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Here at Broadway Vets we believe that vaccinations are an important part of protecting your pets from severely harmful, yet preventable diseases and are an essential part of responsible pet care. Dogs, cats and rabbits are susceptible to a number of life-threatening diseases, but scientific advances and the introduction of immunisation has been very effective in reducing the number of cases dramatically.

It is tempting to assume that they are no longer a threat to our pets as we hear little about them, but they still do remain a constant danger, meaning the correct vaccination programme is the best way to keep your pet safe.

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How do vaccines work?

Vaccines contain harmless (either weakened or dead) variants of the viruses and other infectious agents. When an animal is vaccinated the immune system in the body responds by generating a protective mechanism through the formation of antibodies. If the animal then becomes exposed to the actual disease at a later date, those antibodies will prevent the disease from developing. The type of vaccines Broadway Vets we recommend will be based on your pet’s lifestyle, risk factors and current guidance.

Modern vaccines give protection to multiple diseases with just one or two injections. It is important to remember though that vaccines don’t give lifelong immunity and that is why regular booster vaccinations are recommended. It is also an excellent opportunity for your pet to have a full health check. We send out reminders for all vaccinations; please contact us to book an appointment.


Dog Vaccinations

Vaccination is important to protect your dogs from the following diseases;

  • Parvovirus –This most commonly causes bloody diarrhoea and severe vomiting, usually (but not always) affecting puppies less than six months of age. Some dogs may show extreme lethargy and depression, without the vomiting and diarrhoea. Parvovirus is often fatal and can be found throughout the UK. Parvovirus is easily prevented through vaccination, but sadly it is still very common. Unvaccinated dogs can catch parvovirus from contact with faeces from infected dogs. An infected dog may be shedding virus before it actually shows signs of being unwell, so parvovirus can easily be picked up while walking your dog in public places. Parvovirus can survive in the environment for several months and is resistant to many disinfectants, meaning that local outbreaks can last for many months. Puppies can be vaccinated against parvovirus as early as six weeks.
  • Distemper –This causes a range of symptoms in dogs, most seriously seizures and death. It can be caught if your dog is exposed to infected faeces and urine or spread through respiratory secretions, such as sneezes. Thanks to vaccination, distemper is now rare in the UK, but it can still sometimes be seen in areas where large numbers of dogs are unvaccinated.
  • Infectious Hepatitis - This causes damage to the liver with severe vomiting and diarrhoea, bleeding and usually death. Your dog can catch hepatitis from the environment, contaminated with infected urine and faeces. The virus can survive in the environment for 6-9 months. It is currently quite rare in the UK but can cause severe disease.
  • Parainfluenza Virus - This virus is one of multiple causes of upper respiratory disease in dogs. Parainfluenza is included in your dog’s routine vaccination injections, but an additional Kennel Cough vaccination is recommended to protect against other causes of infectious respiratory disease.
  • Leptospirosis –This causes damage to multiple organs and symptoms can be variable, from sudden death to liver failure or eye problems. Leptospirosis can be caught through contact with infected urine or water contaminated with rat urine. Stagnant water poses the highest risk to your dog. Exposure to this disease is common and it can be fatal for dogs. It is also zoonotic meaning it can be passed to humans!

Puppies can be vaccinated as young as six weeks of age, with a second injection from ten weeks of age. At Broadway we recommend that puppies have their first vaccination at 8 weeks old, with a second/third vaccination 2-4 weeks later.

  • Puppies can go out for walks one week after their second injection.
  • Adult dogs require a booster vaccination every year.

We also strongly recommend vaccinating against kennel cough

Kennel cough is a highly infectious upper airway infection. It can be picked up from any infected dog that you meet in the street, in the park or even through your garden fence. It causes a distinct dry cough and can take weeks to resolve. Some infected dogs may develop fever, lethargy, and secondary infections. Severe cases can progress to lower respiratory disease like pneumonia. Even after coughing stops your animal can spread the infection for up to 3 months!

As with human cold and flu, kennel cough is very contagious. Your dog can catch Kennel Cough from infected dogs in the park, on the beach, at the groomers or training classes, in kennels… anywhere there are dogs!

Dogs can be vaccinated against kennel cough. Although the vaccine does not provide complete protection, it will greatly reduce the chance of your dog catching kennel cough and can reduce the severity of symptoms if they do.

The vaccination is given as a small squirt up the nose and lasts for twelve months.

Dogs going into kennels or to training classes are usually required to have the Kennel Cough Vaccination before they can attend.

Did you know you can restart your dog’s vaccinations? If you suspect you have missed your dog’s annual booster vaccination or think your dog is unvaccinated, contact the surgery for advice on restarting vaccinations!

To arrange an appointment, please contact your local branch.

