Cat Vaccinations in the Tail

Giving cat vaccinations in the tip of the tail is a new idea. The aim is to save legs from being amputated if cancer forms at the site of the injection. When that happens the cat’s owner doesn’t want to consent to amputation of the leg because (a) the cost (b) it disfigures the cat and (c) it is painful.

At the moment the injection is given below the knee of the leg so if it causes cancer the cat can be saved by amputation the limb.

If the injection is given in the tip of the tail and it goes wrong, amputation of the tip will be more acceptable to the owner. What about the cat, I say 😉 I guess the cat would agree with that too.

What is the risk of a vaccination causing cancer? Well it is low at 1-10 per 10,000. So, on that statistic, at a maximum, it is 1 in 1,000 or .1%.

However, as there are 80 million cats in the US and about 8 million in the UK it amounts to a lot of cats: 80,000 at a max. in the US and 8,000 in the UK. There are, therefore, quite a large number of cats with the problem although the percentage is small.

Apparently a study has shown that an injection in the tail is effective. It appears to be a sensible idea. I don’t know how the cat would feel about this. My instinct is that a cat would complain a lot in the vet’s clinic if a vet was trying to inject into the tail.

A cat’s tail is one of those no-go areas. Well, it is not completely no-go but cats are less accepting of people fiddling around with their tails than other parts of the body. However, it appears that in tests cats accepted an injection in the tail as well as other sites.

The idea for tail injections came from veterinary oncologists (vets specialising in treating cancer). The history of cat vaccinations indicates that the injection site is gradually being distanced further and further from the centre of the cat in response to the risk of cancer.

One question I have is this. Is the risk of cancer greater for cats than people when being given a vaccination? Are vets putting cats at unnecessary risk because of the constituents of the cat vaccination? As I understand it, it is the aluminium adjuvant that makes the vaccination more effective that can cause cancer.

One thing the vets could do to lessen the chance of a cat getting cancer because of a vaccination injection is to do less vaccinations. In my opinion vets still tend to do too many vaccinations. Sometimes they are unnecessary. For example, boosters in older cats or cats living in areas where cat vaccinations are commonplace resulting in a disease free zone.

Doing cat vaccinations judiciously and at a minimum level would probably be of far greater benefit to cats than changing the site of the injection.

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Cat Vaccinations in the Tail — 7 Comments

  1. I think vets should be concentrating more on whether so many vaccination boosters are necessary rather than where to inject the cat! But it’s the same old story, yearly boosters bring in regular money.
    It’s the same with people and yearly flu jabs, doctors push them on people and most of those people don’t know what’s in them, if they really are necessary or the long term side effects that could happen.
    I know myself from working for vets how drug firms operate to make lots of money and it’s all very worrying!

    • I am pleased you agree with me. You nearly always do, which I like. 🙂 I also feel the tail is not ideal because there is so little flesh there. I would think it would be difficult to get a needle in the tail without hurting the cat but I could be wrong.

    • I agree – enough with the vaccinations already. I’m scared enough taking them in once, let alone every year. I won’t do it. Plus they are indoors for now and I live in a place where I’ve not once seen or heard of a sick cat. I’m sure plenty of people don’t take their cats to the vet every year.

      What bothers me is the information the vet gives you being one sided. They should give you a balanced picture. They should say there are risks. They don’t even say that. They make it sound like a vaccination is a walk in the park. Most people have NO idea that there are risks involved. I didn’t until recently.

      The information is too one sided.

      The fact that a person has to dig deeper to find out a more real and balanced picture just proves that the doctors are in the pockets of the corporations making the meds (and of course the food).

  2. I nearly always agree with you because you are right more often than not 🙂
    and I too think that sticking a needle in a cat’s tail would hurt because their tails contain sensitive nerve endings as well as muscle and bone.

  3. I really don’t see how the tail would be ideal, such a guarded and sensitive appendage. You may succeed ONCE in injecting there, but I’ll bet you never will again without brute force!

    I, also, agree that there should be much more discretion regarding which cats really require some vaccinations. As you know, rabies vaccine is required for all cats here. It’s ridiculous to force this on totally indoor cats.

    • such a guarded and sensitive appendage

      Couldn’t describe the tail better. I don’t see it as being practical or welcome amongst the majority of vets. You can see lots inexperienced vets messing up and causing a lot pain.

      It seems the vets are struggling a bit to justify vaccinations because at the end the day they have to be beneficial and if it causes death up to 80k times in the US per year it starts to undermine the process.

  4. I agree that surely if they know that vaccinations are so toxic vets should be concentrating on vaccinating less rather than which part of a cat’s body is worth sacrificing, sometimes injections are unavoidable and I do agree that kittens and puppies need some basic protection like children do, but year after year after year, is it necessary, or is it desirable only to the ones who make a regular profit from it. I would think injecting into the tail would hurt like hell as there’s no pad of flesh there. I sometimes think animal (and people’s)medicine has just gone too far and should be stripped back to basics.

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