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vaccine lump persists - Answered by Dr. Lee

July 7th, 2007, 05:46 PM
I posted a few months ago about our middle-aged kitty having a bad reaction to a vaccine (Feline Leukemia vaccine on her left flank). Well, nearly three months later, the lump persists. I don't think it's gotten any bigger, it actually went down within the first month of it being there... but the fact remains it is STILL there! It's not well-defined, it's not firm, it's less than the size of an olive (or maybe about that size, just kind of elongated)... I notice it when petting her... but it's not going away. Everything I read says VAS but one site said that "persistant vaccine reactions must be eliminated as a cause". Could it just be a benign persistant "thing"?? Obviously, we will be calling the Vet come Monday!

July 7th, 2007, 06:03 PM
I have never had this happen with either of my cats <insert "touch wood" smiley here>. :) I know one of Chico's cats had this problem but don't know how long the lump lasted. :shrug:

Geeze, I'm not much help here, am I? :laughing:

But, Dr. Lee has been really generous with his time here lately :angel: and I'm sure he will answer next time he logs on. ;)

Dr Lee
July 7th, 2007, 07:27 PM

Thanks for the vote of confidence!!!:cloud9:

Little Momma,

Persistent vaccine lumps in cats after a FeLV vaccine can be of concern and definitely indicates a trip to the veterinarian. Some can be benign but there is concern that most of the FeLV vaccines may in some cause an aggressive soft tissue sarcoma (cancer) in some cats. There is different numbers on the rate of vaccine induced cancer but there was a lecture in 2006 by a veterinary oncologist Dr. Rassnick that stated the annual occurence in the USA was, "at a rate of 0.63 to 3 per 10,000 cats vaccinated annually." Some vaccine representatives still even say that the vaccine hasn't been linked to the cancer - but that is not the general impression.

Currently there are non-adjuvanted FeLV vaccines which reduce the risk and a recombinant, non-adjuvanted, needless vaccine which to date, has not ever been shown to have caused cancer. (it is the Vet Jet system by Merial and looks like a white and teal colored space pen). Note: different veterinarians choose different vaccines. There is a lot of controversy out there. Overall the risk is low, but when it is your cat that doesn't necessarily make you feel better!

What to do now?
1) Relax. While the risk is present, it is low. Before I switched to the Vet Jet, I had been injecting FeLV vaccines for 8 years and never had a sarcoma come back. I had a collegue that I worked with have one (that was in a 6 doctor practice).
2) Bring him to your veterinarian and discuss the situation. Ask her/him whether fine needle aspiration, biopsy, surgical excision with biopsy or waiting/antibiotic therapy is the best for your cat.

Good luck and keep us updated. :pawprint:

July 7th, 2007, 09:28 PM
Thank you! Could it still be a granuloma of some sort?

Dr Lee
July 8th, 2007, 12:37 AM
Yes. A granuloma is a mass compiled of inflammatory cells. If the vaccine lead to local inflammation (which is what non-adjuvanted and recombinant, non-adjuvantted try to avoid/minimize) then granulomas are the most common cause of lumps. Where the concern for cancer comes in, is that the inflammation triggers off tumor growth. Again the odds are generally much more favorable to a benign mass however with the chronicity of this, we need to find out.

Good luck and best wishes. Keep us posted. :pawprint:

July 8th, 2007, 10:02 AM
Thanks a million, Dr. Lee! In certain positions, you can barely notice it which leads me to believe it is not firm - to me, it feels more squishy, like I can pinch it between my fingers and it almost feels like fatty skin (though I know it's not b/c of the location of it - right at the FeLV vacc site). Poor baby, I've been poking and prodding her all night which I think may have caused the area to swell and feel bigger to the touch. I'm a paranoid cat momma! I did not know how long a granuloma could stick around for. Should I request a fine needle aspirate? If it comes back as non-cancerous at this stage, what should my next course of action be? I've read the horror stories of excisions causing any cancer to metastasize, but is the same true if a benign mass (inflammation, etc) is excised? Sorry for so many questions, trying to ease my mind!

Dr Lee
July 8th, 2007, 12:23 PM
You have great questions.

My recommendation is fine needle aspiration (FNA). In general if surgery is to be performed on a STS (soft tissue sarcoma) it is preferable to know BEFORE surgery. Therefore FNA is a good choice. Hopefully a benign inflammation will be found.

How long can granulomas hang around?
It can be a long time. Some granulomas turn into scar tissue so it is hard to give it a time line. Warm compressing can help resolve granulomas. The warm compressed increase blood flow to the area.

