I ended up late for my dog’s booster vaccine and now have to start the course again... is this really necessary?

Q: My working terriers (2 and 7 years old) couldn’t be vaccinated in April due to lockdown, and then I completely forgot to book them in. Now my vet says I need to restart the course. Is this necessary, and could it harm them?

VICKY PAYNE replies: Most distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus vaccines are licensed for use every three years and only require a single injection in dogs over 10 weeks to give protection. However, leptospirosis vaccines only protect for around 12 months. After 18 months, two injections are needed to ensure your dogs are protected. The leptospirosis vaccination is particularly important for terriers who work with rats and for gundogs who are often in standing water.

Leptospirosis can cause kidney failure, liver failure and bleeding problems in dogs, and it is often fatal. Treatment is expensive and requires isolation and barrier nursing, as it can be transmitted to humans (known as Weil’s disease).