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Some Important Facts About Vaccinating Your Pet

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Giardia is a parasite easily spread from pets to people and back again. The organism causes no problem until a person or pet is stressed. It can cause persistent or intermittent gastrointestinal upset; a common symptom is diarrhea. The condition is difficult to treat and diagnose. Giardia can live in water and on toys, floors, decks and other surfaces. The parasite, once shed by an infected pet or person, is extremely hardy and can live in a moist environment for months. Therefore, Banfield doctors recommend vaccination, particularly in homes with infants, young people, seniors or those taking medication that could affect the immune system.

Rabies is always fatal. Rabies infection attacks the brain of infected pets and people. All warm-blooded mammals, including humans are susceptible. The disease is found worldwide, and is usually spread by raccoons, skunks, possums, foxes and bats. The disease is transmitted through saliva, with death generally occurring within 10 days of the onset of symptoms. Symptoms can appear up to six months after exposure.

For Cats Only:

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a highly infectious, fatal disease caused by a feline coronavirus. FIP is spread through contact with infected cat feces, saliva, blood or urine. Cats can be affected at any age. Cats in catteries, multi-cat households and outdoor cats are at highest risk. Because of the fatal nature of the disease, Banfield doctors routinely vaccinate against FIP.

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is a highly contagious disease that is always fatal. The disease can also cause other diseases in cats such as lymphoma. All cats should be tested for FeLV, but only FeLV-negative cats should be vaccinated. Vaccination is recommended for cats with a high risk of exposure, such as outdoor cats, indoor-outdoor cats, stray cats, feral cats and cats in multiple-cat households. Annual vaccination for at-risk cats is recommended.

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