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Sick 15 y/o kitty -- reaction to rabies vaccine??

Joy80168
June 1st, 2005, 10:41 PM
Hi - my cat is 15 yrs, taking tapazole for hyperthyroidism, and is otherwise in good health. We took her to the vet yesterday for bloodwork for the thyroid condition and her rabies vaccine, and when she came home she was very ill. Hadn't eaten, drank... acted very spacey (went to her water bowl, stood over it without drinking; lay in bed until her head dropped to the bed, then picked up her head, and repeated this over and over; doesn't respond to me). Took her back to the vets today, he gave her IV fluids; her bloodwork is fine (including potassium level), thyroid is still high (5)... but he's found nothing that could cause this illness. Left her there overnight, though I hated to...

Could she be having a reaction to the rabies vaccine? Or does anyone have any other ideas about what this could be? I know she's an old cat... but she was FINE before we took her to the vet's office... and now she looks like she's dying. Please let me know what you think... I'm desparate for answers.

Mockingcat
June 1st, 2005, 11:13 PM
It seems to me that if she were having a reaction to the vaccine, you would've had her react to it previously....

canine14
June 1st, 2005, 11:21 PM
Just out of curiousity...why is a 15 yr. old cat getting a rabies vaccine? A 15 yr. old shouldn't be going out at all (no cat should) and an indoor cat wouldn't need the vaccine. Why on earth would your vet vaccinate the cat at such an age?

Karin
June 2nd, 2005, 06:17 AM
Just out of curiousity...why is a 15 yr. old cat getting a rabies vaccine? A 15 yr. old shouldn't be going out at all (no cat should) and an indoor cat wouldn't need the vaccine. Why on earth would your vet vaccinate the cat at such an age?

..was my first thought too.

happycats
June 2nd, 2005, 07:09 AM
I don't get any of my cats vaccinated anyomre, they are to old, and they don't go outside. I have also heard of some bad reactions, and health problems due to over vaccinating.

Joy80168
June 2nd, 2005, 09:06 AM
Just out of curiousity...why is a 15 yr. old cat getting a rabies vaccine? A 15 yr. old shouldn't be going out at all (no cat should) and an indoor cat wouldn't need the vaccine. Why on earth would your vet vaccinate the cat at such an age?
__________________________________________________ ______________

We were told that it's "the law" for the cat to get the rabies vaccine, and that's the only one she got this visit... needless to say, we will have "illegal cats" from now on, no way are either of our cats getting that one again. And yes, she is an indoor cat. Thanks for the reply...

mrjohndoe
June 7th, 2005, 12:56 AM
I assume that she's been on it for a while if you were doing follow up blood work?

It took me a month to get use to it as a person. And I lost my appetite, and was lethargic a bit. Just wondering if she is used to the medication.

Hopefully she's doing better.

Take care.

Mockingcat
June 7th, 2005, 01:24 AM
In answer to another poster's questions, in some places its the law. It is here. All animals must at least have a rabies vaccine, if nothing else. No matter if they go outside, stay inside, or live on the moon. If your animal even looks suspciously at someone (especially a child) and they're not rabies vaccinated, you can get into deep trouble.

Joy80168
June 7th, 2005, 08:57 AM
I assume that she's been on it for a while if you were doing follow up blood work?

It took me a month to get use to it as a person. And I lost my appetite, and was lethargic a bit. Just wondering if she is used to the medication.

Hopefully she's doing better.

Take care.

Well, I guess it was all some horrible coincidence... poor kitty had a sudden onset of vestibular disease (we think from an ear infection, which was asymptomatic until a few days ago... vet didn't even pick it up on exam) the same day as her trip to the vet; it's been almost a week, and she is still at the vet getting supportive care, as she is so off-balance she can't even stand up. Hoping she will get better soon... don't have the $$ to keep her in the animal hospital for more than another week... :-(

Anyone else have any experience with feline vestibular disease? Thanks for the replies... Stephanie

WhKnight
June 9th, 2005, 10:16 PM
My 7-year-old cat, Maya, has had what sounds like a similar reaction, plus there's some commonality with the ears. She had a bad reaction (vomiting) to the feline lukemia vaccine about three years ago, so she doesn't get that one anymore (she doesn't go outside, nor does her non-biological sister Chaco), and at least once, my old vet gave her Benadryl before her shot.

I've moved and have a new vet, and I took her and Chaco Saturday for their shots. When I got home, I put Frontline Plus on both of them then went to do laundry. When I got home, Maya had thrown up her food. For the rest of the day she was very, very lethargic...could hardly hold her eyes open and barely moved from one side of the bed to the other. I called the vet the next day who thought it might be the Frontline, so I washed that off of her at the vet's suggestion. No change...and by now it didn't seem she'd eaten at all since Saturday.

Monday I took her back to the vet. She'd lost half a pound...from 10 to 9 1/2. They gave her sub-q fluids and also checked her ears, which had been suspect on Saturday. Sure enough, she had a bacterial infection in her ears, so we went home with oral antibiotics and ear drops, which I've been giving her ever since.

