Vaccination, also called Immunization, is one of the most highly debated topics in pet health care. The recent debates about human vaccine safety have left many pet owners wondering whether their dogs and cats should be vaccinated. The short answer is: Yes, definitely!
Vaccinating your pets annually helps lessen the spread of infectious diseases throughout pet populations. Vaccinating against zoonotic diseases such as Rabies and Leptospirosis not only protects your pet but you as well! Approximately 59,000 people worldwide die each year from rabies. With reference to the World Health Organisation, more than 95% of rabies deaths occur in Africa and Asia, which lack successful vaccination programs. So, if you are a new or seasoned pet owner, and you do not think that you should vaccinate your pet if you wonder how often you really need to do that, this article is directed to you!
Vaccinating our animals has long been considered one of the easiest ways to help them live a long, healthy life. Pets should receive core vaccines, those medically necessary for all pets. There are different vaccines for different diseases. Algerian veterinarians recommend vaccines for the following diseases for your pet :
If it’s a Dog:
-Rabies: They cause progressive neurological problems and death, it is transmitted when an infected animal bites and can be transmitted to humans.
-Canine distemper: Affects the respiratory and nervous systems, it’s often fatal.
-Infectious hepatitis: It can lead to acute or chronic liver inflammation.
-Leptospirosis: Caused by bacteria shed in the urine of infected wild animals; pets and humans become infected by exposure to contaminated outdoor water sources and can develop kidney and liver failure.
-Parvovirus: Causes severe vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration as well as life-threatening sepsis in unprotected puppies.
If it’s a Cat :
-Feline viral rhinotracheitis(FVR): The most important of these diseases and is found worldwide, causes infectious respiratory disease and a lifelong infection.
-Panleukopenia: Causes life-threatening blood cell deficiencies, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration, as well as brain damage to kittens infected in utero.
-Rabies: required for both dogs and cats.
-Feline panleukopenia: a highly contagious, severe infection that causes gastrointestinal, immune system, and nervous system disease.
-Feline leukosis ( FeLV): It can react in different ways depending on the reactivity of its immune system. This virus can cause immunosuppression and chronic illness.
When your pet receives a vaccine, the immune system is mildly stimulated. The body recognizes the antigen (foreign substance) and responds to it by creating antibodies. If a pet is ever exposed to the real disease, his immune system is now prepared to recognize and fight it off entirely or reduce the severity of the illness.
What are the risks of vaccinating my pet?
Vaccination is a procedure that has benefits and risks. Because it stimulates the immune system, vaccines can cause allergic reactions in pets though this is relatively uncommon. Many vaccine reactions are minor and self-limiting. You might notice mild lethargy and sleepiness for about a day afterward. Some animals will be sore at the injection site as well.
Some reactions can be very serious like collapse, difficulty breathing, seizures, facial swelling, they require immediate medical attention. In that case, you should quickly go to the nearest veterinary clinic!
Vaccination is the most reliable method of disease prevention, it poses few risks. The best way to stay on schedule with vaccinations for your dog or cat is to follow the recommendations of a veterinarian you trust. And always remember that a little prevention can save you dinars in treatment and extend the life of your furry friend.
Author: Dr. Rania Boublal