Monthly Archives: February 2016
Meowllo everypawdy and welkum to another Blest Sunday. We do hope we were able to help some of ya’ out with our article on vaccinations. Mommy whispered sumthin’ ‘bout it bein’ close to time fur me to be seein’ da VET fur dat very thing. Anyways enuff ‘bout dat, it’s Blest Sunday today and as always we are feelin’ mighty blest. Sissy has been eatin’ and keepin’ it down fur a few days straight now. She even had a little rumble wiff a nip toy or two last night. Thanks to awnty Anonymous mommy has coffee, and me’s feelin’ great. And we have all of you. Is dat not blest?
We are also part of da Chewy Blogging Family which allows us to try lots of pawsum foods, treats and occasional toys and groomin’ purroducts every month. Now this month we were asked ifin we wuld like to take a 30 day challenge with a new cat food. It’s only available in kibble so mommy told sis Lexi and me absolutely not. You know me’s not sure me is ever gunna get another piece of kibble in me’s life. But dat’s okay, me’s quite happy with da noms me’s eatin’ now. But mommy got to thinkin’ ‘bout poor Buddy, and decided he shuld take da challenge. He kuld certainly use sum good high quality noms, so a few emails later and Buddy’s all signed on. Then me got to thinkin’ dat we have some new furiends dat may not know Buddy, so me thought we shuld take today to tell ya’ a little ‘bout him.
Almost 7 years ago now Buddy showed up at our partment complex lookin’ all skinny and raggedy. He was scroungin’ ‘round in da snow lookin’ fur food and warmth. Me had joined mommy and sis Lexi 3 months earlier, and he wasn’t much bigger than me, so we guesses him to be about me’s age. Well our ‘partments have a limit on how many animals are allowed purr apartment and so we kuldn’t take him in. But of course mommy was sharin’ our noms with him and had made a little make shift shelter on our porch so he kuld get outta da cold. And then a few days later mr. W came wheelin’ up to our door holdin’ dat cute little scroungy stray and grinnin’ from ear to ear.
Da furst words outta mommy’s mouth was, “Are you gonna keep him?” Yep mommy’s known fur getting’ right to da point. Anyways, mr. W sez, “I don’t know. I don’t have anything for a cat.” Well of course mommy wasn’t gunna let dat stand in da way of da scroungy little stray getting’ a home. Me had just graduated to da big pawdee box, so mommy grabbed up me’s kitten box and a baggie of noms and sum litter and sed, “Now you do. This will get you through a week till you can get to the store to buy him some supplies. He needs to go to the VET as soon as possible to make sure he’s healthy, and you need to think about having him neutered in a couple of months.” Yep, mommy done had it all planned out and was makin’ sure da little scroungeball had a furever home.
Now me had been checkin’ all this out from da window and me kuld see da bewilderment all over mr. W’s face. He sat there in his wheelchair with da kitty in one hand and a litterbox full of supplies in da other and looked at mommy as ifin to say, “I just wanted to show you the kitty.” But mommy wasn’t lettin’ up. She saw dat face too, but pushed on and sed, “What are ya’ gonna call him? He needs a name.” Mr. W just kept lookin’ at mommy with his mouth wde open. And then mommy sed, “Now you won’t have to be alone. You’ve got a little buddy that needs you.” Mr. W and da scroungeball wheeled off to their own apartment. We didn’t see or hear from them fur da rest of da day. When da next day rolled ‘round, mr. W came wheelin’ up da walk to da door yet again. And yep, you guessed it, he had named da little scroungeball Buddy. Mommy became much like a godmother to him, cuz she was da purrson mr. W came to when Buddy needed his claws trimmed, and to apply da ear mite treatment da VET gave them, and to take him to da clinic fur neuterin’ and to take care of him when mr. W’s away. He goes to da hospital a lot; mr. W not Buddy. He sez they have great food and he doesn’t have to have ‘partment inspections ifin he goes to da hospital in a month. We can’t confurm dat last one cuz dat’s not been our experience, but dat’s what mr. W sez. Mommy calls Buddy her third kitty. He just doesn’t live with us. So this 30 day challenge was purrfect fur Buddy.
