> Cat Vaccination
It is vitally important to protect the health of a kitten or older cat by making sure it is vaccinated against certain serious viral diseases that can prove fatal in untreated animals. Routine vaccination< provides protection against the following diseases:
- Feline infectious enteritis (FIE) or feline pantenkopenia (FPL). A viral form of gastroenteritis, which can be fatal in many cases. Vaccination is by means of a course of injections, starting at the age of nine weeks.
- Feline influenza (cat 'flu) or feline respiratory disease. A variety of vaccines are available but normally vaccination is by means of a course of injections, starting at the age of nine weeks. With both these conditions, booster vaccinations must be given on a yearly basis once the initial course has been completed.
- Feline leukemia virus (FeLV). A serious viral disease that attacks the lymphoid tissues and is responsible, in many cats, for the formation of malignant growths called lymphosarcomas. The virus causes disruption and damage to various body systems and leaves the cat vulnerable to other infections by reducing its immunity. Recently a vaccine has been developed, and cats can now be protected by means of an injection against this often fatal infection.
It is vitally important to consult a veterinary surgeon about vaccination as soon as possible after acquiring a kitten or cat, so that a pet can be protected against these common infectious illnesses. It is usually possible to arrange for the first vaccination injection and general health checkup to be carried out at --he same time, giving a good opportunity for any other problems to be discussed. The viral diseases of cats are particularly prevalent in cat rescue shelters or other premises where large lumbers of different animals are brought together. Unfortunately, it is sometimes the case that a kitten acquired from animal shelter is incubating one of these illnesses, to which it has very little natural immunity. In these circumstances, therefore, an early visit to a veterinary clinic is even more important.