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I want to please verify with others here what my vet said.

Maxine, my 16 month old has feline herpes.

I got another kitten Lexie, and before I introduced Lexie to Maxie, I brought kitten in and got her first shots; the paperwork says Vaccine Feline Distemper FVRCP. The vet said it was safe to introduce them. I called them again today to verify and they said yes, Lexie would vaccinated against it.

I just want to make sure that is true ....from anyone's experience here that with kittens 1st set she is indeed fully protected like the vet said.


Why I'm asking is because Maxie had a horrible flare up of her herpes last night which she's never had that bad, and I had to take her to the vet for it. She usually only has a slight runny eye, which I just give her Lysine)

I realize its from the new kitten and changes, and it may only take time, but I personally cannot take the changes and am worrying like crazy. I don't want Maxie stressed, and also Momma stressed (eeek, I cried at the vet, Maxie never had such a problem), as it cost another $100 for her treatment after the vet last night. If there are going to be continued costs like this also, I cannot affort it, and I have Maxie on a wellness plan already.

So...Momma is thinking it's better for Maxie to be an alone kitty, as I've seen here on the forum that even as young kitten matures, there could be fights, problems even later in their relationship. If I had more money, it wouldn't be a problem for treatments..but then again, why would I want to put Maxie through that with eye problems like she's having now.

My aunt is looking for another kitten, and I know Lexie would be in GREAT hands with my aunt.... but she has a 16 month old male...so I want to be 100% that Lexie is fully vaccinated and protected like the vet said before giving her away.

Of course I'll be sad as heck to give her away, but why the heck would I want to put Maxie through this. It's probably painful if her eye is swollen! :( And the costs if more stress comes along and worrying what may happen when Lexie developes and it stesses out Maxie)

HOpe to hear back soon. Just need clarification of what the Vet said from others. I know they are vets, but probably 100 years of experience on this board. Thank you.


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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
PS - Lexie has appointment for her 2nd booster on June 26th. So if by chance (still thinking about it and depends on answers here) I do give Lexie away to my aunt.. she'll get her 2nd FVRCP instead.
 

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Hi Shamu, I'm not an expert but I think I remember some research that showed that adult cats become pretty much fully immune after just one dose of FVRCP vaccine. However, as you probably know, vaccine will not work on every cat, no matter how many doses the cat receives - often they won't completely protect the cat, but they will just make the symptoms more bearable.

Kittens are a different story, though. They often still have antibodies from their mother's milk when they're vaccinated and those antibodies prevent the vaccine from working. It is suggested that for a vaccine to work, it should be given no sooner than 16th week of age. (That is, of course several doses will be given sooner, but there is always a risk that they will not work - so the last one should always be given at 16 weeks or later.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Shamu, I'm not an expert but I think I remember some research that showed that adult cats become pretty much fully immune after just one dose of FVRCP vaccine. However, as you probably know, vaccine will not work on every cat, no matter how many doses the cat receives - often they won't completely protect the cat, but they will just make the symptoms more bearable.

Kittens are a different story, though. They often still have antibodies from their mother's milk when they're vaccinated and those antibodies prevent the vaccine from working. It is suggested that for a vaccine to work, it should be given no sooner than 16th week of age. (That is, of course several doses will be given sooner, but there is always a risk that they will not work - so the last one should always be given at 16 weeks or later.)

Thank you very much. I need to hear back some answers, and yours is so appreciated.

I'm baffled as to why my vet said it's ok. It's pretty frustrating and I find it very stressful. My vet specifically told me the kitten is protected. She's only about 10 weeks, not 16 weeks. Thankfully, she is showing no symptoms at all, but she's only been around Maxie since June 1st. Perhaps that is good. I dont understand why my vet would give her her first FVRCP and tell me it's ok, if it doesn't even work before 16 weeks.

I mean, really, I know its hit or miss isn't it? Some cats have it, some can'ts dont', some cats wont even get it, and sometimes the vaccine may work , or sometimes it won't.

Thank the Lord so much that Maxie's eye seems not to have worsened. I'm topically applying an antibiotic 3x per day for the next 10 or so days per the vet. I'm praying I see her getting even better. It looks pretty "ok" tonight. I've also increased Maxie's dose of L-lyinse. So, tonight, Momma (me) is feeling a little more calmed down about it. (Was so worried how'd she be when I got home) I just hate seeing Maxie suffer at all, and Little Lexie is so adorable and playful, but maybe just a little too playful for Maxie's condition right now, anyhow. I know they are still working it out also and it takes time.

Thank you again. :catmilk
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, ok well I spoke too soon, it seems. I know it's early on, but Maxie's eye is squinting alot again as I'm looking at her now again. What the heck.

f anyone prays, will you please pray for Maxie?
 

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I hate to say this but NO vaccine is 100% effective, at any point. 1 vaccines does pretty much nothing. Thats why you have to booster kittens on a strict schedule, not effective at all otherwise.

In my personal experience, I had 2 adult cats in my house when I took in a kitten with herpes. BOTH of my adult cats developed symptoms. BOTH of them had the FULL Kitten series. One of them was old enough to have had the full kitten series plus a one year booster. So no, vaccines are not 100% effect. Also the "herpes" virus is kind of a catch all term. Only recently did they develop a test to definitively diagnoses herpes over other URI viruses in cats. So unless you've had this test done, the FVRCP vaccine might not be effective at all.

Sorry to be a downer.
 

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Unfortunately just like in every profession their are good ones, great ones, and bad ones when it comes to vets.

I don't think you need to give the kitten away though. If you go through a proper into process (which you can find lots of info about on the board here) that will go the farthest towards reducing stress all around.

