Recent media reports have been filled with information about vaccines for children. Some parents delay or refuse to vaccinate their children.
The pet owner community also has this debate, though for different reasons. One thing is certain for both: pets, just like children, rely on other people to make informed decisions about their long-term health.
Vaccines are products that stimulate immune response in pets to protect them from future diseases-causing agents.
Vaccinations can reduce the risk of developing future diseases or even prevent them altogether. Vaccination can prolong your pet’s life, improve their overall health, and save their lives if they are exposed to viruses. Some vaccines can be administered once, but others require regular boosters to maintain immunity.
There are vaccines available for dogs against distemper, parainfluenza and parvo virus.
There are several vaccinations available for cats: Panleukopenia (calicivirus), rhinotracheitis, feline leukemia (herpes), Panleukopenia), calicivirus (calicivirus), feline leukemia (rabies), Chlamydia and a few others that are less common.
The recommended vaccinations for your pet will vary depending on where you live and the risk factors that the pet is exposed to.
Large dogs that run around outside, frequent dog parks, daycares, obedience classes, and dog parks will have a greater risk of getting infected than older dogs who live alone. We don’t want to over-vaccinate pets but we must ensure they are properly protected.
Pet owners might feel that their pet is not allowed to go outside and therefore doesn’t need vaccinations. Although this may seem unrealistic, cats can wander outside frequently and may be exposed to bats, squirrels or raccoons. They should be vaccinated at least two weeks before they board in a boarding facility if they are going on vacation. This is to ensure their safety and the safety of any pets they may share with.
Because the effectiveness of vaccines gradually decreases in protection, boosters are necessary. To measure antibody levels, some people prefer to do a titer. This is possible for parvovirus and distemper. It can be costly and may not always correlate with protective immunity.
If a pet is old or has not been exposed to contagious diseases, vaccinations may not be necessary.
Rabies can be fatal and is a serious illness that can lead to death in humans. It is strongly recommended that all pets, indoors and outdoors, are vaccinated against Rabies. Unfortunately, I was there when a pet died from an infectious disease. The fact that vaccination could have prevented the death is tragically added to the tragedy. Your pet’s life depends on your ability to make the right decisions for them to live a long and happy life. Vaccinations are a simple way to fulfill that responsibility.