What About The Feline Leukemia Vaccine
The AAFP and the WSAVA do recommend vaccinating all kittens for feline leukemia . This recommendation is based on the fact that young cats are much more susceptible to this disease. Theguidelines also recommend continued boosters for indoor/outdoor cats, but they differ on how often these boosters should be given. Dr. Williams has some reservations about the recommendation to routinely vaccinate all kittens against FELV. Although the feline leukemia virus causes a uniformly fatal disease, the incidence of the disease is low . A cat contracts the disease either by living in close contact with cats that are positive for FELV or by being bitten by an FELV positive cat. They can also be born with the disease if the mother is infected. When a kitten first presents for vaccination, he or she may have already been exposed, in which case there is no evidence that the vaccination would be of benefit. If the kitten has not been exposed and is not going to be an outdoor cat, Dr. Williams questions the benefit of giving the vaccine.
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Cerebellar Hypoplasia And Cerebellar Ataxia In Cats
Kittens who have cerebellar hypoplasia are born with movement problems, a condition known as cerebellar ataxia. These problems include a lack of coordination and balance, jerky movements, and muscle tremors.
Watching an affected cat as it tries to move is very sad for someone who isn’t familiar with cerebellar hypoplasia, but the condition doesn’t get any worse once a kitten is born, and it isn’t painful. The cat learns to compensate somewhat for its disability and has a normal lifespan, provided that the owner protects it from possible dangers caused by its inability to fully control its movements. Owners of cats with cerebellar hypoplasia and ataxia say that the animals can lead happy lives if they are part of a loving family. The mental development of these cats is normal.
Unfortunately, raccoons can suffer from both feline and canine distemper. These diseases are caused by different viruses.
What Exactly Are Cat Vaccinations
A vaccination is an injection of a mixture of molecules that will help stimulate an immune response to a specific disease. A common one would be the rabies vaccine. In the rabies vaccine, there are parts of the rabies virus, not the entire virus. It’s not an active or live virus, but parts of the virus that we inject along with other chemicals into your cat to help them start to build antibodies, to protect them against exposure to rabies, and keep them safe. We also have vaccines for many different diseases in cats. There is the feline leukemia vaccine and what we call the distemper vaccine, a combination of several diseases that can cause feline distemper and various respiratory diseases.
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How Much Does The Distemper Vaccine For Cats Cost
The cost depends on your location and your choice of veterinarian: you should phone around your local area to discover the range of prices in the market place. In general, the fee represents a combination of a veterinary clinical examination of your pet as well as the cost of the virus vaccine itself.
Recovery And Management Of Feline Panleukopenia Virus In Cats
Luckily, there is a vaccine for feline panleukopenia virus, and it is part of the core vaccine series for cats. This vaccine is so effective that a cat often requires only one dose for lifelong immunity, though it is still recommended to be administered as a series with other core vaccines.
Most vaccine protocols recommend at least two doses given two to four weeks apart, with the last vaccination received when the cat is 14-16 weeks old. This vaccination is usually repeated every one to three years, depending on your cats lifestyle and the protocols set by your veterinarian. Discuss vaccination with your veterinarian for more details and recommendations.
Since feline panleukopenia is hardy and can remain in the affected environment for a long time, all cages, food/water bowls, toys and bedding should be replaced or thoroughly disinfected. This virus can live on the hands and clothing of humans who encounter it, so washing your hands with soap and water after handling an infected cat minimizes transmission to other cats.
To ensure safety, unvaccinated cats should not be placed in an environment frequented by a cat with suspected feline panleukopenia.
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What Is The Distemper Vaccine For Cats
The vaccine for Feline Distemper is included in the standard combination vaccine thats given to all kittens, otherwise known as the FVRCP vaccine.
This vaccine includes Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis and Feline Calicivirus, upper respiratory infections are known generally as cat flu, whose signs include sneezing and nasal discharge. These are all known as core vaccines, meaning that vaccinating all cats against these diseases is recommended under the World Small Animal Veterinary Association and American Association of Feline Practitioners feline vaccination guidelines.
Distemper Vaccine Side Effects
Side effects to Feline Distemper vaccination are rare and usually very minor. They include transient episodes of dullness, with mild fever.
Occasionally, there may be minor swelling and discomfort at the injection site. As with any injected product, allergic anaphylactic vaccine reactions can occur, with more serious signs. This reaction, however, is extremely rare. As a veterinarian qualified for over thirty years, I have never witnessed this after a cat vaccination against Panleukopenia.
