~ From Kris (Luna’s close call)
As I watch you prepare to deliver another litter of pups to their forever homes, I can’t stress the importance to everyone about the vaccine protocols you provide to everyone and how they must be followed.
As you know when Luna received her first vaccination after coming home to us in January, she had a near fatal reaction. She was diagnosed with HOD. She was not eating and lethargic. At 10 weeks old, I knew this wasn’t right.
I immediately took her to the vet and she was diagnosed 2x incorrectly with a GI and UTI infection. The medicines prescribed did not work and I was getting more anxious and feared for her life. They simply did not know or were familiar with vaccine reaction or HOD in weims. HOD is an inflammation of the growth plates and very dangerous causing a high fever (Luna’s was 106 at one point) in addition to what I mentioned above.
It was an emergency vet that performed a simple test and squeezed her legs (Luna did not like it and whined) and finally got the right diagnosis. He took immediate action putting her on the right track.
If I could send any message to your clients and those getting new puppies, it would be to follow the protocols you’ve outlined. Be vigilant in observing for adverse reaction. It took 5 days for Luna to start presenting symptoms. More importantly, if your puppy starts showing symptoms, get medical help IMMEDIATELY! Your puppy’s life depends on it! Lastly, make sure your vet understands HOD and make sure they’re examining your dog if they appear sick after a vaccine. Time is of the essence with HOD.
With the right medications which are typically steroids over a period of time, your puppy will recover as Luna did. Now she’s living her best quirky weim life and we love her so much!
Here’s a pic of her after coming out of the hospital on the road to recovery and below is one of her now almost 1 year old. ❤
Click Here to read yesterday’s post if you missed it–it has a few informational links as well as our heartfelt message to those who are beginning a journey with a new fur family member–the Weimaraner in particular.
We asked Kris to write about Luna’s vaccine reaction from her perspective–hearing from someone who has experienced such an event means more than hearing it from us. It is not the first life-threatening vaccine experience we know about, but we hope it is the last.
About fifteen years ago, a fellow Weimlover (an Engineer in the Portland area) who picked up a pup from us succumbed to his Vet’s pressure. She gave his Weimaraner pup a puppy vaccination that included Lepto. She assured him there was little to no risk. Within hours he was back with her, and she was fighting to survive–she did, but he regretted the decision. The truth is many Weimaraners had the same puppy shot, and they didn’t have a severe reaction. Nevertheless, a percentage do, and a few will lose their life. Others who have vaccine reactions develop ongoing health problems — we suggest everyone errors on the side of caution.
Here is where we will make a full disclosure that we are not Licensed Veterinarians nor Vet Techs. We are speaking from the breed club recommendations and experience. Ultimately, you choose what is right for your pup. The Weimaraner Club of America (WCA) vaccine recommendations are similar to those we practice. Click here to learn more.
There is never a time when pups depart OwyheeStar that we don’t have concerns of one sort or other. We screen our applications and make every effort to ensure each pup’s future. But we are dealing with living creatures, and so many things can happen despite making every effort to set a pup up for success. Once they leave here, we have no control over what happens, and each person has to navigate a plethora of situations that sometimes are perplexing. Most people more than survive.
Quite possibly, the worst situation is a Veterinary who doesn’t take Weimaraner Vaccine Reactions seriously. We understand the science behind their reasoning and that all Veterinary Practices must base their protocol on the average dog (those most familiar to their practice). Typically these are mixed breeds, and the popular purebred is the Labrador Retriever. Click Here to see that 2020 list. The Weimaraner (according to AKC) is 39th in popularity. How many Weims do you think your Vet office sees? Now, consider that about 8% will have a severe (or life-threatening) vaccine reaction. Many Vets will never encounter this situation. If they do, we are sorry to say they might misdiagnose or inadvertently mismanage the situation. Don’t get us wrong; we believe their intentions are noble.
There is no doubt some of you will face opposition if you insist on getting a Titer test to prove immunity rather than another puppy shot at sixteen weeks. Watch for additional posts about vaccine, vaccine protocols, titer testing, and vaccine reactions.
A Reminder to Proceed with Caution
The Bernie X Boone Litter are twelve weeks old today. Keep in mind that they will celebrate their sixteen-week birthday on March 12th. Now is the time to remind your Vet that the Weimaraner Club of America *WCA) recommends the antibody titer test instead of the sixteen-week puppy shot. Your Vet probably is not aware of the low-cost in house titer test option. Download the pdf information to share with the Vet.
