August is National Immunization Awareness Month. This observance offers the opportunity to remind the community of the importance of immunization to prevent disease. Each year thousands of pets succumb to diseases that could be preventable by vaccinations.
Giving your pet regular vaccinations is the secret to a healthy pet’s life. Vaccines now cover multiple diseases like DHLPP in dogs and FVCRP in cats. These diseases can cause illness in your pet so it is important to vaccinate to reduce the risk and protect the health of your pet. Other diseases that can be vaccinated against include Bordetella which is a upper respiratory disease in dogs and Lyme disease which affects the joints of your dog.
Not only is it important to vaccinate your pet against those diseases, it is of utmost importance to vaccinate your pet against rabies. Rabies is a disease that can be transmitted to humans. This disease is capable of paralyzing the nervous system in your pet and can be spread through saliva. Rabies is preventable by vaccinating against it. The rabies virus is a fast moving virus, so if your pet is not treated soon after the symptoms appear, the prognosis is very poor. So, if your pet has been bitten by, been in a fight, or in contact with a rabid animal, it is my recommendation that you take your pet to your veterinarian for preventative care immediately
There are many symptoms to watch for in your pets. These include seizures, paralysis, difficulty swallowing, lack of muscular coordination, aggression and excessive excitability. There are now 1 year and 3 year vaccinations that are more effective and convenient. Always make sure your pets’ rabies vaccine is up to date.
In addition to rabies is protecting your pet from fleas and ticks. With the recent warm weather and the advent of summer, it is important to be aware of the diseases that can be spread by the insect and arthropod vectors like the mosquito, tick and flea. These three parasites carry a lot of diseases that not only affect your pet but also can cause sickness in you.
The mosquito-borne diseases which are spread by a bite from a mosquito include Heartworm Disease, Encephalitis, West Nile, and Yellow Fever. Heartworm disease can be fatal to dogs if left untreated, but it is easier to prevent it than treat it. The other diseases can affect humans as well with clinical signs ranging from fever to headaches to even death.
Feel free to contact us at our office to make sure that your pet is up-to-date with its vaccinations. It can be a matter of life or death.