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Do Indoor Cats Need A Distemper Shot
All kittens and cats should receive initial primary courses of vaccination against Feline Distemper because the viral particles are excreted from ill animals, and they can live in the environment for a protracted period of months or years. This means that there is a risk of a human bringing the virus back to the house with them, which is why a basic level of protection is important for all cats, even if living indoors.
Which Cats Are Susceptible To Fp
The virus has appeared in all parts of the United States and most countries of the world. Kennels, pet shops, animal shelters, unvaccinated feral cat colonies, and other areas where groups of cats are housed together appear to be the main reservoirs of FP. During the warm months, urban areas are likely to see outbreaks of FP because cats are more likely to come in contact with other cats.
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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.
Ii Feline Vaccination Guidelines
In general, guidelines for vaccination of cats have been strongly influenced by the appearance of vaccine-associated sarcomas in cats, and in particular their epidemiologic association with feline leukemia virus vaccines and killed rabies virus vaccines. Thus, there is clear evidence for minimizing frequency of vaccination in cats. The recommendations below have been made in light of the AVMA/AAHA/AAFP/VCS task force recommendations on vaccine-associated sarcomas in cats. Risk factors for sarcomas should be discussed with cat owners at the time of examination. If a cat develops a palpable granuloma at the site of previous vaccination, the benefits vs risks of future vaccinations should be carefully considered. All vaccine-associated sarcomas should be reported to the vaccine manufacturer.
Feline Core VaccinesThe definitions of core and non-core vaccines described in the canine vaccination guidelines above also apply to the feline vaccines. The core feline vaccines are those for feline herpesvirus 1 , feline calicivirus , feline panleukopenia virus , feline leukemia virus and rabies.
Initially, two doses of FeLV vaccine are given at 2-4 week intervals, after which annual boosters or 3-yearly boosters are recommended depending on risk. According to recommendations of the vaccine-associated sarcoma task force, parenteral FeLV vaccines are administered subcutaneously as distally as possible in the left rear limb.
Other Feline Vaccines
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Why Should I Have My Male Cat Neutered
Neutering or castration refers to the complete removal of the testicles in a male cat, and like spaying, offers health advantages:
- Unneutered males are involved in more cat fights than their neutered friends.
- Some male cats go through a significant personality change when they mature, becoming possessive of their territory and marking it with their urine to ward off other cats. Intruding cats that disregard the urine warning may be met with aggression.
- The urine of an unneutered male cat has a very strong odor that is difficult to remove from your house if he marks his territory. Unneutered males will spray inside the house and will have litter box issues.
- Fighting increases the risk of infectious diseases like feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia.
- Unneutered males may be less friendly toward their human family members too.
Male cats are usually neutered between 4-6 months of age under general anesthesia. Unless there are complications such as undescended testicles , the cat may go home the same day . Cats with undescended testicles should be neutered too. The testicles still produce testosterone and these cats still act like unneutered males. These cats are at a high risk for developing cancer later in life.
What Are Cat Vaccinations
Several serious feline-specific diseases afflict many cats every year. To protect your kitten from contracting a preventable condition, its critical to have them vaccinated. Its equally imperative to follow up your kittens first vaccinations with regular booster shots during their lifetime, even if you expect Fluffy to be an indoor companion.
The aptly named booster shots boost your cats protection against a variety of feline diseases after the effects of the initial vaccine wear off. There are booster shots for different vaccines given on specific schedules. Your vet can provide advice on when you should bring your cat back for more booster shots.
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Is It Safe To Get Multiple Vaccinations At The Same Time
If your cat has always tolerated vaccinations well, it’s absolutely safe to go ahead and get multiple boosters simultaneously. Just like as kids, we got two or three shots at a time to keep us safe from measles or chickenpox or things like that the same goes with cats. We are competent in the safety of our vaccines, and it’s actually safer to do multiple vaccines at once than run the risk of a kitty not getting back into the vet at the appropriate time to get the boosters they need.
Lifestyle Vaccines For Cats
Some cats will need lifestyle/ non-core vaccinations depending on the lifestyle they live. Your veterinarian will let you know which ones your kitty should get. This type of vaccine protects you cat from the following conditions:
- Feline immunodeficiency virus and Feline Leukemia – These vaccines usually are only recommended for cats that are outdoors often and protects them against viral infections which are contracted from close contact exposure.
- Bordetella – A highly contagious bacteria that causes upper respiratory infections. Your vet might suggest this this vaccine if you are taking your cat to a boarding kennel or groomer.
