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Help, my cat contracted cancer all over his body from vaccine and died?

Dear all,

I am devastated to have lost my soulmate Hugo, the love of my life, after he had his vaccine for leukaemia.

He didn’t deserve to die this way, he was only 6 years old and really suffered due to my vets who were both incompetent and never having (supposedly) seen anything like this before. I want answers and want to stop this happening to others so if anyone can help it would be much appreciated.

To cut a long story short, he was well, although very slightly off his food week before vaccine (I told the vet this). After vaccine he had an immediate reaction, fever and wouldn’t get out of bed. I had heard cats could be like this for a few days following vaccine.

They injected him in his shoulder blades, something I have later heard is worrying. He died from what was believed to be an unknown illness as all his blood tests were relatively normal apart from low white blood cells when first omitted, high urea and reduced kidney function two days before he died.

My vets wouldn’t scan him as they didn’t think it was necessary, despite several requests over period of two weeks. I know, I am beating myself up about this, I trusted them and they let me down.

Post mortem revealed Hugo had a very aggressive type of cancer associated to lymphoma. Histology confirmed that my darling Hugo who was to very precious to me had cancer all over his body. He died from lesions in his heart ultimately. The cells were tested and they were so new that they hadn’t even turned into lymphoma, if that makes sense. They definitely were produced after the vaccine so possibly around 2/3 weeks before he died.

I am pretty sure that this illness was from Hugo having the vaccine, that is my gut reaction as he was so well in every way according to endless tests.

Can anyone help? Have you ever heard of this relating to a vaccine? If not has anyone heard of a cancer so wide spread, so young and aggressive in a short space of time? Maybe this is happening all the time, I know of animals who have died 3 weeks after vaccine but without post mortem, how do you know about these things?

I am missing Hugo so much, he had a bad start in life, I rescued him at 6 months old and unfortunately, perhaps due to the vaccine, he had a very painful death which I so wish could have been avoided.

Please help, many thanks,

Thank you for you answer. I know this, according to the post mortem the cells Hugo had weren’t officially lymphoma as they were too new to be cancer. They were definitely less than 3 weeks old but as they were so aggressive they had spread throughout his body.

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Category: Cat Scan
  • TokyoSteve says:

    Cancer does not develop so quickly so your cat must have had it before he was treated. Leukemia is a type of cancer and it can be lymphocytic. You cannot vaccinate against cancers including leukemias. I think they were trying to treat your cat for leukemia but it was too far advanced for the chemotherapy to make a difference.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:42 am
  • april says:

    Cancer is not caused by any vaccine. Hugo had it prior to the vet visit. If he seemed to be in tremendous pain, you should have put him to sleep peacefully. I’ve had many cats over the years and have several now and they’ve never shown any reaction to a vaccine.

    No Tokyo, the vaccine is for FLV, not human leukemia.

    They are not going to be able to tell the age of cells. It’s sad to lose a pet, but you need to stop dwelling on it. You also shouldn’t not vaccinate your pets. Have you ever seen a cat die a slow horrible death from FLV? Not a pretty site.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:53 am
  • oldknowitall says:

    So sorry for your loss. It does no good to rehash all this stuff though. It just keeps you feeling bad about it. You should not feel bad as you got him the help he needed. Sorry it didn’t workout for him.

    March 30, 2011 at 3:40 am
  • Panda says:

    I am not sure why you are getting your information mixed up because any vet should have been able to explain this . . there is an association with sarcoma and vaccinations in cats, but no one exactly knows what that association is because not all cats are affected. Some vets believe that the association begins with genetics and the vaccination is a trigger. In either case there is no solid evidence that vaccinations in cats causes them to have cancer. The confusing part of your story is that cancer does not behave the way you are describing . . nor would the vaccination have brought about cancer so quickly. The connection between sarcoma and the vaccination would take much longer and the place of vaccination the vet would clearly have seen a tumor.

    I am sorry that your pet died, but your cat probably already had cancer when he was vaccinated and that this was a co-incidence.

    You can read more about vaccine associated feline sarcoma at:

    This however is not what you are describing as happening to your pet.

    March 30, 2011 at 3:57 am
  • jenk says:

    Oh my god I am so sorry you lost your cat like this. I have a 3 year old cat that I’m very attached to and I just can’t imagine how I would feel if something happened to him. I have 3 wonderful teenage children (who are also crazy about him) but my cat is my baby and I always pray that he lives a very long life. He brings my life so much joy and I thank god for him all the time. Again I am deeply sorry for your loss and I hope that one day you find the answer to his mysterious illness.

    March 30, 2011 at 4:16 am
  • KeyshaJ says:

    Cancer does not develop so quickly so your cat must have had it before he was treated.

    March 30, 2011 at 4:28 am

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