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to vaccinate or not?

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  • to vaccinate or not?

    I have a 12 1/2 yo female cat who has had some kidney issues for the last 2 years. She's doing well and is on KD and receives fluids once or twice a week. I've always done all recommended vaccinations on her as I had an indoor/outdoor cat. Indoor/outdoor cat had to be put down due to a blood clot a couple of months ago. So, should I continue vaccinations on the older cat? Maybe only rabies just in case? I do have another cat but he is also stricly indoors. Eventually I will probably get another barn cat but I'm not planning on doing that for a while. Thanks!
    Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe

  • #2
    you should always do rabies as required by law (mostly for possible legal problems if your unvaccinated kitty should bite a guest, but also because infected bats have been known to sneak into houses and bite the inhabitants).
    Otherwise discuss with vet. Offhand I'd think nothing else would be necessary.

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    • #3
      Much to my vet's dismay, I only vaccinate for rabies on my 2 old, indoor, never going outside cats.
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      • #4
        Rabies only, if anything.
        "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

        ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

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        • #5
          I do rabies and feline distemper on my indoors. I did fe-leuk (or the first shot, but I warned them I might not catch him again) on the outdoor cat as well. Rabies is always a good shot to do. (I actually am so paranoid I am debating convincing the county health department to give me the human shot, despite knowing it's not the most fun, it's not cheap, and you have to get tested to see if it took.)
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          • #6
            I would think most vets would recommend rabies only. And thats because its a law thing.

            I have done titres on my FIV cat,as he had a reaction to rabies one year so we stopped giving it. Its been 6 years now and he's still apparently fully immunized

            Im a strong beliver in getting their full kitten shots, and again at 2 years old. Then to be honest, that would be that. I would do rabies, and thats it.

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            • #7
              Rabies only

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              • #8
                You may be able to run a titer for rabies - that might be something to check on. If it were me, I wouldn't do anything other than rabies. If you board her, you may have to run titers - but I personally think that vaccines last much longer than 1 year.

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                • #9
                  I agree with have a rabies titer pulled and then just rabies as needed. My two older(11yrs) indoor only kitties have not had anything but rabies in the last 6 years. If I have to board them etc I'll re-vaccinate then out of forced semantics vs want.

                  IF the 3rd youngish cat decides it prefers the indoor /outdoor life then I will keep her vaccinated and might booster the older gals once FVRCP and FELV

                  The same with my dogs nobody is currently traveling in public or going horse showing with me. The puppy got his full series and will repeat that next year. Everyone else is over 7 and just gets rabies unless someone starts traveling again. Then everyone will get a booster.
                  "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"

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                  • #10
                    Rabies.

                    Danceronice, the preexposure rabies vaccine for people is usually not a big deal. I don't know what it costs. We have Kaiser so paid $10 per person per dose for the series. Read the CDC website about the vaccine and blood titers. Most of us at low or moderate risk of an unrecognized bite don't need to have titers done. One advantage to having the preexposure series it that you never have to have the painful immune globulin shots after a bite.

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                    • #11
                      Rabies only, based on law. If I could legally titre my old VERY vaccine reactive cat in NC and consider it legally valid I would, and never give him another shot. Honestly, the vet clinic I work for only reccomends Rabies and maybe Leukemia for high risk cats for any kitty over the age of 10yrs.

                      I mean, let's be honest, if in the last 9+ years the animal hasn't been able to mount an appropiate immue response to vaccinations what on earth makes you think they'll be able to as a "senior citizen"? The only reason we still say Rabies is needed is due to local laws, and because it's the one diesase that is also almost 100% fatal to humans.

                      Katherine
                      Vet Tech
                      You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by AKB View Post
                        Rabies.

                        Danceronice, the preexposure rabies vaccine for people is usually not a big deal. I don't know what it costs. We have Kaiser so paid $10 per person per dose for the series. Read the CDC website about the vaccine and blood titers. Most of us at low or moderate risk of an unrecognized bite don't need to have titers done. One advantage to having the preexposure series it that you never have to have the painful immune globulin shots after a bite.
                        Most insurance companies do not cover the pre-exposure rabies series. I paid almost $800 out of pocket in 2007 for my pre-exposure series, and had to have a booster a few weeks ago due to a low titer. The booster was another $200.

