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The Importance of Pet Vaccines

I have been associated with the Government Hospital Mumbai, as a vet for almost a decade now. My experience has given me an opportunity to handle a variety of cases across multiple species with precision. I have come to realise that the reason for majority of the cases, is the mismanagement of vaccinations. Vaccinations are extremely important in the health life cycle of your pet.


Below mentioned are the importance of vaccinations for different diseases.

By Dr. Anoop Kumar
4 mins read - 28-October-2022
pet diseases
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Pet vaccines are important as it prevents infectious diseases and can also protect your pet against potential illnesses. Regular deworming of pets is also extremely crucial.


Diseases common to dogs:


1. Distemper - This virus is an important pathogen as almost every dog will be exposed to it over the course of its life, and diseases caused by it are always fatal. This virus attacks several organs of the body and nervous system, and these symptoms include fever, cough, vomiting, diarrhoea, discharge from eyes and listlessness. In extreme cases, death can occur between one and three weeks after infection.


2. Hepatitis - This virus is spread amongst dogs through urine, faeces and other secretions. The liver is the main affected organ and severe cases can be fatal.


3. Parvovirus - This is a highly contagious virus and spreads through faecal materials. Unfortunately this virus can survive for extended periods in the environment outside the host’s body. Infection, mainly in young puppies, causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting, which can lead to shock and death.


4. Leptospirosis - This is a disease of dogs and other mammals including humans, caused by the Leptospira bacterium which is carried by wild animals and livestock. It is typically contracted when dogs drink water from rivers, streams, puddles or ponds that have been contaminated by the urine of infected animals. This disease is fatal, as it affects the liver and kidneys, resulting in organ damage or failure. It is difficult to diagnose, hence the Leptospira bacterium is likely to remain in your dog's system unnoticed for a long time. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, lethargy, abdominal pain or increased urination. If treated early, this disease can be controlled considerably. Although organ damage is permanent.


5. Canine cough or Tracheobronchitis - More commonly, this disease is also called kennel cough. This infection causes inflammation of the lungs and respiratory organs of dogs. Most boarding kennels require vaccination against this disease.


Diseases common to cats:


1. Feline AIDS - This is caused by Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. It is not the same as HIV which causes AIDS in humans. FIV causes immune system suppression and inability to fight infection. Cats with FIV can appear healthy for years before their immune system is incapable of fighting diseases. Unfortunately, there is no cure for FIV, and all cats that go outdoors are at risk.


2. Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) - This disease attacks the immune system and death may occur within three years of infection. Cats that roam outdoors as well as cats that are in contact with other cats, are all at high risk.


3. Panleukopenia or Feline Distemper - This disease is widespread and often fatal. Since most cats will be exposed to it throughout their life, vaccination is extremely important. Common symptoms are fever, depression, vomiting, diarrhoea, and loss of appetite.


4. Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR) - This is the most common upper respiratory infection found in cats. The symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, sneezing, discharge from eyes and nose, mouth breathing, and coughing. Even when treated successfully, FVR leads to lifelong infection.


5. Feline Calicivirus (FCV) - This disease too affects the upper respiratory system. Symptoms include fever, ulcers, and blisters on the tongue. Even when treated, cats with FCV are lifelong carriers, with signs of sneezing and runny eyes.


6. Feline Chlamydiosis - It is a mild upper respiratory infection affecting the mucous membranes of the eyes, and symptoms include tearing, nasal discharge, and sometimes sneezing. If you board your cat, the risk of contracting chlamydia is increased.


Our new setup at Lifeline Clinic at Andheri, boasts of the infrastructure for your furry pals.

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