Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in holistic pet care. My own animals have been cared for holistically for over 20 years.
You are right to be concerned. It has now been proven that certain vaccines increase a cat's risk of cancer. When a pet reacts to a shot, it's always a good idea not to repeat that vaccine. Most vets have not kept up with even the conventional recommendations for vaccinations, let alone the holistic ones. The leading association for feline vets, The American Association of Feline Practitioners, has divided vaccines into core vaccines and non-core. They recommend that all cats receive the core shots. These include:
feline panleukopenia (FPV)
feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1)
feline calicivirus (FCV)
Since the rabies shot is required by law, all vets have to suggest it. However, that shot is generally good for at least three years, probably longer.The Purvax brand is the exception. It is used in cats because it is safer, but is only good for one year. You can read the full report here:http://jfm.sagepub.com/content/15/9/785.full.pdf+html
If you read it, you'll see that what vaccines are recommended depends greatly on the individual cat. A number of factors need to be assessed, including if the cat goes outdoors, is it exposed to other cats at cat shows or boarding facilities, do other cats in the household go outdoors, any reactions the cat has had in the past, health conditions it has, etc. When it come s to shots, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
Because of this, even holistic vets have different recommendations. Many recommend the set of kitten shots, followed by boosters a year later, then no more except for the rabies required by law. Some recommend no shots at all, others take an individualized approach for each patient. From what you have said, your present vet does not believe in individualizing at all, and has not kept up with current recommendations for shots.You could print out the report above and show it to them, or you could find a new vet more in tune with what you believe, or you could simply insist on only certain shots. Holistic vets are hard to find in many areas, but if there is one ear you, that would be your best bet. To find a reputable one, go to this page, and click on the 'Find a Vet' tab at the top:http://www.ahvma.org/
A holistic vet can also run a titer test to determine what diseases your cat has built immunity to.
Ultimately, this is your decision. The decision I've made for my own cats is to start with the kitten immunization schedule of core vaccines, give boosters one year later, the n titer once every three years. If the titers show the need for the vaccines, then we give them. Rabies shots are given according to law. A big consideration in my cats' case is that they are never allowed outdoors. Outdoor cats are exposed to many more illnesses. However, again, this is your decision, not the vet's, not mine. There are risks in all areas of life, and you're the only one in a position to determine how much risk you are comfortable for your cat. To put things in perspective, an outdoor cat has a greater chance of being hit by a car than of contracting an illness.
Regardless of the situation, this is something that should be discussed at length with your vet. since yours is not willing to discuss the subject, it's probably time to find a new vet. If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY. I wish you success in finding a vet who is in line with your beliefs.
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