Book a vaccination appointment


Cat Vaccinations

Vaccination is important to protect your cats from the following diseases;

  • Cat Flu – Flu in cats is caused by several different viruses and is very infectious. It causes sneezing, watery eyes and a runny nose and your cat may become very unwell. Kittens and elderly cats are especially at risk and in severe cases can die from flu. It spreads through direct contact with infected cats or from their respiratory secretions.
  • Vaccination protects your cat against Herpes Virus and Calici Virus, which together cause more than 80% of cat flu cases.
  • All catteries require cats to be vaccinated against flu.
  • Panleucopenia - A fatal infection which causes gastroenteritis and lowered levels of white blood cells, meaning your cat cannot fight off infections. Panleucopaenia mainly causes disease in young kittens, which can quickly become very ill. They may stop eating, have painful tummies and have watery diarrhoea. The virus can live in the environment for a long time so most cats will be exposed to the virus, which is why it is important to vaccinate kittens promptly at 9 weeks old.
  • Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) - FeLV is a particularly nasty disease and complicated disease which can cause a wide range of problems in cats. Most notably it is linked to a number of cancers that occur in cats and slowly decreases immune function. The virus is spread through direct contact with infected saliva, mother’s milk, urine and faeces. Although vaccination does not provide 100% protection it will dramatically reduce your cat’s chances of developing a disease related to this virus. We recommend that every cat that goes outdoors or has contact with other cats (such as those that live in multi-cat household) is vaccinated against FeLV.

Kittens can be vaccinated from 9 weeks of age, with a second vaccination given 3-4 weeks later.

  • Adult cats require yearly booster vaccinations.

Did you know you can restart your cat’s vaccinations? If you suspect you have missed your cat’s annual booster vaccination or think your cat is unvaccinated, contact the surgery for advice on restarting vaccinations!

  • Puppies can go out for walks one week after their second injection.
  • Adult dogs require a booster vaccination every year.

To arrange an appointment, please contact your local branch.

Book a vaccination appointment


Rabbit Vaccinations

Rabbits are vaccinated against Myxomatosis and Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD).

Myxomatosis starts with runny eyes and swollen genitals and progresses to very sore conjunctivitis, swellings on the head and body, pus discharging from the eyes and nose, and death. Myxomatosis is spread by biting insects, so rabbits that live outside are most at risk although house rabbits have been known to contract the disease as well. Therefore vaccination is recommended in all rabbits. A vaccinated rabbit can still catch Myxomatosis but the illness will be much less severe and usually treatable.

RHD causes severe internal bleeding and death. Infected rabbits may show high fever, convulsions, and bleeding from the nose, mouth, or bottom. But many infected rabbits will die before any signs are noticed. Vaccination is very effective.

  • Young bunnies can have their first vaccination from 5 weeks of age.
  • Adult rabbits require yearly booster vaccinations.
  • Puppies can go out for walks one week after their second injection.
  • Adult dogs require a booster vaccination every year.

To arrange an appointment, please contact your local branch.

Book a vaccination appointment


Vaccinations FAQ

Why does my pet need to have vaccinations every 12 months?

Depending on the disease that your pet is being vaccinated against, the period of time that they are protected will differ. Certain diseases, such as leptospirosis in dogs and flu in cats only carry around 12 months protection, which is why a yearly booster is recommended. Even though you pet might be being vaccinated every 12 months, it is not always against the same diseases – your vaccination card will show you which diseases they are getting boosters for each visit. Visiting us every 12 months for vaccinations also means your pet gets a full annual health check, which is equally important!

Does my pet need to be vaccinated if they live inside?

Although your pet may not go outside, it is still possible for diseases to be brought into the house. This could be via soil on a dirty boot or via other wildlife that could enter the home. Therefore, having full vaccination can provide the protection needed for all circumstances, meaning you don’t have to take the risk.

I have heard that vaccines are risky and to avoid them – is that true?

Any veterinary procedure that is performed can carry some sort of risk, however in the case of vaccinations, it is important to remember that for the majority of pets the benefits of being vaccinated greatly outweighs the risks. Vaccination reactions are rare and where they do occur, they are mostly short-term and mild. Reactions of this nature show that the vaccine is effectively stimulating the immune system. The team at Broadway Vets are always happy to talk to you about the benefits and risks associated with vaccinating your pet to help identify the most suitable strategy as part of their wider preventative healthcare programme.

With the current COVID restrictions, are you accepting appointments for vaccinations?

For up-to-date information regarding services at Broadway Vets during COVID-19 restrictions, please click here.

Are there any schemes/offers to help with covering the cost of my pets’ vaccinations?

Pet Health for Life is a convenient and affordable way to protect your pet against preventable diseases by ensuring your pet’s essential treatments are up to date. So, you can relax knowing their healthcare is covered for life from £16 - £22 per month. Spread the cost of essential healthcare and sign up online today and benefit from the following services all year round.

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