Calling all pets who have missed their Boosters

by on November 5th, 2013

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In 2012, only half of the UK dog and cat population were fully protected against infectious diseases. Was your pet one of them?

If it has been over 12 months since you last visited us, then your pet could be at risk of contracting potentially fatal infections such as parvovirus, leptospirosis or cat ’flu. Unfortunately, immunity to these diseases does not last a lifetime and will gradually wane, leaving your pet at increased risk of disease. To ensure continued protection, you need to make sure that they are regularly ‘boosted’ against these diseases.

Dog & Cat under sofa

Vaccination has been one of the great success stories of veterinary medicine, and has saved countless thousands of animals. But these days – thanks, largely, to vaccination – infectious disease is much less obvious; and of course in the UK, the MMR debate seems to have damaged the reputation of vaccines in general.

More recently, there’s been discussion in the media about pet booster vaccinations. Are they really essential to your pets health? Or are they just a way for your vet to make money? It’s worth remembering that many of the pet diseases we vaccinate against are killers. Whereas a child with mumps will almost certainly get better, an unvaccinated dog that contracts parvovirus can easily die. Only vaccination can prevent these diseases in animals exposed to infection. Even those who question the need for annual boosters are strongly supportive of vaccination overall.

Are annual boosters really necessary?

Major studies have been carried out to determine whether the annual booster period can be extended. As a result some vaccines, such as rabies, are now licensed to protect pets for up to three years. However, it is vital to realise that for some diseases, protection is much shorter. Especially for leptospirosis in dogs – no vaccine will protect your pet for more than a year – and leukaemia in cats. This is based on real data and studies have shown that even with one of the best vaccines protection starts to decline after about 12 months. So despite significant developmental advances annual boosters are still essential.

Our practice is launching a scheme this November only to help you ensure that your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date. If your pet’s last vaccination was more than 18 months ago, a restart consisting of a full course of two vaccinations will be necessary to maintain protection. We’re offering owners the opportunity of having a full vaccination course for the price of a booster, saving up to £12. In addition, this visit will also enable us to give your pet a full lifestyle health check and identify any other potential health problems at an early stage. Remember, prevention is always better than cure!

To participate, simply speak to our receptionist or ring the surgery to book an appointment and enrol your pet in the scheme, which will only be running until 30th November 2013. Just one step to find out more could ensure your pet stays healthy!

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