When we were all younger, Buddy used to come down fur play dates and birthday parties. But as we’s all gotten older, we don’t all enjoy bein’ together as much anymore, so now we have short visits when we go fur strolls and such. You know dat ole territory thing we cats feel. Anyways, dat’s a little ‘bout Buddy. You’ll be seein’ him here a few times this next month tellin’ ya’ ‘bout how he’s doin’ with this 30 day challenge, and now you’ll know who he is. You’ll have to stay tuned to find out more about this new food. In da meantime, be good to each other and have a Blest Sunday. And we’s joinin’ da Kitties Blue fur Sunday Selfies.
Till da next time……………………………………………Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Dezi and Lexi with Buddy
Well it’s Pet Health month isn’t it? We’s written ‘bout da dental health and spayin’ and neuterin’, and so now we thought we’d give ya’ da 411 on vaccinations. Lots of controversy ‘bout this subject and we’s not gunna put an end to it; but we’s gunna try to purrsent da facts. And of course we’ll give ya’ sum opinions too. Ya’ might member last year when mommy and da VET had a disagreement ‘bout sis Lexi getting da Rabies vaccination, and mommy insistin’ on havin’ a Titer test done to purrove she didn’t need it specially since me had gotten so sick afterwards. They never agreed on what to do, but sissy does have anti-bodies and since she has da CKD and mommy’s makin’ da decisions, she didn’t get vaccinated. Now, cuz we’s cats, we are gunna be coverin’ da Feline Vaccinations. However we do know lots of our readers have doggies as well, so keep in mind dat da recommended vaccination schedule and even sum of da core vaccines are da same fur doggies. Ifin you want more infurmation about Canine Vaccinations click here. And cuz this is such a purrtant subject da followin’ will be in Human speak. So let’s get started.
Let’s start with explaining what a vaccine is. A vaccine can contain recombinant, modified live, or dead attributes of a virus or disease. When introduced into the host body (us cats) it helps build anti-bodies to fight off the disease if exposed. As with any medical procedure there are risks involved in vaccinating. An uncommon but serious side effect of vaccinations is a tumor or growth at the injection site. This is known as FISS, Feline Injection Site Sarcoma. Typically manufacturers state that vaccinations should be given yearly, and quite a few VETs blindly follow those recommendations. However, studies have proven that the protection provided by the vaccines last longer than a year. But before we move on let me explain the difference in the three types of vaccinations.
Dead or InactiveVaccines contain killed or inactive pathogens of the disease and are therefore considered the safest vaccine. Altho’ the inclusion of stabilizers and preservatives have been known to cause both acute and delayed adverse reactions.
Modified Live Vaccines contain intact pathogens that have been modified to provoke an immune response without actually causing the disease. All intranasal and some injectable vaccines contain Modified Live pathogens. In general these are the preferred vaccines as they stimulate immunity faster and longer.
Recombinant Vaccines are made up of certain genetic sequences of a live pathogenic virus combined with the DNA of a live non-pathogenic virus that can be given as a vaccine.
All of these vaccinations are available on the market, but may not be available at all clinics. If you are concerned with which type of vaccine is being given to your pet, you should ask your VET. Mommy insists on Inactive Vaccines when possible and our VET has to special order them because he carries the Modified Live. A fact he didn’t know until mommy asked. His initial response was, “I don’t know what kind of vaccines I give, no one’s ever asked. But surely they are dead.” We found both those statements to be very sad. Just because nobody had ever asked doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have known what he was injecting into his patients. Of course that wasn’t good enough for mommy, she made him check. He has changed some of his vaccines to the Inactive now.
We would be remiss if we didn’t include the fact that a Task Force was formed to study and give recommendations regarding the vaccination schedule for felines due to the adverse effects of vaccines being reported. That being said, the task force recommended that vaccinations shouldn’t be given just because it’s been a year since the last one. The risk factors and lifestyle of the cat in question should also be taken into consideration. Such as age, other health issues, environment, infectious agents and exposure. An inside only cat is at less risk for most diseases than those who go outside or live in a multi cat household. If you board your cat, you may be required to give additional vaccines that wouldn’t normally be necessary. Vaccines should be given to a healthy animal especially when using Modified Live or Recombinant vaccines.
