The British Veterinary Association has confirmed that there is a nationwide shortage affecting pet owners in the UK.
Making sure your dog is up to date with his vaccines is one of the best ways to keep him healthy, but owners have reported having delayed appointments or received letters from vets saying the booster shots would be priority.
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A practice in Essex emailed registered members last week telling them it needs to prioritize puppies, kittens and first year vaccine booster shots with others being delayed by three months.
According to the British Veterinary Association, the shortage is believed to be due to a number of reasons, including an increase in the number of pet owners during the pandemic.
This has naturally led to an increase in demand for vaccinations as well as practices dealing with a backlog of reminders that were delayed during lockdowns.
In a statement regarding the shortage, BVA President Justine Shotton said, “We have heard members anecdotally talk about a shortage of certain vaccines for pets, particularly vaccines for cats.
“We believe this is due to a number of issues, including an increase in the number of pet owners during the pandemic, leading to increased demand.
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“Veterinarians work with vaccine suppliers to manage the needs of their clients and may need to prioritize allocations.
“Your veterinarian can be in contact if delays are likely, but we would like to stress that a short-term delay should not be of concern to pets or public health.”
About 3.2 million households in the UK acquired a pet in the first year of the pandemic, according to the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association.
There has also been an increase in the number of animals abandoned or deposited in animal shelters. The Dogs Trust charity said it has seen a 35% increase in appeals related to dog abandonment in recent weeks.
People concerned about their pet’s vaccine are encouraged to contact their veterinarian and ask them what the procedure is. If he is unable to obtain the vaccine, there will usually be a delay and he should be able to explain exactly how long it will take.