Hello, have any of you heard about this or had any experience dealing with it?
This is a mutated and much more dangerous strain of the common feline respiratory ailment calicivirus. It is highly contagious and can readily attack and kill healthy, adult, well-vaccinated cats, with a mortality rate between 40 and 60 (some say 80) percent.
It has appeared in some parts of the United States and probably other countries too so far, and most likely will sooner or later show up wherever we are. The standard FRTC and FVRCP vaccines are ineffective against it.
It has sickened entire households, clinics, and shelters. Affected animals must be isolated, all surfaces must be disinfected aggressively, and the facility may need to be closed for weeks to be sure the infection is eliminated. In other words, it results in a nightmarish scenario for all concerned.
More information is available at: http://www.dvmvac.org/swiftaction.asp and http://www.dvmvac.org/index.asp
A new vaccine has recently been developed by Fort Dodge Animal Health that protects from virulent calicivirus. See http://www.dvmnewsmagazine.com/dvm/a....jsp?id=408460 for more information.
That's what I know so far.
My vet told me about this and urged me to pass this information along to the shelter (and all other cat-owners I know). I told the shelter staff member with the longest and most experience. She asked her vet, who also treats some of the shelter cats, about it. This vet said she went to a workshop on it recently. Afterwards she gave the new vaccine to her clinic's 13 foster cats for adoption. Some 6 or 7 of them got sick enough in reaction to the vaccine to require immediate, serious, aggressive treatment to save their lives.
I told this to my vet, Dr. Lewis. She said she's been using it since it has been available (a month or two now), and has seen no problems and had none reported with it. One of the techs said she vaccinated her 11 cats with it, with no problems. AND... my Priscilla got it with no trouble whatsoever.
Dr. Lewis has used an updated version of the FRTC vaccine which also protects against the virulent calicivirus. (I gather there are also the virulent-calici vaccine alone and other vaccine-combinations including it.)
We wondered if the other vet just got a bad batch of whatever version of the vaccine she used. I told this to the shelter staff person. She thought we should keep getting information on it and meanwhile use up the standard FRTC vaccine we have now (quite a lot).
I am wondering if we should wait that long or if we should start giving all the cats the updated vaccine now. We don't have the virulent calici virus here.. YET... but I'm afraid it will get here one day or another. We have about 90-100 cats in our shelter.
Before I start agitating for revaccinating them all rather than just using up the old vaccine first, I want to find out more about this. So I am asking: have any of you encountered this, or heard of anyone who has or facilities where it's happened? Any experience with or reports on, the new vaccine, good or bad?
If this virus is as bad as it sounds like it is, and if this vaccine is as effective as it should be, then I would like to know as much as I can so I can urge as strongly as possible that all cats I have any influence over get vaccinated.
Thanks very much, everyone, and I will also put a link to this in Cat Health.