Vaccination protects your pet against various diseases that can cause pain, distress and can even be fatal. 
By vaccinating your pet you have peace of mind, knowing that you have provided protection. As well as safeguarding your own pet, it also prevents diseases from being passed onto other animals.

What are vaccines?

Vaccines contain a harmless form of the virus or bacterium that causes a particular disease. They work by stimulating the body’s immune system to produce antibodies. If the animal is then exposed to the disease, the immune system is already ‘primed’ and ready to protect the animal.

When should I get my pet vaccinated?

Pets should receive a ‘primary’ vaccination course early in life, followed by ‘annual booster’ vaccinations throughout their life. The first vaccination of the primary course is usually given between 6-8 weeks ad then followed 2-4 weeks later with the second vaccine.

When can my puppy/kitten start to meet other animals?

Puppies and kittens should be vaccinated before they mix with other animals. It is essential for puppies for that they are allowed to socialise with other animals while they are very young, so you should get them vaccinated as soon as possible.

Which diseases do vaccines protect against?


The following diseases are regularly vaccinated against;

Parvovirus – a highly contagious viral gastroenteritis. Depression, loss of appetite, severe vomiting and diarrhoea containing blood are some of the symptoms. Death can occur very quickly.

Distemper – a highly contagious disease producing symptoms such as conjunctivitis, nasal discharge, convulsive seizures and spinal cord damage. Treatment is often ineffective.

Hepatitis – in puppies can cause sudden death, whilst adult dogs can experience, weakness, fever, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and bleeding.

Respiratory Viruses – a complex disease caused by bacterium and a virus. Affected dogs will have a hacking cough persisting for weeks. In puppies and old dogs the disease is especially contagious.

Leptospirosis – this bacterium is shed by wildlife (especially rodents) in their urine. Leptospira spread rapidly through the pet’s blood stream, usually causing high fevers, depression and joint pain. Leptospira produce powerful toxins that can attack the liver and kidneys, leading to failure of these organs. Leptospirosis can also infect people.

Rabies – this is a very important disease as it is usually fatal once symptoms become evident (both in dogs and in humans).

Dogs can also be vaccinated against Kennel Cough. This is a complex disease often associated with areas where multiple dogs come into contact with one another e.g. the kennels, puppy classes.



Cats are routinely vaccinated against ‘flu and enteritis’ which is caused by the following viruses;

Panleukopaenia – symptoms include fever, cats stop eating and become depressed and weak and this is often associated with vomiting and diarrhoea.

Feline viral respiratory disease – the vaccine protects against Calici Virus and Herpes Virus. These viruses can be passed from mother to kitten as well as between cats; symptoms include runny eyes, sneezing, fever and once cats are infected they can become lifelong carriers of these viruses.

Cats can also be vaccinated against Feline Leukaemia Virus – this is an immuno-suppressive virus that is prevalent in pockets of feral cats. Infected cats are more susceptible to other diseases as their immune systems do not work properly.


At Alphen Vet vaccinations are given after a thorough clinical examination which allows us to discuss the general health of your pet and discuss any concerns you may have. We often are able to pick up problems at an early stage, which gives us the best chance to avoid more serious consequences.