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Is my former vet risking cats' health?

gkjones
June 27th, 2009, 09:52 AM
Molly is gone. When we looked into her lack of appetite we learned that she had developed cardiomyopathy in addition to the CRF. We couldn't stabilize her and I made the decision to euthanise her yesterday morning.

So I've lost both of my cats, age 15 and 16, within 6 months of each other, to the same problems. As I looked into it, I came across info that said that after the initial series of shots for distemper (a) the boosters shouldn't be given any more often than every three years, (b) the boosters shouldn't be given to cats with pre-existing health problems and probably shouldn't be givin to indoor elderly cats, and (c) multiple vaccinations shouldn't be given at the same vet visit.

I looked back in my cats' records and see that they were given distemper boosters every year and that the bills show the date when the distemper shots expire, which always was a year after the booster. The most recent shots were on November 1, 2008; one cat went downhill immediately after and had to be euthanised at the end of December -- the vet knew she had a pre-existing seizure disorder and murmur. The second was Molly. On top of it my vet never suggested geriatric blood/urinalisis panels and I only learned about their importance when I joined this thread; my point being that he had no idea of the health status of these elderly cats at the time he gave the shots.

So I'm wondering if I need to report my former vet to the licensing board. I don't want to act out of anger or do something inappropriate, but I also don't want to ignore this if he is risking the lives of other cats. I'm assuming that it would be pretty basic for vets (and this one has been licensed for only a few years) to know appropriate vaccination schedules and protocols. If he doesn't know them, what else doesn't he know?

Am I correct about the distemper vaccinations and, if so, should I do something to try to protect other cats?

RUSTYcat
June 27th, 2009, 01:35 PM
...So I've lost both of my cats, age 15 and 16, within 6 months of each other, to the same problems. As I looked into it, I came across info that said that after the initial series of shots for distemper (a) the boosters shouldn't be given any more often than every three years, (b) the boosters shouldn't be given to cats with pre-existing health problems and probably shouldn't be givin to indoor elderly cats, and (c) multiple vaccinations shouldn't be given at the same vet visit...

I'm never able to adequately express my feelings when I read about the loss of one of our little ones, so I can only say that your words have particularly special meaning for me. And, perhaps your search for information may create a legacy for your cats, one of happier and longer senior years for others.

I look forward to what I hope will be a very informed discussion on these issues. I wonder if it would be possible for you to post some links to the information you have found which support the three positions in your post (a, b and c)

I have already made the decision that none of my cats will ever receive further vaccination. I can add some reference links as well, but I'd rather not detract from those that have given you the impetus for your post.

Bina
June 27th, 2009, 01:46 PM
I don't agree with annual boosters and I surely don't vaccinate my seniors.
One of my cats actually took part in a study on blood titers for non vaccinated cats sponsored by Pfizer, I believe.

TeriM
June 27th, 2009, 03:16 PM
I don't think your vet intentionally risked your cats health. Unfortunately a lot of vets still believe that annual vaccines are okay. I totally disagree with that (exceptions of course if you are in a high risk area). Vaccines should of course only be given to healthy animals and that is where I really disagree with him vaccinating your cats especially as they were indoors and elderly!

RUSTYcat
June 27th, 2009, 04:11 PM
...One of my cats actually took part in a study on blood titers for non vaccinated cats sponsored by Pfizer, I believe.

Bina- Do you have a copy of that study?/do you know if it is available online & where?

Bina
June 27th, 2009, 04:35 PM
Bina- Do you have a copy of that study?/do you know if it is available online & where?

Sorry, I don't know anything more about it.
It was in Quebec a few years ago. My vet was seeing one of my other pets when she said, "hey, do you still have that house cat who hasn't been vaccinated in a few years?" The cat had no exposure to boarding or grooming facilities either. She took a blood sample, then vaccinated him, then took another blood sample later.
All she said was that Pfizer was doing a study and she needed non-vaccinated and non exposed cats to use for testing.

gkjones
June 27th, 2009, 05:05 PM
Here's one of the sources: The 2006 American Association of Feline Practitioners Feline Vaccine Advisory Panel Report. It was published by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. If you search it online you should be able to find a free downloadable version.

Link to info from Jean Hofve, DVM: http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?action=library&act=show&item=vaccination (but she doesn't give a list of citations)

I'll track back and post what I find that may be useful.

gkjones
June 27th, 2009, 05:29 PM
I haven't read this article yet, but the opening lines of the abstract are compelling:

Abstract from article on Medline search:

Vaccine use and disease prevalence in dogs and cats. In Vet Microbiol. 2006 Oct 5;117(1):2-8. Epub 2006 Apr 18.
Horzinek MC.

"A yearly revaccination of adult pets against distemper, the adenoviral and parvoviral diseases is scientifically unwarranted, professionally obsolete and ethically questionable; other vaccinal antigens, however, may need yearly or even more frequent injections." <snip> ... "A yearly revaccination interview, not necessarily an injection, should become the new standard. This interview is a professional service that must be taught, expertly performed and invoiced. Adult animals should be "vaccinated to measure", taking age, breed, lifestyle, the epidemiologic situation, etc. into account. Post-vaccination serology should become a guide in revaccination decisions."

