Vaccination of Your Pet – Nicety or Necessity?
Many pathogenic organisms that have been discovered decades ago still exist today in the animal kingdom. Apart from causing diseases, these organisms are remarkable opportunists by virtue of their high multiplication rates and genetic mutations. This explains why apparently novel infectious agents appear periodically . . .
Many pathogenic organisms that have been discovered decades ago still exist today in the animal kingdom. Apart from causing diseases, these organisms are remarkable opportunists by virtue of their high multiplication rates and genetic mutations. This explains why apparently novel infectious agents appear periodically (e.g. sudden appearance of canine parvovirus in the 1970’s).
Immunization entails the protection of susceptible animals against infectious diseases by administration of vaccines. Vaccination still remains the most cost-effective method to protect pets against preventable diseases.
Why vaccinate your pets?
- Prevention of pain and suffering. Every pet owner has a responsibility to ensure the well being of his/her pets. Infectious diseases cause a lot of pain and distress in affected animals (in many cases to the owner too).
- Rapid onset of diseases Some infectious diseases have a quick onset and duration and by the time the owner recognises that the animal is sick, it is already too late to treat. In fact, some diseases may be so rapid that there are no signs seen before the animal is dead.
- Zoonoses Diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans are called zoonoses. These diseases can be contracted from animals by various methods including close contact with the infected animal. Unfortunately some of these diseases can be very dangerous and may even be fatal e.g. Rabies.
- Treatment of diseases The costs of veterinary medicines, treatment and hospitalisation are ever increasing. Preventing disease and the associated discomfort and distress through vaccination is not only naturally sensible, but also cost-effective as well.
- Avoiding exposure to diseases is difficult In the real world, it is difficult to prevent your animal from being exposed to diseases. The disease-causing organisms are found in the environment (soil, water, air) and are also transmitted by direct contact between animals.
Common diseases that you can protect your pets against
This disease commonly affects young dogs and puppies. Faeces are the primary mode of spread of the infective parvoviral particles. Typical clinical signs include vomiting, smelly bloody diarrhoea, dehydration and sunken eyes.
It has more historical and clinical significance than any other dog disease. This disease occurs in puppies and younger dogs. The signs include runny noses and eyes, lack of appetite, muscle twitching and the so-called “chewing gum” mouth fits.
This disease affects mainly the liver. Infections with canine infectious hepatitis are characterised by poor appetite, painful abdomen, fever and very often pale/yellow gums.
It is one of the most well known dog diseases because it is transmissible from dogs to man. It affects the nervous system including the brain. Affected dogs become aggressive and vicious and the disease is transmitted to man mainly through a bite from an infected animal.
This is a viral infection common in puppies and younger dogs. The virus mainly affects the intestines and signs include vomiting, mucoid diarrhoea and dehydration. It may predispose affected dogs to parvovirus infection.
In dogs the disease manifests as fever, poor appetite, vomiting, dehydration, icterus and intestinal intussusceptions. This disease can also affect man.