Lets learn about the 3 vaccines your sweet cat gets annually!
Lets learn about the Fvrcp vaccine!
The “FVR” in the FVRCP stands for feline viral rhinotracheitis.
Rhinotracheitis means infection of the nose and trachea. Feline herpesvirus (FHV) is a major cause of upper respiratory disease in cats. FHV is very contagious between cats. Most cats become exposed to FHV at some time in their lives, and the majority of exposed cats become infected. Cats typically develop a mild upper respiratory infection – sneezing, conjunctivitis (“pink eye”), runny eyes, nasal discharge – which often resolves on its own. In some cats, the virus induces severe upper respiratory disease and can even lead to a secondary bacterial infection. The herpes virus can also cause a variety of eye disorders, and may cause skin disease as well. Cats of all ages are susceptible, however, kittens appear to be affected more severely than adults. A presumptive diagnosis is made based on evaluation of the cat’s history and clinical signs.
After a cat recovers from the initial infection, the virus remains in the body as a latent infection. The dormant virus can be reactivated during times of stress, crowding and concurrent illness, resulting in a recurrence of clinical signs. During these recurrences, infected cats shed the virus profusely in their eye, nasal, and oral secretions, increasing the risk of infecting other cats. Although there are antiviral drugs that can be administered to cats showing symptoms of herpesvirus, there are currently no drugs that eliminate FHV from the body.
The "C" in the FVRCP is the Calicivirus.
The feline calici virus (FCV) is an important cause of upper respiratory and oral disease in cats. Respiratory signs caused by calicivirus (sneezing, ocular discharge, nasal discharge) tend to be milder than those caused by the herpes virus, however, calici virus may cause ulcers on the tongue of cats and kittens. The virus is mainly transmitted by direct cat-to-cat contact, however, indirect transmission via contamination of the environment or through contaminated objects is also possible. Depending on what strain of the Calicivirus is contracted this virus can be deadly.
Finally, the “P” in the FVRCP stands for panleukopenia.
Panleukopenia is a highly contagious viral disease caused by the feline panleukopenia virus (FPV). Cats infected with the virus often show signs of lethargy, poor appetite, fever, vomiting, and severe diarrhea. The word panleukopenia means “a decrease in white blood cells,” and that is what is seen on the bloodwork of affected cats. In young cats, the disease is often fatal. Mother cats, if infected during pregnancy, may give birth to kittens with a condition called cerebellar hypoplasia, a neurologic disorder that causes severe incoordination. The virus is spread mainly through contact with feces, however, the virus is very stable in the environment and can be spread via contaminated food bowls, water bowls, litter boxes, and health care workers. Treatment consists mainly of supportive care – hospitalization, fluid therapy, antibiotics, and nutritional support. With aggressive care, some cats survive the infection, however, most young kittens succumb to the virus.
**You can see from the description above just how important the FVRCP vaccine is. Immunity to this vaccine lasts at least three years, so it does not need to be given annually**
Lets learn about the FELV vaccine that your cats get annually!
FeLV is caused by a retrovirus that becomes part of the animal’s DNA. This virus is transmitted when cats are in close contact with each other.
FeLV breaks down a cat’s immune system, leading to symptoms that include pale gums, yellow color of the mouth and whites of the eyes, weight loss, and poor coat condition.
Additionally, even if an infected cat does not have outward clinical signs, it still able to pass the virus to other cats.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for FeLV. “We still have hope for some antivirals that are currently used for humans,” Dr. Reinhart says. However, no treatment is currently available for animals.
The prognosis depends heavily on the signs that the animal is exhibiting when presented to the veterinarian. If the animal appears healthy at the time of diagnosis, the prognosis is typically better.
Lets learn about the Rabies vaccine that your cats get annually!
Rabies is a viral disease that affects the brain and spinal cord of all mammals, including cats, dogs and humans. This preventable disease has been reported in every state except Hawaii, and annually causes the deaths of more than 50,000 humans and millions of animals worldwide. There’s good reason that the very word “rabies” evokes fear in people-once symptoms appear, rabies is close to 100-percent fatal.
How Would My Cat Get Rabies?
There are several reported routes of transmission of the rabies virus. Rabies is most often transmitted through a bite from an infected animal. Less frequently, it can be passed on when the saliva of an infected animal enters another animal’s body through mucous membranes or an open, fresh wound.
The risk for contracting rabies runs highest if your cat is exposed to wild animals. Outbreaks can occur in populations of wild animals (most often raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes in this country) or in areas where there are significant numbers of unvaccinated, free-roaming dogs and cats. In the United States, rabies is reported in cats more than in any domestic species.
What Are the General Symptoms of Rabies?
Animals will not show signs immediately following exposure to a rabid animal. Symptoms can be varied and can take months to develop. Classic signs of rabies in cats are changes in behavior (including aggression, restlessness and lethargy), increased vocalization, loss of appetite, weakness, disorientation, paralysis, seizures and even sudden death.
Which Cats Are the Most at Risk for Getting Rabies?
Unvaccinated cats who are allowed to roam outdoors are at the highest risk for rabies infection. Outdoor cats may, in the course of daily life, get into a fight with an infected wild animal or an infected stray dog or cat. And although widespread vaccination programs have helped to control rabies in dogs, feral cat populations remain a reservoir host for the rabies virus.
How Is Rabies Diagnosed?
There is no accurate test to diagnose rabies in live animals. The direct fluorescent antibody test is the most accurate test for diagnosis, but it can only be performed after the death of the animal. The rabies virus can incubate in a cat’s body anywhere from just one week to more than a year before becoming active. When the virus does become active, symptoms appear quickly.
**It is the only vaccine that is legally required**