An American woman is suing Big Pharma for $2 million after her cat turned autistic as a result of getting a vaccine for the Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV).
The vaccination is known to cause temporary side effects such as fever and swelling, and in some instances has caused seizures, but the woman from Cincinnati says she believes her cat has suffered permanent damage as a result of the vaccine.
38-year-old Jane Feathers told reporters, “It took me several weeks to identify the symptoms. There is hardly any literature on autism in animals so I had to figure this out by myself. It is while watching Jenny McCarthy talk about her son’s symptoms on Youtube that I understood why Pickles was so different since he received his shot”.
Feathers says she realized something was wrong when her cat began displaying impaired social skills such as the loss of its ability to meow, and when it started to show signs of chronic repetitive behavior.
“From that day on he has been like a ghost. He has that dead-empty glare to his eyes. He can spend hours looking at the wall without flinching. The only thing he practically does is line up his dry food pebbles in a straight line, I’ve never seen him or any other cat do such a strange thing” she said. “I had also taught him to say his name, but he obviously cannot do that anymore”.
Miss Feathers attorney, Mariana Mercedes, believes the plaintiff’s case could set a precedent.
“No medical intervention is completely risk-free. Vaccines, though they are designed to protect from disease, may include life-threatening allergic reactions, cause seizures, and even death,” she explained. “Compensation for individuals harmed by vaccines already exist, it has just never been done in the light of domestic animals.”
“It is common to sue a manufacturer for harm caused by an improperly made vaccine, or to sue a physician for administering a vaccine when it was contraindicated. Why would my defendant’s case be different because we are talking about a family pet?” she asked a local reporter when reached by phone.
As of December 1, 2011, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program had awarded $2.35 billion in 2,810 separate claims, including compensation for 390 deaths.