C Stands For Calicivirus
One member of the group of diseases that cause contagious respiratory infections in cats, this virus also causes an acute infection of the respiratory tract and can be difficult to distinguish from feline herpes virus. Signs that may differentiate it from viral rhinotracheitis may include ulcers on the palate and pneumonia. Although often less severe than viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus can lead to death, especially in young kittens. All cats that are able to be vaccinated should receive proper immunization against feline calicivirus.
Fvr Stands For Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis
This disease is an acute disease of the respiratory tract caused by a herpes virus. Cats that are infected with this virus may show sneezing, coughing, salivating, runny and red eyes, tongue ulcers, and congestion of the nose and sinuses. Eye ulcers may develop. Treatment is usually designed to control the symptoms and includes nursing care. Death may result in cats that are dehydrated, refuse to eat, or develop secondary bacterial infections. Because this illness is extremely debilitating and can reoccur throughout the cat’s life, all cats that can be vaccinated should receive vaccines to protect against feline viral rhinotracheitis.
How Often Should Booster Vaccinations Be Given
In the past, veterinarians recommended booster vaccinations for cats on a yearly basis. However, as we learn more about, and improve vaccines, recommendations regarding booster frequency continue to evolve. The appropriate interval for boosters will vary with individual lifestyle.
“If your cat is at higher risk for exposure to a disease, the more frequent vaccination schedule may be recommended.”
Most adult cats that received the full booster series of vaccines as kittens should be re-vaccinated every one to three years based on a lifestyle risk assessment. That is, if your cat is at higher risk for exposure to a disease, the more frequent vaccination schedule may be recommended. It is important to thoroughly discuss your cat’s lifestyle with your veterinarian and determine the appropriate vaccinations and vaccination schedule for your cat.
The AAFP vaccination guidelines recommend that low-risk adult cats be vaccinated every three years for the corevaccines, and then as determined by your veterinarian for any non-core vaccines. Some vaccine manufacturers have developed approved three-year vaccines for many of the core vaccines. It is important to note that feline leukemia virus vaccine is recommended by some AAFP members as a core vaccine, while other experts classify it as a non-core vaccine. Your veterinarian is the ultimate authority on how your cat should be vaccinated.
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Alternatives To The Fiv Vaccination
Prevention is the key to avoiding FIV infection. So, even though the FIV vaccine is no longer on the market, there are several steps that you can take to safeguard your cat against the disease.
Spaying and neutering is recommended for all cats. This will help reduce fighting behavior and, therefore, the risk of infection. Also, keeping your cats indoors will minimize their risk of encountering FIV-positive cats, who tend to live outdoors and are often strays.
Also, any new cats in your household should be tested for FIV so that you can determine the risk of disease transmission to other cats in the home.
You might think that cats living with FIV-positive cats would definitely become infected, but recent studies have shown that FIV transmission in multi-cat households is actually rare.
FIV is not likely to spread through normal contact or by sharing food and water bowls.
How Many Trips To The Vet Do I Have To Make
Some vaccinations occur frequently during the first year of your pets life.
Follow-up vaccinations are most commonly performed in 1- to 3-year increments.
If the frequency of vet visits or cost is a factor, talk this over with your vet. Most vets are concerned about the cost and try to suggest only those vaccinations they feel are necessary.
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Does My Cat Need To Be Vaccinated Every Year
Although most vaccine manufacturers recommend annual vaccination for feline distemper and the feline respiratory viruses , there isoverwhelming scientific evidence that this is not necessary. The American Association of Feline Practitioners and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association have issuedspecific guidelines regarding this issue. Their recommendations state that, following an appropriate initial vaccination protocol, the FVRCP vaccine need only be given every 3 years at most. The frequency and/or requirements for rabies vaccinations in cats are dictated by local ordinances .
These guidelines were developed as a result of the observation that aggressive soft tissue tumors seemed to be developing at vaccination sites, particularly at the site of rabies vaccinations. This association was subsequently confirmed and further research showed that all vaccines were implicated. The incidence of tumor formation is estimated to be between 1 in 1000 to 1 in 10,000 per vaccine administered. Although rare, these tumors are extremely aggressive and depending on where they occur, are very difficult and expensive to treat, and carry a poor prognosis. In addition to changing the guidelines for the frequency of vaccination, it is also recommended that all vaccines be given low down on the leg.
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When Should I Schedule Kitten Vaccinations And Cat Vaccinations
You should schedule your kitten vaccinations as soon as you get your new kitten. Regardless of age, your new kitten should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. It is important to get a preventive health care plan in place including vaccinations, deworming and flea control. In addition, we will spend time discussing behavioral training to make sure your kitten develops good behaviors and becomes a great pet.
Plan on spending at least thirty minutes on your first visit. This is a great time to get all your questions answered on kitten care and discuss the recommended preventive program with our veterinary team.
An adult cat vaccination schedule, which includes periodic booster immunizations, will be scheduled one year after the kitten vaccination schedule has been completed.
