Vaccination

NOTE: as of September 2017 we are changing from Nobivac to Versican dog vaccines - please see the bottom of this page for more information.

Vaccination is a common area of concern for many clients: Are my animals being over-vaccinated? Are vaccines dangerous? What happens if I miss a booster? These are some of the questions that are often asked of us. Here are some details of the vaccinations we administer, but we would always welcome any questions you may have and offer advice on the best vaccination strategy for your pet according to the latest research.

In common with all veterinary procedures, vaccination should be provided on the basis of individual need in terms of risk vs. benefit. Please call us, or drop into the practice, to discuss vaccination for your pet, whether dog, cat, rabbit or ferret. Important diseases against which we recommend vaccination include:

Dog: distemper; infectious hepatitis; parvo; leptospirosis. Due to the increasing prevelence of Kennel Cough, we are now recommending routine vaccination for this disease. REMEMBER: this disease can be contracted from contact with any dog carrying the disease, not just from a visit to the kennel. Please have a look at this short video showing the signs of Kennel Cough in some poor dogs.

Futher information on Kennel Cough can be found here, in this leaflet.

On request, we can also vaccinate breeding bitches against herpes.

Cat: cat flu (calicivirus, herpesvirus & panleucopenia virus); feline leukaemia virus

Rabbit: myxomatosis; viral haemorrhagic disease

Ferret: distemper

Why are we moving to the new Versican Plus vaccine?

Since the beginning of 2017 we have suffered interruptions to the supply of some vaccine components from the manufacturer of our routine dog vaccines. This prompted us to investigate alternative vaccines on the market that cover for the same diseases.

Zoetis (the animal health branch of Pfizer) launched their Versican Plus range of dog vaccines in August 2015. It’s recent launch means that it offers excellent protection against the most prevalent strains of disease that are currently a threat in this country. 

There are several other reasons why we have chosen this vaccine:

Puppies inherit some disease protection from their mother in the form of protective antibodies: these are known as Maternally Derived Antibodies (MDA) and they can remain active in the puppy for up to 10 weeks. These MDAs are not effective enough to protect the puppy against a strong challenge from infection, but they can interfere with the effectiveness of vaccination. This is why, at the moment, we must give the last part of the puppy vaccination course after the puppy is 10 weeks old. Versican Plus has been shown to protect against a strong challenge from infection even during the presence of the MDAs.

What does this mean in practice?

If your puppy is vaccinated with Versican Plus at 6 weeks of age, by 9 weeks old there will be sufficient immunity to the three major dog-to-dog diseases (Parvo, Distemper and Infectious Hepatitis) to allow early socialization for your puppy at this age, a full two weeks earlier than our previous vaccine. The second vaccination, 3-4 weeks after the first, will ensure further protection against Parainfluenza and Leptospirosis within 4 weeks and will ensure immunity against Parvo, Distemper and Infectious Hepatitis for three years. Annual vaccination is required for ongoing protection against Parainfluenza and Leptospirosis.

Leptospirosis (a British Small Animal Veterinary Association technical factsheet may be found here)

Canine leptosirosis is a bacterial infection that may be found in stagnant and contaminated water. It is spread by infected rats and dogs. There are two prevalent strains (serovars) of the disease in the UK, but with the increase in pet travel to and from the continental mainland, there is the immanent threat of new serovars entering the country. We have elected to offer protection against both the existing and emerging serovars and, compared to our previous vaccine, Versican Plus offers prevention of clinical signs across all four serovars for which we vaccinate, the only vaccine of it’s kind to do so.

How will this affect my dog?

This vaccine presents no more risk to your pet than our previous vaccine.

To comply with the licensing regulations of the vaccine, we are obliged to ‘restart’ all adult dogs with two injections, 3-4 weeks apart. We appreciate that this will be an inconvenience for you and we are grateful for your compliance. Of course, there will be no charge for the second vaccination for all ‘restarts’ during the period of transition to this new vaccine.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Thank you.

email: info@armacbiggar.plus.com                                             © David Gardner-Roberts 2011