Posts from August, 2012
August is Immunization Awareness Month- are your pets fully vaccinated?
Vaccines are products that have been developed to trigger your pet’s immune system in order to prepare them to fight off future exposure to disease. Vaccines lessen or prevent the severity of infection. Many diseases that we immunize against are highly contagious and even deadly. Oftentimes even with treatment, unvaccinated pets that contract these diseases die. Some of these diseases are even zoonotic, or transmissible to people.
Pets can be exposed to disease at the grooming salon, boarding kennel, through your window screens, even by a stowaway animal in the house such as a bat, mouse, or raccoon. Even the most well behaved animal can slip out the door or be involved in a natural disaster during which their normal risk status can change. Give us a call and we can talk about which vaccines are recommended for your individual pet.
What is a cataract?
The eye contains a clear lens that helps the eye to focus. Any opacity that develops in the lens is a cataract. Very small cataracts may not cause a problem at all, but larger, cloudier opacities can cause blurry or even totally obscured vision.
If my pet’s eyes are cloudy, does that mean it has cataracts?
Most pets will start to have some hardening of the lens as they age. This results in a grayish-blue haziness to the eye. This is NOT a cataract and does not usually interfere with vision.
Why did my dog/cat develop cataracts?
Most cataracts are inherited and can occur at any age and develop at any speed in one or both eyes. Diabetes or other ocular diseases can also cause cataracts to develop.
What can be done about cataracts?
There is nothing that can be done to reverse a cataract once it has developed. For certain patients, a veterinary ophthalmologist can perform a surgery in which the lens is removed. This is a delicate and involved procedure, however it can restore vision almost completely.
What if I don’t do surgery?
Most pets do well even if they are blinded by cataracts. They should be monitored closely, however, as cataracts can lead to painful glaucoma or luxation (displacement) of the lens.
Between 3 and 4 million pets are euthanized in shelters in the United States every year. Why? Because shelters cannot place them in forever homes. While we may not be able to save them all, there are many things that can be done to put a dent in this number. Remember to spay or neuter your own pet to prevent adding to the overpopulation problem.
When it comes time to expand your furry family, don’t forget about pet adoption, either. Adopting a homeless pet often means giving that animal a second chance at life. Even if you adopt from a no-kill shelter or rescue, you are doing your part by freeing up space and resources for another animal. Make sure that you spread the word about pet adoption as well. Remind your friends and family members to make adoption an option as they look for a new pet.
Do you have an uplifting adoption story you would like to share with us? Feel free to tell us all about it in the comments section!