‘We have parasites on the back foot for now’ - take advantage Dr anthony zambelli

2016-03-01 06:00
PHOTO: supplied Dr Anthony Zambelli and staff.

PHOTO: supplied Dr Anthony Zambelli and staff.

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UNTIL the 1960s, families lived in fear of polio. My own cousin was afflicted by this serious disease. Today, it has almost been wiped out due to vaccination.

In South Africa today, our pets have the opportunity to be free of the threat of death or suffering from infectious diseases. This is a first, and should be taken advantage of. Those lunatics advocating for no vaccinations have no concept of the danger they put all of us in – human and animal. Rabies control is entirely inadequate in South Africa – eg only 4% of dogs in KZN are regularly vaccinated – but we need to sustain a 70% vaccination rate to wipe out this disease. If this is the rabies vaccination rate in dogs, what is the distemper vaccination rate? Or the feline leukaemia virus infection rate?

We finally have incredibly effective, exceptionally safe control mechanisms not only for many viral diseases (vaccines), but also for ticks and fleas and their diseases (Seresto, Advocate, Bravecto, Nexgard and Comfortis). We also have tools to prevent the cases of Spirocerca lupi, a fatal disease of dogs. Our clinic has seen case numbers of this dreaded worm decline from about 90 cases per year to 2 per year.
How? We took our role as advisors and protectors of animal health very seriously and INSISTED our clients put their patients on spirocerca control.
Similarly, we charge the same as other vets, but give all cats the FeLV vaccine. It’s a technically complex issue to do so, and a financially negative strategy, but let me tell you, our clients will never have to ask why their cats have died of a preventable disease. Vaccination, monthly milbemax or advocate, and nexgard, seresto or bravecto will ensure that the only unexpected reason you see your vet is for unpredictable diseases, NOT for illnesses we should never have to deal with in SA. For the rest, there’s medical aid. I’m not here to deal with parvo or distemper (third world diseases), I’m here as your vet to deal with the broken leg, the tumour, the heart failure – first world diseases.


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