National Immunization Month

by: Joni Bradshaw

Before working for Peoria Area Veterinary Group, I didn’t really think it was necessary to vaccinate your pets. I have two cats and only ever vaccinated them for rabies. Now that I have been working for the group for a little over two years I have learned that it is necessary to get all of the vaccinations. With August being National Immunization Awareness Month, I feel that it is a good time to notify people about the importance of vaccinating your pets.

My two cats’ names are Sami and Tafi and I love them to pieces, but as I said, rabies was the only vaccine that I even thought about vaccinating them for. Now, I wouldn’t imagine not doing all of the vaccinations. For indoor cats, it is recommended that you do rabies and RCPC. For outdoor cats, it is recommended that you do rabies, RCPC (which prevents rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia, and chlamydia), and feline leukemia. Since my cats are both indoor I do not vaccinate them for the feline leukemia.

Even though I currently do not have a dog, vaccinations for dogs are a lot more numerous. Dog vaccinations include the distemper, leptospirosis, rabies, bordetella, lyme and canine influenza. The distemper (abbr. DA2PP) prevents distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. Leptospirosis is a bacterium that can damage your dog’s liver and kidneys, and bordetella is more widely known as “kennel cough”. These issues may seem unlikely, but vaccinating for them will most definitely help in the long run.

From working for PAVG for over two years now, there are people out there that feel that they don’t need to vaccinate their pets for anything besides rabies. It is painful to see animals come in with conditions (such as Parvo in puppies) that could have been prevented with recommended vaccinations. Rabies is an important vaccination of course, but the other vaccines should still be considered key yearly components to maintaining your pet’s safety!