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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my dogs went to the vet on july 5th to get rabies vaccines because the city was pressing me to register my dogs. They were given the rabies vaccinations and my 10 year old male Ziggy, was also given a "strong steroid" for his allergies. The steroid administered was a Depo Medrol injection of 20mg. The vet commented that she thought Ziggy was no more than 7 years old because he was so healthy and fit. He hadn't had a rabies shot since his first one at the age of 12 months. Within 48 hrs I noticed Ziggy's breathing was very labored. He was breathing short and fast. His heart rate seemed to be elevated. His breathing woke me from a dead sleep. It has been several days now and his breathing has not improved at all.
He returned to the vet this morning for blood work. I am awaiting results from the lab. The vet said he did not have a fever, his lungs sounded good, and his heart was fine. I am uncertain how she knows his heart is fine without the lab results and without any imaging? I do realize Ziggy is !0, but he exercises daily and is extremely active. He loves to play fetch and we do so for an hour daily. So he runs for at least an hour per day and after his hour of running he doesn't even breathe as hard as he is right now just resting. There is definitely something wrong with my best friend and I don't know what to do. We played fetch in the morning on the day he got these shots and he was just fine as usual.
A google search of: "adult dog labored breathing after rabies vaccine" showed Anaphylaxis which one symptom is difficulty breathing. I also searched for side effects of the steroid that he had (the Depo Medrol) and it resulted in Hypokalemia of which one symptom is breathing difficulty due to paralysis in the respiratory muscles. Basically this is caused by a low potassium level in the blood which I guess can be caused by this steroid.
I am so upset. Ziggy is my best friend in the whole world and Im so worried about him. I don't know how to handle this. I have to keep him resting because when he gets up even to go urinate his breathing becomes so much more labored that I'm scared he will have a heart attack or something. If anyone has anything to share or advice please I am desperate. Thank you for allowing me to share my situation.
 

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I cannot help you in your current situation, but NO senior dog should be getting vaccinated.
After this is cleared, can you get a note from your vet that he should not be vax'ed? Some vets will issue this as vaxs for seniors is dangerous and pointless.
I only do 2-3 puppy shots, that's it. I've never been in an area where rabies is mandatory, but you bet I'd fight it at 6-7 years of age.
It's crazy, do humans get the same vax every year?? And why do Chihuahua puppies and Great Dane puppies get the same dose...this seriously bothers me.
I hope your boy is ok. Give him an extra scrubbles and kiss from me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was unaware of the risks involved with the rabies vaccine. You'd think the vet would have said something about his age and the associated risks but she did not. She did come out to ask me his age after he was given the vaccination. I told her he was 10 and she was very surprised saying that she thought he was only maybe 7 years old because he looks so good. I think she realized at that point that maybe she should of asked first. I wish I would have been more informed and contested the vaccination. My dogs live inside my home and when they are outside I am always present with them so really its not even possible that they could get rabies. Today my boy is still having a hard time breathing and I've noticed a lump at the injection site. I pray that he will overcome this situation. This is heartbreaking as he was perfectly fine before the visit to the vet.
 

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It can't hurt to give him some Benadryl.
Have you heard back about the blood work?
Also, you might try a second opinion from a different vet.
Hope he's ok!
 

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If you board your dog while on vacation and whatnot, it's required that they be fully immunized and that includes rabies. You can go with 3 year rabies shots.
 

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Again, a senior does not need vax'ed. You should be able to find a place that understands this. Over vaccinations are being linked to cancer. It's crazy, but vets just see cash, so they push it and most make you feel like crap if you don't. My vet doesn't push it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did hear back about the blood work and the vet tells me everything is normal except slightly elevated liver enzymes his ALT and ALP. His eosinophils are slightly low. I have been using antihistamine but it doesn't seem to do much for him. Today his breathing is the same. He wants to play as he's a very active dog, but even the slightest activity makes his breathing extremely labored like he's going to have a heart attack so I can't allow him to play. He is eating and drinking as normal. I was leaning towards anaphylactic shock.
 

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I did hear back about the blood work and the vet tells me everything is normal except slightly elevated liver enzymes his ALT and ALP. His eosinophils are slightly low. I have been using antihistamine but it doesn't seem to do much for him. Today his breathing is the same. He wants to play as he's a very active dog, but even the slightest activity makes his breathing extremely labored like he's going to have a heart attack so I can't allow him to play. He is eating and drinking as normal. I was leaning towards anaphylactic shock.
get him to another vet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Again, a senior does not need vax'ed. You should be able to find a place that understands this. Over vaccinations are being linked to cancer. It's crazy, but vets just see cash, so they push it and most make you feel like crap if you don't. My vet doesn't push it.
Well I believe what youre saying is correct but i wasn't aware of any risks and the vet didn't say anything to me. Maybe they wanted the money who knows. After my dog was back there with the vet she came out and asked me his age. When i told her he is 10 years she seemed to surprised. She had either already administered the rabies vaccine and should have asked his age before she did or she then went and vax'd him knowing he was 10. Either way she was negligent. I think she had already done it and thats why she said "I thought he was no older than 7, he looks young he's in great shape" , as a means of excusing herself and justifying why she gave him a vaccine. I believe he had a serious reaction before she came out asking his age. The next thing she said to me was, "does he lick his paws a lot?" and than said that she wanted to give him a "very strong steroid injection for his allergies". Not knowing any better I said, " okay if it will help him and he needs it than go ahead." When I got the invoice for the visit by email after asking a few times for it I looked at the injection and it was called Depo Medrol. The dosage given to my large dog was the same small does you would give to a cat. There was no "very strong steroid"that was given to him. I feel they had gave him something else like adrenaline or epinephrine or something that if put on the invoice would indicate that he was having a problem that they were trying to counteract and so rather than list it on the invoice they put a basic steroid in the details so not to be held accountable. He developed hives all over his back from whatever they did. He also has a soft mushy bubble type lump on his rear leg which i thought was the injection site. It wasn't there before all of this but they claim they didn't do anything in that area that all the injections were given between his shoulders. I feel that they are definitely not being open about what happened which is really messed up because if they know what happened than I need to know so it can be determined if he can be helped or not. I asked about anaphylactic shock and was told that he couldn't have that and even if he did that the steroid they gave him was very similar to the treatment used for that. I said "similar but it not the same thing right ?" and she did not send a reply. After several other questions were not responded to and after he went back to have bloodworm done which now I question if they really sent his blood to a lab or not, a couple days passed and I get a text from her saying "we won't gove him any vaccines in the future if the city requires it I will write an excuse saying he has reactions to them". So now she's calling it a reaction when before she said it couldn't be a reaction because those happen within minutes of a vaccine being injected. The whole situation is disturbing to me and meanwhile my poor old boy who was very active can't walk to the back door without struggling for his breath. Confused and dont know what to do now?
 

