Spring Lodge Veterinary Group in Essex | 24hr Emergency Service

The Importance of Vaccinations in Your Pet

In all mammals, antibodies in the mother’s milk protect them from becoming ill during the first few weeks of their lives. After the animal has stopped sucking from its mother this immunity reduces and they must develop their own immunity.


Owners and vets have a responsibility and duty of care to protect the animals they care for against infectious diseases by giving them vaccinations.

Your pet will require an initial course of two vaccinations and then yearly boosters to maintain levels of immunity.

Unfortunately infectious diseases are still commonplace in domestic animals and leaving your animal unvaccinated is a big risk.


Puppies have their first vaccination at 8 weeks of age and then a second vaccination two weeks after. They then require a booster vaccination every twelve months.

Dogs are vaccinated against:

  • Parvo virus
  • Distemper
  • Viral Hepititis
  • Leptospirosis
  • Parainfluenza

We still regularly see puppies with Parvovirus and would advise you to see the mothers vaccination history to ensure she has been vaccinated and can therefore pass the immunity on to her puppies.

Dogs may also require a ‘Kennel Cough’ vaccination if they are going into kennels or if they are likely to come in contact with infected dogs. This vaccine is ‘sprayed’ into the nasal passages by the vet and lasts for twelve months.


Cats receive their first vaccination at 9 weeks and then a second one at 12 weeks. They are vaccinated against:

  • Feline Upper Respiratory Tract Disease (Cat Flu)
  • Feline Panleucopaenia (Enteritis)

You can also choose to include in the vaccination:

Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV)

FeLV is a very slow developing disease so if you are rescuing an older cat we advise that you check it has been blood tested against this and FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus).

It is very easy to forget your pets yearly vaccinations or think “I need to save money so I will stop them”. This is a very risky decision as many of the above diseases are fatal and can be costly to treat if your pet contracts any of them.