Adult Feline Wellness and Vaccination Protocol
Yearly for all cats–
Every 2 years for all cats–
Diseases Prevented by Vaccines and Parasite Control
I. 3 in 1 – FVRCP
Often referred to as the “Feline Distemper Combination”, though not related to the Canine Distemper Virus, the 3 in 1 vaccination provides protection from Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR), Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia. This vaccination should start between 8 -10 weeks-of-age in healthy cats, should be boostered every 2-4 weeks until at least 12 weeks-of-age, then administered annually. Advise your doctor if your cat or kitten has had any recent changes in health, weight, or is pregnant before vaccinating. Below are descriptions of the diseases from which the 3 in1 FVRCP vaccination protects kittens & cats.
A. Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR)
This virus is part of what the FVRCP, or 3in 1, vaccine fights. It is a respiratory problem, like the flu. FVR is very contagious, and spreads like other respiratory diseases, by coughing & sneezing on others.
This is the most severe and widespread upper-respiratory virus to which cats are susceptible. FVR is very serious in young kittens, but cats of all ages are susceptible. Clinical signs include: moderate fever, ocular discharge, nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing, and abortions in pregnant cats. Treatment is difficult and limited to supportive and symptomatic therapy. Recovered cats become carriers for life and can shed virus intermittently, especially during periods of stress. This "chronic carrier" condition makes prevention most important. Vaccination is the best means of prevention and control.
Another component of the 3 in 1, or FVRCP vaccine. Calicivirus is a respiratory virus, causing oral ulcers and blisters, leading to pneumonia & possibly death.
Feline Calicivirus is another of the major upper-respiratory viruses to which cats are susceptible. It is widespread, highly contagious, and accounts for about 40% of the respiratory diseases in cats. The severity of the infection varies with the strain of the virus present. Clinical signs include: moderate fever, pneumonia and ulcers or blisters on the tongue. The only treatment option is supportive and symptomatic therapy.
Calicivirus also can create a "chronic-carrier" state, in which recovered cats become carriers for life. These carriers shed virus continuously, making prevention very important. Vaccination is highly recommended.
Part of the 3 in 1 vaccine, or FVRCP. It is the distemper shot for cats, and is the most important vaccine for cats. Caused by feline parvovirus, feline distemper is a virus that usually causes death, and is very contagious through feces, vomits, and sputum.
Panleukopenia, or feline distemper, is a contagious viral disease that primarily affects young kittens, but any aged cat is susceptible. This virus is generally widespread, and natural exposure is common. Despite early maternal protection, infection of newborn kittens is frequent. Clinical signs include: fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, depression, diarrhea, dehydration, and death.
Treatment of infected cats is difficult, and mortality in kittens is very high. Even when recovery occurs, a kitten may become a carrier and infect others. The most effective means of controlling this disease is early vaccination with yearly re-vaccination.
II. Feline Leukemia (FeLV)
This virus causes fatal infection in cats. There is no cure. It is similar to Leukemia in humans, and can also cause cancer. Cats can be born with this virus, or contract it from other cats. However, the virus can be prevented if the cat is not already infected. Therefore, we recommend vaccinating because there is no cure once a cat has it. We also recommend the FeLV test to all cat owners if their cat has never been tested.
This virus was first discovered in 1964, and along with its associated diseases is a leading cause of death in cats. This virus has the ability to break down the cat's protective immune response such that the cat is unable to fight off infections that it would normally be able to resist.
Feline leukemia can be spread by lateral or vertical transmission. Lateral transmission is from cat to cat by close contact such as sharing food bowls, grooming, or fighting. Vertical transmission is from mother to kittens. Cats can receive the Leukemia vaccine at 9 weeks of age, boostered in 2-4 weeks. The vaccine can be given without a FeLV test first; if the cat is already positive, the vaccination will not hurt, but it will not help either.
We recommend Feline Leukemia Testing to the cat owner if his/her cat has never been tested in order to determine the FeLV status of the individual cat. If the cat is negative, vaccination is recommended especially where cats have a higher risk of exposure such as in catteries or multiple cat households.
Leukemia vaccination may cause depression, listlessness, and mild temperature elevations in some cats. However, these possible side-effects of vaccination are transient.
Rabies is a fatal virus that affects the central nervous system of almost all mammals, including humans. The virus is most common in dogs, bats, cats, and raccoons. It is spread by contact with saliva on an open wound of the skin. The virus causes behavior changes, seizures and death. Rabies vaccination is required by law. Rabies vaccinations should be given at 12 or 16 weeks, boostered in 1 year, then boostered every 1 or 3 years depending on the vaccine used, and the state law. The ValueVet at PETCO recommends vaccinating for Rabies every 2 years in order to maintain the proper level of protection.
Rabies is a viral disease. Transmission is through injection of saliva, commonly by biting. When an animal or human is bitten by a rabid animal, the virus particles are injected by the teeth through the skin. Once inside the new host, the virus travels toward the brain through the nerves and spinal cord. From the brain, the virus spreads to other parts of the body and gets into the saliva by entering the salivary glands.
