We strongly recommend that all dogs, cats and rabbits receive appropriate vaccinations to
reduce the risk of certain life-threatening diseases. Vaccination against various other diseases is also available. The list of vaccinations below is split into core vaccines, which we believe are beneficial to most animals, and additional vaccines which are available for special circumstances. For information about the individual diseases and how they could affect your pet please follow the external links from the headings below.
- Dogs - Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis - these are serious life threatening diseases, which are still widely prevalent in some urban areas in Scotland, and we see occasionally in Fife. Leptospirosis can be transmitted by rats, so even country dogs who rarely meet other dogs should be vaccinated to prevent infection. Vaccination can now be started from 8 weeks, and completed at 10 weeks. Puppies should be kept in for a week after the end of their vaccine course before being allowed freely into public areas, however we do recommend that they meet and play with other vaccinated dogs in this period to ensure good socialisation. Annual booster vaccination is recommended to provide ongoing protection, as especially for Leptospirosis, immunity fades after 12 months.
- Cats - Cat Flu, Feline Infectious Enteritis (like parvo-virus for cats) and Feline Leukaemia Virus - seen more commonly in Fife than the diseases we vaccinate for in dogs, and again nasty diseases especially in very young or very old animals. Initial vaccines usually given at 9 and 12 weeks, followed by annual booster vaccinations to maintain immunity. Kittens should be kept inside until a week after their second vaccination to allow immunity to develop.
- Rabbits - Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD). Myxomatosis is a very common disease in wild rabbits, and with a very high mortality rate (almost 100%). VHD is a relatively new disease in the UK, whose main symptom is sudden death! Both diseases are transmitted between rabbits by biting insects such a midges and hence direct contact with wild rabbits is not required. We can now provide protection against both these diseases with a single injection, followed by annual booster injections.
- Dogs - Kennel Cough (Infectious Bronchitis) - this is generally a nuisance disease rather than life-threatening, but has been increasing in incidence in the last few years in Fife. It has been traditionally associated with boarding kennels, but we have seen more cases picked up without the dog having been in kennels. A single vaccine now gives a full years protection within a few days of being given. If going into boarding kennels please check with the kennel what their requirements are as these vary between establishments.
- Cats - Chlamydia - this is an upper respiratory and eye infection, seen mostly in breeding colonies of pedigree cats.
- Dogs and Cats - Rabies - generally given associated with the Pet Travel Scheme (see section on Pet Passports). A single vaccine will give protection, but two doses usually given for the Pet Travel scheme to give a better chance of passing the blood test. Most animals need a booster every 3 years with the vaccine we currently use.