Vaccinations & Microchipping

Why they are important


Why vaccinate?

Make sure you protect your pets and keep them safe by staying up to date with their vaccinations annually. Every year we see cases of potentially serious diseases, such as parvovirus, leptospirosis and kennel cough in dogs and feline leukaemia virus in cats that have not been vaccinated. Many of these cases are beyond treatment. In addition, Leptospirosis is a zoonosis, meaning that it can be passed from animals to humans.

Vaccinations are an ideal time for our vets to get to know you and your pet and to discuss any concerns that you might have. We always give a full health check at vaccination, and advise about preventative health measures.

  • Routine dog vaccinations (DHLPPi)
  • Rabies
  • Kennel Cough
  • Herpes vaccination for breeding bitches
  • Cat Vaccinations
  • Rabbit Vaccinations
  • Ferret Vaccinations
  • Blood Testing to assess immune status prior to vaccination

Routine dog vaccinations (DHLPPi)

This includes the routine vaccines that protect against infectious diseases such as:

  • Parvovirus
  • Parainfluenza
  • Leptospirosis
  • Distemper
  • Infectious Hepatitis

We do not believe in the over-vaccination of dogs and provide just enough vaccine in order to protect dogs from the devastating consequences of infectious diseases. Often Vets elect to vaccinate dogs against every condition every year. However, studies have shown that this is unnecessary for many diseases following the primary vaccine course, given as a puppy. Certain vaccinations such as leptospirosis and parainfluenza do however need to be provided annually, to provide better protective immunity.

Dragon Vets' position on Leptospirosis vaccination: 

We are aware of numerous media reports concerning the safety of the ‘L4’ leptospirosis vaccine. The veterinary medicines directorate (who regulate veterinary medicines) have recently commented that the incidence of side effects associated with this vaccine is considered rare (for every 10,000 vaccinations administered, 6 reactions were reported). If reactions do occur these tend to be mild (lethargy being most frequently reported) and short-lived. It is our overall view, that given the increased number of confirmed leptospirosis cases in the South West over recent years (we have ourselves treated several cases during 2017 and 2018) and the fact that there is now a commercially available vaccine offering protection from 4 serogroups (strains) of leptospirosis rather than 2, that we offer this to all our dogs.

Notwithstanding this, we always make decisions about the individual patient, taking into account factors such as lifestyle, rural versus urban living and travel history and there are some circumstances where leptospirosis vaccination is not appropriate, or that the commercially available L2 vaccine is requested specifically by owners.

For this reason, we do keep a stock of the L2 vaccine within the practice. 


We often vaccinate dogs against Rabies in order for them to qualify for the pet passport scheme and travel within Europe. (Click here to visit the government pages on pet passports)

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a complicated syndrome involving several bacteria and viruses. One of these is protected against in the routine annual vaccination (parainfluenza).

It is possible to provide additional protection by vaccinating with Kennel cough vaccine (which protects against infection with Bordatella). There are still several bugs in the Kennel cough disease complex for which it is not possible to vaccinate, therefore, dogs who have had annual vaccination and Kennel cough vaccination, although less susceptible, are not completely protected from Kennel cough. 

Most boarding kennels will require that dogs have had their routine vaccinations and kennel cough before allowing dogs to stay with them.

Herpes vaccination for breeding bitches

Specifically for breeders, we offer the ‘fading puppy’ or herpes vaccine. This is given in two doses during pregnancy.

If you are interested in discussing dog vaccinations then call us on 01242 580324 or register online and we’d be delighted to meet you and your pet.

Cat Vaccinations

There are several preventable conditions that can be avoided in cats by following a vaccination program. Once again, we do not vaccinate unnecessarily but simply provide sufficient protection to allow cats to live long and happy lives.

We advise that all cats are vaccinated against:

  • Cat flu (herpes and calicivirus)
  • Enteritis (also known as panleukopaenia)

If your cat is to spend any time outside socialising, then we also recommend vaccinating against:

  • Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV)
  • Chlamydia

Cats may also be vaccinated against Rabies for the pet travel scheme to allow them to receive a pet passport and travel within the EU.

Rabbit Vaccinations

Myxomatosis is unfortunately increasing in Cheltenham and Gloucestershire and we do recommend that all rabbits are protected against this devastating disease.

Even if pet rabbits have no contact with wild rabbits, they are still susceptible to diseases such as Myxomatosis, which can be spread by biting insects such as midges.

We offer a combined Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD) vaccination. Boosters are required annually, and are combined with a complete health check.

It is an ideal time to discuss any concerns you may have about health, diet or weight with your vet.

Ferret Vaccinations

We routinely vaccinate Ferrets against distemper.

Blood Testing to assess immune status prior to vaccination

If you are concerned about over-vaccination or want to be re-assured that your pet is protected, then we have the facility to collect blood samples from your pet to see whether there is an adequate antibody level against many different infectious diseases.

This allows a more targeted approach to vaccination.


As of 6th April 2016 it became law for all dogs in the UK to be microchipped.

If you are not certain whether your dog is chipped, pop in and we will scan him or her and find out.

It is not yet law for cats and rabbits to be microchipped, but we are frequently called about lost cats and bunnies, so our recommendation is to microchip all pets, especially those at risk of wandering!

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