Pet vaccinations

Keeping your pet vaccinations current is a good idea according to veterinarians and animal experts.

A vaccine prepares a body’s immune system to fight disease-causing organisms. The vaccine mildly stimulates the immune system, kind of a “be prepared” scenario. If the actual disease shows up, the body’s immune system is already on alert and can react almost immediately to shut the disease down. Without the vaccine, the body needs a lot more time to react to the disease, time that may not be available.

Pets can also transmit the diseases they catch to humans. While rabies is the biggest global concern, other disease can also move from human to animal and back. Vaccinations are a firewall to prevent this kind of transmission. In other words, vaccinating your pet also protects you.

Animals are naturally curious and are going to investigate their environment in ways a person will not. That includes licking other animals in the mouth, genitals and anus. These are primary disease vector points. A visit to the nearest dog park with one infected pooch can spread the disease to many more animals because of this social contact.

Animals that go outside are also likely to come into contact with wild animals. While rabies is not a huge concern in metropolitan areas, big cities do have bats and bats are known to be a major rabies carrier. In the suburbs, foxes and the increasing threat of coyotes is a major concern. ‘Yotes carry a variety of canine diseases, all of which can be transmitted to a pet through direct contact, incidental contact and your pet stopping to snack on some ‘yore poop before you can stop him.

In the country, this is an even greater issue.

The American Animal Hospital Association’s Canine Task Force lists a few core vaccinations, canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis and rabies for dogs. Cat vaccinations are: herpesvirus 1, feline calicivirus,, feline panleukopenia virus and rabies. These are generally recognized across the globe as the minimum needed. Other countries may have additional requirements.

Other animals have a list of needed vaccinations. Check with your vet for more information.