Sometimes after the vet injects a vaccine into your cat, when you return home or after a few days, you find that your cat is limping. You may also have symptoms of a mild fever, tenderness at the injection site, joint pain, and poor appetite. As long as your cat is still drinking water and is not depressed or lethargic, there is no need to worry about these reactions. If he doesn’t drink, stops eating completely and doesn’t want to run and play, it’s a good idea to get checked out by your vet.
Lameness may be due to the jab from the vaccine, which can cause a lump to form at the injection site, which can be painful and restrict movement. If the lump grows, in very rare cases, it can become malignant.
It can also be the so-called “lameness syndrome” in the cat.
What is “lameness syndrome”
First I will tell you what the FCV vaccine is. It is a vaccine against Calicivirus infection in cats . Calicivirus is a type of cat flu . It manifests as an acute respiratory disease that affects the upper tracts of the feline, which can cause sinusitis and rhinitis. The virus belongs to the Caliciviridae family, of the genus Vesivirus.
It is highly communicable in unvaccinated cats, and is commonly seen in shelters, poorly ventilated homes, and cat houses. But because FCV is resistant to disinfectants, cats can come into contact with the virus in almost any environment. Lack of vaccination or inappropriate vaccination is believed to be a major risk factor, as well as a reduced immune response due to pre-existing infections or diseases.
- Loss of appetite
- Eye discharge.
- Runny nose.
- Development of ulcers on the tongue, hard palate, tip of the nose, lips, or around the claws.
- Difficulty breathing after the development of pneumonia.
- Arthritis (inflammation of the joints).
- Painful walking.
- Bleeding from various sites.
Diagnosis of Calicivirus infection
The vet will need to know the onset of symptoms and the possible incidents or conditions that could have led to this condition. He will then do a complete physical exam to assess all body systems along with the cat’s general health. A complete blood profile will also be done, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis. However, the results of these tests are often nonspecific and do not provide consistent findings for an initial diagnosis.
The most reliable diagnostic test involves identifying a buildup of FCV antibodies. These antibody tests can be used to detect and measure the levels of feline calicivirus antigen and / or antibodies corresponding to the viral antigen (feline calicivirus). A more advanced test that can be used involves growing the isolated viruses using cell culture.
Diagnostic images can be used to determine any damage to the lungs; Chest x-rays can show changes in lung tissue, including consolidation of lung tissue in cats with pneumonia.
Treatment of FCV infection
Treatment for your cat depends on the severity of the symptoms. Cats with uncomplicated cases of pneumonia, for example, generally recover within three to four days. Oral ulcers and arthritis symptoms, on the other hand, usually resolve without complications.
If your cat has developed pneumonia or is experiencing severe, life-threatening bleeding, it will need to be hospitalized for care and treatment. Your cat will be given oxygen if it is unable to breathe due to pneumonia. While you will not be given any specific medication for viral infections of this type, broad-spectrum antibiotics are given to prevent or treat secondary bacterial infections seen with viral infections. Ophthalmic antibiotics are prescribed for use in affected eyes, and pain relievers can be prescribed when they have pain when walking.
Your cat requires good nursing care while it recovers from calicivirus infection. This may include cleaning the cat’s eyes and nose to prevent a build-up of secretions. Your veterinarian will recommend a diet composed of highly nutritious and easily digestible foods, administered at regular intervals to maintain a positive energy balance and prevent malnutrition. If your cat suffers from oral ulcers, they will need soft food.
Relationship between FCV infection and lameness in cats
That said, an association between FCV infection and “lameness syndrome” has been observed, lameness that occurs more frequently in kittens, and often after their first vaccination (which is a combination vaccine for feline calicivirus, herpesvirus and parvovirus).
Researchers from the University of Liverpool studied the association between the syndrome and the FCV vaccine (Dawson and others 1993). They found that of the 123 vaccine reactions they studied, 80 percent presented with lameness (either alone or in combination with other conditions such as pyrexia, oral ulceration, or respiratory signs). In addition, of the cats that were lame after vaccination, 96 percent were cats less than six months of age, and 88% were from the first vaccination. All of the investigated cats had received one of five different commercial vaccines, and one of these vaccines was found to be responsible for more than 60 percent of the reported transient lameness cases (this vaccine has been modified by the manufacturer since then).
In conclusion, these studies have helped establish the influence of FCV on the development of transient polyarthritis (inflammation that affects more than one joint) in cats. From the studies carried out, it is clear that “lameness syndrome” is a common manifestation of FCV infection. It occurs most often in young cats and its severity can range from inapparent arthritis and mild lameness to severe polyarthritis in which cats are reluctant to move, feel inappetent, and are noted to feel pain when touched.
Although “lameness syndrome” is commonly seen after kittens receive their first vaccination, it is obvious that the vaccine virus does not always cause these signs, and natural infection with the “wild” virus may be the cause in some. cases.
Most cats affected with this syndrome will recover spontaneously without the need for any treatment. However, if the clinical signs are severe, anti-inflammatory medications may be required and veterinary attention should be sought. Although FCV is obviously a common cause of lameness syndrome in young cats, there are numerous other possible causes of lameness, and if the clinical signs are severe or persist for more than a few days, veterinary attention should be sought.
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