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Vaccines for cats

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Lisa dvm, Apr 28, 2011.

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  1. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    In case anyone is interested, I finally got around to writing up my thoughts/suggestions on vaccines for cats.

    http://www.catinfo.org/?link=vaccines

    The page is in honor of "Chicken" who is currently battling VAS (Vaccine Associated Sarcoma) and the page is also in honor of all VAS cats that have lost their lives from these often-fatal tumors.

    And...for all of the kidney failure cats that *may* have had vaccines contribute to their disease process.
     
  2. Deb415andNikki

    Deb415andNikki Member

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    May 31, 2010
    Dearest Dr. Lisa,

    Thank you so very much for sharing your thoughts and suggestions regarding vaccines for cats. I finally understand why there's a reason for hesitancy with older cats. This is so important because a lot of people are rescuing older furries -- be they special needs or simply need a loving home, or both -- because there's such a great need to do so... And, if the fates ever decide to send me kittens (!) again, I now also understand when is the proper age for vaccinations.

    And, I certainly learned to say NO to adjuvant vaccines for a furry of any age!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to explain this personal dilemma so clearly. It is gratefully appreciated...

    Much love and countless grateful hugs,
    Deb and Nikki (who rescued me and is extra-sweet -- and, actually eats canned cat food! Bonus!) -- and, Giz, forever dancing in my heart and eternally appreciating your special dispensation regarding her picky eating habits...

    PS: Love your tall, dark, and handsome men!
     
  3. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Ha! Like I had a choice! :D
     
  4. LaurieL

    LaurieL Member

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    Apr 16, 2011
    Dr. Lisa,
    Thank you so much for this very timely advice! Our cat was recently diagnosed with diabetes and was in the hospital with ketoacidosis. She is due for her rabies vaccine and I've been worried about her getting any shots right now. I also didn't know about the different kinds of rabies vaccines or that a waiver for sick cats is an option.
     
  5. Nicole & Baby

    Nicole & Baby Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Thank you for educating & empowering us with information in regards to our furbaby felines diet and health.
    My gratitude is immense & am anxious for your dental article too!
     
  6. Deb415andNikki

    Deb415andNikki Member

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    May 31, 2010

    Well, technically you did. Giz just out-orneryed both of us... It's one of the many reasons I just know you're a great vet!

    Thank you.
    Deb

    PS: Forgot to mention that the photo of the munchkin and cat looking in the bathtub made my day!
     
  7. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    That was a kitten - along with his littermates - that I rescued from a very bad situation and then I adopted him and his sister to a client of mine. That is one of my favorite pictures.
     
  8. Deb415andNikki

    Deb415andNikki Member

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    Hi LaurieL, and, of course, your extra-sweet furry (name would be helpful...),

    Giz was diagnosed diabetic and DKA in the same breath shortly after her 14th Birthday. She was also due for her rabies vaccination. (Well, technically, overdue because of her age and indoor only lifestyle...) Mentioned this "due" status to both her regular vet and her ER vet. They both said basically, "Not now. We'll deal with the vaccination issue later." Giz and I danced for four more years and I repeatedly brought up she's overdue. She never got her rabies vaccination from either vet. And, I never got a waiver for sick cats. These wondrous vets knew I didn't really want her to have it, nor did she really need it given her love of carpeting and upholstery...

    Welcome to the place you never wanted to be; but, will be blessed for having found.

    Love and encouraging hugs for you both,
    Deb and Nikki -- and, Giz, forever dancing in my heart...
     
  9. LynnLee + Mousie

    LynnLee + Mousie Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    good timing. i have grown to hate, despise, and loathe vaccines for cats since learning they can kill as easily as save, and they took my Gizmo from me, and I can't trust them with an ounce of my being buttttt, that said, i can see getting a kitten vaccinated at least, even though it makes me cringe and my skin crawl . which i did last year when we found the treedwellers. and guess what, they're due for their 1 year boosters next month and i've been debating what to do.

    with Fuji and his horrible heart, i'm thinking too risky.

    but with Em, i am considering it. not really sure what to do and while i've only read a bit of the new page, it's definitely helping. :) figure Dr. Ankone put him at about 13/14 weeks old when we caught him and took him to the vet wherein he checked out healthy and i agreed to let him get his kitten vaccinations (just the FVRCP if i remember correctly) soooooooooo i'm leaning towards yes, getting him his 1 year booster and that would then be the end of vaccines for him.

    now back to reading :)
     
  10. Donna & Buddha

    Donna & Buddha Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    Thank you! Are there any recommendations for feral cats? I look after 2 "porch kitties". Both have now been spayed and were vaccinated at the same time. One is probably due for annual boosters now and is probably trappable. The other is nearly impossible to catch, but is ironically the friendly one of the pair. She enjoys rubbing against our legs and will tolerate a pet or two. I'm sometimes worried the kids will forget that attempting to pick her up will result in extreme bodily harm. One of the two of cats is a good hunter and will leave me mockingbird wings on the steps. We do have a local bat population, and raccoons also frequent our outside feeding station.

