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I vaccinated a pregnant cat... did I kill her babies?!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am new to this site, but from what I have seen, it is pretty awesome. I would appreciate all the help I can get! Long story short, my friend came home from work to find a stray cat on her porch. Her dog kills cats so she asked if I would take the cat. I said yes, we notified all the local shelters and asked around the neighborhood, but she is no ones kitties. The day my friend dropped her off, I took the kitty to the vet. The cat is a 9 month old, female orange tabby. She tested fine and got her rabies and 4 way. We scheduled her spay for 2 weeks later. That was Feb 19th. That night I noticed that she was eating a lot, I figured it was because she now had unlimited food. Then she started walking with a wobble. And then I noticed her nipples were pink. By the 22nd I was questioning whether or not she was pregnant. And on the 23rd, Saturday, I could feel about 1 inch fetuses. I have never birthed a female cat... or even know what to look for, but it is obvious she is pregnant. So I canceled her spay appointment and started researching. Pretty quickly I found out that you should not vaccinate a pregnant cat, especially in their first 3 weeks of pregnancy. I figure, by the time she started showing, that we vaccinated her in her 4th week. She got a modified live panleukpenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, FIP vaccination. From what I read, and by what my vet says, her babies are probably dead because of the panleukpenia. I am freaking out. And I feel so guilty! Has anyone had experience with vaccinating a pregnant cat? My vet feels it is appropriate to spay her now and get rid of any dead fetuses. I know this may be the safest thing to do, but she is growing bigger by the day and I still have hope that she will deliver live babies. Below are some pictures of her belly, in one you can even see one of the lumps on her tummy (where she is on her side):



Please help. I feel so guilty. I guess I am looking for someone to tell me the babies will be fine but I know that is not realistic. In the meantime mama kitty, her name is now Annie, has been confined to the bathroom. She has a constant supply of Purina One and gets a can of Merit cat food as soon as she finishes the previous (haha), she has a nest box... which she has spent 24/7 in... I guess I am lucky, huh? But otherwise, she has been eating like crazy and growing day by day. I figure if her babies are dead, she should miscarry them.... correct? I figure I should be expecting babies within the next 3-4 weeks... and probably dead .
post #2 of 18
It's possible that the kittens will be born with defects, but it is also possible that they can be born without them.

Don't feel guilty, you did what would have been best for her if she were not pregnant, not knowing that she was.
post #3 of 18
I won't sugar coat it, there is a chance that they will be born already dead or with defects....and there is a chance they will be ok. I'm a vet tech- so i've had to deal with this problem more than once. Pregnant cats who are subjected to anestesia or vaccines do have a higher chance of loosing their babies or having defects. BUT that being said- there is also a chance they can make it and be ok.

The one thing you absolutely should have done is an ultrasound. Please get her into the vets office for one- it will help determine how many kittens are present and if they're viable or not. If the vet determines that they are likely dead- a spay is a must- otherwise the momma kitty could have some pretty serious complications.

I'm only a pm away if you have any questions or need to talk Please do not blame yourself- mistakes happen! You were trying to do the right thing and be responsible- i wish more people did that!
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
But would she still be growing if the babies were dead? It seems like everyday the lumps in her tummy get bigger. My vet thinks it is best to spay her, regardless if the babies are dead or alive... she doesn't want to see anymore cats in this world. I just can't do that, though. Is it realistic to say that if in 3 weeks, I don't see any movement, the babies are dead? I don't want anything to happen to her... but I also don't want to terminate the pregnancy if there is a chance of the kittens living.

Around what week do the queens start to loose fur around their nipples? I noticed tonight that she has lost hair around one of her back nipples.

I can feel at least 3 kittens in her belly. I was looking at pictures from 6 days ago and she was very skinny then. In just this short time she has exploded. Is this normal?... Although she is huge, she is still super playful (hence my lack of sleep tonight).
post #5 of 18
That is so sad, i would be going insane. Im praying for your kittens, at least she is ok tho,if your trying to blame yourself coz u feel bad, think of the good your responsible for too, if it wasnt for you, you would have lost her as well. Its always traumatic when kittens are involved in tragedys
My friend's cat was pregnant during winter, we were all excited, she was due in a few days ready to pop. when she went missing. They never let her out and so they assumed she had found somewhere to hide in the house to have them. But they couldnt find her anywhere. The next day they found her.... in the freezing cold porch. They dont know how she got there, but she and all the kittens wernt alive anymore the cold and the stress had gotten her.
post #6 of 18
Don't beat yourself up. You did a kind deed by taking her in, and that's all you're responsible for. If you hadn't she might be dead now, so you've already saved one life.

The fetuses would not be growing if they were dead, but if you can afford it, an ultrasound would tell the vet a lot. Keep a close watch on her if you can't, because she could take a very sudden turn for the worse if any of the kittens have died.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Rosie, I am so sorry. That is a terrible story.

I called all the vets around and the only one that does ultra sounds is 40 minutes from me and it would cost $75 to do. I live in the mountains and apparently, we are anything but technologically advance here.

