Rabies and combo Vaccine delayed reaction after 2 to 3 weeks

pumpkins

pumpkins
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 12, 2017
Messages
31
Purraise
28
Location
WV
Hello all,
I took my two indoor kitties to get rabies vaccine because our vet won’t fill prescriptions without it. While at the pop-up rabies clinic, they were also giving the combo. They were both due, so I said to go ahead and do both vaccines for each cat.

My 8 year old male cat has developed lethargy after 2 or 3 weeks out. At first, I thought he was just extra sleepy, or staying up at night. After a few days, it looked like he had a slight limp in his back leg. (They gave both shots in hind quarter). Then, he started laying in unusual spots, and lost interest in his favorite toy.

He is still eating and using the potty. He’s up a few times a day for brief periods. He’s been a healthy cat up until this episode. I read on this forum about delayed vaccine reaction, and it sounds very much like what is going on with my boy.

I’m watching him closely and trying to decide if he needs to go to the vet. From what I’ve read, they give them fluids, maybe a steroid or antibiotic, but it’s mainly just waiting it out. I realize it could also be something else, and shots are coincidental. I honestly think it’s a delayed reaction though. I’m trying to weigh it all before making a stressful and expensive trip to the vet. There may be others out there experienced similar.
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
15,537
Purraise
20,648
Location
Central FL (Born in OH)
Hi. I think you should inform your vet and see what they have to say. As Furballsmom Furballsmom is alluding to, the brand may allow your vet to check for common reactions related to that brand/version. Your cat is entering his senior years, so treatment might the be most appropriate thing to do if your vet advises as such. This will also get your cat's reactions on record with your vet, as they may enable you to stop giving him vaccinations down the road.

I am also including an article (link below) that addresses various forms of what is called vaccinosis - adverse reactions to vaccinations, including the rabies vaccine. While it likely contains information not relevant to your case, it does pose interesting points about long term vaccination routines. My vet stopped giving Feeby vaccinations when she was around your cat's age. Shortly thereafter, we also stopped the rabies vaccine too.

Most states will allow a vet to exempt a pet from being required to have a rabies vaccination, especially for 'medical reasons' - an adverse reaction may be an eligible medical reason. So, you might want to look into state statutes to see what applies to your state. If you find there is an exemption statute, I would ask your vet to enact it for your cat. Maybe the simplest place to start research would be your local ASPCA.

Understanding vaccinosis in dogs and cats | Animal Wellness Magazine
 

Antonio65

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
4,863
Purraise
7,229
Location
Orbassano - Italy
I know that rabies vaccine cannot be given at the same time as the combo vaccine. At least two weeks between the two shots are needed.
It is possible that your cats had an over reaction from an excessive vaccination.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

pumpkins

pumpkins
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 12, 2017
Messages
31
Purraise
28
Location
WV
Update, I did contact the vet. We had to wait a day to get in to see them. They are double booked, and my cat was still eating so they made us wait. There are few vets here, and they are all swamped. My spouse was able to get him to the appointment.

They didn’t find anything in his blood work other than slightly elevated marker indicating possible inflammation. His X-ray was perfect for an 8-9 year old cat with very little to no arthritis. He didn’t have a fever. He was very tender on his left hip area. The vet said he wouldn’t rule out a reaction, but it’s possible he has a pinched nerve or maybe hurt himself somehow. They gave him a non-steroidal anti inflammatory, and he is doing much better after getting him home. I’m hoping a few days of this medication is all he needs.

