Think about an army that trains for combat. The soldiers engage in many exercises that teach them how to react to an enemy force. The exercises don’t include real enemies, but rather imitation ones. This training is performed so that when real enemies do attack, the army has a much greater chance of defeating them because it has learned how to deal with them.
Similarly, vaccines cause the body to train for possible future attacks from disease-causing agents. Vaccines contain imitation invaders—antigens that look like organisms that cause disease but actually aren’t. These trigger the body’s immune system to react to the “enemy” agents and thereby teach it how to respond when a real threat invades the body.
Northeast Animal Hospital can help prepare your cat’s body to fight common (and not-so-common) diseases that are contagious and deadly. And we can do even more: A Cat Wellness Exam can help us care for the total health of your pet. Please come in, or call us, to learn more.
Here are some other things to know about vaccinations:
Very important in preventing disease is a proper vaccination protocol that is designed for each pet. Our vaccination program takes into consideration each pet’s age and lifestyle, so only the needed vaccinations are given.
Vaccinations, properly given, are extremely important in preventing some potential and very serious diseases from occurring in cats and, in some instances, spreading to humans.
Our core vaccinations for felines include those against rabies, feline distemper (panleukopenia), and respiratory disease (rhinotracheitis and calicivirus).
Core vaccinations (except rabies, described below) can be administered once every three years after the initial kitten and one-year boosters, or more frequently depending on the likelihood of exposure to these conditions. Cat owners should consult with their veterinarian to determine the best schedule for vaccinations.
Rabies vaccination of cats is required by law in the state of Florida. Cats should be vaccinated for rabies annually after the initial treatment, or as recommended. The veterinarian will provide the cat owner, and the local animal control authority, a certificate of rabies vaccination.
Rhinotracheitis and calicivirus are upper respiratory diseases. Feline distemper, or panleukopenia virus, is a very severe disease that attacks the cat’s immune system and causes severe gastrointestinal symptoms and can be deadly if the cat is not protected.
The other vaccination that may be recommended by our veterinarians for cats of a certain status (such as age, breed, history, lifestyle, and environment) is the feline leukemia virus (FeLV). This vaccination may be suggested for kittens, outdoor cats, and indoor cats who are exposed to outdoor cats.
If you have any questions about your pet’s vaccinations, please call us.