Pet owners urged to vaccinate pets and ensure they stay up to date annually
With the temps rising on the rise and pets out and about the El Paso Veterinary Medical Association is urging pet parents to safeguard their furry friends with up to date vaccinations.
Local veterinarians see a spike in ill pets, especially dogs, during the warm months which are frequent in the Borderland.
As we head into summer the EPVMA tells KFOX14 there are two popular diseases that are very common and they're deadly canine illnesses that can be prevented but hard to treat.
Canine parvo -virus is one of them and it's highly contagious. It can be transmitted by any animal, person or object that comes in contact with an infected dog's feces.
The greater issue is the virus can live in the environment for months like parks, back yard and even in homes. It can survive on objects like food bowls, shoes, clothes, carpet and floors.
It's important if you've had a dog with the virus to disinfect everything to ensure it isn't passed to other dogs in the home or any canine visitors.
The virus is aggressive and it severely affects the intestinal tract while attacking white blood cells. A dog with the virus will show a variety of symptoms that include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.
The other disease that severely impacts canines is Distemper and it's another viral disease that is also highly contagious.
It is passed from dog to dog through direct contact with fresh urine, blood or saliva.
It moves quickly and affects a dog's respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous systems.
A dog with who's contracted the disease will show symptoms that include sneezing, coughing and thick mucus coming from the eyes and nose along with Fever, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and twitching.
Immediate treatment is necessary for both, unfortunately not only is it costly to treat but it's painful for canines who have contracted the disease and between the two diseases distemper has a very low survival rate.
This is why vaccinations are crucial and the best pro-active approach to preventing your canine from contracting the disease but to prevent from spreading it.
The EPVMA is encouraging pet owners to not only ensure their pets are up to date on all vaccinations this summer but see a vet annually.
"We want to encourage people to get their dogs vaccinated not only for rabies which is required but also for distemper and parvo, which are treatable diseases but are very expensive.
So vaccination is a better low cost way of treating your animals. Some of these diseases can also be passed to wild life animals and back so it really impacts a variety of animals in the borderland," said Eric Boehm, Executive Director of EPVMA.
In addition to this information Boehm encouraged new pet owners to reach out to the organization or local vets for more information on vaccinations and issued a warning.
"If you have a puppy don't take them to public places until they're fully vaccinated and 16 weeks of age. Many people don't know that they need a series of boosters so you want to make sure they have all of that in order and if you're not sure and don't have paperwork then get them started with a local vet," he said.
Lastly, he added that felines need to be vaccinated too to prevent other highly contagious diseases for the species.
The EPVMA is also working on launching a future program to help pet parents purchase low cost vaccination packages for their pets.