Apparently many cats owner have been wondering whether vaccines necessary for their cat. Their love for their pets make them worry about contagious diseases that may expose them. So if you’ve been wondering the same thing, here is a little information for you about vaccines!
Vaccines have been an integral part of preventive health care programs for several decades. No other medical development has been as successful as vaccination in controlling deadly diseases in companion animals. Vaccination is a medical procedure, and the decision to vaccinate is made based on the risks and benefits for each individual cat. To not vaccinate our pets is not an option. The goal is to devise a reasonable strategy for vaccination that maximizes our ability to prevent infectious disease while minimizing the occurrence of adverse events associated with vaccination.
Vaccinations can be divided into two broad categories: core vaccines – those recommended for all cats, and non-core vaccines – those that may or may not be necessary, depending on the individual cat’s lifestyle and circumstances. Currently, vaccines against panleukopenia, herpesvirus, calicivirus, and rabies fall into the core vaccine category.
The most commonly used vaccine against panleukopenia, herpesvirus and calicivirus is a multivalent vaccine: it contains viral antigens for several diseases together in the same dose, and is commonly abbreviated as the “FVRCP” vaccine. (For those of you who’ve always wondered exactly what FVRCP stands for, it’s “Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia”.)
What are they?
Feline herpesvirus is a major cause of upper respiratory disease in cats. Herpesvirus infections are very contagious between cats.
Feline Calici Virus
The feline calici virus (the “C” in the FVRCP vaccine) is an important cause of upper respiratory and oral disease in cats. Respiratory signs caused by calicivirus (sneezing, ocular discharge, nasal discharge) tend to be milder than those caused by the herpesvirus, however, calici virus may cause ulcers on the tongue of cats and kittens.
Panleukopenia (the “P” in the FVRCP vaccine) is a highly contagious viral disease caused by the feline panleukopenia virus (FPV). Cats infected with the virus often show signs of lethargy, poor appetite, fever, vomiting, and severe diarrhea.
Rabies is a viral disease that attacks the neurological system. Although most people tend to think of this as primarily a dog disease, in the past few decades the number of cases of rabies in cats have been much higher than that in dogs.
Vaccines against infectious diseases have done much to reduce sickness and death in companion animals, and vaccination is the cornerstone of preventive veterinary medicine.