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Showing posts with label vaccination. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vaccination. Show all posts

Friday, November 24, 2017

Vaccines - do they hurt? Why bother?


Dear George, 
I have a question for you if you’ll be so kind to answer.
I’m just a kitten (about 3 months old) and I don’t know or understand much!  I was rescued with my mother from a park. I mean she gave birth to her litter in this park. I know there was another kitty but the lady who rescued us could not find it. I pray for my sibling – hope he/she is OK! My question is about vaccines. Last night I heard my rescuer talking to a veterinarian about me and my mother and saying that we need a blood work done, vaccination and my mom needs to be spayed as well. All this sounds very strange to me and now I’m scared. Actually how many vaccines do I need? And how often? Are they painful? Are they all necessary? Can you give us some guidelines?
Scared but thankful
Pumpkin

Dear Pumpkin, 
Much as I loathe vets, they do have their uses and vaccinations are essential. All cats that are allowed to go outside need them and even indoor-only cats will need them if they are ever put into catteries. Vaccinations will also protect them, if by chance they escape outside.
How many and how often varies from country to country. Here in the UK I am vaccinated yearly with a combination vaccine (just one jab) against feline enteritis and cat 'flu. This means I can go into a cattery if there is an emergency at home. When I was younger, because I am a cat who goes outside, I had three years of vaccinations against feline leukaemia. If I had lived indoors I wouldn't have needed that.
If I lived abroad, a rabies vaccination might well be important or even a legal requirement. Lifestyle matters a lot. If I lived in a multicat household or a breeding colony then vaccinations against chlamydia and bordatella (called kennel cough in dogs) might also be worth having. Vaccinations for FIV and FIP are available outside Europe but these haven't passed EU regulations.
Yours
George 
PS. It's complicated. Here's what UK cat vets think. You need a good vet though I hate to admit that.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Ouch... toothache... pain....dental hygeine

Dear George, 
I’m a 5 year old cat who has lived on the streets and in shelters until I was adopted by my current human parents! I’ve always been grumpy or somehow upset and mad at everything and everyone. My human parents were very patient with me all this time trying to do everything in their power to please me and make me happy!
At some point they decided to take me to a doctor to check my health trying to find the cause of my moodiness! Oh boy; they did not expect what they discovered! I had all my teeth infected and I was in constant pain. So, I had to go through a surgery and had all teeth extracted. Now I’m toothless but happy! My mood improved as you can see in the picture attached. George can you share some wisdom when it comes to dental hygiene? Maybe other cats will benefit as well? 
Yours….totally toothless
Nora

Dear Nora,
Life on the streets is tough for cats and poor nutrition often means that our teeth are not as good as they can be. My friend Toby has lost 7 of his teeth at the age of only four. Hardly surprising as he was forced to scavenge bird food to survive.
I always bite my human when she tries to brush my teeth. When she has tried sticking the feline toothbrush into my mouth with special feline toothpaste, I just won't bear it. She watched this video but I still bit her. It's the only thing some humans understand!
So now she feeds me several pieces of large kibble, specially designed for dental health in the hope that these will reduce the plaque build-up. Also she ensures the vet looks at my mouth when I get my annual vaccinations - which is how I had to have tooth extracted only two weeks ago. Get your human to read up here.
Toothless cats can eat dry food as well as soft, so losing all your teeth is probably the best thing for you, Nora.
Yours
George (29 instead of 30 teeth). 
PS. The hole in my tooth (feline reabsorption lesion) was so painful I went off my food. That never happened before. And, like you, I was very grumpy.




Saturday, August 06, 2016

Rescued - severely hydrated, starving, tiny and very ill.

Dear George,
This is me, Merlina. Somebody picked me up at a farm where there was a feral colony of cats. I was so ill that I couldn't run away like the rest of them did.
Everything hurts. My eye is swollen and raw where I scratched it. My right leg is almost hairless and inflamed from where it touched the eye. It's hard to breathe with all the phlegm nearly choking me
After a vet's visit, I arrived at Sunshine Cat Rescue who put me in a kitten pen with a water bowl. I was so thirsty I drank for a whole minute. Eventually I started eating too.
Now I am settling down to a regime of food, eye drops and antibiotic pills. I'm still scared.
Yours Merlina.

