My 14 year old kitty recently passed from kidney failure. This threw me into research mode to try and understand what happened to her.
Unfortunately, the disease was in the final stages when she was diagnosed. It all happened so fast. She was fine one minute - acting lethargic and not acting like herself practically over night. She was also vomiting any water she tried to drink and wouldn't eat. The vet said we would have to give her IVs twice a day (that the vet would need to administer, since it required finding a vein for the IV) for the rest of her life, granted we could get her to eat again. And that was no guarentee that she would ever recover and have a good quality of life. Subjecting her to twice daily IVs and seeing how sick she was - I knew in my heart I needed to be strong enough to let her go. Putting her down was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.
While on my quest for answers, I came across some very interesting studies/articles stating that, due to kidney disease being so common in senior cats - studies were done and it was found that the FVRCP (distemper) vaccine may contribute to kidney disease. The study found that CRF (kidney disease) cats have infiltrations of lymphocytes and plasma cells in the kidney tissues. These cells can indicate an immune reaction.
Furthermore, the FVRCP vaccine is developed/grown in kidney cells. So along with the protection from the vaccine, kidney cells are administered along with it - thus causing an immune reaction and causing the body to treat it's own kidney cells as invaders and slowly shutting down the kidneys over time.
Articles can be found here:
I don't know about you, but my indoor only kitties are up for their first FVRCP booster in the spring - I'm going to suggest to my vet that we skip it. I've read that the boosters aren't necessary - and in my opinion, the less of the vaccine they get the better. But maybe the kidney failure risk isn't enough to constitute them not being properly protected with FVRCP.
Thoughts? What to you guys/gals think?