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Why are vaccinations so important?

Leptospirosis is another disease that we vaccinate dogs against; it comes in various strains, but all affect the liver & kidneys; it can be lethal. The most notable variety goes by the name of Leptospirosis icterohaemorrhagiae, which is passed on via rodents and is also communicable to people. The human version of the disease is known as Weil’s disease. This makes it all the more important to protect the family pet.

Feline enteritis is caused by a virus, and results in severe vomiting and diarrhoea, making the affected individual very depressed and dehydrated and is frequently fatal. Vaccination provides very good protection, and is recommended for all cats. Somewhat confusingly, the disease also goes by the name of feline panleucopaenia (FPL) or feline infectious enteritis (FIE) or feline parvovirus (FPV) -they are all one and the same. The virus is of the same family as canine parvovirus, but the viruses are different, and not infectious between the species.

“Cat ‘flu” is the colloquial term for two viruses which cause upper respiratory disease in cats. Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, runny eyes, and more severely affected individuals will have a fever and be depressed and off their food. The viruses involved are not actually ‘flu viruses -one is a herpes virus, and the other is called a calici virus. The awkward thing about both of these viruses is that affected individuals can become carriers, and so both have flare-ups of respiratory disease in the future, and continue to be infectious to other cats. Vaccination gives a good degree of protection against these diseases and is recommended.

Feline Leukaemia Virus targets a cat’s immune system, and can result in a variety of clinical signs; it is ultimately usually fatal. The virus is passed on by close contact between an infected individual and another cat e,g, mutual grooming, or possibly fighting. Due to the seriousness of the disease, vaccination is recommended for any cat that goes outside and so potentially has contact with other cats.

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