Vaccinations During Lockdown
ADVICE ON DOG AND CAT VACCINATIONS DURING THE CURRENT COVID-19 PANDEMIC
The Government, and our regulating bodies: Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and British Veterinary Association, have provided guidelines that ALL Veterinary Practices should follow:
The guidelines have been put in place in order to enforce social distancing, and limit unnecessary travel, to reduce virus spread.
Routine vaccinations are now currently NOT considered urgent.
Exceptions can be made in the case of:
1. disease outbreaks
2. for completion of vaccine courses, if not doing so would expose that pet to risk of preventable disease
Please call us on 01932 565082 to discuss the particular situation and environment your pet is in
Background to Vaccination
Vaccination so far has created really good herd immunity, just think when you last heard of distemper or viral hepatitis in dogs in the UK? What about parvovirus?
When did you last hear of feline leukaemia or panleukopaenia?
This is because we vaccinate the majority of the dog and cat population against these diseases, so they can't rise up and take hold.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, human health takes priority, therefore we now need to rely on the herd immunity we’ve built up over the years to help us protect our pets.
This is not our usual protocol, but is the best we can do to balance animal welfare with human health in the current situation.
So What Happens if My Pet Needs a vaccination?
1. Routine boosters in adult dogs and cats will be delayed
2. Puppy vaccine courses will be done only if essential. Please call us to discuss you pet's needs
3. Kitten vaccinations will be delayed (as kittens should be kept indoors, so are very low
If you have just got a puppy, they MUST stay indoors until they are fully vaccinated, or they could contract FATAL diseases.
Dogs need a yearly LEPTO vaccination in order to stay protected from Weils Disease (from rats)
If you have rats in your garden, and your dog is due, or overdue for their yearly vaccine, then you should call us for advice
Immunity to parvo, hepatitis and distemper is longer lasting than lepto. So there is no need to worry about going a month overdue for these.
For those dogs who do become overdue for their vaccines as a results of COVID-19 restrictions, you should:
Make sure you make an appointment for vaccines as soon as lockdown restrictions are lifted
Lepto 2 will only need a single booster if less than 3 months overdue, and a course of 2 vaccines 2 weeks apart of over 3 months overdue
Lepto 4 will need two injections, 4 weeks apart if the dog is more than 6 months overdue
Keeping your dogs safe if their vaccinations have lapsed:
- avoid contact with other dogs
- avoid contact with other dogs’ faeces
- avoid contact with rats and stagnant water (rats harbour leptospirosis) - this includes avoiding walking in areas where you have seen rats as leptospirosis is excreted in their urine and survives in wet conditions and in stagnant water (including rain puddles, but usually not in sea water)
If you have a puppy, please contact us for more information about activities and socialisation.
If you have just got a kitten, then they should be kept inside until they have been neutered (we normally do this at 5-6months old). You must keep your kitten in until they are vaccinated.
Cats need a leukaemia vaccine every year.
Immunity to flu/entrtitis is longer lasting than leukaemia. So there is no need to worry about going a month overdue for these.
For those cats who become overdue for their vaccines, the current recommendation is to repeat the course (2 injections 3-4 weeks apart) if they are more than 2 months overdue.
Please make an appointment for your cat’s vaccinations as soon as lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Keeping your cats safe if their vaccinations have lapsed:
- if you can keep your cats indoors without causing them stress, please do so. If they are getting stressed, please contact us for advice.
- the ISFM website has a lot of useful information on stress in cats and how to keep indoor cats happy, please have a look at https://icatcare.org/advice/stress-in-cats/ and follow the links