When it comes to vaccinations of any type there always tends to be disagreement, some parents believe that vaccinations are more harmful than beneficial and some pet owners believe the same. With that said, however, there are also some pet owners who also believe that vaccinations are nothing more than a ploy for veterinarians to make money from pet owners and that their pets do not need vaccinations at all – after all, wild animals don’t need vaccinations do they? Today we are going to take a look at the commonly asked question of whether or not your pet really does need vaccinations.
Vaccinations and Your Pet
One of the first points that we feel that it is important to cover is the fact that wild animals – including wild dogs and cats, do not receive vaccinations. Wild animals do not receive vaccinations against the diseases that our domestic pets are vaccinated against and very often they succumb to these diseases, the only difference is that we as pet owners are unaware of this because they are not our pets. Wild animals do indeed contract the diseases that our pets are vaccinated against including rabies, distemper, parvovirus, Lyme disease, panleukopenia, feline calicivirus and feline leukemia. Don’t believe us? Take a look at your local rescue organizations or animal control units, these places take in wild animals on occasion in attempts to spay or neuter them for catch and release programs or in an effort to treat wounds. These organizations often find that these animals are affected by diseases that we vaccinate our own pets against, diseases that are frequently fatal. So how are these diseases contracted by wild animals? In the same ways that they are contracted by our pets!
Vaccinations for Wild Animals Are Impractical
Certainly it is not feasible to go out and vaccinate every wild animal; however, we can vaccinate our own pets against commonly known diseases to protect them and to help prevent further spread of disease among our communities.
The vaccinations that your dog or cat will require to keep them safe from illness will vary based on a number of factors that your veterinarian will be able to go over with you. Namely, these factors will include your pet’s age, their current health, and your geographical location. For example, some areas of the country have a particular problem with Leptospirosis and as such this has become a necessary part of the vaccination schedule for pets in these areas. Another important regulating factor in your pet’s vaccinating schedule is your pet’s overall health and age. If you have an elderly pet your veterinarian may opt to run titers (simply put, blood tests) to determine whether your pet has enough immunity built up from previous vaccinations to opt out of a specific vaccination for that specific year (you should note that local laws may limit which vaccinations can be opted out.) The important thing to know in all of these examples, however, is that the pet in question has immunity to the diseases it is most at risk for and as a responsible pet owner it is your job to ensure that this is done.
If you have any questions about your pet’s vaccinations or vaccination schedule give us a call at 919-870-7000!