We realize by now a lot has happened, and everyone will have found themselves insanely busy raising their Weimaraner. The Weimaraner’s (and the OwyheeStar) Vaccine Protocol may have been forgotten.
Your Veterinary office will have a different (broad-based) vaccine protocol. Even if they agree to follow the recommendations, it will fall on the pup’s owner to remember these details. We suggest putting the dates on your calendar and ignoring the Veterinary office alerts. Otherwise, it gets very confusing. If you have forgotten the protocol read on.
- 6-Week NEOPAR® Puppy Shot (given at OwyheeStar)
- 9-Week *Nobivac Canine 1-DAPPv
- 12- Week *Nobivac Canine 1-DAPPv
- Other vaccines such as Lepto and Kennel Cough (Bordatella) should be given as needed–and avoided when possible. We recommend not combining these shots with any other vaccine–, especially rabies. Vaccine challenges the immune system to build antibodies; therefore, we strongly encourage you to space Lepto, Bordetella, and Rabies vaccination at least two weeks apart. We realize that many veterinary practices give multiple vaccinations at a single visit; however, this approach is easier on the immune system. If a reaction does occur, then you know what caused it and then can plan to avoid it in the future. Yes, we understand this is a more costly approach–avoiding the risk is worth it!
- 16-Week Crossroad <== Opt for the Vaccine Titer Test instead of automatically getting another puppy shot. We sincerely hope your Vet will agree. Your Vet is likely going to recommend just doing the shot because that is typical for the all-breed approach; however, a percentage of Weims are vaccine sensitive. Although it is likely that your pup probably never had a reaction before, please do not ignore this warning. Even a mild vaccine reaction can trigger immune system issues–some of these lead to on-going health problems and in certain instances death. It is not worth the risk! The vaccine titer test runs more than double the cost of the typical puppy shot, but it might save you thousands over time as well as the potential heartache, but the above pdf file is a much less costly option for the Titer Test. Almost without exception, our protocol has been producing immunity by week sixteen, which means your puppy doesn’t need another puppy shot. If you need the optional vaccines (Bordetella or Lepto) these can be done; however, please space them at least two weeks apart from the Rabies.
- Vaccine Blog Post For the OwyheeStar Client Only click here! (requires password)
PUPPY VACCINE CLARIFICATION (Lepto)
There is a significant push by the Veterinary community (due to the recent rise of Lepto) to include Lepto in the puppy shot. The Weimaraner Club of America (as well as others who study this breed) recommend you wait to give the Lepto, etc. until the puppy shots are completed. The puppy shot should not include Lepto or Corona. No other vaccine should be combined with the puppy shot. Waiting for the Lepto, Bordetella, and another vaccine until the pup is a little older is less risky. It takes more effort and costs a bit more to space the vaccine, but it is worth it.
What is the DAPPv?
Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type 1 (Hepatitis), Adenovirus Type 2 (Respiratory Disease), Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus (Click Here to read more about the vaccine we use. Remember the Puppy Shot should not contain the Lepto or Corona.
We are neither Licensed Veterinarians nor Licensed Veterinary Techs. Our recommendations are based on twenty-plus years breeding the Weimaraner (exclusively) as well as the breed recommendation (from the Weimaraner Club of America). Ultimately, you have to decide what is the best approach. This protocol is considered a more Holistic and safer approach. That being said, our advice cannot replace that of your Veterinary of choice.
~Let Me Share A Bit More with you!
I have a lot to say –to Luna’s littermates, to the OwyheeStar Weimaraner News Blog readers, and to Weimlovers in general. 😊
I don’t know why but I love pictures of sleeping dogs. You’d think all Maggie ever did was sleep by the amount of pictures I have of her resting or tucked in a blanket. —–‐‐——-‐———————–‘Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your support and kind words. I had asked Shela to share my story with you so you could be aware of the potential risk of vaccination.
Luna has been home from the hospital 3 days and is rebounding really well. She’s definitely her sassy self again. She’s more confident in her walking (some trotting but we’re not at running yet although I can see she wants to), moving around more and playing with her brother (although I’m supervising because we don’t want too much rough housing right now). We are back at our training and going through our day as if this never happened.
To make my point–here she is (pictured) Saturday night after having to go out in the soaking rain and then getting a nice pat down and grooming. She was such a patient girl letting me brush her head to tail.
