Thursday, October 14, 2010

Immunization Porn for Troll Monkeys

A little over a year ago, I took my new kittehs to the vet for their first round of immunizations. They were too young for the rabies shot so they got the distemper/parvo/FL super combo package. That night, Dexter developed a head tremor. It wasn't chills or fever. It looked like he had Parkinsons - definitely something related to the nervous system. After a few hours it went away and he seemed fine.

This past Tuesday, I took the cats to the vet for their yearly immunizations, and I mentioned this tremor episode to the vet. She grew very concerned and decided to change his immunization, splitting up his immunizations into two rounds and eliminating the FL altogether, since he is an inside cat. She also gave him a steroid to help him deal with the shot.

Maybe it's because I'm a conspiracy theorist familiar with tales of autism caused by immunizations, but this whole episode struck me as odd. I fully expected the vet to act like your standard medical doctor, dismiss my concerns and go ahead with the shots. I had prediscounted my fears in my own mind. Instead, she questioned me thoroughly on everything I could remember, trying to determine which shot had caused this reaction. She took his temperature to get a baseline, in case he had a reaction to the new shots and we had to bring him back in. There was never any doubt in her mind that the initial reaction had been caused by one of the shots.

I thought, if there is this level of concern treating cats, why isn't there the same level of concern treating people? It seems to me that, for people, immunizations are perfectly safe and no cause for concern, but for cats, it's best we not take any chances. We can even eliminate a certain immunization if there is (apprently) medical (or anecdotal) history of the immunization affecting the patient's nervous system!

Honestly, I think there is great value in vaccines. Look what they did to small pox and polio. But when medical science meets corporate profits, profits always win. Even for doctors, it is a numbers game - far more people are helped than harmed by vaccines. There will always be a temptation among vaccine manufacturers to cut corners and play the numbers, choosing the profit of a longer shelf life or smaller dosage provided by preservatives and booster chemicals in the vaccine over the loss of a resulting lawsuit, especially when such lawsuits can be fought and won in corporate-friendly courts.

In my opinion, something as basic to public health as immunizations shouldn't even be in the hands of profit-making corporations. Vaccines should be produced and distributed by the government, especially vaccines vital to the containment of a pandemic. Tossing out and replacing expired vaccines is money we, as taxpayers, should be willing to have our tax dollars wasted on, just as we are willing to waste tons of money building weapons to fight enemies that don't exist.

That's all I got to say about that.


Well, one more thing. If cat's can have autism, Dexter is autistic, and has been since that immunization-induced episode of Parkinson-like tremors.

2 comments:

cromercrox said...

Poor kitteh! You sure it was teh immunizings? Some topical worming treatments are reported to produce symptoms like this (my veterinarian confirmed this). I daren't name names for fear of being sued, but you should definitely trawl teh interwebz.

Jeff said...

That was the only treatment he had that day, and on being informed of the tremors the vet pretty quickly suggesting eliminating the FL shot.