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Thread: "New" Feline Rabies Vaccine?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Methuen, MA; USA

    "New" Feline Rabies Vaccine?

    What do you think about the "new" Purevax Feline rabies vaccine?

    I put new in parentheses, as it has been a round since 2002. I am just hearing about it.

    My vet used to offer a 2 year feline rabies vaccine fo $22. NOW, we get the new Purevax ONE YEAR rabies vaccine, for $28.

    It is "supposed" to have the ingredient which causes fibrosarcomas at the injection site removed from it. We don't have a choice of which vaccine we want.

    Just wondering what anyone else thinks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    NE Pa.
    No choice go in my house. My guys all react differently to their shots and not all of them get the same ones. I would discuss this option with your vet, and let him know that as an informed guardian you have a voice.
    Merry Holidays to One an All Blessed be

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Methuen, MA; USA
    Yeah, I have a voice. Which one do I want? Just because none of my cats ever had a site reaction so far, doesn't mean they never will, correct? I don't want to decide only based on the cost. Sigh.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Williamstown, Kentucky
    Rabies shots we get are for 3 years.
    First one ever given, is one year than 3 years there after.
    Owned by my 8 precious furry kids... My 3 daughters Cindy & Abby & Aly and 5 sons Skinny, Stephen, Carson, Fuzzmuzz and Franklin.
    Owned by two special canine sons Coco and Snoopy and two canine daughters, Sadie and Gretchen

    Always in our hearts RBButterscotch & RBThumper, RB Ms. Eleanor

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Methuen, MA; USA
    Hi Craftlady! Yup, I knew about that. There has to be a state OK for that.

    I live right on the border, Rhode Island / Massachusetts. I live in RI, my vet is in Mass. Mass. recognizes the 3 year vaccine, RI does not. The old vaccines which my vet offered, it was the same vaccine. Just good for 3 years if you (and your cat) lived in Mass., good for 2 years if you lived in RI.

    If you look at the Merial web site, the manufacturer of the Purevax, it is only good for one year.

  6. #6
    The way I understand it, there have been two principal methods of vaccination: modified live (attenuated) virus, and killed virus. The live virus vaccine is considered more effective generally, but in small numbers of cases it can become virulent and cause the disease it is supposed to prevent.

    Rabies vaccines for cats used to be modified live virus, but some years ago changed to killed virus. At this time the adjuvant was added, which in most cases increases the effectiveness of the vaccine (which otherwise would be less effective than the live virus vaccine). However, the vaccine site sarcomas seem to be associated with the use of adjuvant.

    The newer Merial vaccine is live virus (as I understand it -- but I'm not an MD or DVM), but is recombinant and this is supposed to make it unable to become virulent. Because it's live, it should be more effective, and therefore not require adjuvant.

    Other than this, I can't judge what other risks may be associated with it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Taz just got his shots last night and I noticed on my receipt he got the Purevax. I didn't realize they were now using a one year rabies shot. I would have thought if I had a choice they would have asked me. If I can remember in a year, I will ask about the three year shot instead.

    *Edit to add: The rabies (Purevax) shot Taz got last night only cost $18.48.
    Our goal in life should be - to be as good a person as our dog thinks we are.

    Thank you for the siggy, Michelle!

    Cindy (Human) - Taz (RB Tabby) - Zoee (RB Australian Shepherd) - Paizly (Dilute Tortie) - Taggart (Aussie Mix) - Jax (Brown & White Tabby), - Zeplyn (Cattle Dog Mix)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    I've always gotten the longer-lasting ones for my cats.. then last summer my Sydney did develop a fibrosarcoma. Fortunately a surgical specialist was able to remove it completely.

    But after that happened, mine get the one-year kind. (I'm not even sure about getting them rabies shots at all any more, after Sydney's tumor, since they are strictly inside cats.)

    I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
    Death thought about it.
    CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.

    -- Terry Pratchett (1948—2015), Sourcery

  9. #9
    I am going to have to ask my vet about this Purevax. Ever since Panther died because of the fibrosarcoma I have been very hesitant about getting rabies shots for my two other fur babies and they are due soon too.

    Owned by Booboo, Magic, and Shadow
    RIP my precious Panther, BooBoo, and Shadow. Mommy misses you!

  10. #10
    I have used the PureVax Rabies vaccine for about 12 years now on my baby. When she was just a little baby, she developed a fast-growing sarcoma after receiving a regular rabies shot. We endured emergency surgery, and thank heavens, she was fine. It was very traumatic.

    After that, I searched for an answer. My vet did not really offer any assistance, but I found that I could actually speak with a real vet at Cornell Veterinary Medical Feline Health Center (1-800-kittydr, I believe). I believe it cost me $40 to join, so that I could do this, but it was well worth it to me. I was told they regularly used the PureVax vaccine, and it has worked perfectly for us.

