Result:  They all had what is considered to be a protective titer for the panleukopenia virus. Vaccines against panleukopenia provide excellent protection. If a kitten is in a high risk situation (e.g., feral kitten that is to be released following a TNR [trap, neuter, return] protocol, or is living outside for any other reason), they can be vaccinated as early as 8 weeks of age. This case report demonstrates that injudicious use of vaccinations may, like other infectious or autoimmune diseases, lead to immune complex deposition and subsequent glomerular damage. Of course, the kitten needs to be kept indoors at all times until they are properly vaccinated but preferably for the rest of their life since the death rate for outdoor cats is significantly higher than it is for indoor cats. Notice that I emphasized the word “current” in the paragraph above.  This is because of ‘memory cells’ which are cells in the body that titer testing cannot measure.  Memory cells are primed by a previous natural exposure or vaccination to a pathogen (virus, bacteria, fungus, etc.) Injection site sarcomas are very rare, but should be identified early. That said, at this time, it appears that adjuvanted vaccines have a higher risk rate of sarcomas when compared with non-adjuvanted vaccines. Recombinant vaccines appear to be the safest type available.  While they can cause sarcomas, they are less likely to do so when compared to a killed/adjuvanted vaccine. If the animal under observation develops any signs of illness, it should be evaluated by a veterinarian. Remember that vaccination doesn’t just protect your cat, it protects vulnerable kittens and cats around too, and in some cases such as with rabies, you and your family. There can be no disputing that vaccines save lives but they also have the potential to cause serious side effects which will be discussed on this webpage.Before we get started on this discussion, it is important to understand that there is no single vaccine protocol t… If an UNaltered stray cat ends up on your doorstep, chances are that he or she has not been vaccinated – and should receive a vaccine now. As a kitten, they were likely given several rounds of vaccinations over a short period of time (i.e., a vaccine or booster series). One Voice Presentation and Hot Topic Discussion, A Reflection on Saskatoon’s Students of the CVMA (SCVMA) Symposium, CVMA Member Consultation Process on Position Statements, Veterinary Oversight of Antimicrobial Use in Animals in Canada, Antimicrobial Stewardship - Top Priority for CVMA, Video Presentations: 2016 CVMA Summit - Antimicrobials in Animal Health - The New Reality, Veterinary Oversight of Antimicrobial Use – A Pan-Canadian Framework for Professional Standards for Veterinarians, Establishing a Valid Veterinarian-Client-Patient-Relationship, Impact of Cannabis Legalization on Veterinarians and their Patients, CVMA Guidelines for Veterinary Antimicrobial Use, Opioids: Risk Evaluation/Mitigation Strategies in Veterinary Medicine, Veterinarian Health and Wellness Resources, Articles published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal (CVJ), i Matter: an online resource created by the OVMA, Registered Veterinary Technician/Technologist, Suggested Fee Guides | Economic Surveys | Compensation Reports, http://www.Catvets.Com/Guidelines/Practice-Guidelines/Feline-Vaccination-Guidelines. )  This is what I would personally opt for. Large outbreaks have occurred in unvaccinated cats in shelters, and there has been spread among pet cats … Your veterinarian will develop a vaccination protocol suited to your pet. In 1997, the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) came out with the strong recommendation to never use the scruff area for vaccines.  Evidently, the veterinarian who administered Chicken’s adjuvanted rabies vaccine either did not take this recommendation seriously or was not keeping up with his continuing education.  In addition to using the wrong location, an adjuvanted rabies vaccine was used instead of PureVax and Chicken paid a high price for these careless decisions. The subject of vaccine administration is one of the most controversial topics in human and veterinary medical literature, making it a common area of debate – and stressful decision-making – among parents and pet owners. Local factors and individual animal requirements may dictate more frequent vaccination scheduling and this should be discussed with your veterinarian. However, infection rates remain high in some unvaccinated cat populations, and the disease occasionally is seen in vaccinated, pedigreed kittens that have been exposed to a high virus challenge. The 7-month-old male cocker spaniel presented to the veterinary clinic with vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and anorexia. This is a significant point of confusion among some veterinarians and most lay people.  