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One of the women at the rescue we adopted Io from recommended that we don't give her the rabies vaccine. She only said there were "problems" with it, and I couldn't find anything really reliable online (mostly discussions about which vaccines to use, since it seems it's a legal requirement in the USA to give rabies shots). The rescue doesn't give the rabies vaccine, but none of the 'official' stuff recommends against it.

I'm curious about the actual problems associated with the vaccine, or personal experience (good or bad) you folks have had with it. On one hand, we live in a 3rd floor high-rise (more like 5th in terms of height), so if Io escapes outside she's going to have more problems with the concrete 3 stories below than rabies. My other concern is that lots of normally intelligent people are getting their knickers knotted against vaccinations in general, due to poor research and media madness with that ugly autism BS - I wonder if this is something similar.

On the other, we are planning to move overseas in 3-5 years. NZ pet import requirements demand a rabies vaccination (because they're rabies-free), and I'm wondering if it's better to get her started on the shots now/soonish, rather than risk giving her a major vaccination shortly before subjecting her to a long flight and quarantine.

TLDR; Rabies vaccine. What's up with that?
 

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Ive personnally seen the tragic results from rabies vaccines. Read the articles in the library of Little Big Cat. Written by a vet. Rabies vaccines can cause cancer. When you need to get a rabies shot for your cat make sure they use the new type vaccine instrument which pushes it thru the skin and not to use the needle type. Im typing on my phone so I cant look up the name of the new type of injection they are using.

We over vaccinate in this country. Its not i the best interest for your cats health to do this. I would depend on a titer test if you have concerns. Plus your cats are indoor only. Why bother since they wont come in contact with infected animals.

I adopted a cat from a local shelter which was dying from a vaccination related cancer. Her name was Sissy. I wrote my experince and tribute to her in the rainbow bridge section.
 

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In an ideal world, I would not vaccinate my cats unless we were traveling or boarding, buy in my state, there is a law that mandates the Rabies shot be administered yearly. If any of my cats ever got out and bit or scratched anyone or another animal, it would be put down immediately no questions asked if they are not vaccinated. I feel that this is too great a risk not to vaccinate them.

You just never know what can happen in a moment you drop your guard. This past Vet visit, Egypt almost got out of her carrier. There were dogs all over the place. Had one of those dogs chased her and she swatted at them, she could've been put down.
 

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Thank you for the insight, M&T. It took a while, but I did find Sissy's story. You did a good thing there, but it sounds like her pain was due to vet incompetence, and not so much as a direct result of the vaccine.

That's a good point about taking her out to the vets, dweamgoil. Io is very mellow in travelling, but she can definitely fit out the "petting window" in her carrier if she gets it in her head to. There are no legal requirements here regarding vaccinations. Despite that, I just looked at the numbers and there's only been ~20 rabies cases here in the last ten years (all but 2 of those in bats).

But New Zealand is completely rabies free, so I can understand why they'd want pets from other countries to be vaccinated against it. Does the rick of cancer increase with multiple injections? If so, it would be better for us to wait and vaccinate her shortly before moving (since once we're there, she won't need anymore). But the mortality rate for pets going overseas is so high it might be better to risk multiple rabies injections instead of battering her immune system with something new right before travel.
 

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Personally, I think you should. You don't know if your cat will get outside and get attacked by another animal. I won't take the risk with mine. I actually have to make an appointment for next week for a checkup + vaccines.

Last year, I tried to save a cat and I ended up getting scratched and it had saliva on it's paws. Shortly after, it died. It was showing symptoms of rabies and we buried it instead of refrigerating it so the brain couldn't be tested. I ended up having to get rabies vaccines and human rabies immunoglobulin myself.
 

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Last year, I tried to save a cat and I ended up getting scratched and it had saliva on it's paws. Shortly after, it died. It was showing symptoms of rabies and we buried it instead of refrigerating it so the brain couldn't be tested. I ended up having to get rabies vaccines and human rabies immunoglobulin myself.
This is an excellent point. A friend of mine had a stray cat that jumped the fence into her yard and then couldn't get back out. In her attempt to trap it, it scratched her leg. Since she had no idea what the cat's status was, she called animal control and they ended up euthanizing it and sending it's brain out for testing.