She perked up for a bit with the fluids but on Wednesday she still didn't seem to have eaten and threw up a small amount of brownish-yellow fluid. I called the vet again, who recommended Pedialyte and some Prednisone to help stimulate her appetite. I started with the Prednisone, hoping it would spur her to eat and make the Pedialyte moot. She threw it up immediately with an alarming amount of dark green fluid. Back on the phone to the vet; they didn't want to hospitalize her unless absolutely necessary, so they advised I give her the Pedialyte, wait 30 minutes, then try the Prednisone again. She kept both down and perked up a little again...but still not eating.

She had another Prednisone this morning, then I put her in a room by herself with her litter box, water, and food. When I got home from work this afternoon there were a few pieces of food on the floor but none seemed to be gone. I gave her another half cup of Pedialyte and she's quite alert right now...talking up a storm and following me, though at a little slower pace. When I go in the kitchen she fusses at me, then goes to her food dish and sniffs at it, but still doesn't eat! She's never been one for treats or canned food, and I never give either of my cats people food, so I just don't know what else to do.

I'm about at my wit's end, though I feel foolish calling the vet again when she's so perky right now. Any ideas? A second opinion from another vet?

I had another cat who was 13, who stopped eating and never really did start again...she died after about two miserable months for both of us, which included having a stomach tube put in and feeding her through that. After that experience, I freely admit to a strong reaction when one of my girls isn't eating.

Thanks for any ideas you have,

a newbie

Luba
June 9th, 2005, 10:53 PM
Indoor cats don't need a rabies vaccine.

Mockingcat
June 9th, 2005, 11:03 PM
They do if its required by law, like it is here.

Luba
June 9th, 2005, 11:11 PM
They're 'indoor' cats, they don't need the vaccine. Who is gonna knock on your door to ask if the cat has it?

Mockingcat
June 9th, 2005, 11:13 PM
I am in the habit of taking my indoor cats to the vet. The vet is required by law to provide proof of the vaccine, whether it be through them or via another vet.

Not to mention if your indoor cat did accidently get outside and get bitten by something, it'd probably end up being put down because it did not have a rabies vaccine. Honestly, if you're not going to shell out $5 for the vaccine (which clinics regularly charge around here), you shouldn't have a cat or dog.

Joy80168
June 10th, 2005, 10:26 AM
My 7-year-old cat, Maya, has had what sounds like a similar reaction, plus there's some commonality with the ears. She had a bad reaction (vomiting) to the feline lukemia vaccine about three years ago, so she doesn't get that one anymore (she doesn't go outside, nor does her non-biological sister Chaco), and at least once, my old vet gave her Benadryl before her shot.

I've moved and have a new vet, and I took her and Chaco Saturday for their shots. When I got home, I put Frontline Plus on both of them then went to do laundry. When I got home, Maya had thrown up her food. For the rest of the day she was very, very lethargic...could hardly hold her eyes open and barely moved from one side of the bed to the other. I called the vet the next day who thought it might be the Frontline, so I washed that off of her at the vet's suggestion. No change...and by now it didn't seem she'd eaten at all since Saturday.

Monday I took her back to the vet. She'd lost half a pound...from 10 to 9 1/2. They gave her sub-q fluids and also checked her ears, which had been suspect on Saturday. Sure enough, she had a bacterial infection in her ears, so we went home with oral antibiotics and ear drops, which I've been giving her ever since.

She perked up for a bit with the fluids but on Wednesday she still didn't seem to have eaten and threw up a small amount of brownish-yellow fluid. I called the vet again, who recommended Pedialyte and some Prednisone to help stimulate her appetite. I started with the Prednisone, hoping it would spur her to eat and make the Pedialyte moot. She threw it up immediately with an alarming amount of dark green fluid. Back on the phone to the vet; they didn't want to hospitalize her unless absolutely necessary, so they advised I give her the Pedialyte, wait 30 minutes, then try the Prednisone again. She kept both down and perked up a little again...but still not eating.

She had another Prednisone this morning, then I put her in a room by herself with her litter box, water, and food. When I got home from work this afternoon there were a few pieces of food on the floor but none seemed to be gone. I gave her another half cup of Pedialyte and she's quite alert right now...talking up a storm and following me, though at a little slower pace. When I go in the kitchen she fusses at me, then goes to her food dish and sniffs at it, but still doesn't eat! She's never been one for treats or canned food, and I never give either of my cats people food, so I just don't know what else to do.

I'm about at my wit's end, though I feel foolish calling the vet again when she's so perky right now. Any ideas? A second opinion from another vet?

I had another cat who was 13, who stopped eating and never really did start again...she died after about two miserable months for both of us, which included having a stomach tube put in and feeding her through that. After that experience, I freely admit to a strong reaction when one of my girls isn't eating.

Thanks for any ideas you have,

a newbie

Hey WhKnight,

Just thought I'd suggest what finally worked for Sarah... cyproheptadine, an appetite stimulant.

We finally took Sarah home from the vet Wednesday, and it's been... interesting. She still has major balance problems, can't walk more than a few steps without falling over... but yesterday she at least began drinking (I was hoping to not have to administer the SQ fluids, which the vet taught me).

