Kitten About to be Spayed But Vaccine Reaction

Greta_Loki

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I adopted two kittens - brother and sister from same litter - this past Christmas. Loki is double the size of Greta, who was the runt of the litter. I took them in for their second distempter vaccinations a week ago. Loki did great but Greta was clearly affected - lethargic, body was shivering every now and then. She seems much better now, one week later, but I am worried about their booster shot in 2 weeks, followed by their operations a week after that. I want to delay Greta's spaying but she'll be at the 6 month old mark at that point and I'm really worried she'll go into heat, which is something we want to avoid. I'm wondering if we should skip her booster vaccination? I'm worried that the booster, followed by her operation a week later will be too taxing on her body. On the other hand, if we don't do the booster will she be more susceptible to the respiratory viruses that she may contract at the vet clinic during her operation? What would you do?
 

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Personally I would postpone Greta's surgery and boost her immune system before the booster and afterward. Definitely discuss with the vet how Greta responded to the first vaccine.

If she is indoors and Loki will get neutered, Greta can't get pregnant even if she goes into the heat. I would see the risk of a surgery at this time higher than the risk of her going into heat once.
 
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Greta_Loki

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Personally I would postpone Greta's surgery and boost her immune system before the booster and afterward. Definitely discuss with the vet how Greta responded to the first vaccine.

If she is indoors and Loki will get neutered, Greta can't get pregnant even if she goes into the heat. I would see the risk of a surgery at this time higher than the risk of her going into heat once.
Thank you. The vet said there are dangers to a cat who goes in heat - that she will be at risk in the future of mammary cancer, and other stuff. This is why they strongly recommend spaying a cat before they go into their first heat. It scared me. But, honestly, I like she is way too small to have surgery in 3 weeks. She's just over 5 lbs and, being the runt of the litter, I just worry about her. She seems so delicate and the reaction to the vaccine seemed to confirm that.
 

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Did your cat have a reaction when she had her first vaccinations, or just the second?

Personally, if this reaction was a one off and she has previously had it with no issue, I would have the booster dose on schedule, but then if she has another reaction (and she might not), postpone the spay for another week or two. She will be fine, as long as your male cat is neutered first.

5lb is not too small to be spayed, some vets are willing to do cats as small as 2lb.
 

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Thank you. The vet said there are dangers to a cat who goes in heat - that she will be at risk in the future of mammary cancer, and other stuff. This is why they strongly recommend spaying a cat before they go into their first heat. It scared me. But, honestly, I like she is way too small to have surgery in 3 weeks. She's just over 5 lbs and, being the runt of the litter, I just worry about her. She seems so delicate and the reaction to the vaccine seemed to confirm that.
Going into heat repeatedly increase the likelihood of some cancers. Pregnancy more so. But I don’t think going into heat once, without getting pregnant, would make a very significant difference.
 
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Greta_Loki

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Did your cat have a reaction when she had her first vaccinations, or just the second?

Personally, if this reaction was a one off and she has previously had it with no issue, I would have the booster dose on schedule, but then if she has another reaction (and she might not), postpone the spay for another week or two. She will be fine, as long as your male cat is neutered first.

5lb is not too small to be spayed, some vets are willing to do cats as small as 2lb.
Thank you. What are your thoughts on the concerns of her going into first heat? I'm getting the sense that it's not as big a deal as the vet is making it.
 

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She will be fine, its better to do it before, but one heat doesnt increase the risk by that much, its more repeated heats and pregnancies that are the problem. Its much less risky to postpone it for a week or two if she isnt well.
 

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Dr. Pierson does not recommend the 3rd distemper shot for any kitten as long as they're 16 weeks by the time of the last one. This vaccine (FVRCP) also only provides some immunity to respiratory viruses (calci and herpes), and too much of the vaccine is linked to kidney problems, so I would not do the 3rd round. Definitely don't vaccinate a sick cat. If your vet is resistant, ask to perform a titer at the appropriate time(s) to confirm immunity to distemper instead.

