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Author Topic:   Vaccinations
fleafly
Member

Posts: 996
From:sheridan, wy
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 10-31-2003 11:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fleafly     Edit/Delete Message
I am curious how often people on here vaccinate their animals. I know that they say to give vaccinations every year, but I have seen some studies showing that the antibodies stay around longer and that animals can develop certain types of cancers from getting vaccinations every year. Just wanted to see what everyone has to say.

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Jamiya
Member

Posts: 1392
From:
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 11-03-2003 06:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jamiya     Edit/Delete Message
I have always got mine vaccinated every year. I didn't know until just recently that there was any controversy over it. Especially since my cats are indoor cats, I think I may do some research to see what to do in the future.

All this stuff is so scary. I sometimes feel like if I make a decision contrary to the mainstream (like choosing to stop vaccinating every year) that my cats will get some terrible disease that could have been avoided and then I would never be able to forgive myself.


Jamiya

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tuttifrutti
Member

Posts: 478
From:Dallas, Texas
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 11-03-2003 06:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tuttifrutti     Edit/Delete Message
We have ours vaccinated every year, but our cat is indoor/outdoor and our 5 month old britany is hopefully going to be a hunting dog, but our 16 yr. old aussie who was indoor/outdoor was vaccinated every year too up until she died of a stroke.

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nern

Moderator

Posts: 1591
From:NY, USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 11-03-2003 06:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nern     Edit/Delete Message
The vaccination protocols have recently changed and Im not sure if all vets follow these or not but mine does. My cats used to get the distemper and feline leukemia vaccine every year and rabies every 3 years. Now (mine are all indoors only) the feline leukemia vaccine is only given to cats at risk so mine no longer get it and they only get the distemper combo vaccine and rabies vaccine every 3 years. I was begining to worry about over-vaccinating so Im very pleased with the new vaccine schedule. This has also changed for dogs at my vet.
This is the site she has listed on the Feline Vaccine Guidelines sheet she gave me: http://www.vmth.ucdavis.edu/vmth/clientinfo/info/genmed/vaccinproto.html

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fleafly
Member

Posts: 996
From:sheridan, wy
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 11-04-2003 10:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fleafly     Edit/Delete Message
I have put my cats on the 3 year schedule, but I even wonder about that. If you think about it as humans, what vaccines do we get every year? Just the flu shot, and that's b/c it changes. Most of our vaccinations we get as children and we have life long immunity to the diseases. Tetanus you get every 5-10 years as an adult. In fact if you get the tetanus vaccine too often it increases your chances of having an adverse reaction to it.

I have heard of studies showing that animals keep antibodies up to 7 years out. Of course no one has really done research on the subject. It's in the best interest of the vaccine companies and the veterinarians for the animals to come in more often. I wish people would study the issue more.

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Jamiya
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Posts: 1392
From:
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 11-04-2003 10:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jamiya     Edit/Delete Message
It's all so frustrating. I am tired of feeling like no matter what I choose for my animals I may be harming them. Don't vaccinate - and then they get something you could have vaccinated against. Do vaccinate - and it makes them sick.


Jamiya

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charmedagain
Member

Posts: 790
From:uk
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 11-04-2003 02:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for charmedagain     Edit/Delete Message
I have my animals vaccinated every year... But i will be perfectly honest what vets dont tell you when having animals vaccinated is they still can get the viruses they are vaccinated against as some animals immune system wont accept it so because the animals are given a small live dose of the virus some animals actually get it...

my friend has 4 rotties and none are vaccinated they have come in contact with other dogs with distemper, parvo and so on yet never got it them selves...

My mum has cats and none are vaccinated and she has had them since they were born apart from one which she got when she was 6 weeks old and all go outside and none have caught anything...

I only have my pets vaccinated as i wud probably be the unlucky one and because i breed german shepherds i cant really take the risks...

As i always say its up2 each individual owner on there desire to vaccinate or not

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nern

Moderator

Posts: 1591
From:NY, USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 11-04-2003 03:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nern     Edit/Delete Message
Fleafly: I have heard that as well about the vaccines possibly protecting as long as 7yrs. I have often wondered if I should only get the rabies and not bother with the distemper combo but I will have to look into it alot further before making a decision. At any rate I still feel much better about the 3yr vaccines than I did about the 1 yr vaccines. Some people have titer tests done instead of vaccines which are supposed to be a measure of the animals immunity to various illnesses. I don't know much about them but I beleive they are also a contraversial issue. One of my co-workers only gets the rabies vaccine for her dog and has titer tests done for other illnesses.
Jamiya: I totally understand how you feel. I feel that way too. Very frustrating.

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fleafly
Member

Posts: 996
From:sheridan, wy
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 11-05-2003 10:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fleafly     Edit/Delete Message
I know what you mean Jamiya. I think we have to do the best we can with the information that we have. It's a balancing act.