Hubby didn’t ask about the brand of shots, but I can call and find out. I don’t want him having anymore shots since they can’t rule out a reaction. Im not sold a pinched nerve explains his lethargy.
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
15,537
Purraise
20,648
Location
Central FL (Born in OH)
The vet said he wouldn’t rule out a reaction, but it’s possible he has a pinched nerve or maybe hurt himself somehow. They gave him a non-steroidal anti inflammatory, and he is doing much better after getting him home. I’m hoping a few days of this medication is all he needs.
At least he appears to be recovering - that is what counts the most! This 'pinched nerve' might be from how/the way the vaccine was administered, but that is pure speculation on my part as a layperson.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

pumpkins

pumpkins
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 12, 2017
Messages
31
Purraise
28
Location
WV
Yes, I’m so glad he’s feeling better. He’s still somewhat cautious, but much improved. I suppose it could be the needle hit a nerve. Would a hit nerve show up 2-3 weeks post injection?
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
15,537
Purraise
20,648
Location
Central FL (Born in OH)
Yes, I’m so glad he’s feeling better. He’s still somewhat cautious, but much improved. I suppose it could be the needle hit a nerve. Would a hit nerve show up 2-3 weeks post injection?
Right off the top of my head, you wouldn't think so. I guess at this point, just be glad he is improving and look into how you can either spread out future vaccinations, so they are not done all at once, or stop them all together for him.

There are titer tests that can be run to see what level of protection he has - if enough, there is no reason for the vaccinations. They are not always as straight forward as they sound, but just another level of 'ammo' that could work on your side. I'd still look into state statutes for possible exemptions.
 

Antonio65

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
4,863
Purraise
7,229
Location
Orbassano - Italy
Yes, I’m so glad he’s feeling better. He’s still somewhat cautious, but much improved. I suppose it could be the needle hit a nerve. Would a hit nerve show up 2-3 weeks post injection?
One of my previous cats had a nerve hit by the needle during an injection that I gave her one night in one of her hind legs.
The result was immediate. She couldn't move her leg anymore and she still couldn't move it a few days later, she could only drag her leg.

It took a month long physiotherapy to recover fully.
So, if it's a hit nerve, it shouldn't show up as a lethargy.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

pumpkins

pumpkins
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 12, 2017
Messages
31
Purraise
28
Location
WV
Thanks for the replies. It doesn’t sound like a hit nerve then. I didn’t think it was since there was a delay. I will for sure advocate for him to not have anymore vaccines. If required, then one at a time. I may ask about titer tests too.

He’s slowed down some after about 24 hours when the shot wore off. He has 2 more days of non-steroidal anti inflammatory pills. He’s such a sweet boy, I hate to see him hurting. The unknown of it kills me. We”ll see how the next few days go, and contact the vet if he gets worse.
 

Vijju

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Apr 25, 2022
Messages
15
Purraise
8
Thanks for the replies. It doesn’t sound like a hit nerve then. I didn’t think it was since there was a delay. I will for sure advocate for him to not have anymore vaccines. If required, then one at a time. I may ask about titer tests too.

He’s slowed down some after about 24 hours when the shot wore off. He has 2 more days of non-steroidal anti inflammatory pills. He’s such a sweet boy, I hate to see him hurting. The unknown of it kills me. We”ll see how the next few days go, and contact the vet if he gets worse.
 

Vijju

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Apr 25, 2022
Messages
15
Purraise
8
Thanks for the replies. It doesn’t sound like a hit nerve then. I didn’t think it was since there was a delay. I will for sure advocate for him to not have anymore vaccines. If required, then one at a time. I may ask about titer tests too.

He’s slowed down some after about 24 hours when the shot wore off. He has 2 more days of non-steroidal anti inflammatory pills. He’s such a sweet boy, I hate to see him hurting. The unknown of it kills me. We”ll see how the next few days go, and contact the vet if he gets worse.
How is your cat now? My cat is just getting worse. She is at the vet now! It's been 15 days since vaccination and 6 days since her sickness!
 

Vijju

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Apr 25, 2022
Messages
15
Purraise
8
So, it seems that the story that the two kind of vaccines can't be given together seems true.
It's kind of a shame that so many vets do not know that!
Yes, you are right! It could be a rare event though! That's why vets have not changed their protocol.
 
Top