Monday, May 27, 2013

Are you an obsessed pet owner?

No, we haven't forgotten what day this is. Just bear with us - it really is a Medical Monday!

Mike, over at the UK's National Office for Animal health (NOAH) emailed us last Thursday with this cool new infographic they created.

Yes, it's fun & interesting, but read to the bottom and you'll see why we say it actually makes sense for this to be a Medical Monday post.  :-)

Our Weird & Wonderful Pet Obsessions! – An infographic by Pet Health Info


Did you see that last part, in pink? At BlogPaws last week, it was mentioned that incidents of both parvo and feline leukemia have increased in our pets significantly over the past few years.

Now, vaccinations are a touchy subject. And here in the U.S., there is great debate on whether or not an indoor-only cat, for example, should be vaccinated annually for rabies and feline leukemia when some formulations of these vaccines have been known to cause cancerous tumors to appear at the site of the injection.

And there is discussion in the veterinary community about whether or not we're over-vaccinating our pets.

We've seen how deadly parvo and FeLV can be in dogs and cats. You cannot volunteer at a shelter anywhere and not be exposed to it, to some degree! And we also recognize that most U.S. cities have laws requiring rabies vaccination in household pets. Yet we want to share with you this article on Petfinder's website that alerts you to the potential side effects vaccines can have on your pet.

There is no perfect solution.

Consider this: often the only reason a veterinarian will see a cat is because his owner brings him in for his annual rabies shot. And because cats operate in stealth mode where illnesses are concerned, it might be the only opportunity your vet will have to catch a potentially life-threatening illness before it reaches critical mass.

Bottom line: we want you to be aware of the statistics, that certain diseases easily preventable by vaccine such as parvo and feline leukemia are on the rise, and we want you to be aware of the risks. And then we urge you to discuss vaccination with your veterinarian and make the decision you feel is best for your pet.

Whatever you do, please don't forego annual exams - especially in the case of cats who all too often successfully mask such diseases as kidney failure. If caught early, diseases like these are manageable and you will be able to enjoy the love and companionship of your pet for many years to come.


  1. Well said vaccines are not expensive and are so helpful in preventing terrible illnesses. Have a marvellous Memorial Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. This is a VERY IMPORTANT post. Dad does foster sometimes with kittens and starts them right off with a set of 3 FVRCP along with wormings to get them set for adoption.
    Dad insists on a Snap Test for FLV and FIV on all cats he fosters. The group only does this on 3 month and older so he pays out of pocket to have peace of mind. Even though they have a room of their own in his sisters part of the home (Duplex) Dad wants to make sure we are safe.
    He washes up after being in the foster room or at an adoption event and also changes clothes after events.(He is an RN so knows the right way to scrub)
    He wants to remind all of this important thing to remember if you are cuddling cats from outside your own clowder.
    Dad is thinking about changing our schedule for all except Rabies as we are insiders.
    Thanks for this post
    Timmy T and family

  3. Happy Memorial Day!

    Great post. We agree that it can be touchy. Our old man isn't vaccinated anymore, but our vet is ok with that due to his age (Maestro is 18 years old now). However, we vaccinate our fosters and everyone here. Rabies is required in our area. But no FeLV vacc.

    But what makes us sad is that people DON'T get an annual checkup for their pets.....

  4. Yes, I am an obsessive kitty owner.. what makes you ask :)

    Lovely post. I am falling on the side of limiting vaccines for my clowder, but it is a discussion I have with myself every couple of months. Everyone should know the positives AND the negatives of vaccination and decide for themselves what risks they can live with.. When the conversation comes up the question I ask is what can you live with, the kitty getting an illness that could have been prevented or mitigated by a vaccine or the kitty having a side effect from the vaccine. Since I have had two major vaccine reactions in my clowder and a few minor ones in the kittens I foster, I know which risk I think is greater and which one I can live with.. but I fully accept and expect that choice is not the same for everyone.

    Asking the questions, looking for information.. that is what I advocate..

  5. There is really no hard and fast rule when it comes to vaccination. For me, I make sure they have their kitten / puppy shots followed by the first booster. Then I opt to give them once every 3 years as they are totally indoor pets. Whisky doesn't socialize with other dogs and she remains confined within our garden which is inaccessible to other dogs.

    I must admit I don't bring the kitties for annual checkups (I will work on this). Only Whisky goes for annual checkups.

  6. What a good post. We've heard that peeps are not taking their kitties and doggies to the vet regularly...but not only because of the vaccination controversy, but because of the economy as well. We get rabies once a year because rabies is required in our state and our vet does the once a year one as opposed to the every 3 year one, but we get the other vaccinations every 3 years. Based on everything she's read, the mom doesn't want to over vaccinate us. But the mom says she would take us to the vet all the time if it wasn't for the fact that we HATE going.

  7. Every cat who is supposedly strictly a housecat has or will most likely get out at sometime in its life. Why not be safe if this should happen and make sure even your inside pets are vaccinated. Purrs and hugs from the kitties at The Cat on My Head, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Josette

  8. We thought the pet obsessed stats were funny and very relatable :)

    Getting yearly vacines or not for pets does become a personal decision.Although we believe the first set of shots and booster shots for kittens and puppies are crucial, there may be a variety of reasons not to get certain shots later in their lives. We don't for example, get rabies shots because they are very hard on animals and we do not have a problem with rabies in our province.Rabies, however, does become an issue in eastern Canada so an outdoor animal would be at greater risk there.

    the critters in the cottage xo

  9. Excellent article. We lost our little brother kitty, Beignet, at 11 weeks of age from a VAS from his vaccination. The vets said it was very rare for a kitty so young to develop this cancer so quickly from the vaccination.

  10. Peep #1 dances with me. She picks me up and holds me in her arms and dances. One day I'm gonna cough up a hair ball on her, or somethin'. purrs

  11. Very important advice! We go every year to the vets, whether we need it or not. And we laughed when we saw on the chart about moms sleeping on the floor. Ceiling Cat knows, our mom has had enough of those nights with the kitties and the Girl.

  12. What a funny infographic! Vaccines are so important... especially for puppies and kittens. I really don't care much for vaccinating my 10 year old dog for Parvo because she's never going to get it, but there are other things out there I worry about.

  13. Wow, not quite the things I would do.

    I feed the cats before me. I give them better health care. I will stay sitting in a chair in discomfort oftimes when one is on my lap. I will toss treats at dinnertime even when it means I lose track of the science/nature DVD. If one is out late, I will search all night. When Iza is under the blankets and she snuggles against me with claws slightly out, I put up with it not sleeping. I clean the litterboxes endlessly (365 days x 3 litterboxes average x 43 years = 47,000+ times.

    I hope that all counts too.

  14. That was a great post, we are all up to date with out vaccinations :) xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

  15. We keep everybody up to date on vaccinations at our house - Dogs, Cats and People. We live in a rural area and our pets are allowed outside and the cats do decimate the rodent population thus rabies is a must, even for Nellie.

  16. We really appreciate how eloquently you've presented the information. You're absolutely right...all of my cats have been kings and queens of stealth. Regular exams are so very important...regardless of whether you choose to vaccinate or not.

    Well put sista!
    : )

  17. We are all overdue for vaccinations - it has been WAY more than three years since we had any. And if my human wants to get back to volunteering for a cat rescue regularly, it's a must for us!


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