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unvaccinated kitten around vaccinated cat 

Vaccines stimulate the body's immune system to form disease fighting cells and antibodies (also known as circulating proteins) to protect against disease. 3)  Even though they may be more efficacious for the herpes and calici viruses, they often cause sneezing and watery eyes and the owner needs to be aware of this.  Our rescue group tried using these vaccines and it was a disaster because our kittens had to sit out from adoptions for about 2 weeks due to sneezing and watery eyes. What is the Future for Pet Vaccination? Vaccines against these “cold” viruses may help increase resistance to infection and reduce severity of disease. Most fully vaccinated animals will be resistant to the disease for which they are immunized. The puppy had been previously healthy with no prior disease, drug treatment, or toxin exposure. However, in this case it is possible that the vaccine will not confer complete immunity if the kitten’s mother had high levels of rabies antibodies that she passed on to her kitten (probably an extremely rare scenario).  Merial states that if a kitten is vaccinated at 8 weeks of age, they should receive another vaccine at 12 weeks of age but this is obviously not going to happen with a feral kitten that is TNR’d (trapped, neutered, returned). In vaccinated cats showing clinical signs, the sensitivities of culture and PCR were 14.8% and 55.6% respectively (P = 0.03), whereas in unvaccinated cats the sensitivities were 80.6% and 96.8% respectively (P = 0.07). Kittens surely have a course of three vaccinations, normally given 4 weeks apart: 6 – 8 Weeks First Vaccination - Temporary 10 – 12 Weeks Booster Vaccination The AAFP guidelines state that you can start this vaccine when the kitten is as young as 6 weeks of age but, unless there is a very high index of risk, I would definitely not vaccinate a kitten this young. Protective response to vaccines can be reduced in any cat with poor health, due to an uncompleted series of boosters, and in animals taking drugs that can suppress the immune system. Up until July 2014 we only had one choice of PureVax rabies vaccine – one that was only labeled for 1 year.  It did not make me happy to have to inject feline patients with a rabies vaccine every year but the good news is that we now have two choices: The choice is very clear for me – I will be using/recommending the PureVax 3-year product going forward. Other serious reactions can involve blood vessels (vasculitis), red blood cells (Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia), platelets (Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia), and any organ of the body. (No cat is going to let a human probe and clean under their gum line.). What is the care for animal bites? The viruses used to make vaccines need to be grown in what is called a “cell culture.”  The cells used to make the FVRCP vaccine are feline (cat) kidney cells. That said, I would rather not give this many vaccines to a kitten.  Unless there is a high index of risk, I prefer to limit it to 2 vaccines total for the kitten series. Keep in mind that a vaccine protocol is not a ‘one size fits all’ issue and that the medical community is lacking in definitive research in many areas of vaccinology.  This is why the AAFP and myself make suggestions regarding vaccine protocols – versus etched-in-stone statements. Do not assume that your vet is using non-adjuvanted vaccines.  ASK before allowing any vaccine to be administered to your cat. Unfortunately, it has been hard enough to get veterinarians to switch from annual vaccines to the current 3-year protocol so it is going to be an uphill battle to get them to vaccinate even less frequently.  Therefore, I do not see changes in the AAFP suggestions coming anytime soon. Vaccinations, by definition, protect your kitten from contracting specific diseases. Other animals can transmit rabies and tetanus. Are There Alternatives to Vaccination? Although I have not seen any literature on the negative reaction rate, I am going to assume that the recombinant vaccines will be less apt to cause an anaphylactic reaction because they contain fewer potential allergens. Sarcomas need to be quickly and aggressively treated – at great expense – if one is to try to save the patient’s life. Although vaccines must undergo safety trials to receive licensing in Canada and are considered very safe, vaccines can still cause reactions in a very small number of pets. When given to young kittens, protection from their mothers (via antibodies in the milk) interferes with the vaccine, so multiple doses of vaccine need to be given. Decision-making criteria – including comments on titers. The incubation period is approximately 5 days (range 2–10 days). Some factors to be considered include the number of cats in the household, exposure to feral cats or wild animals, age and health status, travel, cattery life, and boarding or showing. April 25, 2017. More animals need to be vaccinated to increase herd (population) immunity. The older a kitten is (past 16 weeks of age) when he receives his last kitten shot, the less inclined I would be to give a booster shot 1 year later. A vaccinated kitten is a healthy kitten. If a cat shows any titer at all, this means that he has either been vaccinated in the past (and responded to that vaccine) or he has been naturally exposed to the disease. )  Since humans can contract rabies from animals, including cats, vaccinating cats for rabies is required by law in some areas of the country. Calicivirus is one of the most common viral causes of feline upper respiratory infections. Please note that even some (all?) (Some of this dialog is also stated in the above sections.). They will have an initial injection, and then a second about 3 weeks later, as well as a thorough health check, and discussion about all aspects of kitten-care, including neutering, flea and worm protection, diet and behaviour. Despite the very occasional risks associated with vaccination, it is widely accepted that vaccination plays an important role in the protection of cats from these serious diseases. The puppy was severely dehydrated on clinical presentation and demonstrated pale mucous membranes, oral ulcerations, halitosis, and abdominal pain. A vaccination is a preparation of microorganisms (pathogens), such as viruses or bacteria, that is administered to produce or increase immunity to a particular disease.  