DELAYED, prolonged vaccine reaction

ayumi9090

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Hi all! I'm so glad I found this forum as my cat baby, Umi, also experienced a reaction from the Zoetis rabies vaccine. This thread allowed me to go to my vet confidently and state that she's having a reaction to her vaccine vs. them trying to figure out what's wrong. She's only 5 so that may also play into how this is unfolding for us regarding recovery. I haven't seen exact symptoms and timing of symptoms quite like hers on this thread yet, so I thought I'd share my experience/questions just in case anyone else is going through it!

Umi got her rabies and distemper vaccines (stacked...I know UGH...never again!) on Friday 9/9 and began vomiting that same evening. I'm talking like 5 rounds of vomiting. The next morning (Saturday) she vomited about 3 more times, and we were thankfully able to get her in to see a vet as soon as they opened. We were really worried about dehydration from the vomiting. They gave her (1) a steroid injection (2) Cerenia injection to help with vomiting and (3) a fluid injection, and then they sent us home with more Cerenia tablets.

She was doing better Sunday and Monday (better appetite, more movement), but was still lethargic from the medicine, so I decided to pause Cerenia thinking she would bounce back. Nope. On Tuesday, she vomited again and began to have frequent diarrhea episodes, which was new. I immediately called the vet and brought her in on Wednesday. They gave her (1) a Benadryl injection instead of a steroid shot bc apparently the steroid is "long lasting" (not sure about this, but fine) (2) another Cerenia injection, and they sent us home with:
- antibiotics (for diarrhea)
- probiotics
- Cerenia
- an appetite stimulant
- Benadryl

That night, I gave her the antibiotics as directed and noticed that Umi became lethargic and drowsy pretty soon after - she even tried to lie down in her litter box, and I'd never seen her do that. I chalked it up to the meds + coming down from anxiety from being at the vet, and I think I was right because she was SO MUCH better the next morning, and has been since (fingers crossed).

Now it's Saturday (8 days post vaccine), and I'm happy to report that she is doing well. She has a great appetite (even without the stimulant) and is acting much more like herself! She hasn't had a bowel movement since starting antibiotics, but I know that's normal for the antibiotic she's on. However, I do catch myself worrying about symptoms returning once she's off all of her medication since so many folks on here are describing a delayed reaction. I know she didn't have a delayed reaction, as she began showing symptoms the same day, but I'm nervous. I'm trying not to worry too much, and I know I'll have to cross that bridge IF we get there, but sometimes my anxiety gets the best of me.

Has anyone had a similar experience in terms of symptoms and the timing? How did you know your cat was officially on the mend and all better?

Sending hugs to everyone on this thread past, present, and future! I will keep you all updated!
 
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jstie

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Hi all! I'm so glad I found this forum as my cat baby, Umi, also experienced a reaction from the Zoetis rabies vaccine. This thread allowed me to go to my vet confidently and state that she's having a reaction to her vaccine vs. them trying to figure out what's wrong. She's only 5 so that may also play into how this is unfolding for us regarding recovery. I haven't seen exact symptoms and timing of symptoms quite like hers on this thread yet, so I thought I'd share my experience/questions just in case anyone else is going through it!

Umi got her rabies and distemper vaccines (stacked...I know UGH...never again!) on Friday 9/9 and began vomiting that same evening. I'm talking like 5 rounds of vomiting. The next morning (Saturday) she vomited about 3 more times, and we were thankfully able to get her in to see a vet as soon as they opened. We were really worried about dehydration from the vomiting. They gave her (1) a steroid injection (2) Cerenia injection to help with vomiting and (3) a fluid injection, and then they sent us home with more Cerenia tablets.

She was doing better Sunday and Monday (better appetite, more movement), but was still lethargic from the medicine, so I decided to pause Cerenia thinking she would bounce back. Nope. On Tuesday, she vomited again and began to have frequent diarrhea episodes, which was new. I immediately called the vet and brought her in on Wednesday. They gave her (1) a Benadryl injection instead of a steroid shot bc apparently the steroid is "long lasting" (not sure about this, but fine) (2) another Cerenia injection, and they sent us home with:
- antibiotics (for diarrhea)
- probiotics
- Cerenia
- an appetite stimulant
- Benadryl

That night, I gave her the antibiotics as directed and noticed that Umi became lethargic and drowsy pretty soon after - she even tried to lie down in her litter box, and I'd never seen her do that. I chalked it up to the meds + coming down from anxiety from being at the vet, and I think I was right because she was SO MUCH better the next morning, and has been since (fingers crossed).

