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Discussion Starter #1
I just got back from the vet. I'm confused! Our kittens are 4 months old - this was their 3rd time getting vaccine.

The vet told me that from now on they will need just yearly vaccination. I told her what I read on the internet (from Dr.Jean) - that the distemper/upper respiratory vaccine doesn't have to be done every year, etc. The vet said that they say this but it's not true. She said they didn't do good testing about it, there is no real prove that the vaccine lasts 3 or more years - she said they tested only on 9 cats when they did the research.
Also, she told me she went to Ottawa to a conference and they spent whole day talking about vaccinations. She said the FVRCP has to be done once a year. She was telling me about other vaccinations too for many many minutes! She went deaper and deaper but I couldn't follow the whole conversation because I'm not very familiar with the vaccines. I remember she mentioned "leukomia" as well.

I don't think this vet is trying to steal my money because she seems to be caring about cats - she has her own cats too and she is such a nice woman and she is always happy to see our cats - she would pet them, talk to them,.... She has 17 years experience as a vet.

I don't know what to think anymore! Dr.Jean said that it's not necessary to have this vaccine once a year. :?:

Another question I have is related to food. Right now I'm feeding the cats with kitten wet food two times a day + I leave some dry food during the day when I'm at work. The cats weight around 5.2 pounds right now (is it normal weight?).
The vet told me that after spaying I should feed them with adult food (not kitten anymore) because many cats get fat when they eat kitten food. She said after spaying to give them adult food and to give them as much as they want. Later, I would measure the amount of food. I thought you can feed kitten food till the age of 10-12 months. :?:

One more thing...I asked her about spaying (following Dr.Jeans instructions) - how long does the surgery takes? She said if she does it, takes about 15 minutes but if someone else does it takes a long time (she didn't specify the minutes). I think she has there some assistants (I saw some young girls) who are learning and "practicing" there. It really concerns me. I don't think someone else should do it but her. If I ask her to do it by herself, where is the prove that she didn't tell one of the girls to do it? Maybe I should go to a different vet....

Thanks for any advices.

Here is Dunga trying to catch a fish! :) It was so funny!
 

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Honestly, I would find another vet. Yours sounds very dismissive of your concerns and doesn't seem to be very current in her training. Even the American Veterinary Association (or whatever their official name is) now recommends vaccines ever 3 years, not annually.
 

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1. Yearly vacs: Depends on the vacs. Dr. Jean is not the only one saying that vacs last longer than 1 year, and doesn't need to be done yearly. Several other vets I've spoken to say the same, and I've read a lot of literature that cites this finding in their research. I'll have to come back and edit this when I have more time to find the links of the stuff I've read so you can decide for yourself. Annual rabies has definitely been proven to last longer than a year. The research for FVRCP is very new, but the findings are leaning to the same. Dr. Jean and other experts can provide better info than me, though.

2. IMO, kitten food is more of a marketing tool than anything else. I do feed my kitten 'kitten' food, since it's supposed to have higher protein levels. But I've compared the ratios of some of the brands I buy, and I don't see a significant difference in nutrients, vitamins or protein.

3. Spaying: YIKES!!! "If she does it, it's 15 mins, if someone else does it, it takes a long time"???? You said she's got assts learning and practicing there? I wouldn't want some newbie using my cat as a guinea pig where surgery is involved. They're supposed to do this stuff in school, not in a professional practice. But I could be wrong. :)

EDIT: Here ya go, I found these credible and useful in making my decisions on vacs. Hope they're also useful to you too!

http://www.vin.com/mainpub/feline/vaccines/fpvacmain.htm
http://www.vin.com/proceedings/Proceedings.plx?CID=WSAVA2002&PID=2615
http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/ce/vaccine1/felinevacc-01.pdf
http://www.winnfelinehealth.org/health/vaccination-guidelines.html
http://www.vet.cornell.edu/Public/FHC/vaccbr.html
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Rayona and Superkitties,

Thank you so much for your input.

1. I searched on the internet - went to the web site - American association of feline practitioners. There is a report and it says to vaccinate every 3 years (FVRCP). But, this document is from 2000. Does it mean there were no changes at all? I'm just wondering... Yes, I will definitaly contact other vets and see what they think. There is a very good animal hospital about 30-50km from my place - I might give it try.

