Feline Vaccines

posted: by: Great Lakes Veterinary Clinic Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Core Vaccinations
FVRCP is a combination vaccine given to all kittens that includes feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia. After the initial kitten series of vaccines it is boostered one year later, then every three years from that point on.
Rhinotracheitis(FVR)- is a highly contagious respiratory disease cased by feline herpesvirus-1 and is characterized by loss of appetite, fever, eye inflammation and marked sneezing.  As the disease progresses, a discharge is noticeable from both nose and eyes.
Calicivirus(FCV)- is another serious feline respiratory infection that often occurs simultaneously with feline viral rhinotracheitis.  Signs of infection are similar to FVR(fever, loss of appetite, nasal discharge), but calicivirus-infected cats may also have ulcers on the tongue.
Panleukopenia (feline distemper)- is among the most widespread of all cat diseases and is extremely contagious. Characterized by fever, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea which can lead to severe dehydration, feline panleukopenia results in a high mortality rate, particularly among kittens.
Rabies vaccine is given to all kittens that are at least 12 weeks old. A booster shot needs to be given the following year and then it is boostered every 3 years. The Rabies virus is present in the saliva and transmitted when an infected animal bites another animal (including humans).  The disease can have a wide range of clinical signs with the onset of symptoms varying from 1 week to 8 months from the time of the bite.  Although there have been a few reported cases of survival, rabies is virtually always fatal. Fortunately, vaccinations have been extremely effective in reducing the prevalence of rabies in our pets and in decreasing the incidence of rabies infection in humans.  However, because wild and unvaccinated animals can still become infected, it is of the utmost importance to continue to keep our pets up to date on rabies vaccination.

Feline Leukemia (FeLV) 
Feline Leukemia vaccine is not considered a core vaccine.  However, it is recommended that all cats that are at high risk be vaccinated against it during their initial vaccine series.  Testing prior to the initial vaccine is important as there is no reason to vaccinate a cat that is positive. Any high risk cats should continue to receive this booster on a yearly basis.
Feline Leukemia can cause suppression of the immune system and predispose infected cats to different types of cancer as well as other disease.  A cat that is positive for FeLV is not necessarily "sick" but will be predisposed to illness.  It is also possible for an asympotmatic cat that is positive for FeLV to infect other cats.  Therefore, it is important to test for this disease.  A FeLV positive cat should remain an indoor only cat for its lifetime in order to prevent exposure and possible infection of non-infected cats.

Chlamydophila felis
Chlamydophila Felis vaccine is a bacterial infection that tends to be a problem in colony cats.  It can cause painful inflammation and swelling of the conjunctiva (the membrane around the eye) and has also been associated with infertility in queens.  Vaccination is reserved as part of a control regime for cats in multi-cat environments where infection associated with clinical disease has been confirmed.   Vaccination can help to prevent infection becoming established in a colony and can be used in conjunction with treatment where infection is already present.

Feline Giardia 
Currently, there are not sufficient studies to support the role of this vaccination in preventing clinical disease in cats.  Therefore, it is not generally recommended at this time.