This weekend was not great. For most of last week C battled a cold, which I got by the end of the week...so there was that. Then C decided to take all four dogs to the vet for vaccinations. I kind of thought it was a bit much and I couldn't help at all, with one, working at the shop and two I'm sick! Anywho, an hour later everyone pulled up to the shop...tongues and tails wagging happily. I sent everyone home and I followed a few hours later. A little around 9 in the evening after we ate and then the pets had their dinner...Chico ran over, her face completely red and swollen. I knew immediately she was having an allergic reaction to her shot. I once had a cat that had a reaction to vaccinations and it was immediate...I had never seen something like this AND what, 6 to 8 hours from the shot. So, at this point we knew our vet was closed; but the receipt referenced an emergency care facility 30 minutes away. I called right away for help and I just want to be sure this facility gets ALL the credit for what I'm about to say - Louisiana Veterinary Referral Center in Mandeville, LA - I described the condition of my dog and asked what could I do immediately and also how to keep her safe for the next 30 minutes of travel to their location...
"oh, hunny, we can't tell you anything until we see the dawg"
"well, she's not having trouble breathing, is this serious, do you see this frequently???"
"I guess...often enough, I guess" in a sassy drawl. So, safe to say, not the most qualified bunch answering phones at this facility.
[caption id="attachment_1279" align="alignnone" width="450"] Chico after the initial swelling had gone down.[/caption]
At the same time I get a text referencing how to dose your dog with Benadryl. So, I made the decision to go ahead and forgo the "quality" care of the "often enough" facility since she showed no problems breathing and in an attempt to give her some immediate relief. It worked for a bit; but around 11:30 we went through round 2 - hives and vomiting. It was just heart wrenching; she settled finally around 1am. Once morning broke we called our normal vet and they were really surprised that she had a reaction and asked that even though she pulled through it to bring her in for a steroid shot. I know this personally, having been though a rare cancer, when people tell you "wow, this is so rare, it like never happens" it really doesn't help for the people going though it! I should also mention as I'm clutching Chico in the waiting area (because they double booked us), the local funeral home truck pulls up front and starts removing the weeks' patients that didn't make it (really no back door here?). Agggh...what an experience!
So, Chico is back to her old sassy self, but to follow up I did a bit of research and found some interesting stuff about the vaccinations we give our pets. First and foremost they were developed to protect people and not so much the pets that endure these concoctions. Most rabies vaccines have traces of mercury, that can cause long term cognitive disorders, allergies, a certain type of cancer at the injection site, and it's like rare y'all...but yes, death. Similar to a boxing match, I finally got my vet to fess up to what brand that was given to my dog...it was Nobivac. You can google it and see my dog's symptoms were not totally uncommon. Honestly, heretofore, I'm not sure what we will due for future vaccinations. We live in rural America and no one here is a real stickler to verify who's got what and where. I am learning that there are different rabies vaccines...it's just up to you to find a vet willing to give you your preference. Most people seem to recommend Merial IMRAB TF or (Merial PUREVAX Feline Rabies for Cats) - the TF stands for thimersol free, meaning the mercury is not used in the preservative of the vaccine.
Honestly, it seems like the craziest thing to have almost lost our pet to something considered preventive care. But even worse, was the way so little information and care was provided by the emergency vet and our own local vet. And by the way, everyone that we mentioned this tale to that knew of the emergency care facility remarked that you can't even get through to see the vet until you slap down a credit card. I'm really glad I didn't need their services because it sounded a lot more like a business than a care facility. I hope if you found this post you can make an informed decision about the care for your pet.
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