A message about vaccinations:
We all know how important vaccinations are for animals to prevent them from contracting certain diseases.
Still, the current restrictions placed on veterinary practices by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) make it clear that we should not be vaccinating dogs, cats or rabbits at this time.
With the current lockdown in our country, we can only justify examining and treating urgent or emergency cases. People must stay indoors to slow the spread of Coronavirus, thus protecting the public, supporting the NHS and ultimately, saving lives.
There is some concern that missing vaccinations and not completing puppy and kitten vaccination courses will leave animals open to infections. This is certainly a possibility if this was for a prolonged period or if animals are in high-risk environments.
The country is in lockdown so pets are spending less time outside and will socialise less, so the risk is reduced. To reassure you, dogs and cats receiving annual vaccinations can go over their due date by 3 months and still be well protected, with some components of the vaccine still providing protection for up to 6 months past the due date.
For puppies and kittens that have missed a first or second vaccination, we will get these done as soon as possible, but in the meantime, there are certain things that you can/should do:
- Keep all kittens indoors. This would normally be the case anyway until they are neutered at 4-6 months of age.
- Minimal dog walking – enough for some fresh air and to do their business. Avoid areas with a lot of other dogs around such as parks & avoid watercourses
- Puppy socialisation is important, but this can still be done without ‘walking’ your pup on the ground. Small pups can be carried outside and be exposed to traffic noise, the sight, smell and sound of the outdoors. If you have other dogs in the house, then this will already be helping them socialise.
- Put your pup in the car – play the radio, put on the windscreen wipers, turn the engine on. Get them used to being in the car even if you’re not going anywhere at the moment
- Practice handling your pup – touching their paws, tail and belly and looking in their mouths
- During fun training and playtime, try and play a variety of noises such as doorbells, videos of children playing, a crying baby, kitchen appliances etc. and get them used to all these noises
- There are many good online videos that you can watch for tips on training, ideas to stimulate the dog and to keep them occupied
Even though this lockdown is probably likely to go on for more than three weeks, it is likely that some veterinary services will be gradually be re-introduced and we will update you as and when this happens.
Please stay safe and stay at home.
In an emergency, for urgent advice or repeat prescriptions call 01382 810777
Remember why this is happening. The country is in lockdown.