I was also praying I wouldn't have to force-feed her, which the vet also taught me. Ever since Wednesday, whenever we offered Sarah any food, she would get excited, sniff at it, and look like she wanted it... sometimes would even lick the food (people food, like cheese, which she loves; treats; lunch meat like turkey, roast beef; and her favorite canned foods). She seemed to want it, but not want to eat it. We didn't know if it was her teeth bothering her (has teeth that should be removed, but vet doesn't want to give her anesthesia at this point), a result of the force-feedings for a week, or her lack of balance.

The vet gave us the appetite stimulant, though we didn't give it to her yesterday, as it seemed she had an appetite but just couldn't eat for whatever reason. Today, we gave it to her... and, lickety split, off she went... gobbled up a couple treats, and almost a whole can of fancy feast :-)

Still hoping her balance continues to improve, though... because I've had to watch her constantly... otherwise, she tries to jump onto the bed or just keeps falling into things, and I'm afraid she'll hurt herself...

At night, we have been padding the shower with an egg-crate mattress and pillows, so she has her own "rubber room" that she can flop around in with her bed, food/water, and litter box (which she has managed to use). I don't know what we'll do with her if she doesn't start walking soon, though... I guess we'll give her another week and see what happens.

mrjohndoe
June 10th, 2005, 12:53 PM
They're 'indoor' cats, they don't need the vaccine. Who is gonna knock on your door to ask if the cat has it?

I agree. The last open clinic I took my cat's to the Vet said they should be fine and not to worry as they are indoor cats (they had two years of shots). However, an "ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" so to speak"

WhKnight
June 10th, 2005, 10:56 PM
Thank you so much to everyone who offered words of wisdom about my cat, Maya.

First, the good news: SHE ATE! I brought home a couple of cans of food today and the Iams Chicken Feast finally tempted Miss Maya. She didn't eat a whole can, but definitely ate more than she has in the last week. I am greatly relieved. I spoke with a different vet today, and I am going to take her in tomorrow, as the vet thinks this has gone on too long to be a reaction to her vaccine. So she'll have some bloodwork and further exam to make sure it isn't something wrong with her liver function or something else. However, the most important thing is: SHE ATE SOLID FOOD! I've given her a little at a time so she doesn't throw up, but so far (after 5 hours) so good.

In Missouri, you are required to have your pet given rabies shots, and many cities do check. Neither of them get feline lukemia shots anymore, though, since they don't go outside.

Thank you again for your support and advice. I appreciate it mightily!

Linda

WhKnight
June 10th, 2005, 10:58 PM
PS to Joy...I hope your Sarah gets better soon. It's clear from your description of the "egg crate" tub that she is very dear to you, so if love and hope will make her well, she'll get there.

Linda

WhKnight
June 11th, 2005, 12:39 PM
Another update on Maya...took her to the vet this morning and all her bloodwork was fine. Her creatnine was a little, tiny bit high, but the vet said she wasn't concerned because her BUN was wonderfully normal. She gave me some truly stinky high-calorie food for her, which Maya attacked as soon as we got home. So it appears she is on the mend, fingers crossed.

Now I have to give her sister some extra attention!

Linda :D

Joy80168
June 11th, 2005, 05:03 PM
Linda,

Thanks for the good wishes for Sarah, and here's wishing you and Maya all the best!

- Stephanie

WhKnight
June 13th, 2005, 07:49 PM
Hi, Stephanie, is there an update on Sarah?

I'm still worried about Maya, though I may just be a fussy momma. She's eaten some more canned food, but still doesn't seem too interested in her regular food. The vet said to call her tomorrow if Maya wasn't back to normal. Here's hoping she chows down on that Science Diet pretty soon...Chaco's getting sick of being shoved into the next room every time Maya gets her food, LOL.

Linda

Joy80168
June 13th, 2005, 10:36 PM
Hi Linda,

Sarah is still improving, to the point that we've released her from the confines of my room to wander into the rest of the house pretty freely. However, I'm wondering if her ear infection hasn't quite cleared up, as she is shaking her head and lowering her right ear with more frequency (and, of course, the head shaking leads to a loss of balance, and usually a fall). She also graduated from the padded shower at night to sleeping in my room, and has even mastered using a padded "step" I fashioned for her to climb onto my bed... she caught on quickly and has used it well, no accidents!

Glad to hear Maya is still eating... hope she returns to her usual self soon, going back to the vet is never fun. I also feel your pain about separating your other cat, Chaco... our other cat Gracie has been a little neglected and "inconvenienced" by Sarah's illness!

Good luck!

- Stephanie

WhKnight
June 17th, 2005, 08:11 PM
Hi, Stephanie,

Glad to hear that Sarah is improving, too. Hopefully she's got all her balance back by now? Maya is still eating but only the canned stuff the vet sold me. I am starting to wonder if she's ever going to eat her real food again! But at least she's happy and alert and noisy (she's meowing outside the door as I type...I'm in my office with Chaco, who's shut in here temporarily while Maya takes her sweet time eating her food).

I think I'm going to have to start a new thread about getting her to eat her regular food! :)

Linda