Vaccinations: The best protection for your pet


1. Vaccination. What is it?

Vaccination is an injection or a course of injections that protect your puppy against diseases, some of which can be fatal.

2. What does it involve?

First the vet will perform a thorough examination of your dog to make sure he or she is in good condition.

The vet will then inject the vaccine, which contains dead or weakened viruses or bacteria. This will trigger an immune response that will prevent infection with the “real” disease.

3. Is it safe?

Vaccination is considered to be very safe, with adverse reactions being extremely uncommon.

4. How many injections will my puppy need?

Previously, for puppies it used to be just two, one at 8 weeks old and one at 10 weeks old.

This has now changed to three or four injections: at 8 weeks, 10 weeks and 12 weeks old and in some cases another one at 16 weeks old.

5. Why the increase in injections?

The Leek Veterinary Clinic is committed to offering your dog the best protection available.

Leptospirosis (or Weil’s disease) is a disease that can be life threatening for both dogs and humans.

We have always vaccinated dogs against two strains of the disease (L2), but two new varieties have emerged, which have now been incorporated into the latest vaccine (L4).

With the previous version (L2) two injections two weeks apart were required, but with the new vaccine (L4) there has to be an interval of four weeks, hence one at 8 weeks old and one at 12 weeks.

6. OK, but why do I have to come at 10 weeks as well?

Leptospirosis is not the only life threatening disease we vaccinate against.

Alongside Leptospirosis we also vaccinate against Distemper, Liver infection and Parvovirus at the 8 weeks’ visit.

These three diseases will need a top up injection at 10 weeks old.

7. Could I not skip one visit for convenience?

It is possible to delay that top up injection at 10 weeks against Distemper, Liver infection and Parvovirus for two weeks and have it together with the second Leptospirosis (L4) at 12 weeks, therefore saving you one visit, and indeed some vets recommend that protocol as it is more convenient for the owner and also less work for the vets.

However, this means that the time when you can take your puppy out for walks will also be delayed by two weeks.

We know that you will want to take your puppy out for walks as soon as possible and we also know that early socialisation (meeting other dogs and humans) is extremely important for the development of your puppy.

We are convinced that owners do not mind the extra visit if it is on the best interest for their puppy and here at the Leek Veterinary Clinic we are happy to put in the extra work.

8. Right, how much extra is that going to cost me?

Not a single penny more.

The extra costs are carried by the vaccine manufacturer and us, the Leek Veterinary Clinic.

And our vaccines are most competitively priced anyway.

9. Do you recommend any other vaccinations?


Although your pup will have received two injections against Parvovirus, at 8 and 10 weeks, in rare cases antibodies passed on from the mother can prevent optimal protection.

Parvo kills!!! Therefore we recommend that at risk animals receive a 3rd parvo vaccination at 15-16 weeks old, when the maternal antibodies have disappeared.

Since we started this we have not had a single pup die from Parvovirus.


Kennelcough does not kill. But is causes infections in the nose and throat/windpipe which can be very distressing for dogs and owners alike. It is highly contagious and can be picked up anywhere where other dogs go, like the park, the village green, etc.

Not just in kennels as the name might suggest. As a matter of fact the fast majority of cases that we see have not been in kennels at all!

We therefore recommend vaccination for at risk animals.

10. I have followed your recommendations. Is that it now?

After your puppy has completed its first course of injections yearly top up boosters will be required.

11. Are you sure? I have heard that is not necessary. Are you not “over- vaccinating” my dog?

It is true that some vaccinations, like against Parvovirus for example, offer protection for more than one year. In fact we only give it every three years.

Other vaccinations, like Leptospirosis in particular, only provide protection for around a year and regular yearly booster vaccinations are essential to provide at risk dogs from contracting this potentially fatal disease.

And your annual visit comes with a full consultation and examination, which gives you the opportunity to discuss any worries and enables us to potentially pick up any problems early.

12. I have got more questions

Please! Don’t hesitate to pop in to talk to one of the staff or give us a ring.

If the nurse cannot help the vet will call you back.

After all, that’s what we are here for.

And we love it!

13. So, why should I have my puppy vaccinated at the Leek Veterinary Clinic?

¤ our vaccines offer the most up to date protection

¤ our fees are most competitive

¤ apart from vaccinations, we offer a comprehensive service including x-ray, ultrasound, surgery, blood tests…

¤ we will always get back to you to answer your questions

¤ with us your pet comes first

¤ we love what we do and we really care