This World Veterinary Day on 27 April, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is shining a light on the importance of pet vaccination and responsible pet ownership as being essential for the health and welfare of pets.

With this year’s theme of the Value of Vaccination, World Veterinary Day is an opportunity to emphasise just how critical it is to follow veterinary advice to protect against preventable diseases.

AVA President, Dr. Paula Parker warns that the health of pets is needlessly put at risk if they haven’t had the vaccinations required to protect them against preventable diseases.

“Puppies and dogs, for instance, that have never been vaccinated are susceptible to parvovirus, with death in a high proportion of cases,” she said.

“Parvovirus is a preventable disease, however not keeping up-to-date with vaccinations can pose a serious risk to the health of these young puppies and dogs and we urge owners to ensure their dogs are routinely seen by a veterinarian.”

Some diseases are highly contagious and can be spread by oral or nasal contact with contaminated faeces, a contaminated environment or through contaminated materials.

“Once infected, animals can deteriorate quickly and the treatment and/or the management of symptoms can be very distressing for owners to bear,” said Dr. Parker.

Many species of animals need vaccination in the first months after birth and often follow-up boosters are required. Dr. Parker recommends that all pet owners should talk to their veterinarian about the best type of protection for their animal, time of the year and their region.

“Vaccination is the best protection we have against many infectious diseases, however, the duration of protection can vary. If you notice symptoms in your pet, never delay seeking advice from your veterinarian. Early intervention leads to the best outcomes,” she said.

About World Veterinary Day

World Veterinarian Day was created in 2000 by the World Veterinary Association to highlight and promote the lifesaving work performed by veterinarians around the globe. Each year, a different theme is chosen which helps pet owners to remember the importance of various aspects of animal care, and how vets can help, for example ensuring your pet’s vaccinations are up to date.