Lump on shoulder blade after vaccines

Ravynn

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Hi all,

My kitten Binx is 19 weeks old this week and on Nov. 25th he went in to get his first vaccines. First, I live in a low-income rural area with only 3 vet clinics and they all use the same vaccines and possibly protocols. He got the FVRCP (modified live)+ FeLV (killed) vaccine by Novibac and it was injected by his right shoulder blade.

Yesterday, about 3 weeks after vaccination, I noticed he had a lump on his right shoulder blade in the exact spot of the injection. It's about an inch long and I can pick it up with my fingers and it feels almost suspended under the skin, not attached to tissues. It doesn't seem to bother him or feel sensitive. It feels solid but after picking it up with my fingers feels kind of squishy.

He has a vet appt for next Wednesday to get another FVRCP (modified live)+ FeLV (killed) as well as his Rabies (killed). I wanted to make a post and ask if anyone else has dealt with this type of issue. This is my first cat i've owned by myself other than family cats and I am a little (okay, very) nervous about asking the vet to not do the injection in the shoulder area and do it in his leg instead.

What if the vet doesn't want to do it in the leg? I am also wondering if I should just ask for the FVRCP vaccine this time without FeLV and if I should get rabies or not. Is it okay if I request to only get certain vaccines? Will the vet refuse to only give one kind? In my province in Canada, only bats are known carriers but we haven't had known cases of rabies in a very, very long time. Binx is going to be strictly indoor and he is going to be an only cat.

I just want to get opinions from other cat owners. I'm quite anxious about this lump, especially after reading about ISS and with him getting a lump from his first vaccine, plus with the vets here obviously going by old-school standards.

Edit: Just wanted to include, I emailed another vet in the area and asked about vaccine location and the response I got was "the vet decides where to give the vaccine."
 
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allmykitties

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One of mine, Domino, started developing a large lump after vaccines, although I had adopted him as an adult, so wasn't in the kitten frequency. I discussed this with my vet and we determined to give Domino his vaccines separated in two visits (he only gets FVRCP and rabies). He still gets a bit of a lump, but when he got both vaccines at the same time the lump was visible at a distance and the new lump is tiny and you can only find it by searching (and goes away pretty quickly, where the large lump took a long time to go away).

So, I would talk to your vet about separating the vaccines by time (Domino gets his separated by a week). You may be able to identify the one that is producing the reaction (in which case you can talk to the vet about the need for that one/alternatives) or the reaction may be significantly reduced (as the case with my Domino).
 
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Ravynn

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One of mine, Domino, started developing a large lump after vaccines, although I had adopted him as an adult, so wasn't in the kitten frequency. I discussed this with my vet and we determined to give Domino his vaccines separated in two visits (he only gets FVRCP and rabies). He still gets a bit of a lump, but when he got both vaccines at the same time the lump was visible at a distance and the new lump is tiny and you can only find it by searching (and goes away pretty quickly, where the large lump took a long time to go away).

So, I would talk to your vet about separating the vaccines by time (Domino gets his separated by a week). You may be able to identify the one that is producing the reaction (in which case you can talk to the vet about the need for that one/alternatives) or the reaction may be significantly reduced (as the case with my Domino).
That's a good idea! They are very booked at this point so I don't think i'd be able to go back in a week but maybe a few weeks for rabies, plus it would give some time to make sure the lump goes down. Does Domino get his in the shoulder or leg area?
 

allmykitties

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Domino gets his in the shoulder area. For now, you may have to work with whatever availability they have, but when you're scheduling annual boosters, you can make the appointments as needed (and just say something like 'because of reactions, Binx gets shots at separate visits'). In my case, I have five cats that go in a three week period for annual boosters, so Domino goes with TV for one shot and returns when I take Cosette for hers (so I end up taking two cats with me every time).
 
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Ravynn

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Domino gets his in the shoulder area. For now, you may have to work with whatever availability they have, but when you're scheduling annual boosters, you can make the appointments as needed (and just say something like 'because of reactions, Binx gets shots at separate visits'). In my case, I have five cats that go in a three week period for annual boosters, so Domino goes with TV for one shot and returns when I take Cosette for hers (so I end up taking two cats with me every time).
You may not be able to answer my question but given your experience with your cat getting lumps, do you think Binx will be able to get his vaccine next week if he still has the lump? He's going to be scheduled to get neutered sometime before February so I want to make sure he has his shots before he gets surgery but I guess it's whatever comes first!
 

allmykitties

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That's definitely an "ask your vet" sort of thing, but it might be good for the vet to see the lump/reaction, as that might help guide care going forward.
 
