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Posted on 11-11-2014
The goal of the preventive medicine is to keep the pets safe and healthy by protecting them against serious diseases and infestations as well as to protect the Owners as some diseases and parasites can pass on to humans [ Zoonotic diseases ]. Some of these diseases are fatal and cause very serious illness that requires prolonged hospitalization.
The diseases and infestations which can be prevented by Vaccines, Deworming medications etc are classified broadly in following categories
1 Infectious diseases; There are caused by bacteria, viruses or other pathogens, common examples in dogs are Rabies, Distemper, Lyme, Leptospirosis, Kennel Cough, Canine Hepatitis, Parvovirus Gastro enteritis and Rabies, Feline Herpes/ Calici/ Panleukopenia/ Leukemia virus in Cats.
Rabies and Leptospirosis can pass on to to humans from sick pets. Lyme disease also happens in humans but transmission occurs through tick bites.
Vaccines available for Dogs: Rabies, Dappv, Kennel Cough, Lyme and Leptospirosis;
Vaccines available for Cats: Rabies, FVRCP and Leukemia.
2 Intestinal Parasites; There many types of parasites , some are microscopic and can not be seen by naked eye and some are large and can be seen in feces. Fecal tests are recommended to find out which type of infestation has happened.
Giardia, Coccidia , Cryptosporidium are microscopic, they can cause persistant diarrhea, vomiting and sometime bloody stools.
Hookworm, Whipworms can cause severe blood loss and anemia, as they suck blood , we can see puppies passing black tarry stools.
Tapeworms, roundworms can cause malnutrition, abdominal discomfort, intestinal malpositions and sometimes itchiness at back end.
Tapeworm, Giardia, roundworms can pass on to humans especially kids and senior people.
There are different kind of Deworming medications available for prevention.
3 Seasonal parasites : Heartworm, Fleas and Ticks are common infestations during the summer months. Heartworm is spread through mosquito bites, Pets can get fleas and ticks from other infested pets or whenever they go outdoor in an area infested with fleas and ticks. These infestations can be easily prevented with spot on or oral medications.
Ticks infected with Lyme disease bacteria can cause Lyme disease in pets and humans.
Preventive Medicine starts from first Puppy / Kitten visit to a Veterinarian when all the above information is shared with Owners and vaccines/ deworming/ Heartworm preventive medication is started and is continued according to protocols worked out according to age, size and need of the pets.
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