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National Immunization Awareness Month

National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month, created to remind people how important it is to keep their vaccinations up to date. But that advice isn’t just for humans—it’s vital for pets as well.

Vaccinating your pet is a relatively inexpensive but very important way to protect his or her health. In addition to preventing many life-threatening illnesses, vaccinations can keep your pet and family safe from diseases prevalent in wildlife and those that can be passed to humans.

Here are the answers to three of the most frequently asked questions we get about vaccinations:

Q: Why is it important to vaccinate?

A: Vaccinations are your pet’s first line of defense and can also keep them from transmitting some diseases to your family. Scientific evidence proves that the widespread use of vaccines in the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of animals. Even diseases that have become uncommon can still be present in the environment and if pets aren’t protected, they can initiate an outbreak.

Q: Which vaccines does my pet need?

A: “Core” vaccines are those recommended—and possibly mandated by law—for most pets. Core vaccines include:

  • Rabies (dogs and cats)
  • DA2PPV – Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus 2, Parvo and Parainfluenza (dogs)
  • FVRCP – Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (cats)
  • Leptospirosis (dogs)
  • Other non-core, but highly suggested vaccinations for outdoor cats include FIV for feline immunodeficiency virus and FeLV to protect against feline leukemia. For dogs, bordetella and canine influenza (CIV) shots are a must if they frequent dog parks, boarding kennels, or any place where they’re socializing with other canines. Your Sheabel doctor may also recommend Lyme disease vaccination depending on your dog’s lifestyle.

Q: Does my indoor cat really need vaccinations?

Yes! It’s important to note that even pets who live primarily indoors should be vaccinated, as they can still be exposed to disease if they accidentally escape or are exposed to other animals in or outside the home. We can advise you about which vaccinations are right for your pet.

To update your pet’s vaccinations, call us at (859) 269-7387 to book an appointment.

National Lost Pet Prevention Month

National Lost Pet Prevention Month was created because of the epidemic of lost pets filling shelters—and the idea was to increase awareness so that fewer pets end up lost. The American Humane Association reports that more than 10 million pets are lost in the U.S. each year and that only 15 percent of dogs and 2 percent of cats in shelters without ID tags or microchips are reunited with their owners.

The most important way to prevent a heartbreaking loss is to make sure your pet is always wearing identification—or at the very least, microchipped. If your pet should become lost, here are some steps to take that will hopefully help get them back home to you sooner:

  • Call the microchip provider to verify they have current info on your pet.
  • Create lost pet posters with a clear, full-body picture of your pet. Share your pet’s picture on social media and ask your friends and family to share it. 
  • Call your local shelters, animal control and veterinary offices and inform them of your pet’s loss. Most shelters keep a running list of lost and found pets. 
  • Time is important—if your pet has only been missing for a short period of time, mobilize your friends and family to go looking on foot, which is more effective than in a vehicle.
  • Leave worn clothes and food at your door or any other entrances a pet might use so they can catch the scent if they’re nearby.

Never lose hope! Meet Moonshine (pictured below) – one of our clients was reunited with her after she had been missing for months!

Adopt-A-Cat Month

American Humane’s Adopt-A-Cat Month happens every June to create awareness of the millions of awesome adoptable felines looking for fur-ever homes in shelters and rescues across the country. Here’s 6 great reasons why you should consider adding a cat to your life (and lap)!

  1. 3.2 million carts enter shelters and rescues every year, so adopting one makes a difference!
  2. Most cats are very social—especially when you’re trying to work on the computer.
  3. Having a cat in the family can make your kids less likely to have allergies.
  4. You’ll never find any creature more appreciative of an empty box.
  5. They’re very clean and generally speaking, much lower maintenance than dogs.
  6. Catnip. Trust us on this one.

Looking to add a friendly feline to the family? Check out adoptable cats near you at!

Allergy and Asthma Awareness

It’s National Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month

May is National Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month, and while you may already be perfectly aware of your own allergies, make sure you consider your pet’s reactions to the environment as well. Grass, dust and other environmental allergens are significantly more present this time of year, and our pets can be allergic to them, too. Symptoms of allergies in pets are similar to ours and may include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Watery, itchy and/or red eyes
  • Itchy, flaky and/or red skin
  • Licking paws
  • Ear infections

If your pet has environmental allergies, your Sheabel veterinarian may suggest allergy medication. Frequent baths can remove allergens from your pet’s coat, and wiping his feet before he comes inside can keep him from tracking allergens indoors. You should also vacuum and dust your home regularly to keep it allergen-free.

If you suspect your pet is suffering from seasonal allergies, call us at (859) 269-7387.

All About Heartworm

There’s a good reason the veterinary community devotes an entire month to raising awareness of heartworm disease. Heartworm is a nasty illness that is transmitted to our companion animals by mosquitoes. It only takes one bite for a dog or cat to be infected, and, as the name suggests, heartworms live in the heart. They can also thrive in the lungs and blood vessels. Because they constrict blood flow, they can damage internal organs and cause lung disease and heart failure. 

If your dog contracts heartworms, there is a treatment regimen, but it’s harsh and expensive. Currently, there is no treatment for cats. 

At Sheabel, we’ve seen the devastating impacts of heartworm up-close. That’s why we make an effort to carry the latest and most effective preventative products available. To order a supply of heartworm preventative for your pet, give us a call at today!