When was the last time your pet received their checkup and vaccinations? If it’s over a year, it may be time to check in with your family vet!
This year, cases of Canine Parvovirus (“parvo”), Feline Panleukopenia Virus (“feline distemper”) and even Canine Distemper Virus have been diagnosed in a number of Regina pets. Each of these viruses is contagious and can cause life-threatening illness, and they are in our community. The best defense against all of these diseases is to keep your pets’ immunizations up to date.
Why does my pet need to be vaccinated?
In the same way humans are vaccinated to prevent them from developing dangerous illnesses, pets need to be vaccinated too. Diseases such as canine parvovirus, canine distemper, and feline panleukopenia can be transferred very easily should your pet come in contact with the viruses. As these diseases are all present in our community, there is a chance that your pet may be exposed during ordinary, day-to-day activities. Regular vaccinations are effective at preventing these diseases and should be a part of your pet’s routine preventative care regimen.
How Do Vaccines Work?
After a vaccine is administered to your pet, their immune system develops the ability to recognize the specific viruses and prepares to fight the virus in the case of future infection. That allows the body to immediately begin fighting against potential infection should the pet ever become exposed. The effects of immunization do not last forever and for this reason, your veterinarian will recommend a regular schedule of booster vaccinations to ensure your pet’s immunity is maintained. These boosters serve as a “reminder” to help the immune system remain ready to fight potential infections. While no single measure can fully guarantee that the pet will never become ill, vaccination is highly effective in preventing most cases of serious illness in pets exposed to the viruses discussed above.
It is particularly important for young animals to receive the full series of vaccinations recommended by your veterinarian. Prior to vaccination, animals’ immune systems are not fully prepared to fight serious infections. It is important to limit their exposure to unvaccinated animals, other animals’ waste, and to public outdoor areas until they are able to begin their vaccination schedule. Your veterinarian can provide specific recommendations for vaccinating your pet based on their age, health status, and lifestyle to achieve the best protection.
By keeping your pets’ vaccinations up to date, you are taking one of the most important steps to ensure they live a long, happy and healthy life. Consult with your family veterinarian on this and other important preventative health measures for your pet.