DELAYED, prolonged vaccine reaction

theresag556

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
32
Reaction score
2
White Shadow, she has been given a host of things. On July 1, they gave her an injection of both Convenia and Metacam and sent me home with Onsior and Verafkox to give to her orally. I gave her one dose of Veraflox that evening. The next day, they gave her the Onsior. On July 3 & 4, they gave her dexamethasone. I know now from a vet friend of mine that's a very bad combination to go from an NSAID to a steroid with only a 24hr wash out period. I will be changing vets after this whole ordeal.

I think my cat was given Felocell 3 as I don't believe her vaccine had the chlamydia component to it.
 
Last edited:

theresag556

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
32
Reaction score
2
I just called my vet and asked what vaccine my Bitsy was given and it was in fact Felocell 4.
 

red top rescue

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Dec 27, 2012
Messages
4,466
Reaction score
1,479
Location
Acworth GA, USA
Convenia alone can make a cat very lethargic for awhile, and it stays in their system for 65 days and works as an antibiotic for two weeks or so.  You should definitely put her on some PROBIOTICS after a Convenia shot because it can destroy all the natural intestinal flora and then cause problems with digestion.  I don't know why the vets don't tell people this.  You can get cat probiotics at most pet stores.

I don't think you need to take her to a specialist.  It's a pretty typical Felocell 4 reaction.  However, if you are not comfortable with your vets, you could try another animal hospital.  I usually recommend finding a veterinary hospital accredited by AAHA, and you can search for one here:

https://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/about_aaha/hospital_search/default.aspx?utm_content=buffer96050&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
 
Last edited:

theresag556

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
32
Reaction score
2
I already put probiotics and digestive enzymes in her food. Maybe I have that to thank for her stools not being absolutely horrid by now.
 

mimi11

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Jan 6, 2016
Messages
3
Reaction score
5
I wanted to update Dickens recovery from delayed immunization reaction (stupid me just figured out how to post again).  It took nearly 5 months for him to recover fully and I would not wish the experience on anyone else.  The Vets were hesitant to blame the vaccines but eventually they had to.  In fact, they wanted to do surgery to biopsy his intestine to make a final diagnosis (another $1500), which I refused to have done because, to me, it was evident what was causing his symptoms, besides I couldn't afford it.   Finally, I was able to take him off the Prednisolone after being on it for four and a half months and he began to show further improvement. I encourage anyone who has had this experience with your cat to ask your Vet to report it to the drug company who supplied the immunizations.  I was surprised and grateful to receive some compensation from the drug company to cover some of the cost of the treatment he received.  He is now my happy, funny and full of the dickens (yes, his name is because of his behavior) cat again.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #26

jstie

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
54
Reaction score
29
Oh, thank you for posting! Poor Dickens - that was a long, rough go. So glad to hear he has recovered. I hope anyone who goes through this is sure to report it to Zoetis, and that our experiences will help other people working with their vets to recognize this very scary syndrome. Maybe there will be enough data for the company to investigate reformulating the vaccine somehow too. Best wishes to all our kitties!
 

white shadow

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
Messages
2,584
Reaction score
2,188
Location
CA
White Shadow, she has been given a host of things. On July 1, they gave her an injection of both Convenia and Metacam and sent me home with Onsior and Verafkox to give to her orally. I gave her one dose of Veraflox that evening. The next day, they gave her the Onsior. On July 3 & 4, they gave her dexamethasone. I know now from a vet friend of mine that's a very bad combination to go from an NSAID to a steroid with only a 24hr wash out period. I will be changing vets after this whole ordeal.

I think my cat was given Felocell 3 as I don't believe her vaccine had the chlamydia component to it.
Well, Theresa, I'd say you're very lucky to still have her with you.

The current problem - the 'continued' lethargy - is almost certainly the concurrent administration of the drugs highlighted in red above.

(Yes, the original lethargy was very likely the result of the vaccinations.....that would most probably have resolved on its own.)

Convenia, Metacam and Onsior each put a large workload on the blood......blood, as we know, is already very 'busy'. It carries oxygen through the body to sustain cell life, it carries nourishment to those same cells and it carries away all the waste material to be filtered out.

Now, these drugs bind onto blood protein and get carried through the body....but, they are described as "high protein binding" drugs   - which means to a greater degree than other drugs. Using more than one means that the blood is more likely to become 'overloaded'......we are asking it to do too much.

So, not enough oxygen will be brought around to the cells......not enough nutrition can be supplied and not enough waste can be carried away. The result is what you're seeing.

Now, remember, i'm using"simple' layperson's terms to describe complex biological processes.......but, now you can understand what's going on.

