World Veterinary Day 2013
Did you know that this Saturday is World Veterinary Day? Established in 2000 by the World Veterinary Association, this day is celebrated annually on the last Saturday of April. The idea behind the day is to celebrate the veterinary profession and highlight the global accomplishments of veterinarians. Each year a different theme is selected, with this year’s topic being “Vaccination to prevent and protect.” The goal is to raise awareness of the importance of vaccinations for disease prevention. World Veterinary Day is an international day, and the theme of vaccinations focuses on protecting both companion animals and livestock, which also helps protect people from zoonotic diseases. Veterinarians are crucial to the success of vaccination programs around the world.
While some countries are working to raise awareness of the need for pet vaccinations, here in the United States there is ready access to pet vaccinations and education about the importance of proper vaccinations for our pets. In fact, now there are growing discussions about the possible risks associated with vaccinations and optimal frequency of vaccinations. The position of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) regarding vaccinations is:
The vaccination needs of dogs and cats should be assessed at least yearly and, if appropriate, vaccination schedules should be modified on the basis of changes in the patient’s age, health status, home and travel environment, and lifestyle. Vaccinations should be considered just one component of an individualized, comprehensive preventive health-care plan based on the age, breed, health status, environment (potential exposure to harmful agents), lifestyle (contact with other animals), and travel habits of the dog or cat.
We recommend you work closely with your veterinarian and discuss your pet’s vaccination needs to establish a plan that’s optimal for your own dog or cat.