Click here to learn more.
Do you worry about distemper and rabies? Probably not. To many pet owners, these diseases seem very "last century" when it comes to things to worry about. But you can't relegate these illnesses to the history books, not yet — and maybe not ever. For veterinarians, distemper and rabies never stop being a concern, because while they may seem to be diseases from the past, they are anything but. Exposure can be lethal for your pet — and, in the case of rabies, for you too.
I was recently talking with Dr. Kate Hurley of the Koret Shelter Medicine Program at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, one of the pioneers of shelter medicine, a challenging field that’s changing the way shelter pets are treated. Dr. Hurley brought to my mind something that’s true in human medicine as well as veterinary medicine: We all have a tendancy to focus on new and emerging challenges to our health, often to the point of neglecting or even ignoring maladies that are, for the most part, completely preventable.
We do so, of course, at great risk.
Which brings me back to distemper and rabies. Dr. Hurley often gets asked about canine influenza, a justifiably scary disease discovered a few years ago among Florida’s racing greyhound population and one that is now a concern primarily along the Eastern Seaboard and in Texas and Colorado. Where canine influenza is a problem — and you should ask your veterinarian about it — there’s a vaccine that’s recommended.
But while Dr. Hurley is happy that people care enough to ask about canine influenza, she told me that she worries people take for granted an old threat that still claims many canine lives: distemper.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank You For Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
Service dogs and other pets traveling through Detroit Metro Airport can now do their business at its pup-friendly…
Bella saved her 2-week-old foal's life when she stood over her baby to shield her from the flames in their barn.
We polled Vetstreet readers and veterinary professionals to see if they drift off to sleep with their cat or dog…
Want to make some enemies in your vet’s waiting room? This funny new video from Dr. Andy Roark shows you how.
From vacuums and blenders to ceiling fans and aluminum foil, here are common and bizarre things that scare animals.
The silky-coated Burmese is a compact but heavy feline who loves to show off his impressive athletic skills.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.