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Posts Tagged ‘vaccination’

Rabbit Vaccinations: Myxomatosis and Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease

We recommend vaccinating your rabbit against Myxomatosis and Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (Strains 1 and 2). To cover against all these your rabbit will need two vaccines.  Both diseases are highly contagious between the rabbit population however easily prevented.

Myxomatosis is a virus carried by biting insects and mosquitos and can be passed on without direct contact. The symptoms include puffy eyelids, conjunctivitis within the first 7 days and swelling will extend around the eyes, ears and genital regions after 7 days.In severe cases the rabbit may die from the virus.
Rabbit viral haemorrhagic disease (RVHD) is a highly infectious disease that can affect domestic and wild rabbits. RVHD 1, the classic RVHD, has been present in rabbits for decades and vaccinated again. A new strain of RVHD (RVHD2) was first noted in France in 2010. In the last 12 months, it has become an increasing concern regarding this new strain of RVHD in the UK with confirmed cases.
This new strain is less aggressive than RVHD 1 and symptoms may appear from 3 to 9 days post exposure. Symptoms can include high temperature, lethargy, sudden bleeding from areas (nose/mouth), reduced appetite and possible seizures. Even though this strain is less aggressive if not treated can cause death in severe cases.
Myxomatosis and RVHD 1 are prevented by the administration of a combined vaccination. It takes 3 weeks post vaccination for the rabbit to build immunity to the viruses. This vaccination will provide the rabbit with 1 year immunity to the viruses.
RVHD 2 is prevented by the administration of a separate vaccination. There must be a 2 week gap between the two vaccinations and will provide immunity to the RVHD 2 strain for 1 year.
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Canine Hepatitis

This disease is caused by the virus (Canine Adenovirus 1) and the viral particles are spread from dog to another dog via faecal matter or saliva. When these particles are ingested by an unvaccinated dog, the virus will enter the bloodstream and infect the animal’s internal organs.

A milder cause of canine hepatitis will include such signs as lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, pain, jaundice, vomiting and diarrhoea. Further signs may develop including abnormal bleeding and swollen lymph glands. In severe cases of this disease the patient may experience seizures and shock.

With this disease, it can cause long lasting complications after they are infected. One complication of this disease is chronic hepatitis where there is ongoing liver damage. Another complication is ‘Blue Eye’ where the disease causes damage to the front chamber of the eye.

Unfortunately there is no cure to stop the virus. The patient would be provided supportive care and isolated from other patients as it is highly contagious to other dogs.

Vaccination can provide prevention of this disease. At Milton Keynes Veterinary Group, our practice protocol is to re-vaccinate against Canine Hepatitis on a 3 yearly basis following primary vaccinations, in accordance to vaccine manufacture guidance.
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Feline Leukaemia Virus

Feline leukaemia virus is a viral infection occurring worldwide and was first discovered in 1964.

The virus is spread in large quantities from an infected cat within their saliva, as well as faeces, urine and milk. The virus is short lived outside the infected host and will not survive in the environment for any length of time. Therefore cats are most likely to become infected through direct contact/ingestion of the virus. The virus will then to begin to replicate within tissues and spread within the animal’s immune system.

Immunosuppression is one of the biggest clinical signs of this disease, where individuals will suffer from persistent or reoccurring diseases with progressive deterioration over time. Clinical signs can vary between each individual but may include fever, lethargy, weight loss, inappetance, and persistent or reoccurring respiratory, skin and intestinal issues. In more severe cases anaemia and neoplasia may also be seen.


FELV can be diagnosed by an in-house snap test using a small blood sample.

Unfortunately as per other diseases there is no cure for this disease and therefore infected cats are managed symptomatic and with supportive therapy.

Vaccination can provide prevention of this disease. At Milton Keynes Veterinary Group, we will always discuss your pet vaccinations and your concerns. Our practice protocol is to revaccinate against Feline Leukaemia Virus on a yearly basis following primary vaccinations, in accordance to vaccine manufacture guidance.
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Canine Distemper Virus

Canine Distemper virus is a viral disease where puppies and unvaccinated dogs are most at risk. It is spread through droplets in the air which contain body fluids such as faeces, vomit, urine or respiratory excretions. The droplets are inhaled or ingested by an individual, where then the virus invades the lymphatic system and spreads through the body.

The incubation period for this virus is approximately one week and once infected most dogs will develop the disease to some extent.

Symptoms can vary with some dogs showing minimal signs including pyrexia, nasal discharge or upper respiratory signs e.g. sneezing. More severe cases may also include vomiting, depression, diarrhoea, wobbliness, seizures, paralysis or thickening of the foot pads or nose.

Unfortunately there is no specific cure or treatment for Distemper and infected cases will be provide supportive therapy to control the effects of the disease.

Vaccination is available in order to prevent this disease, this being one of the diseases routinely vaccinated against within the UK.
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Feline Infectious Enteritis

This disease is caused by feline parvovirus otherwise known as Feline Panleukopenia Virus or Feline Infectious Enteritis and is a disease threat to the feline population especially in rescue shelters. In some cases, infection can lead to a potentially fatal outcome.

It is spread by direct contact with infected faeces and indirectly via the environment. Carriers of this disease can continue to excrete the virus for at least six weeks from infection.

Unfortunately there is no cure for this virus and it is highly contagious to other individuals. Vaccination is available in order to prevent this disease, this being one of the diseases routinely vaccinated against within the UK.

We feel owners should be aware of this disease as well as the potential symptoms in order to detect the disease at an early time.


Symptoms of this disease may include:
  • Gastrointestinal signs
  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite
  • Depression
  • Anaemia
If you have any further questions regarding this disease, please don’t hesitate to contact the practice on 01908 397777.
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