Risks of metastasis following surgery...
These risks also follow FNA. Unfortunately there is always risks. Why is there risk of metastasis? Any inflammation of cancer cells can cause them to metastasize. This is why FNA is a good choice - less inflammation and if a STS is present then very AGGRESSIVE margins can be made in the hope that no cancer cells are left in the wake of post surgical inflammation. This is also an advantage of lasers employed in surgery - they can ablate and destroy the cells at the incision site while at the same time minimize both pain and inflammation.
Note: benign masses can NOT metastasize. Metastasis is a characteristic of the malignant.

Hope that helps. :pawprint:

July 8th, 2007, 05:01 PM
Very helpful. One last thing, if I may: I have read that most vaccine associated sarcomas are indeed firm. Would it feel like a solid lump? Hers does not feel solid to me but rather a swelling. Oh, also!.... when this lump first appeared, about two weeks after the vaccination, our former vet (we have since moved, unfortunately) injected an antibiotic combo underneath the lump which seemed to help it... I'm confused as to how this helped but did not cause the lump to completely disappear.

Dr Lee
July 8th, 2007, 06:41 PM
Yes generally they are firm and again the statistics are in her favor. It sounds like you will feel much better once it has been tested though.

The only reason I can think of injecting an antibiotic at the site is to address a possible infection. One note: any inflammation can lead to STS. There is thought that this would include other injections, trauma, bug bites, excess heat or cold, etc.... So additional injections are may help or could theoretically increase inflammation. You said a combo - were there steroids in there to reduce inflammation? Or more than one antibiotic?

July 8th, 2007, 07:10 PM
Truth be told, I don't know what was in the injection other than the antibiotic. The invoice said "combo inj". I have read about the link between inflammation and oncogenesis... that's why I'm so darn scared!!

If the FNA comes back as benign (praying!!) should I push to have the lump removed or is that even possible if it is indeed inflammation being that it is not hard and solid?

She had a firm subcutaneous lump underneath her chin (right at the apex of her mandible) a few weeks ago that we almost biopsied but a steroid shot cleared it right up within a few days and it hasn't returned. During the same time she also had what was believed to be an allergic rxn on the insides of her hind legs (scabby sore-looking things) which also cleared up after one shot of steroids (0.75 of the usual dose since she is a hefty cat). I'm hoping that ocurrance - the chin lump - is NOT related. Never found out what it was, attempted a FNA but she would not cooperate so they booked the biopsy, but as I said, it cleared up before then - as in completely gone - so there was nothing left to biopsy and it has not returned.

You are SO right that I will be immensely better when I know what is going on! I deal with the human condition and I will be the first to admit that I haven't near the emotional wherewithal to deal with animals for a career, as much as I love them.

July 9th, 2007, 07:42 AM
Made an appt but since there are three docs out in the practice, it's not til Thursday :yell: Should I try to book an emergency appt or can it wait?

Dr Lee
July 9th, 2007, 02:06 PM
I know that you want to find out as soon as possible but waiting till Thursday in order to work with the same veterinarian that you are familiar with and is familiar with the case is not going to change the result of the FNA. I think you are doing the best for your pet and with the history and statistics, likely everything is fine. So keep your appointment and try to keep your mind off of it.

Good luck:pawprint:

July 9th, 2007, 02:44 PM
:thumbs up Wow this post has been great and so informative thank you both LittleMomma and Dr. Lee, Fagan got his latest Depomedrol shot about 2.5 weeks ago and his lump appeared about a week ago. He has had this two times before after his shots and the lumps usually take 2-3 weeks to fully disappear. I use traumeel drops in water to help speed the healing (both for the lump and the skin issue he gets the shots for, as well as his reoccurring knee injury brought on by the shots). I will maybe try the warm compress as well to see if that helps. The lumps never bother him, so I just keep an eye on them and track their progress.

Thanks for all the info.

July 9th, 2007, 04:12 PM
I remember reading about Fagan's lumps... does his keep reaccuring, is that what the shots are for? The lump doesn't bother out cat, either... except for me poking and prodding it. I had our other cat in today for a URI (they'd see her b/c she was sick but had me wait for an appt for the other one) and I asked her her thoughts on it and she said that since it has been sticking around its important to get her in to be felt but since she developed a bump after the rabies, also, she is obviously prone to reaction. Too bad I can't see her - I was very impressed with her but she's only there Monday mornings :frustrated: Anyway, these are new vets for us since we moved, but the one she has the appt with on Thurs owns the practice and came highly recommended by a family friend who has a LOT of critters, so I feel comfortable in him seeing her. Now, if only I could relax til then!

