May 9, 2013

Be Kind to Animals Week (Part 5/7) – Vaccinations

By Shannon Sullivan

American Humane’s Be Kind to Animals Week has been celebrated nationally since 1915. In observance of this special week, May 5-11, Amazon CARES is running a seven part blog series addressing the major ways our organization is kind to animals.

At Amazon CARES, we encourage owners to vaccinate their dogs and cats in order to prevent disease. Many fatal diseases, such as rabies, distemper, and parvovirus, can be easily prevented simply by administering the appropriate vaccine.

A young girl and her dog at a CARES pet health event.
Rabies is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be passed from animals to humans, typically by saliva. Rabies is a virus that attacks the nervous system, eventually resulting in death.  Due to educating pet owners about the importance of vaccinations, the threat of rabies has decreased dramatically in recent years. In some areas, rabies rates have decreased by 99%!  Cases of both distemper (a virus that may present with respiratory, gastrointestinal and neurologic symptoms) and parvovirus (a fatal gastrointestinal virus) have also decreased due to the promotion of vaccinations.

Volunteers examining a dog at the Amazon CARES no-kill dog shelter.

Vaccines work by preparing an animal’s immune system should she ever come in contact with the disease. The vaccine initiates an immune response, allowing the immune system to identify and build up a defense against the disease. If the animal is ever exposed to the disease, her immune system already has a defense to combat it.

Source: CDC

The prevention of disease is much less costly than the cost of actually treating the disease. For example, in the United States a parvovirus vaccine generally costs about $20. Treating the disease, however, can cost thousands.

Understanding the importance of vaccines, Amazon CARES offers free and low-cost vaccines to pets both at our clinic in Iquitos and at mobile clinics. In September of 2012, Amazon CARES hosted a World Rabies Day event in Iquitos, offering free vaccines, nail trims, ear cleaning, and obedience lessons.

Read about Amazon CARES’ World Rabies Day event here.

Amazon CARES feels that one of the kindest things you can do for an animal is to keep them happy and healthy!

The types and frequency of vaccines your pet needs depends on your pet’s lifestyle and age. Talk to your pet’s veterinarian about the appropriate vaccine schedule for your pet.

Get your own Be Kind pic here!

Read Part 6/7 - Parasite Control for Animals and Humans Alike here!

Missed Part 4/7 - Legislation to Protect Animals? Read it here!

1 comment:

  1. A healthy body, in the heart of every one of us is always the most important..


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