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Why vaccinate?

Vaccinations are one of the most important preventative measures you can take for the health of your dog or cat

Vaccinations help protect your pet from viral and bacterial diseases. At some time in its life, your pet may be exposed to a serious or even fatal infectious disease. Without proper vaccination, it’s left unprotected. Puppies and adult dogs are always exploring the world around them and are likely to come into contact with infectious diseases. Vaccination teaches your dog’s immune system in advance how to recognise and defend against certain important diseases, which are often incurable and can be fatal.

Many of the diseases we vaccinate against have no specific cure. Much of the veterinary treatment for these diseases only supports the animal in the hope that their immune system can overcome the infection. Vaccination means their immune system is already ready to overcome these diseases as they are encountered.

See below to find out the diseases we vaccinate for.


Canine Distemper

This infectious disease can case variable symptoms including fever, coughing, discharge from the eyes and nose, vomiting and diarrhoea and eventually cracked pads and noses. Some dogs may suffer from neurological symptoms such as seizures. Moreover, distemper is over fatal.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis

This disease attacks the liver, kidneys and lungs. Signs often include coughing, vomiting, diarrhoea and pale gums. The disease is rapid and can cause death within 24-36 hours. Some dogs can recover and then shed the virus for many months, posing a threat to other dogs. Thanks to vaccination, this disease like distemper is relatively rare.

Canine Parvovirus

This virus is highly contagious and very persistent in the environment. Dogs of all ages can becme infected but puppies are particularly susceptible. This disease often causes vomiting and diarrhoea which is generally bloody. Infected dogs are also lethargic and refuse to eat or drink. Outbreaks still regularly occur. Canine parvovirus is most often fatal.


This is a condition which can be passed on from animals to humans. It is caused by a bacteria which can be picked up from watercourses and urine and other infected animals. It targets the internal organs, in particular the liver and kidneys. Signs vary from flu-like symptoms to severe abdominal pain.

Kennel Cough

This is a highly contagious disease of the dog’s respiratory tract. Dogs of all ages can be affected and signs include a dry, harsh convulsive cough, very much like whooping cough in humans. The disease can be caused by a number of bacterial and viral agents The coughing can last for several weeks and during this time more serious complications such as pneumonia may arise. In puppies or older dogs, especially if there are any other health problems, this disease can be much worse. It is Ireland’s most widespread infectious disease in dogs. It is passed from dog to dog via airborne droplets – a case of ‘coughs and sneezes spread diseases’ – and by nose to nose contact. Every dog is at risk, however healthy. Which this disease is known as kennel cough, your pet is equally likely to encounter the disease whenever or wherever dogs can gather. This can include places lke parks, grooming parlours, housing estates, beaches all in addition to boarding kennels, shows, training classes and even in vets’ waiting rooms.


Although NI and the UK are rabies-free, dogs travelling abroad are required by law to be vaccinated against rabies. If you are considering this, please ensure your pet is vaccinated as required.


Feline Panleucopenia

This disease can affect cats of all ages, with kittens particularly at risk. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration and the disease if often fatal. This virus is passed on in the faeces and can persist for a long time in the environment.

Cat 'Flu'

Cat flu is easily transmitted from other infected cats and contaminated environments, such as cat bowls etc. Several organisms are involved and regular vaccination is required to help leep them at bay. Signs of cat flu can be similar to a human cold – it can cause a runny nose and eyes, and a sore throat. Some cats can be very severely infected with symptoms including fever and mouth ulcers.

Feline Leukaemia Virus

This viral disease can cause severe damage to the immune system and may also cause tremours. This virus is spread between cats by close contact such as grooming, fighting and sharing food and water bowls. There is no effected treatment and the only way to ensure that your cat is not at risk from this virus is to make sure it is vaccinated.