July 9th, 2007, 04:20 PM
My Vinnie got his lump about one week afters his vacs,but it was an oblong lump about 8cm long,very squishy.
Worried,I took him to the vet,she said it's a VERY uncommon reaction to the vacs,but I found out here on the Forum,it is not that uncommon.
He had his lump for about 3 weeks and now it's totally gone.
Thank's Dr Lee for giving us all the info:thumbs up

July 9th, 2007, 05:14 PM
Oh ... um , no the shots are depomedrol (a steroid) for an allergic skin reaction, he has never had a shot to get rid of the bumps. He gets the lumps after just about every shot now, no matter what the shot is of. It is usually just a small ball like lump that disappears within a month. I think this is the third or fourth time it's happened. The first time I had the vet check it right away, she said it was nothing to worry about and just to be patient as they sometimes take quite a while to disappear. And if it ever doesn't disappear I'll march him right back to the vets to investigate.:)

July 9th, 2007, 06:01 PM
Oh I see, I misread. I guess some cats are just more prone to reactions than others, huh? The vet today (who saw our other cat but I asked about this lump) said that it's good that it's soft but they need to make sure its not attached underneath. Said usually with the sarcomas they will attach to muscle. So of course now I'm driving her batty trying to determine whether or not it's attached! She's a hefty kitty so it's hard to tell when exactly I'm feeling. Guess I should leave it up to the experts!

July 9th, 2007, 06:30 PM
I have been following this thread with all it's great information and will bookmark it in case I ever have this problem.

Little Momma, I hope your kitty is okay and good luck at the vet. :fingerscr :goodvibes: And, thanks for posting your questions and Dr. Lee, thank you for your informative answers. :thumbs up

July 9th, 2007, 10:55 PM
Maybe we should sticky this post or something for future reference.

Dr Lee
July 10th, 2007, 12:00 AM
Some additional thoughts...

I wanted to make sure that this and other threads does not discourage people from obtaining FeLV and rabies vaccines for their cats, if their age and lifestyles require it.

Especially with the advent of the Vet Jet system for FeLV and recombinant technology in general. To date, the Merial recombinant FeLV (Vet Jet) and recombinant rabies vaccines have not been linked to STS formation in cats. The reason for the Vet Jet is that not only does it have recombinant technology but it used an air delivery system which utilizes only 0.255cc of vaccine. Instead of pooling 1cc of vaccine under the skin, the needles injection spreads the 0.25 cc of vaccine in an even distribution which virtually eliminates pooling, a cause of inflammation.

What is recombinant technology? Only the portion of the virus that the body recognized is used. It placed these with a harmless canary virus instead of using a modified dog or cat virus. No possibility of reversion (to the actual disease), greater immunity response in most cases, less anaphylaxis reactions and no documented immune suppression.

So there are some great options for cats who need FeLV and Rabies. Who needs it? Depends on who you ask. When you have some very safe options available, the vaccine can be given with less concern.

Do I have stock in Merial? No. I just really like there vaccines. (I better, since they cost more than any other vaccine I have found yet). Since my vaccine charges are equivalent to many vets around me, we just have lower profit. No biggie - we feel comfortable administering them. I have some technicians who were not vaccinating their pets for these diseases until they started working here where these are available.

Is there controversy? Some - none that say that the recombinant/Vet Jet has any risks - just some controversy that either the other vaccines don't cause the problems or that the Vet Jet hasn't yet been out long enough to know. What is the answer? I don't know but I feel that these are the most safe vaccines to our knowledge to date for cats needing FeLV and rabies. Tomorrow it may change, and I will try to remember to post it here when I learn about it!

July 11th, 2007, 09:15 AM
Dr. Lee, speaking of these vaccines, what is your opinion on not vaccinating every year for a cat that is strictly indoors. With six we are opting to go every other year for the vaccines (I'm just wondering if this is ok- all of my cats are 5 yrs or younger and the vaccines cost us just over $600). My vet doesn't seem to think it'll be a problem, but I'd love another opinion. How long do the vaccines protect them for?

