When Good is Bad   2 comments

I just got the awful news yesterday that a coworker’s 11-year-old cat, a lovely a well-loved cat, has been diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on his back at the site where vaccines have been given.  The vet told my friend that surgery and radiation therapy would probably give the cat a 50-50 chance of survival.  Of course, the vet bills associated with this treatment option would run this family a couple of thousand dollars, at least, and they’re getting by just like so many of us, along with having an 18-year-old son nearing the start of his college career that will take them to the financial cleaners for some time to come.  My friend was in tears when she told me this yesterday, and her two sons are devastated.

I’ve known about this cancer associated with pet vaccines that are given often on an annual basis.  After reading an article in Cat Fancy magazine a few years back, complete with some terrible photographs of what this sarcoma (cancerous tumor) can do to a cat’s body, eventually killing them, I had the discussion with my veterinarian about reducing the number and frequency of the vaccines my cats were receiving.  She wasn’t really in favor of it, and I gave in and allowed Bubba to get the annual rabies vaccine but not the distemper that year.  And ever since then, I’ve just kind of shut up about it and let both Katie and Bubba get the annual rabies and distemper vaccines.

We’re going to have the discussion again this fall when I take Kate and Bubs in for their checkups.  I really don’t care if a veterinary clinic only sees a few cases of this a year.  If it’s my cat, that’s one case too many.  It would positively kill me to lose a cat because he or she had a malignancy develop because of a vaccine that was given with the intent of protecting their health.  To have it do the opposite and cause a fatal tumor is just wrong!  Part of me would rather let my housecats who do not have contact with other animals (except for when they go to the vet!) take their chances with what is truly a minimal exposure to viruses and other pathogens rather than doing something on an annual basis that may cause more harm than good.

My heart goes out to Otis, a fine tuxedo cat, and his caring family.


2 responses to “When Good is Bad

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  1. Oh no, that is awful. I feel so bad for Otis and your co-worker. So terribly sad.

  2. Tell your co-worker my thoughts are with her and her family. I know all to well what it is like to lose a feline friend. I just told Dean today that I must be going crazy. I keep hearing a cat meowing and it sounds just like our cat Boy. I do miss him. I know Jarrett misses him also. He has been crying at times. Just another animal lover.

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