from cats and dogs can spread RHD, make sure all your animals are regularly treated for fleas.
  • Prevent contact with wild rabbits: Keep your pet rabbits away from wild rabbits by rabbit proofing your garden or double fencing their living space.
  • Quarantine new rabbits: Any new rabbits should be vaccinated and kept away from your existing rabbits for at least three weeks.

So what can you do?

 The government advice is:

You should wash your hands before and after any contact with your pets.

It’s important to remember that the current lockdown period is for three weeks and for most pet vaccinations it is not urgent for them to be carried out in that time period. If the government extends the current restrictions beyond three weeks, advice may change so keep in contact with us.

It is vital that veterinary practices see as few clients as possible to protect practice staff during this difficult time, this is to ensure they remain healthy and can continue to look after genuine urgent and emergency cases.