As with any other immunization protocol, a cat vaccination schedule should be adhered to without deviation, in order to ensure your cat remains healthy and well for the duration of his or her life. We cannot control all health issues but we can prevent the majority of infectious diseases with the proper vaccine schedule.
Side Effects Of The Feline Leukemia Vaccine
As with any cat vaccination, the FeLV vaccination can cause the following side effects:
- Local swelling and/or pain
- Fever of short duration
In rare cases, cats can develop injection site sarcomas, a severe form of skin cancer that is very invasive and cannot be easily treated. Approximately 1 in 10,000 cats who are vaccinated will develop this disease. Other types of injections can cause this rare disease as well, such as long-acting steroids.
Speak to your veterinarian if you are concerned with this rare side effect. Ask your veterinarian where they inject vaccines in cats. An outdated veterinary practice was to give vaccines to cats in between the shoulder blades, and this is associated with a much higher risk of developing sarcoma. Vaccines should be given low on your cats leg or on the tail.
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What About Adverse Events
No injection or medication is without some degree of risk, but we continue to vaccinate because, in most cases, it is much smaller than the risk of the disease itself.
The overall incidence of adverse reactions in cats is reported to be about half of 1 percent and usually mild and self-limiting. Common side effects include lethargy, transient fever and local inflammation.
Anaphylaxis and death are, fortunately, extremely rare: about one in every 10,000 vaccines.
A vaccine-associated sarcoma is a slow-growing but locally aggressive cancerous mass that develops at vaccine injection sites. Sarcomas occur with about the same rare frequency as anaphylactic reactions.
For cats without a history of vaccine reactions, the risk of sarcomas is usually outweighed by the benefit of the core vaccines.
Pet owners can minimize the impact of sarcomas by monitoring injection sites for swelling after vaccinations. Swellings should be biopsied if they are larger than 2 centimeters, persist longer than three months, or grow one month past the date of vaccination. When sarcomas are addressed early, surgery is often curative.
What Vaccines Do Cats Need
The Feline Vaccination Advisory Panel regularly evaluates and researches cat vaccination developments to make science-based recommendations.
The panel is comprised of dedcated feline veterinarians and scientists and is regarded as a reputable source of cat vaccination standards.
Their guidelines, published by the American Association of Feline Practitioners, are among the most trusted and utilized recommendations in the field.
They divide cat vaccines into two categories:
as early as 8 weeks)
* FeLV: highly recommended for kittens and optional for adult cats.
** Rabies: 3-year vs 1-year vaccine depending on state laws.
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What Is The Difference Between The Various Types Of Vaccine
There are three major types of vaccine:
1. Modified live vaccines. These vaccines contain live organisms that are weakened or genetically modified so that they will not produce disease but will multiply in the cat’s body. Live vaccines induce a stronger, longer lasting immunity than inactivated vaccines. It is not advisable to use modified live vaccines in pregnant queens or cats whose immune system is not working properly , or other diseases).
2. Killed vaccines. These vaccines are prepared using actual organisms or genetically modified organisms that have been killed by various treatments. On their own, they do not give as high a level of protection as the live, replicating type of vaccine, so killed vaccines may have an adjuvant to make the immune response stronger.
3. Subunit vaccines. These are more commonly called recombinant-DNA vaccines. These are vaccines in which the infectious organism has been broken apart and only certain parts are included in the vaccine.
“Some vaccines are intranasal but the majority are given by injection.”
Many vaccines come as combinations, so that protection against more than one disease is achieved in a single injection or administration. Some vaccines are intranasal , but the majority are given by injection. Your veterinarian will advise you on the most appropriate vaccines for your cat.
Vaccines And Kidney Disease:
A separate issue relating to the vaccination of cats is the possibility that frequent vaccination may increase the incidence of chronic kidney disease. It has been shown that transient inflammation occurs in the kidneys of cats following vaccination. Given the extremely common occurrence of kidney disease in older cats, questions have been raised as to whether the two are related. This has not yet been proven, however, a recent study of factors associated with chronic kidney disease indicated an increased risk of developing kidney disease in cats that were vaccinated frequently as compared to cats not vaccinated frequently.
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The Vaccine Led To False
Another issue with the FIV vaccine was that vaccinated cats could test positive for FIV for up to four years after vaccination. These false-positive results occurred because tests could not distinguish antibodies produced by the vaccine from natural infection.
Therefore, vaccinated cats were at risk of being incorrectly diagnosed with FIV. This wasnt a big deal if a cats vaccine record was known, but if the cat ended up in a shelter, it could lead to euthanasia.
In response to this, it was widely recommended that vaccinated cats be permanently identified and wear a collar at all times to avoid being mistaken as FIV-positive in a shelter.
How Do Vaccines Work
Vaccines work by stimulating the body’s immune system to recognize and fight a particular microorganism such as a virus, bacteria, or other infectious organism. Once vaccinated, the animal’s immune system is then primed, or prepared to react to a future infection with that microorganism. In other words, the vaccine mimics a true infection so that the immune system can better protect the body in the future.