Now that we’ve covered the types of vaccines let’s talk about the actual vaccines. They are grouped into 2 basic types, Core and Non Core. In the State of Oklahoma and many other places there is also the Required by law rabies vaccine.
The Core Vaccines are:
Panleukopenia: Also known as Feline Distemper and is caused by the feline Parvovirus. The virus can remain contagious in litter boxes, cages and bowls for months to years. Infection comes from a cat eating the live virus. Recent studies have shown that the Canine Parvovirus can be contagious to cats as well. The only protection from this disease is the vaccination. The vaccine is available in both the intra-nasal and injectable. The injectable is more effective at preventing the disease. Kittens should receive their first vaccination at 12 weeks with boosters at 16 weeks, and one year. And then no more frequently than every 3 years.
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis and Feline Calcivirus: Most infectious upper respiratory diseases in cats are caused by the feline herpesvirus or calcivirus. These are transmitted from cat to cat by nose to nose contact or from objects such as food and water dishes. Most otherwise healthy cats will get over these on their own. But others can develop a chronic infection. These cats will have times when they appear totally healthy until they are stressed. At which time they will exhibit signs of the disease such as sneezing, runny eyes and nose. Infected cats will shed the disease for months up to a year and can therefore be a source of infection for others. These vaccines are available in intra-nasal, conjunctival (applied in eye) and injectable. The vaccine ‘Does NOT’ prevent the disease, but will lessen the effects. The injectable vaccine produces the least amount of adverse side effects. Vaccinations should be administered at 8 weeks with a booster at 16 weeks and one year later. Low risk cats should then receive boosters every 3 years.
Rabies: Rabies is mainly transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. Altho the infection can come from any fluid exchange with an open wound from species to species. Rabies is rare in rodents, but can be found in large populations of bats, skunks and other animals. Cats are relatively resistant to rabies but can be a potential source of infection for humans. There is no real treatment for rabies in cats; therefore it is highly recommended that cats be vaccinated. Again, this is the one vaccine that is mandatory by law in our State and many others. The Recombinant Vaccine offers protection with the lowest percentage of side effects. It is recommended that kittens receive the killed or recombinant vaccine at 12 to 16 weeks of age and then yearly boosters unless you are using the 3 year vaccine. Check your local laws regarding what is acceptable.
Feline Leukemia: Feline Leukemia can be transmitted by saliva, nasal discharge, biting, and/or sharing food and water dishes. It can also be transmitted by a mother to her kittens in utero or through her milk. Kittens under 16 weeks of age and cats living in catteries or large households where the virus is present or who go outside are at the highest risk and vaccination is recommended after a blood test. A blood test is performed before vaccinating because a vaccinated cat will test positive. There are potentially serious side effects associated with this vaccine. They can include local swelling or pain, lethargy, fever, post vaccination granuloma (benign lump) and most seriously, Vaccine Associated Sarcomas. A Sarcoma is a mass comprised of cancerous cells that can migrate from the injection site to other connective tissue, muscles and bone. Even with treatments and surgical removal their have been cat deaths associated with vaccination Sarcomas. That being said, vaccine manufacturers have made many strides towards safer vaccines in latter years. Vaccination Sarcomas are rare in comparison to the risk of infection of Feline Leukemia. Vaccination is recommended at 8 to 12 weeks with a booster at 16 weeks an then yearly.
So, those are the Core vaccines. With any adult cat of unknown origin, all Core vaccinations should be given immediately.
Non Core Vaccines:
Chlamydiosis: Chlamydia Psittaci is a bacteria affecting the eyes and respiratory tracts. It is easily cured with appropriate antibiotics.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis: FIP is caused by Feline Coronavirus. It is more common in crowded, overpopulated, dirty conditions and cats who become infected rarely survive. The vaccine currently available has been studied and shows no proof that it indeed offers any protection.
Dermatophytosis: In plain English that means Ringworm. Ringworm is caused by a fungus and can be easily treated. The current vaccine has not proven to offer protection.
Bordatella Bronchiseptica: This bacteria infects the respiratory tract and is most often resolved on it’s own in an otherwise healthy animal.
