Monday, October 26, 2009

Rabies Vaccine Reaction

I have so much to catch up on, and some updates on all the happenings going on in my world. But something very frightening happened this weekend I need to write about.

We took Jeni to have her Rabies Vaccine Saturday morning. Five hours later she started vomiting. First, 3 piles, then 10 minutes later 2 more piles, about 15 minutes after that another 3 piles. Immediately I was concerned about an allergic reaction to the vaccine. I watched her for a few minutes, then I noticed her face swelling. At that point we grabbed her leash and headed back to the vet, with phone in hand calling them and letting them know we were on our way.

The facial swelling was all around her nose, and mouth and her throat. The vet gave her a steroid shot, and a Benadryl injection, plus a bottle of Benadryl to take for the next five days. He suggested keeping her over night, but left it up to us. We brought her home, as we felt we could manage her and get back to the clinic fast enough if we had to.

I was already well informed with all the reactions dogs can get from the rabies vaccine, and I know more severe reactions can occur as far as a couple months later. I was paranoid getting Jarie's Rabies Vaccine six weeks ago with all her health issues, I felt if any of my dogs were to ever react to the vaccine, it would be Jarie. Never did it occur to me that little Jeni would have a reaction.

Possible rabies Vaccine side effects
Immediately or up to 3 days after the shot:

Facial swelling
Fever or lethargy
Circulatory shock
Loss of consciousness

Days, weeks or months after the shot:

Fibrosarcoma (cancer) at the injection site
Seizures and Epilepsy
Autoimmune diseases, including organ disease, allergies and skin problems
Chronic digestive problems
Muscle weakness, especially lack of hind end coordination
Chronic digestive disorders
Skin diseases like Ischemic Dermatopathy / Cutaneous vasculitis
Behavior problems: aggression, destructive behaviors, separation anxiety and odd obsessive behaviors (like tail chasing and paw licking).

Jeni had a rough night last night, and she isn't out of the woods yet, but she is stable at the moment.

Our biggest fear now, is there is a huge possibility that she may still develop one of the more subtle side effects that may occur weeks or even months from now.

Below are a couple of links with valuable information.
Rabies Vaccine - Skin Reactions
Holistic Animal Health: Vaccinosis


Anya said...

It sounds all scary
I hope its going better quickly !!

Brenda Eason said...

OMgosh, I am getting more weary of all the vaccines even for humans. I worry because where they come from also.
This just goes to show,I pray this baby gets stronger.

Daisy said...

What a scare! Thanks for sharing this important information.

giantspeckledchihuahua said...

Eeeeks! oh T! thank goodness you were aware of the reactions, so many people aren't. I have a really hard time with vaccines, not only for my dogs, but for humans, too. I know they are necessary, but and that's a BIG BUT!

Thank goodness you are close to the vet, too. I am an hour from the closest vet. And yet, the vets try to sell me a rattle snake venom vaccine, that gives you (maybe) a half an hour, by delaying the reaction somehow. I'm like, thanks, I think I will just keep my dog on a leash, away from rattle snakes and rabid animals.

Lose That Girl said...

Oh, gosh!! So frightening! We were warned when we took our Zoey for her first rabies shot about possible complications; luckily she was okay -- I've never had a dog take a reaction. Thanks for posting your experience -- it's good to know more about the warning signs.

Rae said...

Thank you so much for sharing that info. I didn't know an allergic reaction was possible from the Rabies shot. I am going to be much more cautious from now on when my dog gets his vaccinations.

I lost one dog due to side effects from his other yearly shots. It caused him to develop hemolytic anemia with bleeding and many other complications. As owners we need to be more informed on these things.

Thank goodness you were able to get to the vet quickly for Jeni. I hope things go smoothly and she recovers without problems.

Dog_geek said...

Yikes - scary! As more "food for thought" on the subject, we delayed Z's last rabies vaccination by several months, when he was going through his latest mobility troubles. Vaccines are really only supposed to be given to healthy animals, so if there are ongoing medical conditions, your vet can legally opt not to vaccinate, which is what my vet did. Once Z was doing better, we decided to go ahead with the rabies vaccine.

We've been doing titers for everything else once the dogs get their full series of shots.

Tracey said...

My goodness! I had no idea of all the things that a rabies shot could cause. I knew of allergic reactions, but not the rest. Thank you for sharing all the info. I am glad Jeni is doing better and hope that all turns out well!
Take care, Tracey

las794 said...

That's awful! I sure hope the poor dog doesn't have any lingering problems from this.

jay said...

Oh, very scary! What is the protocol for dogs/cats who are allergic to the vaccine? Are they allowed to get titres done and be exempt? Scary disease, but scary reactions would be my fear also.

My mother is now permanently disabled after getting the flu shot about seven years ago. She was so healthy and active for an 82 year old, now she's unable to walk more than a step or two without a frame and can't go out without a wheelchair. And when I got the pneumonia shot (having refused the flu shot) I developed myxoedema and fibromyalgia within three months. I know vaccines are useful and in some cases necessary, but ... I do think we over-vaccinate both animals and people these days. :(

Phyllis said...

Well this is scarey! I know there are risks with all vaccines but I wasn't aware of all the possible side affects for the rabies vaccine.

I would have been terrified. I'm glad you knew what to suspect and rushed her back. I hope she gets better soon and doesn't have any other side affects! Poor baby :(

BeadedTail said...

Oh gosh, how scary! Good thing you were there to catch it in time to ger her the help she needed. Thanks for the information too.

T said...

DG and Jay,

Yes, our county allows exemptions. Which is what I did for Jarie when we went in.

We also do titers for everything else. I just never would have guessed Jeni would have a reaction. She will not have another vaccination. I know if, and we are HOPING IF, she does not develop any other complications from this down the road, most likely she would have a much more severe reaction next time, therefor we will get an exemption for her too.

Life With Dogs said...

I have always feared vaccination on some level - and this is exactly why. I saw a dog succumb to a lepto vaccine once and it was heartbreaking.
I'm sure all will be fine, and hope your stresses about long term side effects prove to be unfounded!

troutbirder said...

OH my. This is all news to me. My Baron got his booster two weeks ago and then had a tousle with a skunk. Everything seems ok though. Thanks for the info.

Jan Mader said...

Thank you so much for sharing this information. I know that lots of things can cause reactions, but I'm sure going to be more watchful now that I have thiis information.

Hope everything is okay now!

Dana said...

vaccines are scary for both humans and animals. I hope the worst is over:)

♥Caroline♥ said...

i have a friend that has a chihuahua that shortly after her shots she got a bunch of lumps all over her was scary...I hope that nothing further happens, but so glad that she has such a great mom!

DayPhoto said...

MAN! I did not know this! And we all have to have our dogs take these shots. Thank you for the information. I just wonder if getting shots is the right thing.

But on to prayers are with you and her!


Lisa said...

Good Grief!!!I never even thought of this...This is one thing the Vet has never told me. Now something else to worry about when a new pup comes alone!!

Hope things go better for her and you guys.


Betty said...

This is just too scary! Casey had a reaction to his rabies vaccination a few years ago. Now, we give him antihistamines before and after his shot and he does fine. He's the only one of our four who seems to have any problem with his shots. He gets his bordatella nasally (is that a word??) because the actual injection makes him sick. Thank goodness you realized what was happening!

Good to see you had time to post a little..I miss reading about your 'family'.

Take care.