Professionals and Pharma companies keep us in the dark about prevalence of pet vaccination adverse events

Vaccination Necessary?
Vaccination Necessary?
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

This is a reminder that all cat owners should question whether their cat requires yearly booster vaccinations. The word is getting around but for a long time the pharmaceutical companies in conjunction with veterinarians peddled the idea that it was obligatory to put a cat through yearly booster vaccinations. I wonder how many cats were injured needlessly over many years.

I’m not saying that people should argue with veterinarians or go against their advice. I’m just suggesting that concerned cat caretakers should think about and question the advice of veterinarians and the recommendations on the packet from manufacturers.

For example, in America, Fort Dodge Animal Health, a division of Wyeth, and a major pet vaccine manufacturer supplying in America carried out a vaccination study to assess whether vaccinations in respect of distemper, parvovirus and adenovirus (in respect of dogs, I believe) protected the pet for three years instead of one. They discovered that they did protect for three years, as I understand it, or at least longer than a year. Despite the finding the instructions provided on the vaccine vials recommend yearly booster vaccinations.

Turning to what is euphemistically described as “adverse events” in respect of the negative consequences of vaccinations, veterinarians are encouraged to report these directly to the vaccine manufacturer. In addition, if a veterinarian passes information about an adverse event or events to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the USDA simply passes on the information to the manufacturer. This obviously means that the veterinarian’s client, the cat’s owner is well and truly out of the information loop because manufacturers are obviously reluctant to come clean about the prevalence of vaccine adverse events.

Apparently, we are also told that there is no database available to veterinarians with respect to adverse vaccine reactions on a nationwide basis (or perhaps any basis). If this is true, the vets in America are unable to make a proper assessment of the side-effects of a particular vaccine. If I am incorrect, please correct me.

Some veterinarians no longer recommend booster vaccinations and indeed some veterinarians may advise against vaccinating at all (or in respect of certain vaccines) so there is certainly greater sensitivity from the professionals. I sense that the major “problem” can be traced back to the manufacturers of the vaccines.

The trouble here is that I sense that veterinarians work closely with the manufacturers and therefore what the manufacturers desire, veterinarians must also desire.

I don’t know what sort of financial or contractual relationship vets have with vaccine manufacturers. Are veterinarians paid a commission on the number of vaccinations administered?

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some or perhaps many veterinarians have a close financial relationship with the big Pharma companies. If that’s the case then these veterinarians would be under a conflict of interest and no longer be able to dispense neutral advice. This would be in breach of ethical guidelines but does that stop the vets? It does not in my opinion. The AVMA lacks authority.

The bottom line is that vaccinating cats and dogs should be carried out with caution and the cat owner’s instructions should only be delivered after questioning the vet and an analyzing the risks and benefits.

7 thoughts on “Professionals and Pharma companies keep us in the dark about prevalence of pet vaccination adverse events”

  1. As much as I would like to forgo the rabies vaccinations for my three kat-kids, I cannot do so in good conscious.

    Where I live, here in the ‘Wild, Wild West’ of the United States, rabies is not a “concern”: it is a big, big, BIG reality. Skunks, Bats, feral dogs and Coyote, (and most every other form of wildlife subject to rabies) are all are confirmed and regular sources of rabies infection.

    The accepted ‘rule’ is: if you see any such animal on the road, run over them and then rush to run your vehicle through the local car-wash to ‘flush it’ clean.

    Every year there seem to be more than a few cases of people being bit and infected with rabies by such animals, a very recent case being in the very county I live in (a fellow could not get his lawn-mower to start. As he reached under it to clear the obstruction, he pulled back his arm with a rabies-infected skunk attached to it. It continued to attack him and bit him multiple times).

    Dr. Itchy Brother had a very, very bad reaction to his last rabies vaccination: he had a long bout (maybe four hours) of petit mall seizures that appeared to near take his life. He will not be getting a ‘booster’ shot, as I am sure it will likely kill him.

    (the Vet that administered the vaccine claimed “I have never observed that in an animal before”. I believe her, I believe she “never observed” it before. But here was something in her voice that told me she was aware it was not an isolated incident, even though she had not personally ‘observed it’)

    I will continue to error on the side of great caution, and vaccinate the other two kitties because they eat wild critters regularly.

    Itchy gets a ‘pass’, however. There is a ‘Western’ colloquialism that refers to someone like him: “That Dog Don’t Hunt”, which refers to age, inclination and other.

    Rabid Kitty Pic:

  2. Dee,

    Yes it is indeed very sad that that three year non-adjuvented vaccine is so costly. This makes it very difficult for many people to take advantage of it.

    On the other hand, the cost of treating a cat that DOES develop Vaccine Associated Sarcoma is far more costly. I dearly wish that that vaccine had been available many, many years ago when – and at that time I didn’t know the difference between non-adjuvented – adjuvented vaccines – in addition to the differences between the then popular protocol of vaccinating in the scruff-as opposed to the right rear leg- (or now- even the tail), which caused that deadly reaction in my beloved angel kitty- VAS- which ended her life prematurely. The cost of treating this deadly disease was incredible high- but we were able to give her 18 months of a good quality of life.

    But I am just so glad that there is a choice now. This said, as far as I am concerned after all the research I have done- I wonder how appropriate it really is to have to vaccinate every three years when immunity lasts so much longer.

    But even though there is “only” the chance of cats developing VAS is 1 in 5,000 or 10,000- the unlucky cat ( and their guardian) are doomed. There is no cure- this cancer is ravenous- and grows incredibly fast. Since indoor-only cats are such a slight risk of being infected by rabies- why take even the most miniscule risk of developing VAS? We don’t vaccinate for Rabies anymore at all and my vet is fine with this.

  3. If “INDOOR CATS” then after the first initial “Kitten Vaccinations” it is not necessary to vaccinate them over the years.My 2 cats have never been vaccinated after their initial “Kitten vaccinations”. Recently i confirmed the same with cat show judge Mr Johan.Lamprecht of South Africa during the “Indian Cat federation Cat show” in Mumbai as my cats were not vaccinated.

    • People like you, Rudolph, are using their brains to override what is pushed at us. We reject the idea of automatic vaccinations but many cat owners go along with their vet. What the vet says goes even though things are changing there is still a lack of clarity about vaccinations.

  4. I only know of one company that makes a 3 year non-adjuvanted rabies vaccine for cats, but it is very expensive – at least 3 times the cost of what is used mostly now.
    I go with the yearly boosters for safety and cost.
    Sure, my life would be a little easier if my 50+ cats didn’t need to be trapped and taken in every year. But, I have to go with what is available to me at a very, very reduced price.

    Regardless of any side effects of rabies vaccines or whether the vets and pharmas are joined at the hip, the law requires it.

  5. I read the WSAVA 2010 article which recommended that vaccinations could be given every 3 years instead of annually.

    Since my cats like to go outside I always have them fully vaccinated and did some more research and learned that;

    “ALL brands of UK licensed vaccines have to be given EVERY YEAR (based on the vaccine data sheet and thus required by law unless good justification).”

    When I asked my own vet he told me that he’d vaccinated thousands of cats during the course of his 35+ years as a vet, but he’d only ever encountered 4 cases of “vaccination site” sarcoma. One of those cases involved a cat who’d never been vaccinated. It’s also true that many more cats die each year from FIV and FeLV than die from vaccine related cancers.

    I do wonder if there’s a difference between the types of vaccinations used in the US and Europe. Or whether it’s just they have more awareness of potential problems.


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