Examining Feline Vaccination Risks

What about vaccinations for our cats – how bad can it be?

There’s so much we do to and for our cats today that is accepted in the mainstream that is highly mediocre—so much so that few ever challenge this status quo and carry on doing the same things over and over again. But some of these habits, such as the feeding of cats out of bags and cans – which I offered an alternative to in this Care2 post – and vaccinating cats throughout their lives, have turned out to be quite harmful for our cats (dogs and children, too). Some only question these habits when something ‘cat-astrophic’ happens to them. I was one such person myself over 20 years ago, when I had not put together the holistic protocols I write and lecture about, including how to integrate holistic protocols with conventional veterinary medicine. See my Care2 post on integrating holistic and conventional veterinary medicine.

Romeo teaches me a lesson the hard way!

My love of my life cat, Romeo, to whom I dedicated my last book, The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care (co-authored with Jean Hofve, DVM), had an upper respiratory infection before I adopted him (he came from a well known, at the time, Tonkinese breeder who used all those same tired mediocre dry feeding and annual vaccine protocols). She said that her vet said that my little 12-week-old Romeo needed to be put on a course of antibiotics before he could come home with me. And of course I knew very little about holistic health care for pets way back then in 1991. Thereafter, he developed symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, such as runny eyes and acute flu symptoms, including fever, after every vaccination my veterinarian gave him. (This was before I knew about the potential for side effects from vaccines, but again we all seem to learn the hard way.) And he got the miserable antibiotic, as well!

It took at least a full two weeks of antibiotics before the symptoms seemed to disappear. But in point of fact they were only being palliated, not cured, as I had not learned about homeopathy at that point either. See my Care2 post on homeopathy for dogs and cats.

The second to last time Romeo was vaccinated, he ran a 105°F (40.6°C) fever and was almost comatose four hours after receiving the shot. I helped him by giving him fluids and syringe feeding him chicken broth for days. I even remember the breeder telling me that his mother died after receiving a vaccination but couldn’t connect the dots about the dangers of vaccinating then. The next year my then veterinarian insisted on vaccinating him again, giving him a dose of an antihistamine first, thinking he was simply allergic to the adjuvant. Four hours later he was running a fever of 105.5°F (40.9°C) and staring into space. Once again I rushed him to the emergency vet hospital, where he was given steroids and fluids, and I was given strict instructions from a very wise emergency veterinarian never to vaccinate him again! He confided then to me, “We all know that vaccines last the lifetime of the pet, but just don’t go public with it. I never vaccinate my own animals after they have their kitten or puppy shots!” Wow, that was a revelation and kicked off a lifetime of study for me and my writing career on the subject as I compiled my evidence that something was very wrong in traditional veterinary medicine. I started a firestorm with the publication of my first book, entitled Cat Care Naturally, which was re-released as Natural Cat Care. My current book, Holistic Cat Care pulls the whole 20 years and 11 generations of natural rearing all together.

The vaccine controversy today rages in human and veterinary medicine

It seems that even though vaccination has become a highly controversial subject, people like me who challenge the concept are sometimes treated as if we were against apple pie and motherhood. But, the way vaccines are typically used today, they are extremely dangerous—potentially one of the most harmful things we could do to our animals. I am very today proud to be serving as the Cat Correspondent along with my writing partner, Dr. Hofve for the Pet Parents Action Group. I highly recommend that if this subject is of concern to you that you join us here for important information: PetParentsActionGroup.org. Here is my report for the current newsletter.

We all respect authority, especially those with a full set of appropriate alphabet soup letters after their names. And most people follow instructions from their vets and vaccinate their animals on a schedule because the vets will usually raise up that red fear flag in us and we therefore become afraid that our animals will contract certain diseases if we don’t. We blindly think and accept that these vaccines actually work and the more we learn the more suspicious that idea becomes to those of us who study this subject in depth. We’ve accepted these annual vaccines without considering where that recommendation came from in the first place and what this medical procedure really means. Have you ever read an insert that comes with a vaccine? You would be amazed as the warnings basically show that there is no really safe time to do it. Even traveling to the vet and/or bathing a cat or dog can cause enough stress for vaccination to be contra-indicated! Most veterinarians recommend cats receive a combination vaccine against panleukopenia (feline distemper), calicivirus, and rhinotracheitis (upper respiratory infections). Many also encourage injections for chlamydia, feline leukemia (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV or feline AIDS), feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), and even ringworm. These vaccines are typically repeated every year for the cat’s whole life, despite overwhelming scientific evidence that they are unnecessary and downright dangerous procedures.

