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New Vaccination Immunology: Feline Diseases
 
Feline Preventable Diseases

Rabies
A fatal viral infection of the central nervous system that can affect all mammals, including humans. The virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected animal.

It is unlikely that a human can get rabies from a cat. The Center for Disease Control has not documented a human case of rabies contracted from a cat since 1990.You should protect your cat however. There are hundreds of rabid bats and skunks in Texas every year.

Panleukopenia (PLP) or Feline Distemper
A rare but potentially fatal disease which may cause a sudden onset of severe vomiting and diarrhea. It is especially dangerous in kittens, but fatalities can occur in unvaccinated adult cats.

Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR)
A common respiratory infection which can be fatal in kittens. Sneezing, decreased appetite and fever, followed by a thick discharge from the eyes and nose, are often observed. As with other herpes viruses some cats will have a latent infection which can relapse with stress, for life. Chronic sinusitis can be a sequela.

Calicivirus (FCV)
An upper respiratory infection with signs similar to FVR. In addition, ulcers may be seen on the tongue and in the mouth. FVR and FCV account for up to 90% of all respiratory infections in cat. There are over 65 Feline calici viruses so protection by vaccination is incomplete. A new calici virus found on the East Coast, hemorrhagic calicvirus, especially dangerous.

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)
Infection with this virus can cause serious disease and death. The virus decreases the ability of the immune system to respond to infection and may lead to the development of different types of cancer. FeLV is passed from cat to cat by direct contact. Incubation can be 3 - 8 years. Cats, if not previously infected, become extremely resistant to the virus over one year of age. Kittens in shelters, pet stores, outside, and kittens in multi-cat households are at especially high risk. It is not contagious to people.

Vaccinations Not Recommended

Adjuvanted vaccines Adjuvant is a compound put in vaccines to stimulate the immune system. Adjuvanted vaccines have been shown to increase the risk of Injection Site Fibrosarcoma or Vaccine Associated Sarcoma (VAS). The AVMA VAS Task Force, & The AAFP do not recommend adjuvanted vaccines.

It is also recommended that all vaccines in cats be administered in the distal rear legs. A VAS between the shoulder blades cannot be completely removed, and is 100% fatal. A VAS in the rear leg is curable 20% of the time, with amputation and radiation.

Chlamydia, Feline Pneumonitis (FPN)
FPN is a rare respiratory infection producing sneezing, fever and a thick discharge from the eyes. The vaccine only produces a short 2 month immunity. Side effects include polyarthritis. This vaccine is not recommended.

Feline Bordetella
Although Bordetella has caused upper respiratory problems in kittens < 6 week old in shelters or catteries, it is a normal flora of adult cats. Dr Michael Lappin at Colorado State University states Bordetella accounts for less than 1% of upper respiratory disease in cats.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)
This is a rare disease of cats. By 16 weeks of age, 80% of adult cats have Feline Coronavirus as a normal flora of their intestines. Only rarely does the virus mutate to become FIP. Every mutation is a unique virus so a vaccine cannot possibly provide protection. The efficacy of the vaccine was not substantiated by independent studies at Cornell and TAMU. The theory of vaccine enhanced disease has been suggested.

Feline Immunosuppressive Virus (FIV)
FIV sometimes called feline aids is a virus that suppresses the immune system. Infected cats eventually die of secondary diseases. There are 5 Clades or 'types' of FIV viruses. The vaccine contains Clades A & D. The predominate type of virus causing disease found in Texas and the U.S. is Clade B. Cross protection is poor. This an adjuvanted vaccine so it is at risk of causing fibrosarcoma. Vaccination will interfere with testing. The American Association of Feline Practitioners asked the USDA NOT to license this vaccine.
 
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The Better Business Bureau. Education Foundation
Torch Awards for Excellence in Business Ethics
Presented to Dr. Bob Rogers
for Public Education about New Vaccination Recommendations