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Vaccine Companies Ugh!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I really hope this is an okay place to post this but I am raving mad!

I'm going to try to keep this short and to the point...

The basics are that we had 3 kittens come in with wicked distemper. Two cats were vaccinated a full series with Pfizer FVRCP vaccines. We log our lot #'s and keep track of everything. Both cats were vaccinated with the same batch of vaccines, however their brother and mum never came into contact with distemper and therefore never got it. So anyway two kittens come into contact with it, they get it. One kitten dies. The other has 3 transfusions and racks up a bill of $6,000. We call Pfizer. Pfizer says they'll pay the $6,000 because they stand behind their vaccines etc etc.

Third cat comes in after the other two because this one was living with one of the two cats who came down with distemper. This cat tests positive. This cat complete the series by Fort Dodge. This cat came from Cat Adoption team, they do not keep lot #'s. Luckily cat #3 isn't too sick, stays for a week, I think has like a $1500 bill. We call Fort Dodge "Cat is vaccinated, got distemper." Fort Dodge basically says they don't care. So the owner pays her bill. Our doctor calls Fort Dodge again, saying Pfizer is paying. So Fort Dodge says they'll pay, but sends the owner a letter saying they aren't taking responsibility for it, and that if she accepts the money if the cat has anything related to distemper in the future, it isn't their fault. She's basically releasing them from anything further.

What the heck? They aren't even standing behind their own vaccines? I mean this all happened over a month+ ago, and it was like pulling teeth just to get them to pay! I can't believe it! It was genuine distemper, Pfizer needed proof so Squiggles [the poor baby we lost] was sent to OSU to watch her decompose, and indeed it was classic text book distemper. [Pfizer even paid for her cremation!] I am just so completely annoyed at Fort Dodge and will not be vaccinating my pets with their vaccines if I can help it. If they won't stand by them I don't want to vaccinate my cats and have them get sick!
post #2 of 16
Horrible story I am sorry. I also had to rethinking vaccinations when one of mine experienced bad reactions (canine).
post #3 of 16
for the poor babies and families
post #4 of 16
I am really surprised the companies paid at all. I thought most vaccines were only 60% effective.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I am really surprised the companies paid at all. I thought most vaccines were only 60% effective.
I couldn't find anything online, but I think FVRCP works very well and it's only a small percentage off.

I know vaccinating for canine parvo the vaccine is like 99.9% effective. Everything I've read online [trying to find a percentage] says the FVRCP vaccine is very good at protecting pets from FVRCP.

The reason Pfizer paid is because we did everything correctly in vaccinating the cats, yet they still got sick. So I imagine generally speaking the vaccine is very effective and the cats shouldn't have gotten sick. If the odds of coverage were 60% I don't think our vet would have persued it. Pfizer paid because they stand by their vaccines.
post #6 of 16
OKAY I am lazy ... what are the common names of Pfizer vaccines so that some may ask for them??
post #7 of 16
Its SO EASY to screw up vaccines post-production that it really doesn't surprise me at all.
post #8 of 16
Ok let me correct myself now that I read my notes Yes Panleukopenia vaccines are highly effective. I do not have specific percentage on that. It is the Rhinotracheitis that one study found only to be 50% effective and Calici to be about 60% effective.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
OKAY I am lazy ... what are the common names of Pfizer vaccines so that some may ask for them??
http://www.pfizerah.com/product_over...=EN&species=FL

We use the green package which is the FVRCP vaccine which is: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis Calicivirus and Panleukopenia.

They have several different kinds of "Felocell" which covers different viruses that is the one that we used.

I'm not sure what kind of fort dodge vaccine was used, like what they cover that kind of thing, just that it was a distemper vaccine.
---

Quote:
Its SO EASY to screw up vaccines post-production that it really doesn't surprise me at all.

We aren't think so much that entirely, that it might have actually been the kitten's crappy immune systems themselves. The history of mom is that she was a stray barn cat, so could be super inbred. She had a very sensitive stomach, and so do the kittens. So you could figure kind of weak genetics. Also the situation is that the two kittens who contracted the disease first [Squiggles and her brother] they went from their nice happy home, to a "rescue" to be fostered. From there they came into contact with kittens who later got distemper at PETCO. You have to figure the stress of going from house, to house, to being handled by strangers at petco could really lower their immune system to make them susceptable for catching the disease, even though by all means they shouldn't have because they were fully protected. But they are also young [6mos maybe?]. At first we were thinking it was super distemper, but the necropsy said it was classic text book distemper, nothing funky or amazing about it. It's strange the third cat got it, because she wasn't related to either cats. But again, maybe the stress of having Squiggles move in, lowered her immune system enough to catch it.

