Cat Vaccine AbbreviationsCat vaccines come in a variety of combinations and may be identified by abbreviations. Here's a handy guide to help you determine which letters need to be in your vaccines.
"FVR", "H": Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis. This is a contagious disease of the respiratory tract that is caused by the Herpesvirus. Common symptoms include eye ulcers, congestion of the nose and sinuses, fever, and loss of appetite. Cats that are extremely dehydrated or anemic may die from this disease. Even if a cat survives, he will be a carrier of the disease for the rest of his life, so a vaccination for FVR is highly recommended.
"C": Calicivirus. Another contagious respiratory disease, Calicivirus may be difficult to distinguish from other respiratory infections. In addition to other common eye and nasal symptoms, it can also cause ulcers of the mouth or joint and muscle pain. Severe cases may lead to death, especially in young kittens. An infected cat will be a carrier for the rest of his life and continually shed the virus for years.
"P", "FPV", "FP": Feline Panleukopenia. This widespread disease is similar to canine Distemper. Highly contagious, it invades developing cells and corrupts the white blood cells so the cat is unable to fight off infection. Symptoms are sudden and include fever, diarrhea, vomiting, seizures or death, especially in unvaccinated kittens. The only treatment is supportive therapy of the symptoms, so vaccination is important.
"Ch": Chlamydia is the fourth component of 4-way vaccines, though it's not always abbreviated. Often called "cat pink eye," it causes a variety of upper respiratory symptoms such as sneezing, congestion and eye and nasal discharge. Cats living in multi-cat households are more susceptible to the disease, so vaccination is not always necessary for every cat. Talk with your veterinarian for recommendations.
"FeLV", "LVK", "Lv-K": Feline Leukemia Virus. Feline Leukemia is caused by a virus that replicates in the cat's body and attacks the immune system, causing cancers and other immunodeficiencies. Symptoms may include fever, lethargy, diarrhea, or loss of appetite, and eventually death. Vaccination is not necessary for every cat, so check with your veterinarian first.
"Bb": Bordetella bronchiseptica. Bordetella bronchiseptica is a highly contagious respiratory disease that causes inflammation of the trachea and bronchi. Bordetella spreads through direct contact, through the air, and through contaminated objects. Transmission can occur between dogs and cats. Symptoms include coughing, retching, sneezing, and watery nasal discharge.
3: Any vaccine with a 3 in the title contains the Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia viruses.
4: Any vaccine with a 4 in the title contains the Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia and Chlamydia viruses.
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