So, if your cat gets out and it can't be ID'd, it could meet a similar fate if it were to bite or scratch someone trying to help it.
 

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Also, what happens if something gets IN your house? Say a bat flies in, what cat wouldn't want to play with the silly flying thing? Then they get bit? (this happened to a friend of ours).

It also may be a law where you are to have your cat vaccinated.
 

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You've all given me very good advice and things to think about. Thank you!! I think we'll go ahead and get her started with the rabies vaccine (no rush, though, maybe at her next check up), and then just give her the booster before we travel.


I still haven't found anything really against the vaccine. Doing a search on Little Big Cat, the first article I read about vaccination...
After vaccination:...
Take a dose of homeopathic Thuja Occidentalis 30C immediately after vaccination (at least within 2 hours), and then every 12 hours for a total of 3 doses (more is not necessary and may negate the benefits). Homeopathy is able to head off many adverse vaccine effects, including those that may appear months or years later. Thuja is available at many health food stores and online.
Stopped reading right there :roll: - this site needs to vet its articles a bit more (ha! pun!). Last I checked, kitties are immune to placebo effects.
 

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Wish i was home on my computer. Google rabies vaccination side effect or deaths and read thru articles. I stopped re vaccinating my adult rescues about 6 yrs ago with the blessing of my vet after a long discussion with her about it and what I had found in my research.
 

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Besides all the other reasons given for getting rabies vaccine, it's my understanding that most vets will not treat a cat unless it has had a rabies vaccine. Rabies vaccines usually last for 3 yrs. and don't need to be given annually. Fibrosarcomas can occur at the rabies injection site, but it is rare, and I think still worth the risk. If a lump is caught early, it is treatable and it can be removed surgically.
Rabies Vaccine Side Effects for Cats - VetInfo
 

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Ive NEVER had a vet refuse to treat any of our over 1000 fosters from our rescue because of not being vaccinated.

Ive had several experiences of cats dying from vaccinations. With all my work with feral cats and cats rescue off the streets, never once have they had rabies. To me it way not worth the risk to vaccinate. Most cats dont survive when they get cancer even if the lumps are removed. Its anguishing to love and care for cats dying from unneeded vaccinations which destroyed thier health and took their lives. From my personnal experiences with this.
 

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I was worried about the sarcoma issue, and nearly didn't give Zinny (my newest kitty) ANY shots, because I had promised her that she would have a GOOD life (she was a feral that I decided to keep).
My vet gives injections down in the limbs...that way, if a sarcoma does happen, they can amputate a limb to save the life of the rest of the cat. I figure that was okay, so went ahead with it.

The rescue group I volunteer for gives their shots between the shoulders. I know that if a sarcoma is there, it's near impossible to treat or get rid of even with surgical removal. I asked the medical person about it, and she said that in thousands of injections she's given, she's never heard of any bad side effects like that.
 

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My cat bit me last week, completely justified. If I had developed an infection and had to see an MD I think it would have been reported and w/o a vaccine I think poor Boots would have lost his head to Animal Control.
 

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Thank you for the insight, M&T. It took a while, but I did find Sissy's story. You did a good thing there, but it sounds like her pain was due to vet incompetence, and not so much as a direct result of the vaccine
The cancerous lump was a direct result of the vaccine according to my own peronnal vet.


Another vet who occasionally works for the shelter removed the lump 5 times which made it spread faster and put Sissy thru h e l l recovering and being ill in an over crowded room with agreesive frustrated shelter cats. It was a giant cluster muck all the way around for my poor girl.
 

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To ppl who don't vaccine their cat because they heard/read all kind of scary stories: I have heard many stories about ppl chocked to death, ppl being hit by a car while crossing street (almost happened to me once), and ppl slept to death. Does that stop me from eating, walking on the street, or sleeping? There are cats died during s/n surgery. Would you be against s/n because of it? There is nothing safe in this world. There is a fine line between being cautious and paranoid.

What's the odd of cat getting cancer from rabies vaccine? Give us numbers please! And when a vet/cat owner find a lump, what test did they do to confirm the lump is a direct result from rabies vaccine?

When you decide if you want to give rabies vaccine to your cat (or make any kind of decision), you need to weigh the pros and cons. To me, the pros far outweight the cons.
 