The guidelines are worded in such a way as to invite vaccine intervals that are even longer than 3 years. Antibodies are not the only type of ‘bullet’ that the immune system uses.  There is another type of ‘ammunition’ called cell mediated immunity (CMI) which is a very important arm of the immune system that, unfortunately, we cannot measure with any commercially available test – including a titer test. Any illness in an ani… ‘Reverting to virulence’ means that the virus contained in the vaccine is now infective enough to cause disease. How often does my cat need to be vaccinated? Unfortunately if your cat is not properly vaccinated, their bodies' immune system will not be armed to fight off any virus or bacterial infection. For many years, humans have thought of vaccines as ‘all good and no bad’ but that line of thought cannot be further from the truth.  Given the serious side effects that can manifest themselves after a vaccine has been given, people need to start applying more critical thought when making decisions about vaccination protocols. More animals need to be vaccinated to increase herd (population) immunity. This disease is HIGHLY contagious and can spread very quickly through cats (similar to the canine version) which means all unvaccinated cats are at risk of picking it up. ), 3) The kitten was in poor health when vaccinated and did not respond properly.  (Vaccines should never be administered to sick animals but, unfortunately, unhealthy animals are vaccinated more often than you may think.). New technologies have provided even safer and more effective forms of vaccine protection. Deciding to give a booster vaccine 1 year after the last kitten vaccine, or not, is a judgment call. The PureVax FeLV vaccine uses a very low volume (0.25 ml) and it is injected intradermally (within the skin) versus under the skin. Lisa A. Pierson, DVM. PUREVAX Feline Rabies 3 YR is recommended for the vaccination of healthy cats 12 weeks and older for prevention of disease due to the rabies virus. ). The discovery that vaccine adjuvants can cause sarcomas led to the acronym VAS (Vaccine Associated Sarcoma).  However, instead of VAS, we are now using the acronym “ISS” (Injection Site Sarcoma) because, again, sarcomas can form in response to anything that causes inflammation of the area under the skin. This is because the older he is, the more mature his immune system is – and better able to respond – and the less chance there will be for the maternal antibodies to be at a high enough level to interfere with his ability to respond to a vaccine. Other animals can transmit rabies and tetanus. This could happen due to a problem within the manufacturing process or because of poor handling of the vaccine after it left the manufacturing plant. Pregnant cats can pass the disease to their unborn kittens. This is a very serious disease with nearly 100% mortality in animals and humans.  (Only a handful of people have survived a rabies infection. Foreign substances that can cause allergic/anaphylactic reactions include all vaccines, all drugs, foods, etc. Pets age much faster than people in the same amount of time; an annual “check-up” allows your veterinarian to early detection and management of illnesses such as dental disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism and kidney failure that may develop as your cat ages. In lieu of this 1 year booster, I would suggest titer testing. The final vaccine, however, should not be given before your pet turns sixteen weeks. This webpage is not intended to be a comprehensive discussion on all matters involving vaccinations but, instead, will cover some vaccine basics, and my personal views on the subject – including how I vaccinate my own cats. Updated November 2016 That said, I would rather not give this many vaccines to a kitten.  Unless there is a high index of risk, I prefer to limit it to 2 vaccines total for the kitten series. If you choose to adopt a kitten or cat from us, they will be vaccinated before they leave our care. Some factors to be considered include the number of cats in the household, exposure to feral cats or wild animals, age and health status, travel, cattery life, and boarding or showing. The immunodominant antigens to which antibodies are formed in these cats are α-enolase and Annexin A2, both of which are linked to autoimmunity and renal disease in humans. Milder allergic reactions can cause a swollen face, swollen limbs, and itching. Adult cats that go outside or that live with any FeLV-infected cat should be vaccinated. 2)  There are no DOI challenge studies for panleukopenia post-intranasal vaccination like there are for the MLV vaccines. While I thought that my colleagues would be thrilled when Merial came out with the 3-year product because of increased patient safety (their feline patients won’t have to be injected as frequently which will lower the chance of a sarcoma developing), many of my colleagues are refusing to stock the new product because: 1)  it is triple the cost of the 1-year product and they are afraid that their clients will balk at the increase in price, and. Generally, all cats receive a series of vaccinations as kittens that are completed by four to five months of age, and their first booster is given a year later. Why am I bringing this up?  