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Freaking Out/Lump after Vaccine (long, sorry)

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi. I'm new and about to jump out of my own skin. Like many of you, we have a cat family that we love and adore. On Dec. 29th we took five of our cats to the vet for check-ups. Jasmine, my siamese rescue, age 4, was sneezing and she weighs only 6.5 pounds (normal for her) Her temp was normal. Sadie, our calico is sixteen years old and on thyroid and blood pressure meds.

I declined the rabies vaccines as I had an awareness of Dr. Marty Goldstein's book. The vet was adamant that our cats be vaccinated even though I repeatedly told him our cats are strictly indoors. He went on with stories of bats coming down chimneys, a mouse in the house that the cats might catch, squirrels in garages, etc. Finally, I was tired of fighting and reluctantly allowed the rabies vaccines.

Three and a half weeks later, Jasmine developed conjunctivitis and last Thursday, the vet's partner informed me that Jasmine has a lump where her vaccine was given. It's about 1 cm to 1.5 cm and she said for now we'll consider it residual inflammation but she was reporting it to the vaccine manufacturer, Merriel. The vaccines, I have since learned, were IMRAB, killed adjuvanted.

I returned home and felt everyone's right hind leg and Sadie also has the lump. The others appear fine.

I have fallen to pieces. The original vet told my husband he can't make any promises that it's not a sarcoma but statistically it could be inflammation. Everything I read says these lumps should be gone within a few weeks. We're at four weeks now. I can't stop worrying and crying.

The vaccine manufacturer said to give anti-inflammatories and antibiotics, but the first vet (without even asking us) said he's just leaving things alone and waiting to see what happens. What's scary is that I've read where the inflammation process can turn to sarcoma. Why not use an anti-inflammatory? I'm so scared. Why did I give in?
post #2 of 24
First off, Welcome to TCS!! Im sorry you're going through this right now, some vets think that they know it all! I probably would have given in and done the same thing! (although I would never give in to the FIP vaccine)

That vet should have respected your wishes, has he taken any responsabilty in it since you had told him you didn't want it done and he conned you into it?? I think he should have to pay the vet bills to fix it. Im sending you good vibes that everything will be okay!!

Can you go to a different vet?? I would definatly try a different vet and explain what happened!!
post #3 of 24
I agree, it doesn't really sound as if your current vet has the appropriate level of concern for your pets or sense of responsibility for the situation.

I would take my cats to another vet. Any doctor or vet that makes decisions for you is not a responsible professional.

I hope everything turns out okay for you and you babies.

good luck
post #4 of 24
I'm so sorry. I would really recommend switching vets, and finding someone who can aggressively treat this to determine if it's a Fibrosarcoma.

I just lost a cat to Fibrosarcoma, it's scarey how fast it progresses. His Fibrosarcoma was completely untreatable.

that your kitty does NOT have it.
post #5 of 24
Here, rabies are mandatory so I wouldn't have a choice in the matter at all.
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleraven7726 View Post
I'm so sorry. I would really recommend switching vets, and finding someone who can aggressively treat this to determine if it's a Fibrosarcoma.

I just lost a cat to Fibrosarcoma, it's scarey how fast it progresses. His Fibrosarcoma was completely untreatable.

that your kitty does NOT have it.
Could you elaborate? When did he get his vaccine? How long before the fibrosarcoma developed? Thanks for any further info you could share. I appreciate it so much.
post #7 of 24
I'm sending you a PM.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenniferd View Post
Here, rabies are mandatory so I wouldn't have a choice in the matter at all.
Yes but for a 16 year old cat? Rabies shots are given every three years but I wouldn't give any vaccine to a cat over 5. I don't believe in overvaccinating for reasons such as this and also because I have seen so many cats that were vaccinated yearly come down with the very disease they are being vaccinated against.