    Every year I buy a case of the PureVax rabies and PureVax feline leukemia vaccines. No one around me uses them, so my vet isn't able to provide it like the regular kind, since it costs more and you must do it every year, due to how the vaccine is made. I use the rabies for both of my cats and donate the other 22 vials to a local cat rescue. Since a special injector is needed for the FeLk vaccine, I let my vet keep the remainder to use for special needs (money-strapped, good-hearted people).

    Note that for the FeLk, the injector pen is loud and scares most cats. My little boy jumps and hisses, but the baby doesn't even flinch (I forewarn her that there will be a 'biggy-noise'--yes, I know how pathetic I sound, but wouldn't you love to be my cat?) The rabies injector is the same as it is for a regular vaccine.

    I strongly recommend the PureVax rabies, since it was a godsend for us; I only use the PureVax FeLk out of fear that something "might" happen.

    Hope this helps!! Good luck!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    I've posted in another thread about fibrosarcoma. My Morganna went to the Bridge because of it; that was several years ago. She came to me at my mountain cabin - still wearing stitches from having been spayed! No owner coult be found. I took her to the local vet and asked him to check for a scar to see if she'd been spayed. (All her fur was full.) That's when he found the stitches. I had no choice but to have her fully vaccinated - including the 3-year rabies shot.

    At some point after that, she developed fibrosarcoma. My regular vet, who's been in practice a long time and keeps current on info, told me at the time that there were two suspect vaccines: the FeLV and the 3-year rabies. Some months later, he told me that it was almost certainly the 3-year rabies shot that was responsible because of the adjuvant in it. He told me the only vaccine that should be used on cats is the Purevax, made by Merial. When I was making an appointment for Morganna with the vet near the cabin (wanted to stay on their client list), I told the woman on the phone that I would accept ONLY Purevax. She went & got a vet tech, who told me that "It's all the same; it all comes from the same bottle. The length of time is just whatever State law requires." I explained that that was not true; that Purevax is FDA approved for one-year use ONLY. She got a bit snotty at that point, informing me, "Well, I've been a vet tech for 10 years, and I've never heard of what you're saying." I got snotty back: "Well, the friend who told me this has been a *practicing veterinary* for almost 40 years!" She said she'd go talk to the vet, came back, and said the doctor knew what I was saying. Whew! The point is: ONLY the Purevax should be given to cats, a gospel I've tried in the ensuing years to preach. Cost be damned; a few dollars is far less important that your furchild's health. And if you have to treat fibrosarcoma, I guarantee that you will spend much, much more - and maybe lose in the end anyway.

    Use the Purevax!

    (Just to illustrate - of the 5 cats in my signature, Smokey got the 3-year shot in 2007 only because he was feral and I never expected to be able to trap him again. This time - although a vet visit is traumatic for both of us - he got the Purevax. My dear vet, who had to struggle with him, still used the Purevax because he feels it to be safer.)
    Last edited by maerlyn; 04-26-2011 at 10:34 PM.

    Lady-in-Waiting to HRH The PrinCESS Althea

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Methuen, MA; USA
    My state has FINALLY changed the law, and recognizes the rabies vaccine for 3 years, so I have gone back to that, and left the Purevax.

    There was a spate of fibrosarcoma cases back in the '90's and none since. My vet thinks there must have been a bad batch of the vaccine. This was never an issue in other countries, only here in the USA.

    So all mine are now on the regular vaccine, and it is good for 3 years.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
    I don't do many vacines for my strictly indoor cats because of the fibrosarcoma issue. I haven't had a rabies vac for years, unless its connected to an altering.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Alaska: Where the odds are good, but the goods are odd.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cataholic View Post
    I don't do many vacines for my strictly indoor cats because of the fibrosarcoma issue. I haven't had a rabies vac for years, unless its connected to an altering.
    Halo got sick after every innoculation. Pepper got very sick the last time she got her vaccines. The only one required by our state law is the rabies. Since our kitties are indoors, the vet agreed not to innoculate Pepper any more. Cammie, Willy and Willow all get their vaccines and have never gotten ill.
    Ask your vet about microchipping. ~ It could have saved Kuhio's life.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    For the health of every cat, please read the information on vacines from Dr. Lisa Pierson at the following website: and I'm sorry if it is not "clickable" but I'm not sure how to do that.

    She advises to administer ONLY one year rabies, live. Never 3 year killed because risk of sarcoma is greater.

    I have read most all of her essays on various feline health topics contained on her website, and have changed several ways that I care for my cats, thanks to her.

    I will try to make her home page clickable: Hopefully it worked. Down the right side are various topics and you will find vaccinations. For the health of your cats I hope everyone reading this will peruse her website and please discontinue feeding dry food. I'd like to make a big warning poster and hang it in the dry cat food aisle at PetSmart with her website to share what I have learned. I only wish I had discovered her website years ago.
    Last edited by AvaJoy; 05-12-2011 at 11:01 AM. Reason: added more information

    Avatar courtesy of Kimlovescats . . . many thanks!
    EvErY LiFe ShOuLd HaVe NiNe CaTs

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