Since the vast majority of vaccines are unnecessary and even unsafe, more and more people are not getting their animals vaccinated at all. However, from time to time outbreaks of panleukopenia in cats are devastating occurrences and not doing that particular vaccine at least once in the cat’s life around 16 weeks would therefore be of great concern even to someone as opposed to the use and abuse of vaccinations as I am. In the case of the deadly parvo-type virus know as panleukopenia, no vaccine (at least for this virus) can be just as dangerous as too many vaccines; I recommend the basic kitten shot of panleukopenia be given at least once in a cats life between 12 and 16 weeks of age (in most states the rabies vaccine is mandatory by law, but check to see what the policy is where you live).

My friend, Ron Schultz, Ph.D., professor and chair of the department of pathobiological sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, and Tom R. Phillips, D.V.M., Ph.D., wrote in Kirk’s Current Veterinary Therapy XI (a book even conventional veterinarians most likely have on the shelf) that:

“A practice that was started many years ago and that lacks scientific validity or verification is annual revaccinations. Almost without exception there is no immunologic requirement for annual revaccination. Immunity to viruses persists for years or for the life of the animal. Successful vaccination to most bacterial pathogens produces an immunologic memory that remains for years allowing an animal to develop a protective anamnestic (secondary) response when exposed to virulent organisms. Only the immune response to toxins requires boosters (e.g., tetanus toxin booster, in humans, is recommended once every seven to ten years), and no toxin vaccines are currently used for dogs or cats. Furthermore, revaccination with most viral vaccines fails to stimulate an anamnestic (secondary) response as a result of interference by existing antibody (similar to maternal antibody interference). The practice of annual vaccination in our opinion should be considered of questionable efficacy unless it is used as a mechanism to provide an annual physical examination or is required by law.”

In plain English, this means that the authors believe there is no valid scientific reason to vaccinate pets every year. That practice, instead, emerged as a default judgment between the pharmaceutical companies making the vaccines, and the veterinarians. The vets wanted to get their patients in once a year for a check-up, and the vaccine makers wanted to sell more vaccines. Tying the annual physical to vaccines was a stroke of income genius. It simplified life for veterinarians, who now only had to say “We’ll see Fluffy next year for his shots” and send a postcard, and it made boatloads of money for the drug companies and paid the vets overhead for the most part. When this “suggestion” was added to vaccine labels, it added an air of “requirement” and ensured that this Big Pharma-controlled system would continue to make everyone rich. At the time, vaccines were considered benign—harmless—so this lucrative state of affairs went unquestioned until the late 1980s, when vaccines began to be linked to injection-site cancers in cats.

In a recent Natural News Network article by Ethan A. Huff explained that the medical, pharmaceutical, and vaccine industries push new vaccines for every condition imaginable, and brain wash us into believing they are full proof, a study published in the journal, Immunity completely tears a part the entire vaccination theory. According to NNN,”It turns out that the body’s natural immune systems, comprised of both innate and adaptive components, work together to ward off disease without the need for antibody-producing vaccines.” This is a revolutionary concept.

Huff, explains, “The theory behind vaccines is that they mimic infection by spurring B cells, one of the two major types of white blood cells in the immune system, to produce antibodies as part of the adaptive immune system. It is widely believed that these vaccine-induced antibodies, which are part of the more specific adaptive immune system, teach the immune system how to directly respond to an infection before the body becomes exposed to it.

But the new research highlights the fact that innate immunity plays a significant role in fighting infections, and is perhaps more important than adaptive immunity at preventing or fighting infections. In tests, adaptive immune system antibodies were shown unable to fight infection by themselves, which in essence debunks the theory that vaccine-induced antibodies serve any legitimate function in preventing or fighting off infection.

