Vaccination Guidelines Stress Individual Risks

Updated guidelines from the American Association of Feline Practitioners recommend a vaccination schedule based on individual cats’ needs. They say assessments should include discussions of risks and benefits, health, lifestyle and the likelihood of exposure to disease.

It’s important to realize that vaccination is a medical procedure and not a cookie-cutter every-cat-is-the-same protocol, says Margie A. Scherk, DVM, of Vancouver, chair of the panel that developed the guidelines. “Vaccination is an important part of preventive healthcare. However, just as with any other medical procedure, vaccination is not an innocuous procedure and unfortunately can infrequently have unpleasant or even devastating life-threatening results.”

The 2013 guidelines, at, include a client brochure and options for reducing the risk of injection-site sarcoma. For more information, please see Ask Elizabeth