Feline Vaccinations

Feline Distemper (FVRCP)
This disease, also known as panleukopenia, is caused by a virus that spreads easily in groups of unvaccinated cats, affecting young kittens most severely. The virus can enter the body by being inhaled or swallowed, or it may enter through flea bites. It then attacks the intestine, causing vomiting and diarrhea. It can also enter the bone marrow, causing decreased numbers of white blood cells in the blood stream and as a result decreasing the cat’s ability to fight infection. This disease can progress rapidly to shock and death. The feline distemper vaccine is very effective in preventing this disease. Like the canine distemper vaccine, the feline distemper vaccine is a combination vaccine and includes vaccines against Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus.

Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus
These viruses cause diseases of the upper respiratory system of cats. FVR causes sneezing, runny eyes and nose and may cause pneumonia and death in kittens. Calicivirus causes ulcerations in the mouth and nose. Both of these viruses may cause chronic, recurring disease.

Feline Leukemia (FELV)
This viral disease can present with many different signs including runny eyes and nose, difficulty breathing, weight loss, lack of appetite and depression. Though often fatal, cats may be infected for long periods of time without showing signs of illness. The virus may be detected easily using a readily available blood test. Though vaccinations provide good protection against FELV, they are not 100% effective at this time. FELV positive cats should not be housed with healthy cats, even if they have been vaccinated against FELV. Because FELV affects a cat’s immune system, FELV positive cats often develop opportunistic infections to which healthy cats are resistant. It should be noted that an FELV-positive cat may not be protected against other infectious diseases, including rabies, by vaccinations.

Canine Vaccinations

Canine Distemper (FVRCP)

This potentially fatal disease is caused by a virus and is spread through contact with the bodily secretions of infected puppies or dogs. Signs may include diarrhea, fever, upper respiratory signs including runny eyes and nose, and neurological signs including muscle tremors and seizures. The distemper vaccine provides good protection when given appropriately to puppies older than six weeks of age. The distemper vaccine is a combination vaccine, which also provides protection against Parvo virus, infectious canine hepatitis, para influenza virus and other diseases depending on the product.

Parvo Viral Enteritis
This is a commonly occurring viral disease that primarily affects unvaccinated puppies and is often fatal without treatment. Affected canines usually present with large amounts of watery or bloody diarrhea, vomiting and severe dehydration. Parvo virus is highly contagious. It is spread by contact with the feces of infected patients and can live in the environment for months to years. Again, appropriate vaccination of puppies is very effective in preventing this disease.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis
Another disease caused by a virus, hepatitis is generally spread through contact with infected urine or feces. The virus enters the tonsils and lymph nodes where it reproduces before attacking the liver and intestine. Signs include fever, tonsillitis, ocular and nasal discharge, depression and occasionally sudden death, especially in puppies. In patients that recover, a bluish discoloration may be noted on the surface of the eye. This disease may affect whole litters of puppies.

Canine ParaInfluenza
This is one of several viruses that contribute to infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as kennel cough. Dogs affected have a dry hacking cough and ocular and nasal discharge. Although the para influenza portion of the distemper vaccine cannot prevent kennel cough, it can decrease the severity of clinical signs in dogs that are infected.

This very serious viral disease affects most warm-blooded animals including cats, dogs and humans. The virus is present in the saliva of infected animals and is transmitted through bite wounds. Once inside the body, the virus attacks the nervous system, eventually causing death. Once clinical signs occur, the disease is almost always fatal. Since rabies is maintained in populations of wildlife, such as skunks, foxes, bats and raccoons, it is a persistent danger to unvaccinated companion animals. For this reason, most states require, by law, regular routine vaccinations against rabies for all dogs and cats. Any person who is bitten by a strange animal should seek medical attention immediately.