Feline Injection-Site Sarcoma: The Battles of Kitty Kat

August 2, 2012

Kitty Kat

Time from diagnosis to death….four months. Cost of treatment……$6,800.

Angel Kitty Kat Gonzalez was a beautiful and sweet long haired Tortoiseshell cat. I had never owned a cat before Kitty Kat showed up on my doorstep in the fall of 2003. When I took my pets (I have a dachshund too) to the veterinarian for wellness or illness visits I never questioned their care or treatment. I was naive in believing that my veterinarian was up to date on the latest and best medical care. I believed they loved my fur babies as much as I did.

During the time period of 2003 – 2008 Kitty Kat was never taken to a veterinarian or received any type of medical treatment. She was always a very healthy cat. In December of 2008 Kitty Kat had a facial abscess wound so a trip to the veterinarian was warranted. The veterinarian administered vaccines and an injection of Covenia (antibiotic) to treat her facial abscess.
In March of 2010, after receiving a few vaccine reminder postcards in the mail, I took Kitty Kat back to the vet. Another round of vaccines was given. At this time I knew nothing about the vaccines, risks, benefits, or possible adverse reactions nor was I informed.
Around August or September of 2010 I noticed Kitty somewhat limping and not jumping as she usually did. After a few weeks, upon close inspection (she had long thick hair),  I noticed an ulcerated sore and golf ball size swelling on her right rear leg. She was an indoor/outdoor cat so I thought maybe it was an animal bite, although she never left our yard and free roaming animals were not common in my neighborhood.
In October 2010, immediately after discovering her wound, I took her to the veterinarian who prescribed an antibiotic and informed me to return if no improvement was observed after 5-7 days. I tried to make an appointment as the wound was not improving but no appointment was available. So I took Kitty to another local vet who immediately diagnosed Vaccine Associated Sarcoma upon observation. He advised that immediate amputation was necessary in order to possibly save her life but this was a very aggressive cancer.

Kitty Kat’s tumor

I couldn’t believe this was happening, my head was spinning…..cancer, amputation, vaccines caused this? Why didn’t my regular vet know what it was??  Very aggressive, immediate action to save her life, prognosis not good, etc. Two days later another local vet (regular vet didn’t know what it was, couldn’t trust him and vet that diagnosed it didn’t have a facility to handle an amputation) examined Kitty, performed a fine needle aspirate, and confirmed Vaccine Associated Sarcoma. Amputation was scheduled for two days later. I was desperate to save my baby’s life and again trusted another local vet. This vet cut off her leg and discarded it!!!! I didn’t find out later that it should have been sent to pathology.
How would we know if there were clean margins, what stage was the cancer, would she need chemotherapy, etc.? The nightmare I was in was real and getting worse. A mere ten days after the amputation the cancer had regrown and was poking through the stitches. In November 2010, three weeks after Kitty’s amputation she had to endure a second surgery 150 miles away from home at the hands of a surgeon and oncologist.

Kitty Kat after amputation

In January 2011 we continued to travel 300 miles round trip to administer chemotherapy. On February 2, 2011, we traveled in 27 degree weather, which is very cold for South Texas, but my baby was worth it. On February 4, 2011, we noticed a small red spot at the amputation site, the cancer had returned. Vaccine Associated Sarcoma is extremely fast growing and the ulcerated necrotic lesion rapidly grew in a matter of days. Sadly, Kitty Kat was euthanized on February 14, 2011, in our home, as my husband held her.

Jena Gonzalez
Jena filed suit against the vaccinating veterinarian. She was assisted by Texas veterinarian, and vaccination expert/activist Dr. Bob Rogers.  Jena lost but not because the vaccine didn’t cause the cat’s death.  Why she lost is unbelievable. She is appealing the decision.
Please Educate Before You Vaccinate! Read about Jena’s ensuing litigation and follow her story here: http://www.vetnegligence-vaccines.com/, http://www.facebook.com/VaccineAssociatedSarcoma?ref=hl , https://twitter.com/#!/EduB4UVaccinate. 
Related information:
Vaccine-Associated Feline Sarcoma Task Force on AVMA website
Vaccines for Cats: We Need to Stop Overvaccinating by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM
Canine Vaccine Injection-site Sarcoma Report a Reaction
Vaccine Reactions: Underreported and Unrecognized, Not Unimportant
Vaccinating Cats and Small and Medium-Size Dogs: A Special Danger
Questions to Ask Before Vaccinating
Why Vets Don’t Recognize Vaccine Reactions
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