My Cat Had Some Negative Reactions to Standard Vaccinations

Alpha1

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Three weeks ago, I took my cat in for a check up and two vaccines he was due for, a Rabies 3-year and a FVRCP . He checked out healthy, including his weight which didn't increase since his last visit, 10.1 lbs, vet said it was a good healthy weight for him. I asked if getting both shots at once was a problem, the vet said no, both were due in February.

Within a week after the vaccinations, which were given high in the leg muscle of either leg, he started having a bit of a limp and trouble jumping up, so I put a chair by the counter to help him out. I assumed it was tenderness from the injection sites. He also started to act a bit lethargic, and keeping to himself, sleeping a lot. I started to think maybe he was having a hairball issue, he has really thick fur and I've had to watch this since he was young. I also feed a hairball formula food, give him a drop of light olive oil every day with his canned food, etc.

I decided, for the first time ever, to withhold his dry food, thinking it would help him eliminate the hairball, if there was one. It seems as soon as I did that and started giving him canned only, he stopped drinking water. He was always good at drinking water, visited the bowl numerous times a day, shared the bowl with the dog and the water was filtered and freshened several times every day. That wasn't the problem. I also washed the water bowl well, in case that would help, it didn't.

So for nearly three weeks, he was unsure on his feet, limping a bit and not drinking any water that I was aware of. I soon started putting a couple of spoons full of water mixed in his canned to make sure he didn't dehydrate.

For the past couple of days he's perked up and seems to be back to his normal self, today I decided to put out his dry again which he free-feeds from and see what happens with that. Hopefully he'll start drinking water regularly again like he did before I removed the dry. Other than the things I mentioned, he was okay, never lost his appetite.

I'm thinking from now on I'll just give him the 3 year rabies vaccine which is required by law, and stop with the other vaccines. I think the vaccinations are excessive and not always necessary for adult cats, but I have three more years to think about it.
 

CatMom1994

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Jul 23, 2017
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Florida
I was surprised your complaint is limping for three weeks. Negative vaccine reactions are usually sarcomas at the site in adult cats (which is why vets give different shots to opposite legs). Did you report this problem to the vet?

Every time I asked a veterinarian or vet technican about the one-year vs. three-year rabies vaccine the answer is my cats should get the former because the latter carries a higher risk of vaccine-associated sarcomas. Last year a VT told me they don't even give their patients three-year rabies shots. It does not make sense mathematically, but vets know more than us so there must be a reason.

Loki shouild not eat dry food anyway. The reaosn he drinks less from his water bowl now is canned food has enough of it. Depending on the brand, cat food cans contain 70-80% water. What you are seeing is the normal behavior of wild cats in the desert. Felis catus originated from Aftrican wildcats, who got most or all of their water from prey animals. This is why I always tell people to stop feeding kibbles if they can.
 

Alpha1

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If it was a serious reaction that I couldn't figure out, I would have brought him back to the vet. Common sense gave me a good idea of what the problem was. I prefer the 3 year vaccines for both my dog and cat, if they are young pups or kittens, then one year is the safer option. I've always fed dry along with canned and will continue to do so, I like the fact that he can free-feed day and night when he chooses, with canned that's impossible and impractical.
 

CatMom1994

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I feed Daisy kibbles at night to make sure even when the wet food is stale she has something to eat, but would not do that with an old cat or one who is willing to eat anything.

Why would Loki have a reaction now if he didn't after all of his previous shots?
 

Alpha1

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I don't know why he reacted this time, maybe both at once was too much. :confused:
 

linda2147

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Mar 13, 2014
Location
New Hampshire
I never allow more than one shot at a time no matter how old they are. I know the rabies shot is law but its a joke, its the same dosage whether it be for a small dog or a large cat and scientific evidence has proven the shot is good for at least seven years.; If you doubt this have a titter test done and it will show the same results if the cat just had it or had it three years ago. Over vaccinating is one of the biggest problems with animals today. The most common problem being cancer developing at the site of the injection. that's why they do it in the upper leg, so if cancer develops they can amputate the leg.
 

CatMom1994

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Florida
The AVMA standard for rabies shots is the lower right leg, but Daisy got hers in the hip last time. Interestingly I read in other countries, the tail is preferred because amputating it will not disable the cat. But then where would Loki get it?

The rabies shot law is a joke for cats. There is no chance an indoor-only cat who does not live with dogs will get rabies.
 

Alpha1

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Well, not all cats are indoor cats, and if you travel anywhere with the cat, like out of state, you definitely need to have proof of rabies vaccination for the cat and dog.
 

CatMom1994

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You can take Loki to the vet for a rabies shot after making travel plans, of course. Nobody cares if he just had it yesterday or three years ago.
 

Alpha1

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That's a non-issue CatMom, he needs to be protected from rabies whether we're home or away.
 

CatMom1994

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You let your cat outside. I don't. To me the rabies vaccine seems like a waste of money but I agree with the requirement to vaccinate all mammalian pets that do go outside.
 

Alpha1

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You let your cat outside. I don't. To me the rabies vaccine seems like a waste of money but I agree with the requirement to vaccinate all mammalian pets that do go outside.
Well hopefully your mother is making all the health care decisions for Daisy, and wouldn't even consider letting her go without a rabies vaccine. The cat can get out, or an infected animal may get into your house. I think even vets won't give care to any cat or dog who has not been vaccinated against rabies.

Most importantly, rabies is a fatal disease for people or any animal unlucky enough to be exposed through a bite or scratch to the saliva of a rabid animal, so extra precautions must be taken to protect us all.

Rabid animals don't behave like normal animals - sometimes they're overly friendly or abnormally aggressive.

We've heard stories about rabid raccoons breaking through screens and coming indoors, and it's quite common for bats, which have a high incidence of rabies, to find their way indoors. There's nothing that I like better than chasing a bird or bat around the house, and I'll bet that most of my feline brethren would agree. Bats can enter homes or apartments through small cracks.


There's also always the chance, however small, that an indoor-only cat might sneak outdoors through an open window or door. Some of us become frightened and escape when we're carried outdoors for, say, trips to the vet hospital, and I've heard about cats whose cars have been involved in accidents that left them suddenly free (cat carriers will prevent most of these accidental escapes).

If I were unvaccinated or even overdue for my rabies booster (depending on how overdue I was) and came in contact with a rabid bat or other animal, the consequences could be quite severe.

Each state has its own laws, and under the strictest laws, euthanasia might be recommended! If my owners didn't agree to this, then a strict, six-month quarantine would be required, usually at a veterinary hospital-which can get very expensive. Cornell
 

CatMom1994

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Florida
I let my vet give Daisy the rabies vaccine, but will ask him next year why he gives cats annual shots. Like Linda said, it is unnecessary for a cat to get it every year.

How is Loki doing?
 

Dog Force One

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Dec 8, 2015
I used to give the dogs an annual polyvalent vaccine and have never experienced any issues, but since hearing that the one year rabies vaccine should easily last three years or more, I have compromised and am giving them the polyvalent every two years. The vets here usually have vaccines from Merial and from Zoetis. The Merial is slightly more expensive, but it will be a cold day in hell before I give Zoetis a dime, and I don't trust them to make a safe, quality product anyway.

Get well soon Loki.
 

Alpha1

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Thanks guys, he's been back to normal for several days now, old feeding routine with dry food out all the time and canned once a day. Today I brought the porch water bowl in to clean and refill, and the cat went over to it right away and took a quick lick, so drinking water again is good, what I was expecting/hoping.
 

Alpha1

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Back to normal CatMom.
 


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