I will keep the option of an ultra sound open but I just don't have the time in the next couple of weeks to drive out there
post #8 of 18
She is a really pretty kitty. It was so great of you to take her in and get her shots right away. You could not have known that she was pregnant, so like everyone has said, don't bead yourself up about it. Just love HER.

I lived on a farm in my teenage years. We had a barn cat that was pregnant. One day she came to me meowing and meowing and acting like she wanted me to follow her, so I did. She had 3 kittens- but they were premature, they were pink and bare like little baby mice (only bigger). It was so sad, because they were moving around and stuff. It was heartbreaking.

We also had another cat who was supposedly spayed and she had SIX kittens. She died a month after she had them and we had to hand raise them. That was quite the experience.

Good luck to yo uand your sweet kitty.
post #9 of 18
As far as I know you should never vaccinate a pregnant female with live vaccines. Your vet is probably right - the kittens are either dead, close to it, or possible deformed.

IMO I would re-schedule the spay now - as soon as they have an opening and spay her and take the kittens (dead or otherwise). It might cost more because she is pregnant, but it would be better on her and the kittens. Why let her continue a pregnancy when there are dead kittens. It could cause infection in her and you'd lose her too.
post #10 of 18
Meeko had Shots when she was Preg with Yoshi. I felt bad too because we got her shots then I asked the Vet if she was Preg and he said maybe. He was born 3 Weeks later adn I just lost him at age 5 from kidney stones. I asked my Vet I go to now if that is why Yoshi got sick. She said she wasnt sure. Meeko did get a Ultrasound the day after she had him because she felt hard but she was ok. It turned out she was Constipated. My Sisters Cat will be 2 next month and she came from a Cat that got Shots and wormed when it was Preg. My Sisters Cat seems fine. My Kitten Oreo that has fcks came from a Cat that had Shots when she was Preg. The Cat had 4 Kittens and 2 have fcks and the other 2 were fine. I took Oreo because she has that problem. She is now 6 Months and is gettting better. I hope your Kittens will be ok. My Coco that can not be fixed got Preg once and she had the Ultrasound. I just lost her girl at age 5. They gave Coco Meds that cause birth defects when she was about 3 weeks Preg. Coco had 3 normal and we thought she was done.Then 12 Hours later she pushed onnce and the dead deformed kitten came out. 1 minute later another dead came out. Both were Male Calicos. I talked to my Vet when Stormy was Pts from Kidney Failure and they got mad and said she should never had the Med for Ibs when she was Preg. Its known to cause birth defects. My Sister has Cocos Son and he is ok. Coco was 10 at the time. I had to leave her at my Dads because the place I lived at then didnt take Cats. They knew she can not be fixed put her with a unfixed male. I was so mad at them and she had on moving day. I was going to take that Male and get it fixed myself but did not have money to pay for him.
post #11 of 18
Oh... she's a beautiful orange girl!!! I don't know anything about vaccines/developing cat fetuses, but I agree with other posters here... don't beat yourself up. And if you can get an ultrasound, that would be best.
post #12 of 18
Hi Tabbygirl and thank you for saving this poor homeless kitty.

I think at this point, you just have to let it ride and see what happens. What's done is done and this cat would have been that dog's lunch if you hadn't intervened--so you obviously did the right thing.

It seems tho, that if her pregnancy is progressing, that things might be okay so hang in there. Time will tell.

p.s. If it makes you feel any better, my Mom smoked and drank when she was pregnant with us and we all turned out allright. When I was pregnant, I was obsessed with the potential for birth defects and read all about it. Even with Thalidamide (which caused horrible birth defects), there were many women who took it and had normal babies....so your kitty might be fine after all.
post #13 of 18
Please try and get an ultrasound done soon, i understand time is an issue- but it is very important to have that done asap. You should be able to tell from the ultrasound if the kittens are in fact alive. If they are there is a chance they will have some defects as they were vaccinated with a live vaccine.

If they are not alive though- you could save the mom's life by having her spayed- allowing her to progress with the dead kittens in her can cause infection and even death- it is in her best interest to have her spayed in that case. Thankyou for taking in the momma and trying to do the right thing Please see about having an ultrasound done asap.
post #14 of 18
I would get the Ultrasound done.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
I really appreciate all your advice. Thank you to everyone who has shared their stories. I am going to make an apt for her to get an ultrasound. I will try to get it done before this weekend. I will keep everyone updated.

post #16 of 18
The Ultrasound is worth it. They can guess how far she is and if they look ok.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
I took Annie to get an ultra sound today and the verdict is that

a) she is either less than 30 days pregnant because they didn't see any babies

b) she has a false pregnancy

c) she is just getting fat

I have a very hard time believing she is not pregnant because has gained 1.5lb in one week, her nipples are big, she is loosing hair around them, and she has lumps in her tummy. I really don't know what to think anymore but if she is not pregnant, the good news is I don't have to worry about any dead fetuses hurting her. I decided that we are going to wait a few weeks and see if she goes into heat or shows any (more) signs of pregnancy. Thank you for everyones help!
post #18 of 18
When Coco was Preg only 3 Kittens showed up on the Ultrasound. She was about a Month Preg at the time. There turned out to be 5. I hope everything turns out fine.
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