INFECTIOUS DISEASES – FELINE
“Our Commitment To Your Pet Lies In The Quality Of Our Care”
Kittens should be vaccinated regularly to protect them from life threatening infectious diseases. Kittens are very susceptible to infectious diseases such as viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, feline panleukopaenia, feline leukaemia, feline immuno-deficiency virus and chlamydia. Kittens receive antibodies from the mother, through the colostrum, which usually protects them from diseases for 6 to 8 weeks. Once the kittens lose their maternal antibody protection, they are at high risk of contracting diseases, if exposed to an infected animal. The duration of protection provided by maternal antibodies can vary from 3 to 15 weeks.
The initial vaccination series consists of one injection of a multivalent vaccine given at 6 weeks of age, followed by two booster vaccinations given at 9 and 12 weeks of age. Kittens whose immune status is uncertain may receive additional injections of multivalent vaccine as early as 2 weeks of age.
Once the vaccination series is completed annual boosters are recommended to maintain protective antibody level.
If your pet is not vaccinated these are some of the signs that you may note depending on the type of infection your pet has contracted.
- Feline Panleucopenia - Feline Enteritis
- Four clinical syndromes associated with feline panleucopenia.
- Peracute- sudden death in young kittens without any obvious signs of ill health. Owners may suspect kitten has been ‘poisoned’ because of speed of death.
- Acute more often- sudden onset of marked depression and anorexia, quickly followed by persistent vomiting of food and subsequently bile stained fluid. Cats often assume pathetic ‘hunched up’ appearance with nose resting on the floor. Often cry in pain when handled or picked up and abdomen may feel distended. No diarrhoea initially but often appears after 2-3 days of clinical disease- often liquid, yellow-brown and may contain blood.
- Sub acute- usually many of clinical signs observed in acute but less severe.
- Cerebellar hypoplasia- kittens show dysmetria and hypermetria, muscle tremors, weakness and ataxia.
- Feline Upper Respiratory Disease - Cat Flu
- Generally acute disease observed but severity varies considerably between individuals.
- Clinical disease appears more severe in young or old and in purebred cats, especially Siamese.
- Paroxysmal sneezing and conjunctivitis
- Feline pneumonitis - Chlamydia
- Initially serous ocular discharge with some degree of blepharospasm, hyperaemia and chemosis, progressing to nasal discharge and sneezing, mucopurulent discharge.
- Cats are initially pyrexic but generally remain bright and continue eating.
- Improvement expected within 2-3 weeks but persistent infections last many months.
- Feline Infectious Anaemia
- Sudden onset of weakness, lethargy and anorexia.
- Often pyrexic, marked pallor of mucous membranes; associated tachycardia, tachypnoea and splenomegaly
- Feline Infectious Peritonitis
- Early signs vague, including pyrexia, anorexia, weight loss, diarrhoea.
- Failure to grow is common in kittens.
- Possible chronic unresponsive diarrhoea with prolapse of third eyelid.
- Progresses to more specific signs of two clinical forms within a few weeks or may take months:
- Effusive Feline Infectious Peritonitis
- fluid accumulates in the abdomen (and in the 25% of cases within the thorax as well);
- pericardial effusion not uncommon.
- Non-effusive Feline Infectious Peritonitis
- no effusions;
- granulomatous lesions on any abdominal organs particularly spleen, liver and kidneys;
- organs often become swollen, palpable; eventually organ failure.
- central nervous signs generalised and progressive neurological defects including ataxia, paresis, disorientation and convulsions.
- Eye lesions associated with retinitis and uveitis; may be unilateral or bilateral.
- Feline Leukaemia Virus
- May remain asymptomatic for years.
- When clinical signs occur, may be associated with either neoplastic disease (20% of cases), or non-neoplastic diseases associated with immunosuppression (80% of cases) clinical picture with FeLV-related disease varies.
- Feline Immuno-Deficiency Virus - Feline AIDS
- Transient pyrexia and generalised lymphadenopathy after exposure to virus, followed by asymptomatic phase which may last for years before clinically detectable immunodeficiency syndrome develops.