Not a peer-reviewed article but interesting and a list of references (including some of her own publications): http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/DODDS-CHG-VACC-PROTOCOLS.HTM (scroll down past the email comment to her reposted article, "CHANGING VACCINE PROTOCOLS".

gkjones
June 27th, 2009, 06:22 PM
I've been unsuccessful so far in locating the reference article cited (nor subsequent articles citing the 2003 Lappin article), but here's a vet statement re the possible link between CRF and distemper vaccinations:

http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?action=nlarchive&show=volume1no8

shabess
June 27th, 2009, 07:16 PM
http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/DODD...-PROTOCOLS.HTM is one of the many reports given by Jean Dodds DVM out of Sana Monica California and arguably one of, if not theforemost authority on alternative medicines, along with Wendell Belfield DVM. I've dealt with Jean Dodds personally when she lived in Canada.

Tundra_Queen
June 27th, 2009, 11:52 PM
I am so very sorry to hear about the passing of your loved one.

I have just heard about the opinions of our furkdis not needing annual vaccinations and I don't think ours will be getting boosters this year.

Debbie

growler~GateKeeper
June 28th, 2009, 01:56 AM
Molly is gone. When we looked into her lack of appetite we learned that she had developed cardiomyopathy in addition to the CRF. We couldn't stabilize her and I made the decision to euthanise her yesterday morning.

I am so sorry about Molly :2huggers:

:rip: sweet :angel2: Molly :candle: She is playing at the Rainbow Bridge (http://www.indigo.org/rainbowbridge_ver2.html) with those who've gone before :candle:

So I've lost both of my cats, age 15 and 16, within 6 months of each other, to the same problems. As I looked into it, I came across info that said that after the initial series of shots for distemper (a) the boosters shouldn't be given any more often than every three years, (b) the boosters shouldn't be given to cats with pre-existing health problems and probably shouldn't be givin to indoor elderly cats, and (c) multiple vaccinations shouldn't be given at the same vet visit.

I looked back in my cats' records and see that they were given distemper boosters every year and that the bills show the date when the distemper shots expire, which always was a year after the booster. The most recent shots were on November 1, 2008; one cat went downhill immediately after and had to be euthanised at the end of December -- the vet knew she had a pre-existing seizure disorder and murmur. The second was Molly. On top of it my vet never suggested geriatric blood/urinalisis panels and I only learned about their importance when I joined this thread; my point being that he had no idea of the health status of these elderly cats at the time he gave the shots.

So I'm wondering if I need to report my former vet to the licensing board. I don't want to act out of anger or do something inappropriate, but I also don't want to ignore this if he is risking the lives of other cats. I'm assuming that it would be pretty basic for vets (and this one has been licensed for only a few years) to know appropriate vaccination schedules and protocols. If he doesn't know them, what else doesn't he know?

The new vaccine protocols have been a "recent development" - within the last decade - and unfortunately either not all vets are keeping up to date with new developments or they are not being taught this info at school or they are putting it aside as being unproven and continuing with the old protocols that have been taught for years.

Much of the knowledge of the vaccines including efficacy, duration of protection, expiration etc comes from the vaccine manufacturers themselves.

What they don't state is that a kitten/puppy only needs the initial kitten/puppy series and the 1 year booster after that the cat/dog has immunity for life. You can read an article on that here in pdf both start on page 6: Are You Over Vaccinating Your Pets part 1 (http://www.petconnectionpaper.com/issues/2008-08-09.pdf) and Are You Over Vaccinating Your Pets part 2 (http://www.petconnectionpaper.com/issues/2008-10-11.pdf)

The vaccines themselves clearly state on the label "only vaccinate healthy animals" - this warning is something that few vets follow.

I doubt reporting to the licencing board would do any good because it is and has been common practise for years to repeat vaccines annually, and I'm sure there are vets that still are.

Am I correct about the distemper vaccinations and, if so, should I do something to try to protect other cats?

I've been unsuccessful so far in locating the reference article cited (nor subsequent articles citing the 2003 Lappin article), but here's a vet statement re the possible link between CRF and distemper vaccinations:

http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?action=nlarchive&show=volume1no8

When Duffy was first diagnosed with CRF in 2007 (from tainted petfood) I brought a copy of a similiar article from Colorado State University 2004 (http://www.cvmbs.colostate.edu/insight/2004/fall2004/cats.htm) to her conventional vet at the time (since switched to a homeopath vet) and she brushed the study off as unfounded.

pattymac
June 28th, 2009, 02:44 AM
My Bobee hasn't had a vaccination in about 8 years. He had his kitten shots and that was it. Coco had his last shots just before I got him and hasn;t had any since. Even Bayley (dog) didn't get anything but Parvo and Bordetella this year. oh and Lepto, she likes to try puddle water and we have lots of wild critters around here.