At Portland Vets, we believe that vaccination is an essential aspect of maintaining your pet’s health. We use the latest and safest vaccines for each species, adjusting the frequency of vaccinations based on the latest research on virus strains, immunity and your individual pet’s lifestyle. You can book your pet in for a vaccination by calling or emailing us, or via PetsApp – just click on the widget at the bottom of our website.
Additionally, we offer antibody titre testing for dogs to determine if they have adequate immunity to certain viruses. This test is not yet available for other pets and it is not always appropriate for every dog. To find out more and to see if your dog is suitable for the test, please book an appointment with one of our vets.
To best protect your pet against a number of potentially fatal diseases that are prevalent in the UK, we have set out the sections below to give you all the information you may need.
For puppies and kittens, we recommend vaccinations after the mother’s immunity begins to fade, usually around a few weeks of age. For dogs, we recommend vaccinations for diseases such as Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, and Leptospirosis, with a thorough health check at each vaccination. For cats, we recommend vaccinations for diseases such as Feline Infectious Enteritis and Feline Leukaemia, with boosters recommended annually. Look at the sections below to find out more on each disease and the routine of the vaccination course.
At Portland Vets, we recommend vaccinations to protect dogs from the following diseases:
Leptospirosis: Contracted from the urine of rats and other dogs and present in canals, rivers, and ponds in the UK, it can also cause disease in people.
Canine Parvovirus: A hardy virus that causes severe blood vomiting and diarrhoea. It caused major epidemics in the 1970s and is still present in certain parts of the UK.
Infectious Hepatitis: Still exists in the UK but is exceptionally rare due to vaccination.
Canine Distemper: another severe, usually fatal disease that is uncommon in the UK but has had major outbreaks in Europe.
Kennel Cough: Extremely unpleasant infection that resembles whooping cough.
Rabies: Fatal disease that is not found in the UK, but vaccination is required as part of the pet travel scheme for dogs going abroad, more information on this can be found on our Pet Travel page <link to Pet Travel page>.
The following diseases can be prevented through vaccination, which will be customised to your pet’s specific risk of infection.
Kittens receive vaccinations at 9 and 12 weeks, followed by annual adult vaccinations. Scientific research has demonstrated that a single vaccine shot provides approximately 12 months of immunity in cats, hence yearly boosters are recommended.
Feline Upper Respiratory Disease (Herpesvirus and Calicivirus) – Two viruses that are very common in cats and cause symptoms ranging from eye ulcers to mouth and tongue ulcers, even pneumonia. They often lead to secondary bacterial infections and can be fatal in severe cases.
Panleukopenia (Feline Infectious Enteritis) – A virus that causes severe diarrhoea and dehydration, often resulting in death. Thanks to vaccination, this disease is now less prevalent in the UK.
Feline Leukaemia Virus – A leading cause of death in UK cat population, spread through saliva and blood from fighting. The virus weakens blood cells and bone marrow, making cats vulnerable to infections, anaemia, and cancer. Early vaccination and booster shots are required for protection, but indoor cats don’t need this vaccine.
Rabies – A fatal disease not found in the UK. Vaccination is mandatory for travel abroad under the pet passport scheme, more on which can be found on our Pet Travel page <link to Pet Travel page>.
At Portland Vets, we offer vaccinations to protect rabbits from the following diseases:
Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease 1 and 2 (VHD1 and VHD2): Another common disease of rabbits causing sudden death, sometimes presenting signs of bleeding prior to death.
Myxomatosis: A insect transmitted, fatal disease of rabbits.
Rabbit vaccinations are available from 5-7 weeks of age and require a booster every 12 months. A new vaccine combining those three diseases is available and is used as a single injection providing immunity for 12 months. If your rabbit was vaccinated before with a different vaccine, your vet will discuss the plan to switch to the single vaccine with you during the appointment.
If you have more questions then contact our nursing team.