Three succumbed to cancer and one passed away from acute kidney failure. The puppy was severely dehydrated on clinical presentation and demonstrated pale mucous membranes, oral ulcerations, halitosis, and abdominal pain. Though it is uncommon, your kitten may experience slight side effects that appear very soon after the vaccination. Recently, we have shown that cats administered FVRCP vaccines parenterally (i.e. This vaccine can either be modified live (all ML vaccines are non-adjuvanted) or killed (adjuvanted).  The route of delivery can be either injectable or intranasal. feline enteritis: Feline infectious enteritis is a disease caused when cats become infected with feline parvovirus (you might also see it referred to as feline panleukopenia virus). If a cat shows any titer at all, this means that he has either been vaccinated in the past (and responded to that vaccine) or he has been naturally exposed to the disease. that he was most likely not neutered before the age of 16 weeks.  (Male cats that are neutered very young have a very flat scrotal sac. In general, adaptive immunity to viruses develops earliest and is highly effective. Kittens are old enough to be vaccinated once they are 8-9 weeks old. In contrast, adaptive immunity to bacteria, fungi or parasites develops more slowly and the DOI is generally short compared with most systemic viral infections. The AAFP guidelines call for a series of 2 FVRCP vaccines to be given 3-4 weeks apart to an adult with an unknown vaccination history but the WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) recommends that only 1 FVRCP vaccine be given with a booster vaccine 1 year later. If a cat is vaccinated, it’s more likely to be able to fight off the virus without showing symptoms or … between 16 weeks and 1 year of age). Subsequent boosters may be given every year or every three years, depending on the vaccine. This certainly does not sound like a very scientific factor but it is an important issue to consider.  Given the fact that all foreign substances do have side effects when introduced into any living being, I would be a hypocrite if I did not mention the owner’s feelings since my own comfort level is tested anytime I decide to inject anything into the body of my own cats or that of my patients. The evidence-based recommendation/suggestion to vaccinate less frequently than we have been doing for the past many years came out of Colorado State University in approximately 1998 so this is not something new. Other vaccines may be recommended based on the risk a particular disease poses to an individual cat (non-core vaccines). 4) Even though a non-adjuvanted FVRCP vaccine is much less likely to cause a sarcoma, sarcomas have been noted with these vaccines. For any cat over 16 weeks old whose vaccine history is unknown, the initial series consists of two doses given three to four weeks apart. Vaccines against these “cold” viruses may help increase resistance to infection and reduce severity of disease. All of these negative clinical signs can be seen secondary to the administration of vaccines. A negative titer means that the cat may, or may not be, protected.  The WSAVA-VGG recommends vaccinating these cats while acknowledging  that these patients may be fully protected and not need to be vaccinated.  They are, understandably, taking a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach since panleukopenia is such a serious disease. Kittens should then have an annual vaccination appointment each year, throughout their lives, in order keep their immunity … No. Cat vaccinations are divided into two types: All kittens should receive a vaccination that protects against feline rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, and feline panleukopenia (FVRCP). injectable) have higher levels of circulating antibodies to these antigens than do cats who were administered a FVRCP vaccine via intranasal administration.”. will not be known so the decision to administer a vaccine, or not, is a judgment call.  This is a situation where titer testing can help out. Here is an excerpt from one of those studies:  (See below for a ‘plain English’ summary.). Are Vaccines Safe? This is because rabies vaccination is legally required in many areas of the world. The puppy was aggressively treated for renal failure, including peritoneal dialysis, but died 3 days after hospital admission. Keep in mind that even though my barn cat is outside and technically has a higher risk of exposure, given the duration of immunity of the panleukopenia vaccine, he is not vaccinated with FVRCP any more frequently than my indoor-only cats. Veterinarians agree that appropriate vaccination by far outweighs any rare risks. ), Age and Long-term Protective Immunity in Dogs and Cats. After vaccination, the immune system is trained to recognize infectious agents by producing proteins called antibodies or activating specific cells to kill the agents. Merial’s PureVax rabies (1 ml dose) and feline leukemia (0.25 ml dose) vaccines are recombinant vaccines which means they contain only a portion of the genetic material of a pathogen (virus).  