Pet Vaccinations

A Vaccination Program will be

tailored to your pet

and is dependent on the health of your new puppy or kitten, their age, their medical history, and their needs. Generally, vaccinations begin at 6 to 8 weeks of age and are repeated every 3 weeks until he has received two vaccinations after or three vaccines.

Pet vaccinations are important for all dogs and cats; even the ones that remain indoors most, if not all, of the time because they could still catch an airborne virus from outside at potty time or through an open window or door screen. More often than not, viruses are spread due to contact with other infected animals that are wild or whose owners did not elect to keep their pet vaccinations up to date. Given the violent and progressive nature of small-animal viruses, it is of the utmost importance to immunize your pet and opt to keep your kitty current with the latest cat vaccinations and your pooch up to date with his or her dog vaccination.

Dog Vaccinations

Protects from several viruses, mostly involving the intestinal tract, respiratory tract & liver. Several boosters are needed, generally 3-4 weeks apart. Recommended for all dogs. Distemper InformationParvovirus InformationHepatitis Information

Protects from this bacterial disease that is spread through water sources with wildlife contamination, usually affecting the kidneys & liver. This may be included with the Distemper vaccine. Two initial boosters are needed, then an annual vaccine. More information

Protects from this tick-borne disease. Two initial boosters, followed by annual vaccines. Recommended depending on risk level.  More information

Protects from this deadly virus. Generally done around 16 weeks of age. First vaccine is good for one year. Required for all dogs.

Helps protect from this contagious respiratory disease. Required for boarding and most grooming facilities. More information

Helps protect from this contagious respiratory disease. Required for some boarding and grooming facilities. More information

Cat Vaccinations

This vaccine, considered a “core” vaccine, is recommended for ALL cats. This protects your kitten from several possibly severe diseases. Several boosters are needed to protect your kitten. Parvovirus informationRhinotracheitis information;

Rabies is a deadly virus that affects the brain and spinal cord of all mammals, including cats and humans. This being the case, it is very important to protect your pet from this virus. 

Recommended for all kittens. Also for cats that spend time outdoors, and those that may come in contact with outdoor cats. More information

We recommend that every new kitten (or cat) be tested for these important viruses. Kittens can be infected from their mothers with these viruses which both have similarities to the HIV virus in people. Early testing can help you plan for a healthy life for your new kitten. Feline Aids information

Canine Distemper

What is it?
Is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus.
 
Who is susceptible to it?
Dogs, ferrets, foxes, coyotes, wolves, jackals, raccoons.
 
How does it spread?
The virus is shed via all body excretions, especially respiratory ones. 
 
Time line from exposure to signs?
Signs begin to show 2 to 4 days after exposure.
 
What are the symptoms?
Infection with the virus can have 3 outcomes:
  1. Mild disease – signs include fever, decreased appetite, depression and eye irritation/discharge.
  2. Severe disease – signs include fever, eye and nasal discharge (often green/ yellow), cough, depression, decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration.
  3. Neurologic disease – Evident 1 to 3 weeks after recovery.  Signs include seizures, pacing, circling, behavioral changes, change in gait, difficulty walking, partial/complete paralysis, and unusual movements.
Is there a test for it?
Yes.  Two blood samples are collected (the first collected while the animal is sick and the second collected 3 weeks later) and sent out to the lab.
 
How is it treated?
Treatment largely consists of supportive care.  In this case fluid therapy (IV) to maintain hydration and proper nutritional support are required.  Anti-vomiting, anticonvulsant injectable medications and antibiotics may be used as needed.
 
Cleaning the environment?
The virus is inactivated by heat, sunlight, most detergents, soaps and chemicals.
 
Is there a vaccine?
Yes!  The vaccine (Modified Live) is the “D” in the DHPP vaccine.  The vaccine is given by injection and requires two doses 4 weeks apart with yearly boosters. Puppies should receive a minimum of two doses after 12 weeks of age.
 
Risk for humans?
Man is not known to be affected by the canine Distemper Virus.

Parvovirus

What is it?
Parvovirus is a highly contagious is a viral disease of dogs.
 
Who is susceptible to it?
Dogs of any age, sex and breed.  The disease is usually more severe in young dogs (less than 6 months).
 