In reading further we find Huff quoting from Immunity (which relates to humans rather than our domesticated cats and dogs),”Our findings contradict the current view that antibodies are absolutely required to survive infection with viruses like VSV (vesicular stomatitis virus), and establish an unexpected function for B cells as custodians of macrophages in antiviral immunity,” said Dr. Uldrich H. von Andrian from Harvard Medical School. “It will be important to further dissect the role of antibodies and interferons in immunity against similar viruses that attack the nervous system, such as rabies, West Nile virus, and Encephalitis.”

Dr. Russell Blaylock, a research scientist whom I have enormous respect for in a recent interview with Mike Adams, of Natural News Network, stated that, “vaccines not only do not work as advertised, but they actually damage the body’s innate immunity. Rather than teach the body how to respond to infections, vaccines actually inhibit the immune system’s ability to produce TH2-type cytokines, and suppress cellular immunity, which is how the body protects itself against deadly viruses and bacteria.”

This is something to consider before submitting yourself or anything you love to what just might be a medical myth that was never really substantiated. Do we really want to stand in line like sheep and trust that Big Pharma has anything other than a herd medicine mentality going for it? Today and almost every day, we see a lot of smoke regarding the fact that vaccinations may not serve any sort of legitimate medical purpose, therefore we might just want to exercise extreme caution as to what we allow to be done to our own bodies. For more information and excellent material to study or peruse, connect to VacTruth.com.

It is known that vaccines are not harmless or benign as they have been proported to be, and they are after all, considered to be a medical procedure like any other, with both risks and perhaps benefits (I am personally not sure about that and maybe in 100 years time we will then know the truth about what is dictated to us today, like most other medical procedures from the past which seem so out old fashioned and unsound.) Here is more damning evidence on what the powers that be may have not been forthcoming about.

In order to realistically assess the situation for our own health and make wise decisions for our cats, we need to examine four aspects of vaccination: Are vaccines safe, are vaccines effective, are vaccines necessary, and are there alternatives to vaccines? I will address all these issues in future installments of my Celestial Musings blog here at Care2.

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Kamia T.
Kamia T.2 months ago

All my pups received their puppy shots and initial vaccinations, but since they live alone together on a property far from other animals, they don't get vaccinated annually, and have had long, happy lives.

Elaine A.
Elaine Al Meqdad3 years ago

Great Ides!

Jeannette Gravett

Excellent article!
I shall no longer vaccinate my babies!
As a human being I refuse all vaccinations for myself! Naturally, why shouldn't this work for animals, too!

Carrie Anne Brown

interesting article, thanks for sharing :)

Celeste Yarnall
Celeste Yarnall3 years ago

I think the more informed we are the better able we can make OUR OWN decisions. I doubt everything until I explore the subject as fully as I am capable of doing and understanding. This is why I have been very interactive here in the comments section after this particular article. For 20+ years I have examined the dangers of the subject of vaccination, both the alleged positives and negatives. I offer you another ‘read' by one whom I respect, Sayer Ji, both for his contributions to Care2 through Greenmedinfo.com on vaccination dangers and the dangers of wheat as well. If you would like to explore a bit more here is piece on the dangers of aluminum in vaccines and there is no doubt about the danger of it..the studies are pretty conclusive. Check this out http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/can-we-continue-justify-injecting-aluminum-children?utm_source=www.GreenMedInfo.com&utm_campaign=7cbb2f8477-Greenmedinfo&utm_medium=email

Mdragoness X

My vet only gives the rabies vaccine, and then only every 3 years.

Mdragoness X

My vet only gives the rabies vaccine, and then only every 3 years.

Ruth R.
Ruth R.3 years ago

Other: Whether to vaccinate or not -- depends on the pet and the vaccination.

Caron Allen Taira

Dr Yarnall is a tireless campaigner for the rights of cats and their owners. I am enlightened by this article and very grateful for the life-saving information.

Shin Takahashi
Shin Takahashi3 years ago

Thank you for this very important information.Cheers.