Vets urge people to vaccinate their pets

Vets at easipetcare are urging pet owners to vaccinate their animals after seeing a rise in the numbers of dogs and cats with preventable life-threatening diseases.

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 12:43 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 12:44 pm

The warning comes as several diseases, which were once rare in the UK, are on the rise.

easipetcare Kettering Head of Practice Zara Todd says:

“Historically we’ve been good at vaccinating our pets in the UK, reducing risk of preventable diseases. It was rare for us to see cases of infections such as distemper, parvovirus and panleucopaenia, which were commonplace in 1970’s and 80’s. But in recent years we’re seeing increasing numbers of dogs and cats affected by these diseases, which can be fatal. It is extremely distressing for the pet and their owner, and for everyone involved with their care.”

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Kitten Dave who is happy now but suffered a life-threatening disease due to not being vaccinated

Vaccination rates have seen a recent dip according to the PDSA’s PAW report, down from 84% in 2016 to just 66% in 2019.

Zara Todd continued:

“This is especially worrying as disease spread is controlled by ‘herd immunity’, where at least 70% of the population must be vaccinated to prevent disease taking hold. Worryingly, we’re starting to see small outbreaks of diseases in local populations across the UK”.

The fall in pet vaccination rates is likely due in part to the growing antivaxx movement that has also seen diseases such as measles becoming more common in humans in recent years.

Vets advise that while no vaccine is 100% safe, the risks to health are much lower than the diseases they prevent.

Ms Todd was also keen to remind pet owners of the importance of booster vaccinations, adding:

“Primary vaccinations give young animals the best start in life, but if they’re not boosted regularly protection will reduce over time.”

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