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Should Felv, FIV and FIP Shots be given to Cats?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hello Everyone-

I was wondering your opinion on this? What do you think?
post #2 of 18
Hi,
I looked at the poll and it seems lots of people ar saying NO?
I don't understand, are these dangerous?????
I did not know anything about FIP until November of 2004 when I lost my sweet kitten of 6 months old to it, and her brother at 9 months old to it 6 weeks ago. I have done so much reading and research, that my head is spinning about it.
I am now adopting 2 Persian cats 3 and 4 years old from a friend of a friend, and would like to know more about these vaccines.
post #3 of 18
These vaccines don't work as good as you might expect and if a cat is not in a situation where they likely be exposed to these diseases then it is even recommended by vets not to give them the vaccination for these. Only a very small percentage of cats who get the corona virus actually develop FIP. Also if you give vaccinations for this your cats will test positive for it. If you only have two cats and they will stay inside they are not likely to come in contact with cats that carry.
post #4 of 18
I put undecided, because I believe feral or outside cats, who come in contact with other cats, should be vaccinated, but inside cats shouldn't. FeLk doesn't live very long out of the feline body, and I'm not too knowledable in the area of FIP, but, I didn't vaccinate Billy and CJ with it, because I didn't think it was necessary.
post #5 of 18
If a cat goes outside I whole heartedly belive in the Felv Vaccine. The problem with the FIV vaccine is once they get it the will test posoive for FIV (unless you pay more for a special test that differntiate between the vaccine and the disease). FIP is the one I know the least about so I would have to check with our sales rep. These dideases are also why I think cats should be indoor cats.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petnurse2265
If a cat goes outside I whole heartedly belive in the Felv Vaccine. The problem with the FIV vaccine is once they get it the will test posoive for FIV (unless you pay more for a special test that differntiate between the vaccine and the disease). FIP is the one I know the least about so I would have to check with our sales rep. These diseases are also why I think cats should be indoor cats.
Exactly what I think.
post #7 of 18
All three of these should only be given on an As Needed/At Risk basis. If the animal is a feral animal, or an indoor/outdoor animal that is at a reasonable risk of exposure to the diseases in question, then the vaccine holds more benefit for the animal than it poses threat.

FIP is a vaccine that this rule doesn't apply to well however, as there is mounting evidence that the vaccine makes the animal MORE succecptable to the virus rather than less succecptable.

FeLV and FIV vaccines have significant, documented evidence to prove that they work and offer a clear benefit to an animal that is likely to be exposed to these diseases. For a cat that is unlikely to become exposed however, there is a higher rate of vaccine related complications, in effect making the vaccine more dangerous than the disease being vaccinated against.

I voted Undecided, because that is the best choice present to represent my stance. In fact I am strongly decided, If the cat is at risk of one or both of the diseases, then the vaccination is beneficial, if the cat is Not at risk, then the vaccine holds no benefit.

Spotz
post #8 of 18
My vet doesn't vaccinate for FIP because he says the vaccine isn't effective.

My cats receive the other vaccines based on risks vs. benefit...the outdoor feral gets FELV and FIV vaccines, our mostly indoor cat who occasionally gets out & fights gets vaccinated for FELV and FIV, and my indoor cats are no longer vaccinated for FELV becausethe vet says they should have lifetime immunity by now - they're all over 10 years old (received FELV vacc every year until now), and are not vaccinated for FIV because they don't go outside.

FWIW, I believe that the FELV vaccine may have saved my cats' lives - several years ago, back when the vaccine was relatively new, I kept one of my mom's cats at my apartment for a few months. A couple of years later it turned out that he had FELV - his health gradually deteriorated and the vet discovered it during blood testing. The vet thought that he'd probably been a carrier for several years because my mother adopted him as a stray, which means that my cats were probably exposed to FELV during the time that I kept him. Fortunately, my cats never became ill - I'm thankful I had them vaccinated!
post #9 of 18
I test my cats for FeLV and FIV instead of pumping them full of vaccines. My cats are indoor cats and the risk for them being infected with FeLV and FIV is very small since all my cats have been tested free from FIV and FeLV, I don't breed with untested cats.

FIP is another question but since the vaccine doesn't seem to be very efficiant I'm not using it.
post #10 of 18
NO...

FIP is not effective, and in some cases can cause the very thing it is suppose to protect against.

FIP, for example is a mutation of the corona virus, of which there are some 200+ strains. Although there is a test for FeLV, there is no test for FIP.
The most a vet can go on is the physical symptoms. Even a Titer for the corona virus isn't proof, most cats in large colonies will titer for it. However, the higher the titer, the more likely it is that the cat carries it or suffers from it. Even then one cannot tell which variant it is, that's why, in alot of cases, vets will give a broad spectrum drug. The ONLY sure way to prove FIP, is with a necropsy. Our contract strictly prohibits the administration of an FIP vaccine.
As for the other 2, every cat that has ever come into our house (breeder, or otherwise), has been tested for FeLV/FIV, all having been negative it ensures that any offspring will not have the desease.