How does it spread?
Direct transmission occurs when an infected dog comes in contact with a healthy dog.  The virus is found in the dog’s stool, saliva and vomit.  In addition, the virus particles can be easily spread on shoes, clothing and other inanimate objects.  Fleas as well as humans can act as sources of infection.
 
Time line from exposure to signs?
Clinical signs can start as early as 2 to 7 days post exposure.
 
What are the symptoms?
There are two forms of the disease.  However, infection with Parvovirus does not automatically mean illness.  The degree of illness can range from very mild to unapparent to very severe often resulting indeath.
  1. Cardiac Form (less than 8 weeks of age)– sudden death, crying, difficulty breathing, depression, weakness, poor appetite, and irregular heartbeat.
  2. Intestinal Form (any age, more severe in puppies) – Depression, loss of appetite, fever, vomiting, low white blood cell count and diarrhea with or without blood.
 
Is there a test for it?
Yes, there are two different tests.
  1. Stool Snap test done in the hospital, results available in 10 minutes.
  2. Two blood samples are collected (the first collected while the animal is sick and the second collected 3 weeks later) and sent out to the laboratory.
 
How is it treated?
Treatment largely consists of supportive care and these patients are hospitalized.  In this case fluid therapy (IV) to maintain hydration and proper nutritional support are required.  Anti-vomiting injectable medications, antibiotics and antivirals may be used as needed.
 
Cleaning the environment?
The virus is resistant to extreme temperatures and is unharmed by detergents, alchohols and common disinfectants. Clorox diluted one part to 30 parts with water has been effective in disinfecting inanimate objects.
 
Is there a vaccine?
Yes.  The vaccine (Modified Live) is the “first P” in the DHPP vaccine.  The vaccine is given by injection and requires two doses 4 weeks apart with yearly boosters.  Puppies should receive a minimum of two doses after 12 weeks of age. 
 
Risk for humans?
Man is not known to be affected by Parvovirus.

Canine Hepatitis

What is it?
A disease of the liver and other body organs caused by canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1).
 
Who is susceptible to it?
Unvaccinated dogs of all ages are at risk, however, the disease is most prevalent in patients less than one year of age.
 
How does it spread?
The virus is spread by body fluids including nasal discharge and urine. Recovered patients can shed the virus for up to nine months in the urine. The primary mode of transmission is by direct contact with an infected dog. Contaminated runs, cages, dishes, hands, boots, etc., can also serve as a source of transmission.
 
Time line from exposure to signs?
Signs begin 4 to 7 days after exposure.
 
What are the symptoms?
Initially, the virus causes a sore throat, coughing, fever, vomiting, diarrhea and occasionally pneumonia. Later it can affect the eyes, liver, and kidneys. The clear portion of the eyes, called the cornea, may appear cloudy or bluish. As the liver and kidneys fail, one may notice seizures, increased thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, and swollen abdomen.  Death can result as soon as two hours after the initial signs. Death can be so sudden it may appear as if the patient was poisoned.
 
Is there a test for it?
Yes.  Two blood samples are collected (the first collected while the animal is sick and the second collected 3 weeks later) and sent out to the lab.
 
How is it treated?
There is no specific treatment for infectious canine hepatitis. IV fluids and supportive care are indicated.
 
Cleaning the environment?
The virus is inactivated by heat, sunlight, most detergents, soaps and chemicals.
 
Is there a vaccine?
Yes!  The vaccine (Modified Live) is the “H” in the DHPP vaccine.  The vaccine is given by injection and requires two doses 4 weeks apart with yearly boosters. Puppies should receive a minimum of two doses after 12 weeks of age.
 
Risk for humans?
To date, there is no evidence of transmission of Canine Hepatitis from dogs to people.

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis (also called Lepto for short) can be an acute disaster of severe illness but most dogs survive their acute phase and are not diagnosed until they reach a more chronic stage. For example, the most common manifestation of leptospirosis-related kidney failure is excessive water consumption a week or two after an episode of unexplained fever.

How does my dog get it and what are the Symptoms?