Either way you're right, vaccines fail. But it's so frustrating because it shouldn't have gone down like this. And it really annoys me that Fort Dodge wouldn't stand behind the product, even if they only paid like $100, to replace the crappy vaccines or something, at least that's saying "Hey we care!" vs. "We don't care." and that they don't back up their product.

Luckily Squiggles' brother is doing very well, and so is the kitty she lived with. Both families are so greatful to have them.

Quote:
Ok let me correct myself now that I read my notes Yes Panleukopenia vaccines are highly effective. I do not have specific percentage on that. It is the Rhinotracheitis that one study found only to be 50% effective and Calici to be about 60% effective.
This is very good info to know! Any ideas on the worth of the Leukemia vaccine?
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plebayo View Post
Any ideas on the worth of the Leukemia vaccine?
Yes I have a print out of Leukemia from the Winn Feline Foundation and this is what it says on effectiveness " on average FeLV vaccine is able to prevent infection in about 80-90% of cats".

What I did find interesting about leukemia is that 30% of cats become immune on their own, 40% of cats get sick and die, and 30% of cats become carriers (with 20% eventually getting sick and dying, and 10% recover).
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitytize View Post
Yes I have a print out of Leukemia from the Winn Feline Foundation and this is what it says on effectiveness " on average FeLV vaccine is able to prevent infection in about 80-90% of cats".

What I did find interesting about leukemia is that 30% of cats become immune on their own, 40% of cats get sick and die, and 30% of cats become carriers (with 20% eventually getting sick and dying, and 10% recover).
I wish I could remember where I read it, but recently I read that in a certain percentage of cats (it was significant- somewhere around 20%) have dna damage from the FeLV vaccine, and can later get a FeLV related Fibrosarcoma even though they never had it--they were just vaccinated against it.

Edit- I've been doing a lot of reading on vaccinations and Fibrosarcoma lately. We lost Raven to it, and he was given both the FeLV shot and adjuvented Rabies shots before I knew better. The vet didn't recommend other wise even though they knew they were indoor only cats.
post #12 of 16
Would you stand behind your product if 90% of your failures weren't your fault? Standing behind your product doesn't mean accepting failures that weren't your fault, it means accepting failures that WERE! I haven't lost any respect for Fort Dodge, but certainly will give props to phizer!!
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleraven7726 View Post
I wish I could remember where I read it, but recently I read that in a certain percentage of cats (it was significant- somewhere around 20%) have dna damage from the FeLV vaccine, and can later get a FeLV related Fibrosarcoma even though they never had it--they were just vaccinated against it.

Edit- I've been doing a lot of reading on vaccinations and Fibrosarcoma lately. We lost Raven to it, and he was given both the FeLV shot and adjuvented Rabies shots before I knew better. The vet didn't recommend other wise even though they knew they were indoor only cats.
That is a scary thought. I didn't think Willow's fibrosarcoma would have anything to do with vaccinations since her tumor was not where the shot was given. But she did have the FeLV vaccination and rabies a few years ago. I quit vaccinating my cats for leukemia after learning more about the disease and vaccination problems.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Yes I have a print out of Leukemia from the Winn Feline Foundation and this is what it says on effectiveness " on average FeLV vaccine is able to prevent infection in about 80-90% of cats".

What I did find interesting about leukemia is that 30% of cats become immune on their own, 40% of cats get sick and die, and 30% of cats become carriers (with 20% eventually getting sick and dying, and 10% recover).
Wow, very good information to know.

Quote:
I wish I could remember where I read it, but recently I read that in a certain percentage of cats (it was significant- somewhere around 20%) have dna damage from the FeLV vaccine, and can later get a FeLV related Fibrosarcoma even though they never had it--they were just vaccinated against it.

Edit- I've been doing a lot of reading on vaccinations and Fibrosarcoma lately. We lost Raven to it, and he was given both the FeLV shot and adjuvented Rabies shots before I knew better. The vet didn't recommend other wise even though they knew they were indoor only cats.
Man that's really a bummer.

Quote:
That is a scary thought. I didn't think Willow's fibrosarcoma would have anything to do with vaccinations since her tumor was not where the shot was given. But she did have the FeLV vaccination and rabies a few years ago. I quit vaccinating my cats for leukemia after learning more about the disease and vaccination problems.
Yeah I've decided to stop going with FELV because both cats are indoors only, it's one less thing I'm potentially overvaccinating for. But now hearing more about the issues with the vaccine, there's just no reason to continue giving it.

