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.