Therefore, reversion to virulence (able to cause disease) is impossible. What is the Future for Pet Vaccination? They are to be given as low on a limb as possible.  This is to allow for limb amputation if a VAS occurs. Hypothesis: Cats inoculated with CRFK lysates and FVRCP vaccines will develop autoantibodies measurable by Western blot immunoassay. The 3-year product is the rabies vaccine that I strongly recommend. Sterile immunity to these infectious agents is less commonly engendered. Vaccination is the key—and in many areas of the country, such as New York City, it's the law. Your new kitten will start life with some natural immunity from diseases from her mum, but as this wears off you'll need to have her vaccinated to keep her healthy. Your kitten won’t be fully protected until two weeks after their second vaccination. I do not follow the AAFP guidelines which suggest giving the FVRCP every 3 years since the risks outweigh the benefits. That said, even though injected substances other than adjuvants can cause sarcomas, these tumors were relatively rare prior to the advent of adjuvants. A vaccination is a preparation of microorganisms (pathogens), such as viruses or bacteria, that is administered to produce or increase immunity to a particular disease. Information on this site is for general informational purposes only and is provided without warranty or guarantee of any kind. 1) Ask your veterinarian if they carry the 3-year PureVax rabies vaccine.  If they are not willing to do so, try to find a veterinarian who is using it, and. These ‘newer’ guidelines are based on DOI (duration of immunity) studies showing that it is not necessary to vaccinate cats as frequently as they have been in the past.  In fact, the DOI studies show that it is not even necessary to vaccinate as frequently as every 3 years for FVRCP. A 1 year booster vaccination is required after primary vaccination, followed by a vaccination every three years.”. This study shows that nosodes can be effective in disease prevention, and when dogs do contract disease, the severity of symptoms can be reduced with their use. And please do not subject your cat to anesthesia-free dental cleanings which provide very little benefit since the problems are under the gum line and these ‘awake’ cleanings only serve to stress your cat and your pocketbook for very little, if any, benefit. All FeLV vaccines, except for the PureVax FeLV vaccine, are killed. Also, keep in mind that many of these stray cats have been ‘traveling the streets’ and may have a good dose of natural immunity to some feline diseases although that cannot be counted on definitively. 3)  Herpes and calici viral infections do not have a high mortality rate.  Death from these viruses is extremely rare and, if it did occur, it would most likely happen in kittenhood. Unvaccinated cats who are allowed to roam outdoors are at the highest risk for rabies infection. I would never count on an IN vaccine to fully protect a patient from panleukopenia. Unfortunately, it has been hard enough to get veterinarians to switch from annual vaccines to the current 3-year protocol so it is going to be an uphill battle to get them to vaccinate even less frequently.  Therefore, I do not see changes in the AAFP suggestions coming anytime soon. Another ‘shock’ organ of the cat is the intestinal tract.  Cats can exhibit mild to severe vomiting and diarrhea – sometimes bloody. 2020–2021 Students of the CVMA Senior Representatives! Other injections which may incite local inflammation include (but are not limited to) the non-adjuvanted, modified live FVRCP vaccines, the PureVax line of vaccines (all are non-adjuvanted), and drugs like Program (for fleas), Droncit (for tapeworms), and Convenia (an injectable long-acting antibiotic that is being over-used and abused). 4) On a positive note, intranasal vaccines cannot cause a vaccine associated sarcoma and they have been shown to cause no kidney inflammation.  However, even in light of these ‘pluses’ I am not comfortable using them to protect kittens against panleukopenia. Treatment is seldom required. These veterinarians acknowledge that the current suggestions/package labels do not reflect the fact that challenge studies have shown a very long duration of immunity (DOI) – lifelong, for some diseases – from just a single, properly-timed, vaccine. 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