July 12th, 2007, 10:04 AM
***UPDATE*** Well, today was the vet appt. I'm not sure how to feel about it. The good news is that upon feeling the lump, he said it does not feel like a sarcoma. However, the concern is the way they start. He said to give it six more weeks and if it doesn't go down, to remove and biopsy, but at this point he doesn't see a reason for it. He said the fact that she had injections beneath the lump initially (the antibiotic combo inj) could still be causing the swelling since there were multiple injections given in that spot. But for now, it's not a sarcoma. He said if it developed into one it would feel drastically different to him (not sure if it would to me, but to him it would be fairly a obvious change). He had me call our old vet to get the name and manufacturer of the vaccine given. It was Pfizer Leukocell 2. He said he's going to call the company and I am to call him back tonight to see what he's found out but that it's a good thing that they are such a major company.

Dr Lee
July 12th, 2007, 10:14 AM

I think going every other year for vaccinations on an indoor cat is fine. I have some clients that do it every three years. If they are 10 or older, a think yearly physical examinations and routine blood work is more important.

There is a lot of controversy over vaccinations and as time goes by and more information (credible, properly controlled studies, etc..) is available, I believe we are going to see a wider and wider gap in frequency on viral vaccinations. I think age, breed, health status, lifestyle and demographics need to be strongly considered when making the decision on which vaccines to use, how often to give and if the vaccines are even needed at all. Unfortunately because of the wide variability it is hard to give easy answers; but for older, indoor cats, vaccines every other year does sound just fine.

July 13th, 2007, 10:35 AM
Got a call back from the vet this morning. He called Pfizer to ask about specific numbers and statistics for the Leukocell 2 vaccine. He said their incidence of fibrosarcoma are lower than a lot of other brands and that it's a good vaccine, so we'll sit on it for a while. Yesterday he said to wait six weeks, but then on the phone today he said, "I know you're really beside yourself about this... let's give it four weeks". So if it doesn't go down in four weeks, we will remove it. But again, at this time it doesn't feel like a sarcoma (have to keep reminding myself of that!)

July 13th, 2007, 03:47 PM
Littlemomma,don't worry,I am sure it will go away,my Vinnies lump was huge and liquidy,my vet said she would take a biopsy if it did not go away,that alone sounds scary.
I just read back a bit and you tell us your kitty has had the lump for months,that's a bit different from my cat,who had his lump for a couple of weeks after his vacs.
Still,don't worry too much,a lump can mean sooo many things,not always the big scary C-Word.

July 13th, 2007, 04:01 PM
Yes, he said it doesn't feel like a sarcoma at this point. He said it would feel different to him. I asked him this morning what I should look out for and he said, "don't look for anything b/c if you go looking for something you'll find it!!.... unless it changes drastically, we'll take it out in 4 wks". This guy's got my number already... I'm such a paranoid kitty momma!! It sounds like he thinks she'll be ok, but when it's your kitty, it's VERY scary!!! So I'm just gently running my hand over the area, like I'm petting her, to make sure it's not changing. I think I might bring her in in two weeks just so he can check it, too.

July 13th, 2007, 04:14 PM
We are all worry-warts with our animals,I check my 3 cats every day,often follow them to the litter-boxes making sure they are peeing and pooping ok:laughing: just a little paranoid;) it comes with loving them an awful lot:cat:

July 14th, 2007, 08:06 AM
LittleMomma, you just hang tough! :grouphug:

You know what I'd do? I'd leave it absolutely alone for 2 weeks, then do my nervous heart a favor and bring her in to have the vet check it. Just don't even touch her there. We have the tendency here to overreact and check it all the time, manipulate it, roll it...and all that touching irritates it and ( guessed it :rolleyes:) makes it bigger! he he We're also very paranoid pet parents, can you tell?! :D

So now, we try not to mess with lumps at all and let the vet feel it again in a few weeks. The vet gets a better picture of what's going on that way. Then, if in 4 weeks, it still hasn't gone down, at least we know it's not a false alarm from us irritating it.

As scary as they are, we've learned to just wait on lumps. We had one lump on Cass that came up so fast and hard, two weeks after vaccination, that the vet thought it might have been a mast cell tumor. We had it taken off, and just in case it was a MCT, the vet took out a lot of margin tissue, too. Poor Cass had a drain and was miserable for a week afterward--we were pretty traumatized, too... And when the biopsy came back? Turned out to be a vaccination reaction after all :shrug: If we'd waited, it likely would have resolved by itself.

So now we always wait if it's anywhere near a recent (within a month) vaccination site. It can be scary, though... Very nerve-wracking! :grouphug:

:fingerscrs, :pray:s, :goodvibes:s, and 28 crossed :pawprint:s that the lump goes down and your worry evaporates! :thumbs up

July 18th, 2007, 08:22 PM
Just wanted to update. She will be having surgery on Tuesday to remove and biopsy the lump. I ended up bringing her back in tonight because I just can't stand it being there, wondering what the ^%# it is!! When I felt it earlier it felt like a piece was attached underneath, I totally freaked out and took her in.

