DOI: 10.3390/ani13172723 ISSN:

A Survey on Vaccination and Disease Occurrence in Municipal and Non-Profit Animal Shelters in Portugal

Sara Marques, Eduarda Gomes-Neves, Cláudia S. Baptista, Francisca R. Pereira, Adélia Alves-Pereira, Pedro Osório, Alexandra Müller
  • General Veterinary
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Few studies are available describing animal shelters in Portugal. The aim was to characterize prophylactic measures and disease occurrence in shelters with a questionnaire. The response rates of 67 shelters (42 municipal shelters, 25 associations) were compared by the Fisher’s exact test. More veterinarians answered for municipal shelters (98%) than for associations (40%; p < 0.001). Over 80% of the respondents indicated using individual medical records and routine prophylaxis. Excessive length of stay for dogs was reported by 54% of associations and 33% of municipal shelters. Management tools should be promoted to improve the situation. Puppy vaccinations were similar and a final vaccination at 16 weeks was indicated by >33% of shelters. Annual revaccination of dogs was reported more frequently by associations (88%) than municipal shelters (55%; p = 0.02). The three most reported diseases were parvovirus and mange in dogs, upper respiratory disease and panleukopenia in cats, and dermatophytosis in both species. Similar response rates for diagnostic options were obtained by both shelter types, except for distemper. Testing for feline retroviruses was indicated by most shelters (>69%), but only a few (<24%) confirmed positive test results. Clinical diagnoses should be complemented by testing. Additional information on disease occurrence should be obtained by objective monitoring.

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