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If there is a pulmonary specialist or University hospital in your area, take him there. They will be able to tell you more. It's possible the vax dumped his immune system and brought up something else. You'll need a real doctor for that. Not a clinic where they just do small things and only know the basics.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If there is a pulmonary specialist or University hospital in your area, take him there. They will be able to tell you more. It's possible the vax dumped his immune system and brought up something else. You'll need a real doctor for that. Not a clinic where they just do small things and only know the basics.
Are we talking about a secondary infection ? I have noticed in the past 48 hours he has some discharge he is bringing up from his chest or something. He will make some wet noises like he has liquid or something and I did see some white mucous type stuff he had spit up and maybe came from his nose partially. There are no Universary hospitals in the area and to be honest I have no money to be able to take him to a specialist and its definitely not because I won't spend the money I just don't have it to spend. I have my BMW up for sale hoping to get a buyer so I can take him somewhere decent. The vet did give me some breathe well herbal stuff and a bottle of doxycycline 100 mg pills to give him just in case he does have an infection but I am scared to give anything to him. Should I start the antibiotics? Benadryl doesn't seem to be helping at all. I have tried that.
 

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Are we talking about a secondary infection ? I have noticed in the past 48 hours he has some discharge he is bringing up from his chest or something. He will make some wet noises like he has liquid or something and I did see some white mucous type stuff he had spit up and maybe came from his nose partially. There are no Universary hospitals in the area and to be honest I have no money to be able to take him to a specialist and its definitely not because I won't spend the money I just don't have it to spend. I have my BMW up for sale hoping to get a buyer so I can take him somewhere decent. The vet did give me some breathe well herbal stuff and a bottle of doxycycline 100 mg pills to give him just in case he does have an infection but I am scared to give anything to him. Should I start the antibiotics? Benadryl doesn't seem to be helping at all. I have tried that.
Doxy is not a common antibiotic to cause another reaction, so you should be good with that.

What I was referring to for instance, my prior vet got cat scratch fever, yes it's real and yes it's completely treatable. It tanked her immune system. Apparently she had no one, but two genetic blood disorders that had been maintained by her immune system for her whole life. Until cat scratch fever. Now she gets blood transfusions twice a month and sees a doctor weekly. She had to retire at 36 from being a vet. So it is possible, that things can pop up in scenarios like yours.

I swear by Care Credit. A LOT of vets take it. I don't always have the cash to pay for let say $17,000 radiation therapy for a dog with cancer, or $4,000 BOAS surgery. Care Credit is basically my vet credit card. When I hit big numbers I can't pull from the bank.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes, start the doxy!
So looking at the doxy the script says to give 1 and 1/2 tablets twice a day tablets are 100mg. He
will be taking 300mg daily. Is this dosage okay? There is 30 tablets so it would be for 10 days which
I know is the normal duration for antibiotics but I am questioning the dosage?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Also thank you kindly for the advice to all who have replied. I am very appreciative for the help. I guess I was not prepared for this financially, emotionally, and just being knowledgable enough. I think I have failed my boy by not being the best pet owner I could be. My dogs have always been happy and healthy never had vet visits so I guess I just didn't see this ever happening to us. I had thought I was doing a great job all these years until now. This has opened my eyes and now I see how that I'm not all that having failed my best friend in the world. He depends on me to make sound decisions and act in his best interest. I love my dogs with all of my heart. I keep hugging him and telling him that I am sorry.
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Fawn Comfort
 

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Don't beat yourself up over this. You were doing your best. We are raised to never ? vets or doctors.
I started questioning everything when a vet killed my baby Bearded Dragon, George.

Average dose for doxy is about 2-5 mg/lb.
What does your handsome boy weigh?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Don't beat yourself up over this. You were doing your best. We are raised to never ? vets or doctors.
I started questioning everything when a vet killed my baby Bearded Dragon, George.

Average dose for doxy is about 2-5 mg/lb.
What does your handsome boy weigh?
He is 68 pounds
 

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I agree with BZOO, you have nothing to feel guilty about Fighter559. All we can do for our pets or anything in life, is our best. Just from following this thread when you first joined and posted, you have done just that. You can never predict life and no matter how prepared you might think you are; "stuff" happens that is out of our control.
Keep on doing what you are doing and don't waste time thinking about what you could have done differently.
My dogs have rabies shots every three years for their entire lives. Where I live, it's the law. I have never had one have any serious complications.
Please keep us updated on Ziggy.

Joe
 
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