There can be no disputing that vaccines save lives but they also have the potential to cause serious side effects which will be discussed on this webpage. will not be known so the decision to administer a vaccine, or not, is a judgment call.  This is a situation where titer testing can help out. The duration of immunity provided by an inactivated FeLV vaccine, Versifel FeLV, when administered to cats of the target age was determined. I do not repeat the FVRCP vaccine past the kitten shots – or past the 1-year booster as discussed above. I would never count on an IN vaccine to fully protect a patient from panleukopenia. Everyone has a different ‘take’ on a risk-benefit analysis and people have to work within their own comfort zone.  What follows are suggestions that work within my comfort zone. Additionally, kitten vaccinations are a condition of boarding for most reputable catteries and they are completely necessary if you want to travel abroad with your cat or kitten. No. why vets vaccinate pups and kittens at different ages how often your pet should be vaccinated why all dogs and cats get the same vaccine dose, whatever their size, or breed Studies have demonstrated an association between the FVRCP vaccine and interstitial nephritis which is the fancy term for kidney inflammation. This could happen due to a problem within the manufacturing process or because of poor handling of the vaccine after it left the manufacturing plant. When a vaccinated cat encounters these agents in the future, it rapidly generates antibodies and activates the cells that recognize the agents, producing an immune response that results in the elimination of the invading agent. As noted above, many of my colleagues are simply not taking the time to carefully peruse the scientific literature that provides DOI data showing that we are over-vaccinating many of our pets – or, they are choosing to ignore the data.  (Rabies will be discussed separately.). If you read the AAFP guidelines, there is the potential for administering 4-5 vaccines in the kitten series.  Given the fact that the FVRCP vaccine has been proven to cause kidney inflammation (nephritis), I am not comfortable following their suggestions. Though these tests do not provide evidence of protective immunity, some clinicians use high titre results as an indicator, along with low disease exposure risk that vaccines might be administered at a longer than usual revaccination interval. The final vaccine, however, should not be given before your pet turns sixteen weeks. Generally, all cats receive a series of vaccinations as kittens that are completed by four to five months of age, and their first booster is given a year later. As a kitten, they were likely given several rounds of vaccinations over a short period of time (i.e., a vaccine or booster series). Notice that I emphasized the word “current” in the paragraph above.  This is because of ‘memory cells’ which are cells in the body that titer testing cannot measure.  Memory cells are primed by a previous natural exposure or vaccination to a pathogen (virus, bacteria, fungus, etc.) Intranasal vaccines are also modified live viruses and all are NON-adjuvanted.  They are administered via the nose and eyes.  I do not use them for several reasons.  The following comments pertain to the intranasal FVRCP vaccine – keeping in mind that the most important virus among the 3 that any FVRCP vaccine targets is panleukopenia: 1)  The route of infection for panleukopenia is oral, not via the respiratory tract.  Intranasal vaccines are better at conferring immunity for respiratory viruses and are less effective than an injectable MLV for stimulating immunity to panleukopenia. MLV stands for Modified Live Virus.  They are all NON-adjuvanted.  The viruses contained in these vaccines are not killed but are attenuated (blunted) so that they will replicate in the recipient but, hopefully, will not cause disease.  Most, but not all, FVRCP vaccines are modified live. 5)  In some situations (catteries and shelters with a severe herpes/calici problem), the IN vaccine that contains only the herpes and calici viruses but not panleukopenia virus is of value since it stimulates a local mucosal (the lining of the respiratory tract) immunity very quickly and is not affected by maternal antibodies.  Therefore, it can be given to kittens younger than the traditional 8 weeks of age. It spreads easily in unhygienic conditions and is sadly often fatal, with unvaccinated kittens being most at risk. Some vaccines may be administered as drops into the nose. Bites that break the skin are even more likely to become infected. Merial’s PureVax rabies (1 ml dose) and feline leukemia (0.25 ml dose) vaccines are recombinant vaccines which means they contain only a portion of the genetic material of a pathogen (virus).  