vaccine titers

Feline Distemper Vaccination: Pros & Cons of Re-Vaccination


In the past, feline distemper, also known as panleukopenia or FPV, was the leading cause of death in cats. The disease is relatively rare today, mostly thanks to effective vaccines. The feline distemper vaccine is considered a core vaccine, and is commonly administered in a combination vaccine that protects against FPV, feline herpes virus and feline calici virus.Continue Reading

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Vaccines for Cats: Guideline, Benefits & Risks


There is no question that vaccines protect against disease, but they also present considerable risk. Far too many cats are still being over-vaccinated because too cat guardians, still think annual “shots” are necessary, and sadly, far too many veterinarians still recommend them. This is a complex issue, and it’s up to cat guardians to educate themselves so they can make the best decision for their feline family members. Continue Reading

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Vaccine Titers: An Alternative to Over-Vaccinating Your Cat

Veterinarian doctors analyzing blood samples of cat in laboratory under microscope

There is no question that vaccines protect against disease – but they also present considerable risk. Sadly, far too many cats are still being over-vaccinated because too many veterinarians, and cat guardians, still think annual “shots” are necessary.Continue Reading

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Injection-site Sarcomas in Cats: Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis & Prevention

Veterinarian examines white cat

An injection-site sarcoma is a tumor of the connective tissues in the cat. These tumors are often called fibrosarcomas, and are most frequently located between the shoulder blades, in the hip region, and in the back legs. They are most often associated with inactive killed rabies or feline leukemia vaccines, or with multiple vaccines given at the same time, but they can also be caused by other injections such as steroids. They have even been associated with microchips. The incidence of these tumors ranges from 1 in 1000 to 1 in 10,000 cats. They can develop as quickly as 4 weeks or as late as 10 years post vaccination.


The first step toward diagnosis is a fine needle aspirate of the lump. Your cat’s veterinarian will insert a small needle directly into the tumor and extract cells. This is an inexpensive and minimally invasive test, but unfortunately, it is also not very accurate and can lead to a high rate of false negative results. In most cases, a surgical biopsy will be necessaryContinue Reading

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Let’s Talk Titers: Avoid Over-Vaccinating Your Cat


Written by W. Jean Dodds, DVM

Jeannie recently adopted a three-year-old cat from her local shelter. Determined to give her new friend a healthy life, she decided not to have him vaccinated every year. She’d heard that vaccine titers were a good alternative to annual boosters, so she found a veterinarian who offers this option and asked him for more information.

Compelling evidence implicates vaccines in triggering various immune-mediated and other chronic disorders (vaccinosis). In cats, for example, aggressive tumors called fibrosarcomas can occasionally arise at the site of vaccination. While some of these problems have been traced to contaminated or poorly attenuated batches of vaccine that revert to virulence, others apparently reflect a genetic predisposition in an animal to react adversely when given the single (monovalent) or multiple antigen “combo” (polyvalent) products routinely administered to animals. Certain susceptible breeds or families of animal appear to be at increased risk for severe and lingering adverse vaccine reactions.Continue Reading

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