PDSA are highlighting to pet owners the importance of vaccinating against preventable deadly diseases.
Millions of family pets are at risk from killer diseases because they are missing out on simple vaccinations. Preventable diseases such as parvovirus, leptospirosis and feline leukemia can cause widespread deaths, say vets.
Diseases prevalent in wild animal populations, such as myxomatosis in rabbits, can also spread to their domestic counterparts, usually with fatal consequences.
The latest PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report (2017) found that 6 million dogs, cats and rabbits are un-vaccinated, leaving them unprotected against dangerous illnesses.
PDSA Vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan explained: “Vets continue to see cases of preventable illnesses like parvovirus but one case is too many. It’s vital for pets to receive protection against these potentially deadly diseases. To protect our pets, all that’s needed is a simple vaccination to ensure they are not at risk. “
The PAW report has also found decreasing numbers of dogs, cats and rabbits receiving a primary vaccination course when young, which is a great concern for the health and welfare of the nation’s pets.
Dogs are usually vaccinated at eight weeks old, cats at nine weeks and rabbits from around five weeks of age. Young pets are at a much higher risk of catching diseases and, if they do get ill, it can quickly become serious.
Pets also need regular booster injections throughout their life to maintain protection. Some boosters are needed every year, other less often and in very high-risk areas, some vaccines may need to be given more frequently than every year.
The PDSA are on a mission to improve pet wellbeing through prevention, education and treatment. They are helping to ensure that pets are vaccinated and protected from preventable disease with information on their website at www.pdsa.org.uk/vacicnations.