Dogs become infected by the bacteria that causes the disease (leptospires) when abraded (irritated or cut) skin comes into contact with infected urine or with water contaminated with infected urine. Alternatively, bite wounds, exposure to reproductive secretions, and even consumption of infected tissues can transmit this infection.  Leptospire organisms are able to survive for months in cool moist earth, assuming they do not actually freeze or become exposed to direct sunlight. Once they are in the soil, they readily wash into bodies of water, including puddles. Urine contamination usually comes from wildlife (especially rats and raccoons) but could come from infected dogs.  Humans can be infected with as well.  The organisms quickly spread through the bloodstream leading to fever, joint pain, and general malaise. The organism distributes to multiple organs and wreaks havoc. Which organs are most affected depends on the serovar of the organism, the immunity of the dog, and the age of the dog. The organism settles in the kidneys and begins to reproduce, leading to further inflammation and then kidney failure in 90 percent of patients (10-20% also have liver failure).

Typical Symptoms and Clinical Picture

  • Fever, depression, loss of appetite, joint pain, nausea, excessive drinking, jaundice, excess bleeding brought on by low platelet count.
  • Recovered animals can shed leptospires for months after recovery. Younger animals tend to be more severely affected than older animals.
  • Most cases are diagnosed between July and December and involve large breed dogs in rural or suburban environments.
  • There may be a genetic predisposition for infection in German Shepherd dogs.

About the bacteria

Leptospira organisms are spiral-shaped bacteria called, they have been sub-classified into smaller groups called SEROVARS. Over 250 serovars have been been named and at least 10 are important for pets. Vaccine for dogs, however, exists against only four serovars.  Different serovars produce different types of disease and are in different geographical areas.

Testing

Leptospire organisms are difficult to detect; it turns out to be much more practical to look for antibodies made against the organisms with the idea being that if antibodies are present, so is the organism. The problem with this idea is that many dogs are vaccinated against leptospirosis, which means that they will have antibodies without infection. Vaccination status must be considered when antibody levels are tested.

Antibody levels are expressed as titers, which are ratios reflecting how much dilution of the sample is needed before it is too dilute to detect antibodies. For example, a titer of 1:32 means the serum diluted out 32 times still had detectable antibody. A titer of 1:32 may sound pretty high but it is actually pretty low; an MAT titer must be at least 1:800 to be considered positive.

·       MAT Testing
The traditional blood test to detect antibodies against Leptospira interrogans sensu lato is the MAT test, which stands for microscopic agglutination testing. While a value of 1:800 or higher is supportive of a positive diagnosis, confirmation is not made until a second titer is run between 2 and 4 weeks and shows a four-fold increase. Vaccination may interfere with testing since obviously the entire point of vaccinating is to generate antibodies. If the dog has been vaccinated in the last 3 months, testing will be difficult to interpret; however, a single titer of 1:800 or higher against a serovar for which there is no vaccine is considered a positive result. Paired titers may not be practical as one may not want to wait 2 to 4 weeks to begin therapy so some judgment is necessary to consider the patient’s status versus how high the initial titer is and the patient’s vaccination status.

·       ELISA Testing
Recently test kits for in-clinic use have become available and these are helpful in determining whether a titer is high from vaccination or from natural disease. It turns out that fresh infections produce a specific type of antibody called IgM, and an ELISA test is able to determine if a titer is high in the IgM category or in the more long-term IgG category. A high IgM titer indicates a new and active immune stimulation and, unless the dog was recently vaccinated, implies active infection.

·       Other Tests
The PCR test, which detects even small amounts of leptospire DNA, is an excellent test if vaccination has been recent. PCR testing is becoming more common and may supplant the MAT test as a confirming test. The problem is that it will detect dead organisms, which can make it hard to interpret in a recovering patient.

·       Urine may be submitted for what is called Darkfield microscopy. In this test, a dark background may offset the paler leptospire organisms rendering them visible. This sounds like a good way to make the diagnosis but the problems are:

1.     The urine sample must be fresh and most animal hospitals do not have the capability to do dark field microscopy.

2.     Leptospires are only shed in urine intermittently. The kidney may be biopsied and tissue stains may be used to detect leptospire organisms. Obviously this is an invasive procedure.

Treatment

Fortunately, Leptospira is sensitive to penicillin, a readily available antibiotic. After penicillin has been used to stop leptospire reproduction and limit bloodstream infection, tetracycline derivatives (such as doxycycline) are used to clear leptospires from the kidneys. Leptospires are cleared from the blood within 24 hours of starting antibiotic treatment but it takes about a week for them to clear from the urine so it is important to wear gloves, goggles, etc. and be conscious of contamination.

