(KCBS) – August is designated as National Immunization Awareness month by the Department of Health. KCBS’ Jeff Bell talks to Dr. Jack Aldridge, Director of Veterinary Services at The San Francisco SPCA, about what we need to know about vaccinations for our pets.
The adage about an “ounce of prevention” is as true for pets as it is for people and vaccination against preventable disease is the cornerstone of protection. Many of the diseases that animals are exposed to can be fatal and some of them can be passed on to humans. These are called zoonotic diseases.
An example of a zoonotic disease is rabies, which most people are familiar with, and is perhaps the most terrifying, but Leptospirosis is right up there on the “worry list.”
All animals are different in terms of which vaccinations they need. Issues such as their age, breed, environment and lifestyle are all factors. There are two general groups of vaccines to consider: core vaccines and non-core vaccines. Core vaccines are recommended for all dogs and cats, and protect against diseases found everywhere. Non-core vaccines are usually given to animals whose lifestyle or location exposes them to the risk of specific infections, for instance leptospirosis in hunting dogs or feline leukemia in young roaming cats.
At The San Francisco SPCA the minimum requirement for dogs includes rabies, distemper, hepatitis, and parvovirus, at least every three years for adult dogs. And for cats it is feline parvovirus, and two respiratory diseases, calici and rhinotracheitis, also given every three years. All outdoor cats require rabies vaccines and in some counties this is mandatory, even for indoor kitties.
Animal Update airs on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM on Sundays at 1:35 p.m., 3:35 p.m., and 9:21 p.m.
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