Could you please tell me if the vac they have so far are correct? Here is the list (I'm reading from the receipts):

(they were born on Oct 23, 2003)

on 18Dec2003:
[email protected] - FVRCP Expires:15Jan2004

on 17Jan2004:
[email protected] - FVRCP Expires: 14Feb2004

today - 21Feb2004:
Indoor - FVRCP + Rabies Expires: 19Feb2005

Did they get all they should? I just want to make sure... What should they get next?

2. Probably the food doesn't really matter...does anyone else have an answer to this one?

3. Yeah, you are right Superkitties, I should look for another vet. As I said, I'm thinking to try the animal hospital in a different town. I'm not sure who "those girls are" but probably they must be beginners if the surgery would take them longer than to the vet I talked to. And I don't like that. I want to make sure the vet is well experienced.

Thanks a lot!!! And sorry for so long post...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm sorry to ask again... The kittens have been sleeping most of the day since we came from vet. They didn't eat anything. Is this reaction to the vaccination? I think it is... Just want to make sure that you agree with me.

Thanks again
 

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Vaccinations is a tough one... In Sweden we vaccinate yearly since there's no reliable research that says that the vaccines gives full protection longer than that. In Sweden we mostly discuss whether we should use killed or modified vaccines. This is something you must learn about yourself and make your own decision. You can talk to ten different vets and they will all say different things. My cats are (and have always been) vaccinated once a year for cat flu and panleukopenia. They aren't vaccinated against anything else. However I take my cats to cat shows which means that I have to follow the cat clubs rules on vaccinations and my cats are more likely to be exposed to contamination than a cat that never leave the house.

When it comes to food I think the vet is right. Spayed/neutered cats don't need as much nutrition as an intact. Some reports say that the metabolization in spayed/neutered cats goes down 30% meaning they will get obese if they eat the same food as they did when they were intact.

And how many minutes does it take to spay a cat? I would imagine that neutering a male can be done in 15 minutes, but spaying female... I don't really know. However, the procedure should be done by a vet so if you think she lets these girls "practise" on your cats, find another vet.
 

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Neutering a cat takes about 2 minutes. :)

I agree about finding another vet, since yours seems very set in her ways--even though she is evidently aware of at least some of the research.

It's true that Fred Scott's ongoing study includes only 8 or 9 cats, but even his study is old news and there is much more substantiating research now. The research suggesting serious vaccine complications is also mounting. The distemper vaccine in particular has now been implicated in *causing* chronic renal failure in cats. I emphasize causing, because that is a statement that is rarely made; usually they say "a link may exist" or "a possible correlation." Dr. Lappin (whom I know very well, he is an excellent scientist--and he adores cats!) made some very strong statements in his abstract and to several veterinary groups where he has lectured.

I don't understand why your vet is unwilling to acknowledge the new vaccination guidelines endorsed by 27 vet schools and at least two major national veterinary associations for boostering every 3 years. Evidently there was enough research for them! But, unfortunately I encounter that attitude a lot.

I recommend you find a more sensitive, up-to-date, enlightened vet!

And stay tuned for my upcoming vaccination article, it'll explain it all! :D

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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I wanted to add another perspective in here.

About the vaccines, I personally am still inconclusive when it comes to vacs and my own animals. I've read some reports, and most of it hear say or random websites made up by unknown people. From the findings so far, it seems that most of the vacs are better for longer then just the one year period.
Right now I know Banfield has the one year policy, some doctors are a little looser about it than others. But Banfield is doing their own further studies on this before they will incorporate any new vaccine regulations. Which I don't see anything wrong with that in particular. Most veterinaries I've come across face to face, still go by the once every year rule. At least they do offer 3 year rabies vacs currently.
We offer additional vacs such as FIP/FeLuke & Giardia, but from research reports they do not 100% prevent said diseases, so I do not get them for my cats.
Until new rules and laws are established, go by your own judgment, if your cat has problems with certain vaccines, or too many at once, perhaps you shouldn't get so many of them, or take one off your list permanently.

About the food question, I have feed most of my cats and fosters kitten food, even all the way up to 12 months and have suffered no ill health effects. I think the way your vet defined the way to feed was a pretty stringent statement for what is really such a broad answer.
Cats are not machines, they all have different exercise levels, metabolisms, likes and dislikes, each food will treat each cat differently. What one neutered 4 month old male gets completely fat on, the next 4 month old neutered male would be too skinny and unhealthy on anything but kitten food high in fat.