- Chlamydophila felis – This vaccination is often part of the distemper combination vaccine. It protects your cat from Chlamydia which is a bacterial infection that causes severe conjunctivitis.
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Frequency Of Core Vaccinations
Kittens under 6 months of age are most susceptible to infectious diseases, so they are considered a primary focus of vaccination recommendations.
Maternal antibodies passed on from the mother are meant to confer some degree of protection against diseases, but they also interfere with, or even inactivate, the bodys response to vaccination.
For this reason, initial core kitten vaccinations occur at three- to four-week intervals until the cat is 16-20 weeks old and maternal antibodies are out of the system.
For any cat over 16 weeks old whose vaccine history is unknown, the initial series consists of two doses given three to four weeks apart.
Core vaccines should be boosted one year after the initial series.
The scientific community is still learning exactly how long these vaccines last. Currently, the recommendation for indoor/outdoor cats is to administer the FVRCP vaccine annually.
For indoor-only cats, the recommendation is to administer the vaccine every three years. Cats heading into stressful situations, such as boarding, may benefit from a core vaccine booster 7-10 days before.
When Should Your Cat Get A Distemper Vaccine
Kittens should receive their first distemper vaccination when theyre 8-9 weeks of age, followed by a second vaccine 3-4 weeks later, another at 14-16 weeks of age, and boosters 6-12 months later. Depending on the cats needs, further booster shots may be required every 1-3 years after that.
The precise timing of vaccinations depends on the type of feline vaccine schedule used by your local veterinarian, so you should discuss the details with them directly.
In general, vaccinations are recommended for young kittens at 89 weeks of age, with a second vaccine given 34 weeks later. A third vaccine is often given between 1416 weeks of age. A booster vaccination is then given 6 12 months later, with further booster shots every 1 3 years depending on the cats needs.
To decide when or if your cat needs booster shots, discuss your cats lifestyle with your veterinarian.
How Can You Prevent Your Cat From Contracting Distemper
The main way that you can prevent your cat from contracting distemper is to make sure that she is vaccinated. The American Association of Feline Practitioners considers this a core vaccine, meaning that they recommend that all cats be vaccinated against this virus, states Dr. Fuller.
But even though a vaccination can reduce your cats risk of contracting distemper, no vaccine is one hundred percent effective, she warns. You will still want to have new kittens and cats evaluated by your veterinarian before bringing them into your home. According to Dr. Alinovi, you can also prevent the spread of feline distemper by washing your hands between touching different groups of animals, and making sure your cat sitter always washes their hands between handling different animals.
Do Indoor Cats Need Distemper Shots
The American Association of Feline Practitioners considers the distemper vaccine a core or necessary vaccine for all cats. This is probably because of how severe the infection is and how easily contagious it can be. Feline distemper can hang around the environment for a long time and can be easily carried from one place to another such as on your shoes or clothing.
AAFPâs recommendation is to begin vaccinating a kitten for distemper as early as six weeks of age, boostering or repeating the vaccine every three to four weeks until the kitten is sixteen weeks of age, then boostering again one year from the last booster. After that, an adult cat should be boostered for distemper every one to three years. If the kitten series of boosters is missed, the cat needs two distemper vaccines, three to four weeks apart, then another booster one year later. Continue boostering every one to three years for the rest of the catâs life.
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Feline Distemper Vaccine Side Effects
For the most part, distemper vaccines are very safe. Modified live vaccines should not be used in pregnant cats because it can cause neurologic birth defects, such as those that occur with the real version of the virus.
Uncommon side effects of either vaccine include pain or swelling at the injection site. Cats may hide for one to two days if they are uncomfortable or stressed from the veterinary visit.
Another side effect of distemper vaccination is a vaccine reaction. Vaccine reactions in cats are rare. Symptoms of a reaction include red splotches or hives on the belly or swelling of the face. If you notice these symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately as vaccine reactions can be life threatening.
How Often Should My Cat Receive The Fvrcp Vaccine
The FVRCP vaccine for cats is generally given to kittens every three to four weeks until they are 16-20 weeks old.
The series of vaccines is necessary because it takes a number of booster shots to convince the immune system to recognize the components of the vaccine. The series also helps ensure that the vaccine starts working in kittens when the immunity from their mothers milk wears off.
After 16 weeks of age, the kitten should get a final booster after one year. Then the vaccine only needs to be given every three years. While the kitten series is a bit intensive, once the protection has developed, it becomes much easier to maintain an adult cats vaccination schedule.
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