Intravenous fluids are crucial to support blood flow through the damaged kidneys so that recovery is possible. Any areas at home that have been contaminated with urine should be disinfected with an iodine-based product and gloves should be warn while cleaning up any urine. Prognosis is guarded depending on the extent of organ damage with appropriate treatment 80-90 percent survival rates are reported.

Prevention

Vaccination Options
Prevention against Leptospira is only available for the serovars called canicola, grippotyphosa, pomona and icterohaemorragiae. (Some vaccines cover all four serovars while others cover only two out of four.) As a result of long standing use of this vaccine, it is hard to assess how important it is to vaccinate against leptospirosis. (As you might imagine, most recent outbreaks involve serovars for which vaccination does not exist,which suggests that the vaccine is working.)

In the past, leptospirosis vaccine was felt to be associated with a higher chance of immunological vaccine reactions,but vaccines made from leptospires grown in protein-free media have made vaccination reaction far less likely. A recent study involving thousands of dogs and their vaccinations showed no increase in vaccine reaction risk with leptospirosis vaccination.

Vaccination will reduce the severity of disease but will not prevent infected dogs from becoming carriers.

Other important aspects of prevention include controlling rodents in the pet’s environment and removing standing water.

The Infection in Humans

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention monitor leptospirosis cases in people, it seems that one third come from contact with infected dogs and one third come from contact with rats (usually through field work). Recreational activities involving water and exposure to flood waters are also associated with human leptospirosis outbreaks.  The same disease symptoms occur in humans as would be seen in dogs.

Lyme Disease

What is it?
Infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi..
 
Who is susceptible to it?
Lyme disease can affect dogs, cats, horses, cattle, birds, wild animals and people.
 
How does it spread?
Deer ticks transmit the organism.   However, the bacteria are not injected into the host animal until the tick has been attached for 10 to 24 hours.  Whitetail deer and white-footed mice appear to be natural carriers of the bacterium.
 
Time line from exposure to signs?
Signs begin within days, weeks, or even months.
 
What are the symptoms?
Signs of Lyme disease are vague and resemble those of various other conditions like RMSF and Ehrlichiosis.  Initial signs include a rash, fever, joint swelling and pain and swollen lymph nodes.  Within days, weeks, or even months, more serious signs develop, such as heart, brain, kidney and joint disorders.  Painful joint swelling is the most common advanced sign.
 
Is there a test for it?
Yes, there are two different tests.
  1. A blood Snap test done in the hospital, results available in 10 minutes.
  2. A follow up blood test to the lab, which gives a numerical value to the infection allowing for more accurate information.
 
How is it treated?
The response to treatment depends on the pet’s general health and resistance to disease.  Some pets will require hospitalization while others will require simple antibiotic therapy.  Treatment requires at least 4 weeks of antibiotic therapy.  Often pets will continue to test positive for the disease and have recurrence of the disease at a later time.
 
Cleaning the environment?
Keep pets away from areas infested with ticks.  Keep the yard free of bushes or places where ticks may like to hide.  Use a tick preventive product like Frontline, Promeris or Advantix.
 
Is there a vaccine?
Yes, however, the vaccine (Recombinant) is not 100% protective.  Getting the vaccine does not make you pet immune to Lyme disease, but it does help slow down the progression of the disease and often time lessens the symptoms.  The vaccine (Recombinant) is given by injection and requires two doses 4 weeks apart with yearly boosters.  In puppies at least 2 doses after 12 weeks of age should be given.
 
Risk for humans?
Humans can be infected directly by a tick bite.  A person is unlikely to contract the disease from a pet unless he was to remove an unattached tick from the pet and allow the tick to feed on him.
 
lyme map

Kennel Cough

What is it?
A contagious respiratory disease caused by many different organisms (Canine adenovirus –2, parainfluenza virus, Canine adenovirus –1, Canine herpesvirus, Bordatella bronchiseptica bacteria, Pseudomonas bacteria, Klebsiela bacteria, Pasteurella bacteria, Streptococcus bacteria, Escherichia coli bacteria and Mycoplasma).
 
Pets suspected of having kennel cough should not be allowed into the hospital’s waiting room.   These patients must wait outside until an exam room is available to avoid exposing other patients. 
 
Who is susceptible to it?
Dogs.
 