Anyways, good luck with your kitty and PLEASE find a new vet. I would never step foot back in this vet's office and tell your friends not to either. Any vet pushing vaccines on a 16 year old cat needs to be evaluated. A vet should NEVER force you to do anything.
post #9 of 24
When Cleo was a kitten, she got her initial rabies shot. It produced a pea sized lump in her leg. I remember it took almost 3 months to finally go away (I sometimes wonder how much irritation I caused by constantly feeling the darn thing!) My vet now recommends not to give her any rabies shots because of the reaction that she had to the first one. I had made an appointment to have the lump excised and sent to pathology (Dr. Sue told me to give it 3 months), but by the time the appointment time arrived, the lump had finally disappeared. I will keep your babies in my prayers that the lump is just some residual inflammation. I agree with everyone else...the vet doesn't seem like he cares about your babies, or your concerns. I think it is time to find a different vet who will listen to you, acknowledge your concerns, and include you in the care plan for your kitties.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen View Post
Yes but for a 16 year old cat? Rabies shots are given every three years but I wouldn't give any vaccine to a cat over 5. I don't believe in overvaccinating for reasons such as this and also because I have seen so many cats that were vaccinated yearly come down with the very disease they are being vaccinated against.

Anyways, good luck with your kitty and PLEASE find a new vet. I would never step foot back in this vet's office and tell your friends not to either. Any vet pushing vaccines on a 16 year old cat needs to be evaluated. A vet should NEVER force you to do anything.
Well, mandatory means you have to do it.
I wouldn't get rabies vaccine for my cats if it were not mandatory because the cats are indoor.
post #11 of 24
My Vet said we do not have to give Rabies Shots and I do not get them. My friends Cat got Cancer from that Shot. Your Vet sounds like a idiot. My Vet said Coco can not get most shots because she is almost 16 and had bad reactions before. Last Aug she got a lump from a Shot and I was scared. They said it would go down in 2 weeks. It took 4 Months to get rid of. I would have left and not gave in to the Vet. Sounds like you Vet is money hungrey.
post #12 of 24
Rabies is required by law. If your cat were to bite a visitor without a CURRENT vaccine, by law, it could be immediately euthanized, or seized for quarrantine for anywhere from 10-30 days. During this quarrantine, there is no human contact allowed, and it is a very stressful period of time for both the cat and the owner. Please keep these details in mind when getting upset with your vet, because in general, vaccination is the best thing for your kitty.

If you absolutely do not want to vaccinate, then ask for titers. Just plain refusing vaccinations is not acceptable. Also look into local laws to make sure titers are acceptable should your kitty happen to bite someone.

As for the lump, the current recommendation is to leave it alone and let it resolve naturally. If the lump is still present after 3 months, then it should be removed and the tissue sent in for histopathology.

See the following article: Vaccine Associated Fibrosarcoma
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Con...&S=0&C=0&A=526
post #13 of 24
I guess it depends on where you live.
I got Bea's rabies and boosters up until this last time.

I had concerns about something else and my vet told me it would be fine to skip it at her age, citing that the likelihood of her contracting it now would be unlikely. She's 4 now and I don't think I'll be giving her anymore rabies boosters.
post #14 of 24
Any cat can get rabies...regardless of age, because they are mammals. And just because a cat is indoors strictly, there is always that chance of him slipping out the door...I would rather have him protected than not.

