[vc_row][vc_column][trx_section box=”yes”][trx_title align=”center” color=”#d9ae4c” weight=”700″]

Vaccine Reactions

[/trx_title][trx_title align=”center” color=”#d9ae4c” weight=”700″]

What to Look for and When to Seek Care

[/trx_title][trx_title type=”4″ align=”center” color=”#434544″ weight=”700″ bottom=”mini”]by Dr. Eileen Savier CVA, CVCH[/trx_title][vc_column_text]

Just like every other visit until…

Spencer arrives and happy boy to the clinic for his annual appointment. He has been a happy kiddo all year, he is on monthly parasite prevention, and his family has no new medical concerns. Spencer is four years old and is due for this Distemper combo, Leptosporosis, and Rabies vaccines. These are vaccines he has had several times in the past and has always done well.

Spencer’s physical exam is normal there are no concerns so the vaccines are given and Spencer is sent on his way with plans for a visit next year if there are no episodes of illness. About an hour later Spencer’s mom calls the office saying that Spencer seems lethargic and maybe his face is a little swollen but she isn’t sure. He is still happy to go outside and is taking treats. We ask to check Spencer over again since this is not normal for him. When Spencer arrives back at the clinic his entire face is swollen, his little eyes are nearly forced shut, he has a fever, and is very lethargic. He is treated with antihistamines, steroids, and IV fluids and monitored the rest of the day. Spencer’s reactions improve quickly, every hour that goes by he looks more and more like himself. He is discharged at the end of the day to continue antihistamines and steroids at home for the next few days.

Two days later Spencer is 100% normal but what can we do differently next time? Since Spencer’s reactions was moderate to severe in nature, when Spencer is due for vaccines in the future, he will be scheduled early in the morning so if there is a reaction we will be available for follow up care. We will start antihistamines prior to giving vaccines. Finally, we will separate vaccines so that he gets one at a time. Hopefully these changes will prevent an event like this in the future, however, if the reactions continue than we can consider additional changes to Spencer’s care.

What to look out for…

It doesn’t matter if a pet gets 1 or 4 vaccines, what is considered a normal response to a vaccine is the same. Tenderness at the sites of injection (I give each vaccine at a specific location so if a pet has a localized reaction I know which vaccine was given there), mild lethargy, and a mild fever that may persist for 24-48 hours. As long as the pet is otherwise doing well (eating and drinking normally), I tend not to worry unless they are not back to themselves by day 3. If a pet has experiences vomiting or diarrhea, I like to know, depending on what else is going on, this may or may not require treatment.

If there is local swelling or pain at the injection site, this can usually be managed as an outpatient with antihistamines and NSAIDS (provided the pet is acting normally otherwise). I will usually ask owners to start oral antihistamines prior to vaccines in the future, but will not usually make any other adjustments.

If there is facial swelling/edema, hives, fever >104.0F, and significant lethargy, I will keep the pet in the hospital and give injectable medications, fluids, and monitor until the signs are resolving. This is typically just for the day and after a few hours, most pets a well enough to go home. Oral medications will be continued for another few days. These are typically the pets who require a change in protocol the following year.

Anaphylactic reactions include a combination of the following; skin reactions, pale mucous membranes, low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, and severe weakness or collapse. This is a life threatening medical emergency! These are time where you pack up your pet and head to the closest veterinarian to you while calling on your way. If you arrive at a clinic like mine, I will likely stabilize your pet and then send you to a 24 hour facility for continued treatment and monitoring. This type of reaction will require a drastic change in protocol for vaccines in the future and potentially doing vaccine titers vs. vaccinations. These types of reactions usually occur very shortly after vaccines are given.

[/vc_column_text][/trx_section][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1533135180690{margin-top: 40px !important;}”][vc_column css=”.vc_custom_1533134942241{background-color: #d9ae4c !important;}”][trx_title type=”2″ align=”left” color=”#f6f2e4″ left=”20″ right=”20″]About Dr. Eileen Savier[/trx_title][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1533135315368{padding-right: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 30px !important;padding-left: 20px !important;}”]Dr. Eileen SavierBarks & Recreation is proud to feature Dr. Eileen Savier CVA, CVCH as our Veterinary Blogger in our “From the Vet” Series. Currently part of the team of doctors at Keystone Veterinary Clinic, Dr. Savier is a 2012 Graduate of the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, She completed her clinical experience at The Ohio State University and after veterinary school she pursued further education and certification in Veterinary Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, and Fear Free veterinary visits. Dr. Savier has a special interest in integrative medicine, animal behavior, and internal medicine and is committed to improving animal health care by integrating Eastern and Western philosophies. She enjoys working with fearful & aggressive dogs and cats and she has had additional training in low stress handling techniques and encourages positive reinforcement during exams and procedures. Her clinical interests include pain management, animal behavior, geriatric patient care, and internal medicine. Dr. Savier is a member of the following associations:

Dr. Savier shares her home with two (soon to be three) dogs, two cats, and a toddler. She lovingly refers to her two dogs as Coconut Retrievers as they were rescue dogs she brought home from the island of St. Kitts. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach, and planning her next Disney vacation.

Join us every month for Dr. Savier’s “From the Vet” series to get more information related to the health and welfare of your furry family members![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]