Before the discovery of vaccines, countless people died of infectious diseases. So did a number of cats and dogs. Vaccinations are a great precautionary measure to prevent serious health problems before they occur. In veterinary medicine, pet vaccination is the number one defense against some of the nastiest and often fatal diseases in animals. It’s so essential to health that experts view pet vaccination as a cornerstone of preventive care.
Your pet’s immune system protects its body against foreign invaders. These include bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens that can cause disease. Specific proteins and molecular structures on the surface of these pathogens are called antigens. Your pet’s immune system defenses respond to these antigens by producing antibodies.
Here are the reasons why your pet needs vaccines:
Vaccines help prepare your pet’s immune system. This way, they can combat disease-causing microorganisms. Vaccines contain their own antigens that look like foreign invaders to the immune system but don’t actually cause disease. Introducing a vaccine to your pet’s body will mildly stimulate its immune system. Once your cat or dog has had exposure to the actual disease, its immune system will recognize the invaders. Your pet’s immune system will then work to either reduce the disease’s severity or prevent it completely.
Some diseases are zoonotic, such as rabies and leptospirosis, among others. A zoonotic disease is one that can spread between animals and people. Pet vaccinations help lower the risk of transmission. This is especially crucial if your household includes vulnerable members, such as younger, elderly, or immunocompromised individuals. Contracting rabies often leads to the mercy killing of a pet. It also results in neurological issues in both animals and humans. Leptospirosis, on the other hand, can result in liver and kidney failure. An infected animal typically transmits the bacteria through its urine. Human infection usually occurs in contaminated water, although the disease can also spread through direct contact with an infected pet’s urine.
Pet vaccinations are a lot less expensive than the cost of treating the diseases they’re designed to combat. Two life-threatening pet illnesses can be avoided entirely with vaccines. These highly contagious viral diseases are canine parvovirus and feline panleukopenia. Another very infectious disease that can be fatal is canine distemper. It’s one of the most severe health problems your four-legged best friend can get. But it’s also among the most preventable diseases.
It takes time for pets to build immunity after receiving a vaccine. So, don’t wait for an outbreak to occur before you take that scheduled trip to your veterinarian. You’d never want your beloved fur baby to be exposed before the vaccine even starts working.
To learn more about how to get your pet vaccinated, contact Noah’s Ark Pet Hospital in Amarillo, Texas at (806) 457-9922 to book an appointment.