Now an old cat, or dog, I don't generally vaccinate against most of the other diseases, but rabies I do, simply because of the liability that NOT doing it carries.
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
I'm just aggravated because I took five cats in there and and they were fine when I walked in the door. Now, two of them, the two who were most frail that day, have lumps in their right hind legs and only time will tell. I wish the laws were different because I'd rather take the one in a billion chance that a bat will fly down my chimney than the three in a thousand that my beloved little cats will end up with cancer. This vet was so pushy. Vaccines are the mainstay of his practice, a true "cash cow". It's hard to find a good vet around here. I really wish I had never taken my cats to the vet at all. They were loving life here at home and aside from a few sneezes, all was well. My husband and I have been together for eighteen years and never has a stray animal, wild or domestic ever entered our home and none of our cats have ever attempted to get out. When people come to our house, they run and hide. Everything I read in Dr. Marty Goldstein's book makes sense and I could crawl into a hole that I allowed my babies to be revaccinated. I think our laws should be evaluated with VAS as a consideration and revised accordingly. "Tobacco companies used to tell people that smoking was good for them".
post #16 of 24
I am so sorry you are going thru this for future reference there are ways to help prevent these sorts of things from happening, but for the vets, the action yours took was a cost effective to the vet one.
Merial makes two types of rabies labeled for cats. Imrab 1yr or 3yr that comes in 10 dose tanks and in a 50/1ds tray of singles. They also make one specific for cats called Purevax that is non adjuvented and only comes in single dose vials.
And they are just one maker out of many of rabies vaccines.
i am sure you know the benefits of a non adjuvented vaccine, and it lowering the risk of reactions and fibroscarcomas. One thing some folks don't realize is that the 10 dose tanks that most vets use contain a preservative, gentamycin, and are supposed to basically be used all in the same day. horse vets buy only 10 dose tanks because they are easier to store, and they are usually vaccinating multiples at a time. When you get a little lump like what your cats are experiencing, it's a reaction generally to the gentamycin in the tanks.
Here is what your vet is experiencing and why he's using the tanks over singles, and over the non adjuvented. 10 dose tanks are the most cost effective and easy to store. They will pay about 30% more for the exact same vaccine to be in single dose vials (less chance of contamination as well btw), and then take the price of the single dose vials and triple that, and you'll have the cost of purevax. Believe me, Merial makes you pay out the nose for that stuff.
So, vets that are not cat only vets generally dont bother with tripling their cost, because the purevax rabies is only for cats, and they run the risk of overstock and out of dates easily. BUT 90% of your cat only clinics are hip to this and will only carry rabies in singles, and non adjuvented. Yes, a cat only vet is a tad more expensive, but you are also paying for the extra consideration they take, the lower stress environment, and the conitunued education on only one species.

If you are really adamant about never vacinating again I highly suggest that you do titer tests yearly. What a titer test does is determines whether or not the body still recognises the virus (which is basically what a vaccine does, it teaches the body what to look for and develop antibodies in case the real thing comes along) that way you will have the peace of mind that your pet is still protected. most vaccines, depending on the particular animal can produce strong titers for 1 to 7 years! Titer testing is more expensive than vaccinating, so be prepared for that, but as a good pet parent it's best to either vaccinate or test the titers.

hope this helps. If you have further questions, feel free to post them or PM me.
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the time that it took to offer such an informative reply. I read every word. I didn't know the lump was a reaction to the gentamycin. I thought it was a reaction to the aluminum in the adjuvant. I don't know why I feel slightly better that the lump is a reaction to an antibiotic rather than aluminum. I know that with my current little family, I will not be vaccinating again. In the future, should we have some room at the inn, I will be much more informed and better prepared to make decisions. I understand that everyone has to earn a living but it's frustrating because sometimes physicians, whether treating animals or people, suffer a conflict of interest. I'm praying by the hour that these lumps go away. It was four weeks yesterday. For whatever it's worth, both cats are behaving normally.

Jasmine, being the little siamese mayor of home, has already harrassed my tuxedo blimp kitty off of the sofa because she was in "her" seat to watch Sunday night tv. I can't live without Jasmine. I just can't. If this is cancer evolving on her leg because of a vaccine that I allowed, they can just dig a hole right next to her so I can jump in.

Thanks again!
post #18 of 24
If it makes you feel any better, it took my Shelby dog more than a month (and over two weeks on benadryl) to get past hers. In her case she reacted severely, it was the size of a softball on my poor 24lb dog!!!
If you feel closely there is some fiberous scar tissue left that I monitor, but it's actually quite common for there to be a reaction to rabies vax over others.
if anything some good has come out of this, now you have a better perspective, more information to find the right veterinarian for your animal family, and you found this wonderful place!
<yes i am a glass full person>
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
I do appreciate your feedback. Since you're rather knowledgable about this topic I have to ask one more question.

I didn't want to start a separate thread because I thought it might irritate everyone. Something very strange that I've encountered with one of Jasmine's sons, Willis. This little guy was our social butterfly, our entertainer when company would come. He would join my husband and I almost every meal that we eat on the family room sofa. He'd get the center cushion. He'd drag his stick with tassel over to us so we could play with him. In the last three days, he's become spooked. Fearful of everything, especially us! If we make eye contact with him, he flies out of the room. He takes one look at us and goes tearing through the house the other way and hides. I don't understand it? Nothing has happened. No strange people have visited. He didn't get into a fight with anyone else in the house. He's not afraid of the other cats. He's just a paranoid, scared, mess.

