Core and non-core vaccinations

In recent years, MSD Animal Health has pioneered a new way of looking at pet vaccination.

Rather than vaccinating every pet, every year, against every disease, we now seek to minimise the number of vaccines given - while at the same time ensuring that each pet is adequately protected against disease. This has led to the concept of core and non-core vaccines.

Core vaccines are those that every pet should receive, regardless of circumstance. These protect against diseases that are too dangerous to risk any absence of immunity.

Non-core vaccines, on the other hand, should be used when an animal’s particular lifestyle puts it at greatly increased risk. These vaccines can either be administered prior to the risk period (in much the same way as humans have jabs when travelling to certain countries); or regularly, in those animals whose lifestyle puts them permanently at risk.

This approach is likely to be extended in future as new vaccines become available.

Core vaccines

DogsParvovirus, Hepatitis, Distemper, Leptospirsosis
CatsPanleucopaenia, Feline herpes, Feline calicivirus
RabbitsMyxomatosis, Rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Non-core vaccines

AnimalDiseaseRisk categories
DogsKennel CoughBoarding kennels, shows, training classes and any cirucmstances in which dogs are in regular contact with other dogs
 Canine Herpes virusBreeding bitches
 Corona virusNone
 RabiesDogs that are travelling
CatsFeline LeukaemiaAny cat in contact with other cats
 Bordetella bronchisepticaKittens, cats in multicat households, those in contact with dogs, and cats visiting shows
 ChlamydiophilaCats in multicat households with a known history of chlamydophila infection
 RabiesCats that are travelling


core & non-core vaccinations dog & cat image