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Self-Administered Vaccinations

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have two 2 year old cats and have always given them shots myself with no probelms. I just got a new kitten and she is about 5.5 months old and i have been having problems giving her shots. The skin behind her neck seams to be really tough and she screams bloody murder when i try. Do you know if there is any other places that are safe to give them shots beside behind their necks? What do I do?
post #2 of 14
You should not give any injections in the neck (scruff) area. Injections should be given as low as possible on any of the 4 legs.
post #3 of 14
Vaccinations shouldn't be given in the shoulders, always in the legs. Very rarely cats can develop a deadly cancer due to injections. Worst case scenario you can amputate the leg. It sounds horrible and luckily is very rare but a three-legged cat is better than a dead cat. I had a friend who lost a cat due to this type of cancer, she fought it with everything possible, took the cat to K State University and everything, but in the end Reese died. So try the legs from now on.
post #4 of 14
My cat Oliver also died from vaccine related sarcoma After 2 operations to remove the tumor it kept coming back bigger and bigger and finally was invading his spine because it was given so close to the spine in the shoulder area. I had to have him put to sleep at only six years old.
post #5 of 14
Which vaccinations are you attempting to give? The answer to this question will help to determine the proper location for the injection.

While others who have responded to your post are, in part, correct about not administering vaccines in or around the scruff area, there are some vaccines that must be given subcutaneously - that is to say, under the skin and not into a muscle. If such a vaccine is being attempted, then the appropriate place to inject is at the scruff line but slightly below and beside the neck area, more specifically, at the shoulder.

A word about self-vaccinating ... I am currently doing battle with one of my vets because I self-vaccinated my female, Lexus, with her annual panleukopenia booster. Because I cannot provide a "vet-generated" statement showing that a vet administered this booster, either I must allow them to re-vaccinate her or else they will not treat her at this particular clinic. Evidently, they seem to believe that re-vaccinating her will 1) provide an immediate immune response (which it won't) and 2) immediately protect all the other animals boarding at the clinic from her germs should she be shedding them (which it won't) and 3) that I am just stupid enough to think it is OK to bring my animals into ANY clinic if I have doubts as to their levels of immunity (which I most certainly am not). *sigh*

My advice to you is to allow the vet to vaccinate this time and carefully observe where he places the vaccine. Barring that, schedule a no-animal-present consult and ask him the questions you've presented here.

Hope this helps,

~gf~
post #6 of 14
Just as a matter of course, I think it is appropriate here to mention that the actual statistics show that the risks of not vaccinating your cat far, far outweigh the risks of VAS. VAS is quite rare and while this is certainly not meant as a blow-off to those who have had cats with VAS, it is the general consensus among vets, breeders and animal professionals that it is much better to take the small risk of vaccinating against the larger risk of having the animal acquire a deadly disease.

My sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to those who have lost cats due to VAS. It is a matter quite near and dear to my heart. But I also feel quite strongly for those who have chosen not to take the risk and lost their beloveds to diseases that could have been easily prevented.

Just a thought to ponder ...

~gf~
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by gayef
While others who have responded to your post are, in part, correct about not administering vaccines in or around the scruff area, there are some vaccines that must be given subcutaneously - that is to say, under the skin and not into a muscle. If such a vaccine is being attempted, then the appropriate place to inject is at the scruff line but slightly below and beside the neck area, more specifically, at the shoulder.
Just because a vaccination is to be given SQ does not mean it is safe to give in the shoulders. I work at a clinic and we give all our vaccinations in the legs. The shoulders are not the only place to give a SQ vaccination.
post #8 of 14
my cat has always been vaccinated between the shoulders. that is so worrying
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick_kitten
my cat has always been vaccinated between the shoulders. that is so worrying
Don't worry because mine are also done there as well and so were all the cats my parents owned and none of them contracted cancer there.

After i first ever heard about this i questioned my vet and Emma on it and they reassured me.

I can't remember the exact words they used but i'm at the vets with Sophie on the 8th of March for her 6 month post spay check up so i'll get a refresher on it.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosiemac
Don't worry because mine are also done there as well and so were all the cats my parents owned and none of them contracted cancer there.

After i first ever heard about this i questioned my vet and Emma on it and they reassured me.

I can't remember the exact words they used but i'm at the vets with Sophie on the 8th of March for her 6 month post spay check up so i'll get a refresher on it.
thanks, Mav's going for a check up too tomorrow so i'll ask as well.
post #11 of 14
Mine were vaccinated into the scruff too. Must be a UK thing.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by RugbyKid
Just because a vaccination is to be given SQ does not mean it is safe to give in the shoulders. I work at a clinic and we give all our vaccinations in the legs. The shoulders are not the only place to give a SQ vaccination.
Out of curiosity then RugbyKid, what other locations are considered when administering a sub-q injection? I already know the answer, but for the benefit of those reading this thread now as well as for those who will come upon it in the future - I would like to hear your answer to this.

And let us not forget that sometimes, different injectables require different locations - such as in the case of insulin. It is not always best for the cat to inject in the leg due to the way insulin acts - it is always best to inject it nearer to the stomach area and not in the scruff as many people are taught at clinics. Do you know why we should inject insulin nearer to the stomach and not in the leg as you suggest?

With all due respect to your job at a clinic, sometimes the answers are not as clear cut as "we give all our vaccines in the legs". Cats are, largely, individuals - much like humans - and what is good for one might not always be so good for another.

This is not meant as a slam to you - not at all. Injecting a sub-q vaccine near the shoulder is an accepted practice - and one which, as I said, far, far outweighs the risk of VAS. I just think that needs to be clarified.

~gf~
post #13 of 14
Just to clarify, vaccines given in the legs should be sub-Q. You can give any necessary injection sub-q on any part of the body being careful not to inject it into the muscle.
post #14 of 14
Looks like Sandie just beat me to my reply!! I work in a vet clinic as well, and we only vaccinate in the hind leg. It is considered standard practice here in Ontario to vacc. on the leg bc. of the risk of vaccine related sarcomas. However, we give most other sq. injections in the scruff.
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