Sometimes the animals immune system doesn't mount a response to the vaccine, the same thing happens with humans and people. Depending on the type of vaccine they are given, it is possible to get the illness from the vaccine. The same is true with human vaccines. The chances of getting the disease from the vaccine is really low.

I believe in vaccinating unless there is a medical reason not to. The diseases kill many more people/animals than the vaccines do.

I also feel much better about the three year schedule. It is definately an improvement over every year. I think some veterinary college should do a study on how long the vaccines really protect an animal. Texas A & M did the rabies vaccine studies.

I hadn't thought about doing a titer. I didn't know they did those on animals but I guess it makes sense. I will have to ask my vet about that. I don't know how titers could be a controversial issue. A titer is a measure of the amount of antibody to a certain disease. If you have over a certain level you are protected. I recently had my titer checked for Measles, Mumps and Rubella since I didn't get all my vaccinations when I was younger. I guess it could be controversial if they don't know what the protective level of antibody is in animals. I will definately ask my vet next time I talk to her.

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MaydaysMom
Member

Posts: 260
From:MO, USA
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-05-2003 04:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MaydaysMom     Edit/Delete Message
There is a vaccination titer that you can have done for your kitties. The blood work is a tad expensive but it will show the immunity your cats have to different diseases. That can help you decide how often you do get them vaccinated. Next time you speak with your vet express your concerns about over vaccinating.

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MaydaysMom
Member

Posts: 260
From:MO, USA
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-05-2003 04:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MaydaysMom     Edit/Delete Message
If you have inside cats the only vaccine you are required to have by law is the rabies. The feline lekeumia may cause cancer and is given in the back leg just incase so the leg can be amputated.
If you have a tendency to bring home stray kitties I would keep your cats up to date for feline leukemia just to be safe.
Some cats may never break with feleuk but could be carriers. So even though they never show signs and never get sick they could still be passing it on to your unvaccinated cats.

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nern

Moderator

Posts: 1591
From:NY, USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 11-05-2003 04:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nern     Edit/Delete Message
quote:
I don't know how titers could be a controversial issue.

A while back on another pet board there was a big debate over titers so I guess thats where I got the idea that it was a controversial issue. I wonder what my vet thinks of them....I'll have to ask her next time I go.

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Jamiya
Member

Posts: 1392
From:
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 11-06-2003 06:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jamiya     Edit/Delete Message
My cats have never received a shot in the back leg! They get all of them in their back. Now I am worried.

Our vet gives them everything, even though they are indoor only. When I helped a friend take his new kitten to a different vet, I asked that guy and HE said indoor cats, especially older ones, do not need the leukemia shot at all.

Other people say they can catch it from a cat passing by outside a window screen.

Arrrrgh!


Jamiya

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MaydaysMom
Member

Posts: 260
From:MO, USA
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-06-2003 12:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MaydaysMom     Edit/Delete Message
No reason to get worried. Its just a precaution that we take. If the cat were to form a tumor of any sort then the back leg could be amputated. Now out of all the years I have worked at the vets office I have never seen it happen.
I think its very smart to keep your cats up to date on Feleuk. Things happen and sometimes kitties escape. Its always smart to be safe then sorry.
If an older inside cat has been vaccinated against feline leukemia through out their life the vet will tell you that it shouldnt be done anymore. Its always good to be cautious. Feline Leukemia is spread through saliva, snot, urine, emesis, and feces. If the cat passing by your window had any of this stuff flying I guess you would need to worry. However the virus will die without a host pretty quickly. So it would need to be contact to contact.

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alixw
New Member

Posts: 5
From:Oklahoma City
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-06-2003 02:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alixw     Edit/Delete Message
It is so nice to see people concerned about this issue - as we are all obviously looking out for the best interest of the furkid. Sometimes vets aren't even as up to date on the newest information as the client, and may benefit from a heads up or referral to good information. And then again, some vets see this as a business or an industry, and will recommend whatever beefs up their bottom line. The cost of vaccines by getting them direct proves this to me. The markup is incredible at the vets office! I believe in minimizing vaccination to what is actually necessary, and not piling on a lot of "Just in cases" on top of that. Take the frequency question - I believe that the pharmaceutical companies actually publish efficacy studies for their vaccines indicating a actual benefit time (efficacy rate) of at least 3 years for the vaccines I use. It becomes a risk/benefit question then. I personally believe it is less stressful on the cat and their immune system to vaccinate on the three year schedule instead of every year, because they still have the protection and also are not AS subject to injection site sarcoma, immune system stress, the discomfort and stress of a vet visit or a needle... the real point is that they still have the protection! So why have them put on three coats to go out into the cold when one works fine?

