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The most common health problems in kittens and young cats in Vietnam

Purebred kitten.

The most common cat breeds in Vietnam are British Short Hair, British Longhair, Munchkin, Maine Coon, Scottish Fold and Bengal.

Raising a little kitten can be challenging and you might have a lot of questions regarding its health. Bring him/her to the vet for a check up and to learn about vaccinations, preventatives and possible health problems.

Purebred kittens are usually more sensitive and prone to getting sick. 

The most common health problems in kittens and young cats in Vietnam

Internal parasites (worms): roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm, giardia, toxoplasma and many others nasty parasites most likely live in your kitten intestines. Their eggs are shed with stool. Every kitten needs to be dewormed several times. Stool examination under microscope is also recommended.

External parasites: ticks and especially fleas can live on your furry baby. Fleas can cause allergy, anaemia, infect your kitten with tapeworm or even blood parasite. 

Ear mites: itchy ears, dark brown discharge means ear infection caused by ear mites Otodectes cynotis. Your veterinarian will examine an ear smear sample under the microscope to look for the mites. Treatment will require ear cleaning and ear drops for 2-4 weeks.

Ringworm: is a fungal infection of the skin caused by dermatophyte Microsporum canis. It causes hair loss, scaling, dry skin, itchiness. Untreated it can spread quickly all over the body. It’s a zoonosis – disease that can be spread to people. Be careful and wash your hands often.

Respiratory infection: cat flu is a common problem in kittens, especially not properly vaccinated. If your kitten is sneezing or coughing, has nasal or ocular discharge, difficulties breathing, it requires immediate veterinary attention. Untreated it can be life threatening.
Purebred kittens and young cats often struggle with chronic respiratory infection that requires diagnostics (like bacterial culture and sensitivity, thoracic X-ray) and treatment can be long term. 

Diarrhea and vomiting: in kittens can be life threatening and lead to severe dehydration. Always seek veterinary help in case of diarrhea or vomiting.
Common cause is viral infection like feline parvo virus so always have your kitty tested. It can be caused by parasite infestation as well. 

FIP: Feline Infectious Peritonitis is caused by feline coronavirus. It only affects a small percentage of the cat population but it’s fairly common in purebred young cats. The most common symptoms include lethargy, anorexia, difficulties breathing, distended abdomen (filled with fluid). The disease is always fatal and only palliative treatment can be provided.

Vaccinations and preventatives schedule:
8 weeks – 1st vaccine (core vaccine: cat flu (herpes, calici-virus), panleukopenia (parvo-virus), +/- Chlamydophila

10 weeks – 2nd vaccine

12 weeks – 3rd vaccine + 1st Rabies vaccine

6 months – 2nd Rabies vaccine

Deworming: every two weeks until 12 weeks old. 3 months – 6 months old : every 1 month. > 6 months old: every 3 months. We do recommend fecal examination to ensure the patient reacts well to deworming treatment (is worms free) and doesn’t carry other parasites that regular deworming doesn’t treat. 

Fleas and ticks: Frontline spray to be applied every month (6 pumps per 1 kg), cats >1kg can use Frontline PLUS Spot On – also every month. Fleas and ticks carry nasty diseases causing anemia, diarrhea and other problems. Let’s keep kitties away from them!

FIV/FeLV screening: We recommend to test cats at the first visit and annually during vaccination visit. It’s a quick blood test, just a few minutes to get a result during the consultation.
FIV – Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (similar to HIV in people)
FeLV – Feline Leukemia Virus