Vaccination advice during the restrictions as a result of Covid-19

In accordance with advice from the British Veterinary Association, as of the 14th April 2020, we will be reintroducing vaccinations for puppies, kittens, rabbits and dogs and cats where the last vaccination was more than 15 months ago (ie 3 months or more overdue). Because we do not have the capacity to undertake all the vaccines which are due at the same time, we are going to reintroduce them in stages, starting with the most pressing, which are overdue 2nd vaccinations, followed by first vaccinations, then first annual boosters and finally adult vaccinations overdue by more than 3 months.

We will be contacting owners of pets who are due vaccinations diretly by telephone over the next few weeks, so if your pet fits the criteria above, please do not contact us directly as our phone lines are very busy. If you do have a query, please contact us by email and we will respond promptly.

Below is some information on delaying vaccinations and how they will impact immunity as well as some guidelines on how to manage your pet during this time. The advice on immunity has been issued by MSD, the largest supplier of pet vaccines in the UK. We hope that this will give you some reassurance and we will keep you updated as soon as there are any changes. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via reception@hawthornvets.co.uk.

Puppy Vaccinations:

  • If your puppy has not yet received its initial vaccine, with current social distancing regulations in force, the amount of contact your puppy is allowed with other dogs is going to be significantly reduced. We would advise keeping your puppy in your enclosed garden only, not allowing contact with any unvaccinated dogs.
  • Dogs from the same household are fine to interact with each other.

  • Do not allow other dogs into your house if vaccine status is unknown or lapsed.
  • In terms of socialising, expose puppies to as much as possible at home, encourage enrichment with toys and exposure to noises and variable situations.

  • If your puppy has had the first part of its vaccination course, evidence suggests that up to 6 weeks can elapse between the first and second vaccines and the course will still be effective. If this interval is exceeded, we would recommend starting another primary course, any additional vaccinations will be covered by the practice.

Kitten vaccines:

  • We would recommend that you do not let your kitten outside until after their vaccination course is completed, regardless of whether they have had the initial part of the vaccination or not.
  • Do not allow your kitten any access to outside before any vaccines are able to be given.
  • Avoid bringing any new cats into your household. 

  • Be mindful of stray cats loitering.
  • If your kitten has to restart their vacciation course, any additional vaccinations will be covered by the practice.

Adult dog vaccines:

  • If your dog has always been kept up to date with its vaccines, it is likely that they will keep some immunity for up to 6 months past the date it’s booster would be due. This, along with the current reduced contact due to social distancing, means this vaccine may safely be delayed for up to 6 months.
  • In the interim period, for adult dogs avoid contact with others whose vaccination status is unknown.
  • Avoid walking in highly populated areas or areas with high footfall (beaches, public paths etc).

  • Restarting a primary course is recommended if they lapsed by more than 6 months - any additional vaccinations will be covered by the practice.

Adult cat vaccines:

  • If your cat has been kept up to date with its vaccines, it is likely that they will keep some immunity at least 6 months past the date their booster would be due. We would recommend that you keep your cat indoors after the date of their booster.
  • Where possible keep your cat in.
  • Restarting a primary course is recommended if they lapsed by more than 6 months - any additional vaccinations will be covered by the practice.

Rabies Vaccination:

  • As Rabies is not found in the UK this is not considered an essential vaccination at the moment. Pet travel from January 2021 may require alternative vaccination protocols, so we feel that you are unlikely to be disadvantaged by delaying this vaccination.

Rabbit vaccinations:

  • If your rabbit’s vaccinations become overdue, we would advise you to move your rabbit(s) indoors to prevent contact from wild rabbits and use appropriate insecticides/repellents (eg. Rearguard) to repel mosquitoes. If this is not possible, cover the hutch with fine mesh to prevent biting insect access.
  • Regularly clean hutches and disinfect between rabbits.

  • Do not bring any new rabbits into the household.

  • Where possible move rabbits indoors away from potential exposure to wild rabbits.
  • Where possible deter mosquitos.