Preventing the Preventable – Importance of Vaccinations

Preventing the Preventable

Importance of vaccinating pets against deadly diseases

Millions of family pets are at risk from killer diseases because they are missing out on simple vaccinations.

Preventable diseases such as parvovirus, leptospirosis and feline leukemia can cause widespread deaths, say vets. Diseases prevalent in wild animal populations, such as myxomatosis in rabbits, can also spread to their domestic counterparts, usually with fatal consequences.

The latest PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report* found that 6 million dogs, cats and rabbits are unvaccinated, leaving them unprotected against dangerous illnesses which can take hold suddenly.

PDSA Vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan explained: “Vets continue to see cases of preventable illnesses like parvovirus but one case is too many. It’s vital for pets to receive protection against these potentially deadly diseases. To protect our pets, all that’s needed is a simple vaccination to ensure they are not at risk.

“Vaccinations work by introducing harmless versions of each disease into the body, allowing the immune system to recognise the disease and work out how to fight it.”

PDSA’s PAW Report has also found decreasing numbers of dogs, cats and rabbits receiving a primary vaccination course when young, which is a great concern for the health and welfare of the nation’s pets.

Dogs are usually vaccinated at eight weeks old, cats at nine weeks and rabbits from around five weeks of age. This is called their ‘primary vaccination course’. They will usually need two injections a few weeks apart before they’re fully protected and are able to safely mix with other pets. Young pets are at a much higher risk of catching diseases and, if they do get ill, it can quickly become serious. Even if they are lucky and recover, some of these diseases can cause lifelong health issues.

Pets also need regular booster injections throughout their life to maintain their protection. Some boosters are needed every year, others less often and in very high risk areas, some vaccines may need to be given even more frequently than every year. Your vet is the best person to speak to about your pet’s vaccination plan.

Many insurance companies and boarding kennels require pets’ vaccinations to be up-to-date in order to use their services.

PDSA is helping to ensure that pets are vaccinated and protected from preventable disease. For more information about the importance of vaccinations visit

PDSA is the UK’s leading vet charity. We’re on a mission to improve pet wellbeing through prevention, education and treatment. Funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information.

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11 thoughts on “Preventing the Preventable – Importance of Vaccinations

  1. Pingback: Preventing the Preventable - Importance of Vaccinations - Katzenworld Shop

  2. GettingrealwithPTSD says:

    Before getting your pet repeat vaccinations of the same vaccine (boosters and rabies for example), ask your vet to do a Vaccine Titer Test on your pet. This tests if your pet needs a booster. Unneeded booster shots and the rabies vaccine have bad side effects, particularly when your pet does not need them. I had a lovely cat named Clementine who got cancer at the injection sight of a repeat Rabies vaccine. Protect your pet with the Titer test.

    • Marc-André says:

      Oh… did Clementine recover from that? 🙁

      And yes our vet is generally very careful with re vaccinations. Didn’t realise there was an actual test tho.

      • GettingrealwithPTSD says:

        I had the tumor removed two times and then it came back a third time and they were unable to remove it this time (i forget why) . I had to put her to sleep one day when I could tell it was finally causing her pain. She was my first cat and she was very special and I loved her dearly.

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