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fleafly
Member

Posts: 996
From:sheridan, wy
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 11-06-2003 07:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fleafly     Edit/Delete Message
Well I think that the vaccination schedule could be stretched out even longer than three years. Like 5 - 10 depending on the vaccine. It isn't in the best financial interest of the vets or the vaccine companies to tell people how long the vaccines really last. And there is no FDA for animals! I have heard that some vets want to vaccinate every year b/c it keeps their clients coming in and they can sell other services. I still believe in yearly exams, just not vaccinations. If this issue were to be studied I would expect that it would be a veterinarian school that would study it.


Jamiya: I never had a vet give the shots in the legs either. They always gave them in the scruff. When I moved to WY my new vet is the one that gives them in the legs. She is fairly fresh out of a good vet school and very sharp and up to date on recommendations. It is nice to have a good vet!

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Jamiya
Member

Posts: 1392
From:
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 11-07-2003 06:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jamiya     Edit/Delete Message
I am still searching for a vet I am totally comfortable with. The one I took my puppy to seems okay, but they seem a little too gung-ho, if you know what I mean. That isn't going to hurt the dog, probably, but it will hurt my wallet unnecessarily. And unnecessary procedures aren't that great for the dog, either. There are also several doctors in the practice and I have seen different ones and they all tell me different information. Hard to know what to do, then.

I interviewed another vet and I think I like him. There is another that supposedly is a holistic vet that I want to make an appointment with.

The thing is, I don't have blind trust in a vet, or even a human doctor for that matter. They don't know everything. In one of the other threads that was discussing garlic, someone recommended asking a vet when in doubt. If I ask a vet if garlic is safe for my cat and they don't know any better and say "Yes" and then my cat dies, it's too late. I do my own research and then try to find a vet/doctor that is in line with what I know. Once that bond of trust is established, then I can believe their recommendations about things that I don't know. Without that trust and having to second guess everything they say, eventually the pet is going to suffer.

I have had my pets vaccinated at home by a retired vet for the past dozen years or so. Since he is about 300 years old now, I don't think he really examines them very well. I am thinking I need to take my cats in for a checkup, but I am worried about the stress it will cause them. They have not been out of the house since we moved in 10 years ago, and they are already stressed out about the puppy.


Jamiya

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fleafly
Member

Posts: 996
From:sheridan, wy
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 11-07-2003 12:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fleafly     Edit/Delete Message
Maybe you could take them out in the carrier for a quick car ride to get them used to it again. Then maybe the vet's office wont be quite so tramatic.

I don't have implicit trust in vets or human doctors either, you have to go with your instinct sometimes. I have had vets tell me that cats wont get better and to put them down and I didn't listen and the cats recovered. I agree that you should listen to their recommendation then do your own research to see if you come up with the same answer. My new vet will look things up in books even while I am in the office. If she doesn't know something she pulls out a book and looks for the answer. That is great. It's the vets and human doctors that think they know everything and wont consult a book that you have to worry about.

I know what you mean about gung-ho vets. The vet I have now has a reasonable approach. If I call with a problem sometimes she tells me not to worry about it or to keep an eye on it for a few days. Some vets answer to everything is to bring them in for an office visit, which of course costs 30.00. It is hard to find a good vet. Sometimes it takes a lot of shopping around.

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MaydaysMom
Member

Posts: 260
From:MO, USA
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 11-07-2003 12:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MaydaysMom     Edit/Delete Message
That was me, I put if in doubt ask your vet bc I dont want someone to do something if uncomfortable with my advice on a message board
If you are looking for advice I always suggest to ask the opinion of a reg DVM and a holistic DVM.
Secondly I agree with not trusting your vet 100% and I work at a vets office
If I would have relied on my vet 100% of the time I would have lost alot of rescue kittens this summer. The plain and simple fact is that not all vets know everything and I have only met one who would admit it.
I think with vaccinations it all depends on what your cats are exposed to. I keep mine up to date on shots yearly just bc I am in rescue and run the risk of exposing who knows what to my cats every time I bring in a new foster. If your cat is always indoors and you dont bring home stray cats then having that potency may not be necessary. The only thing I know I completely agree with on vaxes is several boosters for kittens and puppies. I think that should always be done bc they have such little immunity when they are younger. The older the cat gets however the more unneccessary they are.

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dj
Member

Posts: 39
From:California
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 11-07-2003 04:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dj     Edit/Delete Message
When we adopted our baby we had the basic shots and because of all the reading I've done stating we over vaccinate and the fact that the law only reqiures rabies and our cat in strickly indoors I choose to not get him any more shots. He just had a yearly physical and the vet didn't even mention getting any shots stating there is no need.

------------------
dj
mommy to Mr. Beau Ditty Kitty

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