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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    546

    Angry feline vaccine-caused cancer, hope wanted

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    Our dear cat Dayhunter just had a tumor removed from his right hind leg. It's vaccine-caused fibrosarcoma, VERY upsetting - we had never known of such a thing. The surgeon says she got it all - had to graft skin down from another section of his leg due to the size of the tumor. (It showed up fast - we spend a lot of time w/ DH and handle him a lot, and this was sudden!)

    This cancer apparently doesn't spread thru the body, but will likely reappear at the site. Some vets are very negative about the prognosis, but

    1) "DH" (his nickname) so far has healed better and faster than the vet "could even hope"
    2) He is only 8 and quite vigorous, people call him things like "supercat" and "ubercat"
    3) We know human "outliers" and have ourselves had complete healing from things conventional docs told us would be chronic or couldn't help us with at all. They are good at some things but don't know the whole story!

    So right now I veer between despair and hope, and am researching holistic vets in the area to learn how to take a load off his immune system. The conventional treatments range from radiation to chemo to removing the tumor whenever it shows up to amputating that leg. I'm asking a lot of questions about all of that, too. So far it sounds like amputation is the longest, cancer-free choice - though psychologically, the most difficult.

    I want find a good holistic practicioner for both cats that will use the lightest possible vaccination routine. Little elf is 100% indoor and needs less, Dayhunter is/was indoor-outdoor - he was a barn cat for the first 2 years of his life and we were never able to get him to accept 100% indoor life, and we have tried several times. (We abhor the danger from cars and the killing of wildife, but he has driven us insane even after 10 weeks indoors and we relent.) He became ours when he was hit by a car and his owner would have shot him. DH, very smart, made it to our porch despite a broken pelvis, and has been our guardian for about 6 years. DH probably won't get any vaccines again. We are talking about how to keep him in - or control/protect his outdoor jaunts when he is mended. This guy has roamed our rural village like a very small Bengal tiger, but I'm afraid that this surgery will impair his ability to escape danger.

    Please send good vibes, prayers, butterflies, animal angels, and helpful info. And thanks for listening to this disjointed mess.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
    Posts
    4,193
    Oh Latelate, that is sad news for your kitty. I will hope for healing and restoration for your Dayhunter. Honestly, I am beginning to wonder what exactly is in those vaccines. Cancer is on the rise in both cats and dogs and I can't help but wonder if the vaccines, in part, could be contributing to it.

    Do you have a picture of the little guy so I can send him all kinds of healing vibes?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,516
    Oh, I'm so very sorry to hear about DH.

    For everyone else - kitties develop cancers to lots of the sediment used in standard vaccines. Get a kitty-specific vet, and make sure they use a kitty specific vaccine, keeping all these issues in mind.

    I don't know what you feed, but would definitely go to a holistic food. We thought our kitty had advanced kidney disease, and our vet now thinks (but isn't sure) after 2k of testing that it's cancer (but doesn't know where). I think putting him on a holistic food has done a world of good - he feels better and has gained back some of the weight he lost.

    Please keep us posted.

    CA
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    230
    Latelate, I'm so sorry to hear about DH. It's so sad when our beloved four-legged bestfriends are suffering. I'm sending good vibes to him now.

    I had never heard about injection-site cancer in animals until today. Interestingly enough, there was an article in the local Atlanta paper about just this issue. Below is the link. I hope all goes well!

    http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/met...ccination.html

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Norwood, MA
    Posts
    484
    There appears to be a genetic variation that makes some cats susceptible to vaccine induced fibrosarcoma. However, some cats get fibrosarcomas in places they were never vaccinated; a friends' cat developed one on the bridge of its nose. The American Feline Practioners recommend that strictly indoor cats only be vaccinated every 3 years. The also specify the location of vaccine administration so that more work can be done on just which vaccines are implicated. The usual proticall is for the rabies vaccine to be administered in the right hind leg, the leukemia vaccine (which should only be given to outdoor cats) in the left hind, and the feline panleukopenia (distemper in lay terms) rhinotracheitis, Calici,& Chlamydia combos in the scruff. In most states, the rabies vaccine is required for public health reasons. There is a school of thought that the adjuvants (local irritants that increase the blood flow to the injection site and improve the immune systems exposure to the antigen (the active part of the vaccine)) may be the cause, so you may want to ask your practioner about adjuvant free vaccines.

