Above is Sunstorm, my first Maine coon. She lived to be 15 years young.
(always an indoor cat, this photo was edited to look as if outside)
To the right is Cumbrescoons Chip, still in a very special & loving pet home. He will be 15 on February 16th, 2019
VACCINATION GUIDELINES, & HCM (hypertrophic-cardiomyopathy INFO
In general, guidelines for vaccination of cats have been strongly influenced by the appearance of vaccine-associated sarcomas in cats, and in particular their association with Feline Leukemia Virus vaccines and killed Rabies Virus vaccines. Thus, there is clear evidence for minimizing frequency of vaccination in cats. The recommendations below have been made in light of the AVMA/AAHA/AAFP/VCS task force recommendations on vaccine-associated sarcomas in cats. You should discuss with your Veterinarian the potential risk factors for sarcomas (a hardness or a lump at the site of a previous vaccination), and if this has occurred consider carefully the benefits vs risks of future vaccinations. All vaccine-associated sarcomas should be reported to the vaccine manufacturer.
The core feline vaccines are those for Feline Herpes-Virus 1 (FHV1), Feline Calici-Virus (FCV), Feline Panleukopenia-Virus (FPV), Feline Leukemia-Virus (FeLV - kittens) and Rabies.
Feline Herpesvirus 1, Feline Calicivirus and Feline Panleukopenia Virus Vaccines
For initial kitten vaccination (< 16 weeks), one dose of vaccine containing modified live virus (MLV) FHV1, FCV, and FPV is recommended every 3-4 weeks from 6-8 weeks of age, with the final booster being given no sooner than 16 weeks of age. For cats older than 16 weeks of age, two doses of vaccine containing modified live virus (MLV) FHV1, FCV, and FPV given 3-4 weeks apart are recommended. After a booster at 6 months to one year, revaccination is suggested every 3 years thereafter for cats at low risk of exposure.
Feline Rabies Virus Vaccines Cats are important in the epidemiology of rabies in the United States. In general we recommend that kittens receive a single dose of killed or recombinant rabies vaccine at 12-16 weeks of age. Adult cats with unknown vaccination history should also receive a single dose of killed or recombinant rabies vaccine. For the recombinant vaccines, boosters are recommended at yearly intervals. The use of the recombinant rabies vaccine is recommended, because there is some evidence that it is associated with a decreased risk of sarcoma formation (Srivastav et al, 2012). For the killed rabies vaccines, a booster is required at one year, and thereafter, rabies vaccination should be performed every 3 years using a vaccine approved for 3-year administration.
Feline Leukemia Virus Vaccine A number of FeLV vaccines are available on the market. The whole inactivated viral vaccines have recently been shown to be highly effective. We recommend vaccination of all FeLV-negative kittens and any FeLV-negative adult cats allowed to go outdoors or cats having direct contact with other cats of unknown FeLV status. Vaccination is most likely to be useful in kittens and young adult cats, because acquired resistance to infection develops beyond 16 weeks of age. Vaccination is not recommended for FeLV-positive cats and indoor cats with no likelihood of exposure to FeLV.
Use of the recombinant FeLV vaccine offers the potential advantage of a decreased risk of sarcoma formation (Srivastav et al, 2012). However, there is some evidence that the inactivated vaccines may be more effective (Patel et al, 2015).
Initially, two doses of FeLV vaccine are given at 2-4 week intervals, after which annual boosters (recombinant vaccine) or 3-yearly boosters (inactivated vaccine) are recommended depending on risk.
Non-core vaccines for cats consist of the vaccines for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, Chlamydia Felis, and Bordetella Bronchiseptica.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Vaccine The FIV vaccine was an inactivated, adjuvented dual subtype vaccine that was released in
July 2002. It is no longer being made or distributed in North America. Unfortunately, vaccination of FIV-negative cats rendered currently available serologic tests (ELISA and Western blot) positive for at least a year following vaccination, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based tests do not reliably identify cats with natural infection. Previous vaccination does not prevent infection, and the significance of a positive test result in a vaccinated cat cannot be assessed. Questions remained regarding the vaccine’s ability to protect against all of the FIV subtypes and strains to which cats might be exposed. Its routine use in indoor cats is not recommended.
Feline Chlamydia felis Vaccine Chlamydia felis causes conjunctivitis in cats that generally responds readily to antimicrobial treatment. Immunity induced by vaccination is probably of short duration and the vaccine provides only incomplete protection. The use of this vaccine could be considered for cats entering a population of cats where infection is known to be endemic. However, the vaccine has been associated with adverse reactions in 3% of vaccinated cats, and therefore it is not a recommend routine vaccination of low-risk cats.
This information is based on the work of UC DAVIS, CA. It is being used with the permission of:
Rob Warren, marketing ...........email@example.com
Maine Coons are a hardy, “working” breed. These cats developed in New England, They evolved naturally, with adaptations for the cold climate. The strongest cats survived to pass their genes down the line to the Maine Coons we have today through natural selection.
However, when man interferes with nature in the ongoing effort to “improve the breed”, which we have so often done with many of the "purebred" creatures, this process has at times led to the over-dependence on some gene pools that had developed health issues that, unfortunately, breeders weren't aware of at that time. Some of these issues are what we know today as "genetic" (passed from one generation to another through DNA.)
Very few of these conditions are breed specific or even limited to one species, although some are more likely to present themselves in specific "types" of animals.
Many people looking for a Maine Coon Kitten or Cat have heard that Maine Coons have a problem with an enlargement of the heart muscle, called “HCM”. In actual fact, this form of heart disease is found in all cats as well as many other species.
In HCM, the muscle of the left ventricle of the heart becomes thickened. There are other changes, but this is predominant. The heart can no longer beat effectively. This can lead to a progressive weakening of the heart, or a sudden death thought to occur from abnormal electrical activity within the heart muscle.
Blood clots can form and circulate to a point where a clot may cause sudden paralysis (often of the cat's hind legs). This serious condition tends to develop in the earlier years, where it affects cats often before they reach 5 years of age. It can show up in older cats as well.
With humans, who can also have an inherited form of this disease, there are many known genetic mutations.
Thus far, research has found one mutation in the Maine Coon breed. Another mutation has been found in the Ragdoll breed. Research into other breeds is ongoing, as is the research to find any other possible genetic mutations in addition to those already identified.
No breeder can say with certainty that, using the technology currently available, that their cats will never develop HCM.
Outside of genetics, other possible causes of an enlarging heart muscle in cats include high blood pressure and hyperthyroidism.
The HCM associated with causes such as these is considered “secondary” HCM. Therefore, it is important to realize that relying on the DNA testing results actually provides no guarantee that any kitten or cat will not develop HCM.
However, DNA testing remains a very useful tool to breeders and pet owners alike. Breeding plans can be developed to avoid breeding two Homozygous cats together and thereby minimizing the risk of kittens developing this serious condition.
Another tool which can be used to diagnose HCM is echocardiography, an ultrasound of the heart. This test must be done at regular intervals to monitor changes within the heart.