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Old 11-07-2012, 08:58 AM   #1
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Unhappy Reaction to rabies shot

I took my dog to her new vet for her stupid rabies shot last night because it is a law here in Massachusetts that you have to give them the shot. She seemed o.k. but was a little wheezy. This morning she started shaking and wheezing and practically falling over. I freaked out and called the vet and they told me to bring her right in. She just layed on my lap like a dishrag in the car.

They gave her a Benadryl shot to stop the reaction and gave me Rimadyl pills because the vet thinks that where they gave her the shot is sore and that is why she was falling over. The vet said she would sleep most of the day because of the Benadryl.

Has anyone had their dogs have a reaction to a rabies shot and should I give her the Rimadyl?? I am so afraid to give her anything. And how long is she going to be so lethargic from the Benadryl?

I am supposed to bring her back in a couple of weeks for her distemper shot that has 4 other vaccines in it too. I do NOT want to give her anymore vaccines, but I don't want to leave her unprotected either.

Any advice on vaccinations and if my dog is going to be o.k. would really help. She is my first dog and I am so upset right now at the fact that she could have died from this effing shot.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:14 AM   #2
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yes i have read on here some having reactions such as this. my cedric was very lathargic his first rabies but no other symptoms. this does happen and from what i remember reading it was better in a couple of days. i would only do one vaccine at a time in the future. that is how i did all of cedrics vacc as he can be sensitive to them. good luck i hope your baby feels better in a couple of days.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:27 AM   #3
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I am sorry to hear your little one had a reaction. I personally would NOT give the rimadal. This is just my opinion but i doubt the "almost falling over" is from pain from the shot and adding more drugs to her system isnt necessarily a good thing. Benadryl is a standard presc. for reactions.You should monitor her closely and get her to a vet you trust if she doesnt improve. Also, you mentioned "new" vet. Did you change vets for a reason?
Hoping she feels better soon!

I forgot to add: how old is she? You do not have to give her vaccines if you choose not to, there is a lot of evidence out there that shows they immunity for a much longer time than the three year intervals some vets do. have you looked at the vaccine stickies on this site? I would recomend you look at at protocols recommended by Dr. Jean Dodds
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:49 AM   #4
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I'd be sure that when she has to have another in six months or whatever the puppy protocol is, that your vet gives the steroid(I think it's a steroid or corticosteroid or something like that) and the Benadryl first, waits a while and then administers the vax. Be sure you don't give any other vaccinations with it or any other meds to your little one on that day either unless it's something she has to have like heart medicine or insulin or something. Also, I would let them keep her and watch her for the rest of the day where she can get immediate intervention if she has a reaction and this time quits breathing or something. That rabies vax always made Jilly lethargic and she usually slept the rest of the day she got it. I think back then, they got the thing every year and she always had a lump at the injection site literally for weeks. Tibbe had his last one in Jan., 2011 and isn't due another until January of 2014 but as I recall, he wasn't exceptionally lethargic after it and he never has a lump after shots.

With all of the woodland and wild critters that seem to be moving into the suburbs for food as their own habitats are invaded for human use, it is a worry that they will carry more rabies into the pet population as they inevitably have run-ins and bite. Sadly, if they are infected with the virus, the unprotected pet is in for a terrible, likely fatal brain/CNS infection. The incubation period for this disease can be up to a year and some say way longer than that, but I don't know if that is in humans only or humans and larger pets. If the bitten pets don't die, and most do, the pain and other symptoms are truly terrible.

I hope your baby is feeling better soon.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:13 AM   #5
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Yes, my little Ace had a horrible reaction to the rabies shot. He was only 2.7 pounds. The day after his shot he was wobbly and looked dizzy, then had diarrhea for about two days. He didn't want to eat but we made sure he stayed hydrated with pedialyte. It took about a week for him to return to his old self. I personally would not give your baby any other drugs at this point because they are obviously trying to cope with the rabies shot, and that is a lot on their little bodies. I find it appalling that they give the same amount of the vaccine to a 3 pound dog and a 70 pound dog! Some of these little guys just can't handle it.
I would definitely have titers of blood drawn next time when the rabies shot is due because it will prob. still be in your babies system and they won't need it.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:53 AM   #6
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Beanie is almost 16 months old now. She had one rabies shot by the breeder (her vet only gives 1/2 of the shot) and has had all of her other shots. In Mass., you HAVE to give the dog the rabies shot a year after the 1st shot, then 3 years after that. But I did some research and there is now a way to request a waiver if the vet will sign something saying she had a bad reaction. I will certainly go that route. She is supposedly "due" for the core booster shots. But why do I have to give her these shots if she is at a VERY low risk of getting anything? She doesn't go near other dogs, I don't take her walking in parks, she is never off leash and is in the house most of the time. If these dogs are at such a high risk of vaccine reaction and at a low risk for getting the diseases they are supposed to prevent, what sense does it make to put them at such a risk? It would be like giving your child the measles/mumps vaccine every year. Or giving yourself a tetnus shot every year.

