Roblin Animal Hospital/ Red River Spay and Neuter Clinic:
Feline Distemper Combination Vaccine
One of the most common vaccines for a cat to get is the Feline Distemper Combination Vaccine. This Vaccine vaccinates against Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia. You can protect your pet from all these diseases with just 1 vaccine!
As kittens, cats get the Feline Distemper Vaccine at 8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks of age. They then get a booster 1 year later. After this our vaccine is good for 3 years! Clinics have different vaccine protocols so it’s important to find out what protocol your vet clinic has.
Rhinotracheitis is an upper respiratory disease. It is transmitted through ingestion of infected saliva and nasal discharge. Initial signs include coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, conjunctivitis, fever and loss of appetite. They can often develop secondary infections because of the disease as well.
Calicivirus is another upper respiratory disease in cats. It can sit dormant in the animal. Sometimes clinical signs don’t develop until the cat becomes stressed. You may then see signs such as fever, conjunctivitis, nasal discharge, sneezing, and ulcers in the mouth. It is transmitted through the ingestion of saliva, feces, urine and respiratory secretions.
Panleukopenia virus is also known as the feline distemper disease. It is highly contagious and can be fatal to cats. It is transmitted through ingestion of infected animal's bodily fluids, feces, as well as by fleas. The virus attack the intestinal tract and causes ulcers and sloughing of the intestinal tissue. You will see bloody diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, depression, lethargy, fever, vomiting, decrease white blood cells and decrease platelet counts. Without treatment these cats can sometimes die in less than 24 hours.
Feline Leukemia Vaccine
Feline Leukemia Virus is the second most common cause of viral death in cats. It is a virus that suppresses the immune system and means they are much more susceptible to infections and illnesses. FeLV is passed from one cat to another through saliva, blood, and to some extent, urine and feces. The virus does not live long outside the cat’s body. Grooming and fighting seem to be the commonest ways for infection to spread. Kittens can contract the disease in utero or through an infected mother’s milk. Older cats are less likely to contract the infection, because resistance seems to increase with age. For indoor-only cats, the risk of contracting feline leukemia virus is very low. Because of this it is strongly recommend to vaccinate outdoor cats for Feline Leukemia.
Clinical signs include pale gums, yellow color in the mouth and whites of eyes, enlarged lymph nodes, bladder, skin, or upper respiratory infections, weight loss, loss of appetite, poor coat condition, lethargy, fever, diarrhea and breathing difficulties. It is highly recommend getting your cat tested for feline leukemia virus, especially if you don’t know the cat’s history. Cats can appear healthy for a long time before showing signs and can spread the virus to other cats. It is a simple blood test that can be run in clinic.
As kittens, cats get the Feline Leukemia vaccine at 12 and 16 weeks. After this it is boostered yearly.
Feline Rabies Vaccine
If you are traveling down to the states you will need your pet to be rabies vaccinated. You can ask your veterinarian for a vaccine certificate to take with you for proof of vaccination.
As kittens, cats get the Rabies Vaccine at 16 weeks of age. The rabies vaccine does not require a booster until a year later. After this the vaccine is good for 1-3 years depending on the brand given! Clinics have different vaccine protocols so it’s important to find out what protocol your vet clinic has.
Rabies is a viral disease that attacks the central nervous system of animals, including humans. In Canada, the animals that most often transmit rabies are foxes, skunks, bats and feral cats. Transition is through bites and saliva.
There are two forms of rabies: paralytic and furious. In the early stage of rabies, the cat will show only mild signs of central nervous system abnormalities. This stage will last from one to three days. Most cats will then progress to either the furious stage, the paralytic stage, or a combination of the two, while others succumb to the infection without displaying any major symptoms.
Furious rabies is characterized by extreme behavioral changes, including aggression and attacking behavior. Paralytic rabies, also referred to as dumb rabies, is characterized by weakness and loss of coordination, followed by paralysis.