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Old 10-31-2013, 08:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Suspect Jett’s IBS stemmed from over vaccination

I adopted Jett through NorthCentral Maltese Rescue. I was verbally told by the rescue that his previous owners had given him the DPV vaccine and the dates he was vaccinated in the puppy series. But I did not have vet records. He had not had his rabies vaccine yet when he came to NMR, so the rescue’s vet gave him that. Thank goodness I had an actual vet record for his rabies. When I took him to my vet for his first visit (he was 13 months old when I got him), she wanted to give him the DPV vaccine again since we didn’t have actual vet records. Her reasoning was that it would in no way hurt him to get another vaccine, even if he had already had one. I wish I knew then what I know now and had asked for a titer for distemper and parvo. But I didn’t and felt intimidated. It wasn’t long after, that Jett developed severe IBS. Two different vets felt his was severe enough that it was most likely IBD. But I did not have the test performed to get an actual diagnosis. So I will say he had IBS. Jett should weigh a little less than 6 lbs. But for the first year I had him, he barely weighed 5 lbs. We had to do emergency sub q fluids once until I learned to syringe unflavored Pedialyte into his mouth every hour when he was blowing with diarrhea. He would throw up his entire breakfast in the middle to late afternoon. His breakfast should have been completely digested by that time. The only food he could retain most of the time was boiled chicken and white rice. The minute I introduced even a pea size amount of dog food, he would blow with diarrhea and vomiting again. He was getting no nutrition from his food and was literally starving to death. I thought I was going to lose him. Can I say for sure his IBS is a result of over vaccination? I really can’t. Was it that he was so stressed as a rescue and being re-homed that caused his IBS? It’s possible. Was it a combination of both? It very well could be. All I know is that in a fairly short time period of his having his vaccination, my very happy, healthy and playful little guy became so ill, and stayed ill for so long that I thought he would not make it. I know this is a bit of a different situation in that he was most likely given 2 vaccines too close together. But the more I thought about it, it still is about what too much of a vaccine can do. And that the thinking that giving another vaccine would not hurt him, I believe was not correct. And I also hope that for anyone who is adopting a rescue and finds themselves in a similar situation might see this and know to ask for a titer rather than automatically giving another vaccine. I think this also applies to puppies where the breeder may have given the initial DPV in the puppy series or even 2 in the DPV series and a vet is unsure they were given a correct vaccine, or the vaccine was stored correctly or out of date. It could benefit the puppy for the rest of their life to have a titer run first to simply check if they are protected.

As for Jett, we have a happy ending. The vet we were seeing at that time pretty much gave up on him. She literally threw her hands up in the air and told me she didn’t know what else to do. He was going to be on Metronidazole every single day for the rest of his life and that the only thing he would be able to eat and retain would be boiled chicken and white rice. So this is why I turned to holistic alternatives. Which saved his life. He is now able to eat anything he wants and is at and has maintained a healthy weight now for over 5 years. He does have some lasting repercussions of having such severe IBS. As a result of not getting proper nutrition for over 6 months, he now has early degenerative disc disease and arthritis in his neck. But thanks to acupuncture, glucosamine & chondroitin, and an herbal supplement that serves as an anti-inflammatory, he’s running around and playing and acting like he has no pain.

Here's Jett:


Last edited by maggieh; 10-31-2013 at 10:09 PM. Reason: Add link to photo per OP request
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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He is so adorable and I am so glad there is a happy ending. You are an amazing mother.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Jett looks wonderful. I also suspect that Bogie has issues due to over vaccination. He has IBS and occasional gastritis. We nearly lost him at four months of age. He was given full doses of combo shots and rabies at the same time. Thankfully, we are able to control his issues with diet, but no more vaccines for Bogie ever.
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