EACH of these drugs has warnings (in the literature and in the drug approval stipulations/regulations) that no other high protein binding drug should be given concurrently/simultaneously so as to prevent "adverse reactions".

Now, your cat has received not only ONE of these contraindicated drugs with the Convenia....but two ! (and, i haven't checked about the Veraflox). The Convenia is 'on board' for an 'official'/acknowledged period of 14 days....the Metacam requires a few days for total elimination but... one day later the second contraindicated drug, Onsior, is brought (while the Metacam is still in the system).

The following is part of a post I made a few years ago about the same kind of incident:  http://www.thecatsite.com/t/258906/whats-wrong-with-my-cat#post_3352200    In that case, only Convenia and Metacam were involved.

That post contains all the relevant links and recommendations for treatment. (In that case, the end result was the cat's death.)

That post also includes recommended treatments.

Once you've obtained competent critical care for her, there's the potential for action against the imbecile(s) who "treated" her. If you're located in the UK, the link for complaints to the licensing body is there. If you're in North America, Veterinarians are regulated and licensed by either the state or province, and there are formal complaint processes in place. In addition, there are courts that handle "small claims" cases.

I believe you have substantial reason to pursue some type of action/remedy from the clinic. Both the Metacam and Onsior were used "off label", or, for a reason for which they are not licensed. Additionally, they are contra-indicated for simultaneous use with each other and also with Convenia. Finally, you were not advised about any of this, nor were you warned/cautioned about the potential side effects of all three drugs so that you could give an informed consent - nor, were you asked to consent to any of this treatment beforehand.

Perhaps your Vet friend could also provide some guidance in all this....interestingly, though, that person did not recognize the red flags involved with these three drugs.

When all is concluded - or, perhaps before - you might consider seeking out a competent feline Veterinarian. These are commonly found at cat-only clinics. They may well be the owners, they will certainly be individuals with a passion for cats and they will be consummate Veterinarians with a minimum of ~15 years of practical experience. Sweet young things with endearing 'bedside manners' are most often sweet no-nothings.....the real learning in (any kind of) medicine happens in practice.

I hope some of this helps. I would certainly be seeking some competent veterinary care for her immediately, in addition to ensuring she eats, assist-feeding or force feeding being a component of that.
 

theresag556

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
32
Reaction score
2
Thank you for all that information. This is also one of the big reasons why I will be taking Bitsy to a specialist, to get a second opinion but also so somebody else can see her records of what she had been given and raise some flags and make sure there are no lasting effects of everything they've done. I will also be looking for a new vet. The current vet is only a 4 minute drive from my house but at this point, the convenience isn't worth it.  Thankfully she is still eating and drinking normally. She is a tough cat. I can't believe I would ever say this, but I can't wait until she's back to chasing our older cat across the bed in the middle of the night-that's how I will know she's back to her old self. She seems to have perked up a little bit this morning-she's jumping up on the counter to get first dibs on the wet food and she's eager to play with the foster kitten. Hoping she's on the mend now.
 

theresag556

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
32
Reaction score
2
Update on Bitsy cat. I took her to a specialist this morning and left her so they could do some blood work as well as x-rays. They didn't find anything abnormal in either. She did have a slight elevated temp of 102.9 but the doc wasn't sure if that was just due to being anxious at the vet office. I brought up the idea that it could be a vaccine reaction but was told that it's hard to prove and document but to definitely talk to the regular vet about it. Bitsy has been on Convenia for bout 12 days now so I would think that if it was a bacterial infection, it would be gone by now. I would also think that if it was a viral infection, it would've run its course by now as well. For now, since she is eating and using the litter box like normal, we're just gonna take a wait and see approach. For those of you whose cats had the delayed reaction to felocell 4, how did your vets diagnose it?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #30

jstie

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
54
Reaction score
29
There was no definitive way to actually diagnose this for sure.  But Pawnee showed every single sign, and all the circumstances matched up precisely to the manufacturer's own description of the effects, right down to the timeframe.  My vet's very first thought when she saw Pawnee (and my vet is THE BEST VET EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE) was a vaccine reaction, she treated her on that basis, with fluids and steroids to tamp down the immune response and she recovered.   If the manufacturer puts out a warning on its own main page for this drug, and your cat exhibits every single symptom exactly as they describe it, then it is surely reasonable to believe that is what is going on.  It may not get you a multimillion dollar jury award, but it might help other cats be recognized and treated more quickly and effectively.    Pawnee's course waxed and waned - a good day, a bad day, then a couple better days, a bad day or two... till over several weeks she got through it.  Her fever went up and down based on her meds and fluids.  It was long, scary, expensive, and we are just grateful she is okay now.