How does it spread?
The infection can be spread between dogs in close contact; it is airborne.  Affected animals should be isolated from other dogs for at least 7 days past complete resolution of symptoms 
 
Time line from exposure to signs?
Signs begin 5 to 10 days post exposure.
 
What are the symptoms?
Signs are related to the degree of respiratory tract damage and the age of the dog.  They may range from an uncomplicated cough to severe life-threatening pneumonia.  The very young and the very old seem to be more susceptible.   Signs usually include a dry and hacking cough followed by gagging of mucus with nose/ear discharge.  Signs can progress to pneumonia.
 
Is there a test for it?
No, diagnosis is made based on history and clinical signs.
 
How is it treated?
Outpatient therapy is usually recommended for uncomplicated disease.  These dogs are usually treated with antibiotics and medications to suppress the cough.
 
Cleaning the environment?
Clean the affected areas with bleach 1:30 dilution.
 
Is there a vaccine?
Yes.  There are many vaccines for Bordatella bronchiseptica (Killed and Modified Live) however the vaccine is no guarantee that disease will not develop.  Most vaccinated animals seem to develop a milder form of the disease.
The Parainfluenza virus vaccine (Modified Livecan be given intranasaly or as the“second P” in the DHPP vaccine.  The vaccine is given by injection and requires two doses 4 weeks apart with yearly boosters.  Puppies should receive a minimum of two doses after 12 weeks of age. 
 
Risk for humans?
Until recently, infectious tracheobronchitis was not considered to be a human health risk. Recently however, research indicates that Bordetella bronchiseptica may cause disease in some humans, primarily those with compromised immune systems.

Canine Influenza

(Information taken from AVMA website) 8/2017

Canine influenza (CI), or dog flu, is a highly contagious viral infection affecting dogs. Influenza viruses are able to quickly change and give rise to new strains that can infect different species. At present, two strains of canine influenza virus have been identified in the United States: H3N8 and H3N2. There is no evidence that either strain of canine influenza (H3N8, H3N2) can infect humans.

Canine H3N8 influenza was first identified in Florida in 2004 in racing greyhounds. It is thought this strain developed from an equine H3N8 influenza strain that jumped from horses to dogs. Since being detected in 2004, canine H3N8 influenza has been identified in dogs in most U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

Canine H3N2 influenza was first identified in the United States in March 2015 following an outbreak of respiratory illness in dogs in the Chicago area.  In May 2017, canine H3N2 influenza was diagnosed in dogs in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Louisiana, and Illinois. This was the same strain of H3N2 involved in the 2015 outbreak in Chicago. 

Canine influenza is transmitted through droplets from coughing, barking and sneezing. Dogs in close contact (kennels, groomers, day care, shelters) are at increased risk of infection. The virus can remain alive for up to 48 hours, and spread indirectly through objects (e.g., kennels, food and water bowls, collars and leashes) or people that have been in contact with infected dogs. It is important to clean and disinfect objects that have been in contact with an infected dog to avoid exposing other dogs to the virus. Likewise, people who have been in contact with an infected dog should wash their hands and clean their clothing to avoid spreading the virus.

H3N8 has an incubation period of 1 to 5 days, with clinical signs in most cases appearing 2 to 3 days after exposure. Dogs infected with H3N2 may start showing respiratory signs between 2 and 8 days after infection. Dogs are most contagious during the incubation period and shed the virus even though they are not showing clinical signs of illness. Some dogs may show no signs of illness, but have a subclinical infection and shed the virus.

Canine influenza virus infects and replicates inside cells in the respiratory tract causing an inflammatory response (rhinitis, tracheitis, bronchitis and bronchiolitis) resulting in death of the cells. This predisposes the respiratory tract to secondary bacterial infections that contribute to nasal discharge and coughing.

Virtually all dogs exposed to CI become infected, with approximately 80% developing clinical signs of disease. The approximately 20% of infected dogs that do not exhibit clinical signs of disease can still shed the virus and spread the infection.

The majority of infected dogs exhibit the mild form of canine influenza. The most common clinical sign is a cough that persists for 10 to 21 days despite treatment with antibiotics and cough suppressants. Affected dogs may have a soft, moist cough or a dry cough similar to that induced by kennel cough. Nasal and/or ocular discharge, sneezing, lethargy and anorexia may also be observed. Many dogs develop a purulent nasal discharge and low fever (103-104o​F). The nasal discharge is usually caused by secondary bacterial infections, including Pasteurella multocida and mycoplasma species.

