Vaccinations

At Portland Vets we do recommend vaccination as an important part of keeping your pet healthy. We choose the safest and most current vaccines available for each individual species and tailor the frequency of vaccination according to the latest research on immunity.

Antibody titer testing

At Portland Vets we do recommend vaccination as an important part of keeping your pet healthy. There has been much research done in recent years about the need for yearly vaccination and we do not believe in “over vaccinating”. We do however take an informed scientific approach and tailor the content of your pets vaccination to the risk profile of its lifestyle and the latest information on how long vaccines are valid for.

There are blood tests available to determine if your pet has enough immunity to fight off infections. While these may be outwardly appealing there are 2 major flaws. The first is that they do not test accurately for ALL diseases and the second is that they will only give you information about your pets immunity on that day. The blood test will not tell you if .your pet has enough cover for next week, next month or the whole year.

As such, while we are happy to provide the service,  we will not be able to guarantee that your pet is safe and will always recommend vaccinations at the scientifically proven intervals.

As long as the mother is immune, puppies and kittens are usually protected during the first few weeks of life thanks to immunity passed through the mothers milk (Colostrum). However, this immunity fades rapidly leaving the young pup or kitten susceptible to disease within a few weeks. At this point vaccination can take over from the mother in providing protection.

Vaccines are availbale for the following diseases and vaccination will be tailored to your pets particular risk of infection.
 Puppy vaccinations are given at  8weeks and 10 weeks of age and then adult vaccinations are yearly for the high risk diseases and every 3 years for the lower risk. A thorough health check is given at each vaccination.
Canine Parvovirus – A hardy virus that causes severe blood vomiting diarrhoea. It caused major epidemics in the 1970’s and remains widespread in pockets throughout teh UK. Usually fatal.
Canine Distemper – another severe usually fatal disease that is mercifully rare in the UK recently. Major outbreaks have however occured in Europe.
Infectious Hepatitis – Still exists in UK although is exceptionally rare thanks to vaccination.
Leptospirosis – Contratced from the urine of rats and/or othr dogs. Canals/rivers/ponds can be contaminated and forms ofthe disease are common and widespread in the UK including this area. It can also cause disease in people (Weil’s Disease).
Kennel Cough – Extremely unpleasant whooping cough like infection. It is rarely life threatening but very unpleasant.
Rabies – Fatal Disease not found in the UK. Vaccination is required as part of the passport scheme to take your dog abroad.
Vaccines are availbale for the following diseases and vaccination will be tailored to your pets particular risk of infection.
 Kitten  vaccinations are given at  9 weeks and 12 weeks of age and then adult vaccinations are given yearly. It has been shown that 12 months is the approximate length of immunity that the vaccine provides in an individual cat and therefore boosters are recommended annually.
Feline Infectious Enteritis (panleucopaenia) – A usually fatal virus causing bloody diarrhea and severe dehydration. Thankfully due to vaccination this disease is now much less common in the UK.
Feline herpesvirus and calicivirus (Feline upper respiratory disease or cat ‘flu) – These 2 viruses are very common and cause symptoms from eye ulcers to mouth and tongue ulcers and even pneumonia. They are often accompanied by secondary bacterial infection and can be fatal if severe.
Feline Leukaemia Virus – is a common cause of death in the UK cat population. It is transmitted by saliva and blood so fighting is a common cause of infection. FeLV attacks the blood cells and bone marrow and can make cats susceptible to infection, anaemia and cancer. Only early vaccination nad regular boosters will protect against the virus. Totally indoor cats do however not need to have this vaccination.
Rabies – Fatal Disease not found in the UK. Vaccination is required as part of the passport scheme to take your cat abroad.
Rabbits have vaccinations available as well and will protect your pets from the potentially fatal diseases that can infect out furry bunny friends. Rabbit vaccinatiosn start at 6 weeks of age and annual boosters are required.
Myxamatosis – an insect transmitted fatal disease of rabbits
Haemorhagic Viral Disease – another common disease of rabbit causing sudden death.
In 2016 we were made aware of a new strain of viral haemorrhagic disease affecting rabbits called VHD2. This virus causes bleeding problems that can present as blood in urine or faeces, just an unwell rabbit or even death without any prior signs.
There is a vaccine for this new disease and should be be used along side the current vaccine, but there needs to be a two week gap between them.

Vaccine protocol in rabbits:

1 – Nobivac VHD1 and Myxomatosis – one injection once a year

2 – Filavac – VHD2 – one injection every 6-12 months