Gabe had one of those very rate and terrifying vaccination reactions. He had his 1 yr booster of DHLLP and Rabies on Monday. Tue-Thurs he was a bit sluggish and had a depressed appetite but he was still eating and didn't have a temp. and definitely wanted to play. Thurs. afternoon his tail looked funny (as if he had cold-tail for no reason) but he ate with gusto for the first time so I thought he was getting over it.
He woke me up at 12:30 because he had diarrhea and I noticed his hind legs were a bit stiff. Made a note that he was definitely going to see the vet in the am. He woke me up again at 3:15 and he could barely walk, 3-legged and hunched over. Off to the E-vet (thank god we have one close by now) Blood work normal except for slightly low platelets that she attributed to difficulty getting blood, temp borderline high normal/low grade fever. Tested for as many tick-borne diseases as they could. Tentative diagnosis, unknown tick, polyarthritis or autoimmune issue from the vaccination. RX doxycline and NSAIDS.
My vet got the report and called me and asked if we would bring him in. Definitely! She's a saint. By then he had to be carried into and out of the car. She redid the blood tests and found the platelets even lower. Worried about the start of an autoimmune response she changed the NSAIDS to Steroids. He symptoms improved about as dramatically as he declined.
He definitely had the polyarthritis reaction and we won't know for a little bit if there was any autoimmune issues too!
I'm still scared to death.
Yikes! I hope things continue to improve. What is next? Tittering for the future?
Karen and the gang
BBI Kodi's Journey To Anotch (Journey)
BBI Kodi's Blackpowder Striker (Flint)
That is so scary. I hope he continues to improve. Kate had a reaction to the DHLLP. Her face swelled up like a balloon. We rushed her to the vet. She got a steroid shot & benadryl. Our vet felt she might have reacted to the lepto. She now gets premedicated before any vaccination. Because she runs hunt tests & hunts, she needs to have the lepto every year. Otherwise we are on a three year schedule. It is scary.
Good thoughts for your boy.
Thank you. We haven't really discussed what happens about future vaccinations...just that we're going to have to talk about it and look into alternatives like titering and using individual vaccines. My vet also thinks it might be lepto that caused the problem. She also said that unless we have an outbreak of distemper in the area, she's never going to give him another one of those! I've had dogs for forty years and spent 15 years as a vet tech and never have seen anything like this.
Omg that is so scary! I am glad you have an e-vet close by! Good thoughts he continues to improve!!
Karen - sorry, I feel I should know this, but don't! ... what is tittering?
Roxy, titering is to check the levels of antibodies the dog has. Dogs used to be vaccinated every year. Studies showed some vaccines still give protection after a year, sometimes several years. If you check titers and your dog is still protected, you don't need to vaccinate. Many vets now do a three year schedule for vaccines. Lepto, unfortunately, seems to last about a year. So if that is one you need, you may have to do it every year. Checking titers to see if your dog has antibodies helps from overvaccinating.
I also never give multiple vaccines on the same day. I spread them about a month apart.
Thanks, Georgie! Diesel did the 3yr one so he is due coming up in 2013 - June or July I think, I don't recall off-hand what the acronym for his was, DHHP or DHPP? Anyways, will definitely do titering to check his antibodies before we do them & ensure we are only vaccinating for what makes sense.
That's terrifying! Both my dogs don't react well to Lepto, so we are currently not vaccinating for it. If we have to in the future, I will definitely have to premedicate both of them and watch them carefully.
That is absolutely frightening. I hope he continues to improve and has no further issues.
Maxx & Emma Jean
Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.
Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.
Lepto is a very hard vaccination. I find that most vets purposely vaccinate that one separately, and if yours doesn't, you need to ask about it. We don't live in an area where it's bad, so we don't give it, but all of our vets say that it tends to be the shot that they see the most reactions to (and if your dog DOES react, you should never give it again). The problem with giving it as part of a combo, if the dog has a reaction, you won't really know which shot it was. But if you give it separately, you will know.
Sorry you had a scary experience.