Vaccination has become a hot topic in human and veterinary medicine these days. Choosing which diseases to vaccinate against should be an informed decision owners make with the advice of their veterinarian. Your pet’s health, lifestyle and geographic region may affect which vaccinations are deemed necessary. However, there are many good reasons in favor of vaccinating your pet:
1.) It’s the Law: It’s mandatory to have your pet vaccinated against rabies in every U.S. state. Even pets kept indoors can potentially be exposed if they get out unexpectedly or an uninvited animal gets in the house (i.e. bats).
2.) Your Health: Several diseases can be transmitted from pets to humans such as Rabies and Leptospirosis. Vaccinating your pet helps reduce the risk of human infection and is especially necessary if there are young, elderly or immuno-compromised members in your household.
3.) Boarding and Doggy Daycare: If you ever plan on boarding your dog or dropping them off at doggy daycare, they must have an updated Bordatella vaccination. This vaccine protects against kennel cough, which is highly contagious among dogs. Although kennel cough is usually mild, it can sometimes lead to severe pneumonia.
4.) Risk of Lyme Disease: Lyme disease is an insidious disease spread by ticks. Lyme disease can cause low blood platelet count, joint disease and pain.
5.) Risk of Leptospirosis: Bacterial organisms in wildlife cause Leptospirosis, which can lead to liver and kidney failure. This disease can be prevented with regular vaccination.
6.) Risk of the Deadly Parvovirus: Parvovirus is a severe, life-threatening infection that causes bloody diarrhea and vomiting to the point of shock and even death. Parvo is extremely contagious and puppies are most at risk. This awful infection is almost 100% preventable with vaccination.
7.) Risk of Distemper: Distemper can cause severe neurological, dermatologic and respiratory disease. Most Dogs that contract distemper are euthanized due to the progressive nature of the disease. Distemper can be prevented with vaccination.
8.) Risk of Contracting Hepatitis: This virus can cause severe liver disease and is nearly 100% preventable with appropriate vaccinations.
9.) Risk of Rabies: Contraction of this disease nearly always results in death due to euthanasia or neurological problems in animals and people. This disease is preventable with vaccination.
10.) Vaccinating can Save Money: Most veterinary vaccinations are relatively inexpensive. Vaccinations are definitely substantially less expensive than the cost of treatment for the diseases they protect against.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Many dangerous diseases seen in dogs and cats are completely preventable with the right vaccinations. Vaccinating gives pet owners peace of mind and helps pets lead safe and healthy lives.