The vet (different vet this time b/c of the short notice of the appt) said it didn't really feel like a sarcoma but again, the only way to find out is to biopsy it. So we set up the appt for Tues. I asked her how worried she's be (I was in tears at this point) and she said she wouldn't be running out of the room but she'd be suspicious. She also said that the inflammation could make it feel like it's attached. So that's that.

Please pray for her. I'm immensely worried (and being 8 months pregnant doesn't help matters at all!) She is part of our family and we love her more than words can possibly say.

I'm going to make sure they do pre-op bloodwork because she is a 17 lb cat (she should be around 12) and she's a bit older. After they send the sample to the lab it takes about 7-10 days to get the results. I'm not looking forward to that wait but I'm praying they will be good results!

July 18th, 2007, 08:42 PM
:grouphug: The waiting is always the worst...but now you'll know for sure! :thumbs up

Meanwhile, though, :pray:s, :goodvibes:s, lots of :fingerscrs and 28 crossed :pawprint:s sending good wishes your way from Hazel Run!

July 18th, 2007, 08:52 PM
has anyone else experienced the "attached" feeling from inflammation? I can only feel the attachment when I feel the lump a certain way... if I feel it another way, it doesn't feel very attached.

July 18th, 2007, 08:59 PM
has anyone else experienced the "attached" feeling from inflammation? I can only feel the attachment when I feel the lump a certain way... if I feel it another way, it doesn't feel very attached.

I've felt that with our dogs' vaccinations lumps on occasion. Not sure if it's the same as in cats, though :shrug:

Try not to mess with it too much, though, or it will get even more inflamed. (I learned that the hard way :rolleyes: hazel just doesn't know when to leave stuff like that alone... :o)

July 19th, 2007, 07:27 AM
Littlemomma,I understand your worry,I think most of us are worry-warts..
Hopefully it will be found to be just an inflammation,which can be easily treated.
You did the right thing,constantly worrying about what it could be,can drive you up the wall:yell: at least you'll have some answers.
For sure we'll be thinking of you and her and:pray: for the best result:cat:

July 19th, 2007, 09:32 AM
:pray: That everything goes well. :goodvibes:

Fagan's lump is still there too, I give it one more week and then I'm off to have it checked too. When she gave the shot this time I thought she put it in an odd spot too, right over the shoulder blade close to the bone instead of in the scruff like usual. Maybe thats why this one is taking longer.:shrug:

November 14th, 2007, 01:31 PM
Hi to everyone out there. I'm new - my name's Sarah - and I came across this thread whilst googling vacine related sarcoma.
My cats (3 of them, Barbie, Minnow and Ellie) had their boosters on Friday 26th October - less than three weeks ago. A week and three days after I noticed a lump at the site of the injection on Barbie's neck (in the UK most vets inject into the scruff). A few days later (the Thursday) I found the lump again, and it felt more prominent. I checked my other cats and found one on Ellie - Barbie's kitten.
I took both cats to the vets the day after (two weeks after the vacs) and John the vet (who I know well as I do voluntary work for my local cat rescue) frightened the life out of me - although he is prone to dramatics. He gave me the stats for VAS and the stats for it simply being a reaction, and on Monday both Barbie and Ellie had aggresive surgery to remove the lumps. Barbie's lump had a 'root' on it, that John was worried could be attached. Both lumps were hard, but moveable, and a friend, Mel, whose cats always have reactions, felt the lumps and could easily move them both, including the 'root'.
Its now Wednesday, and my nerves are in tatters. I've got 7-10 days before the results and I know more than I ever needed to know about sarcomas. Both are recovering well, although Barbie (who is about 2 years 5 months) is fed up at not being allowed out, and Ellie (1 year 11 months) doesn't seem to realise she has 13 stitches in her back.
I've found the information on these threads really useful, but even though the stats are in their favour, I can't but help think that one or both will be positive for the sarcoma.
All I can think is that the lumps were removed two weeks and 3 days after vaccination and just hope that that will be soon enough if it is the worse.

November 14th, 2007, 02:06 PM
sarahcat, I don't know any more about these lumps then I've read here, but I wish you luck! I know how it is to worry about them!!! I hope everything turns out well. :grouphug:

November 14th, 2007, 02:26 PM
Thank you. I'm just so petrified it will be sarcomas. They've had a rotten start in life - they were rescue cats - and were really perking up. Now this.

