When a new kitty enters your home, you want more than anything to protect her from anything bad in the world. One way to do this is by vaccinating your bundle of joy. The FVRCP vaccine is regularly administered to kittens to defend against harmful viruses.
Young kittens are fragile, delicate and small -- and as a result, extremely vulnerable to infectious viruses. The FVRCP vaccine battles three separate viruses. The "FV" stands for "feline viral" while the "RCP" is short for the three viruses in question -- rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and lastly, panleukopenia. The multi-tasking vaccine, in one shot, functions to prevent your kitten from contracting any of these, all of which are potentially quickly fatal to the wee ones.
If your little fluff ball perpetually appears to be suffering from a cold, then pay close attention. It may not actually be a cold after all. Rhinotracheitis results from the feline herpesvirus and triggers symptoms that are similar to those of upper respiratory tract infections. The airborne virus causes exhaustion, excessive coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, squinting eyes, nasal drip, appetite loss, weight loss, fever and drooling. Rhinotracheitis is especially dangerous in young kittens. The FVRCP vaccine is administered to block the possibility of this chronic issue. Regardless of whether your kitten has gotten the FVRCP vaccination, take her to the veterinarian if you notice any of the above "cold-like" symptoms.
The FVRCP vaccine also prevents the occurrence of calcivirus, another upper respiratory infection. Cats typically contract this virus through exposure to an infected feline's mouth, eyes or nasal discharge. The virus also is often transmitted when a cat is in close proximity or contact to an infected cat's belongings -- think litter boxes, beds and toys. Common warning signs of calcivirus are limping, oral ulcers, runny nose, breathing problems, fever and exhaustion. If you notice any unusual discharge from your kitten's mouth, nose or eyes, it also could be due to the virus. Veterinary attention is a must.
Last but not least, the FVRCP functions to destroy the panleukopenia virus in wee kittens and adult cats. This extremely infectious virus is also very dangerous. Not only does it often lead to kitten fatalities, it does so in a very fast and aggressive manner. Look for any indications that a kitten may be suffering from the virus, including severe abdomen ache, vomiting up bile, appetite loss, diarrhea and bloody stools. Panleukopenia is especially prevalent in young cats up to 6 months old. If you notice any indication of this condition in your precious pet, get her to the emergency clinic immediately.
The American Animal Hospital Association recommends that kittens receive the vaccine earliest at 6 weeks old. Speak to your veterinarian about your pet's specific health needs in order to determine what time frame is most suitable -- not all kitties are the same, after all.
As with most vaccines, side effects are sometimes a possibility with the FVRCP shot. A kitten may experience usually minor effects such as rash, redness and swelling at the injection site. If these symptoms seem especially excessive or persistent on your sweet kitty, schedule an appointment with the vet without wasting even a second.