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And about vaccinations

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Sam got his annual rabies shot. He also got his FVRCP booster. I was concerned about the FelV vaccine, because of the information posted here, that he may not really need it, and there is risk of cancer at the injection site.

My vet agreed with me. First of all, she says that he is still somewhat protected from his booster last year. The vaccine is fairly new, and they were only required to prove efficacy for one year, but it may be more effective for longer. Also, because he is not outside except when he is on his leash, there is very little risk of being bitten by an infected cat. If he is, he will still probably have some protection.

As for the cancer, she says that the lastest research indicates that there is a risk of sarcoma at ANY injection site, not just at FelV sites. However none is conclusive, most evidence is anecdotal at best.

I am very pleased with my vet.
post #2 of 8
She sounds like a very smart vet...where was the vaccine given? in the back of the neck, or the hip? My vet does this in the hip..incase cancer were to become, I would rather have a decapitated(sp?) leg, than a head.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Wow! I never thought about that! She gives him his shot in the hip. She is very smart and enlightened.
post #4 of 8
There is strong supporting evidence that most dog and cat vaccines provide viable levels of resistance for at least three years AFTER the second yearly injection (that is: give the puppy/kitten series, give vaccines the next year, then every three years after that.) The Bordetella vaccine in dogs is a notable exception and these guidelines do not apply to parasite control such as heartworm prevention. Many US states allow for a three year rabies vaccine under these guidelines, but laws vary and the rabies vaccine must be administered according to the requirements of the region in which you live.

FeIV (and FLV) risk should be assessed by exposure potential, including the incidence of the disease in your area. An inside cat in a home where there are no other animals being introduced (such as foster animals) is at extremely low risk of exposure. Both diseases require direct contact with another animal and even then the potential for contracting the disease involves many factors including stage of the disease in the already infected animal, general health and immune system status of the uninfected animal, and degree of contact. Proper caution should be exercised since both diseases, if contracted, are fatal.

Research I understand was supported by the Vet School at North Carolina State University seems to indicate that the incidence of injection site complications (including sarcoma) have a strong relationship to administration technique of the vaccines and have little to do with which vaccine is administered. Restricting vaccine volume to the proper dose amount and avoiding deep muscle injections (allowing for more rapid absorbtion) appear to virtually eliminate these types of complications. While the research does not account for every possible problem, as I understand it there have been no complications in the controlled studies when these modified vaccination techniques were used. (Restricting volume means giving only the required dose. The dose provided in a typical vaccine is usually 1.25 to 1.5 times the amount necessary for proper immunization. Most people will simply draw up the full quantity and administer it. While this has been standard practice for many years and it is not harmful to get the extra materials, the added volume seems to have some correlation to site complications and no extra degree of immunity is provided.)

I would suggest following your vet's recommendations. She will be more likely to understand your particular situation and be familiar with the risks in your area.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you George. This is extremely informative.

I did follow my vet's advice. I simply asked if he needed the FelV, and she volunteered the rest, which I thought was interesting as it corroborated a lot of information that has been discussed here. And the most important factor for her was the fact that Sam is never allowed outside unless he is supervised and on his leash.
post #6 of 8
Not going outside is a great risk reducer. Our cats don't go out either and we don't vaccinate for FeIV and only vaccinate every 3 years for FLV (FeIV is almost non-existant in our area but leukemia is unfortunately widespread.)

post #7 of 8
My vet did tell me that if your cat is strictly indoors, the leukemia vaccine isn't neccessary either.....I went ahead and had both get one anyway..I am just paranoid...
post #8 of 8
I used to vaccinate my cats with FeLV vaccine. But since they are strictly indoors, there's probably a greater likelihood that they would get a vaccine induced sarcoma (even though those are rare) then get Feline Leukemia. I don't like the thought of overvaccinationg either. If I had outdoor cats, I'd definitely do it.
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