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This is the seventh part of a Guthrie vet wants to take you on a journey. Every wonder what all those initials (DHLPP, FVRCP) meant when you go to get your pet vaccinated? Well, it’s quite simple; each letter stands for a disease that is contained within the vaccine. This week I will talk about cat vaccines. The annual vaccines for your cat are FVRCP, also commonly called feline distemper, leukemia and Rabies. Here is what they each stand for:
1. FVR stands for feline viral rhinotracheitis: Rhinotracheitis is caused by a virus transmitted through the air. Clinical signs include fever, sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, and eye discharge.
2. C stands for Calicivirus and Chlamydia. Calicivirus is transmitted in saliva. It is a very hardy virus which is easily transmitted. Clinical signs include fever, anorexia, oral ulcers, and clear nasal discharge. Chlamydia is caused by a bacteria that is transmitted in saliva. Clinical signs include squinting, congestion, weepy eyes, sneezing, and a clear nasal discharge.
3. P stand for Panleukopenia: Panleukopenia also known as feline distemper is caused by a virus that is shed in body secretions. Clinical signs include decreased white blood cells count, high fever, anorexia, vomiting, green gooey diarrhea, and dehydration. This infection is most common in young kittens and is an often a fatal disease even in adult cats with no prior exposure.
4. Leukemia: Feline leukemia is a virus that suppresses the cat’s immune system. It can eventually cause leukemia, lymphoma, decreased red blood cell count, or reproductive disorders. Symptoms include chronic mouth and gum infections, skin and ear infections, chronic respiratory disease, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia and dehydration. Feline leukemia is transmitted through blood or saliva primarily through cat bites. It can also be passed from mothers to kittens in utero. The virus does not survive long outside a host and is easily killed by drying or cleaning. I only recommend this vaccine if your cat goes outside or is exposed to other cats that go outside.
5. Rabies: Rabies is 100% fatal disease and is caused by a virus. The virus is only transmitted from the bite of another animal that is infected with the rabies virus. Symptoms can include sudden death, drastic changes in behavior and neurological symptoms. This disease is also contagious to humans and is 100% fatal.
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Spay and neuter your pets!