Owners often rave about their pet being their best friend and a big part of family life, but many owners are failing their furry friends when it comes to protecting them from life-threatening diseases.Owners often rave about their pet being their best friend and a big part of family life, but many owners are failing their furry friends when it comes to protecting them from life-threatening diseases.
Shock statistics from PDSA reveal that many of our adored family pets are at risk from potentially life-threatening diseases - simply because they haven’t been vaccinated!
Over 50 per cent* of pets seen during a PDSA pet health survey either weren’t vaccinated at all, or hadn’t had their annual boosters - making them vulnerable to killer infections.
Vaccinations are used to prevent often fatal diseases such as parvovirus and distemper in dogs, leukaemia in cats, myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease in rabbits, plus many more.
“Vaccination is such an important part of pet ownership,” says PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Elaine Pendlebury. “Every year PDSA vets treat hundreds of pets suffering from illnesses and infections that a vaccination could have prevented. It is heart-breaking for the owners, who in many cases simply didn’t realise the dangers facing their unvaccinated pets.”
PDSA now offers discounted vaccinations to the pets of eligible clients. One client who has just got her dog, Tilly, vaccinated is Debra Armstrong from Newcastle. She says: “Keeping Tilly fit and healthy is really important to me and I was delighted to find out she could be vaccinated at a discounted rate at my local PDSA PetAid hospital.”
To help owners learn more about vaccinating their pets, PDSA has produced a FREE vaccination leaflet offering advice and guidance on protecting pets from preventable illnesses.
Elaine continues: “This free leaflet is full of useful information and we hope it will encourage pet owners to carry out a regular vaccination programme.”
The Vaccination leaflet forms part of a larger range of Responsible Pet Care leaflets produced by PDSA. These leaflets cover a variety of pet care topics including, First Aid, Diet and Nutrition and Dental care. The leaflets are available on the PDSA website, from PDSA PetAid hospitals and charity shops nationwide. Further information can be obtained by calling freephone 0800 917 2509.
Vaccination - the facts:
• It is estimated that over 80 per cent of puppies infected with the distemper virus will die from the disease.
• The highly contagious Parvovirus mainly affects dogs through ingesting (eating) the virus, but can be transmitted from the mother to unborn puppies via their blood supply. It is a very hardy virus, and can survive in the environment for over six months at room temperature!
• Some pet diseases can also affect us. Leptospirosis can cause serious diseases in people such as inflammation of the kidneys, pneumonia, and meningitis, which can prove fatal!
• In cats, feline leukaemia (FeLV) is one of the most common infectious causes of premature death in cats in the UK. It has been estimated that 8 out of 10 cats infected with FeLV will die within three years.
• Rabbits don’t fare much better, either. Viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD) is very contagious and most forms are nearly always fatal. In the acute form, the rabbit can die within a day or two of first showing symptoms.