I'm really sorry that I didn't see your post four days ago. I was actually at a vet conference specifically to hear and spend some time with one of the top experts in vaccines/vaccinations for dogs and cats (Dr Richard Ford of NC State Univ). Dr Ford is a co-author of the AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines (just updated last year) which has become a Standard of Care for vets to follow (though it is not a "protocol", just guidance for vets to develop a protocol). I would have liked to have asked him about your dog(s)'s reaction.
I'm not a vet and have no formal training. Dr Ford has become my mentor and I try to learn from listening to talks at vet conferences and share, as accurately as I can, what the experts are teaching vets.
There are no definitive scientific studies that show a direct connection between IMHA (immune mediated hemalytic anemia) and vaccines. But most of the experts have seen an increase of IMHA in general after vaccinating some dogs. Like many things, it may be that there is something in the genetic make up of an individual dog that causes an abnormal response to vaccines. I don't think the problem is "just" the vaccine because thousands (millions) of dogs are vaccinated with no problems and vaccines have certainly saved the lives of millions of dogs by preventing potentially lethal disease.
I've heard another expert, Dr Ron Schultz (Univ of Wisc, who is a PhD in immunology and has spent his career researching vaccines for dogs and cats) ... say that he doesn't feel that vaccines "cause" IMHA ... but that they may be one "trigger" for it in some dogs. It is known that IMHA can be triggered by several things, including some types of drugs and medications, and I think other disease or health issues. So, vaccines are not the only trigger for IMHA in a genetically susceptible dog.
That said ... and even though a direct link between vaccinations and IMHA has not been proven ... no matter what the initial cause of IMHA, all the experts have said that they would not give additional vaccinations to a dog that had developed IMHA and recovered from it (of course, Rabies law has to be followed, but some states give vets waiver authority for Rabies).
What I don't know since I'm not a vet, is if the neurological issues your dog developed 3 weeks later is also related to the IMHA episode or vaccines. I don't recall hearing that suggested, but I don't have the medical knowledge to know. You may want to see a specialist to make sure it isn't a separate problem that needs treating. If you can't afford a specialist, you might want a second opinion from another vet. But without a definitive diagnosis, it is not possible to predict whether or not your dog will recover on his own.
I wouldn't avoid a vet solely because of a bad vaccine reaction. Sometimes they can't be avoided. But another issue is what and how many vaccines were given at the same time? Lepto is a "non-core" vaccine and a Killed bacterial vaccine that is known to be very reactive. It is recommended that for small dogs, multiple vaccinations at the same office visit be avoided. Rather, give the core vaccines and then a MINIMUM of two weeks later, give a non-core vaccine like Lepto or Lyme. And, if giving a Killed vaccine at the same time as a Modified Live (the core vaccines) ... the two should be given at separate locations (that drain to different lymph nodes). That is new advice from the 2011 Vaccination Guidelines.
I'm sorry you & your dogs have gone through this. Vaccines help many dogs, but it is a biological product that some do not handle well. I don't know if the neurological problem is related or not and without testing you probably won't know. I hope it works out.
I'm sorry to hear about your kitty. You need to get her to a vet NOW! If she has no use of her back legs and her back feet are cold, she may not be getting any blood circulation to her legs. A common cause of that is from a blood clot that originates in the heart and gets lodged in the artery where it splits to go down each leg (sometimes called a "saddle thrombosis"). It can be very painful to the cat and can indicated heart disease (frequently a disease called "HCM" for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy) which causes a thickening of the left ventricle of the heart. It would require an ultrasound of the heart to diagnose but a vet can listen for a heart murmur which is often (but not always) present. Your vet can also check for a pulse in the back legs to see if she is getting any blood circulation to them.
If it is a blood clot that is causing the paralysis, there are a couple medications a vet can try to help dissolve it. And a vet can also give her pain medication which is very important.
I'm not a vet and there may also be other causes. Most cats with arthritis have pain walking but still get around and don't drag their back legs. It might be a spinal problem ... but I'm mostly concerned over your comment that her paw pads are cold. She REALLY needs immediate vet care. This could be an emergency situation.
You also mention that she is an "older" cat ... so, if she hasn't had a complete checkup recently, she should have one ... with a senior blood test that, among other things, will check her kidney function and thyroid function. Hyperthyroidism (high thyroid) is also common in older cats and can usually be controlled easily with medication. Uncontrolled Hyperthyroidism can also lead to the same type of heart thickening (and blood clots) as HCM ... but if the thickening is caused by the hyperthyroidism, once that is controlled, the heart will usually improve and return to near normal.
The short answer is that there is very little chance that you might bring FeLV home to your cats.
I'm not a vet but my "hobby" is listening to talks given at vet CE conferences by some of the top veterinary experts and researchers. I've been blessed to become friends with Dr Richard Ford (emeritus at NC State) who is one of the top Infectious Disease and vaccinology experts.
