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Old 03-01-2014, 03:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Name: Sarah
Dog's Name: Murphy
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Default Murphy's DHPP reaction story

It's a bit of a book, I didn't want to miss any important info.

My little guy Murphy (he is 16months old) got his 1 yr DHPP vaccine this past Monday at around 3pm, he had received the 1 yr Rabies vaccine the previous Monday. We also had some blood drawn on the visit to prepare for his neuter scheduled for that Friday. We had also had our bathtub reglazed that same day, but have since ruled out that the reglazing played a part in his reaction.(thanks to a suggestion from a Maltese Guru!)

That evening he got the vaccine I noticed Murphy was very sleepy and not really interested in much. The vet did tell me that he could be tired from the vaccine so I didn't panic much yet.

The next morning when we woke up and I tried to get him out of his crate he was very lethargic and mopey. He had no interest in anything. I would try to set him on his feet to put his harness on, and he would just plop onto his tummy and close his eyes. He was shaky and something was just very wrong. We immediately made our way to the vets office.

The vet did a full exam, the only thing out of place besides his lethargic behavior was he was running a fever. She gave him an injection of an anti inflammatory (the name of the drug was Metacam, she described it as doggy advil) and said that he was most likely having an adverse reaction to the DHPP vaccine. The blood work from Monday was also back and was completely normal. We monitored him closely that day and the vet called a few times to check up on him. The metacam perked him up in the afternoon and he seemed almost back to normal. He ate a whole bowl of food, played with his toys, and followed me around work like he usually does.

The next morning he was lethargic again, if not worse than he was the previous day. He wouldn't stand up, he was shaking, kept his eyes closed, and just whined non stop every time i'd touch him. We immediately again were at the vets office. The vet was just getting in and saw us right away. She thought that this was a severe reaction to the DHPP and recommended that we do a more in depth blood test that checks multiple things and a urine test. While waiting for the results she prescribed more of the Metacam, as it helped him the day before. It was a long day waiting for those results.

When the results were in, she explained (she was great and answered all my questions, must of took almost 30 min) that Murphy's blood test showed that all his liver and kidney functions were all normal, but his white blood cell count was severely elevated. She also explained that his urine was very concentrated and had high protein levels, which shouldn't really have any protein in it. She asked if it would be okay to do further testing on the urine for creatine levels. The overall conclusion was that Murphy didn't have necessarily an allergic reaction to the DHPP, but more of a sensitivity reaction to his system. It was here also in this conversation that she explained she would be contacting the vaccine company to report the reaction and to try and get some help from the company concerning the cost of the investigation to figure out what was wrong. At this point I had almost spent $400 in costs for the tests and medications. Of course I was more than willing to pay whatever it took to get Murphy healthy again, I just had no clue that they could do this or ask for this from the company. I really appreciated her doing that and think its good that she made the company aware that my dog had a bad reaction. Murphy again perked up about mid afternoon from the metacam.
The vet gave me a couple more doses of the Metacam to give Murphy at home until he was feeling completely better. We also postponed his neuter until he was back to normal.

On Thursday she informed me that the vaccine company was indeed going to cover the full cost of the treatment and testing. The creatine test came back only slightly elevated, and that it wasn't anything to be too concerned about and to make sure he drinks lots of water, and moisten his food to get extra hydration that way. She said to monitor him closely for Thursday and Friday while on the Metacam and she would be calling to check up on him. He did much better on the metacam and is almost completely back to normal. Today is his first day off the metacam so I will be monitoring him closely and will edit this if anything changes!

Once again I'd like to thank all the amazing SM'ers for all their help and support while I was a panicked scared momma. I hope this helps any future SM'ers!!
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Old 03-01-2014, 03:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am so glad he is getting better. That must have been so scary for you. Poor little guy.
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Also glad he is getting better. Like people, you never know how a dog will react to a vaccine. Some do fine, others not so well. Lucky reacted to his Lyme vaccine, but has been fine with others. Glad you were observant and got him treatment quickly. I don't know, but don't think that it is a legally required vaccine, though it might be required if you ever need to board him. Maybe you can get a titer next time. Good luck.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Even I am going to titer next time. . . w. all but Rabies which is international law. My vet specialist suggested it---they can't titer in Austria but can draw the blood & send it up to Munich, Germany to have it titered! Makes me wonder why they could not have done that in Greece!
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