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Ravynn

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I called the vet this morning just in case and the receptionist said it can be normal and that I can wait until his appt next week to bring him in. Before she knew I had an appt she said I could bring him in this afternoon to be seen. :/

Weird thing, while he was asleep I was able to feel it a little more. Seems hard if you rub over it on his shoulder but I can pick it up with my fingers and it feels squishy. I can almost pick the lump up with my fingers and flip it over, under his skin!! I'm assuming this has to be the adjuvant suspended in his skin or inflammation because it's kind of odd.
 
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Ravynn

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I've been massaging it for 20 minutes at a time, i've been trying to do it 2x a day. He doesn't care that I touch it. I haven't noticed it getting smaller (definitely not getting larger) but that might also be because i've been feeling it everyday and might not see any difference.

I hope they don't give me grief if I don't get him anymore vaccines Wednesday since the lump will probably still be there and that's what the appt was originally for!
 
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Ravynn

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He goes to the vet today at 4pm and i'm so anxious and still freaked out that it could be cancer. The lump hasn't gone down any.
 
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Ravynn

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The vet wasn't worried about it, stating that it feels like an inflammation lump and he said it should start to go down in 2 weeks and if it's not gone by Valentine's day or if it gets bigger to call him. He said since Binx is lean it's easier to feel everything and he may have some scar tissue there in the future. Since he made me feel better about it I agreed to get the fvrcp/felv in his leg but that's it for vaccines for him. Now to worry about seeing it go down in 2 weeks!! Lol
 

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Ravynn

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I'm glad to hear the vet wasn't too worried and hope it alleviated some of your concern. I thought you might be interested in reading this thread another member posted about mandatory vaccinations for kittens:
Mandatory Vaccinations For Kittens
And this Article that discusses the rabies vaccine might have some helpful information for you:
Do Indoor-only Cats Need Rabies Shots? – TheCatSite Articles
Thank you for the links. I'm glad he got his last FVRCP but after him getting a lump i'm really hesitant on getting the rabies vaccine since the one they use is a killed adjuvant vaccine and we have never had rabies reported in my province.

The vet actually suggested getting it when he gets neutered Jan. 19th instead of today but i'm going to have to call because I don't want him to get vaccinated the same day he goes for surgery. I really am just a big worry wart.
 
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Ravynn

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The lump on his shoulder has gone down quite a bit, I can no longer pick the lump up with my fingers, you can't see his fur separated by it, and you can only feel it if you really feel around for it. The vet said it would take 2 weeks to start to go down and that happened a few days after we were last there on Dec 23rd, so that makes me optimistic.

However, he got the 2nd vaccine on his left front leg and next to where he got injected -- kind of underneath his "armpit" area, it feels like there's 1 swollen lymph node, it moves around quite a bit but I can't pick it up like I did with the other lump which is why I think it's a node. It also feels like lymph nodes that i've been able to feel on myself.

Since it's right next to where he got vaccinated, I shouldn't worry about that right? The vet said I would probably be able to feel a lump where he got injected in his leg but I massaged it and I haven't been able to feel a lump like the one on his shoulder.
 

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I had my cat's main vaccine with rabies at the same time, and asked the vet to do it in the leg, she said if done together it needs to be in the scruff, if separately can do from leg. So if you want it done from the leg, it might be necessary to do them separately. I decided to do them together and regretted. The right way is definitely separately with few weeks in between.

Regarding getting the guts to tell the vet how to do it, focus on the terror and regret you will feel if complication occurs and you didn't ask. It's your pet, being not nice is not going to effect you nearly as bad as feeling like you failed to protect him. That said, it most likely will not be a negative experience. Keep your tone going downwards, rather than upwards to avoid making your request sound like a question and invite a commentary. Keep polite but steady. Especially if a lump occurred already it's a good idea to take it safe and slow. If you get a response, like the doc says that it's better to do at once, tell him that you're uncomfortable with that, if he argues, say that you know he knows better but you feel uncomfortable, and keep it there. Vets are busy, chances are he won't waste time with what will be you repeating the same thing.
 
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