Sunday, November 24, 2013

Giving Vaccines to the boys

Part of the adoption fee for cats at the shelter is that they come vaccinated.  The shelter does the FVRC vaccine and the vet does the rabies (per the fact that it is required by law).  I'm pretty adept at giving vaccines so I'm happy to give the booster at the house when it comes due (and if I think of it) so they don't get so many vaccines at once and on a day of surgery as well.

The virus and the sterile water to mix it with
and the two pipettes for delivery
Issac Arnold had absolutely no problem with this.
He is such an easy going kitten
Smedley on the other hand, said NO THANK YOU LADY!!
and nearly fell off the scratching post.
Issac Arnold just wanted more attention

Now as you may know from reading my blog I'm not the biggest fan of vaccines because I do not believe that benefits outweigh the risks in every situation. There are many many side effects to vaccines including "VAS" which is vaccine associated sarcoma - a cancer that ended up taking the life of my kitty Ollie.  It is a very very invasive cancer and very hard to treat and contain.  It can be done, but you need to be very aggressive. I belong to a online group of people who have had a kitty who had VAS, and many are very active and this is their cause.  They spend time reading and researching and in more than one case suing the manufactures trying to get them to take responsibility for this and make vets warn people of the risks - how many of you got vaccines for your kitties and were never warned about VAS?.

Well one member of the group learned about nasal vaccines she asked about them.  I mentioned my vet cautioned against them because if they were going to get cancer from the vaccine you wouldn't want it in the nasal cavity to which "Mick & The Boys" replied

I had that same concern for a long time. I first heard of the Heska nasal vaccine back when I first joined this group twelve years ago, and it's taken me from then 'til now to get it for my kitty Boy
In that twelve years we haven't had any cases of nasal cancer that could be associated with the nasal vaccine, and the vets at the clinic say that they've never heard or read of one either. So I've finally concluded that it's probably pretty safe. Even after twelve years I don't feel certain that it's completely safe. I don't think there will ever be a feline vaccine that's 100% safe.

Which I find all so very fascinating.. so I thought I would share with you.


  1. That is really interesting and we only do vaccines that are required by law down here.

  2. Have you seen the latest where they are talking about giving vaccines in a cat's tail?

  3. Thanks for sharing this. I've always hated having to give vaccines. I try to avoid it. If one boards, it's always required.

  4. We are very bad here about keeping our vaccinations up to date since we are indoor-only kitties, and my human doesn't feel the risk/benefit for us is that great. We had boosters when we were boarded in 2004 because our house was tented for termites, and I think maybe once since then. And so far we are fine and mostly healthy (with the occasional glitch and subsequent vet visit).

  5. well that something I didn't know,xx Rachel

  6. I am impressed that you give the vaccines yourself! I am careful with giving vaccinations with our gang. Tucker and Benny no longer get them because of their health concerns, and Sadie only rabies (also required by state law).

  7. I wasn't aware of nasal vaccines so this is quite interesting. I have changed vets before when they kept hawking the yearly vaccination. I won't do that.

  8. You are so right that vets don't mention the risk of VAS. Having lost a childhood cat to VAS, our vet has had to hear it the hard way a couple times before backing off of the attempts at trying to put us on the annual shots.

    We had heard of the nasal vaccines, but hadn't heard about whether there had been reports of associated sarcomas. Your information sounds promising!

  9. This is interesting...I didn't know this!!

  10. I am totally anti-vac for indoor kitties...especially since my folks nearly lost their kitty Shadow after hers last spring.

  11. Good info. The mom has cut back on our vaccinations and now only does those that are necessary or require by law.

  12. Wow, I've never ever hear of nasal vaccines. I wonder if there's something about absorption through an unbroken skin that provides some sort of safe barrier (totally speculating here). Inoculations not only have adjuvants but also penetrate the barrier of the skin. I'll be very interested to see how this progresses and if any VAS in the nasal cavities ever appear.

  13. I find this very interesting.

    My parents had a stray cat who basically moved in with them. He was very much an outdoor cat but Mum never got him vaccinated and he lived to 19 and died very peacefully. He had a couple of bouts of flu but with some vet assistance he fully recovered.

    I have to vaccinate mine as pretty much all of the catteries here won't take them unless they're vaccinated. I probably wouldn't if I didn't have to. Never mind that they are so expensive, but they're both indoor cats so less likely to pick up some of the things they are vaccinating against.

    The nasal thing is something to think about.


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