                        It's also not a fun vaccine -- I felt pretty crummy after my booster (as did many of my classmates).

                        There was also a shortage either last year or the year before. Not sure if that has been 100% resolved or not.

                        Not something I would recommend unless you are in a high-risk profession -- wildlife rehab, veterinary medicine, etc.

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                        • #13
                          I mean, let's be honest, if in the last 9+ years the animal hasn't been able to mount an appropiate immue response to vaccinations what on earth makes you think they'll be able to as a "senior citizen"?
                          oh, it's not they haven't "mounted" an immune response to vaccinations, it's that vaccines DO wear off. Consider in people- they recommend you get a booster of tetanus vaccine every 10 years, because if you miss it, there's a chance your immune response to a tetanus infection won't be strong enough to save your life. Or whooping cough- we've had epidemics of whooping cough in older teens/ adults because the immunity conferred by the childhood shots has gone away. We mostly find out these vaccine duration problems the hard way, by people getting sick and dying.
                          In animals no one really knows how long the immunity conferred by the usual puppy/kitten series lasts, thus the recommendations to booster every year, or every three years. In the cat you should consider the risk of adverse reactions to the vaccine, the risk of vaccine-site sarcomas, and the risk of getting the diseases. Your indoor cat has a low risk of exposure to most diseases. As to rabies, if your unvaccinated cat bites someone the cat may end up dead; if you get caught owning an unvaccinated cat you can get fined; and considering that bats and rodents can carry rabies into your house, and you can end up very dead from rabies, I don't think I'd skimp on the rabies shots. No one has proven the titers mean anything, and they aren't accepted as a legal subsitute for vaccination anywhere that I know of.
                          Be careful with the titers- they really haven't been studied. Parvo killed some dogs with "high titers" a few years ago on the east coast. Vaccine reactions are rare and rarely life-threatening, unlike many of the diseases vaccines protect against.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wendy View Post
                            oh, it's not they haven't "mounted" an immune response to vaccinations, it's that vaccines DO wear off. Consider in people- they recommend you get a booster of tetanus vaccine every 10 years, because if you miss it, there's a chance your immune response to a tetanus infection won't be strong enough to save your life. Or whooping cough- we've had epidemics of whooping cough in older teens/ adults because the immunity conferred by the childhood shots has gone away. We mostly find out these vaccine duration problems the hard way, by people getting sick and dying.
                            In animals no one really knows how long the immunity conferred by the usual puppy/kitten series lasts, thus the recommendations to booster every year, or every three years. In the cat you should consider the risk of adverse reactions to the vaccine, the risk of vaccine-site sarcomas, and the risk of getting the diseases. Your indoor cat has a low risk of exposure to most diseases. As to rabies, if your unvaccinated cat bites someone the cat may end up dead; if you get caught owning an unvaccinated cat you can get fined; and considering that bats and rodents can carry rabies into your house, and you can end up very dead from rabies, I don't think I'd skimp on the rabies shots. No one has proven the titers mean anything, and they aren't accepted as a legal subsitute for vaccination anywhere that I know of.
                            Be careful with the titers- they really haven't been studied. Parvo killed some dogs with "high titers" a few years ago on the east coast. Vaccine reactions are rare and rarely life-threatening, unlike many of the diseases vaccines protect against.
                            THe vaccine doesn't "wear off" but rather the immunity wanes. Depending on the disease, the immune memory is variable. For some diseases it is quite long. For others it is quite short. Same with duration of antibodies and their production.

                            Vaccine TITERS are very very controversial. There have not been any good definitive studies to tell us what a protective titer is for the diseases we vaccinate for.

                            As for rabies, I don't think there are any studies in animals regarding protective titers.

                            As for the parvo statemetn. There is a new, 3rd parvo variant that is not protected against by our current vaccines. That is what most of the truly vaccinated dogs have gotten. But then again there is the "issue" of being truly vaccinated is. Just giving the shot does not necessarily = vaccinated. The dog has to HIS part by responding to the vaccine. The vaccine itself does absolutely NOTHING regarding protecting from disease.

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