Quote:
Would you stand behind your product if 90% of your failures weren't your fault? Standing behind your product doesn't mean accepting failures that weren't your fault, it means accepting failures that WERE! I haven't lost any respect for Fort Dodge, but certainly will give props to phizer!!
It's something you kind of have to do when you're in the medical field. If you took your cat to the vet for the day for... grooming lets say. You get a phone call mid-day saying "Hey did you notice your cat's eye is irritated? The groomer noticed it." When you dropped the cat off, the cat appeared fine, so you say "Nope things were fine when I brought him in." so our clinic assumes it happened here, so we give you a free exam, free cone, and free eye medication. The cat's eye could have been a problem before, but the groomer didn't really notice it until he had been handling the cat. And according to you, there wasn't an issue at all. So even if we think it's a preexisting issue, we take the fall for it.

We also had a dog come in for grooming once, that went home and suddenly had a back issue, they took it to an emerg. clinic who suggested the groomer dropped the dog [which never happened]. The dog went home just fine, although the groomer noticed the owner had brushed everywhere but the dog's back and back legs. So we assumed the dog had an issue before, to which the owner couldn't brush the entire dog. We ended up doing a free exam and free meds, even though the dog's back issue was not cause by us.

We don't know if it's faulty vaccines or bad immune system because cat adoption team, who took care of this particular cat [unrelated to the other two] did not keep the lot number for the vaccines so the entire lot of vaccines could have been defective. In this case because the cat although young, was unrelated I would bet it was a bad batch of vaccines. There's no way of knowing whose fault it is, and it's bad that CAT didn't keep lot numbers, but still. In any case Fort Dodge wasn't even kind or nice on the phone, and I've heard of their vaccines having a higher instance of Fibrosarcoma in the past, so I really don't have much respect for them at all.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plebayo View Post

It's something you kind of have to do when you're in the medical field. If you took your cat to the vet for the day for... grooming lets say. You get a phone call mid-day saying "Hey did you notice your cat's eye is irritated? The groomer noticed it." When you dropped the cat off, the cat appeared fine, so you say "Nope things were fine when I brought him in." so our clinic assumes it happened here, so we give you a free exam, free cone, and free eye medication. The cat's eye could have been a problem before, but the groomer didn't really notice it until he had been handling the cat. And according to you, there wasn't an issue at all. So even if we think it's a preexisting issue, we take the fall for it.

We also had a dog come in for grooming once, that went home and suddenly had a back issue, they took it to an emerg. clinic who suggested the groomer dropped the dog [which never happened]. The dog went home just fine, although the groomer noticed the owner had brushed everywhere but the dog's back and back legs. So we assumed the dog had an issue before, to which the owner couldn't brush the entire dog. We ended up doing a free exam and free meds, even though the dog's back issue was not cause by us.

We don't know if it's faulty vaccines or bad immune system because cat adoption team, who took care of this particular cat [unrelated to the other two] did not keep the lot number for the vaccines so the entire lot of vaccines could have been defective. In this case because the cat although young, was unrelated I would bet it was a bad batch of vaccines. There's no way of knowing whose fault it is, and it's bad that CAT didn't keep lot numbers, but still. In any case Fort Dodge wasn't even kind or nice on the phone, and I've heard of their vaccines having a higher instance of Fibrosarcoma in the past, so I really don't have much respect for them at all.
I disagree... in today's sue-happy society, giving away freebies is legally admitting fault. Unless I'm at fault, or know the owners WELL, I don't give freebies.

If you're used to giving out freebies... then I guess you would expect them. Grooming COULD have caused eye irritation, and I too would have sent home eye meds. The other situations however there are far too many other possibilities.

Don't you think the fact that the vaccines were from two different companies shows that the problem was more likely with the individual cats? Vaccine companies don't produce bad batches all the time, if they did, they wouldn't be in business! IF the lots were bad, it was probably due to the cats (stress, pre-existing illness, poor immune response, overwhelming pathogen exposure) or shipping/handling (poor vaccine administration, freezing, mixing innapropriately, or becoming warm)
post #16 of 16
Wow, I am shocked at the experience you had with Fort Dodge, normally they are quite the opposite.

And I wish I had the documentation to note it, but i have heard from more than one source with letters behind their name that Pfizer has the highest rate of severe vaccine reactions and fibrosarcomas over any other brand. And their injectable bordatella for dogs is backed by vaccine studies conducted on a strain they no longer even use...

yikes.

Intervet makes some decent kitty vaccs particularly their continuum line (3yr)
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