Sunday, May 26, 2024

Cat Rabies Shot Side Effects

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Why Should I Vaccinate My Pet

The Devastating Effects of Rabies

Vaccinations are an important part of keeping your pet safe from getting serious contagious diseases that can threaten your pet’s long-term health. Usually, the benefits of giving your cat or dog vaccinations greatly outweigh the risk of your furry friend experiencing side effects. However, some cats and dogs do react to their shots.

How Much Does The Rabies Vaccine For Cats Cost

The cost of vaccinating a cat against rabies varies by product and veterinary clinic, but you should expect to pay somewhere between $15 and $35. If the cost is a barrier, you may be able to find a low-cost vaccination clinic or animal shelter near you that can provide the shot for free or at a reduced rate.

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What Are The Clinical Signs Of Rabies

Following a bite or scratch from a rabid animal, the disease progresses through three stages:

1. In the first or prodromal stage, there is a marked change in temperament quiet cats become agitated and can become aggressive, while active extroverts may become nervous or shy.

2. This phase is then followed by so-called furious rabies that is by far the most common type observed in the cat. During this phase, excitement predominates and it is at this stage that the cat is most dangerous, both to other animals and to the owner. The cat becomes increasingly nervous, irritable, and vicious. Muscle spasms will often prevent swallowing and there is excessive drooling of saliva.

3. The third stage is the paralytic stage, which usually occurs after about seven days. Ultimately the cat will become comatose and die.

A noted feature of rabies in cats is the widely dilated pupil throughout all stages of the disease.

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Why The Rabies Vaccine May Cause Side Effects

A vaccine stimulates the immune system and directs the body’s attention away from what may be more pressing matters at the time of inoculation. This immune confusion can result in many symptoms. However, there are certain chemicals added to preserve vaccines, and it is impossible to tell ahead of time whether or not a cat may react to such chemicals. Also, sometimes vaccines are faulty or have expired, or they may possess a number of issues. Such factors can produce a negative response as well.

Can A Vaccinated Cat Still Catch Cat Flu

Feline Rabies Vaccination Side Effects Cats

Although vaccinations provide excellent protection, none can guarantee 100% cover. So yes, theoretically, a vaccinated cat could still catch cat flu, but it is significantly less likely. In addition to this, if a vaccinated cat catches a disease they have been vaccinated against, they are likely to develop less symptoms and have a much quicker recovery.

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Minimizing Risks Of Side Effects

Know the laws where you live. Do not give your pets vaccination at ages younger than recommended ages. Do not give your pet a vaccination if he is sick or recovering from sickness. For the rabies vaccine, see if you can get a rabies titer and check the status of immunity in your cat to make sure the vaccine is needed.

Before you take your pet to get a vaccine, have remedies on hand at home to deal with a reaction should your cat have a reaction. Early treatment of side effects is ideal.

If you cat or kitten has experienced side effects from a rabies vaccine, please let us know.

Read on below to see what side effects and experiences other Earth Clinic readers have experienced. To learn remedies to treat side effects from vaccinations in cats, please visit this Earth Clinic page.

I have an approximately 2yr old all black male feral cat. He had some scrapes and bruises, was examined and given a rabies shot. He is now declining in health. Pain in the injection area, which makes it hard to walk, and major lethargy. I had some pain meds left over, and that did the trick, he was pretty much his old self. But the next day, he was struggling once again. He has an appointment in a couple days.

Rabies Vaccine Side Effects

Seizure and death after rabies vaccination

Rabies Vaccine Side EffectsRabies Vaccine Side Effects

My cat has gone into late stage kidney failure since her rabies shot 3 weeks ago.

Rabies Vaccine Side EffectsRabies Vaccine Side Effects

Human Rabies Immune Globulin

In a clinical trial involving 16 volunteers, participants receiving HRIG alone commonly reported local reactions , including pain/tenderness , erythema , and induration .

Systemic reactions were reported in 75% of participants in conventional HRIG group and 81% in heat-treated group. Headache was the most commonly reported systemic reaction . Most of the reported local and systemic reactions were mild, and there were no significant differences in the frequency of adverse events between treatment groups.

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How Do We Approach Vaccination If My Cat Has Had An Injection

Some veterinarians suggest that additional vaccines be minimized and when re-vaccination is necessary , they sometimes consider use of a non-adjuvanted or non-injectable vaccine. Many veterinarians are placing vaccines in sites that would make tumor removal easier should a FISS occur for example, placement low on the leg instead of in the interscapular space or even vaccination on the tail.

What Is A Rabies Vaccine For Cats

Cat rabies vaccine

A rabies vaccine contains a minuscule amount of the rabies virus, giving your cat immunity to the disease-causing virus.

The rabies vaccine is a killed vaccine, meaning that the minuscule amounts of rabies virus within the vaccine will not cause disease.