As far as her going to a new vet, I had taken her to a vet last April (I got her in Feb.) to get her heartworm medication and the vet was horrible. She was totally against buying a dog from a breeder and did not like Yorkies. She told me Beanie had luxating patella, grade 2 and 3 in her knees and that she would need surgery right away. She also told me that her heart "sounded funny". I was in a state of shock when I left. I had to take her back there awhile later because she had very dry skin and I saw a different vet who was wonderful, but was going to leave the practice. She didn't say a word about her knees and said her heart was fine.

This new vet place examined her head to toe (including her knees) and said she looked to be totally healthy. They didn't say a word about her knees being bad and said her heart was fine. They also said that it was up to me if I wanted to give her any more vaccines. I really like this place. When I called this a.m. crying because I thought my dog was dying, they brought us right in and only charged me $12.00 for the Rimadyl (which I am NOT giving her). There was no charge for the follow up visit for the vaccine reaction.

I will certainly check out the vaccine threads here to see if I am going to do this core vaccine booster. If I DO decide to do this, she won't get anything after that for a very, very long time.
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:06 PM   #7
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This does not sound like a life threatening type reaction, especially if they felt they could give her a med to take home. I personally would give the Rimadyl. It would help her with the discomfort she is having. But...that's just me.

As for vaccines...they are very important especially in young dogs. My vet follows the AAHA recommendations.
https://www.aahanet.org/Library/CanineVaccine.aspx

While you think your dog is not susceptible she is .. just taking her to a pet store..or heck, even to a vet is risky for a dog not vaccinated. You have no way of knowing what other people are doing with their pups.

Good luck with your decisions for your pups.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:39 PM   #8
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My little girl is ten, and I am so stressed out when it is time for her rabies shot.
She weighs 5-1/2 lbs, and luckily is not due for that vaccine until 2015.

With her last shot, she lost her hair in the area where the needle was inserted, limped from soreness, and was very lethargic. I always keep her in the office for at least a half an hour after the shot just in case she has an immediate reaction.

I am already losing sleep about the rabies vaccine due 2015. She will be a much older Yorkie by then, and it may be too much for her. I will have a good conversation with the vet before having that done.

Good luck with your fur baby.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kate View Post
My little girl is ten, and I am so stressed out when it is time for her rabies shot.
She weighs 5-1/2 lbs, and luckily is not due for that vaccine until 2015.

With her last shot, she lost her hair in the area where the needle was inserted, limped from soreness, and was very lethargic. I always keep her in the office for at least a half an hour after the shot just in case she has an immediate reaction.

I am already losing sleep about the rabies vaccine due 2015. She will be a much older Yorkie by then, and it may be too much for her. I will have a good conversation with the vet before having that done.

Good luck with your fur baby.
I believe that you can apply for an exemption to the rabies vaccine due to her reaction.
I don't know if they diagnosed it but there is a condition, cutaneous vasculitis, that it may be. There is another condition but I don't recall the name of it.
You really need to have a discussion with your vet about this and even perhaps with a dermatologist...next time could be much worse. One of my son's dogs had a really bad reaction to one of her shots and her vet has marked her chart and will not vaccinate her again.
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:24 AM   #10
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I'm sorry your pup suffered this unfortunate reaction. I hope he's feeling better. It's very important for this to be reported and it also needs to be entered into your pups files. These types of reactions are considered *rare* only because the reporting of these types of cases is rare.This is the only way we all will know just how frequent this type of thing happens. Without this info on record it never happened.

I hope you get your exemption, once a pup suffers from one the chances of it happening again is more likely than not and the reaction could be worse.


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States Allowing Medical Exemptions for Rabies Vaccination | Truth4Dogs
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:42 AM   #11
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I'm very sorry.

Initial pup vaccines are very important, and I like to get them one more time at one year old, but after that we no longer do any DHPP or any of that. Unfortunately like you the law for rabies is every 3 years, which I just think is way too much, but we follow the law. I wish they would at least make it every 5 years.

Good luck!! Check out some previous threads on YT about vaccines.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:26 AM   #12
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Well, I am happy to report that Beanie is showing no ill affects after her reaction to the rabies shot. THANK GOD. She is her usual, nutty little self. Thank you all for the information and concern. I did some research and I can apply for a waiver of the shot next time because she did have a reaction. How can it be o.k. to give an animal something that makes them so sick!! Plus how can it be o.k. to give a 5 lb. dog the same dosage as a 100 lb. dog. I just don't understand why so many dog owners just take this so lightly. Like well, gee whiz, it is NORMAL for the dog to have a reaction. And I don't just mean Yorkie owners, I mean ALL dog owners.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:21 AM   #13
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For the 4 in 1 vaccine you can request them to separate the shots. I do. She is only 16 months old - and distemper is a very nasty disease.

Subsequent years as I am doing now, I titer. You can read about titering - I believe the library has a sticky on that.

Titering is not "cheap" here in Toronto Ontario - it costs even more to do than the vaccines. You can inquire with your vet their costs to titer prior to administering any more vaccines.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:34 AM   #14
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It is not normal for a dog to have a reaction to a vaccine. True vaccine reactions that would lead to serious issues for a dog are actually very rare.

Rabies, distemper and parvo are killers....and keep in mind that rabies is also a threat to humans. Vaccines save a lot of animal and human lives.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:47 AM   #15
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Unless my dogs ever had a life threatening reaction to rabies I would continue to get it. We get raccoons and possums in our yard not worth the chance of not vaccinating
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