I think the vet has probably seen too many cats go too long without getting spayed so she's putting the emphasis on it, but I think it would be fine to wait an extra month and make sure she's fully recovered if you think she needs it. Kittens do tend to bounce back very quickly from it because they're still growing, but I would have hers done at your vet, not a spay/neuter clinic, make sure they do blood work first, and take her home as soon as it's done to keep the time at the vet minimal. Then just keep her as a strictly indoor only cat and research vaccines and medications carefully before giving them. Catinfo.org is a great starting place for that.
 
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Greta_Loki

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Dr. Pierson does not recommend the 3rd distemper shot for any kitten as long as they're 16 weeks by the time of the last one. This vaccine (FVRCP) also only provides some immunity to respiratory viruses (calci and herpes), and too much of the vaccine is linked to kidney problems, so I would not do the 3rd round. Definitely don't vaccinate a sick cat. If your vet is resistant, ask to perform a titer at the appropriate time(s) to confirm immunity to distemper instead.

I think the vet has probably seen too many cats go too long without getting spayed so she's putting the emphasis on it, but I think it would be fine to wait an extra month and make sure she's fully recovered if you think she needs it. Kittens do tend to bounce back very quickly from it because they're still growing, but I would have hers done at your vet, not a spay/neuter clinic, make sure they do blood work first, and take her home as soon as it's done to keep the time at the vet minimal. Then just keep her as a strictly indoor only cat and research vaccines and medications carefully before giving them. Catinfo.org is a great starting place for that.
Thank you. I will have to look up Dr. Pierson I’ve never heard of him\her. Why would the blood work be useful prior to the operation, thanks.
 

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Dr. Pierson's site is the catinfo.org that I mentioned. She tackles conventions in feline medicine that she thinks are imperfect. The vaccine page would be most pertinent to you at the moment. I feel like I should make a disclaimer whenever I mentioned vaccines in this day and age, though, that animal vaccinations are very different from human vaccinations, partially because we're different animals and our bodies respond differently. Healthy humans should always get their vaccinations as recommended by their doctor. And many vaccines are definitely important for animals, but we tend to overdo it with them for non-scientific reasons.

Blood work is a good barometer of health to make sure all her organs are functioning well before anesthesia. Most healthy kittens are fine and the blood work is just an added cost that doesn't tell anything new, but if you have doubts, blood work is good to check.
 

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Hi Greta_Loki and welcome to the forum !

I will have to look up Dr. Pierson...
Here you are: Vaccines for Cats - We Need to Stop Overvaccinating.

From that, under the heading "General Suggestions", you'll find this:

My suggestions:​
Kittens:
Vaccinate kittens with FVRCP twice starting at 8-9 weeks of age with the second, and final kitten vaccine, administered when the kitten is no younger than 16 weeks of age.
The AAFP guidelines state that you can start this vaccine when the kitten is as young as 6 weeks of age but, unless there is a very high index of risk, I would definitely not vaccinate a kitten this young.​
We wait until the kitten is at least 16 weeks old to receive his last kitten shot because the antibodies he got from nursing on his mother will have decreased to a low enough level that his own body can respond to the vaccine in order to make his own antibodies. (Maternal antibodies within the kitten can ‘tie up’ the vaccine before his body has a chance to respond to it.)​
The AAFP guidelines suggest giving the FVRCP every 3-4 weeks until the kitten is 16 weeks of age. This is done in an attempt to vaccinate the kitten the minute his maternal antibody level wanes to a low enough level to allow him to respond to the vaccine. That way, there will be a minimal gap between the time his mother’s antibodies stop protecting him and the time when he can start making his own antibodies.​
That said, I would rather not give this many vaccines to a kitten. Unless there is a high index of risk, I prefer to limit it to 2 vaccines total for the kitten series.