Here is one quote from the 2006 AAFP Feline Vaccination Guidelines' section on FeLV about transmission:
"The virus is extremely labile; thus, exposure to virus persisting in the environment, on fomites, or in aerosolized secretions is not an efficient means of viral transmission."
So, it is saying that FeLV is unstable in the environment and transmission on clothing, hands, etc is not common.
More is said in one of the big vet reference works: "Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat" (4th ed just published last Dec, so it is quite current) by Dr Craig Greene, et al. It states that FeLV is very susceptible to disinfectants, soaps, heating and drying and is easily inactivated in the environment within minutes. Therefore even in a household where a cat had or died of FeLV, there is no need for a waiting period to introduce another cat. Even in veterinary hospitals and boarding facilities, all that is needed is to keep cats separated (to avoid direct contact) and to disinfect cages and do routine hand washing between handling cats.
Here are two direct quotes from Dr Greene's book:
"The viral envelope is lipid-soluable and susceptible to disinfectants, soaps, heating, and drying. FeLV is readily inactivated in the environment within minutes. Therefore, close contact among cats is usually required for spread of infection, and indirect transmission (e.g., via feces-contaminated humans) is hardly possible."
"Because of the viral lability, a waiting period is not needed before introducing a new cat into a household after removal of an infected cat. FeLV is not a hazard in a veterinary hospital or boarding kennel as long as cats are housed in separate cages and routine cage disinfection and hand washing are performed between handling cats."
Something else to keep in mind is that KITTENS (particularly those under 4 months of age) are VERY susceptible to FeLV infection (hence the Vaccination Guidelines recommends all kittens be vaccinated for FeLV). However, ADULTS over 8 months of age (i.e. when their immune system has matured) have a natural resistance to FeLV so that it is difficult for an adult cat to become infected ... not impossible, but not easy.
A retroviral researcher at NC State has described it by saying that on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is most susceptible ... kittens are a 10 if exposed to FeLV, while adults are a 1.5. They are not completely immune and can be infected if they have sustained contact, but otherwise healthy adults are very resistant and hard to infect ... even if never vaccinated.
So, if your cats at home are adults over 8 months of age ... there is very little (almost no) risk of your transmitting FeLV to them as long as you wash your hands after playing with the FeLV kitten.
By the way, if you should ever decide to vaccinate your cats for FeLV (which is not needed if they are indoor only cats) be sure to ONLY use the Recombinant FeLV vaccine (Merial Purevax). It is the only FeLV vaccine that is not adjuvanted (adjuvant increases the risk of a vaccine associated sarcoma) AND it gives a very robust "cell mediated immunity" which is beneficial for FeLV which is an intracellular infection.
Forgive my ignorance, what is "A.R."? I thought I was familiar with all the canine vaccines but can't figure out which one you are talking about. I'm not a vet but have listened to many talks on vaccinology given at veterinary continuing education conferences by some of the top experts and researchers. I've become friends with Dr Richard Ford of NC State (emeritus) who is an infectious disease and vaccinology expert and a co-author of the AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines which were just updated last September.
The Core vaccines include: Distemper, Adenovirus-2, Parvovirus-2 and Rabies. Is the "A" you mention for Adenovirus-2? It is usually given as a combination vaccine with Distemper and Parvo.
Not classified: Crotalus atrox (because it has a conditional licensure) and the Canine Melanoma vaccine (because it is used to TREAT melanoma, not prevent it)
Besides Adenovirus-2, the only vaccine that starts with an "A" is Crotalus atrox (against the venum of the Western Diamondback rattlesnake).
If by the "R" you mean Rabies ... you have to follow your local legal requirements. If you do not booster according to local laws, your dog would be considered unvaccinated. If it then bit someone, it would either be quarantined (I think anywhere from a few weeks to a few months), or, if there is an immediate need to know the Rabies status, the dog could be killed to check for Rabies. When giving Rabies vaccines, you must go by the duration of immunity that is on the label of the vaccine you use ... either 1-year or 3-years.
For the other vaccines, the duration of immunity and booster intervals generally depend on whether the vaccine is "infectious" (including Modified Live and Vectored Recombinant vaccines) or "non-infectious (Killed Virus/inactivated).
All the Core vaccines (Distemper, Adenovirus-2, Parvovirus) are Modified Live Virus (MLV) vaccines with the addition of one Recombinant (R) Distemper vaccine.
All Rabies vaccines for dogs are Killed Virus (KV).
