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Posted: October 18, 2022
August is Vaccination Awareness Month! Why should you vaccinate your pet? Not only is it beneficial to their health, but to the health of the people and other animals that they may interact with.
#1: Vaccines protect against deadly transmissible diseases
Dogs and cats are vulnerable to various contagious, disease-causing organisms (i.e., pathogens) that exist naturally in the environment. Vaccination is the most effective preventive health measure against these diseases and has saved countless pets’ lives since routine vaccination became common. Thanks to vaccination, heartbreaking diseases, including parvovirus and distemper in dogs, panleukopenia (i.e., feline distemper), and leukemia in cats, are entirely preventable tragedies.
#2: Vaccines strengthen your pet’s immune system
Your pet’s initial exposure to a deadly contagious disease can happen in one of two ways:
- Natural exposure — Your pet’s immune system may recognize the virus as a foreign invader, and make specific antibodies to attack and neutralize the invasion. Alternatively, the foreign pathogen may overwhelm your pet’s immune system, resulting in no response, or a delayed response that makes your pet ill.
- Vaccination — A vaccination contains a tiny, inactivated amount of virus. The immune system studies the foreign substance and develops antibodies, without the simultaneous threat of disease. When your pet is later naturally exposed to the virus, the immune system rapidly recognizes the problem and responds immediately and effectively.
Vaccination is a safe way to stimulate your pet’s immunity without risking infection and illness. While healthy pets may fight off certain diseases naturally, most devoted pet owners would prefer not to gamble with their pet’s health.
#3: Your pet’s vaccines improve public health
Several diseases commonly vaccinated against are zoonotic (i.e., they can be passed from animals to humans). Rabies virus, which can be transmitted to humans through an infected animal’s bite, is the most well-known zoonotic example. Leptospirosis, a bacterial disease affecting the liver and kidneys, is another zoonotic threat. By vaccinating the pet population, the risk of a widespread outbreak in the pet or human population is diminished.
For example, rabies is 100 percent fatal once signs appear, so a potential outbreak could be catastrophic, making preventive vaccinations essential for animal and public health. Rabies vaccinations for pets are mandated by many state and local laws.
#4: Vaccines can extend your pet’s life
Pets may survive illness and disease, but they often suffer lifelong effects well after their recovery. Puppies and kittens often develop poorly, which leads to weakness, pain, and inability to thrive. Pets with a history of chronic illness tend to have weaker immune systems, predisposing them to additional medical conditions.
Vaccinated pets typically enjoy robust health. Puppies and kittens grow and flourish, and their successful early development helps ensure good health and resilience against disease as adults.
#5: Vaccines are cost-effective pet care
Vaccination is the most economical veterinary care available. Hospitalization and treatment bills for sick pets can quickly reach the thousands, and may still not be enough to save the pet. An entire lifetime of vaccines is far less expensive and avoids the devastating heartache, guilt, and grief of losing a pet to a preventable illness.
#6: Your pet’s vaccine examination may detect early disease and improve outcomes
When your pet visits our hospital for annual or semi-annual vaccines, their physical examination may reveal early warning signs for other, unpreventable diseases, including diabetes, cancer, thyroid disease, and osteoarthritis.
Early intervention and treatment for these diseases and many others allow your pet to live a more comfortable, pain-free life. Early treatment may delay terminal diseases, giving you additional years that you may not have had without keeping your pet up to date on their vaccinations.
#7: Vaccinations allow your pet to be social, well-mannered, and well-groomed
Boarding, training, and grooming facilities usually require certain vaccinations to use their facilities or services. Pet owners should always plan ahead for emergencies, knowing that boarding facilities and pet-sitting services likely will not accept unvaccinated or under-vaccinated pets.
Our veterinarians will make vaccine recommendations based on your pet’s age, health, vaccine record, and lifestyle. While some vaccinations, like rabies, are mandatory, our veterinarians may add or remove others from your pet’s protocol. If your pet has reacted to any vaccine in the past, let us know. Vaccine side effects are rare, and typically mild, but some pets experience an allergic reaction or gastrointestinal signs.
Vaccinations often take a back seat to the more exciting aspects of veterinary medicine. We believe “boring” appointments are the best kind, because they show your pet is in great health, and receiving the benefit of comprehensive preventive care.
Categories: adopt don't shop
Posted: August 05, 2022
Unfortunately, adopting cats in Russia isn't a traditional thing to do, so they needed rescue in other locations. One of our wonderful employees heard their story and asked ECPR if we could help. Our fabulous founder said yes of course!
After arrangements were made for the cats' vetting and travel, we were so excited to welcome some saved Russian kitties into our rescue here in Seattle!
Posted: June 09, 2022
We all hope that emergencies won't happen to us - but natural disasters and unexpected events can sometimes catch us by surprise! Our pets are completely dependent on us for their daily care and safety, so how are we prepared to look after their needs if we suddenly find that our circumstances have changed?
Today we're going to offer some tips on keeping your pet safe in case of human emergencies.
1. Tags on collars with some basic information such as your phone number are great for just-in-case situations. Many pets that get loose are quickly reunited via the convenience of a pet tag.
But what if your pet has sensitive skin and can't always wear a collar? What happens if your pet gets loose and their collar snags on something and gets torn off?
2. Microchips! The next thing that a lost pet has as his or her armor for reunification is a microchip. Any vet clinic or shelter can scan a lost pet for a chip. *PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOUR PET'S MICROCHIP INFORMATION IS CURRENT if you change phone numbers, move to a new address, etc. Very important!
3. Appoint an emergency contact! This is secondary information that should be on your pet's tag, microchip, and somewhere that a person could see in an emergency such as a sticker on your fridge, *a card in your wallet*, a tag on your key ring, or even your will. This emergency contact should be aware that they are used as such. Say, for example, you were in a car accident. A card in your wallet states that you have two dogs and a cat at your home and you live alone. The hospital personnel will then be able to get in touch with your emergency contact to help ensure that your pets are taken care of until you are well enough to return to them.
4. This is not a fun one to think about, but it's important to have a plan for your pet's future in the case of a more permanent type of emergency. If something should happen to you where you would no longer be able to care for your pet, do you have a friend, a family member, or an agreement with a rescue that would ensure your pet's safety in a permanent emergency? Do you have that stated anywhere; a will, an emergency card, your pet's secondary microchip contact?
Pets are family. Just like we would try to ensure the safety and future of human children, we need to be thinking like that in terms of our pets, as well. Let us know in the comments if you have other ideas and tips!
Next Week: Emergency KITS for pets, what to have on hand for your pet in an emergency and/or natural disaster!
Posted: June 01, 2022