Dear Merlina,
Welcome to your new life. You will now live to be a happy loving pet cat. Your beautiful grey markings and the fact that you will learn to trust humans means that from now on, it's going to be a thousand times better than it has been so far.
Your photo shows how vaccinating cats is so important. Millions of kittens die from cat 'flu ever year and the ones that survive often have long term health issues. And if only the farmer had allowed his cat colony to be neutered and spayed, there wouldn't have been kittens dying of cat flu all over the barn. It could have been a healthier happier colony.
A message to all other cats - make sure your humans vaccinate you if you are allowed outdoors. Help the local cat lovers who are trapping, neutering and returning feral cats in established colonies.
Because I was originally a rescued feral kitten too, I support Sunshine Cat Rescue in Oxfordshire with regular donations. If you'd like to help pay Merlina's vet bills, go to their website here. The donation button for PayPal is on the right, at the bottom of the page.
Yours George.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Vaccinations - do I really need to be jabbed with a needle every year?

Dear George, 
I completely dislike going to the vet. I know sometimes is absolutely necessary but most of the time our humans are taking us to the vet excessively. My mommy takes me there sometimes for grooming (which I don’t mind so much) but now she is planning to take me to get vaccinated. Vaccination it’s such a hot topic right now in both human and animal realm, very controversial indeed and I’d like to hear your opinion about it.
I was vaccinated when I was a kitten (about 8 weeks old) then I was given a booster a month later. The vet recommended annual vaccination! I personally think this is just money grab! How come that humans kittens are vaccinated once and that vaccine is good for life? Are we different when it comes to the immune system? I think we are stronger.
Also, I’m an indoor cat and I don’t come in contact with other cats or creatures!
I heard of other cats being vaccinated every five years. Is there a rule?
Any suggestions?
Yours truly,
Sophie

Dear Sophie, 
I hate those annual jabs (and I hate the vet). But these protect you against disease.  So, yes, you do need to be vaccinated. But how often and how many will vary from country to country.
Here in the UK I am vaccinated yearly with a combination vaccine (just one jab) against feline enteritis and cat 'flu. This means I can go into a cattery if there is an emergency at home. When I was younger, because I am a cat who goes outside, I had three years of vaccinations against feline leukaemia. If I had lived indoors I wouldn't have needed that.
Lifestyle matters a lot. If I lived abroad, a rabies vaccination might well be important or even a legal requirement. If I lived in a multicat household or a breeding colony then vaccinations against chlamydia and bordatella (called kennel cough in dogs) might also be worth having. Vaccinations for FIV and FIP are available outside Europe but their efficacy is not proven to European standards.
How often should you get a jab? Well here in the UK most authorities recommend annual vaccinations. You could opt for longer intervals between jabs with yearly blood tests for immunity  - but this will mean more jabs with a needle to take blood and more expense for your human. If you have a bad reaction to a vaccine (a few cats do), try a different sort of vaccine.
I agree that if you are an indoor only cat, an annual vaccine seems like a waste of money  - but what if there was an emergency, such as your humans being in an accident? You wouldn't be welcome in a good cattery. Can your humans be absolutely sure there is always someone to feed you? And what if you escape into the outside world?
Tricky, isn't it?  If in doubt, however, get vaccinated. It might save your life or the life of any cat with whom you come into contact.  And you can get the vet, while she is vaccinating you,  to check your eyes, ears and teeth, at no extra cost! Oh, and by the way, just for fun, you can always bite her afterwards! I do.
Yours
George.
PS. My human, Celia, has an annual vaccination against 'flu just like I do. The scientific evidence about feline vaccines, from a UK point of view, can be found here.

Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, www.celiahaddon.com This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online VetTechprogramms.org