How This Event Unfolded
Luna started exhibiting symptoms 4 days after her 9-week puppy shot–it started with diarrhea. I didn’t think much of it until the following day when she didn’t finish her lunch. Her energetic behavior went from playing to laying and that’s when I knew I was dealing with something more.
After 2 vet visits and misdiagnoses, I found myself in the ER because Luna could no longer walk. I want to note, during those visits, Luna was getting IV fluids because she stopped drinking too, and her fever that ultimately spiked to 106 even with the supportive care. The ER doctors and nurses were amazing!! There was never a question–she needed to be hospitalized. This was out of my wheelhouse! By the way… it was the ER doctors physical exam of applying light pressure on her legs that pointed us in the direction of HOD. Luna did not react well to his touching. X-rays confirmed it.
I did and had intended to follow the vaccine protocol recommended by Owyheestar and started those conversations at Luna’s first wellness visit. Knowing what just happened, I’m even more firm in my position to be an advocate for her. Vaccine reactions can be as mild as local swelling or mild fever or in most cases, nothing much at all.
Hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD) is something that is very rare but very real. You never think it couldn’t happen to you, and chances are it won’t. But please please please be educated!! Owyheestar posted some really good information on HOD. Follow the recommended vaccine protocol, know the signs and keep a keen eye out for any change in behavior even up to a week after vaccinations. The ER Vet had only seen HOD one other time and he was certain my primary care vet would not know to look for it as these are usually emergency cases. So, educate the Vet when necessary, too. 😊
Luna will be on a steroid and pain meds as needed for another 10 days. If there’s a relapse, I know the signs and we know exactly how to treat it. I’ll be on high alert until those growth plates close–probably around fifteen months, but sometimes it takes almost two years. Based on her response to treatment, I anticipate a full recovery.
Luna and I have only been together for almost 4 short weeks. In that time, I’ve gotten to know she’s my sweet girl, a Diva and a Warrior! I can’t wait to see how the rest of our life together unfolds. 💞
Thank you, again! Kris (Sunday, January 26, 2020)
I am positive that Luna is going to be a frequent contributor for our blog–everyone is invested in her future. Cliff, Christina, and I do not have anything much to add to what Kris has so kindly shared. Take a deep breath Weimlovers, most likely you will avoid this scenario; however, the best approach is to follow the recommendations we sent home with you.
There is one bit of information we want to add to this post–it is about canine temperatures and taking your pet’s temperature. Click on the highlighted test and it will take you to a page that talks more about how to do that and other specifics.
What Is a Dog’s Normal Body Temperature?
~Luna my Diva Warrior Princess Girl
Kris writes– I’m breathing again! The kisses I got when we reunited was heaven! I will write more for your Monday blog so everyone can be updated with all that has transpired.
Kris has stayed in touch since she figured out what was going on with her precious baby girl–the HOD, something we have mentioned countless times. It is not something most Vets see–how many Weimaraners are in their care in comparison? Not many. So, typically they go on about how they feel vaccinations should take place, making recommendations that far exceed what works well for this breed. We know they mean well, but each of us has to guard and make the best possible decision for our Weimaraner. It can be so tricky–Kris navigated this difficult situation well. She lucked out with the Emergency Vet being somewhat Weim-savvy and knowing about this vaccine reaction that can occur in the Weimaraner.
~This is a Weimaraner Issue
We want to alert you to a potential danger that you and even your Vet might not understand. We have been raising the Weimaraner for a goodly number of years–and this condition has proved to be rare, but not entirely absent. Please read on–learn about this disease, and what Kris has to share. Most of you should have read the materials and the vaccine warnings that we give out, but we want to take this opportunity to bring this topic to your attention. Only about 5-8% of Weims have a severe reaction such as this happen, but no one can predict which pup or pups might be affected.
~From the Weimaraner Club of American
Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD) is a canine autoinflammatory disease affecting young rapidly growing large breed dogs between eight weeks to eight months of age. Affected dogs exhibit swelling and pain in their legs with reluctance to stand or walk. In addition to orthopedic pain, there are variable systemic signs of which some or all may be present during an HOD episode. Systemic signs include fever, lethargy, depression, and loss of appetite.