    There is a product called Acemannen that supposedly shrinks the tumors. The results at the clinic I worked at were not exciting or encouraging. My boss usually recommended limb amputation as the tumor is locally very invasive. I would investigate some of the veterinary oncology centers or at least the nearest Veterinary School. Most Veterinary Schools offer far more extensive treatment options than your private veterinarian can. Ask your veterinarian for a referral. (No, they won't take it as an insult.)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    Sorry about your kitty.

    Maybe you can build a large outdoor cage for him to go in, with access to it from the house via a cat door? http://habitathaven.com/maryland-cat-enclosure.html

    Karen
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    insidious ungovernable cardboard

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    where ARE we?
    Posts
    429
    I hate hearing about stuff like this! I wish the best for your kitty.

    Have you considered switching to a raw diet? I'd definitely talk to a holistic vet to find out about other nutrients that might help boost the immune system, but the processed food we feed our animals is truly terrible, cancer-inducing stuff. Cats and dogs both are meat-eaters, their bodies were designed to get most of their nutrition from raw foods (cornmeal was never part of the diet... lol).

    In felines, I've wondered if perhaps their propensity to not drink enough water indicates they are intended to get more of their hydration from their food?

    At any rate - I have dogs instead of cats, but I noticed a HUGE difference in my dogs when I switched to raw meats. It is getting to be more expensive with the cost of meat nearly double what it was four years ago, but it's possible to talk to butcher shops and get the organ meats and cuts humans aren't interested in for the mutts, and cheaply too. Hunters will also bring those less desired cuts in from the field if you ask nicely.

    I looked into this because of one of my dogs - we had rentals, evicted tenants for nonpayment, checked on the home three days after eviction and they had left their 4 month old puppy behind. She had anemia thanks to all the fleas, had open sores... but what we struggled with was her lack of energy - there is no reason for a puppy to lie around like a rug, and never play. Her breath smelled like something had DIED in there, her coat was disgustingly coarse - you could bathe her one day and the next she would reek already. Her nails never grew - that's a telling sign of poor health - and her stomach rejected food and even water frequently.

    Within three days on a raw diet, she initiated play with our other dog. She ran around the backyard! In three weeks, the stink was gone and her coat became softer. In three months, her nails needed cutting, her coat was very soft and shiny, and energy-wise, was everything you'd expect of a dog her age.

    BTW, I've also read that our animals are over-vaccinated. Indoor cats really only need their shots every two years (I wonder about that even, unless you have rabid mice running in your home, what's the chance of rabies?). Some counties permit titer tests to be done to check the levels of vaccine still in circulation, and permit just a booster of any drug found to be lacking.

    (((hugs)))) to sick kitty and you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    173
    So sorry to hear about DH. I don't have any personal experience but can direct you to a wonderful holistic cat forum where you will find others who can probably share their experiences with vaccine-caused fibrosarcoma, or at least point you in the direction of appropriate care (allo and/or holistic)for DH.

    http://www.holisticat.com/forum/

    Carol

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    662
    After losing one of our cats to a vaccine we later realized she did not need since she was kept indoors, we are VERY selective about the vaccines our babies get.

    On the letting the cat outside issue, we have one cat who has a fit if she can't go out now and then. However, (a) after one cat wandered off for two months (story had a happy ending ) and, (b) given that we now live in an area with a lot of wildlife, many of them predators, and (c) as I have several bird feeders out and do not want her killing the birds - we do not just open the door and let her go. But her outside urges are satisfied with a kitty harness and a long chain. One end gets clipped in to her harness, the other wrapped around a post and she is just as happy as can be. When we pull out the harness she starts meowing like crazy and standing on her hind legs trying to reach the harness.

