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Leukemia vaccine

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I took my kitty's in for rabies shots, and requested leukemia vaccinations. The vet told me first, that she did not give leukemia vaccines, or sell the vaccine to me, unless she had first tested the cats for leukemia. That sounded reasonable, until she also told me that if a kitten had already been vaccinated for leukemia, (some of the popular combinations vaccines include it) then she would be unable to test the kitten for leukemia, as the vaccine immunity makes the test positive.
Is this true all over, or is there a test for feline leukemia, that can be done on vaccinated cats? My vet draws the blood, but sends it to a nearby lab, for the actual test.
post #2 of 9
From what I understand, this is not true. I have my cats tested before the vaccaine because it's true that you do need them to be tested first because if they are carrying the virus, then the vaccacine can hurt them if not kill them. It's also not recommended that a cat have the test until its 6 months old because if it's earlier there can be a false positive outcome. If the test is done at an earlier age, and the test is negative, then it's more than likely that the cat will be negative and the shot is given. There is a test that my vet does and it's call and combo test. It takes all of 15 minutes and is done in his office. I know cats that have been rescued and if they were given the test before the rescue (from their previous owners and we didn't know about it), they are given tests again and there is no problem. I would call around and talk with other vets in the meantime. I also know lots of people that don't believe in the shot but I do. BTW, my shots are combo shots so if you decide to go to another vet, let the new one know what shots have already been given.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
When I looked up drug information on the vaccine, it said it would not harm or help a cat, that already had the disease. Only a waste of money to give it to a cat with the disease.
The only vaccine, that I don't like the sounds of, and decided not to give my cats, was the one for FIP. The various vets can't even decide if it does any good, and lots of cat people talk against it.
There is one cat breeder with a contract, that specifically voids the contract if you give your kitten a leukemia or FIP vaccine, and doesn't recommend the chlamydia one.
My cat vet, told me, that if you get feline leukemia or FIP in a colony, you have to destroy them all, wait 6 mo. and start with new cats.
post #4 of 9
My Vet recommended against FIP since he felt that there was not enough data that supported the
effectiveness of the vaccine. He also stated that indoor only cats with no exposure to other animals /going for walks do not require leukemia vaccinations. He did support Rabbies / the 3 in 1 vaccination which includes distemper for indoor cats since rodents, i.e. carrier could slip into the house and expose kitty. His view seems quite sound.
post #5 of 9
I also do not believe in the FIP internasal vac. My vet doesn't believe in it either because if you don't give it to a kitten the very second it's born, they can get FIP. He also said that it's a very expensive shot and the vets that do give it are only doing it for the money. I know lots of people that don't do FIP shots.

post #6 of 9
When I took Tigger in last week, I also decided to get her yearl shot, but not the combo (leukemia/ respiratory). I told them I only wanted the respiratory one. The vet said since I never had Tigger tested for Feline Leukemia she couldn't give me the shot & went on to hound me about getting the blood test done. I told her that when I got Tigger from a breeder, it was in the contract that all kittens were Feline Leukemia/FIV negative -- she pretty much said that wasn't enough ....... When I got home, I looked at her contract & she had gotten her combo shot prior to me adopting her.

Our vet doesn't give the FIV shot either.
post #7 of 9
Oh I love it when vets give the wrong information. It just proves my belief that people need to do research before they put their animals lives in a vets hands.
bluekat, all the info you found is pretty accurate. I only vaccinate my cats with the 4 in one and rabies, but have done research on all of them. If you weigh the risk and if your cat will have exposure to unknown cats, the leukemia vaccine is a really good idea. 2 things though, if you are giving it for the first time it MUST be boostered 3 to 4 weeks after so that it creates enough antibodies to resist the disease. Also, the first time it is given, make sure it is not a combo. If your cat has a reaction to any of the vaccines, they need to know which one it was.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
One thing I've noticed, cats do seem to be a lot more sensitive to drugs. The 4-way combo puts their lights right out for about 24 hours. My husband was worried, but I reminded him they had just had their shots. Sure enough, after sleeping for a day, they were back to mischief.
I did not notice any reaction to the rabies shot. I had it done a week after the resp. complex. Giving the rabies & then a leukemia vaccine to the one cat, made my contract worthless, but guess I don't care. The breeder had a dozen excuses as to why the kitten reg. papers were not back yet, for 4 months. Probably the contract wasn't any better than the paper it was written on.
A friend who worked in a USA shelter, said there were so many cats with feline leukemia, that they have a separate area for them. Many cat breeders, I've questioned, claim that their inside cats are not going to get the leukemia, so they don't check for it or vaccinate for it.
I'm real curious if the breeder's who sell kittens, guaranteed leukemia & FIV free, have actually tested any of the kittens for it. Or is it an assumption because the adults are not showing signs of illness. The one kitten I had tested, had a huge patch of fur shaved off, to find the blood vein. It took 2 months to grow back. I'm having a hard time believing these breeders are having the fur shaved off, all their kittens necks, for a blood test, prior to selling.
post #9 of 9
Well, I can tell you our experience...

When we first started our Cattery, we had ALL of our cats tested, wether they were breeding stock or not, pets or part of the program. Then we knew that from that point our entire house was free of it. Then, we make sure that if we bring in a male from another breeder that it has been tested and we see the paperwork, in that way we can ensure that there won't be an introduction of it into the Cattery. We also make sure to quarrenteen ANY cat that comes into our house/cattery for a few weeks to make sure that it isn't sick in anyway. You really can never be to carefull, any kind of ilness can spread like wildfire if you're not, and while it is a pain to have these kind of rules, it does ensure healthy cats. We even go to the extreme of making sure that when we come home from shows that our clothes come right off into a bag, showers are taken before we have any contact with our cats.

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