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vaccine reaction

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My cat got anaphylaxis from her vaccines a week ago. She almost died. She had bloody vomit and bloody poop. The vet kept her over the weekend, and she has been home for 5 days. During that time she just hides, doesn't eat, stares into space. She drinks water but she has a hard time with that and falls into the water bowl.
I took her back to the vet today. She has lost 1.6 pounds and is dehydrated. Something is wrong and the vet really doesn't know what it is either! they have her on IV liquids and antihistamines now.
Does anyone else have any experience with this? I am resigned that we might lose her, but not until I try everything!
post #2 of 13
I would take her to a different vet for a second opinion. Good luck and I hope she gets better!!
post #3 of 13
Hi Kathylou, I'm so sorry to hear about your little one. I wish I could hug you because it's so hard to deal with when they're not feeling well.

I've had two experiences with anaphylactic reactions to vaccines. One good, one bad. However, since you've made it through the initial part, I think you're probably through the critical part.

First was my sister's cat, Owen. He got sick the evening after his shots (in 2001), went to the vet the next morning with bloody stool and a high fever and they weren't able to stablize him and lost him that morning.

Because of Owen's experience, I was hesitant to take Henry to get his shots last summer. I don't know why; the two cats weren't related and I know the incidence of this type of reaction is one in thousands (10-15K). I talked to the vet about why I was worried and she told me the risk was low but to bring him back immediately if he started vomiting, etc. But, she said, that's VERY unlikely to happen.

Well, he got his shots, I waited a little bit for a reaction and took him home. We hadn't been home 10 minutes when he started vomiting. I called the vet and rushed him back. In the car on the way, he crawled under the seat and was very sick--running at both ends as my mother calls it. If I'd had an ambulance siren in my car I would have used it. I was afraid he'd have a seizure in my car and die. It really was awful to watch him being so sick.

I rushed him in and they were able to stabilize him. He had a high fever and was bleeding rectally. They kept him overnight and within several days he was feeling better.

I would be concerned because of the long-lasting effects of this. Did the fever cause any long-term problems or things like that? It sounds like they're still doing what they can and treating the anaphylaxis. I would probably recommend a second opinion, just to put your mind at ease and ask what the long-term effects of this can be.

Poor kitties, we're only trying to protect them from the big bad world and look what happens. This year, I discussed the problem with the vet and we amended his vaccine schedule to minimize any problems.

I hope your little one is feeling better soon.
post #4 of 13
Poor kitty - I hope she makes it through this. I almost lost one of my boys to an anaphylactic vaccine reaction a few years ago...thankfully the vet was able to save him, but he wasn't himself for a couple of weeks afterward.

I agree you should get a second opinion - if your vet isn't sure what's going on, he might appreciate the input from another experienced vet.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your comments. She is back home tonight, having been force fed baby food and liquids and shots at the vet.
They did blood work, and everything is normal except she has an infection. kidneys OK. swallowing OK. I have antibiotics and instructions on how to hand feed her.
I would still like to know what other people's experiences with anaphylaxis have been. It is VERY scary. I am still worried about long term effects? Any thoughts?
I wish I knew how to include a picture. She is black on top, white on the bottom, and 1 1/2 years old. My other cat is a 13 pound male tabby. He had the same shots and is just fine.
post #6 of 13
Hi Kathylou,

How is your girl doing now? I hope she's getting better.

Click here for a link on how to post pictures. I'd love to see a picture.

I really don't know anything much about anaphyactic reactions other than my boy Mr. Underfoot's experience (his photo is in my signature below)...
he began vomiting & having diarrhea about 30 to 45 minutes after his shots, so I rushed him to the emergency clinic because our vet was closed. By the time the vet came in to look at him, he had just collapsed, and the vet told me he was in shock - his gums were blue and he had fluid in his lungs - they weren't sure they could save him, but they'd do their best. He spent the night and most of the next day at the hospital, and I was able to take him home the next afternoon.

For the next week or so his appetite wasn't much, but he did eat and drink. He spent a lot of time staring off into space and was very distant, which was completely out of character for him - he's normally very affectionate and has a huge appetite for food. Toward the end of the second week he began to be a little more affectionate, and then finally he returned to normal. He still has occasional rare moments of 'spaciness', but I don't know if that's from his near-death experience or just age - he's 11 years old now.

He had been getting vaccinated every year without incident, until his reaction happened when he was 8 years old. His sister was vaccinated at the same time he was, but she was fine - no reaction at all.

I hope your baby is getting better.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
This is day 14 since her vaccines, and she is JUST starting to eat a little on her own. She also reached for her favorite toy today, but didn't actually play with it. She is responding well to hand feeding, but I worry constantly if I'm doing it right, or enough, or if she hates me for it, etc.
post #8 of 13
Jamie had just such a reaction when he got his booster shots at a year of age. Since then, my vets have avoided combination shots, and given him an antihistamine shot before administering any vaccine. He's now 6, and hasn't had any other adverse reactions to inoculations. I took him right back to the vets' after his reaction, and he got the antihistamine shot. He was fine within 24 hours.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
This is day 15 and she is BETTER!!!! YAY!!! She played a lot last evening and spent the whole night cuddling and purring. I'm SO RELIEVED!
I am still going to give her the antibiotic and hand feed her until I know for sure she is eating enough on her own.
post #10 of 13
Im so very happy for you and your kitty..I'm glad she seems to be recovering.
post #11 of 13
It is always wonderful when these stories have happy endings. Enjoy your sweet kitty.
Little cat, you are loved.
post #12 of 13
I am so happy for you, and so glad Bitsy is feeling better!
What a relief!

We still take Mr. Underfoot for his vaccinations, but he doesn't get them as often, and the vet takes precautions. Like Jcat's Jamie, Mr Underfoot gets premedicated with antihistamine before each shot, and they are separated out - he gets his rabies injection, then comes back two weeks later for his distemper vaccine. The vet keeps him for observation afterward, so if anything happens they'll be right there to treat him. We've stopped vaccinating him for FELV because the vet said he's now at low risk, since he's had the FELV vaccine every year until he was 8, and he's indoor-only.

Your vet can also do a titer test to check Bitsy's immunity levels, to tell when she'll need to be vaccinated again - that can cut down on her risk by making sure she only gets her shots when she needs them.

I'm so glad your baby is better! Hopefully she'll be completely back to normal very soon now. Keep us posted, OK?
post #13 of 13
Glad that shes feeling better! I hope she makes a full recovery.

My cat Poptart has reactions to shots.. just not bad ones.. but the vet didn't even notice it.. we would take him in for shots, then the next day he was sick with upper respitory infection.. so he doesn't get vaccinations anymore.
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