November 14th, 2007, 03:34 PM
sarahcat,first off I hope your kitties will be ok and welcome to our Forum:cat:
The reason vets here do not give injections in the scruff of the neck anymore,is that in case something like what happened to your kitties would happen.
It's easier and less risky to operate on the leg,rather than the neck.
My cat Vinnie had a long lump,as if the vaccine had stayed in a pocket on his leg(thigh),I was told to massage it lightly and it eventually went away.
If I were you,I would request that any further vaccines be done in the thigh-muscle,not the neck.
Also,it often takes longer than 2 weeks to go away,maybe your vet was a little hasty with surgery.
:pray:for no Sarcoma.

November 14th, 2007, 03:42 PM
Ya Fagan's July lump went away finally in September! So he was kinda hasty with surgery, but he must have thought it necessary.

I :pray: that they were just lumps and nothing more!

And might I suggest that if you are having to keep them in right now, that it would be a great time to transition them to an indoor lifestyle?! It is far safer for them and a lot less strain on your pocketbook. And in a controlled environment you know what they could have gotten into, a cat outdoors faces so many dangers and lately we have been hearing about more and more mystery symptoms in outdoor cats that look like poisonings (accidental or otherwise).:2cents:

November 14th, 2007, 03:45 PM
Thank you Chico.
There is an opinion that the vet was too hasty, however, he scared me so much there's wasn't much I could have done other than go insane with worry. After I had done some research on the net I asked him why he didn;t vaccinate in the leg - its just not common practise over here. I don't know of a single vet who does vac in the leg.
My girls are now sleeping. They are having their drains out tomorrow, although Ellie has just knocked hers and a little fresh blood is on the top of it. Barbie is very cross - mainly with me - as she wants to go out. They are both such affectionate kitties - I don't know what I would do without them. :yell:

November 14th, 2007, 03:49 PM
Where we live is very safe although I know there are risks with outdoor cats. Ellie's none to bothered about going out, she has her toys. Minnow only sits in the garden or goes to see our next door neighbour. But Barbie loves to be out. I'm sure she would adjust. I just hope that I get the chance to think about whether I should keep them as indoor cats. I don't handle stuff like this very well:sad:

November 14th, 2007, 03:58 PM
I've had cats most of my life and for the longest time vets vaccinated in the scruff of the neck,it's just the last few years that my vet has changed it.
As for indoor/outdoor,I know it's common practise in England to let your cats be"free"and many people here feel the same way,often with dire consequences.
I've found cats dead on the road,not something I want to happen to my cats:sad:
My cats(3) go outdoors,but only in our yard and always with supervision,when we go inside so do they,but we are retired,have the time to take the cats outside.

November 15th, 2007, 01:04 PM
I got the results today - much quicker than anticipated - and they were negative for cancer. No sign as to what the lumps were - poss just fatty tissue. :cat::D

November 15th, 2007, 03:49 PM
That's good news,wish your vet could have realized that without surgery,but all's good thah ends good:thumbs up

November 25th, 2007, 08:11 PM
I just stumbled onto this site while researching feline sarcomas. I am just beside myself waiting to find out if my baby has cancer. I went through this several years ago with my four year old persian. Just weeks after a healthy check up at the vet and his boosters, he came down with leukemia and had to be put down. It was horrible. Now my three year old cat has developed a lump near the site of her rabies shot. The doctor tried to take some cells through a needle, but I'm not sure that she was able to get many. The results should come back this week, but we have already scheduled Chloe (my kitty) for surgery this Friday. The lump is lower on the leg than where the shot was given, which makes me more concerned. It is about the size of a pea and is kind of hard and slips back and forth. If it is cancer and this was caused by the vaccination, I will never forgive myself. I have always suspected vaccines as the cause of the cancer in my Persian, and I have been hesitant to vaccinate my cats because they are indoor and never have contact with other animals.

Chloe had not had her shots in two years, so the vet recommended it. I feel so angry that no one told me the risks or gave me an option. Chloe has to have a hernia repaired (which developed after she was fixed), and the vet is planning on removing he lump. I don't know if I should ask her to simply take a biopsy if the needle biopsies are inconclusive, or should she just remove the whole lump? I keep reading about how important the first surgery is.

I want to believe that this might be only a granuloma, but why was the vet so insistent on removing it right away? That scares me. All I know is that my cat was given a clean bill of health two weeks ago, and now she has a lump and a UTI (which she has never had before). Is it possible for a sarcoma to develop within two weeks? Most sites say that it will develop between 3 months and a couple of years.

How concerned should I be?

