This World Veterinary Day on 27 April, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is shining a light on the importance of vaccination and responsible pet ownership as being essential for the health and welfare of pets.
With this year’s theme of the Value of Vaccination, World Veterinary Day is an opportunity to emphasise just how critical it is to follow veterinary advice to protect against preventable diseases.
AVA President, Dr Paula Parker warns that the health of pets is needlessly put at risk if they haven’t had the vaccinations required to protect them against preventable diseases.
“Puppies and dogs, for instance, that have never been vaccinated are susceptible to parvovirus, with death in a high proportion of cases,” she said.
“Parvovirus is a preventable disease, however not keeping up-to-date with vaccinations can pose a serious risk to the health of these young puppies and dogs and we urge owners to ensure their dogs are routinely seen by a veterinarian.”
Some diseases are highly contagious and can be spread by oral or nasal contact with contaminated faeces, a contaminated environment or through contaminated materials.
“Once infected, animals can deteriorate quickly and the treatment and/or the management of symptoms can be very distressing for owners to bear,” said Dr Parker.
Many species of animals need vaccination in the first months after birth and often follow-up boosters are required. Dr Parker recommends that all pet owners should talk to their veterinarian about the best type of protection for their animal, time of the year and their region.
“Vaccination is the best protection we have against many infectious diseases, however duration of protection can vary. If you notice symptoms in your pet, never delay to seek advice from your veterinarian. Early intervention leads to the best outcomes,” she said.