What is the feline distemper vaccine called?

As I understand it, the feline distemper vaccine is normally part of a combination vaccine which is commonly given and which is called FVRCP. It is a core vaccine. Various pharmaceutical companies produce this vaccine. The photograph shows one. It is called Felocell CVR. There are various types of Felocell vaccine.

Combination core vaccine for cats
Combination core vaccine for cats. Photo in public domain.
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Many feline vaccines are combination vaccines. Some cat owners might not like their cat’s immune system being stressed with a multi-vaccine. In the past, arguably, too many diseases were being vaccinated against in one combination vaccine because some of the protections were not strictly necessary. These vaccines might overwhelm a cat’s immune system.

For cats that are at risk of a vaccine reaction the core vaccines can be separated out and delivered independently. Also, the booster jabs might be restricted in being based on the amount of immunity present in a cat’s system rather than delivering it automatically.

I have taken the liberty of publishing a chart from the PETMD website which tells us how this combination FVRCP vaccine is delivered to kittens and young adults.

Combination vaccine for cats covering feline distemper
Combination vaccine for cats covering feline distemper. Chart: PETMD

The vaccine for feline distemper a.k.a. panleukopenia, is one of the core vaccines. The veterinary community has divided vaccines into two main categories. Core vaccines are those that every cat should have at some time in her life. The non-core vaccines are those that should be delivered depending upon specific factors such as lifestyle and geographic location.

In general, I would suggest, that most cat owners like to minimise the vaccine load that a cat has to deal with and so although other vaccines are available they would probably shun them in the interests of their cat’s welfare.

Vaccines should be kept current to be effective. Judging by the resistance to vaccination as demonstrated by the human population in response to the coronavirus pandemic, I would not be surprised to learn that a lot of cat owners are reluctant to give their cat a vaccination against these common diseases. It would be a mistake. Personally, I agree that vaccination should be minimised but they are essential to protect a cat.

Allergic reactions in cats tend to come down to hives, itching, difficulty breathing, diarrhoea and vomiting. If a cat has demonstrated mild vaccine reactions some veterinarians might decide to give a prophylactic dose of an antihistamine or corticosteroid prior to the vaccination.

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