“the vaccine will help the body prevent infection or lessen the severity of infection and promote rapid recovery.”
Depending on the disease, the vaccine will help the body prevent infection or lessen the severity of infection and promote rapid recovery.
While a vaccine can prevent illness, it cannot block microorganisms from getting into the body. This means that sometimes a cat may not look sick thanks to the vaccine, but the cat can still spread the invading microorganisms to other cats. This is not a major consideration in the pet cat but may be important in the breeding colony.
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What About Other Vaccines
These are best discussed with your veterinarian. Vaccination schedules are tailored for each pet, taking into consideration factors such as exposure risk, age of pet, previous reactions, etc. Generally, we recommend that all dogs be immunized for the following core vaccines/diseases: Parvo, Distemper, Parainfluenza, Canine Adenovirus, and Leptospirosis. Non core vaccines that are available but not required are Bordatella , and Lymes disease. Bordatella is required for boarding and grooming. For cats, we currently recommend all cats be vaccinated for Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia. Feline Leukemia vaccine is considered a core vaccine for kittens and outdoor cats only and a non-core vaccine for all indoor adult cats. Other non-core vaccines for cats include FIV , FIP , and Giardia vaccine.
Are There Any Side Effects I Should Watch For After Cat Vaccination
Most cats show no ill side effect from receiving a cat vaccine. If your cat does have a reaction, they are usually minor and short-lived. However, you should still be on the lookout for the following symptoms that might indicate negative side effects from a cat vaccine:
- Swelling and redness around the injection site
If you suspect your cat is experiencing any ill side effects from his or her cat vaccine, call us immediately so we can help you to determine whether any special care is needed.
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What Is The Felv Vaccine
The FeLV vaccination protects cats against the symptoms of feline leukemia virus. It was first created and placed on the market in 1985. This vaccine has been approved by the United States Department of Agriculture . Pet parents can go to any veterinary clinic in the country and request the FeLV vaccine. This vaccination is not known to be required by any level of law in the US.
What If Your Cat Is Already Infected With Fiv
While infected cats may maintain a relatively normal lifestyle and life expectancy, the virus can eventually impair the immune system and cause progressively worsening health issues.
Cats suffering from advanced stages of FIV may experience fever, weight loss and recurrent infections throughout the body.
But many FIV-positive cats can lead normal lives if they are well-cared for, monitored for infections and taken for regular vet checkups.
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Protecting An Unvaccinated Cat
Full immunity develops around 3-4 weeks after the final injection in a primary course of vaccinations, but until then you will need to keep your feline friend indoors and away from cats outside of your household. Youll need to keep your cat entertained and stress-free during this time especially if they have previously been used to going outside.
When You Dont Vaccinate You Put Everyones Pets At Risk
When significant numbers in a population stop vaccinating, outbreaks of the disease occur and put the entire population, specifically the most frail members of the group, at risk.
This is what happened a few years ago in Disneyland with a measles outbreak.
When parents as well as people who have pets decide that the possible risk of a vaccine or vaccine reaction is not worth vaccinating, we lose herd immunity. There is a resurgence of the disease and, with enough cases circulating, even vaccinated individuals are at risk.
Many anti-vaxxers have chosen that the comfort and wellness of their own boy, Bichon or Burmese comes first. If their little precious might have a vaccine reaction, then they will do without the vaccine.
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Applying Eye Drops To Cats
The proper administration of eye medication is critical in helping your cat quickly recover from an eye injury or infection. Gently clean away any debris around your cat’s eyes with warm water and a washcloth. Hold the bottle using the thumb and index finger of your dominant hand with the tip pointed downwards. Use the last two fingers of the same hand to pull back the upper eyelid. Place your remaining fingers under the cat’s jaw to support the head. The lower eyelid will act as a pouch to receive the drops. DO NOT touch the eye’s surface with the applicator. Aiming for the center of the eye, squeeze the desired number of drops onto the eyeball.
Will Vaccination Always Protect My Cat
Vaccination will protect the vast majority of cats but under some circumstances, vaccine breakdowns will occur. Reasons for such breakdowns or apparent vaccine failure include:
Variations between different strains of viruses. This is particularly a problem for example with feline calicivirus infections, where, like the common cold in people, there are a large number of different strains. Available vaccines may only partially protect against some of these strains.
Maternally derived antibodies. Kittens acquire maternal antibodies from the mother . A well-vaccinated queen passes antibodies to her kitten, and these antibodies protect the vulnerable kitten against those diseases for the first two or three months of life. However, during this same period, those antibodies from the mother can block the effects of vaccination of the kitten, the same way they can block actual infection. This blocking effect decreases over time as the maternal antibodies gradually disappear, and occurs between 2-4 months of age. Because this time range varies between kittens, booster vaccines are recommended frequently until the kitten is older.
Some vaccine types arenot always able to completely prevent infections. Some vaccines are designed to lessen the severity of disease. Therefore, it may look like the vaccine did not work, when it actually did prevent severe disease.
These are not the only reasons for vaccination failure, but they are the most common.
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