Routine vaccinations are were initially not considered urgent. Exceptions can be made in disease outbreaks or for completion of vaccine courses if not doing so would expose that pet to risk of preventable disease.
Just like in humans, vaccination against certain diseases has been the mainstay of canine and feline preventative medicine for decades. We have been advocating the importance of vaccinations for protection of individuals and for creating a herd immunity, and they have been effective – for example, we extremely rarely see distemper or viral hepatitis in dogs in the UK these days, and we see significantly fewer cases of parvovirus, feline leukaemia and panleukopaenia.
In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, with human health being a world-wide priority, we shall need to rely on this herd immunity we’ve built up over the years to help us protect our pets. This is not our usual protocol, but is the best we can do to balance animal welfare with human health in the current situation.
Following the extension of the Lockdown in April 2020 we have modified our protocols further to minimise risk of disease outbreaks such as Parvo which would consume vast amounts of PPE better used in the NHS and also pose a risk to animal welfare.
From Tuesday 14th April we shall be offering a limited number of vaccination appointments to those animals we consider at risk. We have had confirmed leptospirosis and parvovirus in the local area just before the lockdown, as well as rabbit VHD-2 cases, and therefore dogs and rabbits would be at risk of those diseases should their vaccinations lapse. Lapse in protection is considered to be 3 months overdue in dogs, 1 month in rabbits.
Given that the lockdown is likely to continue for another several weeks, we shall resume puppy vaccinations and also offer vaccine boosters to those dogs who are approaching being 3 months overdue, and rabbits approaching 1 month overdue.
As both our staffing levels and our operating hours have been reduced in line with government guidance, we shall have to prioritise the order in which vaccines will be offered, so we shall contact you to offer you a vaccine appointment when your pet’s turn comes in the priority queue.
Thank you for your understanding, and we hope you all remain safe and well!
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