Feline Preventable Diseases
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.
(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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.