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Vaccination of Kittens at the Time of Surgery

Reese, M. J., E. V. Patterson, et al. (2008). “Effects of anesthesia and surgery on serologic responses to vaccination in kittens.” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 233(1): 116-121.

There are many potential situations where it is desirable to vaccinate kittens at the time of spay or neuter surgery, such as in shelter situations where compliance with post-adoption recommendations is poor. Shelters commonly spay or neuter kittens at or near the time of vaccination. However, the effects of anesthesia and surgery on the immune response of kittens to vaccination is unknown. In this prospective controlled trial, 32 specific-pathogen free kittens were assigned to 1 of 4 groups: neutering at 7, 8, 9 weeks of age, or no neutering. All kittens received a modified live virus vaccine against feline herpesvirus (FHV), feline calicivirus (FCV) and feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) at 8, 11, and 14 weeks of age. Rabies vaccine was administered at 14 weeks of age. Serum antibody titers against FHV, FCV, FPV and rabies were determined at various time points. Serologic responses of kittens spayed or neutered at the time of vaccination were not different from the other groups. Importantly, many kittens that were last vaccinated at 14 weeks of age had inadequate antibody titers at 17 weeks. The researchers conclude that kittens may be vaccinated in the perioperative period when necessary, and the last vaccination should be given no earlier than 16 weeks of age.
>> JAVMA Abstract

Related articles:
Poulet, H. (2007). “Alternative early life vaccination programs for companion animals.” J Comp Pathol 137 Suppl 1: S67-71.
>> PubMed Abstract

Richards, J. R., T. H. Elston, et al. (2006). “The 2006 American Association of Feline Practitioners Feline Vaccine Advisory Panel report.” J Am Vet Med Assoc 229(9): 1405-41.
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