Expired feline distemper shot - use?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by prairie hill, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. prairie hill

    prairie hill Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    232
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2002
    Location:
    western nebraska
    I have a full-year outdated injection in the fridge and a cat that is way past due. Anyone know, is it worthwhile to use it? I'm a ways from town and no money til payday. Thanks.
     
  2. prairie hill

    prairie hill Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    232
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2002
    Location:
    western nebraska
    Don't know if he has been exposed. Some years ago when we moved here we had two new unvac'd kittens contract distemper. My SIL, who is a vet (but is 300 miles away, and I can't get ahold of her today to ask her) told us that we probably had distemper in our soil, as it can live there for years (but how many?) The kittens that died were about 4 months old. We had two younger kittens we had brought here also and one of them contracted distemper just a a few days after the bigger ones did. By then we had shots in hand, and the little one (about 11 weeks old) survived it. SIL believed that was likely because he and his sister probably had antibodies remaining from their mother, as they hadn't been weaned very long. Anyway, we've vac'd all our animals from the beginning, but have a tendency to let the "yearly" get past us. Bruno is 5 YO, and night before last started acting slightly strange, just lethargic and a little trembly when we hold him. The local vet is out of town til tomorrow. He acts almost normal, but not quite; no apparent injuries or wounds. Good thing is, so far he doesn't show any respiratory signs. I'm just scared of this distemper in the soil thing, and kicking myself that I let him go past the yearly booster. He's a good two years out.
     

  3. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,992
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    Central Iowa
    I doubt the vaccine is still good. You shouldn't vaccinate him if he's not perfectly healthy anyway. Vaccinating will temporarily lower his defenses to any immune assult and besides, if he's already incubating distemper, vaccinating now won't change the course of the disease.
     
  4. wogglebug

    wogglebug Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,623
    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    Not necessarily true. It sure won't be as good as inoculating him before he's got the disease, but it might kick him into producing antibodies faster than the disease is progressing.
     
  5. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,992
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    Central Iowa
    The vaccine is a modified form of the distemper virus. If he has been exposed to distemper, his body is already making antibodies to the virus as fast as it can. The antibodies in his system will bind to the vaccine antigen and disable it. The modified virus won't have a chance to multiply in the system (as it must to convey immunity), so there is no reason to give the vaccine to an animal already sick with the disease. There is no good reason to stress an animal (for no purpose) when that animal is already ill.
     
  6. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,067
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    deep south texas
    I Am A firm beleiver in NOT useing out dated medications, And the Vaccine falls into that group. You may end up killing A pet or person if Not carefull!
     
  7. bonnie in indiana

    bonnie in indiana Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    572
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    INDIANA, poultry for 40+ years
    Having worked for a vet, I know a few things. [very few]
    They tell you to vaccinate every year
    Most vaccines are 3 year vaccines and they just want your money.
    AN EXPIRATION date is a guideline that the FDA makes the manufacturers put on there product.
    Expired stuff is good for at least a year after marked.

    Tell me you throw out foodstuffs that expired 1-2 -3-4 days or weeks ago.
    example--sealed lunchmeat----good for up to another month or more.
     
  8. Otter

    Otter Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,547
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    NY
    Bonnie is right. Most vaccines give several years right on up to lifetime immunity. Having said that there are other diseases he could have, there is one passed by rodents (Leptosproza :shrug: not sure the name) that could cause his tremors. Call SIL and/or get him to a vet ASAP. Good Luck and Best Wishes!!!
     
  9. JasoninMN

    JasoninMN Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,859
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Location:
    Minnesota
    so what if this particular vaccine is not one in the "most" group and it does expire? How does a person know and why take the risk?
     
  10. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,992
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    Central Iowa
    I hope it didn't seem that I thought this cat actually has distemper! It is unlikely that an adult previously vaccinated cat would have distemper. I glossed over the disease for what I consider the bigger issue: You DO NOT vaccinate a sick animal. And Jason has the same feelings I do. The vaccine is no longer guaranteed safe or effective, so why take that chance. For what it worth, I work at a vet clinic too (as the vet).