Major lethargy after Merial Purevax 3-year Rabies shot

RogerTheCat

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
5
Purraise
0
I am so worried. Gave my roughly 11 year old FIV positive cat the Merial Purevax 3-year rabies shot yesterday. Right after the vet left my cat hid and slept for a few hours, then transferred to the couch and slept a few more hours. When he woke up about 10 hours after the shot, he slipped off the couch trying to get down, he was so weak. He walked to the litter box like he weighed 1000 pounds. Didn't eat dinner, went upstairs and laid for hours just staring in the distance. Finally went to sleep. I woke up and he purred when I pet him (usually we snuggle multiple times a day). He has had all his meals from "bed" today... I deliver his wet food to where he is lying and he eats it without getting up. He is going to the bathroom and walking slowly around from spot to spot. I am coming up on 36 hours and he is still lethargic. Worried sick.
 

Xena44

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
263
Purraise
338
Sounds like your kitty is having an adverse reaction to the rabies vaccine. you should contact your vet in the morning. Is he eating And drinking? My concern is for dehydration. Try some chicken broth or tuna. Anything. Get some moisture and food into him. Is he unusually warm Like he has a fever?
 

abyeb

Charlie's Purrson
Veteran
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Messages
7,566
Purraise
9,568
Lethargy and loss of appetite are typical side effects of the rabies vaccine. Per this article from Cornell Vet Med: Feline Vaccines: Benefits and Risks, these side effects usually disappear “within a few days”. This isn’t very a very specific timeframe, but I think calling the vet in the morning if your cat hasn’t improved by then, would make sense.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

RogerTheCat

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
5
Purraise
0
He is eating. Have been in contact with vet. Wanted to talk to people and just hear what anyone has to say. The past day I have had to bring him food in bed and he eats lying down, except just 30 mins ago he got up and ate standing up. He is missing all teeth so he eats wet food, so I think he is staying hydrated. Will keep you posted, at 10 am we are at the 48 hour mark. He doesn't seem warm? Still is lethargic.
 

Xena44

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
263
Purraise
338
What did his vet say? It isn’t atypical for a kitty to keep punky for a day or so after getting vaccinated but this is too long. I’m glad he’s eating. That’s ultra important. And the wet food is providing hydration. Make sure all of this is duly noted on his file and IF you can I vaccinate him again, he should be pre-medded with Benadryl pre-vaccination. See what your vet thinks about that idea.
 

Natashan

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
59
Purraise
83
Just found this post. Wondering what happened as my cats going through something similar :(. She’s not as bad, but is quite feverish, lethargic and not eating much. She is a complete grump when she is feeling unwell and doesn’t make life easy for anyone, not even herself. She’s growling at me because her poor leg is sore from the vaccination site.
im wondering how bad does it get and how long can it last? this Is the worst reaction so far.
 

Xena44

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
263
Purraise
338
Just found this post. Wondering what happened as my cats going through something similar :(. She’s not as bad, but is quite feverish, lethargic and not eating much. She is a complete grump when she is feeling unwell and doesn’t make life easy for anyone, not even herself. She’s growling at me because her poor leg is sore from the vaccination site.
im wondering how bad does it get and how long can it last? this Is the worst reaction so far.
Looks like that is a possibility. I would call your vet and see if they have any suggestions. How long ago was she vaccinated? If she continues to have these reactions, if it has been a pattern for her and it is getting worse. I would either ask your veterinarian to premed her first before giving her the vaccine or ask your vet if she can take a pass on them. If she is indoors 100% protected all the time, but her risks are much lower than a cat who goes outside. I would have a serious discussion with your vet if this pattern is elevating in intensity year after year
 

Natashan

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
59
Purraise
83
Looks like that is a possibility. I would call your vet and see if they have any suggestions. How long ago was she vaccinated? If she continues to have these reactions, if it has been a pattern for her and it is getting worse. I would either ask your veterinarian to premed her first before giving her the vaccine or ask your vet if she can take a pass on them. If she is indoors 100% protected all the time, but her risks are much lower than a cat who goes outside. I would have a serious discussion with your vet if this pattern is elevating in intensity year after year
Thanks for the response! Has been a bit worrying with how badly she reacted. She was limping and couldnt walk properly for 3 days. She’s finally come back and is more bright. I will definitely mention premed prior to vaccinations. Unfortunately I have to vaccinate yearly as it is the law where I live. Can’t say I agree with it , but can’t do much about it.
 

neely

May the purr be with you
Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2005
Messages
12,558
Purraise
25,693
This is interesting because our vet who is a feline specialist only gives the one year Purevax rabies vaccine. We're taking our cat for his shot in a few weeks so I'll try to remember and ask if there's any difference in side effects. Unfortunately we still can't go into the vet due to Covid precautions so have to wait in the car but they call on your cell phone when the appointment is over.
 

Xena44

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
263
Purraise
338
This is interesting because our vet who is a feline specialist only gives the one year Purevax rabies vaccine. We're taking our cat for his shot in a few weeks so I'll try to remember and ask if there's any difference in side effects. Unfortunately we still can't go into the vet due to Covid precautions so have to wait in the car but they call on your cell phone when the appointment is over.
The difference between the purevax and a regular vaccine is the adjuvant. Purevax does not have that. The adjuvant Is added to the vaccine core to make the body have a stronger immune response. The adjuvant is what is believed to be causing the vaccine related sarcomas in cats. the adjuvanted vx has a stronger propensity for causing a irritation at the vx site. Redness, swelling etc. I would never give my cat an adjuvanted rabies vaccine. Any veterinarian it still gives that to cats is irresponsible as far as I’m concerned, bordering on malpractice.
 

Xena44

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
263
Purraise
338
Thanks for the response! Has been a bit worrying with how badly she reacted. She was limping and couldnt walk properly for 3 days. She’s finally come back and is more bright. I will definitely mention premed prior to vaccinations. Unfortunately I have to vaccinate yearly as it is the law where I live. Can’t say I agree with it , but can’t do much about it.
What kind of vaccine do they use? Was it the rabies vaccine only That she got?
 
Top