Here is a list of the diseases for which vaccines are available:
- Feline Calicivirus
- Feline Rhinotracheitis
- Feline Leukemia Virus
- Feline Infectious Peritonitis
- Feline Bordetella
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
- Feline Giardia
WOW, that’s some list! Does my cat need all of these vaccines every year? Heavens NO. The staff of Trinity Pet Hospital will take a written assessment of every pet to determine what is needed and when.
It is crucial to your pet’s health to follow the vaccine schedule provided by us. Missing a vaccine booster or being a little late could put your pet at risk of contracting these diseases.
Guidelines for cats vaccines have been greatly influenced by the occurrence of vaccine-related sarcomas, a malignant tumor that develops at the site of the vaccine, especially rabies and leukemia. They are very rare, but very difficult to manage.
FELINE CORE VACCINES
These vaccines are needed for all kittens and cats with an unknown vaccine history. These diseases are very serious and causes significant illness and possible death. Vaccines result in very good protection. These CORE VACCINES include feline rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, and feline panleukopenia. Feline rhinotracheitis and feline calicivirus are the main two causes of respiratory tract infections. Signs can include sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, eye discharge (eye conditions can be severe), ulcers in the mouth, chronic sinus infection, pneumonia, diarrhea, and joint disease. Most cats recover, but a great number become carriers and spread the disease to others. It is very common and vaccination is needed. Kittens should receive the vaccines at 6-8 weeks, 9-11 weeks, and 12-16 weeks of age. For cats older than 16 weeks, one dose is required. After a booster at one year of age, revaccination is suggested every three years. Recommendations for killed and intranasal vaccines are different from those above.
FELINE RABIES VACCINE
We give kittens a dose of killed or recombinant rabies vaccine at 12-16 weeks of age. Adult cats with unknown vaccination history also get a dose of killed or recombinant rabies vaccine. Rabies vaccines are repeated at yearly (recombinant) or three year (killed) intervals with approved three year vaccines. Recombinant vaccines are less likely to be associated with sarcomas.
FELINE NON-CORE VACCINES
These vaccines are given when there is a significant risk or exposure of the cat. They are based on geographic area and lifestyle. The staff of Trinity Pet Hospital will carefully evaluate your cat to determine which vaccines are needed.
Feline Leukemia Virus
This virus can cause a number of diseases, including a common form of cancer called lymphoma. Fever, anemia, and other secondary infections are common. This disease is very contagious and extremely serious, with very limited success in treatment. There are several vaccines on the market that have good efficacy. We currently use a recombinant transdermal vaccine with hopes that there is a decreased risk of sarcoma.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
As the name suggests, this is similar to the AIDS human virus. Oral infections are common, but many other infections and symptoms are possible. Treatments are available, but limited. The vaccine is relatively new, released in 2002. Unfortunately, vaccination renders the current tests for the disease positive, and the vaccine’s ability to protect against all the virus subtypes is in question. Vaccination for this virus must be carefully considered and discussed with our staff.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis
This virus is a type of Coronavirus. It is spread by contact with an infected cat. In the wet form, fluid accumulates in either the chest or abdomen. In the dry form, inflammatory lumps occur in multiple organs in the body. Treatment is available, but the disease is inevitably fatal. Vaccination is by an intranasal modified live product. The efficacy and duration of this vaccine is controversial. Our staff will help you with questions regarding this vaccine.
This organism causes eye infections that can become severe, but normally respond to medication. The vaccine probably does not prevent infection 100% of the time, but can be useful in some situations.
Feline Bordetella bronchisepta
This infection can cause severe and chronic respiratory infections. While uncommon, we have seen it several times in this area. Medication can be successful. We will advise as to your pets need for this vaccine.
Giardia is a disease that can cause diarrhea in cats. It is thought possible to spread this to humans. Most cats have no symptoms and most respond well to treatment. The vaccine does not prevent the disease, but may reduce the signs and shedding. The vaccine has limited use.