Now it's Saturday (8 days post vaccine), and I'm happy to report that she is doing well. She has a great appetite (even without the stimulant) and is acting much more like herself! She hasn't had a bowel movement since starting antibiotics, but I know that's normal for the antibiotic she's on. However, I do catch myself worrying about symptoms returning once she's off all of her medication since so many folks on here are describing a delayed reaction. I know she didn't have a delayed reaction, as she began showing symptoms the same day, but I'm nervous. I'm trying not to worry too much, and I know I'll have to cross that bridge IF we get there, but sometimes my anxiety gets the best of me.

Has anyone had a similar experience in terms of symptoms and the timing? How did you know your cat was officially on the mend and all better?

Sending hugs to everyone on this thread past, present, and future! I will keep you all updated!
Hi - I’m the original poster on this thread. I’m so sorry you are going through this with your girl. But I’m VERY glad to hear that 8 days out, she’s doing so much better. It was almost a week after the vaccines that my Pawnee STARTED having symptoms, which were quite different: malaise, not eating, high fever. So I hope that your girl is not having the same kind of reaction, which turned into a month-long, very difficult ordeal. I know that any time I have gotten vaccines, my vet always tells me “they could be sleepy or quiet for a day or two, but if there’s any vomiting or diarrhea, CALL us right away.” It sounds like maybe your girl had a more “typical” bad reaction - within a day - and hopefully the treatment she’s getting will get her through it. Very glad you have an attentive vet who is treating her carefully. My vet now uses ONLY unadjuvanted vaccines, and we never stack vaccines. We never vaccinated Pawnee again in any case. Good luck - keep us posted on how things are going!
 

ayumi9090

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Hi - I’m the original poster on this thread. I’m so sorry you are going through this with your girl. But I’m VERY glad to hear that 8 days out, she’s doing so much better. It was almost a week after the vaccines that my Pawnee STARTED having symptoms, which were quite different: malaise, not eating, high fever. So I hope that your girl is not having the same kind of reaction, which turned into a month-long, very difficult ordeal. I know that any time I have gotten vaccines, my vet always tells me “they could be sleepy or quiet for a day or two, but if there’s any vomiting or diarrhea, CALL us right away.” It sounds like maybe your girl had a more “typical” bad reaction - within a day - and hopefully the treatment she’s getting will get her through it. Very glad you have an attentive vet who is treating her carefully. My vet now uses ONLY unadjuvanted vaccines, and we never stack vaccines. We never vaccinated Pawnee again in any case. Good luck - keep us posted on how things are going!
I just wanted to take a moment to say that you're amazing. Even after all this time has passed and your baby Pawnee has crossed the rainbow bridge, you still take the time to share with us and help us with your experience and advice. You're a treasure! THANK YOU.
 
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jstie

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I just wanted to take a moment to say that you're amazing. Even after all this time has passed and your baby Pawnee has crossed the rainbow bridge, you still take the time to share with us and help us with your experience and advice. You're a treasure! THANK YOU.
You are more than welcome. It was such a scary experience, and I couldn’t find much info about it then. I hoped our experience and what we learned from it could help others..and it’s been eye-opening to see how many other cats have had this happen to them! It sounds like people were able to get better help from their vets and get through it all better from the info we could share with each other. Best wishes to you and your kitty!

Julie and the Pride of Six…and Pawnee, always
 

maydap

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Hello everyone. It's scary to see how long this has been going on. My two 8 year old cats, Blondie and Bootsie. Both went to the new vet (we moved and it's a very small town) and both got the fvrcp vaccine. Both began to sleep a lot, barely eat and drink, and both are moving around like little old ladies. I am so grateful to have seen these posts. We thought it was a bad case of Tastefuls. They stopped eating on Wednesday and I took them to the vet on Friday. Other than having fevers, they both seemed fine. That's what the vet said. I had some Mirataz from last year when Blondie stopped eating after dental extractions. I gave them both the Mirataz, and they started eating a little. I gave them Fancy Feast broths and soft food with a little water. They started greeting us again on Saturday morning. Bootsie had diarrhea. We bought Pet Pectillin Medication for Diarrhea for Boots. She was going several times to the litter robot to poop. Sometimes it was successful sometimes not. We had to wipe her butt several times and her leg too.

Today is Monday and Blondie seems to be sleeping more than Bootsie now but they're still eating a little and drinking. I'm giving them Mirataz transdernally every other day.

Do you suggest giving them pain killers and prednisone? I have both from when they've had dental procedures and tummy issues.

I'm going to verify with the vet what brand of vaccine they had and let him know what's going on but no more vaccines for my girls. They never go outside and they never have contact with other kitties.

Thank you for all of your stories. We would have been lost without them.
 

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jstie

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Your poor kitties. They must be feeling pretty crummy. I'm the original poster on this thread, and yes, it's dismaying to see how often this seems to happen. And I'd never even heard of it in 60+ years of having cats and vaccinating them before it happened to us. My vet says there is some thought that it may be the adjuvants (other ingredients) in the vaccine rather than the vaccine antigens themselves that are involved in this reaction. She uses ONLY PureVax brand vaccines, which are unadjuvanted. And of course we never vaccinated Pawnee again.

