Prevalence of serum antibody titers against feline panleukopenia virus, feline herpesvirus 1, and feline calicivirus in cats entering a Florida animal shelter.
ABSTRACT Objective-To determine the proportion of cats entering a Florida animal shelter with serum antibody titers against feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV1), and feline calicivirus (FCV) and to identify factors associated with seropositivity. Design-Cross-sectional study. Animals-347 cats admitted to a Florida animal shelter. Procedures-Within 24 hours after admission to the animal shelter, blood samples were collected from all cats ≥ 8 weeks of age. Serum antibody titers against FPV were determined via a hemagglutination inhibition assay, and those against FHV1 and FCV were determined via virus neutralization assays. Age, sex, environment (urban or rural), source (stray or previously owned), evidence of previous caregiving, health status (healthy or not healthy), and outcome (adoption, transfer, return to owner, or euthanasia) were evaluated as potential factors associated with antibody seropositivity. Results-Of 347 cats, 138 (39.8%), 38 (11.0%), and 127 (36.6%) had antibody titers ≥ 40, ≥ 8, and ≥ 32 (ie, seropositive) against FPV, FHV1, and FCV, respectively. Factors associated with seropositivity included being neutered, age ≥ 6 months, and being relinquished by an owner. On multivariable analysis, health status at shelter admission, environment, vaccination at shelter admission, and outcome were not associated with seropositivity. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Most cats were seronegative for antibodies against FPV, FHV1, and FCV at the time of admission to an animal shelter. These findings supported current guidelines that recommend vaccination of all cats immediately after admission to animal shelters, regardless of the source or physical condition.
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ABSTRACT: To measure stress levels among cats in traditional and enriched shelter environments via behavioral assessment and urine cortisol-to-creatinine ratios. Cross-sectional observational study. 120 cats in 4 Boston-area animal shelters. Cats were randomly selected and observed during 3 periods (morning, midday, and afternoon) of 1 day and scored by use of a behavioral assessment scale. The next day, urine samples were collected for analysis of the urine cortisol-to-creatinine ratio. Information about each cat's background before entering the shelter was collected. Stress scores were highest in the morning. The relationships between the amount of time cats spent in the shelter and the cat stress score or urine cortisol-to-creatinine ratio were not strong. There was no correlation between the cat stress score and urine cortisol-to-creatinine ratio. Urine cortisol-to-creatinine ratios did correlate with signs of systemic disease and were significantly lower in cats in the more environmentally enriched shelters, compared with cats in the traditional shelters. Urine cortisol-to-creatinine ratio was highest among cats with high exposure to dogs. Of the cats in the study, 25% had subclinical hematuria detectable on a urine dipstick. In this study, the cat stress score was not a useful instrument for measuring stress because it failed to identify cats with feigned sleep and high stress levels. Urine cortisol-to-creatinine ratios can be monitored to noninvasively assess stress levels in confined cats. Environmental enrichment strategies may help improve the welfare of cats in animal shelters.Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 03/2005; 226(4):548-55. · 1.72 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To determine whether administration of inactivated virus or modified-live virus (MLV) vaccines to feral cats at the time of neutering induces protective serum antiviral antibody titers. Prospective study. 61 feral cats included in a trap-neuter-return program in Florida. Each cat received vaccines against feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), feline herpes virus (FHV), feline calicivirus (FCV), FeLV, and rabies virus (RV). Immediately on completion of surgery, vaccines that contained inactivated RV and FeLV antigens and either MLV or inactivated FPV, FHV, and FCV antigens were administered. Titers of antiviral antibodies (except those against FeLV) were assessed in serum samples obtained immediately prior to surgery and approximately 10 weeks later. Prior to vaccination, some of the cats had protective serum antibody titers against FPV (33%), FHV (21%), FCV (64%), and RV (3%). Following vaccination, the overall proportion of cats with protective serum antiviral antibody titers increased (FPV [90%], FHV [56%], FCV [93%], and RV [98%]). With the exception of the FHV vaccine, there were no differences in the proportions of cats protected with inactivated virus versus MLV vaccines. Results suggest that exposure to FPV, FHV, and FCV is common among feral cats and that a high proportion of cats are susceptible to RV infection. Feral cats appeared to have an excellent immune response following vaccination at the time of neutering. Incorporation of vaccination into trap-neuter-return programs is likely to protect the health of individual cats and possibly reduce the disease burden in the community.Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 02/2007; 230(1):52-8. · 1.72 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Upper respiratory tract infection (URI) propagates readily within cats in shelters and often results in euthanasia of affected cats. In a case-control evaluation of 573 cats in eight shelters in California in 2001 and 2002, the prevalence of feline calicivirus (FCV) was from 13 to 36%, feline herpesvirus (FHV) was from 3 to 38%, and prevalence of Bordetella bronchiseptica, Chlamydophila felis, and Mycoplasma species was from 2 to 14%. Cats with URI tended to be housed in isolation, dehydrated, and younger than cats without URI, and infected with FHV, Mycoplasma species, FCV, or C felis. Shelters differed in the prevalence of pathogens and many cats appeared positive for infection after about 1 week of sheltering. It is helpful for shelters to understand the risk factors associated with URI in order to evaluate the costs and benefits of treatment and improve their procedures to decrease the incidence of URI within their facilities. Antiherpetics and antimycoplasmal drugs may be beneficial for individual animal care. Results document the utility of comprehensive URI surveillance and herd management for specific pathogens typical in that shelter.Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery 05/2005; 7(2):109-19. · 1.08 Impact Factor