Rabies vaccines may be adjuvanted or non-adjuvanted. Adjuvanted vaccines contain extra substances intended to increase the immune response to the vaccine. Non-adjuvanted vaccines do not contain these substances.

The rabies vaccine is injected into your cats body and will stimulate the cats immune system to mount an immune response against the rabies virus.

The cats body then develops the ability to create antibodies that can fight the rabies virus if the cat is ever bitten by a rabid animal. The antibodies help your cat fight off the disease, preventing your cat from developing rabies.

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Possible Cat Reactions To Rabies Vaccine

Very few, if any, medical treatments are without side effects. The case of vaccinations is no different. In fact, the rabies vaccine side effects in cats are similar to those in dogs as well. Although the most common side effects are swelling and redness at the site of injection, there are far more serious effects that may include anything from:

  • Impairment of motor skills

A Look At Each Vaccine: Rabies Vaccine

Rabies vaccine is unique in that it is most often used after exposure to the disease. The only people who typically get vaccinated as a preventive measure are those who are at high risk for exposure, such as laboratory workers, veterinarians, animal handlers, spelunkers , and travelers going to parts of the world where exposure to rabies is likely. People getting vaccinated as a preventive measure should get two doses of vaccine. The second should be given seven days after the first dose. Some people will also be recommended for antibody testing and possibly a booster dose.

Once someone has been exposed, their dosing will vary depending upon their vaccination history:

  • For those who have been exposed to rabies without previous vaccination, the vaccine is given shortly after exposure to prevent the progressive, invariably fatal disease, rabies. In these situations, a total of four shots are given in the shoulder muscle of adults or the thigh of children. The first shot is given immediately after exposure to a rabid animal, then again three days later, seven days later, and 14 days later. The person should also receive another shot called rabies immune globulin .
  • For those who have been exposed to rabies, but who were previously vaccinated with rabies vaccine, two shots should be given in the shoulder or thigh muscle. The first shot should be given immediately after exposure. A second shot should be given three days later. These people do not need to get RIG.

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Cat Reaction To Rabies Vaccine

Cat owners often have concerns about the cat rabies vaccine having side effects. They will tell our Westport vets that they don’t want to have to tell their family that their “cat died from rabies vaccine”. Fortunately, these fears are unfounded. Side effects are rare and typically include only slight fever, lethargy, decreased appetite, and/or a localized swelling at the vaccine site.

In some excessively rare cases, a cat can have an allergic reaction to the vaccine, leading to hives, extreme weakness, and unexplained collapse. It should be known that fewer than 0.001% of cats will have allergic side effects to modern rabies vaccines. It is always safer to get your cat vaccinated than to test one’s luck against potential rabies infection in the future.

What Serious Reactions Could My Cat Or Dog Have To Vaccines

How Do Cats Get Rabies?

Most reactions associated with vaccines are mild and short in duration but, there are a few rare cases where side effects are more severe and require immediate medical attention.

The serious side effects will usually occur very soon after the vaccine is given but can take up to 48 hours to appear. Signs of a more severe side effect to a dog or cat vaccination include facial swelling, vomiting, hives, itchiness, diarrhea, and breathing difficulties.

Anaphylaxis is the most severe side effect a puppy or kitten can have to a vaccination. Anaphylaxis will typically occur in dogs and cats very soon after the vaccination has been administered, but it’s important to know that anaphylaxis can happen up to 48 hours after the vaccine has been administered.

If your pet shows symptoms of anaphylaxis after their vaccinations, contact your vet immediately or call your nearest emergency veterinary clinic.

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Are There Any Side Effects I Should Watch For After Cat Vaccination

Most cats show no ill side effect from receiving a cat vaccine. If your cat does have a reaction, they are usually minor and short-lived. However, you should still be on the lookout for the following symptoms that might indicate negative side effects from a cat vaccine:

  • Swelling and redness around the injection site

If you suspect your cat is experiencing any ill side effects from his or her cat vaccine, call us immediately so we can help you to determine whether any special care is needed.

How Often Do Cats Need To Get A Rabies Vaccine

There are a number of different brands of rabies vaccines for cats available on the market, and each brand comes with manufacturer guidelines that must be adhered to by the administering veterinarian.

The major differences between feline rabies vaccines are whether they contain an adjuvant or not.

Older vaccines contained materials called adjuvants, which act to boost the immune response to the vaccine. These vaccines worked very well to prevent disease, but in a very small numbers of cats, they were linked to the development of both local reactions and much more serious problems, like growths at the site of the vaccine.

Most veterinarians have now changed to the non-adjuvanted form of the rabies vaccine for cats. Originally, this vaccine was only released as a one-year vaccine. That meant that starting at the age of 12 weeks, a cat would need to receive the vaccine annually to ensure protection from the disease.

Recently, however, a non-adjuvanted three-year vaccine has been made available to veterinarians. This vaccine is only given once every three years after the initial one-year booster.

