Small Animal

Vaccinations

At Donnington Grove Veterinary Group we recommend regular vaccination of your pet to guard against a number of serious and potentially fatal diseases.

We can also provide vaccination for protection in more specific situations - for example for going into a boarding kennels or going abroad.

The recommended regular vaccination regimes are listed below. For more details and for other vaccinations available, follow the link for each species.

Dog Vaccination

The primary vaccination course consists of two injections, 2-4 weeks apart.

  • The first vaccination may be given from 6 weeks of age, usually starting at 7-8 weeks of age.
  • The second vaccination must be given after 10 weeks of age.

Annual booster vaccinations are recommended. Some components are only given every 3 years, but others do require annual vaccination.

Cat Vaccination

The primary vaccination course consists of two injections, 3-4 weeks apart.

  • First vaccination is given from 9 weeks of age.

Annual booster vaccinations are recommended.

Rabbit Vaccination

We recommend all pet rabbits receive myxomatosis vaccination every 6 months to maintain a good level of immunity, even if they are kept indoors. Vaccination can be given from 6 weeks of age.

Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD) vaccination can be given from 12 weeks of age with yearly boosters. A 2-week interval is recommended after myxomatosis vaccination before giving this vaccine. 

Ferret Vaccination

Ferrets should receive vaccination against Distemper at 8 and 12 weeks of age and annual booster following that. We use a half dose of our normal dog vaccination, omitting one component. This is an off-license use of the vaccine, but there is no specific ferret vaccine.

The Vaccination Debate

There has been a certain amount written in the popular press over the last few years, with some claiming vaccinations are bad for pets and that homeopathic alternatives should be used. There is only anecdotal (i.e. word-of mouth) evidence for this. All scientific evidence suggests the benefits of vaccination far outweigh any side effects.

There is no scientific evidence the homeopathic alternatives provide any real protection. They may be relying on 'population immunity'. If enough animals within a population are vaccinated, a disease will be suppressed within the entire population with only a few cases occurring. If the vaccinated proportion falls, an epidemic can occur.

The debate has made the vaccine manufacturers and other bodies investigate how long the immunity provided by vaccines persists. We now follow recommendations that not all vaccine components need be given every year, but annual vaccinations are still required.