Vaccination FAQ

Please look through our Portsmouth vaccination FAQs to learn more about the importance of pet vaccinations for your animal companions. Still have questions? Contact us with any other queries at (757) 484-2733.

Questions about Portsmouth Vaccinations for Pets?

What are vaccinations for pets?

Pet vaccinations bolster your pet’s immune system to fight off certain common, dangerous diseases. During our Portsmouth pet vaccinations, we inject a serum under your pet’s skin. This serum contains either dead or partial bits of viral or bacterial pathogens—balanced to awaken your pet’s immune system to produce antibodies against those diseases, while not making your pet sick from the disease itself.

How can a pet vaccination in Portsmouth protect my pet?

Once your pet’s body produces the antibodies stimulated by our Portsmouth vaccinations, he or she becomes immune to those particular diseases. The diseases we immunize against are incredibly contagious, prevalent in our environment, extremely painful and even deadly. So every pet vaccination in is a simple, inexpensive way to prevent unnecessary suffering in pets!

What is a core pet vaccination vs. a non-core pet vaccination?

Veterinary medicine experts recognize certain vaccines your pet must have to prevent the worst, most contagious diseases. These are the core Portsmouth vaccinations for pets. Our veterinarian may also recommend a non-core vaccination for pets that have an increased risk for disease based on health problems or lifestyle activities (travel, swimming at the beach or in lakes and rivers, going into boarding or playing at dog parks, hunting, camping, fishing, etc.) Here is a general breakdown, but please talk with our veterinarian about your pet’s individual vaccination needs:

  • Core cat vaccines: rabies, feline herpesvirus, feline panleukopenia, feline calicivirus.
  • Core dog vaccines: rabies, distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, parainfluenza.
  • Non-core dog vaccination examples: Bordetella, Lyme disease, leptospirosis, borrelia burgdorferi.
  • Non-core cat vaccination examples: Bordetella, chlamydophila felis, feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukemia.

When should my kitten/puppy start Portsmouth pet vaccinations?

Puppies and kittens are extremely vulnerable to these diseases after the basic immunity from their mothers wears off around 8 weeks, so we start our series of pet vaccination in Portsmouth at that time. Pets receive the core vaccination series every 3-4 weeks up until they are about 20 weeks old. Rabies shots start at 12 weeks.

What pet vaccinations are legally required?

Rabies shots are required here in Virginia, all of the other states, and most of the world.

How often does my pet need to have boosters for Portsmouth pet vaccinations?

Call our veterinarian for an individual assessment of your pet’s vaccination schedule; rabies shots can last for 3 years, but many of the other core vaccines require a yearly booster shot. Non-core shots also have different time limits on the immunity they offer.

Does pet vaccination in Portsmouth have any side effects?

Occasionally, there may be swelling near the injection, or a mild fever. Call us if you notice any of these!


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