    Anyway, do you offer vaccination recommendations for TNR kitties?
     
  11. dian and wheezer

    dian and wheezer Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    the only time my guys get shots is when they need a dental ( my bad, this is not every year either, but that is another topic,K?) and the vet refuses to work on them if not up to date with all shots. so I really do not have a choice. I think wheezer is the exception. But I do insist on 1 year rabies and no adjuvant. whether they honor that, I do not know. I would hope so.
    AND.............................
    I thank you for all you do and for who you are. special
     
  12. LaurieL

    LaurieL Member

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    Apr 16, 2011
    Thanks, Deb. I've been nervous about vaccinations for my kids and didn't realize that there were also issues about vaccines and types of vaccines for cats.
    When our pediatrician wanted my daughter to have an MMR booster I wanted to be sure she really needed it and requested a titer. I was very suprised that the dr. didn't argue with me at all and let us go to the lab. The titer showed that she still had antibodies so I decided to wait. (I don't think vaccines caused my daughter's autism, but I still worry that maybe we're overvaccinating our kids.)

    Today I'm feeling very relieved about being able to postpone Gracie's rabies shot and will definitely make sure that the one year/non-live type is the only acceptable vaccine for her and our other cats (Rhubarb and Alexander).
     
  13. Jill and Remi

    Jill and Remi Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Thank you Dr. Lisa! I really hope your message gets to as many pet owners and fellow vets as possible. This is not anything new to the vet community and to see so many still not praticing the protocols makes me sad. Information is the first step and so again, I am grateful to you for compiling all of this info in one easy to access place.
    And of course, my angel Remi, thanks you too!
     
  14. pamela and tigger

    pamela and tigger Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Excellent Dr. Lisa! Very thorough and informative as usual. Thank you for taking the time to write this up. :)
     
  15. Dyana

    Dyana Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Thank you Dr. Lisa, for writing that and for sharing it with us.
    I'm looking forward to your write up on dentals, too.
     
  16. Sonia & Tom (GA)

    Sonia & Tom (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Jan 2, 2010
    Very informative. Thank you.
    Vet had left us a voice mail recently reminding us that the cats are due for their vaccines. Will be doing some thinking.

    I feel bad that, for years, I just trusted my vets advice, whether it was for vaccines or food (dry). I am lucky I suppose that Tom, who was fed dry and had vaccines annually for 15 years, has been OTJ for 3 years and is doing fairly well with his CRF. He will be 18 this summer and I am enjoying every moment with him.
    Have learned so much here over the last few years and this is where I come first to get informed about, well, anything cat health related.
     
  17. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Even though titer testing does not give the full picture, consider titering him for panleuk. Most 13-14 year old kittens respond well to a vaccine....but I would feel better if he had been a bit older.
     
  18. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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  19. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Then you are done.

    Ah...I can see that you have not read the article yet since the word "annual" has no place in this discussion. :smile:

    Never re-trap a cat for vaccines. Never...unless you have a serious rabies problem in your area and it has been many years since receiving a rabies vaccine.... but then....how are you going to re-trap a feral unless you use a drop trap? *Most* cats are not stupid enough to get into a trap a second time and if they are? You better reserve it for if they are sick or injured because it is highly doubtful they will go in a third time!

    Vaccinate (or not...) at the time of altering and then leave them alone.
     
  20. Donna & Buddha

    Donna & Buddha Member

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    Thank you so much! I did read (or quickly skim) all the way to the bottom. I need to bookmark the page too, so I remember next year when the inside cats "annuals" are due to NOT get them. I don't believe my vet pushes the vaccines, but it's been so ingrained in me over the years to ask for them. It might be a hard habit to break. But my diabetic cat did have a reaction this year, he could barely walk the next day. I was scared silly.