Has anyone else had similar experiences and had a good outcome. I can't seem to concentrate on anything (and I have to teach tomorrow), and I can't shake this overwhelming feeling of guilt.

November 26th, 2007, 07:05 AM
Stacie,I am sorry to hear about your cat:fingerscrthat she'll be ok:fingerscr
I know the feeling of guilt,the feeling of indesicion,should I vaccinate or not??
Before my Vinnie developed a lump at the vac-site a couple of days later,I never knew about sarcomas and my cats were vaccinated every year:yell:
This year,with one of my cats(11yr old,with Hyperthyroidism)I declined ANY vacs,strangely enough,the vet did not argue:confused:
We do what we think is right for our cats,trusting our vets not to cause any harm,not that they knowingly do,but we should be warned and given options.

I cannot tell you how concerned you should be,we are all concerned and often panicky when it's about our animals,much because of the uncertainty.
Hopefully your worries are unfounded and Chloe will be just fine:pray:

November 26th, 2007, 09:07 AM
:grouphug: Stacie ~ hopefully :fingerscr it will be benign.

November 26th, 2007, 03:06 PM
Thank you for your kind words. I am glad to hear that Vinnie's lump went away.

November 29th, 2007, 09:41 PM
Chloe is having surgery tomorrow to remove the lump and fix her hernia. I have been a mess the last two days. She cried the whole way to the vet, little pleading cries. She kept rubbing her head against the cage against my hand, and it broke my heart. After I dropped her off, I got into my car and sobbed for ten minutes. Unfortunately, I had to go to school after that. I just got home around 10:00pm. Needless to say, I'm wiped out. Tomorrow is going to be a long day for me.

November 30th, 2007, 06:55 AM
Stacie,Chloe is young and strong,I am sure she'll do fine,but I can sooo understand your worry,that's what we do:cat:
:pray:for good news:pray:

November 30th, 2007, 10:40 AM

November 30th, 2007, 06:06 PM
I am sure she will be fine like my two were. Statistically, it is unlikely to be a sarcoma. I know that there is still a chance, but its very very very small. As Chloe has had it on her leg it is much better if it is sarcoma than in the scruff - but again, its so unlikely to be anything more than a vaccine reaction. A friend of mine has a cat whose vaccine reaction lump travelled down her shoulder - it moved. Also, if the lump isn't at the vax site, its more likely to be something other anyhow. Sarcomas tend to develop at the site of the injection.
My vet sent me into panic station. I saw him on the Friday then I had a weekend of hell waiting for the ops on the Monday. It is a precaution - but its the right one.
I am sure your kitty will be fine, like my two were. Its now nearly three weeks since their ops. Barbie's fur has grown back well, Ellie's has only just begun to grow back. Both were fine in themselves after the op as well. Ellie groomed too much and got sores on her back, but they are healing. The stitches and drains are out and have healed well. I am positive Chloe will be just as fine.
Everything - fingers and paws - crossed for you.
Coincidentally I'm a teacher too!

December 3rd, 2007, 10:11 PM
Thanks, I am keeping my fingers crossed as well. Chloe is home and doing pretty well. The lump was pretty large. The vet showed me...the size of an olive. The results should be back this nervous! Chloe has been pretty perky and cannot wait to get the cone off of her head (had to put it on because she keeps licking her wounds). She has a hearty appetite,which is good.

One strange thing is the behavior of my other cat. Ever since I took Chloe in to have the lump looked at, my cat Zadie has been hissing at her and wants nothing to do with her. I'm hoping that it is just the smell from the vet or something. They used to be best friends, playing and cuddling together. It makes me sad to see her acting this way. I hope that everything returns to normal soon.

Thanks for the well wishes.

December 4th, 2007, 01:24 PM
My cats are always very mean to the poor babies who are dragged to the vet! I've always just assumed it's the smell but, even though they usually all get along very well, when one of them comes back from a trip to the vet, the others hiss, growl, and are generally very rude about his return! :laughing:

It usually passes in a day or two. The worst I ever had was when it lasted for about three days. What's terrible is that I feel so sorry for them. Here they have to go to that terrible place (which I'm sure figures prominently in their worst nightmares), and they come back to find they've been ostracized! Talk about mean...

I hope all is well. Let us know how the results come out.

December 4th, 2007, 03:44 PM
Stacie,don't worry they'll be friends again in no-time,the cone around Chloes head would also scare the others,I am sure.