After all that ... the general recommendations of the 2011 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines, is that when the initial vaccination is given to a dog over 4 months of age (16 weeks):
MLV & Recombinant: One initial dose is all that is needed (though many vets still prefer to give two initial doses). For the Core vaccines, boosters are recommended every "3 or more" years. For any Intranasal vaccines, after the initial single dose, boosters should be given annually (e.g., Bordetella, Parainfluenza)
Killed/Inactivated: TWO initial doses are needed (e.g. Lyme, Lepto, Canine Influenza). The second dose MUST be given 2-4 weeks after the initial dose. If the second dose isn't given, the dog may not be immunized. The exception is Rabies for which a single initial dose is sufficient ... however, an initial Rabies booster MUST be given within 1 year after the initial dose (even if the initial dose was with a 3-yr Rabies vaccine), then future boosters are given according to the vaccine label (1yr or 3yrs).
I'm not sure what vaccine you mean by the "A.R." vaccine. If you mean Rabies, then you are taking a significant risk by not giving boosters, both in terms of protecting your dog, and also putting the dog's life at risk if he/she bites someone. For the other vaccines, there is no legal danger but if you do not booster as recommended, then your dog may not be protected from disease.
The first thing I would do is to call your vet and let her/him know. You vet may want to give some fluids if she is getting dehydrated.
It may be that she needs a different antibiotic. While most cats have no problems with Clavamox ... it can cause vomiting and nausea in some. My own cat was one of them. Twice we tried Clavamox with her and she had major vomiting and obviously felt very sick. Just taking her off of the Clavamox and using a different antibiotic took care of the problem.
But a vet can check her and see if there may be other causes of the vomiting as well. I would recommend talking to your vet ASAP since dehydration and other possible issues could become serious quickly.
Good luck. I hope it is just a matter of changing her antibiotic.
I don't want to be an alarmist ... and since Dr Weigner didn't mention it, it must be a very remote possibility ... but what makes me very nervous is the possibility that the cat might have Rabies.
You mention that this is an outdoor cat and you don't know whether or not it is owned. So, the possibility exists that the cat may not have been vaccinated for Rabies. I don't know where you live nor if you are in an area where there is Rabies in the wildlife. I do know that for many years, in N America each year there have been more cases of Rabies reported in cats than in dogs ... since most dogs are vaccinated but many cats are not (and cats are natural hunters and likely to come into contact with local wildlife).
I'm sure the possibility must be remote but Rabies is nearly universally fatal once you develop symptoms, so not something you want to wait out. But there are post-exposure vaccinations for humans that are protective.
Maybe it isn't necessary ... but I would suggest that you might want to ask around the neighborhood and see if you can find the cat's owner and whether or not he has been vaccinated. If you can't find the owner, it would be helpful to see if you can trap the cat (I think the SPCA or a rescue group may have humane traps that they use for "trap-neuter-return" programs). And then put the cat in quarantine to make sure it doesn't have Rabies (I think it is a couple weeks, but your vet would know legal requirements in the area).
I'm not a vet or doctor or anything ... so, perhaps my concern is not important. But it makes me nervous when someone gets bitten by a feral or unknown outdoor cat. I'm sure that with your Rheumatoid Arthritis, you don't want to go through the post-exposure Rabies vaccinations unless necessary. But maybe you might want to, at least, talk to a local vet to see if you are in an area where there is Rabies in some of the wildlife.
I'm sure that Dr Weigner was thinking about the problem many people have when bitten by a cat ... because cats have natural bacteria in their mouths that can cause severe infection in humans when bitten. So, people need to watch for redness and soreness, etc after a bite and get treated quickly if it occurs. But it sounds like you are okay in terms of infection. But I'm still nervous about a bite from an outdoor cat with unknown Rabies vaccination history. So, I just felt a need to mention it.
Just a note on "Kennel Cough" which might be confusing to some people. As you know and mention, there are a variety of causes of what is popularly called "Kennel Cough" (and the experts are now calling, "Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease" i.e. "CIRD"). The two most common causes include a virus (Parainfluenza) and a bacteria (Bordetella bronchiseptica). You say you are talking about the viral cause of Kennel Cough, and I think you're correct on that.
But I think many nearly equate a Bordetella bronchiseptica bacterial infection with "Kennel Cough" ... and there is evidence that immunocompromised people can become infected and quite sick with Bordetella bronchiseptica. The more common form of Bordetella that infects humans is Bordetella pertussis (i.e. Whooping Cough) but occasionally Bordetella bronchiseptica is found in humans.
Dr Richard Ford (a leading veterinary Infectious Disease expert from NC State and a co-author of the AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines) tells the story at vet CE talks of a woman who boarded her dogs when she went to the hospital to give birth to her child. When she returned home and got her dogs, they were coughing with what turned out to be Bordetella bronchiseptica. Soon after, the new mother got very ill and was hospitalized, and I think went into a coma. The hospital kept culturing Bordetella bronchiseptica ... and called Dr Ford to come for a consultation. The woman recovered but it was an example that some people with a compromised immune system (of which pregnancy can be a cause) can be susceptible to Bordetella bronchiseptica.
