Diseases – Onset

Did you ever notice how quickly signs of illness seem to appear? This is especially dramatic in the very young or very old animal and especially in the feline species. Both the young and old show symptoms of illness quickly because they have no reserve in which to modify the impact of the disease. In the feline species, it is characteristic for them to “hide” the symptoms of disease by significantly compensating until they cannot compensate anymore. Throughout life there is always a constant bombardment of infectious diseases threatening to overwhelm an animal in any environment. Variables such as temperature fluctuations, exposure to the wind and water, quality of the nutrition and sanitation to name a few, will directly affect the general health status of any pet. The object in most cases is to control as many of these variables as possible and set up a system that focuses on prevention of disease that will in turn build resistance or reserve.

Most disease has an incubation or silent period whereby no outward signs of illness are expressed. Usually this is the most highly contagious time of the disease process as well. This then is the ideal time to separate an animal from all other animals for a period of three to five days. This time will provide an opportunity for de-worming, vaccinating, bathing, etc. of the newcomer before it is placed with the other resident pets.

Despite the best of efforts, disease does seem to find a way to present itself. Early detection and vigorous treatment is the best course of action in general to take. Waiting, even a day, can seriously jeopardize the recovery of the pet especially if they are very young or very old. I sincerely hope you and your family, including the four footed members, have a Happy and Healthy New Year!!!

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