As we are today grateful that our 8-yr-old longhaired Werewolf seems to have survived a totally out of the blue crash with acute pancreatitis - no idea why.  4 days in intensive care, but he's home and we hope on the mend... any good thoughts sent his way will be appreciated! (Pawnee on the left, Werewolf on the right...)

Julie and Pawnee (and The Werewolf)
 

theresag556

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
32
Reaction score
2
Glad both your babies are doing well. All these health issues have me really stressed out. Bitsy exhibited fever and lethargy but she was still eating just fine even with a 105.2 fever. Now she still eats fine, the fever is gone by she's just lethargic. She's gotten a little better but definitely not back to her old self.
 

theresag556

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
32
Reaction score
2
Update on Bitsy. She seems to be doing better. Still not back to exactly how she was before all this. She doesn't play with her toy mice like she use to. Not sure if it's because she doesn't feel well or if it's because she has a new 12 wk old friend to play with now so that takes up most of her energy now. Still trying to get a hold of my vet to make sure he reports this.
 

mimi11

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Jan 6, 2016
Messages
3
Reaction score
5
Don't be discouraged with Bitsy's progress.  It took Dickens five months to recover and act like he felt decent again. However, he has not resumed his activity level as before but plays differently and with different toys.  He eats well now (finally found a dry food, Nature's Recipe for Indoor cats, grain free that he loves, along with Fancy Feast canned foods) and seems like a happy and content cat.  Not a fun thing to go through but the outcome is good. Hope this gives you encouragement.
 

silas1987

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Going through this now (I hope--it's the only answer we have after $1000 of tests at our regular vet + an emergency vet) with my 4yo cat, Theo.

He had his wellness exam and rabies + feline distemper vaccines on 5/1. His wellness exam went great, all tests came back normal, and then he got his vaccines. We got home about 20 minutes later and he proceeded to vomit about six times in ten minutes. I called the vet and she said to bring him right back, where she gave him meds to stop the allergic reaction. He stayed for a couple hours for observation but seemed to be doing fine after that.

I put him on a modified diet after his visit because the vet said he needed to lose weight (he's 14 pounds and she said he should probably be more like 10/11), so I didn't think much of him acting a little tired after. He was using litter box fine, eating whatever I gave him, etc.

On Sat. 5/13 (12 days post-vaccines), he didn't seem to want to eat. Later that night I noticed that he had a hot spot on his leg, which I figured might be some kind of infection. I called the next morning when he still hadn't eaten and the vet (who is open 7 days per week) said to bring him in.

He had a fever of 103.9 or so in the office that day, so the vet said it was probably an infection and the spot on his leg was probably from trying to comfort himself by grooming and licking it too much. I have no idea when that started--I'd been out of the house a lot that week, but he sleeps with me every night so I assume I'd have noticed it if it was happening for too long before that.

Anyway, the vet gave him a shot of antibiotics and three days of Onsior (cat-approved NSAID) for the fever and sent us home with instructions to rest and make sure he was getting enough water/food.

The next day (Mon. 5/15), he still wasn't eating, so we went back. He still had a fever of 103.3 or so, but the vet said to give it another day or two and sent us home with a food that might entice him to eat (it was the Hill's recovery formula).

On Tuesday, we went back again because he was acting like it hurt to walk--crawling instead of walking, crying when he put his feet down, etc. He didn't have a fever anymore, no signs of injury, and wasn't showing any signs of pain for the vet. We did blood work that day and everything came back normal. Vet gave him a shot of a pain killer (buprenorphine) and sent us home again.

On Wednesday he seemed to be doing a lot better--ate three whole cans (3 oz) of food and didn't seem to be in as much pain.

Thursday the pain was back and he seemed like he was having trouble walking, so our vet sent us to the animal hospital in Indianapolis (about an hour away) because they'd have specialists who might be able to figure something out. When we got there his temp was 105.9, but he was acting fine--exploring the room, cuddling up to the vet, etc. She said it was probably adrenaline that was keeping him out of pain.

They did an exam and he seemed to react a little while they touched his right hip, so we did x-rays to see if they could see anything. Nothing out of the ordinary, but they couldn't get a good look at one of his kidneys and the vet said the other looked like it could be enlarged, so we scheduled an ultrasound for the next day. We also got more buprenorphine (oral this time so I could give it at home) and his temp was down to 103.5 by the time we left (so it was probably the car ride that spiked it).

Anyway, Friday he has the ultrasound and they don't find anything. (Well, except that he only has one kidney, but the vet said it looks fine and there's no reason he can't live a long and healthy life with just one.)

