Do I need to vaccinate my pet if they are strictly indoors?
It is a myth that cats and dogs that live indoors don’t need to be vaccinated against infectious diseases. While living an indoor lifestyle may be safer overall than living outdoors, important infectious diseases can find pets anyway.
Rabies Vaccine-Rabies is a human health concern, not just an animal issue. Because rabies can be transmitted to humans and is nearly universally fatal, Broward County has laws mandating rabies vaccination of all pets. Rabies is most commonly transmitted by a bite from an infected animal. Bats, skunks and raccoons are the most common source of exposure. Regardless of legal requirements, maintaining regular rabies vaccination makes good sense. Even a strictly indoor pet may sneak outside or a rabid bat finds its way inside. It is simply not worth the risk to your pet or human family members.
Distemper Vaccine-Canine Distemper virus and Feline Distemper virus and the other components known as the distemper complex are diseases against which veterinarians vaccinate their patients. Vaccination against the distemper complex is important because these diseases can be deadly. They are hardy viruses that can be brought into the home on inanimate objects like clothes and shoes. Because transmission does not require direct contact with another pet, indoor only pets can be exposed and become ill if they are not appropriately vaccinated.
Canine Bordetella Vaccine-Canine Bordetella vaccine is commonly known as the “kennel cough” vaccine. Many wish to decline this vaccination because they do not board their pet. Other scenarios that can put your dog at risk are visiting the groomer, dog park or simply going on a neighborhood walk. Another is the risk posed by a guest dog, should a family member come for a visit.
Feline Leukemia Vaccine-The current recommendation is vaccinating all kittens against Leukemia following a negative blood test. This vaccination should have a booster vaccine at the one year anniversary. At that time you can have a discussion about your cat’s lifestyle. It is important to remember that if your pet were to escape or you were to bring a new cat into the home, your pet may be exposed to the virus.
Seiler Animal Hospital is here for your pet’s needs. Call us at 954-491-1222 or stop by today to discuss your options.
Courtesy of Douglas A. Thieme Seiler Animal Hospital 2650 NE 57th Street Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308