Giardia: Giardia is a protozoan parasite that attacks the intestinal tract. Infection usually comes from drinking contaminated water. The vaccine hasn’t shown evidence of offering any protection.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus: FIV is highly contagious and testing is recommended before introducing any new cat to the home. FIV is often referred to as Feline AIDS because it weakens the cats immune system. There is NO CURE for FIV. However, FIV positive cats can lead an otherwise normal happy life but care must be taken if they are sharing their home with FIV negative cats. Cats should be tested prior to vaccination because they will test positive after the vaccination. It should also be noted if a cat has been negative and vaccinated because of the false positive results that will show up in the future. The current vaccine has no studies to prove that it is effective.
Well if that isn’t information overload me doesn’t know what is. But we wanted to be thorough and fair in purrsentin’ the facts. Now fur some opinions. We’ve been asked a lot how we feel or what we think about vaccinations and if there are any we think are more important than others. And mommy’s opinion has changed over the years. You know way back when she followed the advice of the manufacturers and VETs she was a yearly vaccinator of all available. Yep, she even had one kitty vaccinated for Ringworm when he was 16 weeks old. He never got ringworm, but he also was never exposed. With the onset of studies and increased knowledge, and looking for a more natural approach, mommy no longer believes in vaccinating every year. We believe it’s very important to have all new kittens vaccinated with the Core Vaccines according to the schedule of 8 to 12 weeks, 16 weeks, and one year as well as spayed or neutered by 7 months. We also think it’s very important to have all adult cats of unknown origin vaccinated with all the Core Vaccines as soon as possible as well as spayed or neutered if necessary. We believe that vaccines should only be given to healthy animals thus mommys disagreement with our VET over sis Lexi getting vaccinated. If Fido or fluffy has a cold, wait a week or two. If they have a chronic ailment like sissy with the CKD, talk with your VET. Hopefully you have a better one than us and won’t be arguing over it.
Yes there are risks involved in vaccinating, but the diseases they help prevent are awful and unnecessary. As we said early on, Vaccines last longer than the one year manufacturers’ list. So after the initial yearly booster, we are vaccinated every third to fourth year with Panleukopenia. We are vaccinated against Rabies every 3 years but only because it’s required by law. Being Service Cats we do go into the public, but are protected from outside influences because we are in a covered stroller which doesn’t interfere with our duties for mommy. We are indoor only cats who are not exposed to other diseases or infectious pathogens and we initially tested negative for contagious diseases. Mommy does like to repeat the tests for a total of 2 times before initial vaccinations. Kittens can be tested as young as 6 weeks of age. We were both tested at 6 weeks and 9 weeks and then given our first round of vaccinations. For all older cats and cats with chronic ailments, we highly suggest talking with your VET about your cats lifestyle and what vaccinations may or may not be necessary. And there is always a Titer test available if antibodies are in question.
We are cats. We don’t like to go to the VETs and we don’t like to be poked and prodded. But it is up to our humans to do what is best fur us whether we like it or not. Even if you choose not to vaccinate your pet, it is still necessary to have them examined at least once a year. We do recommend single vaccinations. It means more sticking but if your animal has any adverse reactions at least you’ll know which vaccination caused it. And if your pet has any side effects to vaccinations they should be reported to your VET and the vaccine manufacturer immediately. So there ya’ have it. We hope we’ve maybe cleared up some of the confusion you might have been having about vaccinations. If you have any questions, of course you may leave them in the comments and we’ll try to find an answer for you. Or you can check out the many articles online. There’s a great PDF put together by the Feline Vaccination Advisory Panel here. Me’s tired now, so me’s gunna go take a nap. And since mommy had to do all da typin’ fur me, she’s tired too. We’ll be by to visit ya’ as soon as we rest up a bit.
How often do you vaccinate your pets?
Do you know what type of vaccine your VET uses?
Are you worried about the side effects of vaccinations?