In the new (fall 2011) AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines, one of the Q&A items at the end refers to this in terms of the use of the Intranasal vaccine for Bordetella bronchiseptica (Bb) which is an attenuated (weakened) live bacterin vaccine. Here is the Q&A from the Guidelines:
52. Is there any risk to clientele or veterinary staff, especially immune compromised individuals, subsequent to intranasal vaccination with an avirulent live (attenuated) Bb vaccine?
It is possible for transient shedding of attenuated Bb to occur following intranasal administration. There are two known reports identifying a temporal relationship between the identification of human Bordetella infection and exposure to attenuated live Bb canine vaccine, one of which was in an immunocompromised patient.
I realize that it is a rare occurrence and seems to only be a problem with immunocompromised people. And I know you were talking about the viral cause of Kennel Cough (Parainfluenza). But I just wanted to mention that there may be some people (e.g. with AIDS, taking chemotherapy, having had their spleen removed, etc) who may want to be careful if their dog starts coughing a lot, particularly after being boarded, and might have Bordetella bronchiseptica.
I think it can be confusing when "Kennel Cough" is often used to describe multiple types of infections and just wanted to (hopefully) help clarify what you were saying.
Rohvannyn is correct. All Rabies vaccines for dogs are Killed Virus vaccines. That means that the Rabies in the vaccine is dead ... so it is not possible for it to cause any disease in your dog or you. Reactions that dogs get to the Rabies vaccine are caused by the stimulation of the immune system, and in some dogs there may be an allergic type of reaction. But there is no danger of you or your dog becoming infected with the Rabies virus.
I'm glad you asked. Waiting 40 days could put your kitten at risk of disease.
The reason for a series of kitten vaccinations is that when kittens nurse in the first 18-24 hours after birth, they receive a special type of milk from the mother called colostrum. The colostrum is rich in antibodies. In the first about 24 hours, the kitten's intestines are porous enough to allow the maternal antibodies to pass directly into the blood stream and they are responsible for protecting the kitten from disease. After the first 24 hours, there is "gut closure" and no more antibodies are able to pass from the intestines into the blood stream.
Those maternally derived antibodies (MDA) will interfere with the vaccines so that there is NO response to vaccines by the kitten. The MDA gradually decrease and there is a period of time (could last 6 or more weeks) in which the MDA is too low to protect the kitten from disease, but still high enough to interfere with vaccines. That is known as the Window of Susceptibility in immunology. Every kitten passes through it, so you have to know that even with vaccination there is a period of time when the kitten is not protected either by maternal antibodies or by response to vaccinations.
So, the kitten series is given solely so that the vaccine can be there as soon as possible after the MDA drop low enough not to interfere.
Studies have shown that there can be MDA interference out to 14-15 weeks of age. But it depends on what the mother's antibody level was at the time of birth and how much colostrum the kitten consumed in those critical first 18-24 hours. Many kittens may no longer have any MDA interference by 10-12 weeks ... in which case, the kitten will be able to respond to a vaccination at 10 or 12 weeks (or older). But studies have shown that about one-third of kittens vaccinated last at 12 weeks of age had no antibodies to Panleukopenia (sometimes called "Distemper" but is actually related to canine Parvovirus) ... i.e. did not respond to the vaccine because of continuing MDA interference.
What all that means is that most of the vaccine experts (i.e. those who wrote the AAFP Feline Vaccination Guidelines) recommend vaccinating kittens every 3-4 weeks, with the last vaccination at or after 16 weeks of age, when one can be confident that there is no more maternal antibody interference. The most important vaccination is at 16 weeks, but earlier ones are given in case the MDA interference is no longer present at a younger age and one wants to protect the kitten as soon as possible.
So, the most common vaccination schedule for kittens is at 8, 12 and 16 weeks. If your kitten was vaccinated at 10 weeks, most would suggest vaccinating again at 13 and 16 weeks. You can wait until 16 weeks for the next booster, but your kitten may be vulnerable to disease before then if you wait.
Be sure that your vet uses a "Modified Live Virus" vaccine for the core vaccination (usually given as a combination shot with Panleukopenia, Herpes and Calici). The other option is a Killed Virus vaccine that is not as protective and requires two doses, both in the absence of MDA intereference ... and Killed Virus vaccines cause a chronic inflammation at the vaccine site that can increase the risk of a cancer developing in some cats that are genetically susceptible. So, be sure your vet uses Modified Live Virus vaccines.
If Rabies is required by law in your area, it is best to use the recombinant Rabies vaccine (by Merial) which is the only Rabies vaccine that is not Killed Virus. It is usually given at 16 weeks of age or older.