HOUSTON (KIAH) — Many of the most common diseases that we see in dogs and cats can spread during the summer months. Though we’re getting cooler weather soon in Texas, Dr. Westbrook says it’s important to set an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian especially if they weren’t seen during the summer.

SPCA veterinarian Dr. Roberta Westbrook says that the most important thing that you can do to keep your pets healthy is to get them vaccinated. This can help lessen the symptoms if they get sick and give them a greater chance of recovery.

“Contagious diseases tend to happen a little bit more in the summer so things like Parvo virus in dogs and panleukopenia in cats and respiratory infections…those things tend to spread during the summer, and I think it’s because we have a lot more animals that are being born in the summer,” Westbrook said.

Dr. Westbrook also stresses the importance of getting your pets neutered and spayed. These surgeries have many health benefits such as lowering the risk of mammary cancer and Pyometra in female dogs, also known as an infection in the uterus. “In females that are spayed, they have less of a chance of mammary cancer. Mammary cancer can be life threatening in some cases and the chances go up the more heat cycles your pet has,” Westbrook said.

There are several low cost clinics in the Houston area to get your pets affordable check-ups, vaccinations and even neuter and spay procedures:

To learn more about the the services offered by the Houston SPCA, visit its website here.