~ 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.
~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.
~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.
Ripped from the Headlines
Even the thought of a current canine flu epidemic making the rounds, is apt to send shivers down our spine. Signs declaring risk of exposure shakes us to our core. Our pets are one of the most important things in our life. Their importance would be akin to food, water, air, and life-sustaining other stuff. They are family–for some; they are the only family. They share our bed, and our secrets. What could be more intimate?
The Canine flu is scary. The whole idea of protecting our beloved Weimaraner begs us to find something that ensures they are safe. Vaccine is normally the first thing mentioned when a topic like arises. Vaccine has changed the landscape of society, but it is not the answer for everything. I will be forever thankful that is thwarted epidemics like polio, small pox, and the like. Nevertheless, when it comes to the Weimaraner, vaccine is always a concern. Our recommendation is to avoid unnecessary vaccine–this means you have to determine which is absolutely necessary, and which is optional. It is to you to know what is best for your beloved Weimaraner. We know how tough that is, and most of us want to (solely) rely on our vet’s opinion. This could prove precarious at times. Most of you know it was hard to find a vet to agree to doing the titer test, in lieu of an automatic sixteen-week puppy shot, but this is important. Secondly, (whenever vaccine is called for) we recommend not combining shots. We know it is a common practice to have a Rabies, and a booster. We suggest you separate them at least by two weeks–longer is preferable. Never get a Bordetella (kennel Cough) shot with any other shot. Make sure you really need the annual booster; new studies show that vaccine protects your pet longer than they used to think. Keep the jolt to the immune system at a minimum, and work on building immunity.
Vaccine’s Dark Side
According to many experts, vaccination causes immune suppression … and that’s one really big reason why you probably should avoid the flu vaccine. This fact also sheds light on the Weimaraner vaccine protocol. Click here to read more from OwyheeStar.
Media and Dog Park Officials Sound and Alarm
The Dog Flu Epidemic: The Real Truth
Have you taken your dog for a romp in the local park, only to be stopped in your tracks by a sign warning dog owners to enter at their own risk because of a disease striking down dogs at epidemic proportions?
If you live in the Chicago area, you’ve probably seen these signs:
CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT NOTICE:
CANINE INFLUENZA VIRUS IN CHICAGO
The Canine Influenza Virus (the “Dog Flu”) is causing illness throughout the Chicago area. All unvaccinated dogs may be at risk. Even dogs showing no sign of illness may carry this virus.
PLEASE ENTER THIS DOG FRIENDLY AREA (DFA) AT YOUR OWN RISK