Some dogs are more severely affected and exhibit clinical signs of pneumonia (diagnosed with chest x-rays), such as a high-grade fever (104°F to 106°F) and increased respiratory rate and effort. Although most dogs recover without incident, deaths due to H3N2 have been reported.

Canine influenza cannot be diagnosed solely by clinical signs (coughing, sneezing and nasal discharge) because these clinical signs also present with other canine respiratory illnesses. Tests are available to diagnose and identify the strain of canine influenza virus. Tests include: virus isolation, immunoassays to detect virus antigen, PCR to detect virus nucleic acid, and serology for antibodies specific to the virus.

Treatment for CI, as for most viral diseases, is largely supportive. Most dogs recover from canine influenza within 2-3 weeks. Secondary bacterial infections, pneumonia, dehydration, or other health factors may necessitate additional diagnostics and treatments including, but not limited to:

  • Antimicrobials for known or suspected secondary bacterial infections.
  • anti-inflammatory medications as needed to reduce fever and inflammation.
  • Fluids to help correct dehydration or maintain hydration.

To prevent transmission of the virus, dogs infected with canine H3N2 influenza as well as other dogs in the household should be isolated for 4 weeks.

Canine influenza virus is not widespread in the dog population and many dogs have never been exposed to the virus. The morbidity rate (the number of exposed animals that develop disease) estimated at 80%. The mortality (death) rate is low; less than 10%. Deaths occur mainly in dogs with the severe form of disease.

Feline Parvovirus

What is it?
Also known as Feline Panleukopenia, is a highly contagious disease of young cats caused by a virus.
 
Who is susceptible to it?
Cats in general but young cats seem to be more prone.
 
How does it spread?
The virus is shed in all body secretions, with fecal shedding being the primary source of infection.  Transmission is from contact with infected animals, contaminated environment or fomites.
 
Time line from exposure to signs?
Signs begin within days of infection.
 
What are the symptoms?
  1. Adult cats are usually asymptomatic.
  2. Kittens develop fever, lethargy, stop eating, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration.
  3. Very early infections during pregnancy can lead to abortions and brain disorders.
 
Is there a test for it?
Yes, there is a fecal test that can be sent to the laboratory.
 
How is it treated?
Treatment largely consists of supportive care.  In this case fluid therapy (IV) to maintain hydration and proper nutritional support are required.  Anti-vomiting injectable medications and antibiotics may be used as needed.  Brain signs are not treatable but usually do not tend to get any worse over time. Death can occur in very severe cases.
 
Cleaning the environment?
This virus is resistant to environmental degradation and to many disinfectants.  Areas should be cleaned thoroughly with bleach. 
 
Is there a vaccine?
Yes.  The vaccine (Modified Live) is the “P” is the FVRCP vaccine.  The vaccine is given by injection and requires two doses 4 weeks apart with yearly boosters.  Kittens should receive a minimum of two doses after 12 weeks of age.
 
Risk for humans?
Feline Panleukopenia cannot infect people.
 

Feline Rhinotracheitis

What is it?
Is an infectious disease caused by a virus.
 
Who is susceptible to it?
Domestic and exotic cats.
 
How does it spread?
Spread between cats by direct contact or by short distance aerosolization (sneezing) of the bacteria.  Transmission through contaminated objects can also occur.
 
Time line from exposure to signs?
Signs begin 4 to 5 days post exposure.
 
What are the symptoms?
Signs include: purulent nasal discharges, eye irritation, coughing, sneezing, and skin infection around the nose.  Severe cases can develop chronic sinus inflammations and pneumonia.  Death can occur in very severe cases and untreated cases.
 
Is there a test for it?
Not easily done.  Testing requires collecting samples from the mouth or nose to be sent out to the laboratory for virus isolation.
 
How is it treated?
Usually treated as an outpatient.  Cats are placed on antibiotics and eye medications.  Hospitalization is only needed if the development on pneumonia is suspected.
 
