VACCINATIONS - Feline - Market Street Animal Clinic

FVRCP – Feline Distemper Vaccine
Panleukopenia, also known as Distemper, is highly contagious, easily transmitted from cat to cat, and can be fatal. 9
out of 10 cats with Distemper may die. Symptoms include depression, loss of appetite, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus are highly contagious, widespread respiratory diseases. These diseases are easily
spread from cat to cat. Chances are high that your cat will be exposed. Vaccination is your pet’s only protection.
Chlamydia psittaci bacteria are a less common cause of respiratory disease but can increase the severity of
rhinotracheitis and calicivirus.
Rabies is an acute viral infection of the nervous system that attacks all warm-blooded animals including humans. The
disease is almost always caused by the bite of an infected animal that has rabies virus in its saliva. Infected cats may
show unusual behavior such as being anxious, staring or having a blank look. Rabies is always fatal once clinical signs
appear. It is a public health hazard and a risk to all pet owners. There is no cure for rabies; vaccination is your pet’s only
protection. Even if you keep your cat indoors, it should still be vaccinated.
Feline Leukemia (FeLV) is incurable, contagious from cat to cat, and usually fatal. The FeLV virus severely depresses
the immune system so that the cat’s body cannot fight off diseases. Symptoms may include weight loss, weakness, loss
of appetite, diarrhea, and fever. There is no successful treatment, but there is a vaccine. A blood test is recommended
first to ensure your pet is free of the disease before vaccination. Biennial vaccinations will help protect your cat and are
recommended for all cats and kittens that go outdoors, potentially contacting other cats who may be infected.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is similar to HIV in humans. FIV attacks a cat’s immune system resulting in chronic
secondary and opportunistic infections. It is contagious from cat to cat and incurable, but most cats remain normal for
extended periods until immunodeficiency occurs. A blood test is recommended first to ensure your pet is free of the
disease. There is unfortunately no vaccine for FIV.
Heartworm Disease (Dirofilaria immitis) is a life-threatening disease wherever mosquitoes are present. The mosquito
transfers microfilaria into the bloodstream which eventually results in adult worms living in the heart and sometimes lungs.
There may be no signs at first in the cat, but then asthma-like symptoms and coughing can develop. The larval forms
tend to be more damaging to the cat than the adult worms due to the inflammatory reaction that the lungs develop as the
larvae migrate. In cats, heartworm infection can be challenging to diagnose and multiple tests may need to be run. A
monthly preventative is recommended for both indoor and outdoor cats. Testing is recommended prior to starting the
Intestinal Parasites live and grow inside the intestine of your pet. Examples include roundworms, hookworms and
tapeworms. Most pets show no signs of infection; however, some may show vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite or weight
loss. Heavy infections may be fatal in kittens. Many parasites can infect people as well. Even indoor cats can be exposed
to parasites. As a kitten, 2 dewormings and fecals are recommended. As an adult, testing is recommended yearly and
deworming is recommended every 3 months. Deworming is still recommended even if a fecal examination is negative
(parasites may not be shedding eggs at that time resulting in a “false” negative). Deworming is also recommended if your
pet is exposed to fleas because they can carry tapeworms. There are multiple antiparasiticides to treat and even control
infections in your pet.
Frontline Plus (Fipronyl and (S)-methoprene) is a topical product that kills fleas, flea eggs, ticks and chewing lice. It
has been shown to kill adult fleas, flea eggs and flea larvae for up to six weeks; however, tick protection lasts only 4
weeks. Frontline Plus is recommended monthly where tick control is needed.
Revolution (Selamectin) is a topical product that protects cats against a variety of parasites. It not only kills adult fleas
and prevents flea eggs from hatching for one month; it also prevents and controls flea infestations. Revolution prevents
heartworm disease as well as treating and controlling hookworm, roundworm and ear mite infections. Even though it is not
labeled for tick prevention, it has been shown to be effective against ticks as well. It is recommended monthly for both
indoor and outdoor cats.
Updated: January 2012
Risks of Vaccination:
In general, vaccines may cause localized pain or swelling, low-grade transient fever, allergic reactions such as swelling of
lips and eyelids, and mild lethargy. With any vaccine, anaphylaxis (a potential fatal hypersensitivity reaction) may occur.
This is generally seen as severe vomiting and diarrhea or wheezing, usually within half an hour of receiving the vaccine.
If this occurs, let us know immediately. While there is no direct cause and effect relationship between vaccinations and
certain immune-mediated diseases, this continues to be investigated. It is normal to feel a small lump where the vaccine
was given, but it should disappear; let us know if it is still there a month after vaccination. In cats, there is another rare but
serious reaction called a Vaccine-Associated Sarcoma. This is estimated to occur in 1-2 out of 10,000 cats, where a
cancerous lump develops soon after--or even several years after--a vaccination, injection, or even trauma (not associated
with a vaccine). The reason is unclear.
Updated: January 2012