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The only way to protect your pet from disease is to have them vaccinated. Think of it as safe, affordable insurance.
Our pets are offered protection against diseases which for centuries have been deadly killers. Vaccines have been developed to provide almost complete protection against the major viral and bacterial diseases. These vaccines are administered by your veterinarian as a series beginning at six or eight weeks.
To ensure optimum results, your pet should be healthy, free of parasites and on a good diet. Good nutrition is essential to enable the body to produce the antibodies that provide the resistance to disease.
A nursing kitten may receive some protective antibodies in its mother’s milk, but by twelve weeks that maternal protection has been depleted. During the first day or so, the mother’s milk (colostrum) contains antibodies which the young animal absorbs from its stomach directly into its bloodstream. These antibodies from the mother can interfere with the effects of vaccination and can remain in the young animal for as long as eighteen weeks. It is for this reason that your veterinarian’s expertise is required to know just when each different vaccine should be administered for optimum results.
Most vaccines require boosters and it is vital that you adhere to the schedule set out by your veterinarian. Without boosters, the immunity given by vaccination will disappear and leave your pet susceptible to diseases.
The following are certain diseases which can be controlled by vaccination.
Caused by a virus - but not the same as canine distemper. The proper name for the disease is Panleukopenia. Since most cats are likely to be exposed to Panleukopenia in their lifetime, vaccination against this illness is of key importance. It is transmitted by aerosol spray or direct contact.
Upper Respiratory Infection
Caused by a group of viruses and bacteria which attack the cat’s upper respiratory tract. It is highly contagious causing a moderate fever, sneezing, tearing, coughing and discharge from the eyes. Even if treated successfully, it can lead to a lifelong disease making vaccination extremely important. This can be transmitted by aerosol spray or direct contact.
Calicivirus is another virus that affects the upper respiratory system. The severity of the infection may vary, but symptoms most often include moderate fever, ulcers and blisters on the tongue. Even if successfully treated, cats infected can become chronic virus carriers with lifelong signs of sneezing and runny eyes. This can be transmitted by aerosol spray or direct contact.
Caused by a virus and contagious to all warm blooded animals by attacking the nervous system. It is invariably fatal once symptoms occur. The greatest incidence is in foxes, skunks and a new strain is affecting raccoons.
It is required by law that all domestic animals be vaccinated yearly in the province of Ontario.