Top tips for vaccinating your pet


We tend to think only of humans where vaccines are concerned, assuming that pets are able to fight off any disease they may encounter. However, this is not actually the case, and there are various illnesses which could prove to be fatal for some animals if they aren’t properly protected. Your pets are at risk of catching diseases that could put their health at risk, which is why vaccinations, as with adults, are so important. Yet many people don’t bother to get their pets vaccinated, due to cost or simply a lack of understanding about its importance, which can leave them at risk of developing dangerous conditions that could put their lives at risk.

For example, distemper is passed from dog to dog and is displayed in symptoms such as a runny nose and sickness. It can even lead to twitching and fits in the animal – it can be potentially fatal if left untreated, requiring immediate veterinary attention is spotted. Likewise, canine hepatitis is extremely infectious and affects the liver of the dog. Dogs with this disease will have a high temperature, pale gums, diarrhoea and sickness, and generally seem under the weather. Again, it is potentially fatal. Parvo is a very dangerous illness for animals, leading to extreme sickness and problems with the dogs breathing and heart. Unfortunately, most dogs who catch this disease rarely survive it, even with treatment from a vet as it damages the body too much.

It’s for reasons such as this that you should get your animals vaccinated, and not just dogs. There are vaccinations for a variety of pets in order to protect them against harmful illnesses and diseases that affect their species. Many illnesses are now rarely seen amongst animals, unlike years prior when many animals became severely ill due to a lack of preventative treatments. If vaccinations increase, these levels of disease could drop even further. When puppies and kittens are born, they are generally protected from infections through their mother’s milk, as long as she has been vaccinated herself. This only lasts a few weeks though, which is why they require regular vaccinations from an early age in order to protect them. Typically, puppies are vaccinated at eight and ten weeks, kittens at nine and twelve weeks, and young pets should be given a booster at 12 months. Even rabbits require regular vaccines in order to stay healthy and protected from infection.

Dogs are generally routinely vaccinated against canine parvovirus, distemper, leptospirosis and canine hepatitis. It’s particularly important that these vaccines are given if your dog will be spending a lot of time in kennels, as they will be more prone to catching infections such as kennel cough. Cats tend to be vaccinated against feline infectious enteritis, feline herpes virus, feline calicivirus and feline leukaemia virus, however it’s advised that only cats at risk should have a vaccination for this particular disease. Rabbits should be routinely vaccinated for Myxomatosis and Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD). Older pets often need a booster shot as well, as their health declines and they are less able to defend themselves against infections. A regular check-up with your animal’s vet will ensure that they get the routine checks they require, as well as being checked for any symptoms of disease and potentially fatal ailments. Much like humans, animals are only able to fend off so many bacterial viruses, after which they need assistance in the form of medication. In order to make sure your pet stays healthy, book them in for routine check-ups each year to stay on top of their health with low cost pet vaccinations.

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