Tuesday, April 03, 2012


They warn you when a pet gets vaccinated that they will probably be a little slower and sorer than usual for a day or two. You don't really think about it, it's a vaccination and pets are pretty tough. You let them sleep and you let it go.

As you may have read last year, I'm relatively well-known at my vet due to a series of visits where my service was delayed for 2 hours or more. When we got there last night for this lepto booster (Why a booster? Because I don't remember anyone telling us when he first arrived that he needed the booster so he never got it.) there was one person in front of us. She had a cat and from the way she was holding it I expected the worst.

We waited. Ed did tricks. We waited. I read. We waited. A friend came in. They had the appointment after us. The techs came out and told us they'd get us in as soon as possible. Finally we got called in and told that, if we wanted, the tech could just administer the vaccine and we wouldn't have to wait. I said yes, assuming we would do the shot there in the exam room. For some reason Eddie was terrified. He was shaking a lot and trying to scooch off the table in a way he never has before. Suddenly the tech whisked him away to do the shot in the back room. Next time I don't think we'll be OK with that.

All was well, the dog came back. We paid. We saw the woman come out without her cat and I was so sad but she was very guarded so I didn't break in to speak to her. Home we went, bouncy as ever. Well, the dog anyway, I still had my all day rager of a headache.

Near bed time the dog seemed a little tentative about everything. We went out for our walk and he plodded gingerly down the stairs, never got up to a trot, and seemed to heave himself back up the stairs. I was surprised to see it hit him so hard but it all seemed within parameters.

Then we went to bed. He managed to jump up on the bed then laid himself out along the length of my calf. I lay down to dig in to World War Z, which is just riveting, but something was bothering me. I concentrated on my leg. It felt like it was vibrating a little. Finally I leaned up to look at the dog and he was resting, breathing normally for a few breaths, then a shaky breath.

Now, those shaky breaths are a fear trigger for me. If you know about the day Emily died you know that was how I first realized I needed to let her go. There were tons of other factors in the decision but the shaky breaths, which indicate pain in animals, were what I lay on the floor monitoring until the vet arrived at 4pm. Intellectually I knew this wasn't a sure sign of death in Eddie but my heart doesn't give a shit.

I had to go to Dr. Google. Fucking alarmist. Ultimately that was the right thing to do with the right information, even if it did include "...AND SUDDEN DEATH." The lepto vaccine can cause a reaction in some dogs, either immediate or within 48 hours. That reaction is more likely in small dogs. Yet another reason not to get a small dog! Soreness and lethargy are common and should subside within two days. A small bump at the injection site (which he got with the first round) is common. If the dog's face begins to swell you are looking at an allergic reaction that requires medical attention.

My dog's head may be swelled but his face is just fine.

Finally I went to sleep. Woke up a couple of times and he was still, of course, fine. This morning he wasn't back to top form but he was very close so I'm not worried. All is well.

Even so, I left a note for the dog walker to keep a close eye on him. Overreacting? A tiny bit. I didn't rush him to the ER last night, though, so I'm calling it within normal boundaries.


  1. Gah, my heart dropped in the first paragraph. I'm glad Eddie's alright.

  2. WHY?!?!?! Seriously.

    I'm glad Eddie is fine.