- Many different clinical conditions associated with immunosuppression and secondary bacterial infections, varying individually.
- Lethargy, weight loss and anorexia always present; clinical signs associated with either respiratory or digestive tract. Most common forms include:
- Chronic rhinitis
- Chronic diarrhoea
- Chronic gingivitis
- Chronic skin disease
- Neurological disease ( behaviour changes, convulsions)
- Neoplasia, especially lymphoid tumors.
- Most of these associated with secondary opportunist organisms which establish because of FIV-induced immunosuppression.
- History of chronic or recurring infections which respond poorly to treatment, in a lethargic thin cat, strongly suggestive of FIV infection.
As you can appreciate the problems are many and will need to be identified. It is therefore recommended that your pet is seen by us at the earliest, to prevent the problem progressing and causing other complications. Early recognition and treatment means that your pet will recover sooner, and will therefore be far more comfortable. It is not only significantly more difficult to treat a pet in an advanced stage of the disease, as well as far more expensive, but one also has to take into account the significant pain and stress your pet is under by not being treated at the earliest.
We sincerely recommend that you please call us on 1300-838-738 (1300-VET-PET) to schedule an appointment at the earliest. We do not believe in berating our clients for presenting the pets late, as we believe that this is counter productive. It is not our intention to cause you any embarrassment, offence or anxiety. Our approach is now that you have presented your pet to us, how do we go forward from here, not only keeping your pet’s welfare at heart, but also working with your wishes and limiting factors. We do approach all cases presented to us with a level of sensitivity. As pet health care professionals we will present our assessment and treatment in a professional manner and factually as possible.
You may not be aware that in older pets multiple problems often arise as aging affects all body systems. As pets age they become increasingly vulnerable to diseases. The three leading causes of non accidental death in pets are cancer, kidney disease and heart disease. Older animals seldom suffer from a single disease. One problem may markedly influence the course of another. Ageing is characterised by progressive and irreversible change. Pets are likely to start having diseases associated with ageing between 7 and 13 years. Smaller dogs tend to live longer than large dogs. The quality and length of life of older pets can be improved through regular health checks (every 6 months). A thorough clinical examination will help define some of these problems.
Because we do care for the welfare and interest of your pet, we do go out of way to ensure that your pet can access medical or surgical attention in time of its need. It would also interest you to know that:-
- We do pride ourselves in the quality of our services.
- We do provide a 24 hour on call service.
- We also offer payment plans through a third party, provided you meet the criteria as set out by the financing institute.
- If you cannot bring your pet to us, we will come to you as we do have a fully equipped pet ambulance.
- We also do house calls.
- Your pet will receive a very high level of care given the level of diagnostic and monitoring equipment that we have on hand.
- We do welcome you to take a personal tour of our facility.
- We also provide pet grooming services
- We also provide puppy classes. Puppies are trained not only indoors, but also outdoors, being exposed to outdoor noises and traffic in a controlled environment. The puppy training classes are run by Ms Julie Pocknee.
- We do care for our wildlife, and work very closely with wildlife carers providing veterinary care where needed.
- We take an active part in community services and proudly support Service Dog Training, by way of providing veterinary services to working dogs of individuals with disabilities. Please see www.servicedogtraining.com.au
If you have not used our services before, we do suggest that you try our services and see the differences for yourself. From our analysis we find that over 30% of all new patients are referred to us by existing clients, and a further 25% of all new patients are brought in by existing clients. Our clients travel from as far as Camberwell, Clayton, Fitzroy, Ringwood, Chelsea, St Kilda, Port Melbourne, Pakenham, to name but a few. From the level of service we provide, you would come to understand that we are not your average Veterinary Services provider. We do recommend that you bookmark our web address www.petcarevet.com.au
Our staff are very friendly and courteous. We are very easily accessible. We are located at 234 Power Road, Endeavour Hills, at the intersection of Power Road and Heatherton Road, Endeavour Hills, just off the Monash Freeway. Please note that parking is at the rear.