    I hope the best for DH's recovery and future health. If it comes to amputation, that does seem drastic, but most animals are amazing at adapting. I think it actually bothers us more than them.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    546
    Report on Dayhunter

    DH is making an excellent recovery from the surgery to remove the tumor from his hind leg, and though we had 2 vets (one holistic) recommend immediate amputation, we decided to speak with one more holistic vet before scheduling that surgery.

    We felt he was the best listener and observer of our cat and us, and DH turned to face this vet on his own, settled in, and seemed to like and listen to him, too. This vet said that his gut feeling was that we had about a 50/50 chance of remaining tumor free, and why not give DH's health a chance to do its work? - and that we would monitor the leg very carefully, and could choose the surgery if the tumor returns. Dayhunter actually turned to me with his eyes all big and glowing, as if to say, "There's your answer!"

    So Dayhunter is back to his old life, happy and vital, and taking a custom blend of Chinese herbs for immunity support and healthy old age. I think that no matter what happens down the pike, this was the right decision. It's in line with my knowledge that the body can heal itself even from extreme illness, and it gave us all our quality of life back. I don't think DH was ready to face another big surgery and confinement. He loves the outdoors so much, and I think the fresh air, sunshine, and wide world are crucial to his healing. It would be to mine!

    We are changing his diet over - more raw foods, and the store-bought will be improved. This vet prefers whole foods and wet foods over dry crunchy stuff. And if anyone every needs to give their cat Chinese herbs - the broth from canned salmon works like magic.

    Thank you for all your good vibes, I love you all. I send them out to all your animal friends and family, too. Sundial - sorry I never got picture up. But your healing got here all the same.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    546
    Oh crap. Looks like the tumor is back and we'll soon be nursing a 3-leggity boy back to health. I'm still glad we tried the herbs and diet change, I think we all gathered our strength for the next event. And if all goes well, the cancer will now be gone, gone, gone and we'll have Dayhunter for a long time yet.

    thanks always for your prayers and kind thoughts

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,516
    So sorry it's back

    Sending healing, cancer free vibes....

    CA
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Skagit County, Washington
    Posts
    1,306
    Late: I'm so sorry. Believe me, amputation will much harder on you than on your kitty... they really do amazingly well with stuff like this after the first initial "get used to it" phase. They really are amazing creatures.

    As for future vaccinations: if they are indoor kitties, you really can limit exposure to vaccinations by not having FELV vaccine (is passed cat-to-cat in close range -- just be aware to test any incoming kitties before exposure to your current ones); adult cats only really need FVRCP every 3 yrs. Rabies is up to the state, but most are every 3 yrs after initial kitten and one yr boosters.

    We have been vaccinating in the limbs for just this reason -- if something horrible happens, and the only alternative is amputation, at least is has only exposed a limb, and not the middle of the back where you cannot get good margins to get rid of it.

    It sounds like you have found some wonderful vets to consult with.
    I wish your boy all the luck in the world, and great healing vibes for surgery. He will be tougher than you think.

    Ask for (no... demand) excellent pain meds -- fentanyl patch placed the day before will work wonderfully for him (takes 6 to 12 hours to kick in). Buprenorphine can be added to this mix in addiition for added pain control. It is so important b/c kitties hide their pain.

    Good luck to you and him with everything.
    Everyone Deserves a Lifetime

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    510
    Healing vibes for your kitty DH. I hope that your vet did, indeed, get all the cancerous cells during the surgery.

    I wouldn't make any sudden decisions regarding amputation.

    My Tioga (chow mix) was diagnosed with oral melanoma 4 years ago when she was 10. Everything I read on the internet said she'd be dead in a year. Luckily, I caught it when it was very small and the vet had managed to remove the whole damn thing. It's never been an issue since.

    About two years ago I noticed a weird (almost certainly non-cancerous) gum growth on her canine. Vet referred me to a specialist who was ready to remove a chunk of her upper mandible (and relieve me of $4K) right then and there. I never went back to that vet & just took a wait and see approach and the weird growth hasn't gotten any bigger.

    I did switch Tioga to a limited ingredient diet (Wellness Simple Food Solutions) on the recommendation of my vet.

 

 

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