It is finally springtime in Michigan, and today animal health officials at the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development are reminding Michigan pet and livestock owners that vaccinating against common diseases can save lives, and permanently identifying animals can bring them safely home or to the market.
"Michigan law requires dogs be vaccinated against rabies before they are licensed," said State Veterinarian Dr. Steven Halstead.
"Additionally, vaccinating, deworming, properly identifying, and providing routine health care for all Michigan animals are good preventative measures," Dr. Halstead said in a statement. "Healthy pets and healthy livestock begin with routine medical attention."
In 2012, there were 61 documented cases of rabies in wild animals - 52 bats, eight skunks, and one fox.
In 2011, in addition to the typically affected animals, a dog and woodchuck were rabies positive in downstate Oakland County.
If owners of domestic animals are concerned about signs of rabies in their animals, they should contact their personal veterinarian immediately.
Core vaccines are recommended for most pets. Additional "non-core vaccines" - such as feline leukemia, canine kennel cough and other vaccines - may be appropriate if the animals are going to pet care facilities, kennels, county fairs, or shows where they will be co-mingling.
Pet and livestock owners are encouraged to have their veterinarian check for internal parasites and heartworms as they can cause severe health problems, and sometimes death.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development recommends owners speak with their private veterinarian regarding the following vaccinations:
- Rabies (required under state law).
- Canine distemper.
In addition, owners should have their dogs checked for heartworm and intestinal parasites. Some veterinarians also recommend vaccination against leptospirosis and treatment to prevent Lyme disease.
- Herpes virus.
For horses, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development requires Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) testing every 12 months if leaving the premises, as part of a sale, or importing a horse into Michigan from another state; and owners should talk to their veterinarian about the following vaccines:
- Tetanus toxoid.
- Eastern, and Western Equine Encephalitis.
- West Nile Virus.
- Rhinopneumonitis (EHV-1 and EHV-4).
Additionally, horse owners should prepare to follow these tips to prevent mosquito-borne illness:
Vaccinate your horses. Inexpensive vaccines for EEE and WNV are readily available and should be repeated at least annually. It is never too late to vaccinate horses. Talk to your veterinarian for details.
- Use approved insect repellants to protect horses.
- If possible, put horses in stables, stalls, or barns during the prime mosquito exposure hours of dusk and dawn.
- Eliminate standing water, and drain troughs and buckets at least once a week, twice a week when temperatures rise above 80 degrees.
For sheep and goats:
- CD-T toxoid provides three-way protection against enterotoxemia (overeating disease) caused by Clostridium perfringens types C and D and tetanus (lockjaw) caused by Clostridium tetani.
- The large animal rabies vaccine is approved for use in sheep. No rabies vaccine is currently licensed for goats.
- Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (commonly called IBR).
- Bovine Viral Diarrhea, PI3, BRSV (viruses causing pneumonia/sickness).
- Leptospirosis (5-Way).
- Calfhood vaccination for Brucellosis.
- Bovine Tuberculosis testing in the counties of Alpena, Alcona, Montmorency, Oscoda, Presque Isle, Cheboygan, Charlevoix, Crawford, Emmet, Antrim, and Otsego.
Many vaccines are required for exhibition.
To know what is required to show animals at the fair visit: www.michigan.gov/documents/mda/ExReq_225448_7.pdf.