It is relatively expensive, so many veterinarians still prefer to use the annual form of the non-adjuvanted vaccine.

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Treatment Of Adverse Reaction To Rabies Vaccine In Cats

Once your veterinarian has determined the cause of your cats reaction, they will discuss treatment options with you. Usually, mild cases will not require treatments unless it is an antihistamine and/or corticosteroid to stop itching or sneezing. Anti-inflammatories may be given to reduce swelling.

If your cat has developed a more serious adverse reaction or allergy to the rabies vaccine, your veterinarian will need to administer treatments. These treatments will probably be supportive care in the form of intravenous fluid therapy, oxygen therapy and close monitoring of their vital signs.

If your cat has gone into anaphylactic shock, emergency measures will need to be taken to keep your cats airways open so they are able to breathe. Oxygen support will most likely be necessary. Epinephrine will be given as well as antihistamines.

Worried about the cost of Adverse Reaction To Rabies Vaccine treatment?

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Rabies Vaccine Side Effects For Cats

Shortage of rabies vaccine may put pets at risk

Most feline rabies vaccine side effects are relatively minor, but some may be serious and even life threatening. Learn the most common side effects of the feline rabies vaccination, along with the more serious side effects, so you’ll know what to watch out for after your cat has her rabies vaccination.

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What Is My Takeaway Message

The vast majority of the tens of millions of pets are vaccinated without any problems each year. Closely monitor your pet, and report any problems to your veterinarian as soon as possible. Vaccines save countless lives and prevent devastating infectious diseases from threatening our pet loved ones. If you have any questions or concerns, please discuss them with your veterinarian.

Contributors: Ernest Ward, DVM Updated by Rania Gollakner, BS DVM

Even Indoor Cats Are Required To Have Their Rabies Vaccines

Pet parents often believe that vaccination against rabies is unnecessary if their cat is an indoor cat, but this is not the case. While it might be true that you don’t allow your cat outside your home, the potential for escape–or worse, for an infected bat or rodent to break into your home, is great enough to warrant protection for your feline companion.

The fact is that the consequences of rabies are simply too deadly to take any chances, the best and only way to ensure your cat is completely protected against rabies is vaccination.

In most US states all cats and dogs over the age of 6 months are required to be vaccinated against rabies. When you take your pet to be vaccinated your vet will be sure to issue you with a certificate of vaccination as proof that your feline friend is up to date with their rabies vaccine.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

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How Do You Catch Rabies

Rabies is contracted by exposure to the saliva of an infected animal. Any mammal can get rabies, but the most commonly infected animals in the United States are raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes. Rabies can be transmitted if a bite from an infected animal penetrates the skin. Rabies can also be transmitted if an infected animal licks an open wound, cut or scratch, or if the animal licks the mouth, nose or eyes. Simply petting a rabid animal will not transmit rabies.

If you or a family member is bitten by a rabid animal, you should thoroughly clean the wound and then call the local health department or a local infectious disease expert to determine which animals in the region are likely to transmit rabies. But generally, in the United States, the following guidelines can serve as a good rule of thumb:

Rabies vaccine is not needed:

  • If the animal lives in or has been hanging around the neighborhood, it can be observed for 10 days to see if it behaves normally.
  • If, after 10 days, the animal does not show any signs of rabies, then no treatment is needed.
  • Also, animals immunized with the rabies vaccine are unlikely to transmit rabies all the more reason to make sure that your animals are immunized with rabies vaccine.

Mice, rats, squirrels, rabbits, birds and chipmunks generally do not carry rabies. There has been no record of reptiles, amphibians or fish ever becoming infected with or transmitting rabies.

Rabies vaccine is needed:

What Are Feline Injection

Feline Rabies Vaccination Side Effects Cats

Although rare, feline injection-site sarcomas are cancerous tumors that can arise following injections. Because vaccines are among the most common injections cats receive, vaccination is sometimes a concern for pet owners who might have heard about injection-site sarcomas.

While a specific cause has not been established, it is thought that inflammatory processes related to administration of injectable products can lead to formation of sarcomas. The role of adjuvants and local inflammation in the pathogenesis of FISS is not clear.

Recent studies suggest that vaccines and other injected agents are risk factors for FISS. These studies also show that in some cats the mere process of instilling a substance into the skin can induce inflammation. There is speculation that this inflammation is not controlled in some cats and this might explain how this transforms into a sarcoma. For the vast majority of patients, vaccination is a low risk and no vaccine is known to be completely risk free. It is possible that any injection in the right cat may lead to an injection site sarcoma . It is important to note that the disease causing organisms themselves are not likely to cause injection-site sarcomas inflammation associated with the vaccine administration is more likely the concern. Due to their aggressiveness, these tumors can invade local tissue and even metastasize to other areas of the body which can lead to a very poor prognosis.

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