Feline distemper is a life-threatening and highly contagious disease caused by Feline Parvovirus. It is also known as Feline Panleukopenia and Feline Parvoviral Enteritis.
What cats are at risk for Feline Distemper?
ANY unvaccinated cat is susceptible.
Most life-threatening cases are seen in 2 to 6 month old kittens.
Exposure risk is high since the virus is environmentally widespread and persistent.
What are the symptoms of Feline Distemper? What is the course of the disease?
Common symptoms of Feline Distemper include severe depression, vomiting and diarrhea.
Viral damage to the bone marrow and intestinal lining leads to progressive dehydration, sepsis, and shock.
Hospitalization is usually required for survival.
There is no effective antiviral therapy for Feline Distemper virus. Treatment involves supportive care and prevention of superimposed bacterial infection.
Is vaccination safe and effective for Feline Distemper? Is it recommended?
Vaccination provides safe and effective protection against Feline Distemper associated disease.
It is considered a “core vaccine” that every cat should receive.
What is rabies?
Rabies is a fatal disease of the nervous system caused by the rabies-virus. It can affect cats as well as ALL mammals (including humans).
What cats are at risk?
Rabies is usually transmitted through bites or wounds inflicted by infected animals (wild or domestic). Other (less common) forms of transmission may also occur.
Common Wildlife sources in the U.S. include raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes.
ANY cat (or other mammal) with potential exposure to wildlife or unvaccinated stray animals risks exposure.
What symptoms does it cause? What is the course of the disease?
The virus travels from nerve endings at the site of entry towards the spinal cord, brain and salivary glands. This eventually results in a variety of neurologic symptoms that may include: drooling, behavior changes, paralysis and seizures. Death follows shortly thereafter.
The time between exposure and the appearance of symptoms can vary from weeks to months depending on the species bitten and the site of the bite.
Is vaccination safe and effective? Is it recommended?
Rabies vaccination is considered a "core vaccine" that is appropriate for all cats regardless of lifestyle.
When given to pets according to recommended schedules, rabies vaccines are safe and effective.
Rabies vaccination programs targeting dogs have significantly reduced rabies cases in humans.
All fifty states in the U.S. have laws requiring rabies vaccination of dogs (MANY HAVE SIMILAR REQUIREMENTS FOR CATS).
Municipal U.S. Rabies laws may be more stringent than state laws.
LOCAL ORDINANCES SHOULD BE CHECKED TO GUARANTEE COMPLIANCE FOR EACH PET.
Bites from pets without proof of rabies vaccinations subject owners to liability risks and pets to prolonged quarantine or euthanasia.
How often should rabies vaccinations be given?
Initial rabies vaccines are given to dogs and cats at 12 or 16 weeks of age (according to state law) and boostered a year later. Subsequent vaccine boosters are given in 1 to 3 years according to state law and product label instructions.
Note: The PUREVAX® RABIES VACCINE (MERIAL) is labeled for YEARLY administration. Due to formulation issues, many veterinarians consider this vaccine to have a reduced risk for Feline Vaccine-Associated Sarcoma.
Feline Leukemia Virus
What is Feline Leukemia virus?
Feline Leukemia Virus is a major cause of premature feline death due to cancer, blood disease and immunodeficiency.
It’s usually spread through oral or nasal contact with infected saliva by such activities as mutual grooming or sharing bowls.
Less commonly, transmission may occur through cat bites, nursing or fecal and urine contact.
What cats are at risk for Feline Leukemia Virus?
Any cat with exposure to these infectious sources is at risk for Feline Leukemia Virus. This includes cats with outdoor lifestyles or in multi-cat environments.
Cats of any age are susceptible, but kittens are most easily infected and face the worst outcomes.
What are the symptoms of Feline Leukemia Virus? What is the course of the disease?
Cats initially infected by Feline Leukemia Virus usually appear normal or experience only a mild illness lasting 2 to 6 weeks.
Early symptoms may include: fever, depression and diarrhea.
Disease progression depends on the quality of a cat’s antiviral immunity.
Most cats can control or eliminate the virus and remain healthy.
ABOUT A THIRD OF THE CAT POPULATION IS UNABLE TO CONTROL FELINE LEUKEMIA VIRUS AND SUFFERS A PROGRESSIVE, TERMINAL ILLNESS LASTING MONTHS TO YEARS.
Common fatal complications of Feline Leukemia Virus related illness include: infectious disease, lymphoma, leukemia, anemia and bone marrow failure.
There is no effective antiviral therapy against Feline Leukemia Virus. Depending on disease complications, treatment may involve antibiotics, chemotherapy or supportive care.
Is vaccination against Feline Leukemia Virus safe and effective? Is it recommended?
Vaccination provides effective protection against Feline Leukemia Virus associated disease with a high level of safety.
It is considered "non-core" and appropriate for cats at risk for infection.