We are often asked about the importance of vaccination in cats and dogs. At Lennox Animal Hospital our vets recommend that all dogs and cats in Toronto are regularly vaccinated because we know that vaccinations play an essential role in preventing potentially life threatening illnesses in our pets.
The vaccines we use are safe and effective and have drastically reduced the incidence of many diseases in our pets. Thanks to vaccinations, diseases like canine distemper are now rare to see in dogs. However, the virus is still carried by local wildlife, like raccoons. The Oakville and Milton Humane Society reported 250% increase in cases of canine distemper virus in raccoons in 2014. Raccoons pose a significant risk of exposing dogs to canine distemper virus.
We know that without vaccination the incidence of this illness would rise in dogs. An example of this can be seen with the current outbreak of Measles cases we are seeing in children, which has been linked to reduced Measles vaccination rates. Measles and canine distemper are closely related viruses. See more information below from Wikipedia regarding Measles.
We make our decisions on which vaccines to give your pet and how often they should be given based on the vaccine manufacturers’ recommendations, the latest studies, input from veterinary associations, and the lifestyle of the individual pet. Our vets are always happy to answer your questions about vaccination and have an open and honest discussion about which vaccines are best for your pet. Please call us anytime to set up your pet’s next vaccination appointment!
Measles, also known as morbilli, rubeola, or red measles, is a highly contagious infection caused by the measles virus. Initial signs and symptoms typically include fever, often greater than 40 °C (104.0 °F), cough, runny nose, and red eyes.
Measles is an airborne disease which spreads easily through the coughs and sneezes of those infected. It may also be spread through contact with saliva or nasal secretions. Nine out of ten people who are not immune who share living space with an infected person will catch it.
The measles vaccine is effective at preventing the disease. Vaccination has resulted in a 75% decrease in deaths from measles between 2000 and 2013 with about 85% of children globally being currently vaccinated. No specific treatment is available.
In 2011, the WHO estimated that there were about 158,000 deaths caused by measles. This is down from 630,000 deaths in 1990, thanks to preventative measures and vaccination.