By Rachele Baker, DVM – One simple and yet very important way to help keep your pet healthy is to make sure that he or she receives the proper vaccinations. Antibiotics kill bacteria. Infection with more virulent FCV strains can cause pyrexia, depression, dyspnoea, and pneumonia (12). Indoor and outdoor cats may have different vaccination requirements, as would any pets who have special health concerns that affect their immune systems. With the urbanization of rural areas, leptospirosis is on the rise. Placing a small screen or sheer muslin over the door of the crate will allow the sick kitty to see out, and can help prevent nose-touching. Many pets will be just fine until they just aren’t.
Rabies should be given at 12-16 weeks, boostered in 1 year and then every 1 or 3 years depending on the lifestyle of the pet. DHPP is a combination of four vaccinations: distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus (a severe gastrointestinal virus that is highly fatal to dogs and puppies if not treated early) and parainfluenza. The Australian Veterinary Association recommends a vaccination interval suited to the individual need of the animal in conjunction with advice from the consulting veterinary surgeon. Some of the diseases we inoculate against are: Feline Herpes Virus, Feline Calicivirus, Feline Leukemia and Feline Panleukopenia, and rabies. The symptoms of parvovirus include: lethargy, severe vomiting, loss of appetite, bloody diarrhoea that can lead to life-threatening dehydration. The organism is usually spread through infected urine, but contaminated water or soil, reproductive secretions and even consumption of infected tissues can also transmit the infection. The Rabies vaccine should be boostered one year later and then boostered annually or every three years thereafter depending on the type of Rabies vaccine used.
Conventional veterinary medicine is big on pushing vaccinations. Vaccinated animals are largely protected from acute disease symptoms, but are not protected against infection. Because the organism settles in the kidneys and actually reproduces there, inflammation and even kidney failure may develop. The Lyme organism can also lead to heart disease, central nervous system disorders, or even fatal kidney disease. Antiviral medications, supplements (like lysine), antihistamines, and other medications may also speed up the healing process. Some points of interest include: (1) There is a small, real potential for rabies to enter your household. It is a very contagious airborne disease.
Most cases appear after contact with other dogs in kennels, grooming facilities and other places where dogs congregate. It is usually contracted by contact with rat urine, ingestion of rat carcasses or rat bites. Canine Influenza is a newly emerging infectious disease commonly referred to as “dog flu.” Just like human flu is among humans, canine influenza is highly contagious among dogs. The virus is transmitted by saliva, biting, urine, faeces, in the womb or via the milk from infected mother to her kittens. This is because the virus is relatively new and dogs have no natural immunity to it. Most commonly, kennel cough is transmitted by airborne respiratory secretions (such as those produced by coughing) of infected dogs. Both are airborne viruses which will infect susceptible hosts.
FCV molecular biology: Feline caliciviruses are small non-enveloped viruses (~35 nm diameter) that contain a polyadenylated linear ~7.7 kb (+) stranded RNA genome. Dominant clinical features in dogs is recurrent lameness due to inflammation of the joints. There may also be a lack of appetite and depression. More serious complications include damage to the kidney, and rarely heart or nervous system disease. These carrier cats may have long term infections that come out in times of stress or with treatment that suppresses the immune system. The vaccine stimulates the dog’s immune system to produce antibodies against rattlesnake venom. These antibodies typically last for several months depending on the individual dog’s response to the vaccine.
Vaccination annually against Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) may also be considered. Dogs that are exposed to rattlesnakes whether at home, walking, hiking, camping, hunting or elsewhere would be a good candidate for the rattlesnake vaccination. The FVRCP vaccination protects your cat against 3 contagious diseases. Kittens receive 4 FVRCP injections, starting at the age of 6-8 weeks. The damage to the intestinal walls can allow bacteria to migrate through the intestinal walls into the rest of the body resulting in severe disease from bacterial toxins. At this stage, distemper may be mistaken for a cold. The San Miguel sea lion calicvirus, in addition to infecting sea lions, can infect other marine mammals and pigs (3).
The virus is extremely contagious to cats, and is caused by a feline herpes virus. FVR can leave some cats with permanent respiratory system and optical damage. C=Calcivirus. Clinical signs may include severe diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, fever, lethargy and anorexia. The more dangerous strains can be deadly to young kittens and older cats. Calcivirus is transmitted through direct contact with an infected cat or an infected item. After this they should be treated with an allwormer (roundworm, hook worm, tapeworm including hydatid & whip worms in dogs) every month until they are 6 months old then every 3 months for the rest of their life.
P=Panleukopenia, also known as feline distemper. Feline distemper is a highly contagious disease that moves quickly through the system. FeLV (Feline Leukemia) is a very serious disease of the feline world. Feline herpesvirus is present in saliva as well as eye and nasal discharges from infected cats. This is why antibiotics are conventionally given when an animal is brought in with distemper. The study of human caliciviruses is hindered by the inability to propagate these viruses in tissue culture cells. Most cats that get exposed to the virus develop antibodies and are able to fight it off.
This is especially true for cats that are free of parasites, are current on their routine vaccinations, and are fed a good diet. Cats that have minimal exposure to other cats are at significantly less risk of getting this disease. Most cats infected with FeLV will not survive to the age of 2-3.