Could this be vaccine related? There's nothing else that I can think of. It's so disturbing to me because we had so much fun with him on a daily basis. I'm worried he'll never come back to us. Uhh, this is awful.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SiameseStacey View Post
I think our laws should be evaluated with VAS as a consideration and revised accordingly. "Tobacco companies used to tell people that smoking was good for them".
Rabies vaccination is NOT for the animals. It is the mainstay of the program to protect PEOPLE.

From the CDC website http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/epidemiology.html :
Quote:
In this century, the number of human deaths in the United States attributed to rabies has declined from 100 or more each year to an average of 2 or 3 each year. Two programs have been responsible for this decline. First, animal control and vaccination programs begun in the 1940's and oral rabies vaccination programs in the 2000’s have eliminated domestic dogs as reservoirs of rabies in the United States. Second, effective human rabies vaccines and immunolglobins have been developed . All human cases in the United States since 1990 are summarized in the Table of Human Rabies Cases from 1995- 2006 (see table below). The case histories of the ten most recent deaths can be found using the links below.

During 2000–2004, more cats than dogs were reported rabid in the United States. The majority of these cases were associated with spillover infection from raccoons in the eastern United States. The large number of rabies-infected cats might be attributed to fewer cat vaccination laws, fewer leash laws, and the roaming habits of cats.
Vaccinations may be a "cash cow" to your vet... but he was still RIGHT to pressure you to vaccinate your cats. Next time ask for titers.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SiameseStacey View Post
He takes one look at us and goes tearing through the house the other way and hides. I don't understand it? Nothing has happened. No strange people have visited. He didn't get into a fight with anyone else in the house. He's not afraid of the other cats. He's just a paranoid, scared, mess.

Could this be vaccine related? There's nothing else that I can think of. It's so disturbing to me because we had so much fun with him on a daily basis. I'm worried he'll never come back to us. Uhh, this is awful.
I would have his thyroid tested. Increased activity level and change in normal activity level is a common first sign of hyperthyroidism in cats.
post #22 of 24
We all manifest things differently. working at a veterinary office will show you cat after cat, they all process that stress differently. I wouldnt necessarily assume his skittish behavior to be a vaccine reaction, but if you are able to get a hold of him and feel him over, if he has any lumps, this could be his way of protecting himself while he feels injured.
Hyperthyroidism is more common in cats than any other species I know of. Before blowing money on thyroid panels, you may want to do some more research on the subject and see if he is showing more symptoms than just behavior. A wonderful resourse (if you can read thru the medical terminology) is www.ivis.org Its a database of tons and tons of veterinary written articles, research results, transcriptions from vet conventions.... you'll have to set up an account, which is free, but it really helps give peice of mind to have that education at your fingertips.
Even if you dont find any other links in symptoms, if you are still concerned, calling your vet is free. Many times a 5 minute conversation about what is going on with your pet can give you peace of mind, or reason to go back in and get things treated.
post #23 of 24
For the last 3 years or so we have only been using the Purevax shot for our cats. We live (and have lived previously) in areas that require the Rabies shot.

I will tell you, that with the Purevax shot my cats did not experience the "down" time they always did with the IMRAB Rabies shots. They would be lethargic, etc for a day or so. With the Purevax shot, it's like nothing happened. I wish it was approved for 3 years, and that I had known about it earlier. But it is still the only rabies vax I will use for my cats now. Finding vets who carry it is the challenge. Raven and Nabu have histories of reacting to shots, and have no problems with the Purevax shot.
post #24 of 24
I realize this is a year old thread, but I'm wondering how things turned out with your kitty, Siamese Stacey? I'm going through the EXACT same thing now with my 2 year old cat... it's been one month since the vaccine, and the lump persists. We have a vet appointment tomorrow, but the anxiety over this is killing me.
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