Friday afternoon, before I'd heard back from the hospital in Indy about the ultrasound, my friend sent me this thread because she thought it might explain what's going on. I asked the vet about it when she called about the ultrasound and she said that, at this point, it's the most likely explanation, so she sent us back to our regular vet.

We went in yesterday (Sat. 5/20) and when we got there he was in so much pain that he'd cry out every time we touched his feet (that seems to be where most of the pain is coming from--vet checked him and says he doesn't seem to have any sign of pillow paws, which was another fear of mine) and he had a fever of 104. He got a shot of a fast-acting steroid and a prescription for prednisone. He's going to start a broad-spectrum antibiotic on Tuesday to cover our bases, too, but the vet wanted him to take a liquid one and it's coming from a compounding pharmacy.

Last night--maybe 8-12 hours after the shot of steroids--he was doing GREAT. Eating food again, walking around without much pain, etc. This morning, though, he was back to being in pain while walking. He got his first dose of prednisone at 9am and the second one about two hours ago, and he seems to be really hurting still every time he tries to walk. He did eat almost normal today, though, and doesn't seem to have a fever. (He's a little wiggly, so I'm not sure the thermometer was in enough, but it said 102.3).

Anyway: Does this sound like what your kitties dealt with? Any advice? I'm going to call the vet in the morning about pain killers if the steroids don't start helping more soon. When do you think he'll start feeling better? We're 21 days post-vaccines and roughly 8-10 days since the onset of symptoms (I'm not sure if he was feeling crappy before I realized it, but he was acting mostly normal 9 days ago).

Sorry for long the post. Here's a picture of my cat, sleeping on my feet right now as I type this.
 

Attachments

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #35

jstie

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
54
Reaction score
29
This sounds VERY much like what our Pawnee went through. Very similar timeframe from the vaccines, fever and pain that comes and goes, normal lab tests, etc. Were you able to find out if he got the Zoetis Felocell 4 vaccine? This is a known possible adverse effect of that vaccine, especially when combined with a rabies vaccine. Basically, we just had to wait it out with a lot of supportive care: some days of IV fluids, and then we gave subcutaneous fluids at home; regular doses of pain meds (Metacam at the vet's, then buprenorphine at home); constant efforts and dozens of different foods and treats to keep her eating (appetite stimulant mirtazepine helped too); and lots of steroids to try to calm down her immune system. Basically, this is a big overreaction of the immune system stimulated by the vaccines. It took Pawnee a full month to pull out of it. Hopefully, your guy is young and otherwise healthy, so he can pull through it too with supportive care. That said, we have since discovered that Pawnee may be slightly but permanently affected by the immune storm, which between that and all the steroids, may have damaged her adrenal glands, even with the careful tapering we did. She's essentially slightly "Addisonian" - her adrenals can't quite make enough normal corticosteroids on their own, so she requires a tiny dose of prednisolone every other day. Without it, her appetite drops off, she gets quiet and somewhat sore. But this teeny bit of pred perks her right back up, so this regimen works for us. Keep us posted on your boy - sending earnest wishes for a solid recovery!
 

silas1987

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Thanks! He seems to be doing okay now that he's on the steroids (his fever seems to be gone and he's acting a little more like himself), but he still cries if I put him down on hardwood and he has to walk. He struggles a little to walk across the couch, too, and just generally seems to be avoiding walking. But he's not hiding anymore, eating food and drinking a little water (I still haven't seen him do it, but he peed once last night and again this morning, so he must be!), and is back to being fascinated by the birds and squirrels he sees outside. We're heading back to the vet today to see about some pain meds (which seemed to help a little last week) and hopefully he'll be doing better asap.
 

silas1987

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
May 21, 2017
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Update: Theo got a shot of fast-acting steroid on Saturday (today's Thursday--I write this for the folks who might be looking a couple years from now--I kept having to go back to iCal and look!), started prednisone Sunday, and then got his first two doses of doxycycline yesterday.

He did great Saturday night, then did just okay for a few days. He had a fever of 103.1 yesterday morning in the vet's office, but I wouldn't be shocked if the stress of driving there in a thunderstorm/being there period (after the week he's had of being poked and prodded)/getting his first dose of doxy (which he hated and made his mouth foam up and start salivating)/etc. made his body temp go up 1/2 a degree.

When we got home yesterday, though, he ate about 4.5 oz of canned food, started walking much better (can't remember if mentioned this, but his paws seem to have been affected--vet's best guess is that maybe the inflammation got into his paws and he has a mild case of pillow paw that should get knocked out by the doxy/pred before it gets too bad), etc.

