There is a lot of controversy about when vaccines are given and what vaccines are necessary. At Rice Creek Animal Hospital, we use the recommendations as outlined by American Association of Feline Practioners (AAFP). Essentially, this is a group of cat veterinarians who gather all the latest research and knowledge to help ensure cats receive the most effective and safe vaccines. The vaccine plan is tailored to each cat depending on your cat’s history and lifestyle.
Vaccinations- All cats are at risk of being exposed to many infectious diseases, some of which are life threatening while others pose a public health risk to humans. Prevention of infectious disease is more beneficial to your pet than treating the disease once it occurs. The combination of the physical exam and vaccinations are the two most reliable and cost efficient methods of health care available.
– Rabies- A viral disease that is usually transmitted by bite wounds, often from wild animals. Rabies causes nervous system abnormalities. Once signs are detected, death is inevitable. Transmission to humans usually occurs through bite wounds from the infected saliva of an animal.
– Feline Distemper Vaccine is actually a combination of 3 vaccines in one administration. It covers:
Panleukopenia- A viral disease thatis sometimes called feline distemper. Panleukopenia is more commonly seen in younger cats but can affect cats of any age. Since this disease is often fatal and exposure is difficult to prevent, all cats should be vaccinated. The symptoms of this disease include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue.
Feline Rhinotracheitis and Calici- Both are virus’ that cause respiratory disease in cats and are easily transmitted through the air by coughing or sneezing. Clinical signs may include discharge from the eyes and nose, coughing, sneezing, fever, and lethargy.
– Feline Leukemia Vaccine- A viral disease that suppresses a cat’s immune system, leaving it unable to fight off infections. Some cats may be able to fight off an FeLV infection, however, if a permanent infection does occurs; death almost always results. FeLV is transmitted from infected mother to kitten, and by saliva or urine from an infected cat. This can happen when cats groom each other, share food, water bowls and litter boxes, or just by hissing at one another. We recommend that all kittens are vaccinated for feline leukemia, since this is their most suceptable time of life. For adult cats, if they may come into contact with unfamiliar or unvaccinated cats, we do recommend vaccination.
Feline Leukemia Test- Feline Leukemia is the #1 viral killer of cats. Because it is easily passed from infected mother to kitten, all cats should be tested as kittens. Also, any adult cat that goes outside and may come into contact with other cats should be tested periodically and when they are sick.
Intestinal Parasite Exam- Intestinal parasiteshave become a hot topic in the news. Not only are they unpleasant and can cause illness in animals, but many of them can infect human beings. Each year 3,000,000-6,000,000 people are infected. The best way to reduce the risk to humans is to detect and eliminate parasites from pets. For these reasons, the Center for Disease Control and the Companion Animal Parasite Counsel recommend yearly testing along with monthly deworming (most heartworm medications cover this). Here at RCAH we use the gold standard method of parasite detection and prevention to help keep you and your pet healthy: zinc sulfate with centrifugation for detection.