My latest Wuzzy Chronicles article at Omaha.net is about dog, cat and ferret vaccines. Is everyone as excited about vaccinations as I am?? Ha! You do not have to be! But I hope this guide helps you.
During the same week that I was writing the article, friends and I were talking on #dogtalk about how absolutely horrendous we found the story of “Old Yeller” as kids. If you do not know the story, DO NOT read the book or watch the movie! In fact, I will spoil it for you so you are not tempted…the incredible Yellow Lab who just saved his kids from some possibly rabid wild animal is destroyed out of a fear of the zoonotic* potential of rabies. As I so often yell at the end of Law and Order and CSI, “Why would you make this stuff up?!?”
I made these fake vaccines just for the article and had great fun doing it! Yup, that’s red food coloring! And real vaccine vials are not really that full, as my Pet Nurses all pointed out…but I think they are prettier that way! Especially with the shiny blue and silver lids (which are also not accurately portrayed as rabies and distemper vials-again, I used them because I thought they were pretty!)
Sadly, at the time Old Yeller took place, rabies was a huge issue in America. And lest we think it is a disease of the past, a handful of human cases occur in the United States every year. And an average of 55,000 cases occur world wide every year! Fifty-five thousand people die yearly of this preventable disease!
I do not want our pendulum to swing too far in the direction of unvaccination. Thankfully, we do not commonly see many of the diseases against which we vaccinate any more. Much of that is due to strong vaccination protocols. Outbreaks inevitably occur when we let our guard down.
Vaccines do carry risks. We ought to avoid the risks as much as we can, and only use the vaccines our pets need, at the time intervals that will protect them the best. But we should not forget the incredible things vaccines do for our pets, and even for us.
A vaccine list may seem a dry topic for an article, especially one sanctioned by Wuzzy Rat! But I think the more we know about the health care of our pets, the better we are able to make wise decisions for them. Let the list be a sort of launching pad…into a discussion of vaccines, diseases, risks, whatever you would like to talk about. You, Wuzzy Rat and I can decide from there what issues Wuzzy Chronicles articles should cover in 2011!
Here is one of Wuzzy Rat’s favorite Omaha.net-Wuzzy Chronicles articles from 2010…
*zoonotic=transmissable from animals to humans