I almost cried last night because after 9 days of being too sick to get up off the recliner for more than a few minutes, he got down, walked to my bedroom on the other side of the house, and jumped up into bed with me to fall asleep (which is what he does every night when he's well).

Anyway, I wanted to update because I kept worrying when I came back to this and people hadn't updated and I don't want anyone reading my posts in the future trying to figure out what's going on with their cats to fear the worst.

I don't know if it's the meds or just time (he's 24 days out from the vaccines and today is 12 days post-onset of the symptoms) or a combination of the two. I'm still worried he might regress a bit (he did earlier this week already), but I'm feeling much better.
 
  • Purraise
Reactions: DiF

Meogan

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Feb 4, 2018
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
This sounds like what we are experiencing with our 20 month old little Soleil. She went 2 weeks ago to the vet and got her distemper and first rabies shot and everything seems fine. She was racing around like her usual spunky self then 8 days out she just stopped. She was lethargic and slept all day and wouldn’t eat or play. She isn’t a big cat but we could feel she was losing weight and she felt hot. We took her to the vet and she had a fever of 104.2. On top of that she had lost almost 3 lbs just that fast. They have given her subcutaneous fluids, prednisone and antibiotics. All of this sounds like what you have posted here. We are hoping for recovery too! The vet took blood and we are waiting on results but I can’t imagine that anything would have happened that fast. All things point to the vaccinations.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #39

jstie

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
54
Reaction score
29
Pauvre petit Soleil! I agree - this sounds exactly like our experience. Your vet should be able to determine if she got the Zoetis Felocel vaccine, which is known to have this effect. Pawnee took a full month to recover, so be patient and prepared to hang in there with fluids. The fluids help with not only keeping them hydrated, but can help keep the fever down as well, so if your vet thinks it's appropriate, s/he can show you how to do it yourself and you can do it at home. Between the steroids (to help tamp down the immune overreaction), pain meds to keep her comfortable, possibly appetite stimulant to keep her eating (sometimes just getting the fever down and the pain / discomfort at bay will also get them eating again), and plenty of TLC, it's pretty much supportive care until her system can settle back to normal. If it is the Felocel 4 vaccine involved, I hope your vet will report it to the manufacturer. This seems to happen often enough that there should be a higher level of awareness and suspicion to accurately identify it. Good for your vet for jumping on this right away! Hang in there, and keep us posted on how she does... bonne chance!:crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers:
 

Meogan

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Feb 4, 2018
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Pauvre petit Soleil! I agree - this sounds exactly like our experience. Your vet should be able to determine if she got the Zoetis Felocel vaccine, which is known to have this effect. Pawnee took a full month to recover, so be patient and prepared to hang in there with fluids. The fluids help with not only keeping them hydrated, but can help keep the fever down as well, so if your vet thinks it's appropriate, s/he can show you how to do it yourself and you can do it at home. Between the steroids (to help tamp down the immune overreaction), pain meds to keep her comfortable, possibly appetite stimulant to keep her eating (sometimes just getting the fever down and the pain / discomfort at bay will also get them eating again), and plenty of TLC, it's pretty much supportive care until her system can settle back to normal. If it is the Felocel 4 vaccine involved, I hope your vet will report it to the manufacturer. This seems to happen often enough that there should be a higher level of awareness and suspicion to accurately identify it. Good for your vet for jumping on this right away! Hang in there, and keep us posted on how she does... bonne chance!:crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers:
Pauvre petit Soleil! I agree - this sounds exactly like our experience. Your vet should be able to determine if she got the Zoetis Felocel vaccine, which is known to have this effect. Pawnee took a full month to recover, so be patient and prepared to hang in there with fluids. The fluids help with not only keeping them hydrated, but can help keep the fever down as well, so if your vet thinks it's appropriate, s/he can show you how to do it yourself and you can do it at home...
Update: I know it has been a long time since my last post but it has been a long 6 weeks. Our little Soleil DID have response to the antibiotics and Prednisone but 9 days into her 14 day course of medication she decided she had enough energy to scoot out of our patio door that was accidentally open about 3 inches. This then started us on a 15 day search for her and it felt like years. We weren’t sure she had enough of the medication to be out that long and she had not fully gained all of her weight back in those 9 days after the near death experience. BUT she has finally returned! She was scared and even MORE thin but she is alive and has spent the last 2 weeks eating and sleeping and seems to be almost back to herself for the first time in 2018 really! I really think she is trying to test all 9 of her lives before she reaches age 2 and maybe some of mine too!
 

Attachments

Last edited by a moderator:
Top