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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Question Yearly shots for indoor/outdoor cats

Hi friends. We have 3 lovely male cats. We took in as kittens 4 1/2 years ago. We had them neutered and gave them all the suggested vaccinations. We live in southern WV. They are indoor / outdoor cats. The local vet wants to keep giving them yearly Merial 4 way & Feleuk shots. The last time we did this
(1-25-2012) one of them got terribly ill two weeks later. (Possibly coincidence..) They ran several different tests which were all negative.. He wouldn't eat or drink...They thought probably pancreatitis. We never got a firm diagnosis & I said No More Tests. After over a week of sub-q-fluids, appetite stimulants, sucralfate... and me hand feeding him baby food he started do drink water and eat on his own. One of his brothers gets very sluggish 7 laid out for at least 24 hours after these shots which I understand is not unusual.
My question is: Is it necessary to give these shots every year ?? I'm reading that this can be dangerous / harmful.
Rabies are good for 3 years....
Thanks, AL
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 09:47 AM
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I give shots every 3 years. When their rabies is due, they get the 4 way as well. My cats are strictly indoor though, and don't usually have a bad reaction to it. One time my girl who is a chow hound didn't eat for 12 hours and I became extremely worried. But it just took a bit of canned food to get her back to her old self

To answer your question, no, it's not necessary.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 3gatos View Post
I give shots every 3 years. When their rabies is due, they get the 4 way as well. My cats are strictly indoor though, and don't usually have a bad reaction to it. One time my girl who is a chow hound didn't eat for 12 hours and I became extremely worried. But it just took a bit of canned food to get her back to her old self

To answer your question, no, it's not necessary.
Thanks for you reply !! If they were strictly indoor, I would probably agree. But I think them being indoor/outdoor matters...
I'd like to hear from some Indoor / Outdoor Cat Owners
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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need advice from indoor / outdoor cat owners

What do you do about yearly vaccinnations ??

Last edited by marie73; 12-31-2012 at 05:23 PM.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 06:11 PM
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You might try calling your local SPCA/Animal Control and ask them how prevalent those diseases are in your community. They might be able to advise you.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 06:49 PM
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The rabies vaccines you're using are ajuvanted. Adjuvants are thought to be more likely to cause vaccine associated sarcomas. There's a 1 year vaccine called PureVax Feline Rabies which is non-adjuvanted. This vaccine once a year is believed safer than the 3 year every 3 years.

Novibac has a FVRCP vaccine that's non-adjuvanted and licensed for every 3 years. I would opt for that or the PureVax Feline 3 vaccine. There's no reason to vaccinate for Chlamydia. It's not believed to be effective but some vets still push it.

Since they go outside, they do need a FELV vaccine. I would suggest the PureVax FELV vaccine. I don't know if there are any other non-adjuvanted vaccines.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 08:26 PM
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My six get annual checkups and ONLY rabies vaccinations which last for 3 years. That's it. They are indoors only with 24/7 access to a screened-in porch for fresh air. Good advice from Watterfaller10 about calling the SPCA for advice!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-31-2012, 03:26 PM
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I have two indoor/outdoor cats. One has FeLv. After a lot of reading and heart searching Ive stopped vaccinating them. We choose not to put down the FeLv cat.

The incidence of them getting rabies and other cat diseases is minimal. I checked with Fish and Wild Life in Arizona as to how many incidents occurred of rabies and what kind of animals had it and where they were located.

One of my cats is out of doors maybe 4 hours, max, a day. The other with FeLv stays inside now 95% of the day. He is 9 years old. Mostly he goes out to pee and poo since he dislikes using the litter box.

In doing rescue Ive seen too many bad side affects of vaccinations.

Vaccines for Cats: We Need to Stop Overvaccinating by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM :: Vaccines are very important but do carry risks food for thought.

FYI dont depend on a snap test to indicate whether your cats has FeLv. Only a blood test will tell you whether it is the vaccination creating a positive or if your cat has the disease and is shedding the leukemia virus.

If you choose to vaccinate scottd advice is sound advice.

Also after reading about the bad side affects your cats have had I wouldnt vaccinate them. IMHO


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Last edited by Mitts & Tess; 12-31-2012 at 03:29 PM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 12:58 PM
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I think you can have something called a Tiller test to see if the vaccines are still active in there system( trouble is this cost about the same amount of the vaccine) that way you are not over vaccanating( I know I spelled that wrong) I'm going to copy and paste some things From Dr. Hodgkins’

From Dr. Hodgkins’ Pearls Gleaned:
DO NOT vaccinate your indoor kitties or those that go outside under supervision for FELV. FELV is transmitted from an infected cat to an uninfected cat after very close and long-term contact. It is not airborne or transmitted via feces or urine. It is transmitted mostly through an exchange of a great deal of saliva. FELV vaccine, along with the 3 year rabies vaccine, is most implicated in vaccine associate fibrosarcoma.

