Common cat infections

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Updated: 4/17/2007 12:07 pm Published: 4/17/2007 12:07 pm

The standard vaccination package offered by veterinarians will protect your cat against the most common and dangerous infections, like rabies, distemper, and the frighteningly named 'cat plague,' or panleucopenia (pan-loo-kuh-PEE-nee-uh). Kittens should be vaccinated at about six weeks of age, with regular boosters for the first year, then annually. Your veterinarian can give you the recommended schedule. There are a few serious conditions for which there is no vaccine. Feline urinary syndrome is a blockage in the urinary tract. You may notice your cat straining to urinate or see traces of blood in the urine. Male cats may stop urinating completely and should be rushed to the veterinarian immediately to prevent fatal bladder damage. Two conditions that have caused unnecessary alarm among cat owners are feline leukemia virus and feline infection peritonitis (pair-it-un-ITE-us). There was a panic when these conditions were described as 'similar to AIDS,' causing some pet owners to have their cats put to sleep. Neither of these can be transmitted to humans. YOU CAN'T CATCH AIDS FROM YOUR CAT. See your veterinarian for the best method of treatment.

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