That's one part of the vaccine picture. A second is the type of vaccine that's to be used.....by "type", I don't mean the targeted disease - I'm talking about the way the vaccine is made, the manufacture of it, and more specifically the ingredients that are inside. Dr. Pierson explains all this in the section "Vaccine Types". In a nutshell, we need to ensure that no "adjuvanted" vaccine is given to our cats (in a different wording, no "killed" vaccine should be administered. We need to ask about this and never assume anything. ("Adjuvanted'' vaccines are typically less expensive to buy, and so they're a favourite with many Vet clinics.) OK, here's that section: Vaccine Types.

This is complicated stuff...Dr. Pierson uses plain language (even if she's a bit "wordy" :lol:).

Hope this helps.
.
 
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Greta_Loki

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Hi Greta_Loki and welcome to the forum !



Here you are: Vaccines for Cats - We Need to Stop Overvaccinating.

From that, under the heading "General Suggestions", you'll find this:

My suggestions:​
Kittens:
Vaccinate kittens with FVRCP twice starting at 8-9 weeks of age with the second, and final kitten vaccine, administered when the kitten is no younger than 16 weeks of age.
The AAFP guidelines state that you can start this vaccine when the kitten is as young as 6 weeks of age but, unless there is a very high index of risk, I would definitely not vaccinate a kitten this young.​
We wait until the kitten is at least 16 weeks old to receive his last kitten shot because the antibodies he got from nursing on his mother will have decreased to a low enough level that his own body can respond to the vaccine in order to make his own antibodies. (Maternal antibodies within the kitten can ‘tie up’ the vaccine before his body has a chance to respond to it.)​
The AAFP guidelines suggest giving the FVRCP every 3-4 weeks until the kitten is 16 weeks of age. This is done in an attempt to vaccinate the kitten the minute his maternal antibody level wanes to a low enough level to allow him to respond to the vaccine. That way, there will be a minimal gap between the time his mother’s antibodies stop protecting him and the time when he can start making his own antibodies.​
That said, I would rather not give this many vaccines to a kitten. Unless there is a high index of risk, I prefer to limit it to 2 vaccines total for the kitten series.

That's one part of the vaccine picture. A second is the type of vaccine that's to be used.....by "type", I don't mean the targeted disease - I'm talking about the way the vaccine is made, the manufacture of it, and more specifically the ingredients that are inside. Dr. Pierson explains all this in the section "Vaccine Types". In a nutshell, we need to ensure that no "adjuvanted" vaccine is given to our cats (in a different wording, no "killed" vaccine should be administered. We need to ask about this and never assume anything. ("Adjuvanted'' vaccines are typically less expensive to buy, and so they're a favourite with many Vet clinics.) OK, here's that section: Vaccine Types.

This is complicated stuff...Dr. Pierson uses plain language (even if she's a bit "wordy" :lol:).

Hope this helps.
.
Thank you. So much reading to do but I am very interested. I guess we're lucky that their first distemper was at 9 weeks old, and their second last week at 21 weeks old. So, according to Dr. Pierson we're done? What about adult vaccines? They will be indoor cats only. I also just called to find out the type of vaccine used last week. It is Zoetis Felocel 3 which is non-adjuvanted MVL so I guess we got lucky there too.
 

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I would want to have my cats spayed prior to first heat because of the seriousness of feline mammary tumors. First, 80 to 96% of feline mammary tumors are malignant, and most metastasize frequently to lymph nodes and lungs prior to diagnosis. Sadly, survival times are usually less than 1 year.

Spaying prior to first heat reduces the chance of mammary cancer by 91%. Spaying before 12 months (but after 1st heat) reduces the chance by 86%. Spaying after 1 year, the benefits for reducing mammary cancer are marginal but there are of course other important reasons for spaying.

Also as mentioned above, kittens are commonly spayed around 2lbs so size wise she is definitely large enough. I would be concerned if I spay her while in heat as her tissues are more friable and her vessels more engorged. So personally, I would spay, ASAP.