A diagnosis of HOD is founded on radiographic evidence of bone involvement concurrent with hyperthermia and pain, and by ruling out infectious causes of the clinical signs. The cause of the disease is unknown and current treatments are focused on controlling the fever, alleviating the pain and treating the specific systemic signs present. Prognosis for severe cases is poor due to relapsing episodes and the low quality of life for the affected puppies that sometimes result in euthanasia. Currently, dog breeders have no means of selecting against HOD.
We (at OwyheeStar) have had a few pups diagnosed with this–mostly a very minor case; however, for the second time ever, we have encountered a severe and potentially life-threatening situation. One thing we can tell you is the last time a similar incident happened; it was different parents–and a smooth coat. This time, it is a recent born Longhair. I want to share what Kris has written to help you better understand why we are so adamant about being careful with vaccines and medications. There have been several situations where heartworm preventative made the Weimaraner very ill–a mysterious situation for the Vet; however, once they Weimaraner owner stopped using the product, the pup rebounded. So, please be careful and do follow the vaccine protocol we suggest.
About Luna (Bettee X Manfred)
~As told by Kris
We went for her 9-week shot as suggested in the OwyheeStar Health Record last Thursday and spoke to the vet about the recommendations. As you (Cliff and Shela) indicated, they weren’t in line with them but I stood firm. This is my baby and only want the best for her.
Monday (four days later) she stated having diarrhea and by Tuesday at lunch she started losing her appetite and stopped playing with Frankie. I immediately called the vet for her to be checked out. They put her on anti diarrhea meds with antibiotics but she wasn’t responding and was still having a low grade fever. I went back. Then they thought she had a UTI and put her on amoxicillin. She still wasn’t responding, her fever spiked and she started falling when she walked.
I again immediately called my vet and we went to the ER. By the grace of God I had a Dr. who did a thorough checkup and through process of elimination was able to diagnose her properly with hypertrophic osteodystrophy by having xrays done. Apparently, he’s seen this in the past and did tell me Weimaraners can be predisposed to this.
Right now she’s in good hands in the hospital while they manage getting her fever down. She’s started to eat again.
I’m letting you know because I know Luna has 9 litter mates and if anyone else may be experiencing this, they may want to have this very conversation with their vet as the symptoms can be misleading. When speaking to the Dr. and reading up on this, vaccination can trigger this if genetically predisposed to it. It seems Luna is and the Dr. also said there’s no way to even test for this.
I just wanted you to know I’m not asking or looking for anything other than to alert the other litter mates owners of the potential of this. I feel it’s my responsibility and that if another litter mate is exhibiting the symptoms they can get proper treatment quickly. I was told this is about the time between 2-4 months this can happen and again at 20 months. Once the growth plates close, she’ll be a healthy adult dog.
Please call me if you’d like to chat about this. It’s been a rough week but Luna is going to be ok now that we know what we’re dealing with. I’ve attached a link for your reference and certainly you can do your research ot call your vet to discuss this as well.
Take care, Kris (January 23 @ 6:07 AM)
Thanks Shela! I really just want to make sure everyone is educated so if this does present itself, THEY can direct the vet to the right diagnosis. The ER doc said he feels vaccination is absolutely related but he could take 100 puppies and could never recreate the issue consistently. Hence the reason for your conservative approach to vaccination. Even the research I did supported what you advocate for this breed.
I got a call from the hospital at 10 am this morning and Luna’s fever is down to 102 and she’s eating and getting sassy again. I was so happy to hear that. She’ll come home tomorrow if she continues improving and will be on oral steroids for approx 10 days. My primary care will be notified so they can help manage going forward.
Even with Maggie I was very conservative with my approach for vaccinations, heartworm and flea and tick prevention. I contribute that to her long healthy life. I plan to do the same with Luna.
I’m very appreciative of your response and support.
Kris (January 23 @ 11:11 AM)
I called the hospital to get an update update on Luna at 7 local time. She’s holding at a 101 temp since 8 am this morning. She is eating and drinking on her own and now on oral meds. She’s walking again too! Apparently they took her outside on a potty break with a leash and she wanted nothing of it and wanted to do it on her own. I got a little chuckle out of that and said my girl is back!!That’s what she does at home. She knows exactly where we go outside and never lets me leave her sight. When she’s done, she comes inside and gets a treat for a job well done! 😊 I’ll be picking her up tomorrow! I miss her so much!! 💞Kris (January 23 @ 6:32 PM)
To say we are happy to learn Luna has rebounded after such a terrible vaccine-triggered health crisis would be an understatement. We appreciate Kris being proactive–and heeding our warning. We all can count our blessings that she happened to get so fortunate to have a Weim-savvy Vet that knew to look for HOD.