Therefore, reversion to virulence (able to cause disease) is impossible. They are to be given as low on a limb as possible.  This is to allow for limb amputation if a VAS occurs. herpes (rhinotracheitis) – the ‘R’ in FVRCP, panleukopenia (“feline distemper”) – the ‘P’ in FVRCP, risk of exposure to the disease in question, prevalence of the disease in the environment, DOI studies (Duration of Immunity) for the vaccine, vaccine properties (adjuvanted/non-adjuvanted, etc. As noted above, please understand that I cannot offer any advice via email.  If you wish to discuss your personal situation, I am available for phone consultations. If the animal under observation develops any signs of illness, it should be evaluated by a veterinarian. Cat scratches, even from a kitten, can carry "cat scratch disease," a bacterial infection. ), Age and Long-term Protective Immunity in Dogs and Cats. Recently, we have shown that cats administered FVRCP vaccines parenterally (i.e. These ‘newer’ guidelines are based on DOI (duration of immunity) studies showing that it is not necessary to vaccinate cats as frequently as they have been in the past.  In fact, the DOI studies show that it is not even necessary to vaccinate as frequently as every 3 years for FVRCP. This means they will need a series of injections known as a ‘primary course’ to build up their immunity. There is no legal requirement for FVRCP or FeLV vaccines anywhere in the world. Now having said that, we can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and not vaccinate at all otherwise, our cats (and possibly their humans in the case of rabies) may suffer for it. In some parts of Canada, where risk is high, vaccination of pets is mandatory. Result:  They all had what is considered to be a protective titer for the panleukopenia virus. That's one of the reasons we charge an adoption fee when we rehome an animal. Puppy death due to overvaccination – case report, Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis possibly associated with over-vaccination in a cocker spaniel, Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition, Transitioning Dry Food Addicts to Canned Food, The Carnivore Connection to Nutrition in Cats, Protein/Fat/Carb/ Phosphorus Chart, Canine Nutrition: Feeding Miss Lilly – Dr. Christine King, Dr. Pierson’s Tall, Dark, and Handsome Men, the vaccines commonly used for cats confer immunity for, adjuvants contained in killed vaccines put cats at risk for fatal. Reasons why a kitten may not fully respond to a series of vaccines as a kitten and would benefit from a 1 year booster are: 1)  The last kitten shot was given when he was younger than 16 weeks of age. ), They appear to be most commonly associated with vaccine adjuvants but can also form at the site of any injection that causes local inflammation.Â. We wait until the kitten is at least 16 weeks old to receive his last kitten shot because the antibodies he got from nursing on his mother will have decreased to a low enough level that his own body can respond to the vaccine in order to make his own antibodies.  (Maternal antibodies within the kitten can ‘tie up’ the vaccine before his body has a chance to respond to it.). Keep in mind that if you do decide to vaccinate for FIV (an adjuvanted, and very ineffective, vaccine), your cat will now test ‘positive’ since the FIV test cannot tell the difference between an infected cat and a vaccinated cat. This reluctance to change is especially true of the older generation of veterinarians (myself included having been involved in this profession for over 40 years) who lived through a time when the mortality rate from rabies, distemper, etc., was very high.  Vaccines came along and saved lives – no question – but it is time to start paying more attention to the current DOI studies – some of which have been available for many years. In addition, vaccine companies will continue to develop new vaccines for existing or emerging infectious diseases in cats. It is most dangerous to kittens where it can cause death, blindness, … While most … Before we get started on this discussion, it is important to understand that there is no single vaccine protocol that fits every situation and every person’s individual comfort level.  There are many factors involved in the decision making process but at the core of each decision is: This webpage discusses vaccine protocols that are within my comfort zone but may not be within the readers.’  It is also important to understand that a discussion involving FVRCP (herpes, calici, panleukopenia) and FeLV (feline leukemia) vaccination is separate from one discussing rabies vaccination. Many veterinarians are choosing not to carry the PureVax line (either the 1-year or the 3-year rabies vaccine, or the PureVax FeLV vaccine) because PureVax products are much more expensive than adjuvanted vaccines.  Many veterinarians practicing in low-income areas or in animal shelters on limited budgets are still using the more inflammatory adjuvanted rabies vaccines. Dr. Kathleen Cavanagh, Consulting Online Editor, CVMA and are ready to quickly (within hours) produce more antibodies the moment the body is exposed to the invader again.  These cells do not produce antibodies – and therefore, do not contribute to the titer level – until the body is attacked by the pathogen. On the vaccine is 100 % safe vaccination, followed by a vaccination protocol suited your. Protect a patient ’ s vaccination or shot schedule is not quite as frequent, but should be within., owners may be recommended based on the risk a particular disease poses to an individual cat ( non-core )... 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