View Full Version : cancer in felines possibly linked to annual vaccinations?

08-06-2002, 07:34 PM
I have been reading about the potential risks of feline cancers which may be related to annual vaccinations. I was wondering if any members have any information regarding this issue.
I am considering holding off on upcoming innoculations until I have acquired more information on this subject.
My cats (3) are strictly indoor. I am aware of the danger of infection should they end up outside by mistake, but I am wondering if exposing them to the risk of feline cancer (re: annual vaccinations) is worth it, in view of the fact that they may never see the outside world in their entire lives.
I would welcome any comments and if any of you have any websites to share with me, I would be very grateful.

Regards from Deborah.

08-06-2002, 07:55 PM
I think I've heard this discussed somewhere-- it (vaguely) rings a bell. I will see if I can find any websites/discussion boards on the topic.....

I will post what I find out! :)

08-07-2002, 10:58 AM
I have always given my cats their annual vaccinations as a precaution.

However, my friend has two indoor cats and her Vet was very upfront. As long as they never, ever go outdoors, she recommended stopping the vaccinations and exactly for the reasons you pointed out.

I never get flu shots anymore. Why? Every single time I would get the shot - I got the flu!!

08-07-2002, 12:26 PM
Good question - and I can tell you a bit of my experiences with this issue. My 6 yr old cat Daisy passed away due to "vaccine- induced sarcoma" which is a cancerous tumor caused by one or more of the annual shots.

My understanding is that cats in general have a fairly unusual immune system (compared to other mammals like dogs and humans). The problem seems to come when injections are given all in one place (for instance, the back of the neck at the shoulder blades).

Current wisdom in the veterinary world is to give the yearly shots in various places instead of one place. For instance, one shot in the front leg, one in the back leg, etc. This prevents the concentration of the vaccines from working together against your cat's immune system. To be brutally honest about this procedure - if a cat gets a tumor from one particular vaccine, the leg is a much easier area to remove than a tumor near the spine. This sounds very scary, but in fact not that many cats get this life-threatening reaction.

There is also some question about just which one of the vaccines causes this reaction - or is it a combination of them ??? So, your concern about giving "indoor only" cats too many shots is a good one. My vet has recommended for my indoor cat that he only receive a minimum of vaccines. But, if he goes outdoors, or I bring in another cat that goes outdoors, he will need to get more shots just in case.

It is very sad to know that the shots which were meant to help your pet has actually hurt them. But, I still believe that vaccines are important and helpful as long as you are educated about the pros and cons.

Best wishes to your furry family -

08-09-2002, 10:54 PM
Our cats are outdoor cats except our new kitten Prissy who is a inside cat and only goes outside on a leash,but Moonpie my cat and Casper my cat where born in the wild,sso its like imopossible to keep them inside,and my lil brothers cat BallonPop is out side to,hes part "dog" part "squirrel" part "ferret" how cause thats what he thinks he is!:),But im confused about what this topic is,can anyone explain,we are going to take Prissy and MoonPie and BP and get them fixed soon and shots to,should we forget about the shots????:confused: please explain


08-09-2002, 11:05 PM
Definitely get your pets vaccinated! Your cats will have protection they need! Just be sure to ask your vet about where the shots will be injected on your cat - that way you can minimize the possible problems from the shots.

This tumor or cancer that we are discussing sometimes happens to cats - but it used to happen more. Now, most vets are very careful, and you can help by asking about the topic!

As with any medicine, sometimes one individual has a bad reaction - but for most every other person (or purrson) treated, the medicine is a good thing. Be a good pet owner by staying informed, but don't be too worried. Enjoy your sweeties and let your vet help you take good care of them!

08-09-2002, 11:39 PM
Thanks to each of you who responded so far to my query re: feline annual vaccinations and the possibility of related feline cancers. I was happy to see that I am not the only cat owner who is concerned about this health issue! Since I sent my post, I have been reading more information and one thing I would like to pass on to other readers is this: it is unclear how long the protection from annual shots lasts; some sources I read say it could be as long at three years, which means that the yearly thing is not necessary should this prove to be true. I think the idea of giving the shots at different places on the body is a good one and I plan to discuss this with my vet. I still have not made up my mind whether or not I will give the shots on an yearly basis, however. Thanks once again for your input; it was appreciated...regards from Deborah in Montreal

08-10-2002, 01:12 PM
We will have to get our cats to the vet,we really want to get my two cats their Rabies shot ASAP because they are always getting into fights with the Wild Cats out here....People just dump the poor cats out here,or the cats run away from homes and so there are lots of cats out here....So we really need to get our cats to the vet..... thanks