Can you monitor your girls' temperatures at all? When Pawnee's fever would spike, she would spend several hours at the vet's on an *intravenous* drip of fluids. That brought her temp right down, and when she came home, she'd eat like a horse and feel a LOT better for several days. (That was the day my husband fixed a chicken sandwich, turned his back for a minute, sat down, took a bite from his sandwich and said, "Hey! Where's the chicken??!!" Only to find Pawnee had deftly slipped it out of the sandwich and was scarfing it down in the living room!) You could also ask if you could give *subcutaneous* fluids yourself at home - not quite as effective as the IV, but might help some. The fever can also make them very sore and achy, and the prednisolone relieved that quite a bit. It was a long haul of about a month for Pawnee to recover, but it was pretty much all supportive care: fluids, getting her to eat (yes, we used the Mirataz too), and the steroid. Good luck to all of you. I was lucky to have such a smart, caring vet with whom I have a long relationship and who figured this out right away. It's getting harder and harder to find and access a good vet these days. :-( Hope your girls start to get better soon!
 
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jstie

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WOW! This is amazing. THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing this. It explains a lot...
 

AriRio

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I just posted a post about my cat Artemis current condition. And then I found this thread. It’s been 4 days since her symptoms started and I really hope she doesn’t have to go on meds or anything. I just keep tempting her with food and treats and we have a vet appointment for Wednesday. I don’t know the vaccines brand but she got the fvrcp and rabies vaccines on sept 28. So we shall see how this goes.
 

Houdini 1783

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I need help. On September 8th my immune compromise cat received three purevax vaccinations; leukemia, rabies, and distemper. On September 17th she became extremely lethargic, would not eat or drink, and had a fever. On September 20th I brought her to the vet and he thought it was a possibility that she was having a reaction to the vaccines because she is immune compromised (she takes atopica). He sent me home with antibiotics and a syringe to force feed her. She threw up the antibiotics that day, and the next day. On September 23rd she received an antibiotic injection which did help some, but not enough (still severely lethargic, but eating and drinking). On on october 4th he started her on a 3-day course of onsior. She was almost back to herself until 16 hours later when the pill wore off. Her gave her another round of onsior on October 8th. On October 12th she saw a specialist that said this is no way related to vaccines. She had x-rays, an ultrasound, urinalysis, more blood work and all normal. I am almost to 6 weeks post vaccines and she is still extremely lethargic. I have read everything from everyone going back to 2014 (thank you all) and I don't know what to do next. I have an appointment with the vet on October 17th.
 

Houdini 1783

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I see the vet tomorrow morning and I will be showing all of this to him. He is the ONLY one that thought in the beginning it was vaccine related.

My fear is she is immune compromised and it has been longer than most people on this forum. What if its permanent? What if antibiotics or steroids won't help because of her immune system? I'm terrified.

And my deepest gratitude to you and everyone else on this site.
 

fionasmom

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Please let us know what the vet says. Just throwing this out, but my cat vet will not give more than two vaccines at at time to any cat. I am sure that your vet is competent, especially if he is willing to consider a reaction to the vaccines, as many will stand firmly by the fact that a vaccine could not be responsible. What was the antibiotic injection?
 

Houdini 1783

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He already said no more vaccines for her in the future. He originally tried giving her the antibiotic pill Baytril but she threw it up, so she received an injection of Convenia. I just don't know what to ask for tomorrow, steroids or more antibiotics...
 

fionasmom

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You vet is definitely stepping up to the plate on this, so that is good. At least you have a way forward now and know that vaccines are not going to be given. Even if the specialist is correct and this is not vaccine related, I would not chance it again. If your cat goes outside and could possibly contract one of those conditions, I would not let her out again.

Convenia can have side effects of extreme lethargy and it stays in the system for 65 days, although Zoetis told me that most reactions are seen within the first 14 days. Plus, if I am reading your correctly, extensive testing has been done since the injection.

Again, this is just anecdotal, but I am going through something with a 5 year old cat which is entirely undiagnosed right now. Perfect tests. Not vaccine related, so I am not elaborating, but in desperation she received an injection of dexamethasone which has, at least for now, been a big help. Ask your vet for his opinion, pros/cons for your cat with either more antibiotics or a steroid.
 

Houdini 1783

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I feel defeated. If the vaccines she received have never caused a reaction I don't know what else to do. Her vet doesn't know what to do which is why he sent me to a specialist. And the specialist barely looked at her, ran a bunch of tests and said since everything is normal it must be her joints since she is overweight.
 

Furballsmom

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Given that she is overweight, can you decrease some of the calories she's getting daily so that she loses weight, very slowly and gradually ?
 
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