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Discussion Starter #1
It's been a year since my cats had all there shots complete. (they are just over a year now) What shots need to be done again and how long are they good for? Anything else I should do at the vet? They all seem healthy as can be!! :)
 

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I think that the rabies vaccination needs an annual booster. It may be the same for distemper. Give this thread some time, and one of our resident experts will let you know for sure :wink:
 

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Check with your vet as to what the rabies requirements are for your area. There has been a lot of research to show that we are over-vaccinating our domesticated animals, which has in fact been causing a lot of health problems down the road for the animals (tumors, dental disease, kidney failure, etc). Such research has prompted many areas to take another look at their rabies vaccination requirements. Where I live, the rabies vaccination is required only every 3 years. My cats are INDOOR only cats, so I have actually chosen to not vaccinate at all beyond their 1-year booster shots. I will have them titer tested every three years or so, just to make sure that their bodies still carry the antibodies the vaccines are supposed to protect them from (most will carry the antibodies for the rest of their lives). Once they reach the age of 8, I WILL NOT vaccinate AT ALL, as the vaccine may cause more harm than good by that time in their lives.

If interested, I have found a lot of helpful information in the book: The Nature of Animal Healing, by Marin Goldstein, D.V.M.
 

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The official AVMA vaccine protocols are essentially a kitten series with three vaccines four weeks apart, a booster at one year, then every three years after. Some areas still require annual rabies, but most places have gone to a three year vaccine. I wouldn't vaccinate for FELV (Feline Leukemia) unless your cats go outside, or you do fostering or tend to bring in strays.

Believe it or not, the vaccines are not the most important part of your vet visit. An annual exam is critical for establishing a baseline of health for your pet and a relationship with your vet. Yearly exams can pick up problems that you may not have noticed, and can prevent illnesses. I recommend annual bloodwork on pets five years and older. Again, it gives your vet a baseline for what your pets labs look like when they are healthy so that more subtle differences can be detected in the event that they fall ill.
 

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My vet only does rabies every 3 yrs. but I dont do it. Before a foster comes into my home with my cats it has the shots and isnt sick. Unless they are kittens. Mine are indoor only so I really dont worry. I think the base lines tests are a good suggestion. Also shot are given in the lower leg because they found the shots were causing cancer in some cats. In the leg they could take a leg off but if its done in the scruff of the neck it goes to the organs faster and beyond treatment when found.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have been reading awful things about shots. Do you think there are just paranoid people or do you really think what we are suggested to do is too much? My cats are 100% inside and I dont foster or anything, I don't want to do too much. Also, should I get all 3 boosters done at the same time or is that an overload?

I want to call and make an appt but want to know exactly what all to do first. I definitely want to have an exam done. I am just wondering about the shots.
 

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For what it's worth, Murphy just had both rabies and FVRCP on Friday, and ended up throwing up twice and being a little sluggish for 2 days afterwards. I posted about this on Health & Nutrition, and some people suggested it's really better to have those two shots given at separate vet visits about a month or two apart. I'm not sure if he wouldn't trade the throwing up and sluggishness for not having a second vet visit, though!
 

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I dont give my own cats yearly shots because so many of them can cause problems and mine are indoor cats. I gave my cat after several years the shot for Upper Respiratory since alot of my fosters get the sniffles. My tuxy cat hid in my closet, didnt eat or move for over two days. I will never vacinate my cats again. They had the initial shots Im not taking anymore chances.

Several of the cats we got in have bad reactions to the shots. We have to give them benedril fist to finish up their round of shots. Make me wonder of the quality control they are manufactured under.

I think its more important to have a base line blood tests and keep an eye on them from that perspective once theyve had their inital shots.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So, there is some truth to it. I was beginning to think maybe I was just gullible or paranoid myself. They did have all there shots as kittens and there 1 year rabies shot just now over a year ago. Is this what you mean by initial shots?
 

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Remember, the rabies vaccine is a legal requirement in most parts of the US. If you skip it and something happens -- your cat bites someone badly enough they need to see a doctor, bites an animal control officer, a bat gets into your house -- then depending on where you live there can be real consequences for having an unvaccinated cat. (The absolute worst case is that the authorities may want the cat to be tested for rabies. The standard rabies tests require removing the brain from the cat, so you really don't want this done.)

I keep up with rabies (I don't mess around with something with a 100% mortality rate) and FVRCP, but I think I won't do FeLV again. They've had their fist set and at the moment I feel that's good enough.
 

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For the most part, if someone is bitten and vaccines are overdue (overdue meaning they have had vaccines but not for a while, rather than absolutely no history of vaccines) they will quarantine the pet. Sometimes this is done at the vet's office, most of the time you can keep your cat at your house. They just want to make sure the pet does not die in a certain period of time (I think its 10-14 days). IF during that time your pet does pass away, they will submit the brain for rabies testing.

They may be more strict with the rules on a pet who has NO vaccine history, but unless there is serious reason to suspect rabies they will very rarely put a pet to sleep to test for rabies without doing the quarantine first.
 

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I'm sure that's true, especially if the pet hasn't been ill. I think for never-vaccinated animals some areas give the owner a choice between putting the animal down and a lengthy (months-long) isolation in a vets' office at the owners expense. If the vaccinations are just out of date, they're not generally as worried. Check the local laws. Personally, I don't see that it's worth evading the laws -- besides potential legal hassles, I consider rabies WAY too nasty to mess around with.

YMMV.

(Do make sure you get the non-adjuvanted rabies vaccine.)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Bethany said:
(Do make sure you get the non-adjuvanted rabies vaccine.)
What is this??

I am not trying to evade any laws that is for sure. I just wanted some advice first. Vets will try to tell you that you need everything under the sun so I want to be educated. If the FeLV isn't absolutely necessary I don't really want to do it. I do think rabies is a good idea though. You just can't predict a cat getting out or something of that nature.

So I guess this rabies shot (since it's their second one) is good for 3 years? Is that true for the FVRCP also? 1 year or 3? I am trying to find it online but it pretty much just says annual for all three (rabies, FVRCP and FeLV) which sounds really conservative.

Thanks for all the input!
 
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