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Groomers all over the country are tightening their policies and asking for updated vaccines for your pet. But why do groomers ask for shot records and what preventative medicines are they looking for? Here’s an inside look at what pet care professionals are thinking.
The Diseases and Vaccines
Vaccines are now being divided into two classes: ‘Core’ which are those medicines that should be given to every dog and ‘Noncore’ vaccines which are recommended for certain dogs. We will focus on the Core viruses and medicines because that is what many groomers require in their business.
- Canine Distemper – this is a very serious virus that is transmitted via the air and bodily fluid, such as urine. The danger in Distemper is that it mostly affects puppies less than 6 months old, however, any age can be subject to it’s infections. The most common signs are nasal and eye discharge, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, fever and seizures. The death rate is as high as 75% for the young and the old. There is no specific treatment for Canine Distemper however, the vaccine developed completely prevents your pet from contracting it.
- Parvovirus – is currently the most common infectious disorder of dogs in the United States. It is seen through bloody diarrhea and is spread through contact with feces containing the virus. Parvo is a killer and death can happen as quickly as 2 days! The most scary thing about the Parvovirus is that it can survive for up to 2 years in the environment and can attach itself to clothing, food pans and kennel floors. The vaccines for Parvo are very effective but cannot prevent every strain.
- Canine Hepatitis – is a disease of the liver and is spread through body fluids such as nasal discharge and urine. A pet that has recovered from Hepatitis can spread the virus for up to 9 months in its urine. The disease manifests itself through coughing and as it moves through the bloodstream, it can affect the eyes, liver and kidneys. Death can result in as little as 2 hours once you start to see the initial signs. It has been reported that the death happens so sudden you would have thought your pet was poisoned.
- Rabies – is the most well known of all the viruses that can affect your pet. Thankfully, the United States has done an outstanding job of nearly eradicating the disease, however, it is only through states requiring pets be vaccinated for the virus. Rabies is transmitted by an infected animal biting you or your pet. Because the virus is slow moving in the body, the average time from the bite to it infecting the brain can be as high as 8 weeks in dogs. Once infected, death is certain. There is no treatment.
Where are the Greatest Risks for Your Pet to Contract These Killer Viruses?
Unfortunately, your pet may get any number of germs just going outside to use the bathroom, however, they are at greater risk in places where more animals congregate. These places are:
- The vet’s office
- The groomers
- Boarding and daycare facilities
- Dog parks
- Public parks where pets are permitted
- Large pet chain stores
- Even clothing, accessories and hands of people that work with animals
What Steps do Pet Businesses Take to Prevent the Spread of Viruses?
Every business that works with animals must have extensive cleaning policies to lessen the chances of animals transmitting the diseases. In addition to disinfecting the grounds, all animal-related businesses must require updated vaccines. Refusal of services should be in their policies if updated vaccine records are not presented at time of drop off. This is not to turn away business but to prevent a possible outbreak.
Pet care professionals are responsible for the well-being and safety of many animals each day. As an owner, it is your responsibility to assist your groomer or daycare attendant in keeping the spread of disease to a minimum. Making sure your pet is up to date on his shots when bringing them into public places is critical to the safety of all of our pets.
So the next time your groomer asks for shots, understand that they are taking the necessary precautions to keep their business virus-free. As more companies are requiring updated vaccines, it will be harder and harder for you to find a place to bring your pet if you are not up-to-date.
If your groomer or boarding facility does NOT ask you for shots…..it might be time to consider going someplace else that requires it. Why risk your fur baby’s health, and possibly life for a pretty haircut? Be educated and ask around.
Where Can I Go to Get My Dog His Shots?
Of course, your vet’s office provide vaccines but there are always clinics, non-profit groups and mobile units that will administer vaccines at discounted rates. You can call your pet care professionals – they will know which organizations are in your area. Many will even have the calendar of events posted in their businesses. Let us be a resource for you – we care deeply about your pet.
That is, after all, why we got into this field.