Distemper shot for senior cats and dental appointment

tdonline

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My girls are 13, indoor only and last received a distemper shot around age 6-7. My vet at the time agreed since they were strictly indoor only, we could forego their shots, save for rabies.

We have a dental appointment for both girls next week as their teeth are in bad shape. Appointment was made 2-3 months ago. Vet office calls me today and says they don't have distemper shots on record for my cats and would I bring them in for the vaccine prior to the dental appointment. They said there could be some risk if they do not get the shot and there may a be chance of exposure as they will be at the vet office all day. If we don't get the shot, I may be allowed to keep the appointments if I sign a waiver.

What are the risks here? One reason we stopped was because my cats would have a lousy day or two after their vaccine shots. Would having distemper shots for the first half of their lives still confer any protection at age 13?

If we do opt to get the shots, what are the risks for them at this stage of their lives? And also are their risk of getting the shots and then having dental surgery in such a short time period? Would getting the shots only a few days or less before surgery provide them enough protection anyway?
 
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tdonline

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I left a VM with the vet. Hopefully, she'll call back soon. Or else I may need to reschedule the dental. Annoying that they didn't check all this when we made the appointment 3 months ago. And now we are less than a week away from the dental appointment. Getting my cats to the vet office is a bit of a production since I do not have a car. It either involves car rental or finding Lyft or Uber drivers willing to transport cats.
 

fionasmom

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I do understand your annoyance with the vet. It is a core vaccine, but it suddenly is brought up now? I agree with running a titer. If there are no antibodies, at least you will have one piece of the puzzle in place and can make a decision from there.

I have brought unvaccinated cats to the vet, along with a dog who is intentionally unvaccinated due to an immune system problem, and no one has contracted anything. Not saying it could not happen and there could be a lot of variables as to how your vet runs his practice. I am kind of stuck on this though as I have never been warned that it "could" happen at either my dog or cat vet.

Generally, if a cat or dog has been vaccinated enough times in their earlier life, a lot of vets suspend all but rabies as the pet ages. Your cats are missing that "vaccinated enough" clause I suppose.

If I were you, I would run the titer, get the result and if you have to give the vaccines, push back the dental surgery. I hope that they don't give you some really unreasonable time frame just for this....like you have to wait 3 months.
 

Heart For Cats

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The distemper shot is actually a 3-in-1 shot (FVRCP). It prevents upper respiratory infections, which make cats not want to eat. So I do not believe in stopping the shot unless your vet tells you it is medically unnecessary. If the vet says vaccinations are required to have a dental appointment, she has a good reason for it.
 
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