Cleaning the environment?
This virus is resistant to environmental degradation and to many disinfectants.  Areas should be cleaned thoroughly with bleach
 
Is there a vaccine?
Yes.  The vaccine (Modified Live) is the “FVR” is the FVRCP vaccine.  The vaccine is given by injection and requires two doses 4 weeks apart with yearly boosters.  Kittens should receive a minimum of two doses after 12 weeks of age.  The vaccine does not prevent infection; rather it reduces the severity and the duration of the disease.
 
Risk for humans?
The Feline Calicivirus cannot infect people.
 

Feline Leukemia

What is it?
Feline Leukemia is caused by a highly contagious virus. 
 
Who is susceptible to it?
Cats of all ages, sex and breeds.
 
How does it spread?
It is spread primarily by saliva during catfights and mating. It can also spread by contact with infected blood or urine. Kittens may become infected while still in the womb, at birth or during nursing.  In cats living in close contact for long periods of time, the virus may spread through grooming of one another.
 
Time line from exposure to signs?
Signs of the disease can develop very slowly over a period of months. 
 
What are the symptoms?
Infection with the Leukemia Virus has three possible outcomes:
  1. 40% of cats will be able to mount a defense against the virus and be protected.
  2. 30% of cats do not respond to the virus and become neither infected nor immune to it.
  3. 30% cats become persistently infected with the virus and are susceptible to associated disease including cancer.  Associated diseases include:
  4. Cancer – Most commonly Lymphosarcoma (Lymph system cancer), Leukemia (bone marrow cancer).
  5. Bone Marrow Suppression – (decreased production of red and white blood cells).
  6. Others – kidney disease, reproductive disorders, Lymph node enlargement, bone abnormalities, urinary problems, and secondary bacterial infections.
 
Is there a test for it?
Yes, there are many different tests.  A blood sample Snap test done in the hospital, results available in 10 minutes.  The doctor may decide to send follow up tests to the lab, which are more specific. 
 
How is it treated?
Currently, there are no drugs available to cure Feline Leukemia.  Treatment is directed at relieving clinical signs, promoting a sense of well being, and preventing the spread of the virus to other cats.
 
Cleaning the environment?
Fortunately, Feline Leukemia Virus does not survive outside of the cat very long especially in a dry environment.  Common household disinfectants can be used to neutralize the virus.
 
Is there a vaccine?
Yes.  There are two types, the veterinarian will decide the most appropriate.  The vaccine requires two doses 4 weeks apart with yearly boosters.   FELV vaccines have been associated with Fibrosarcomas (cancer at the vaccine site) in the past.
  1. A Recombinant vaccine – is administered through air gun technology.
  2. Killed vaccine – is given by injection.
 
Risk for humans?
Man is not known to be affected by Feline Leukemia Virus.
 

Feline Aids FIV

What is it?
Also called FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) is a contagious disease caused by a virus. 
 
Who is susceptible to it?
Cats, most common in male free-roaming cats that fight.
 
How does it spread?
The primary mode of transmission is via a bite wound.  It can also be spread to kittens through the mother’s milk.
 
Time line from exposure to signs?
First signs appear usually between 3 to 7 weeks.
 
What are the symptoms?
Divided in to three different stages
  1. Acute – Swollen lymph nodes, fever, diarrhea, anemia and malaise.
  2. Latent – Mild swelling of lymph nodes.
  3. Chronic – Mouth irritation, diarrhea, persistent upper respiratory infections, fevers of unknown origin, behavioral changes, seizures, dementia, and increased susceptibility to infections.
 
Is there a test for it?
Yes, there are many different tests.
  1. A blood sample Snap test done in the hospital, results available in 10 minutes.
  2. The doctor may decide to send follow up tests to the lab, which are more specific.
 
How is it treated?
Currently, there are no drugs available to cure FIV.  Treatment is directed at relieving clinical signs, controlling secondary infections, and preventing the spread of the virus to other cats.
 
Cleaning the environment?
Fortunately, FIV does not survive outside of the cats very long especially in a dry environment.  Common household disinfectant can be used to neutralize the virus.
 
Is there a vaccine?
Yes. The vaccine (Killed) does not provide complete protection.  The biggest problem with this vaccine is that it causes cats to test positive for the disease.   This is a problem because most cats that test positive at shelters are considered not fit for adoption.  We only recommend this vaccine be given in very specific cases and that a microchip be placed at the same time. 
 
Risk for humans?
FIV cannot infect people, and owners of FIV infected cats have no cause for alarm.

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