First Day : Vaccines, Wormers and Chips!

Exactly! So lets get started with our first case…. This is Archie, an 8 week old cockerpoo presented to us on our first day!

So most important question first……

Well that's good then! And probably a few nice deep breaths of his fresh-puppy smell whilst we calm down and stop freaking out about Day One.

Back to the case- a nice easy question to get us all started, which got lots of right answers!

Well done everybody! Generally 'core' vaccines for dogs are considered to be parvo, distemper and hepatitis. However, in the UK most people vaccinate against leptovirus and parainfluenzavirus as a matter of course. Common vaccines in the UK are MSD's Nobivac DHPPi (Datasheet here:  http://www.msd-animal-health.co.uk/Products_Public/Nobivac_DHPPi/090_Product_Datasheet.aspx ) and Virbac's Canigen DHPPi (Datasheet here:  http://www.noahcompendium.co.uk/Virbac_Limited/Canigen_DHPPi/-34948.html )

Let's step it up a notch…

Well done everybody! So for puppies they have their 1st vacc at 6-8 weeks, second vacc 2-4 weeks later (at least 10 weeks old), and then they can go out one week after that.
It's the same routine for dogs re-starting a course.

Both Canigen and Nobivac have now said that distemper, parvo and hepatitis only need to be boosted every 3 years, but the lepto and parainfluenza should be boosted yearly.
Practices might have different policies as to whether it's a full or a part vaccine each year, depending on the brand they use and how brave they're feeling about leaving it- check with your practice before you go out there on Day One!

And don't forget about Lepto- this is usually a 2-serovar vaccine but there are now 4-serovar alternatives available. Switchover involves the dog returning 2 weeks later for their second part of the primary course. Some practices are now using these, so make sure you know which one you are expected to use before you go out there!

A quick question from Tom to get us all panicking…… #Ishouldknowthis!

Ok, so Kennel Cough can be given at the first vacc if the owners decide they want it. Remember that the dog shouldn't be mixing until 1 week after the second vaccination, so it's OK to give it at the second vaccination instead, especially if you want the first visit to be stress-free!

But Archie's owners deside to throw you a curveball-

Well done everybody, I think we've managed to persuade them to vaccinate for the core vaccines at least… If they're still not sure you could point them towards this leaflet from the government:
 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vaccines-for-dogs-cats-advice-for-owners 
Or there's this, which is a little harder to understand but still useful:
 http://www.noah.co.uk/issues/briefingdoc/12-dogva.htm 

Archie's owners are still not sure about kennel cough though:

http://twitter.com/vetstudentblog/status/725768521528020992

Brilliant! So they should definitely vaccinate against kennel cough if they're taking little Archie anywhere he might be mixing with other dogs. Since we hope they're going to socialise him properly, this is unavoidable, and vaccinating will help him get over respiratory infections a lot quicker and get back to his happy, bouncy self (although warn them it might not stop it entirely, just reduce the severity!)

Archie's owner needs a little more convincing…

What about a swelling at the site of the injection? It's mentioned in the datasheets as being pretty common, but should be gone within a couple of weeks.

http://twitter.com/vetstudentblog/status/725770632357642242

Well done all! There's one more thing we've got to do to poor little Archie before we give him his treat and one last cuddle…

This next question caused a bit of confusion….

So Alison answered for us to be clear:

Another form? Do you think having to fill out the form is supposed to make us all want to chip to avoid drowning in paperwork? Anyway…

Just don't forget to register the chip!

Ok, onto another common first-day question….

Ok so we had a few good ideas there. It is possible to get oral wormers and flea treatments if you're concerned that the kids won't listen to their parents telling them #dontlickthedog.
It's also worth remembering that lots of the dog worms can be zoonotic and children aren't too careful about washing their hands… keeping good control of those worms is a good idea!

So here's another owner question that's a bit of a minefield:

http://twitter.com/vetstudentblog/status/725776750593060864

Remember: Allegations that fleas are becoming resistant to fipronil haven't been proven, so repeating this is not using our Evidence Based Veterinary Medicine heads! There are lots of reasons people may be finding that fipronil products "aren't working"- including not treating the environment. It's best to avoid using the words 'resistant' or saying that Fipronil is a "bad" flea treatment and instead stick to all the positive things about the alternatives.

Here's an awesome rescource about flea and wormer choice:  http://www.esccapuk.org.uk/professionals/therapies/2013%20anthelmintic%20and%20ectoparasiticide%20tables%20UK%20V2.pdf 

Thank you Alison for a great sesh and for these lasting bits of advice:

Just a reminder about cats and rabbits:

Cats:
Vaccinate from 8-9 weeks with second vaccination 3-4 weeks later (at least 12 weeks)
Vaccinate against Enteritis, calicivirus and herpesvirus. FeLV is non-core but is recommended.
Sometimes people specifically don't want the FeLV vaccine- it's a good idea to come up with some arguments for using it so that you're prepared for this situation- the other day I heard "well my cat is pedigree and the breeder said it'll kill my cat"- the vet replied "well the vaccination probably won't but catching leukemia will!"

Rabbits:
Vaccinate from 5 weeks of age
Vaccinate against myxomatosis (annually, every 6 months in high-risk areas) and viral haemorrhagic disease (annually). Combined vaccine available, if using seperate vaccines should NOT be given together- leave 2 weeks between vaccinations.
RHDV2 is new variant of viral haemorrhagic disease which is causing deaths across the UK. Nobivac RHD-myxo doesn't provide protection for this strain. A vaccination can be sourced from Germany (although is currently out of stock). It's called "Cunivac RHD" and needs a special import certificate to order.
2 injections, 3 weeks apart followed by annual boosters. Cunivac RHD doesn't provide myxo protection so does not replace the Nobivac RHD-myxo usage. Use a two week interval between vaccine types as not licensed together.