Observe your cat, bring it in for routine check ups, if he's doing great, don't worry about switching from kitten to adult just yet. At any point when you do decide, just make sure you make it a very slow and gradual switch, over a period of at least one week, mixing a little of the new food in with the old.
Don't free feed your cat willy nilly, monitor how much she's taking in daily, and that she is not becoming obese, sudden weight gain is bad for your cat, as well as weight loss, so move slowly when it comes to changing her feeding habits. If you find you are unable to free feed, then feed separate meals 2-3 times a day.

About spaying, well... yes that depends on the doctor, some 15 minutes if they are good and well experienced. Others will take 30 mins - 1 1/2 hours. The doctor is the only one who can LEGALLY perform the surgery, yes your doctor might have one or two assistants (vet techs/nurses) this is normal. After surgery prep their duty is to monitor the patient and then tend to the after care once the doctor is done with the procedure.

Hope this helps at least a little. :)

PS: What fish do you have in that tank?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for help, AngelZoo. I'm glad to hear more voices. :)

What do you think about the vaccines they got so far? Are they missing anything?

My husband is taking care of the fish. :) I have no idea what the names are for them. :) He wanted fish - he's got fish and takes care of them. Me, I wanted cats - and I'm taking care of them. :D I like watching the tank sometimes...It's so relaxing!
 

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It looks like they've gotten everything they need for now. Hopefully by next year, more veterinarians will be up to speed on the new recommendations! :)

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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My cats seem to be somewhat lethargic after vaccinations......I think that is pretty normal.

My vet has stopped giving certain vaccinations like the feline leukemia vaccine to cats that are not at a high risk. She now only gives rabies and distemper every 3 years.
This site was listed on the print out she gave me regarding the new guidelines she is following:
http://www.vmth.ucdavis.edu/vmth/client ... proto.html

And you can read the American Association of Feline Practitioners Vaccine Guidelines in PDF format by clicking on the link found on this site:
http://www.aafponline.org/about_guidlines.htm
 

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Personally for your average indoor cat whom is not around other new or strange cats often should typically only need, Distemper, Rabies and a Feline Lukemia Test before you even bring them home.

My cats have had all of the above.

Our doctor gave them ALL of them during the first visit before I came back for the boosters (we do boosters on cats/dogs whom have not had vacs before, or have been over due for years). They were very lethargic after that, they got Giardia, Distemper, Rabies, FIP, FeLuke vacs, I was quiet upset to say the least that he gave all of these to him.
But 3 weeks later all I got was the Distemper Booster. I would do the Feline Luke test at least yearly when I would foster (all the time). But now that Tage possibly has Hepitis I'm not sure I feel comfortable bringing other cats into the house hold anymore. I don't know enough about it's quarinteen needs.

Sorry I'm rambling on now. :wink:
 

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We have 2 babies who are now at 3.5 months old. They've had two rounds of vaccines already. Is it standard to give them 2 or 3 rounds of vaccines? They had a bout of fleas (but now gone) about 3 weeks ago.

Thanks in advance!
 

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sentimentalgirl said:
My husband is taking care of the fish. :) I have no idea what the names are for them. :) He wanted fish - he's got fish and takes care of them. Me, I wanted cats - and I'm taking care of them. :D I like watching the tank sometimes...It's so relaxing!
Same here, I take care of the cats, my bf takes care of his saltwater tank. ****
 

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In most places yes, they will give what are called Booster vacs, after their first initial set of vaccines. But only for some, not all, Rabies will not need to be boostered 3 weeks later, Distemper however will be in most cases.
 

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my vet gave my kitten a feline aids test and a feline lukeimia test when i brought her home from the shelter... she informed me that all she needed was the rabies shot every three years... my kitten is an indoor cat... ive never heard of having to give your kitten any more vacience unless they are high risk... my mother owen a cat for 16 years while i lived at home growing up... the only vacines smokey ever got was her rabies shot... and she was an indoor/outdoor cat... she lived to the rip old age of 16 before she got into a fight with a local dog and got an infection that the anti-biotics didnt help... she eventually had to be put down because my mother couldnt stand making smokey suffer through another round of anti-biotics and hand feeding... is what i know about vacines wrong... does my kitten need a new vet that knows more about that sort of thing?? what should i do
 
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