July 17th 2007 6:02 am
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This is a very sad day, and one that is completely unnecessary.
In honor of Jules' valient fight against vaccine-associated sarcoma (VAS), I want to give some important information that might save another cat from this aggressive, horrible condition.
VAS tumours are so aggressive, that even when they are completely removed, within days or weeks they come back again. We saw this first-hand with our beloved orange "Blockhead" - literally before he had healed from his surgery, the tumour was already regrowing beneath his stitches.
There are a number of things that can be done to increase survival chances:
1. the new American Veterinary Medicine Association guidelines are to give vaccinations in the rear flank. FeLV and Rabies are the two vaccines that are implicated in causing VAS, and these two, especially, should never be given between the shoulder blades, but always as low down on the rear leg as possible.
2. Request that the rabies vaccine be given at a separate time from other vaccines, combo vaccines stress the immune system and the chances for side-effects or developing VAS goes up.
3. Most states now require Rabies to be given only every three years - you can also request a titer test be done first to see if its needed, if the cat still has immunity, a booster is not needed.
4. FeLV and other vaccines are now recommended to not be given more than once every three years - if your vet is still giving yearly boosters - go to the AVMA site and print the recommendations and take them to your vet.
5. There are new vaccines available for Rabies and FeLV that do not have an adjuvant - which is the suspected cause of VAS. The new vaccines are modified-live instead of killed, and the one for FeLV is not injected into the bloodstream, both of which makes them safer.
6. There are many vaccines that are not necessary, especially for inside cats - do your research!
Humans don't get boosters every year or every few years, why should animals??
7. Read one of the good animal health books about the potential side effects of too many re-vaccinations: Richard Pitcairn's book, or Martin Goldstein's "The Nature of Animal Healing"
8. Purr for Jules Vern and his family - as this shoud NOT have happened, and they had no way of knowing the dangers since the vet never told them. I hope that another cat may learn something from Jules Vern's misfortune, so that something good can come out of this terrible loss of a wonderful, brilliant orange cat.
A very sad, frustrated, Elliott Orange
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