Preventable Diseases of Dogs
Canine Distemper – A highly contagious and potentially fatal viral disease, spread by discharge from the nose and eyes of infected dogs. The distemper virus attacks many organs, including the nervous system, which may be permanently damaged, even if the dog recovers.
Canine Parvovirus – A very contagious and potentially fatal disease which attacks the gastrointestinal tract and, in some instances, the heart muscles. The disease is most severe in young puppies and elderly dogs. Spread through infected feces, the highly resistant virus can remain in the environment for many months.
Infectious Canine Hepatitis – Caused by Canine Adenovirus Type I, this disease is transmitted among dogs by contact with secretions such as saliva, infected urine or feces. It causes liver failure, eye damage and respiratory problems. The severity of this disease can range from mild to fatal.
Canine Tracheobronchitis (Canine Cough) – A respiratory tract infection which is easily transmitted from one dog to another in situations such as play groups, obedience training or boarding at a kennel. Most training facilities require vaccination certification. This disease is caused by various airborne bacteria and viruses, including Canine Parainfluenza virus, Canine Adenovirus Type II and Bordetella bronchiseptica.
Leptospirosis – Is an infectious disease that can affect many animals including wildlife, rodents, dogs and people. It is a zoonotic disease, which means it can spread between animals and people. Your dog can contract the organism through direct contact with another infected animal, by eating infected meat or most commonly through contact with anything that has been contaminated by the urine of an infected animal. Most infections occur when dogs go swimming in and/or drink infected water.
Rabies – This incurable viral disease affects the central nervous system of almost all mammals, including humans. It is spread through contact with the saliva of infected animals (such as skunks, foxes, raccoons and bats) through bites or any break in the skin. Vaccination will provide your pet with a much greater resistance to rabies if it is exposed to the disease. You must be aware that there is no cure once it occurs. The State of Georgia requires that all dogs and cats three months of age or older be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian.
Preventable Diseases of Cats
Feline Leukemia (FeLV) – Infection with the Feline Leukemia Virus can result in a multitude of serious health problems for your cat- everything from cancerous conditions such as leukemia to a wide range of secondary infections caused by the destruction of the immune system. In fact, it is a leading cause of death in North American cats. After initial exposure to the virus, a cat may show no symptoms for months, if not years. Testing is available to determine the FeLV status of your cat. If he or she has not yet been infected, but is likely to come in contact with cats that are, vaccination against this potentially fatal disease is highly recommended.
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis – Just like the human common cold, the virus that causes this upper respiratory tract infection is easily transmitted from one cat to another, so vaccination is imperative if your pet will come in contact with other cats. Its symptoms may take the form of moderate fever, loss of appetite, sneezing, eye and nasal discharges. Kittens are particularly affected by this disease as is any unprotected cat. Effective treatment is limited. Even if a cat recovers, it can remain a carrier for life.
Calicivirus – This virus is another major cause of upper respiratory tract infection in cats. Widespread and highly contagious, its symptoms of fever, ulcers and blisters on the tongue and pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs) can range from mild to severe, depending on the strain of virus present. Treatment of this disease can be difficult. Even if recovery does take place, a recovered cat can continue to infect other animals, as well as experience chronic sneezing, runny eyes and severe gum disease. Vaccination is therefore tremendously important.
Feline Panleukopenia – Sometimes known as feline distemper, this disease is caused by a virus so resistant, it can survive up to one year outside a cat’s body! Therefore, as most cats will be exposed to it during their lifetimes and infection rates in unprotected cats can run as high as 90% to 100%, vaccination against this potentially fatal disease is absolutely essential. Symptoms can include listlessness, diarrhea, vomiting, severe dehydration, fever and death. Happily, the vaccine itself is very effective in preventing the disease, as treatment is very difficult.
Chlamydophila – are bacteria that infect the eyes, causing conjunctivitis. They may also infect the lungs, digestive tract, and reproductive tract. The disease is extremely contagious, especially in young kittens. Vaccination can be an important part of controlling Chlamydophila infections in multiple-cat environments. Chlamydophila can be transmitted to humans by direct contact.
Rabies – This incurable viral disease affect the central nervous system of almost all mammals, including humans. It is spread through contact with the saliva of infected animals (such as skunks, foxes, raccoons and bats) through bites or any break in the skin. Vaccination will provide your pet with a much greater resistance to rabies if it is exposed to the disease. You must be aware that there is no cure once it occurs. For this reason absolutely require that all dogs and cats, receive rabies vaccinations on a regular basis. Plus, you will definitely have to provide vaccination records if you want to travel with your dog across the United States or around the world. The rabies vaccine must be administered by a licensed veterinarian.
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