Cat Vaccination Protocols

Kittens quickly occupy a special spot in most folks hearts. They're cute, inquisitive, and active. Let's take a moment to discuss some of the fine points about feline immunizations, which are central to keeping a kitten healthy to maturity.

It's well known that kitten vaccinations are intended to protect a young kitten from an assortment of viral infections which are known to cause serious illness in newborn cats. This document intends to discuss in more detail some of the questions you might have, and give you information that you need to keep a new pet healthy.

Why vaccinate every three weeks?


What I'm trying to do is cause the production of "antibodies" to protect the pet from within the bloodstream. The first vaccine is often attacked by the antibodies which were given to the kitten by the mother cat, and so it does not measurably help the kitten. The second vaccine often challenges the kittens' immune system longer, creating what is known as "memory" in the infection fighting white blood cells. It is not until the third or fourth injection that these "charged" white blood cells actually begin to churn out antibodies.

IS THE VERY FIRST SHOT PROTECTIVE?


No, usually not. That's why I recommend that you not socialize your kitten with other cats until at least the second or third vaccine administration.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS WE SEE IN SOME OF THE COMMON DISEASES?


Panleukopenia appears as a severe diarrhea; but which is almost universally accompanied by anorexia. The kittens appears weak and thin, and depression is a notable early sign. Transmission is by direct contact with infected surfaces, soil, or animal fluid discharges (sneezes).


Rhinotracheitis and Calici virus may appear as a severe "cold" and may cause infection in the eyes and also causes sores in the tongue. While usually not fatal to adult cats despite a raging fever which deprives them of their appetite and well being for up to a week, the diseases *do* kill some kittens and are chronic as well as unpleasant in adults. Transmission is by direct contact with infected surfaces, soil, or animal fluid discharges (sneezes).


Leukemia virus appears (in young animals) as a multi-systemic condition that could appear as harmless as a "cold" that won't go away, but often weight loss, chronic diarrhea, tumor formation, and even sudfden death ae seen. Transmission is by direct contact with infected cats through bites, scratches or direct physical or reproductive contact.


Rabies vaccine is required by law, and protects the animal from this ultimately fatal condition which causes furious behavior, then a sullen phase, and finally a swift death. Vaccination is very important because without it, an animal has no rights in the eyes of the law. Some are killed for Rabies testing, which is very upsetting to most owners.

WHAT ABOUT LEUKEMIA TESTING?


I can easily and accurately test for Leukemia Virus (FELV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) in the bloodstream of the kitten or cat. Many people desire to know the status of a kitten so they do not allocate health care expenditures for a cat with a bleak future outlook. Others do not want to know; because they would then have to live with the fact that their beloved cat is overshadowed by an impending viral demise, and for them, the test result would not influence their pet care decisions.


I can safely vaccinate a kitten or cat against FELV viral infection, even without testing. However, if you have not ascertained that the kitten is FELV negative, it could be uncertain in the future if the cat gave a positive result whether it was infected prior to vaccination, or if the vaccine had somehow failed to confer immunity.

I hope you will secure the vaccines suggested in a timely way. Please email for any additional information you may need.

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