Skip to main content
A beautiful, yellow-eyed cat receiving treatment. Doug Hall feeding a well-loved client.

Paws for thought - Article 1

21st February 2019

The Importance of Vaccination

In light of the sad news that three puppies have died in three days in the UK as a result of Parvovirus, we thought we should update you all on the benefits that we see from regular and appropriate vaccination of your dogs. Due to vigilent vaccination in the UK, there has been a decline in the prevalence of preventable diseases, but sadly there are still cases being diagnosed each year, particularly of Parvovirus and Leptospirosis.


What is Parvovirus?


Parvovirus is a preventable disease that we vaccinate against in the UK, along with other diseases as outlined below. Young, unvaccinated puppies are particularly susceptible to the infection, which leads to very severe diarrhoea, sadly with a high mortality rate. If the whelping bitch has been vaccinated, the puppies can have a level of passive immunity but all puppies must have a vaccination course to make sure they are fully protected, usually starting at 8 weeks old.


What do we vaccinate against?

Our core vaccines that we give at the yearly health check include:


  • Distemper


  • Adenovirus (causes infectious hepatitis)


  • Parvovirus


  • Leptospirosis.


The length of immunity provided by these vaccines differs, and so after the initial puppy course and subsequent year of full vaccination, immunity against all core vaccines (excluding Leptospirosis) lasts 3 years. Unfortunately, two strains of Leptospirosis are prevelant in the UK (L.canicola & L.Icterohaemorrhagiae) and so yearly vaccination is advised for Leptospirosis to protect against infection. Leptospirosis can cause symptoms including weakness, a high temperature and can lead to kidney failure.   


We send out vaccination reminders to our clients to keep their pets up to date with the necessary immunisations. It is our responsibility, as your vet practice, to give you the most up to date information and necessary protection for your pets, so that they can live life to the full and socialise fully with other dogs.


If you have any questions regarding vaccinations or have any concerns about your pet, please do not hesitate to contact us at the Cape Veterinary Clinic on 01483 538990.


Catherine Hannah BVSc MRCVS

Ref:, NOAH compendium, BSAVA.