Also known as feline distemper, this highly contagious, widespread disease can appear suddenly, causing fever, appetite loss, weight loss, depression, severe vomiting and diarrhea, dehydration and death. Immunize at eight to 10 weeks of age with a second dose two weeks later and a third dose at 16 weeks of age. Follow with an annual booster.
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis:
Caused by a herpesvirus, this respiratory disease affects the upper air passages and lungs. It produces fever, sneezing, coughing, appetite loss, eye and nose irritation and discharge. Very young kittens sometimes die from secondary bacterial infection. It is common for cats that survive a case of viral rhinotracheitis to become chronic carriers, spreading infection to other cats they contact. Depending on the type of vaccine your veterinarian uses, kittens should be immunized no later than nine weeks of age, with follow-up injections and an annual booster.
Cats often contract this upper respiratory infection simultaneously with FVR (above) . The signs are similar, although feline calicivirus mainly affects the lungs and oral cavity, causing viral pneumonia and ulcers to appear on the tongue. Cats may remain carriers for several years. Your veterinarian is likely to administer a combination vaccine against FVR and FCV.
Primarily characterized by eye inflammation, this upper respiratory infection is caused by Chlamydia psittaci and can be complicated by secondary infection. Kittens are immunized at weaning time and yearly thereafter.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis:
Caused by a coronavirus, this disease often does not develop for months or even years after infection. FIP typically affects cats between the ages of six months and five years with signs that include fever, appetite loss, weight loss and depression. One form causes inflammation of blood vessels and fluid accumulation in the chest and abdomen. A second form causes lesions in lymph nodes, kidneys, eyes, the central nervous system and other organs. Both forms are fatal.
The Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is responsible for a number of fatal conditions not strictly classified as leukemia. Among them are various forms of cancer and malignancy: the virus suppresses the immune system and leaves cats susceptible to other infectious diseases. Cats transmit FeLV to one another through saliva, so cats allowed to roam free are at greatest risk. There are several vaccines your veterinarian can choose from after testing to be sure your cat is negative for FeLV.
Transmitted through saliva from biting, all warm-blooded animals are susceptible to this viral infection. Severe damage to the central nervous system typically progresses to paralysis and death. Begin immunization at three months of age, repeat in one year and then according to local ordinances.
These and other vaccinations may be recommended by your veterinarian depending on your cats specific needs.
Don't gamble with you pet's health. Contact your veterinarian to have your pet tested today and start them on prevention and a long and healthy life.
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