by Loree Walden, Marketing Manager, Yavapai Humane Society
We all take precautions with our health by going to our annual wellness exams, taking disease prevention/vaccinations/medications, diet & exercise, and dental visits. The same should hold true for our furry family members. After all, they ARE family, and we want them around as long as possible!
I can’t stress enough the importance of vaccinating your animals. The most important vaccines are listed below, but please consult your veterinarian for the needs of your pets.
Rabies: Rabies is a fatal viral disease that attacks the nervous system and is communicable to humans. It is required by law to have a rabies vaccine and is needed to obtain a dog license, which is required in Arizona.
Distemper: Distemper is an often fatal viral disease affecting the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts and often the nervous system.
Hepatitis/adenovirus: A vaccination against adenovirus Type 2 protects against adenovirus types 1 and 2. Adenovirus type 1 causes infectious canine hepatitis, a viral disease that affects the liver and other organ systems, causing serious illness, and can be fatal. Adenovirus Type 2 causes respiratory illness and can lead to kennel cough.
Parvovirus: Canine parvovirus is a viral disease that causes severe vomiting and diarrhea and can be fatal.
Parainfluenza: Parainfluenza is a viral disease affecting the respiratory system and may contribute to the development of kennel cough.
Many parts of the nation, including Northern Arizona, have seen a surge in parvovirus and distemper. If you’ve ever Googled parvo or distemper and seen the effects it has on animals, which can be extremely painful and fatal, you’d make an appointment immediately to get them vaccinated!
One of the other most important health decisions you’ll make regarding your dog or cat is if you should have them spayed or neutered.
Spaying your female pet offers lifelong health benefits including preventing uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50% of dogs and 90% of cats.
Neutering your male pet will improve his behavior and keep him close to home, where he’s safe and loved. An unneutered male will do just about anything to find a mate including digging under a fence to escape a yard, which leaves him in danger of getting hit by a car, lost, or even killed. Also, preventing unwanted kittens and puppies helps reduce the number of cats and dogs who end up in shelters or out on the streets.
Lastly, don’t forget about your pets’ teeth.
If you can’t take them in for regular dental visits, you can use over-the-counter treats/biscuits, which also help keep their breath fresh.
Remember…prevention is more cost effective than treatment, when it comes to your pets health.