Vaccinate your cat to keep it healthy, veterinarian urges

National 2 minutes, 5 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

A SENIOR government veterinarian is urging cat owners in Brunei to ensure their pets are properly vaccinated to prevent them from contracting diseases or illnesses.

In a recent interview with The Brunei Times, Dr Diana Dennis, of the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood’s Livestock Industry Division, said cat owners should ensure their pets are protected from infections and worms by getting them vaccinated.

She said while most cat diseases are easily preventable, the top three illnesses commonly found amongst felines in Brunei are skin disorders, parasite infestations (worms) and flu.

Dennis said based on her years of experience in animal care, most of the cats being brought into the Terunjing animal clinic in Berakas suffer from a host of problems ranging from ticks to skin allergies due to exposure to other cats and other reasons.

“Before making the decision to open your home to a new cat, or even to provide a little food in a dish outside, you may want to consider the health impact of your decision,” she said, adding that many don’t know the impacts of exposing their pets to other animals.

“When you expose your cats to other cats living outside the house, diseases are easily transmitted,” she said.

She also said that stray cats are typically more prone to diseases compared with the average house cat.

According to Dennis, an average of 600 animals are received for treatment on a weekly basis by the Terunjing animal clinic.

She said that while most of their patients are cats, other animals, including snakes, are also often brought to the clinic.

Dennis said most of the patients contract viruses through shared food or water dishes, or by mingling with other cats that carry diseases.

“As cats play in the soil and grass, they also can pick up common worms that can multiply in their intestinal tract,” she said.

Dennis said while cats are easily exposed to infections, there are preventive measures pet owners can take to reduce the risk of their cats contracting diseases.

She said just like humans, cats exhibit symptoms when they are ill.

“Cats that are unwell tend to vomit and have a lack of appetite and also may suffer from diarrhoea,” she said, adding that cats suffering from intestinal worms tend to show a drop in appetite.

She said pet owners should get their pets vaccinated yearly, noting that shots for the most important pet diseases last three to seven years or even longer.

The Brunei Times