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Are You Up to Date with Vaccinations?

29 April 2014

UK - World Immunisation Week, a campaign by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is being celebrated from April 24th-30th 2014.

The campaign’s stated aim is to promote what WHO describes as one of the world’s most powerful tools for health – the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease, reports Pet Health Info.

This campaign resonates for our pet population too.

Pet charity PDSA has reported that more than 11 million pets could die prematurely in the next decade from devastating preventable illnesses such as parvovirus, feline influenza and feline leukaemia because their owners are failing to vaccinate them, from diseases such as some cancers if they fail to get them neutered or spayed.

Their research, conducted through YouGov, showed that nearly half of UK cats, dogs and rabbits do not receive basic preventive care such as vaccinations and neutering – vital in safe-guarding their long-term health and welfare.

The PDSA’s Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report showed that around four million dogs are not vaccinated or neutered. These unvaccinated dogs risk contracting diseases such as parvovirus – a severe viral illness which commonly leads to vomiting, diarrhoea, septicaemia and eventually death.

The report also says there are up to 5.7 million unvaccinated cats in the UK that could succumb to diseases like feline leukaemia, which can overwhelm a cat’s immune system.

Nearly half the UK’s rabbit population (800,000 out of 1.7 million) have never been vaccinated, leaving them exposed to serious diseases like myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD).

Yet these are the same pets that research carried out by the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) says we talk to, sing to and dance with – that 33 per cent of owners would sleep next to if they were ill, and 40 per cent would risk their own lives to save.

ThePetSite News Desk

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