When is the FVRCP vaccination given to cats?
This vaccination for cats is similar to the DA2PP vaccination in dogs in the sense that it is a critical vaccination, especially for kittens. It should be started at 8 weeks when possible then repeated every 4 weeks until kittens are at least 16 weeks of age. After completing the kitten series and coming back the following year for this vaccination, it is given every 3 years. Adult cats without a known history of vaccinations need two vaccines approximately one year apart then they can also receive it on a 3 year basis.
What diseases are vaccinated for with a FVRCP vaccination?
The FVRCP vaccine protects against feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), feline calicivirus, and feline panleukopenia.
What is Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR)?
Feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) is caused by a herpesvirus which infects the upper respiratory system (nose and trachea) and the eyes of cats. As in its human counterparts, the feline herpesvirus is usually a life-long infection where symptoms come and go depending on stress, nutrition, and overall health of the patient. Sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers, and fever are common symptoms. FVR is especially serious in young kittens where it can cause pneumonia and even death. It is transmitted by direct contact with infected cats. It is also possible to be indirectly transmitted by inanimate objects (fomites) which have recently been contaminated with the saliva, eye discharge, or nasal discharge of an infected cat. Long term L-lysine supplementation for FVR cats may be helpful in reducing the number of future relapses. FVR is also one of the few viral diseases in veterinary medicine where antiviral medications may be beneficial.
What is Feline Calicivirus?
Like the feline herpesvirus, the calicivirus is a very contagious upper respiratory infection. Symptoms include fever, sneezing, conjunctivitis, and inflammation/ulceration of the tongue and mouth. Polyarthritis (arthritis of several joints) is also a possibility. As with FVR, a more serious complication of feline calicivirus is pneumonia. This virus is transmitted through the air (sneezing), through contact with saliva, or indirectly by objects which have been contaminated with the virus (fomites).
What is Feline Panleukopenia?
Feline panleukopenia is a very deadly feline disease and is the feline version of parvovirus. As in parvovirus with dogs, this virus attacks the intestinal system leading to bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and anemia (low levels of red blood cells). In addition to these symptoms, cats will have a deficiency of white blood cells making them susceptible to secondary infections. The infection is usually spread by contact with feces. Treatment is usually very costly and does not guarantee survival.