As Spotz said, FeLV/FIV vax should only be given when the benefit outways the risk.
post #11 of 18
There is a test for FIP, when we send our blood into Antech they include FIP, FIV and Felv testing. There is no "snap" test for FIP though, but there is one for Felv, and FIV.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by marlearn
Hi,
I looked at the poll and it seems lots of people ar saying NO?
I don't understand, are these dangerous?????
I did not know anything about FIP until November of 2004 when I lost my sweet kitten of 6 months old to it, and her brother at 9 months old to it 6 weeks ago. I have done so much reading and research, that my head is spinning about it.
I am now adopting 2 Persian cats 3 and 4 years old from a friend of a friend, and would like to know more about these vaccines.
No, I wouldn't vaccinate against it. The breeder I got one of my cats from said she lost one cat because of the reaction to Felv vaccine. If your cat is an indoor cat, have him/her tested for Felv and Fiv, and if they are kept indoors, no reason for them to have these vaccines. As for FIP, as everybody else says, the vaccine doesn't really work. If you are concerned about FIP (as I suspect you are, since you lost your kitten to it) you can ask your vet to test your cat for corona titer and do blood test for white blood cells. I had this done with my kitten when he was sick to rule out FIP. All his tests came back good, so, the vet said he doesn't have FIP.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petnurse2265
There is a test for FIP, when we send our blood into Antech they include FIP, FIV and Felv testing. There is no "snap" test for FIP though, but there is one for Felv, and FIV.
Antech, or any Lab, only shows the titer level for the corona virus, which as I said earlier, FIP is a variant of.
post #14 of 18
FeLV if they're at risk (meaning there is the possibility of direct, prolonged contact with an FeLV positive cat). Relatively few cats would fall into this category.

FIV - never. The only cats at risk are fully mature, unsterilized, free-roaming toms who spread the virus through fight wounds. Even if they do get the virus, the majority never get sick from it and die in old age of another cause. Worst of all, the FIV vaccine causes the cat to register a positive result on an ELISA blood test. That means that if your FIV-vaccinated cat should ever end up at a shelter for any reason, s/he could be immediately killed based on this test result.

I haven't heard any evidence that the FIP vaccine is effective, and I know the FIP test is pretty much useless. It only tests for coronavirus antibodies - the problem is that there are literally a few hundred strains of coronavirus, only one of them causes FIP, and the test doesn't differentiate between the two. So a positive tests basically yields absolutely no useful information.
post #15 of 18
I would like to offer a contrarian view on the FIP vaccine that I feel strongly about. I too lost a kitten to the disease. It was just horrible. I read quite a bit about it. When getting my two little girls, I discussed the vaccine with my vet extensively. I had heard from my previous breeder that the vaccine could introduce FIP to the cat. My vet emphatically believes that is not true. He made a couple of calls to catch up on the latest and spoke with the maker of the vaccine. He gave me a couple of reports on clinical trials that the manufacturer had done. He recommended the vaccine for kittens/cats that could be exposed (i.e. outdoor cats or cat shows). I decided to have the vaccine. From what I read, if the kitten is already exposed the vaccine may not do anything. But if the cat is not yet exposed it could prevent that dreaded disease.
post #16 of 18
I think there is so much still not known about the disease/vaccine and speculation runs high - it is easy for people to be confused about it. I think the answer as to whether or not a cat should be vaccined against FIP (or anything else for that matter) lies within a candid conversation with your vet, researching what valid information there is out there about the disease/vaccine, the risks associated with it and by examining the individual cat's chances of exposure.
post #17 of 18
I also agree with Gayef. There is so much not known about the disease FIP. No one knows for sure anything except that it is a mutation of the corona virus. I am an emergency vet tech and have been for the past 7 years. In the past 3 years we have seen many more cases of FIP being diagnosed (by autopsy). Just getting the corona titer test and it being positive is not a death warrent. Almost 85% of cats and kittens out there, estimated number, will screen positive for the corona virus exposure but only a small amount will develop FIP. The others will be fine and healthy. Until we find out more about the disease and exactly why it mutates, I would never give a vaccine for it. Also, if you give the vaccine, I have read that it causes the corona titer to be positive so you will never know if it was exposed or if it was from the vaccination. Felv vaccine is alot more common and give more often, but I have seen quite a few reactions to this vaccine and would only give it if the cats were at risk of contracting Felv. Just my opinion.
post #18 of 18
I voted no unless at ultimate risk. I agree with Ken on this one.
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