ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Vaccine Induced Sarcomas in Cats

Updated on January 15, 2009

What cat owners should know

 

As more and more cats develop severe vaccine reactions or worse vaccine induced sarcomas, owners and veterinarians begin to question and outweigh the pros and cons of vaccinating pets. While it is a known fact that cats need to be vaccinated in order to prevent potentially deadly diseases, studies are currently underway on establishing if vaccinations should be given more sparingly as new vaccination protocols are being considered.

There are two vaccinations that have been associated with the VAS (vaccine associated sarcoma) in cats: the feline Leukemia vaccination and the Rabies vaccination. While the FELV vaccination is imperative in cats that are exposed to the outdoors and other cats, the Rabies vaccination is mandated by law in most States. In many scenarios, therefore, bypassing these vaccinations can be out of question.

The culprit of such vaccine induced sarcomas seems to not be the vaccination itself but the aluminum adjuvant used in order to administer such vaccines. Such aluminum adjuvants are added to killed vaccines in order to stimulate a strong immune response, however it yet is to be determined if other types of adjuvants are to blame.

What to Watch For:

While the incidence of such sarcomas may be relatively uncommon (it is estimated that 1 out of 1000 vaccinated cats will develop VAS) it is a good practice to keep an eye at the injection site for the weeks following vaccination. Typically signs to watch for according to Petplace.com are:

1) A firm mass that increases in size after 1 month

2) A firm mass that is over 2 centimeters in diameter

3) A firm mass that does not go away witihin 3 months

It is imperative to distinguish between a vaccine induced sarcoma and a granuloma. The formation of a granuloma can be pretty common in cats after being vaccinated. Typically a small swollen area that appears painless upon palpation may form and disappear within a few weeks. However, the small lump should be checked out if it does not disappear after three months. In some cases, however, the development of sarcoma may not be observed for months and even years.

Fortunately, in some cases when caught  at its earliest, metastasis (spread of the cancer) may have not occurred, therefore the sarcoma is treated locally via surgery and radiotherapy if necessary. However, there may be chances of relapses in the months or years to come.

Because of the incidences of vaccine induced sarcomas, it has become veterinary protocol to give the Rabies vaccination in the right thigh and and Felv in the left thigh. The reason behind this is the fact that should a tumor appear, as a last resort the leg can be amputated to prevent the potentially malignant tumor to spread.

It would be a wise choice for owners to periodically run their hands through the vaccine injection sites and palpate for possible abnormal lumps or swellings. In some cases, tumors may appear as ulcerated lumps and hairless spots. Owners should promptly report any abnormalities to their veterinarian and follow his/her advice for follow-ups.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      AliceSacco 

      8 years ago

      7 months ago my cat had VAS. Cat owners need to be informed about risk of vaccine.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)