Archive for the ‘Vaccinations’ Category

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Litter training 10 – So … where’s the poo?

16 July, 2007

(a continuation of the Litter Training saga with the new 2007 Litter!) 

I caught both Roly and Poly using the litter tray to pee in.  Which is great news, if you’ve been following the saga of my attempts at litter-training.

The only question is … where’s the kitten poo?

The kittens have been eating solid food for the past week, but so far, I’ve not found any solid evidence in the litter trays.

Every day I check behind the sofas, under bookshelves etc., but so far nothing.

Until this morning. 

Roly climbed into a litter tray and emitted a long shriek.  Then he got out and started dragging his bottom on the floor.  I checked the tray and finally – a sign that things were moving along.

However, some poo had stuck to his furry bottom and his method of cleaning himself was to sit down on the floor and drag himself along.

I put him in front of mum cat, but she just turned away with a look of “urggh … you don’t expect me to deal with that, do you?”

So, it was up to me to clean him up, and it’s not something I’m going to write about.  Not only was there this morning’s offering, but also some old stuff that had dried up on his pantaloons.  If this keeps happening I might just trim the fur on his bum.

I’m not sure why the poo stuck to him – it did look a bit runny at the end, so maybe it’s the diet (more in later posts).

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The vexing question – Killed vaccines vs Live vaccines

8 September, 2006

1. To vaccinate or not?

The kittens are coming up to nine weeks, and according to veterinary protoccol, they should be vaccinated at nine weeks and a secondary vaccine at twelve weeks.

I’m not entirely happy about this. From a holistic perspective, vaccines stress/alter the immune system, they do not confer immunity – their merely ameliorate the symptoms of the illnesses being vaccinated for. There is even a school of thought that believes that because certain illnesses have been “eliminated” through vaccination, it’s given rise to other illnesses. Furthermore, kittens get immunity from their mother’s milk up to the age of 14 weeks – surely that would cancel the vaccination out?

However, I’ve heard of cases of cats dying from illnesses because they haven’t been vaccinated. So: the jury is still out on not vaccinating, and I will vaccinate because it’s the cat association’s guidelines and I still haven’t the guts to put my foot down and be 100% holistic, because of “what ifs”.

2. 3-in-1 vaccine or 5-in1 vaccine?

The core vaccinations are for feline infectious enteritis (panleucopaenia) virus, feline rhinotracheitis virus and feline calicivirus, i.e. 3-in-1 vaccines. Some pharmaceutical companies have come up with 5-in-1, with the addition of chlamydia and feline leukaemia.

I think a young kitten’s immune system is too immature to cope with a 5-in-1.

FeLV is a serious, often fatal illness. It’s transmitted via blood or saliva or sexual intercourse. It’s something to consider if cats wander the streets.

My cats do not wander the streets and meet other cats – they are kept in a confined garden. My mother cat has been tested negative for FeLV.

Recently I’ve heard rumours of severe reactions to 5-in-1 vaccines – a kitten was permanently blinded after such a vaccine.

So: 3-in-1 vaccine.

3. Killed vaccines or live vaccines?

My vet has given me a choice: Norbivac Tricat which is a live attenuated (i.e. modified) virus, and Fevaxyn iCHP which is a killed (i.e. inactivated) virus.

There are arguments both for and against live vs. killed vaccines.

Modified live vaccines typically stimulate broader immune response.They are sufficiently weakened (attenuated) to avoid causing disease. However, modified live vaccines are considered the most dangerous by experts in immunology. They have the ability to replicate and then mutate in the body and are banned in Scandanavian countries. In multi-cat households, there is the risk of the virus being shed and causing illness in other cats.

So, a killed virus should be safer, right? Unfortunately, killed vaccines take longer to stimulate an immune response. In most killed vaccines, adjuvants (chemicals) are added to stimulate the immune system. Although adjuvants improve the effectiveness they also increase the risk of reactions, e.g. swelling near the injection site, and sometimes tumours. I’ve read that in the US, vets are advised to vaccinate on a limb of the pet so that if a tumour does develop, the limb can be amputated. Sheesh … what are we doing to our pets?

Last year I vaccinated using a killed 3-in-1 vaccine. So maybe I’ll stop dithering and use the same.

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9/3/09 – Further thoughts on vaccination based on the comments that have been left on this post.

— There is always a risk in vaccinating young kittens.  I still haven’t resolved this dilemma yet.

— Don’t try to do too much at once, i.e. vaccinate, plus de-worm plus de-flea at the same time.  Young kittens’ systems can’t cope with this much chemical overload.

— I usually de-worm at least a week before vaccination because I’ve read somewhere that worm die-off and toxicity can make a kitten’s body more vulnerable to vaccinations.