The initial symptoms could indicate many common problems –pups can get sick. They can easily pick up bacteria, viruses, or parasites. These can bring on all the same symptoms–except for the total collapse scenario–well unless the pup becomes dehydrated. We should always be proactive about watching for parasites–and other things. It is equally important to guard against vaccine reactions. We realize this will overwhelm and worry many of you. Just stay alert and be informed–you have to be proactive in these situations. Otherwise, a wrong diagnosis can lead you down the wrong path–and mean difficult recovery.
~Titer Test @ 16 Weeks
You might remember that Dr. John Calhoun’s Idaho Veterinary Hospital (IVH) agreed to start offering the VacciCheck Titer Testing. OwyheeStar’s Henri was the first to be tested using this system–and the fabulous Rebecca A Balls (Certified Veterinary Technician) handled all the laboratory details. We cannot thank IVH and their competent staff for their professionalism and making this possible.
The results are returned a little different than with the traditional titer test–but by all reports it is reliable. Henri’s results showed her having protective antibodies sufficient enough to provide immunity to
CDV — Canine Distemper Virus
ICH — Infectious Canine Hepatitis–Adenovirus
CPV — Canine Parvo Virus
This less expensive titer test is relatively new so most Veterinary practices may not yet offer this option. Please click here to read about the titer test, and ask your Vet if they can make this available to you–it is affordable, accurate, and helps you avoid vaccine reactions that are common in our breed.
~We recommend the Titer Test
You might wonder if we follow our own recommendation–we do. Henri is coming up on her sixteen-week birthday. She is slated to have the titer test done at the Idaho Veterinary Hospital in Nampa thanks to Dr. Calhoun.
Click Here to learn more about this inexpensive Titer Test option. This particular test is a relatively new option. I think Henri will be the first client to give it a try. We are very excited.
Here are some random (unedited) photos Christina and I managed to capture yesterday. After this, she will not fit into the cabinet. (OMG) Weimaraner pups grow so fast. As you can see she is not thrilled with her Prom Dress.
~The Titer Test Happened
I was getting ready to have sixteen candles when I learned that you don’t get them for sixteen weeks. Seriously, I don’t think that is right. (Woof!) Okay then, how about sixteen cupcakes. That works. Instead, Shela and Cliff loaded me into that thing they call the Patriot–is’s a large white rolling wagon. We drove to Nampa, Idaho. They said it was a big deal I meet Dr. Calhoun. I don’t see what the fuss is all about, myself.
They talked on about me getting a Vaccine Titer Test (to be sure I am protected). No one said there was a needle involved. They took some blood. My Mom and Dad dropped some cash –don’t you get money for donating blood? Just asking a simple question here and thinking we could stop for ice cream with the coin earned!?!
Bridget loved me and said I had the best personality ever. Cliff and Shela were chatting on like old friends with this Bridget woman. Seriously, she is the one that stuck me with the needle. I think it is a conspiracy. Dr. Calhoun said I was the whole package–testicles are down, too! I guess that is a big deal. What did they expect?
Cliff made all these promises that girls would fawn over me at the Idaho Veterinary Hospital, but it was pretty darned empty. I saw three or maybe four hot chicks. Oh and then there was that Greta girl. I think she is a bit odd as birds go. I didn’t give her a look and seriously why was Mama Shela get all up in her face and fuss over this silly bird? She plucks her feathers–what’s up with that.
I guess you could say there is a Stripper Bar at the Idaho Veterinary Hospital in Nampa– look at this nut case. (Woof!) For some reason Mama Shela loves this silly Parrot.
Yes, we drive to Nampa, Idaho. Dr. John Calhoun and his expert staff are worth the drive. Manfred is Longhair Weimaraner–our newest Stud Dog. Many of our females (the Longhairs as well as the Longhair Carriers) are related to Stackhouse, our current Longhair Stud Dog. By the way–Stackhouse will be eight years old this November. His siring days are numbered–he has a couple of good years left at least. The biggest issue is we don’t breed back to the same lineage–Stack is related to most of these girls that will produce the Longhairs. Without Manfred, we would be very limited in our ability to produce those Longhair puppies. That would be a sad reality.