    BTW, when I was in cat-catching mode, I did trap the same ferals more than once, but not the one I sorely wanted to TNR. I once caught a possum two nights in a row, and the 2nd night the trap wasn't even baited yet. Thinking back, maybe it wasn't the same possum. But I'll stick to my story, 'cause it's funnier. Dumb possum.
     
  21. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    I am a stickler for never leaving my traps unattended so no cat should ever be trapped other than a target cat. The more cats that are trapped....the more times that trap bangs shut with a thrashing cat......the more the other cats, including your target cat, see what is going on and then that lowers your chances of getting your target cat.

    First rule...never take your eyes off of your trap so you can quietly disuade the wrong cat from going in.

    I have been known to sit and watch a trap (conventional or drop trap) for 10-11 hours straight...yes, I am stubborn.... but I never leave them unattended
     
  22. KarenRamboConan

    KarenRamboConan Senior Member Moderator

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    Dec 28, 2009
    My cats all received their kitten vaccinations, and one booster, and that was all.

    Since we have no idea what caused Astrophe's IMHA, we have to consider the possibility that it was her vaccination, and it hyper-stimulated her immune system. For that reason alone, we determined that she would never get another vaccination!

    My bets friend brought her dog in for a Lyme disease vaccination recently, and she developed a nasty allergic reaction to it (vomiting, welts, eyes swollen shut, etc.) A long night of Benadryl and feeling miserable ensued. Although we know that she could get a Benadryl shot prior to the 4-week booster, my friend has decided to skip it and just watch her carefully for problems. Snoopy is a beagle, so a nice short coat that's easy to check for ticks, so she'll just be extra-vigilant.

    Vaccinations are vital - I am a firm believer (human and animal). Over vaccinations are problematic and a completely different scenario.

    As always, thanks for the great info/article. I'll make sure it gets passed around.

    Karen
     
  23. Kirsten

    Kirsten New Member

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    Dec 29, 2009
    Thank you very much for this - I've posted a link to your page on the German Diabetes Katzen forum.

    I stopped vaccinating my cats in 2004 after years of annual vaccinations, including FIP (sigh). Not through any sudden realization on my part, but because my new internal med vet at the time said pretty much exactly what you have. Although I think the potential CKD link is something that has only come up in the last few years -- I find this link very interesting.
     
  24. Donna & Shiloh (GA)

    Donna & Shiloh (GA) Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Thank you, Dr. Lisa, for a great article. No more for my two. Donna
     
  25. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    So do I.

    I am loathe to jump to any conclusions since that would not working with a mind rooted in scientific fact, but I have to wonder why I am so darn busy doing CKD consultations. There is something wrong with this picture...and I'd like to spend less time talking about kidney failure/insufficiency!
     
  26. janelle and Nomad

    janelle and Nomad Member

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    Jun 6, 2010
    Another factor to consider with rabies vacs. Many counties in Florida require a tag when the rabies is done. Some cities,counties and even HOAs use tag information to track how many pets you have. I am sure there are many others reading this that are over their local "limit". One of my biggest fears has always been that my extra "illegal" cats will be found. In Florida tag information are public records....scarey anyone could find the name and number of your pets! :-(
     
  27. Wulfwin

    Wulfwin Member

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    Nov 4, 2010
    Dr. Lisa,

    I was wondering if you had ever heard anything about using the intranasal/intraocular modified live FVRCP in cats with chronic herpes/calici? One of my cats has chronic calici (she nearly died from it when she was around 8 months old because she stopped eating), and she developed a badly ulcerated paw a few months after I adopted her (she'd had off and on milder symptoms - sneezing/watery eyes - up to that point). Following a bad reaction to Doxycycline, my vet decided to try the IN FVRCP with her because he's had success in the past with treating chronic cases with it. To my surprise, the ulcer was completely gone within 3 days of her receiving the vaccine with no other treatment. We have her on a biannual schedule now for the IN FVRCP (she had one SubQ mondified live FVRCP when she was around 8 months old), and she's been completely symptom-free for over 2 years now. I always wondered if this was something that is known of/considered/studied in the wider vet community.
     
  28. Wulfwin

    Wulfwin Member

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    Nov 4, 2010
    One more thing to bear in mind with regards to the FIV vaccine is that it can cause false positives with FIV tests. A cat that receives the FIV vaccine and ends up in an animal shelter (whether surrendered, lost, etc.) could very well test positive for FIV and be put to sleep.
     
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