FIP vaccine is a complete and utter waste of time and I must say that any vet that uses this routinely on their patients isn't even thinking. I mean it, if your vet asks to vaccinate your cat for FIP you must ask why. If he/she isn't able to give anything more than "that's what we do" you might want to change vets. I know many of you have vets you like and trust, and that is a good thing, I mean it. But even the American Association of Vet Practitioners and other "authorities" do not recommend this vaccine. It has a very poor testing history for even preventing FIP and is nothing more than another shot to give and charge for in vet practice. It has value in my eyes only for identifying doctors who don't care enough about patients to even examine vaccine protocols to make sure they are sane.

Rabies is tougher. I happily live in a county where rabies vaccination is not required, and I do not vaccinate my patients for rabies at al l(I only use the 1 year when I have to give it, as when a cat is going to travel internationally). I board at my clinic so my clients don't have a problem boarding their cats with no rabies vaccinations. I know Texas and a few other places are thornier about this, but never let your cat have the 3 year vaccine. This does not mean your cat needs to be given the 1 year every year, unless some authority is forcing the issue. The duration of immunity for virtually all vaccines that work at all is much longer than a year, so if your cat gets out and tangles with a skunk, or bites someone, and has had the 1 year within the last few years, it is not going to get, or give, rabies. The 1 year vaccine has that rating because the manufacturer only tested it for 9- 12 months and then stopped testing. Why would they test longer? It costs money to conduct long-term tests and long term tests will just reduce sales. It is lose-lose for them, right?

Anyway, there are reasons to avoid vaccination as much as possible beyond sarcomas. Other, probably more common, health problems come from over-vaccination. The cat's immune system is very reactive, and annual vaccines can trigger autoimmune diseases of many kinds. I would not give FRVCP more than every 3 years and do not give even this in cats that are 6 years or more in age. We do not see the diseases this vaccine protects against in adult indoor cats, but we sure do see the side effects.

As far as the annual vet visit, I think it makes sense to see the vet once a year (there is currently a campaign to recommend wellness exams every 6 months with which I do not agree) especially to examine the oral cavity and, in older cats, to make sure there is nothing else afoot that is not causing signs that the owner notices. During such exams, I weigh the patient (this is the cheapest, least invasive, and most important "diagnostic test" in the world and will show early onset of many diseases). Few owners have scales sensitive enough to disclose low-grade gradual weight loss and I have diagnosed so many early hyperthyroidism cases this way, I can't even tell you. I pick up most of my hyperthyroid patients while their thyroid hormone levels are still in the so-called "normal" range, while the prognosis for cure is still excellent.

Each cat has a different need for routine vaccines and exams. If your vet isn't applying a risk-benefit kind of evaluation to YOUR cat, but instead is just doing the same thing, every year, for every cat, you MUST ask why. This is NOT appropriate medicine today, and every owner and every cat deserves better.

The recommendation that cats receive vaccinations at frequent intervals throughout life totally ignores basics of immunity, not surprising when you consider that government, which oversees human health issues like vaccine reactions and the risk/benefit analysis for vaccination in humans, doesn't give a wit for pet health per se. Pets, like people, derive quite solid immunity from the vaccinations that actually work, like the FRVCP, from the first few vaccine administrations, and revaccinating at frequent intervals in later life may actually reduce the effective immunity in the animal with this pre-existing protection. Now, this is a well understood phenomenon in biological systems and is the basis for not vaccinating humans on an annual basis for anything (when was the last time you received any kind of vaccine?...I haven't gotten anything for decades and even my 19 year old son hasn't received any kind of vaccine for years).

The reason we vaccinate pets every year for EVERYTHING has nothing to do with health imperatives, it has to do with the fact that vaccine manufacturers want it, vets have stopped thinking about the science of these protocols and just do it, and the government couldn't care less if pets die as a result. Federal and state governments figure they have bigger fish to fry than whether a few thousand cats die of vaccine reactions. And none of the involved industries are self-regulating. Sad but true.

The reason those of us who have actually thought about rational rabies vaccination recommend only the 1 year vaccine is because it does not have adjuvants. Adjuvants cause a hyper reaction to the vaccine, thus allowing the longer duration of immunity claims. But, adjuvants are strongly implicated in vaccine reactions, and not worth the risk. As I said in the earlier post, however, just because a vaccine only has a 1 year manufacturer's test behind it does NOT mean it lasts only that long.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 01:29 PM
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I have indoor / outdoor cats but the situation isn't quite the same (eg. we have no rabies here so that is only done if you are taking a pet abroad). My vet recommends a pretty full range of vaccines with kittens and puppies but discusses them first and you can opt out of things. My dog, for example has never had a vaccine for kennel cough since we had her from the Shelter because she never goes into kennels and the vet felt it was low risk for her. A lot depends on what is prevalent in your area.
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