Nowadays, the word vaccination is one that everyone is familiar with. They have long-played a role in disease control and dealing with epidemics and pandemics.
Immunizations or vaccines are essentially small injections of a killed virus/ bacteria that activate the immune system’s antibodies to fight against an infectious disease. They can only prevent a disease rather than curing it completely.
For owners of any animal, vaccinations must be their top priority. You will always hear your veterinarian emphasizing on being ‘up to date with shots’. Even animal shelters make sure pets are vaccinated before being adopted. But why is it so important?
Protection and Spread of different Diseases
With pollution increasing, it is very easy for pets to catch diseases when going outside. Already present bacteria and pathogens in the environment are responsible for this.
Similarly, if there are pets in the house that are sick, the unvaccinated ones are most at risk of catching diseases and spreading them. Zoonotic diseases, which are transmitted from animals to humans can also spread from unvaccinated animals.
Vaccination ensures that contagious diseases among pets and humans both are controlled.
- Cat diseases preventable with vaccination:
- Feline leukemia
- Heartworm disease
- Feline leukemia
- FIV infections
- Feline herpesvirus
- Feline calicivirus infection
- Dog diseases preventable with vaccination:
- Canine influenza
- Canine coronavirus
- Parvovirus infection
- Canine distemper
- Viral Hepatitis
- Kennel Cough
Production of useful Antibodies
Antibodies make up the part of the immune system that will help the pet’s body to fight off foreign particles such as viruses and bacteria.
Vaccines play a role in triggering the body to produce strong and plenty antibodies that will identify and destroy disease causing organisms. This also exhibits passive immunity in the offspring who will drink breast milk from a vaccinated mother (meaning antibodies are passed beforehand). Therefore, if the same kind of particles attack the immune system in the future, these already produced antibodies will be able to recognize them more feasibly and fight them more effectively.
This means regular vaccination serves as a reminder for the immune system to form enough protective antibodies.
Preventing past and future diseases
In the past, there were several diseases like Rabies, Q-fever and Ringworm which were prevalent in all kinds of animals – from cattle to house pets. Thanks to the invention of vaccines, vets rarely see these illnesses in pets and this has also saved millions of pets from getting ill and dying.
It is also important to note that viruses, bacteria and their strains can live in environments for prolonged periods – from months to years. There is a high chance of them resurging in animals in the future if vaccination rates drop which will only harm more animals. Thus, pet vaccination should not be put off.
Whenever a contagious disease or virus is on the rise, vaccinations aid us to slow down their spread. When at least 70% of the population is immunized against a disease or virus, herd immunity occurs. Although this is a lengthy process, periodic vaccinations can help speed it.
Lessening the burden on animal healthcare
When owners vaccinate their pets, there are few chances of diseases spreading to other species of animals and animals such as strays and seniors that are more at risk. This greatly reduces the need of pet care facilities (hospitals, medicines etc.) which are already very short and mostly privately owned organizations in Pakistan.
Unfortunately, many people (including “anti-vaxers”) fail to recognize the importance of vaccinating their children and pets which can have unforeseeable harmful effects on animal and human populations alike.
At PetsWorld Clinic, we offer at home and low cost pet vaccinations & treatments.To get your pet’s vaccination schedule and shots, book an appointment.