Last week, I vaccinated our dogs (standard 7-in-1 vaccine), and my 8 yr old basenji had an anaphalactic reaction—26 hrs later. Is this possible?
She had a vaccine reaction when she was 4 mo old, but the shot was administered at the vet. Dexamethasone and diphenhydramine were administered, and she recovered within 24 hrs. Since that time, she has been vaccinated at the vet (different vet, different state, perhaps different brand of vaccine), but never had a reaction. She also has had reactions to mosquitos and bees before she was a year old. Being a bad mom, I let her ana-kit expire. We used to carry epi, dexamethasone, and injectable diphenhydramine everywhere she went, but after a year or two of no reactions, I had (wrongly) assumed she had outgrown her problem.
Luckily, I had the kit (with drugs that expired in 1996) still in the closet. She was in bad shape–her tongue hanging out and gums and inside of lips totally white.After injections of epinephrine and diphenhydramine, she was ok within minutes. While this was going on, I was on the phone with my vet, and he does not believe she could have a severe reaction like this a day later.
She was not introduced to any new food, any new situations, and there are no insects out yet in our area that I know of.
Pets can have delayed reactions but I’ve not seen one that severe happen after so long a period of time. We always advise people that if their pet has a vaccine reaction once, it is very likely that it will happen again and pets should be premedicated about 20-30 minutes before vaccines are given, or vaccines should be broken up and given over a period of a few weeks. We also advise against owners giving their own vaccines.
Emergency Vet Tech
Even if I would have premedicated her (I’m assuming you mean with diphenhydramine), the max. effect of this drug is 2-4 hrs after dose is taken. Is it standard to dose for a 24 hr period?
I’m sure that vets would rather pet owners bring them in to get vaccinated. Bad things can happen–this is a classic case. However, the odds of a vaccine reaction are pretty slim. If I had taken the dog to be vaccinated at the vet’s office, do you really think he would have kept her overnight? I don’t. He’s well aware that she’s had reactions and has never had us stay for more than 20-30 minutes.
There are a lot of pets who go unvaccinated. I would much rather see a pet owner spend $4.59 for a 7-in-1 shot and do it themself than let a pet get parvo or distemper, which is not uncommon in our area. We happen to live in a primarily rural area where vets make their living treating livestock, and I’ve not been able to get my dogs in for 2 weeks because it is a busy time of year for livestock. I also have a 12-wk old puppy who was due for a shot, and he had no reaction whatsoever.
IANA vet, but my input would be to say that in people, at least, your capacity for allergic reactions changes as you get older. There were things that I was allergic to when I was younger that don’t bother me now, and there are things that make me break out in hives now that didn’t bother me years ago. So she’s a middle-aged lady now, her physiology is changing, and it takes longer for her body to realize there’s an allergen in there.
So now you know, huh?
Me, I’d rather pay 60 bucks to have someone else stick my dog with a needle. It’s worth it, not least because after 5 years she’s getting to where she doesn’t like him anymore.
And beagles love everybody…
About a week ago I had taken my puppy to a dog store to buy her some treats and the owner pointed out a largish lump in her shoulder. The lump had NOT been there earlier that morning (it was a fairly good size and I would have definitely noticed). My first thought was it had been a reaction to her vaccine but she had received her shot 10 days earlier so I had no clue and was pretty worried.
I called my vet the next day and she said it was the vaccine. I mentioned my surprise at it being 10 days after the fact and the vet just shrugged and said that it sometimes happened that way and not to worry. Sure enough the lump disappeared in short order.
Of course, none of this may have anything to do with the problem in the OP but I mention it just to show that apparently vasccines can have weird reactions far down the road…at least much later than one would expect.
This is the time of year when horses are usually vaccinated and I can tell you from talk that is going on on horse-oriented message boards that, in horses at least, reactions from shots given 1-3 days before is fairly common. For what its worth.