As far as how well the vaccines deal with herpes...my cats were all fully vaccinated against it. Muffin already had it when he got vaccinated, and Jitzu developed it IMO as a result of regular close contact with Muffin. But she still loves him, lol.

If you're really concerned look up some info on L-lysine. I dose both Jitzu and Muffin with it during flare-ups and it helps way more than any meds I've gotten from the vets. I've also recently started giving Jitzu elderberry since her sniffles have been pretty bad lately.

BTW if you got your kitten from a farm, from outside, or from a rescue she was likely already exposed to the virus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
For the amount of money I'm paying there shouldn't be any bad ones, and that really upsets me. I mean these people are supposed to CARE about our pets and not want them in pain or undue suffering. After this episode, I think I'd recommend anyone with a cat diagnosed with feline herpes not to get another one, unless they have lots of money and can stand to see their cat uncomfortable.

I'm thinking I probably didn't write everything down clearly... Maxine (the older kitty) does have feline herpes. I already give her L-lysine 2x per day (per the vet) everyday. 1/4 of 1/4 teaspoon with each canned meal. Maxie has never had anything more than a slight runny eye.

Last night it was really bad, (I'm sure many here have seen worse, but I've never seen a cat with an eye problem and squinting and alot of discharge) so I took Maxie to the vet, where they scanned her, etc, and gave me Terramycin to apply topically for the next 3 days just in case a bacteria infection doesn't happen.

Then I'm hearing from people who say all these vaccinations, etc and more vet care are all poohucky and can cause problems with some cats. Some say just leave the cats alone besides rabies and they'll be fine. It just blows my mind.

Is it possible there are people out there (vets) who would purposely make a cat ill or allow them to be ill or in further pain in a cat just so they could make a buck off people when their cat gets sick again? Or in my circumstance, say it's "OK" for a vaccinated kitten to be introduced to a resident cat that has feline herpes?

Or am I worrying too much?? But I think...well Maxie's eye is squinting. I know when I squint, and my eye runs, its usually painful or it feels like something is in it and it's very uncomfortable. Sorry to sound so negative, but it's just very upsetting, I wish I could do more for Maxie.

Im kinda just ranting now too it looks like. Thank you so much for your continued replies, I so appreciate it, and just to be able to talk about it.

Right now I'm increasing the dose of Llysine to probably double, as I've been reading online that is what some do. I really pray it helps her ASAP.

As for baby sweet Lexie, I don't know what I'm gonna do. Kitties as I type are playing chase and having fun which is a good sign I know, but I worry about Maxie's eye getting hurt.

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If Maxie is not easily stressed out, then when the initial stress over meeting a new family member is over, she will have a lifetime of fun and joy with another feline playmate, which I think is worth it :)

The thing with vaccines is that you never know when maternal antibodies in kittens are going to wear off, it might happen at 7 weeks or it might happen at 15 weeks. That's why we start vaccinating them at 8 weeks, even though there's a possibility that the vaccine at 8 or even 12 weeks will be useless because the maternal antibodies will stop it from working - but in case the maternal antibodies are no longer there, the kitten is susceptible to disease, and needs to be vaccinated to be protected. So that's the only reason why kittens receive 2 or 3 doses of vaccine. If the first dose worked, the second is unnecessary - but we don't know whether the first dose worked or not because we don't know whether maternal antibodies were present or not at the time of vaccination, so we give the second dose (and recently, a third dose at 16 weeks has been recommended, because there is a possibility that maternal antibodies were still present at the age of 12 weeks when the second dose was administered). At 16 weeks and later, there are no maternal antibodies in the kitten's bloodstream, so if the kitten wasn't vaccinated earlier, only one dose will likely be sufficient.

Modified live FVRCP vaccines are not likely to cause any damage in kittens and young adult cats, so there's no reason not to vaccinate them - and there are very good reasons for vaccination. The real bad guys among vaccines are adjuvanted vaccines with killed viruses, which are most rabies and FeLV vaccines - they can cause vaccine associated sarcoma.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you again. Was wondering about this though:

The real bad guys among vaccines are adjuvanted vaccines with killed viruses, which are most rabies and FeLV vaccines - they can cause vaccine associated sarcoma.
Maxine has been vaccinnated againsts both rabies and fel luk. It's all on this Wellness plan I have with Banfield. Why would a vet recommend (and most states require it for rabies at least) if it's bad for them or can cause cancer?

I'm not doubting what you say, but why on God's green earth would a vet recommend it, and then others (I've seen others besides yourself too) say that all these shots for cats/kittens can be harmful? It's very frustrating..what... are these vets only out to make a dime and they don't really care??

And then we recommend bringing them to the vet for petes sake.

What the funny thing is, when I had kittens a long time ago, the only thing I did was get my male fixed so he wouldn't spray. These two kittens grew together for 4 years and never had ONE single problem except once I had to give the male pediatlye as he was dehydrated.

I didn't give Maxie the Tarramycin this morning as it seems rather to bother her more than anything, and I took kitten to work with me today, to try to give Maxie a rest. Perhaps I'll keep them separated again a little bit.

Thank you again, very much. And for listening to my rant. I wish I could help Maxie, think I'll start another thread to see what else I could give Maxie, maybe even homemade to help her eye.


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First let me say that there are non-adjuvanted rabies and FeLV vaccines, they're manufactured by Merial under the brand name PureVax. They are, however, quite expensive so that may be one reason why some vets will choose not to use them - fear of losing clients if they start selling more expensive vaccines.

Also, vaccine associated sarcoma is less common than the diseases these vaccines protect against, so maybe vets think that the benefit of being protected against deadly diseases is higher than the risk of developing cancer.

This page explains vaccines for cats and the controversy around them in much greater detail:

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