By delaying vaccination, will my pet get sick?

updated Jan 2021

Annual vaccinations are recommended for many pets for disease control. Over the last few years your cat or dog will have been fully vaccinated using a combination of vaccines, on a 2- or 3-year programme. We know that some parts the of vaccine, canine parvo virus, distemper and adenovirus for dogs and feline panleukopaenia (FIE) and FeLV for cats last at least 3 years, as long they have had their full primary vaccines and a booster after 1 year. Other components are still required every year. Immunity does not stop at one year however so generally we are advised that running over by up to 3 months is safe. More than 3 months is more uncertain, and we would usually consider restarting certain components with a new primary course at this stage.

Social distancing for ourselves, to protect our own health against Coronavirus is much more important in the short term than getting your pet’s routine annual booster. When walking your dog, social distancing should also mean less contact with other dogs too, so in some ways their risk of infection should be lower.

Can I get my puppy or kitten their first vaccines?

Yes, vaccines for puppies, kittens and rabbits, and 1st annual boosters for dogs, should go ahead at the appropriate time. All normal social distancing rules apply.

Does my pet still need parasite treatment, and how do I get it?

Yes worm, flea and tick treatment is still as important, maybe even more so if you are in more contact with your pets and walks are restricted. We can post routine treatments to you or you can collect at the clinic. Be aware that we must reduce the numbers of people at the clinic as much as possible so please follow our current advice for visiting the practice.

What if my pet is unwell, or injured?

Telephone the practice first, do not just come to the clinic. We will try to assess the urgency of problem by phone or arrange a video call. If we can manage the problem without examining the animal this will prevent unnecessary contact with staff etc and reduce the number of people at the clinic. If necessary, we can leave prescription medication to collect at the clinic, or send it by post, if it is not urgent. If the situation seems more serious, we will arrange a visit to the practice. Please follow current guidance on hygiene and social distancing to protect yourself and our staff. We will try to get all relevant information from you by telephone and collect your pet from the car.

What if I am self-isolating or unwell and my pet is sick?

We do not want to risk any members of staff coming into contact with Covid 19 if at all possible. Telephone the practice as above. If we think your pet needs to be examined, please try to find someone else to bring your pet to the practice, e.g. family, friend, neighbour, or pet taxi. Remember to ensure to minimise the chance of infection to the person brining your pet to the practice and tell them to wait in the car. If a house visit is necessary, we will organise the safest way to see your pet. This may require leaving your pet safely outside while we examine or collect them for treatment.

My Insurance company says my pet must be vaccinated for cover to be valid

Leading insurance companies have said they will work with vets to ensure cover is reasonable in the current circumstances.