As far as vaccines, I would definitely hold off on boosting her vaccinations. IMHO, indoor only cats are (way) over-vaccinated. Since she was 21 weeks when she received her second booster that should be enough to stimulate her immune system since her maternal antibodies wound have faded by then. As far as adult vaccinations go, I choose to not follow AVMA and I vaccinate every 5 years with a MLV in the very lower part of the leg. The important thing to remember, is that your cats still need an annual vet check-up. I think the fear with veterinarians is that if they start recommending prolonged vaccine intervals, then cats won’t ever see the vet.
Good luck with your kitties!
 

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So, according to Dr. Pierson we're done? What about adult vaccines? They will be indoor cats only......
Well, she gives her suggestions for further vaccination in there, too. Just past the "Kittens" section, you'll see "Young adults:"

Whether or not to revaccinate after the initial series will be, as she says, a personal decision/judgement call (keeping in mind that, in some jurisdictions, rabies vaccination is mandated and the animal 'must' be covered for this according to those regulations - which vary by locale).

If you ask folks here on the forum for their own protocol/decisions, you'll get a variety of those. Some are informed by their own Vet's recommendations (which have wide array), others based on a multitude of other input/models.

My own indoor cats, now in their late teens, have not received revaccinations for years and I'm pretty sure I didn't go beyond the first one-year shots. (I have no mandates for rabies shots.)


Now.............have you posted any pictures yet ???
.
 
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Greta_Loki

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Well, she gives her suggestions for further vaccination in there, too. Just past the "Kittens" section, you'll see "Young adults:"

Whether or not to revaccinate after the initial series will be, as she says, a personal decision/judgement call (keeping in mind that, in some jurisdictions, rabies vaccination is mandated and the animal 'must' be covered for this according to those regulations - which vary by locale).

If you ask folks here on the forum for their own protocol/decisions, you'll get a variety of those. Some are informed by their own Vet's recommendations (which have wide array), others based on a multitude of other input/models.

My own indoor cats, now in their late teens, have not received revaccinations for years and I'm pretty sure I didn't go beyond the first one-year shots. (I have no mandates for rabies shots.)


Now.............have you posted any pictures yet ???
.
Thank you. Oh, this is fun. I've never gotten to post my kitties to cat lovers. Here they are! Greta is obviously the much smaller one. :)

ACS_0277.JPG ACS_0274 2.JPG ACS_0281.JPG ACS_0285.JPG
 
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Greta_Loki

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Personally I would postpone Greta's surgery and boost her immune system before the booster and afterward. Definitely discuss with the vet how Greta responded to the first vaccine.

If she is indoors and Loki will get neutered, Greta can't get pregnant even if she goes into the heat. I would see the risk of a surgery at this time higher than the risk of her going into heat once.
Just wondering how does one boost the immune system? Thanks.
 

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Just wondering how does one boost the immune system? Thanks.
Good quality food, multivitamin, according to some studies -- probiotics, eliminating stress factors in the house if there is any, taking care of hairballs with a remedy or anything else if there is anything else going on like to check if the cat might have worms, or fleas, etc

If you decide to give multivitamin and probiotics a try, do discuss it with the vet first to find a suitable one and for a schedule. Those who are more experienced with kittens than me here might also have some suggestions.
 

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Just for me personally. . .I would do the spay, but not the booster. There is evidence to suggest that most of the benefits of the vaccine can be found in the dose that happens around the 4-5 month age. I can link you to an article. And cats that have had a previous reaction, shouldn't be treated the same, most vets will proceed with much caution in that case. And she's so small. . .seems like there is likely something off in her immune system? Just my thought.

Vaccines for Cats: We Need to Stop Overvaccinating
 

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Just wondering how does one boost the immune system? Thanks.

any holistic vets in your area? they would have good suggestions.

My thought's would be top quality food, homemade if possible and probiotics. Some holistic vets recommend fermented goat milk as a probiotic supplement.
 
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