December 15th, 2007, 10:07 AM
Sorry for posting this update so late, but the past week has been crazy for me. Chloe's biopsy came back negative for cancer. I was so relieved that I just started bawling after I hung up the phone. She's having some recovery issues, but I can deal with that. My other cat, Zadie, still wants nothing to do with her...bats at her and hisses. I hope that they will work things out. Anyway, the news was a wonderful gift for the holidays. I am never giving her a vaccination again. Thanks for all of your support!
:thumbs up

December 15th, 2007, 10:50 AM
That is great news... congrats! :thumbs up And I'm sure it's just a change in scent that threw them off and they will be back to normal soon. Have a great holiday season! :D

December 15th, 2007, 04:22 PM
Stacie,that's great to hear,my Vinnies lump was much larger than an olive,but went away on it's own.
Hopefully they'll love each other again very soon:fingerscr

January 24th, 2008, 07:02 PM
Hi. I'm new, having just found this site this afternoon. I'm trying to stop trembling. I took five of my cats for check-ups on Dec. 29th and rabies vaccines were included. Three of them are fine, but two have lumps.

Everything was fine and then my balinese rescue developed conjunctivitis. I took her today and they discovered a lump where she received her rabies vaccine. It's about 1 cm to 1.5 cm.

I could jump out of my own skin because I was very adamant that I did not want my cats to have these rabies vaccines during my 12/29 visits. The vet was charming and reassuring and adamant that all would be fine. He then shared anecdotal stories of bats coming down the chimney, squirrels coming through living rooms, etc. I still wasn't buying it and then he said, if a mouse gets in your house and the cat gets it . . . So I agreed, even though we've never had a mouse.

I am aggravated with myself for giving in. I'm so scared. I can't eat or relax. He thinks it's a granuloma but it's been almost four weeks and we just discovered this today. What's really irritating is that my balinese rescue was sneezing when I took her in. Because she had a normal temperature, the vet said it would be fine.

I can't forgive myself and I can't bear the thought of losing her. We love her beyond words. They said to bring her & my calico back in two weeks to see if it's still there. To make matters worse, when I returned home, I felt the back right legs of all my cats and my beloved calico (also a rescue) also has a lump. Has anyone had a lump that resolved on its own??

I've cried all afternoon.

January 24th, 2008, 08:43 PM

First of all, sit and take a deep breath.

Yes, vaccination lumps can and often do resolve on their own, so don't panic yet. It's scary, but very often the lumps are just benign swellings at the injection site and go away by themselves. However, if you don't think your current vet is investigating as thoroughly as he should, you might want to seek out a second opinion, if only to set your mind at ease.

I know it's worrisome--dogs are less susceptible to this than cats, it seems, but our dogs get them, too, and every time, we worry. :grouphug:

Also, if you start your own thread on this topic, you'll likely get more responses. Oftentimes, older threads get overlooked.

Please keep us posted on how things go!

January 25th, 2008, 05:40 AM
Thank you for your kind words. This is really terrible inasmuch as I didn't want the vaccines for these indoor cats anyway.

January 25th, 2008, 06:48 AM
Stacey,please don't panic,although it's easier said than done,I know..:sad:
One of my cats had a large lump on his thigh after vaccination,it did go away but it took a couple of weeks.
My vet said the same as yours,give it some time.
Vaccine or not,is debatable and rabies only every 3 yrs,for sure...I even obted out for any vaccine at all this year for my oldest cat.

January 25th, 2008, 06:57 AM
Thank you for your feedback. I appreciate it. I'm so upset with myself because I declined the vaccines twice and went into verbal battle with the vet. Finally he won. What bothers me is that Jasmine, like most balinese, is so small. She's only 6.5 pounds and she got the same dose as my Elizabeth who weighs 13 pounds.

I'm irritated with myself for giving in. If I had stuck to my guns she wouldn't be in this position.

What's most alarming is that it has been four weeks since their vaccinations. It took place Dec. 29th and this lump was just discovered. So, the lump should have been gone about two weeks ago. I'm simply horrified.

Further, my calico has a lump and they are the two smallest cats. Sadie and Jasmine both weigh about 6.5 pounds.

January 25th, 2008, 07:36 AM
Stacey,if it's already been that long,although sometimes it takes a while to go away,I would probably take them back to the vet,maybe look for another vet.
I think most vets know vaccinations every year is not needed,but it is a money-maker for sure,all cats need vaccinations,but definetly not every year.
My 12,10 and 5yr old cats have been vaccinated every year and until I joined this Forum and read different articles,I just took for granted they needed vaccines every year,since the vet said so.
But not anymore,strangely my vets did not argue:confused: