Repeated physical and cytologic characterizations of subcutaneous postvaccinal reactions in cats

A. E. Schultze From the Departments of Pathology (Schultze), Small Animal Clinical Sciences (Frank), and Comparative Medicine (Hahn), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071.

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L. A. Frank From the Departments of Pathology (Schultze), Small Animal Clinical Sciences (Frank), and Comparative Medicine (Hahn), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071.

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K. A. Hahn From the Departments of Pathology (Schultze), Small Animal Clinical Sciences (Frank), and Comparative Medicine (Hahn), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071.

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Abstract

Objectives

To examine local reactions and short-term cytologic responses of cats to administration of rabies virus (RV); FeLV; and combined feline rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia virus (FRCPV) vaccines.

Animals

9 healthy 6- to 7-month-old specific-pathogen-free cats.

Procedure

One-milliliter doses of the aforementioned vaccines were administered SC (at different sites) to healthy, specific-pathogen-free cats. Each cat also received 1 ml of sterile saline solution SC as a control. Injection sites were visually examined and palpated daily for 4 weeks. Palpable lesions were measured by use of calipers. Temperature of the vaccination sites was measured weekly by use of a thermocouple. Aspirates were taken from vaccination sites weekly, and smears were submitted for cytologic analysis.

Results

There were no significant differences in lesion surface temperature among injection sites at any time. Injections of saline solution and FeLV vaccine resulted in no palpable lesions. The FRCPV vaccine elicited a minor reaction in 1 of the 9 cats. The RV vaccine caused palpable lesions in all cats. Smears of the aspirates from the sites of saline injection were poorly cellular. Cellularity of aspirates from the sites of FRCPV and FeLV vaccinations was moderate at week 1, and decreased with time. Inflammatory infiltrates were composed principally of lymphocytes, with fewer neutrophils and macrophages. In contrast, cellularity of aspirates from RV vaccination sites increased for 21 days and was characterized by increasing numbers of lymphocytes and macrophages.

Conclusions

RV vaccine used in this study induced palpable lesions in many cats. In contrast, FRCPV and FeLV vaccines elicited less severe lesions.

Clinical Relevance

Subcutaneous administration of killed virus vaccines in cats may result in palpable lesions that are detected by clients or clinicians. Aspiration cytologic examination may reveal a different characteristic pattern of cells that is dependent on the individual vaccine and time elapsed from vaccination. (Am J Vet Res 1997;58:719–724)

Abstract

Objectives

To examine local reactions and short-term cytologic responses of cats to administration of rabies virus (RV); FeLV; and combined feline rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia virus (FRCPV) vaccines.

Animals

9 healthy 6- to 7-month-old specific-pathogen-free cats.

Procedure

One-milliliter doses of the aforementioned vaccines were administered SC (at different sites) to healthy, specific-pathogen-free cats. Each cat also received 1 ml of sterile saline solution SC as a control. Injection sites were visually examined and palpated daily for 4 weeks. Palpable lesions were measured by use of calipers. Temperature of the vaccination sites was measured weekly by use of a thermocouple. Aspirates were taken from vaccination sites weekly, and smears were submitted for cytologic analysis.

Results

There were no significant differences in lesion surface temperature among injection sites at any time. Injections of saline solution and FeLV vaccine resulted in no palpable lesions. The FRCPV vaccine elicited a minor reaction in 1 of the 9 cats. The RV vaccine caused palpable lesions in all cats. Smears of the aspirates from the sites of saline injection were poorly cellular. Cellularity of aspirates from the sites of FRCPV and FeLV vaccinations was moderate at week 1, and decreased with time. Inflammatory infiltrates were composed principally of lymphocytes, with fewer neutrophils and macrophages. In contrast, cellularity of aspirates from RV vaccination sites increased for 21 days and was characterized by increasing numbers of lymphocytes and macrophages.

Conclusions

RV vaccine used in this study induced palpable lesions in many cats. In contrast, FRCPV and FeLV vaccines elicited less severe lesions.

Clinical Relevance

Subcutaneous administration of killed virus vaccines in cats may result in palpable lesions that are detected by clients or clinicians. Aspiration cytologic examination may reveal a different characteristic pattern of cells that is dependent on the individual vaccine and time elapsed from vaccination. (Am J Vet Res 1997;58:719–724)

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