How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask PitRottMommy Your Own Question
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 8694
Experience:  15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
Type Your Cat Veterinary Question Here...
PitRottMommy is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

15 month old cat had a rabies vaccination Friday. He cannot

Customer Question

15 month old cat had a rabies vaccination Friday. He cannot barely walk. When I pick him up his front legs extend straight out and "lock" looking like a seizure or muscle spasm - both legs. He is eating but can only eat lying down with the bowl of food placed under his mouth. It has been 48 hours since his shot. We live in a rural area and are hours away from emergency vet care. I read that 1/2 benedryl for a 10-lb cat might help his reaction to the vaccine so I gave him a half pill 30 minutes ago. His brother had the same vaccine on Friday and is fine today. Help, please!
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Seizures always look scary. Let's get you talking to the veterinarian. What is the cat's name?
Customer: Little Bop
JA: Is there anything else the veterinarian should be aware of about the cat?
Customer: He is a nervous cat - he's always been skittish but healthy. He was adopted from a feral litter.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 10 months ago.

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 10 months ago.

1) Have you witnessed any changes in him since giving the benadryl?
2) Does he extend his legs like this when not picked up?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
1) yes, his body is more relaxed. He's not moving around on his own - just sleeping on his blanket. He was responsive (me owed a bit) when I stroked him just now.
2) He was extending his front legs when I picked him up with claws fully out. His eyes were wide but blank.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 10 months ago.

You can give up to 2mg of benadryl per bound of body weight every 8 hours to a cat. Was this the first time he had a rabies injection?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He is 10 lbs. He had vaccines one year ago and was fine. Same vet. His brother, a litter mate, had the vaccinations and reacted yesterday but is normal today.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He is eating and drinks water if I make a little soup out of canned food with mostly water. I'm trying to keep him hydrated.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 10 months ago.

I suspect you're dealing with an inflammatory allergic reaction with this vaccine. I would definitely contact the clinic that provided it and make sure his account is flagged as a cat who reacts to vaccines. Next time he is due, your vet will likely space the vaccines out (one per day) and premeditate him with injectable benadryl and fast-acting steroids to reduce the risk of a similar reaction.

I do highly suggest you keep giving him the benadryl in regular intervals, but the blank stare in his eyes worries me greatly. I would recommend having him examined and treated at a veterinary office to be sure that he gets the care that he needs. This reaction may be something that is short lived or it may be something that is long-lasting. I suspect with an injection of steroids and pain medication that he will likely go back to being the cat he was before the vaccine much faster than allowing the effects to wear off on their own.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
OK. I'll keep giving him the Benadryl and will get him to a vet ASAP. Our vet isn't in Monday so I will take him to a different vet, I guess.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 10 months ago.

Certainly. Please let me know if I can help further before Monday arrives. Good luck!