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Cat Vaccines

Feline Vaccination Recommendations

Feline vaccines are scientifically proven to prevent or lessen certain diseases. Through the years research has lead to effective, safer vaccines and also, veterinarian recommendations have changed over the years.  We have been using a 3 year rotation for some feline vaccines, while others are recommended annually or based on your cat’s lifestyle.  Some clients are reluctant to vaccinate their cats due to the rare possibility of vaccine-associated sarcoma(a cancer), but please understand these risk are very low, less than one in 10,000 cats will develop this type of cancer. This clinic has rarely seen this type of event.   We will happily discuss and help you weigh the risk associated with vaccines versus the diseases they can protect from. Core vaccines are generally recommended for all cats to protect against diseases that are common, serious or potentially fatal.  These disease are ones that found commonly throughout North America and are easily transmited.  Non-Core vaccines are diseases your pet may be exposed to infrequently to even every day, depending on it’s lifestyle.  Non-Core vaccines can protect against mild disease or some that are life-threatening. We typically follow the AAFP(American Association of Feline Practioners)  guidelines for vaccinating cats.

Feline Core Vaccines

  • Feline Panleukopenia.  This is cat distemper, a viral infection that can cause profuse and usually bloody diarrhea, severe dehydration, malnutrition, anemia and often death.   Feline panleukopenia is highly contagious through contact with cats bodily fluids, secretions or feces.  This disease can actually be spread through pet handling, shared bowls, clothing, shoes or shared bedding.
  • Calicivirus.  A virus that generally causes respiratory infections, oral sores and can lead to secondary bacterial infections.
  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis. This is a viral infection that almost always causes upper respiratory infection symptoms, eye infections and even pneumonia.  This disease is caused by a feline Herpesvirus-1.  This is a extremely contagious disease that can cause severe respiratory symptoms, and even death, especially in younger cats or kittens.
  • Rabies.  A contagious viral disease transmitted by the saliva of an infected mammal ( commonly found n raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats, but all mammals can carry).  Rabies is a fatal disease that can be transmitted to humans.  There is no effective treatment for Rabies and prevention  by vaccination is the only way to avoid it completely. Georgia law requires proof of Rabies vaccine for each pet you own.  There is a one or a 3 year vaccine available ( the 3 year can be given only after a 1 year vaccine previously was given). We typically only vaccinate cats with a one year rabies in order to lessen the risk of vaccine associated sarcomas ( tumors).