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Notice to All Cat Owners

  • The doctors at Redwood Veterinary Hospital have always believed that an informed pet owner is a good pet owner. In that spirit we would like to share with our cat owning clients some concerns about Feline Leukemia virus and Rabies virus vaccines. Recent University and Industry sponsored studies have shown a clear relationship between the use of Feline Leukemia and Rabies virus vaccines and the development of cancerous tumors (Fibrosarcoma) at the site the vaccine was administered. The prevalence of this problem is very low (annual prevalence estimates range from 3-4 cases per 10,000 cats). Nevertheless, we feel it is important for all cat owners to be aware of the slight risk. In light of these findings, we make the following recommendations:

    1. For cats that go outside of the house (full or part time) or cats that are exposed to such cats, we recommend routine Leukemia and Rabies virus vaccination programs.

    2. For "indoor only" cats, we recommend that the owner discuss each individual case with their pet's doctor.

    3. When possible, Redwood Veterinary Hospital will administer all Rabies and Leukemia virus vaccines in the lower leg regions, where therapy is much more effective in the unlikely event that a tumor should develop.

    4. Cat owners should periodically monitor the sites where the vaccines are given and notify us of any concerns.
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