Till da next time………………………………………….Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Dezi and Lexi
Mr. Sunshine!!! Where are you? Lady Spring!!! Me thought you was comin’ early? Oh, meowllo everypawdy how ya’ doin’? Member all dat purretty weather me had reported ‘bout? Well it went away and Old Man Winter came back with da colds, da storms and all. Mommy had been tellin’ me it was comin’ but me kept remindin’ her dat da weather guessers was sayin’ just da opposite. So Tuesday night when da sky started rumblin’ and lightin’ up like Cristmas trees mommy ‘splained to me dat da weather guessers must not know old man Arthur-Itis like she does. Me told mommy she needed to quit hangin’ out with old man Arthur-Itis cuz all he ever brought round was bad news, pain and yucky weather. Mommy agreed with me but sed he was an innerloper, an uninvited guest dat showed up whether you wanted him to or not. Bein’ da Southern Belle me is, me thinks dat’s just rude.
It iz rude Dezi, but old man Arthur-Itiz visits most of us az we get older. I hiss at him and old man Winter ever year and yet they still come back.
Well sissy me thinks sumpawdy shuld teach him sum manners. And dat’s all me’s gunna say ‘bout it fur now, cuz in all da stormin’ and cold we missed World Spay day.
As ya’ know we believe in spayin’ and neuterin’ your anipals. As with any medical purrcedure there’s a little controversary surroundin’ da when it can/should be done. Mommy remembers a long time ago when VETs recommended waitin’ till an animal was 6 – 8 months old or da females had their furst heat cycle afur altering. She even remembers a time when they thought it was good to let a female have 1 litter afur bein’ spayed. (shakes head) Fank Catness we know better today. With so many unwanted anipals in da world, da last thing we need is a bunch of kitties and puppies bein’ born to respawnsible pet owners. Anyways, in recent years spay and neuters have become commonplace in very young animals. Da new requirement seems to be dat da anipal in question must be 6 weeks old and weigh 2 pounds. This purrcedure is technically called a Gonadectomy and refers to the removal of the sex organs or gonads in both female and male animals. Spaying a female animal means dat da ovaries and usually da uterus are removed. Neutering a male entails removal of da testicles.
Neutering is about more than just de-sexing an animal. It can also alter some of da behaviors exhibited by in tact animals. Fur instance, neutered animals no longer feel da need to breed and pass along their genes and thus rarely exhibit territorial behaviors such as spraying, fighting or caterwauling. The medical benefits of neutering an animal include, reduced risk of mammary gland tumors, testicular cancer is eliminated, a decrease in da risk of prostrate disease and ovarian and uterine cancer is reduced or eliminated; especially ifin done before da furst heat cycle. And of course it does away with the vicious cycle of propagating and adding to da nummers of unwanted animals in shelters and rescues. As with any surgical purrcedure there are risks. But da benefits far outweigh those risks in most cases. Ifin you have any concerns da bestest thing to do is talk with your VET.
World Spay Day is an annual campaign by da HSUS and Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association to bring awareness to spay/neuter fur companion, community and street animals. But every day can be Spay Day as far as we’re concerned. Ifin you have trouble comin’ up with da funds to spay or neuter your furry furiend, check with your local shelter. More offen than not there is a low cost clinic dat can help you out. Even we have one about 35 miles from us. Mommy used to volunteer a lot; and me was spayed there many years ago now. Me was 6 months old at da time of me’s spay and sis Lexi was a bit older. But only cuz she was so tiny and her VET wanted to cut down on da risks of surgery by allowing her to gain weight afur goin’ unner da knife. Ifin him only knew. Sissy hasn’t seen those tiny days in a long time. MOL Mommy purrsonally isn’t a fan of da Gonadectomies and purrfurs da 6 month time line, but we encourage you to talk with your VET ifin you have any concerns. Spay, neuter and adopt. Words to live by.
Contrary to some beliefs, neutering does not make your pets lazy or gain weight. Your anipal will stay active as long as you continue to purrvide stimulation. And a propurr diet and play life will keep your pet healthy and weight appropriate. Me’s gunna go now and try to find Mr. Sunshine. Or maybe me will just take a nap by da lectric fireplace.
What are your thoughts on early spay/neuters (Gonadectomy)?
Till da next time…………………………………..Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Dezi and Lexi
References: Miriam Webster Dictionary (Definitions) and da ASPCA website (World Spay Day definition and clip art)