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Feline Vaccinations by Frank Utchen, DVM

Question: Dr. Utchen, is it true that vaccinations can cause tumors? My cats live indoor only, should I still vaccinate them annually?


For years routine immunization of cats, dogs, and people has been the basis of preventive health care. However, depending on a particular animal's risk of contracting certain infections, not all immunizations are necessary or wise.

There are several diseases for which a cat can be at risk.

Cats that venture outdoors are at risk for contracting any infectious feline disease. ... Read More

Feline Vaccination Recommendations


This is a combination vaccine against feline viral rhinotracheitis (herpes virus), calicivirus and panleukopenia.  These are all viruses that cause significant disease and even death in cats.  The herpes virus and calicivirus cause upper respiratory infections, whereas panleukopenia causes vomiting and diarrhea.  This vaccine is considered a "core" vaccine for both indoor and outdoor cats and is given every three years to cats above the age of one.


Feline leukemia virus is a retrovirus that causes leukemia, lymphoma and immunosuppression in cats.  The virus is... Read More

Feline Leukemia by Frank Utchen, DVM

Question: Dr. Utchen, I recently adopted a cat from an animal shelter and when I took her to my vet she tested positive for feline leukemia. She seems perfectly healthy right now, but what can I expect down the line? Is my other cat at risk of getting leukemia?


The Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is in the same family of viruses as the human AIDS virus (HIV). Although not contagious to people FeLV is essentially as serious to cats as HIV is to us humans.

The Feline Leukemia Virus is found in an infected cat's saliva and is spread from cat to cat through biting, although... Read More

The Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) By Frank Utchen, DVM

Two of the most devastating viral diseases for cats are Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDS. Each is caused by a virus for which there is no cure once a cat contracts it. Both viruses are in the family of viruses called Retroviruses, which puts them in the same group as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Fortunately, repeated studies of veterinarians who routinely come in contact with these diseases, and repeated unsuccessful attempts to grow these viruses in human cell cultures has confirmed that neither virus is transmissible to humans.

... Read More
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