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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Vaccines

We have 6 cats (all indoor).

They are all up to date on their vaccines.

However, for a few years, I haven't given them their Leukemia vaccines because they are all indoor cats.

M husband said the Leukemia vaccine can actually cause Leukemia. Is that true?

I talked to a few people and they said even though they are indoor cats, we should still vaccinate them against Leukemia. What do you think?

The reason I didn't vaccinate them was because I read that they can get cancer at the injection site but was told it was a very low chance of that. Is that true?

Any suggestions? Do you vaccinate your indoor cats?

Thank you,

Bernice
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 09:45 PM
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I do not vaccinate my cats for it as they are strictly indoor. It can only be transferred cat to cat so unless your cats go outside at all (Catio, walking, etc) then I don't see any reason to give it to them. I know some people like to give it to them just in case they get out so if you have one that is always trying to escape then you might consider it. Hope this helps?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 02:22 AM
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I've never had my cats vaccinated for leukemia either. I may be mistaken, but I believe that to become infected, a cat would have to be in very close physical contact with an FeLV+ kitty - being scratched or bitten, or sharing food/water bowls. My cats used to share deck space with a stray, but there was virtually zero risk of fighting or sharing bowls, so my vet was ok with not vaccinating my cats.

Feline injection site sarcomas (FISS) are rare. Checking a few different websites, it seems like the incidence in the US is approximately 1 in every 10,000 cats vaccinated. However, one factor that increases the risk is having repeated vaccinations, and those "booster" vaccinations aren't necessary. I stopped giving my cats all vaccinations, even rabies, a few years ago, after my senior kitty had an adverse reaction.

As samson said though, it's possible that one of your kitties could get out and be scratched or bitten by an infected kitty. You'd have to weigh the relative odds of that happening vs. the odds of a FISS.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your reply. My cats are so afraid of anyone that comes to the door. They don't usually go near the doors. I just hope they never get out.

We also feed a wild cat. If we touch their food bowl and then touch my cats, can they get anything from it? I always wash my hands after touching the wild cat's food bowl but my husband doesn't always wash his hands.

I just want my cats fully protected because you just never know.

Bernice

Last edited by marie73; 05-14-2017 at 05:07 PM.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your reply, Samson5261. So far our cats don't try to get out and they don't seem to want to go out but it makes me nervous thinking they could. I want them fully protected just in case.

If we chose to get them vaccinated, do they have to be rechecked for Leukemia before they get vaccinated against it? They had their Leukemia vaccine about 2 or 3 years ago. Our oldest is 5 years old, 2 that are 4 years old, 2 that are 3 years old and 1 that is 2 years old.

They get all their other vaccines but the Leukemia vaccine is the one I'm not sure about. Everyone I talked to said we should vaccinate them because Leukemia is so preventable but if they get it, there's no cure. Makes me think.

Bernice

Last edited by marie73; 05-14-2017 at 05:08 PM.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 06:46 PM
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I don't know about the testing part but I would think they would test first. You can always call the vet and ask. Is it comment in your area? We have very few cases of it where I live which is another reason the vet doesn't really push it. Feline aids on the other hand is extremely commen in my area but my vet no longer offers the vaccine. These are all things that I look at when deciding to vaccinate or not. You can always discuss it with your vet and if they don't really see a need for it then I wouldn't bother.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 02:02 AM
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It's supremely unlikely that you or your husband could transmit the virus to your kitties that way, though I would definitely try to encourage your husband to wash his hands.

Here are the vaccination recommendations from the American Association of Feline Practitioners regarding the FeLV vaccine, in case they help you to make a decision:

-Booster inoculation is recommended only in cats considered to be at risk of exposure. ii [see note below]

-Only FeLV negative cats should be vaccinated; FeLV testing prior to vaccine administration is recommended.

-Cats should be tested for FeLV infection before their initial vaccination and when there is a possibility that they have been exposed to FeLV since they were last vaccinated.

ii: Cats allowed outdoors, cats residing in open multiple-cat environments, cat living with FeLV-infected cats, and cats residing in households with cats of unknown FeLV infection status or where introduction of new cats is common. Booster inoculation is not generally recommended for cats housed strictly indoors.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, I'm taking all my cats in to get their Leukemia vaccine. Even though they are all indoor cats and haven't been near any other cats other than their housemates, I want them all to be fully protected.

Do you know what percentage of indoor cats that get leukemia when not exposed to it?

Bernice

Last edited by marie73; 05-17-2017 at 11:28 AM.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 11:14 AM
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Hi children11 !

From your description of your cats' previous vaccination history, there seems to be no rational need for further Leukemia re-vaccinations.

The FeLV vaccine, by current conservative veterinary standards, is NOT considered a "core" vaccine....meaning that, it is not recommended for situations where cats are in no reasonable danger of infection.

As well, current research indicates that cats who receive their initial 'basic' set of vaccinations are not in need of further periodic re-vaccination.

The one exception to all of this is the rabies vaccine.....in the US, requirements for periodic vaccination vary among states (each state has the authority to mandate this). The American Veterinary Medical Association has all of those regulations here: https://www.avma.org/Advocacy/StateA...ccination.aspx

If you want a reputable Veterinarian's position on what's needed and what's not - AND the dangers of certain vaccines/over-vaccination, here's a plain-language article on all that: Vaccines for Cats: We Need to Stop Overvaccinating

If I were in your 'shoes', I wouldn't be doing any re-vaccinating....with the possible exception of the rabies vaccination, that one ONLY if it were required where I lived.

Hope that helps !

Last edited by marie73; 05-17-2017 at 11:29 AM. Reason: links asking for donations not allowed
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