The average period of time for the cycle of transmission to be completed is usually between two to six weeks. Occasionally this cycle takes much longer, a feature of rabies, which has an impact on control procedures. Once the virus particles enter the saliva, the animal is in the terminal stage of the disease and usually dies in a few days.
Not all exposures to the rabies virus are a result of a bite from an animal exhibiting savage behavior. Humans have been exposed by coming into contact with saliva while examining the mouth of an animal not suspected of being rabid. This can happen when the animal, instead of behaving in the classical furious manner, progresses rapidly to a paralyzed state.
It is important to remember that dogs are not the only hazard. Recently more cats have been diagnosed annually as "rabid" than dogs. Farm animals, wild animals, particularly skunks, raccoons, foxes, and bats, are routinely diagnosed as rabid and present a potential threat.
Please NOTE: We have to see proof of prior rabies vaccination to issue a tag longer than one year. Proof means written documentation that the pet presented is the same pet, and has had a rabies vaccine given by a vet in the past. Without such documentation we can only mark a rabies vaccination as good for one year.
Feline Diagnostic Disease Testing
I. Feline Leukemia (FeLV) Test
The Feline Leukemia Test is available to determine the FeLV status of the individual cat. If the cat is negative, the Feline Leukemia vaccination is recommended especially where cats have a higher risk of exposure such as in catteries or multiple cat households.
Leukemia testing is performed with a blood sample. Depending on the territory, the test may be performed immediately in the field while the customer waits for the result or, alternatively, the tests may be performed in a laboratory. The results of blood tests that are performed at a lab rather than immediately in the field are reported to the client by mail. Clients should be instructed that they will receive their test results within 7 – 10 working days.
Cats can be tested as young as 9 weeks of age, but any positive result in a young cat should be re-tested in 3 months, as the cat can fight off the infection and then be negative.
Cats with oral ulcers, chronic diarrhea, fever and wasting, or exposed to multiple cats should be tested for leukemia. It should be recommended that all kittens be tested as leukemia can be passed to the kitten from the mother. Once cats are tested negative, they should receive leukemia vaccination. If pre-vaccination testing is not done, the client should be advised that their cat might already be infected with the virus. If that is the case, vaccination will not hurt the animal, but the onset of signs of the disease will usually occur from months to several years later.
II. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus - FIV (Feline AIDS)
This test is performed with a blood sample also. The tests can be performed in the field, or in a lab, depending on the territory. Any cat tested for FIV that is under 6 months of age should be re-tested after 6 months of age because the kitten can become negative. A cat can be positive for either Leukemia or AIDS, or both. Details of FIV are listed below. The pet owner must bring a stool sample. Luv My Pet, Inc. will not collect the sample from the pet.
Like Leukemia virus for cats, FIV is fatal once a cat is infected, there is no cure. It is just like human HIV, or AIDS. It causes problems with the immune system, making the cat susceptible to serious illness or death from things that normally aren’t severe. For example, a cold becomes pneumonia and can kill in an FIV infected cat. There is a new vaccine for this, but it only protects some of the cats some of the time, and once vaccinated with it, it cases all tests for Feline AIDS to be positive. Therefore, you do not know if a cat is really infected, or just had the vaccine. Thus, we do not recommend this vaccine. We recommend testing and prevention of exposure to other cats with this virus. We do not vaccinate against this virus.
This is a retrovirus that causes immunodeficiency disease in cats, and is in the same subfamily of viruses as the causative agent of human aids. This causes immune system depression, leaving the cat susceptible to infections it normally would not get sick from.
This spread from cat to cat, usually from bite wounds. There is occasional transmission from mother to kittens. This is not transmissible to humans. Aids positive cats should never receive modified live vaccines, as they could cause disease in these cats. This is a fatal disease with no cure. All newly acquired cats should be tested for the disease before introduction into a household.
III. Fecal Parasite Test
A fecal test is performed with a stool sample, and is done for cats as well as dogs or ferrets. The test is for intestinal parasites such as hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, coccidia, and giardia. The pet owner must bring a stool sample.
The type of fecal test performed is a fecal flotation test, and this checks for eggs of parasites. The type of egg present in the stool tells what parasites are present. The results reported to the pet owner include the type of parasite found.
The Animal Medical Clinic deworms animals for hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms. All other parasites that may be found on the fecal test require a special medication that will be recommended if required. The pet owner should then obtain that medication from the full service veterinary hospital of their choice.
A fecal test can be done on any animal of any age, but is especially important in young animals. Baby animals can be born with parasites (from their mother) and are much more susceptible to serious complications, including death, from a large infection of worms.
Free Examination With Any Vaccination!
Our affordable Veterinary services are brought to you by:
The Animal Medical Clinic
The first choice in Minneapolis, MN for honest, cost-effective, and premium-quality veterinary care.