ANIMAL HOSPITAL OF HAVASU Dr. Cary Buckman
Feline panleukopenia, commonly known as feline distemper, is a highly contagious viral disease. While it primarily affects young kittens, cats of any age are susceptible. Panleukopenia virus is generally widespread. Natural exposure is common, with infection of young kittens being most frequent. Clinical signs include fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, depression, diarrhea, dehydration and other complications that can result in death. Treatment of affected cats is difficult and the mortality rate of kittens is very high. Even when recover occurs, a normal-appearing kitten may shed virus for up to 6 weeks and infect unprotected cats. The most effective means of controlling this disease is through an early vaccination program administered by your veterinarian. Vaccinating your pet is the best protection you can provide.
Feline Viral Rhinotacheitis (FVR)
Feline viral rhinotracheitis is the most severe and widespread upper respiratory viruses to which cats are susceptible. While FVR is highly contagious and very serious in young kittens, cats of all ages are at risk. Clinical signs include fever, tearing, discharge from the eyes and nose, mouth breathing, coughing and salivation. Treatment is limited to supportive and symptomatic care. Unfortunately, recovered cats become carriers for life. These FVR carriers may or may not experience signs of disease and will shed virus intermittently. An early and ongoing vaccination program, administered by your veterinarian, is recommended for the health or your pet. Talk to your veterinarian about vaccinating your cat.
Initial vaccinations and revaccination intervals can vary depending on your cat’s risk of exposure, the type of vaccine used, your cat’s age and its health status. The precise interval for your cat and the vaccines needed, will be determined by your veterinarian.
Although modern vaccines are highly effective, not every vaccinated cat will be equally protected. Some cats’ immune systems will respond very well to vaccination while others may not develop a high level of protection. Thus, it is impossible for vaccinations to prevent all cases of disease. In addition, some cats may be exposed to such high numbers of infectious microorganisms that their immune system is overwhelmed and they become ill. Fortunately, the vast majority of vaccinated cats will be protected.