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But would you sleep in a room with a fan on?
 

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To ppl who don't vaccine their cat because they heard/read all kind of scary stories: I have heard many stories about ppl chocked to death, ppl being hit by a car while crossing street (almost happened to me once), and ppl slept to death. Does that stop me from eating, walking on the street, or sleeping? There are cats died during s/n surgery. Would you be against s/n because of it? There is nothing safe in this world. There is a fine line between being cautious and paranoid.

What's the odd of cat getting cancer from rabies vaccine? Give us numbers please! And when a vet/cat owner find a lump, what test did they do to confirm the lump is a direct result from rabies vaccine?

When you decide if you want to give rabies vaccine to your cat (or make any kind of decision), you need to weigh the pros and cons. To me, the pros far outweight the cons.
I hope your not saying people on this forum sharing thier experiences dont do the research or have valid opinions from both.

Continued yearly vaccinations is a hot debate right now in the rescue community. More and more vets are not doing yearly vacs because of the research.

Im with a small group of cat lovers that do TNR and rescue. We banded together to do TNR/rescue because the local shelter we all volunteered with didnt give proper medical care to the cats. Our biggest conviction starting our group is we would get the best medical care for the ferals and abandoned companion cats we foster. Weve done over 3000 cats since 2006 when we started.

The reason I started researching about vaccinations is because of the sheer number of bad experiences we were having involving vaccinations and when were were vaccinating new rescues after surgeries.

There is research documenting the bad effects of over vaccinating. Esp the one out of Madison Wisconsin researcher. Plus number provided by thethe Federal government with info of what kind of animals contracted rabies.

I did say in an earlier post to do the research. I would never want some one to do something because I shared a scary story. But Im also from the generation that said to question authority. Views evolve. Whether smoking is safe. Declawing is humane. Lay your baby on its back to avoid crib death. On and on. I like this forum because it has so many knowledable kind people on it. And passionate TNR and rescue/fosterers who passionately care about cats.
 

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I hope your not saying people on this forum sharing thier experiences dont do the research or have valid opinions from both.
No, by no means I was implying this. But unfortunately, in this post I didn't see any results or information about any research related to the topic. All I've read is something like "I have personally seen ...", "I've had several experience ...", "Another vet ... removed the lump ... ". Sorry, those are by no means research.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not even questioning if those stories are true. I believe they are. However, since you work for a rescue, you see more cats than most ppl do, so propotionally you see more cats having any kind of issue. My mom is a doctor, she possibly see more death in a day than I would in my entire life. That doesn't mean she would be scared for her life all the time.

There is research documenting the bad effects of over vaccinating. Esp the one out of Madison Wisconsin researcher. Plus number provided by thethe Federal government with info of what kind of animals contracted rabies.
I have no doubt there were unfortunate cats died from rabies vaccines. To prove something exists, you only need one example. However, to say something happen fairly frequent, you need statistics with a large, unscrewed sample. This is all about the odd. Say, out of 10000 cats, randomly drawn from an unbiased population, how many will develop cancer directly induced by rabies vaccines? Do you have a number or do you know a research that makes such observation? (If you have both, I would prefer to see the research publication, because many times the setup of the experiments has an impact on the result.)

Now, say, if the odd of getting cancer from rabits is 0.1%, would someone willing to take the risk? Then it's totally up to each person. We all have our threshold. But, keep in mind that rabies is deadly, to both cat and human. Also keep in mind that a strictly indoor cat may sneak out and get bitten by a racoon, a stray cat, or even a squirrel. And though I don't have data to back me up, I do believe the chance of your cat get lost is higher than it gets cancer from rabies shot.

But Im also from the generation that said to question authority.
I fully agree with your attitude to question authority. But I would like to add that, authority not only includes government, vet association, and your vet. It also include person who has more experience than you in a certain area, because, as I mentioned before, their view may be skewed due to their frequent exposure toward certain scenarios. And, the authority even include many, many research done by reputable institutions. If my education taught me anything, then that is there is a huge leap between data to fact, and even between fact to conclusion. Do you have experience that reading a research saying drinking coffee is bad, then the next day some other research says coffee is good, then the other day coffee is killing you again?
 
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