If you are one of those people who loves to watch dog videos on YouTube, then you’ve likely heard of Maymo. He’s a Beagle who is not only cute, but humorous. He’s pretty much game for anything. He will wear a wig, balance a pumpkin on his head or wear a silly costume for Halloween.
Now he has a partner in crime, Penny. The two of them are just too much cuteness to bear. Seriously irresistible.
I think it’s their stoic faces that makes me laugh the most. How they can manage to look so nonplussed while doing the most hilarious things?
Take a look and you’ll see what I mean.
And in case you haven’t had enough of Penny and Maymo, here is just one more.
God I love them!
You can subscribe to Maymo’s channel at Maymo
I had planned to write about pancreatitis, but changed my mind at the last minute and decided to write about canine vaccinations.
Let me state up front, I am not one of those people who is going to tell you to avoid vaccinating your pet. While I may believe that we are over-vaccinating our pets, I am not someone who believes we should skip them altogether. The risks are too great to assume we know better than our veterinarians.
Instead, I want to share my own experience with vaccinations and what I do now to, hopefully, prevent the same thing from happening again.
Indy was the very first dog I had ever adopted. She came into my life at a time when I was really missing my childhood dog, Alicia. Adopting a new dog after losing one that had been a part of my life for 15 years was hard, but saying yes to adopting Indy was never in question. She picked me as much as I picked her.
Indy was a Shepherd/Collie mix and the absolutely perfect dog one could ever have. She was well-trained, attentive, smart, a quick learner and very, very sweet. I loved her with my whole heart. Some of my favorite memories of her are of our walks together in the woods. I used to love hearing her rumble up behind me to catch up after she had stopped to sniff something alongside the trail. The sound of her thundering feet when she ran, the smile on her face when she knew we were heading out on the trail, and the swish of her tail in complete happiness; these were all things I loved about her. She was a very special dog.
Like most pet owners, I was diligent about getting Indy in for her vaccinations and yearly check ups. When she was 9 years old, I brought her in for her usual vet visit. Everything that visit was normal, completely normal, even the vaccination portion of the visit. Indy received all her vaccinations at once – rabies, canine parvovirus, distemper and bordatella, and appeared to be fine. But, as it turned out, all was not fine.
The next morning Indy had a major seizure and was rushed to the vet and then on to the emergency vet. She had to be given Valium to stop another seizure and to let her body rest. The vets suspected that Indy was having a reaction to the vaccinations she had been given the day before. The rabies vaccine seemed to be one of greatest concern.
Indy spent the night at the emergency vet so they could observe her in case she were to have another seizure. She was released the next day – groggy and disoriented.
At home, she recovered quickly and soon we were taking our walks in the woods again. All was well.
Until the next month.
Indy had another seizure. We made another trip to the vet, but by then she seemed to have recovered. I was given a Valium pill to take home with me as a precaution. I was nervous and afraid and worried. The next month, Indy had yet another seizure, and then another one the month after that. As the months went one, Indy’s seizures increased in frequency. Now they were every 3 weeks, then every two and finally every week.
Each time she came out of it extremely disoriented and unable to really understand me. She would stumble around the house, despite our best efforts to keep her lying down. She would eventually collapse on the floor and sometimes drool. Often she would sleep the rest of the day, her body exhausted from the seizure. Sometimes she had accidents as her body was wracked by the seizure. It was so sad to see her this way.
When her seizures became more frequent (every other day), we made the difficult decision to say goodbye. It was probably one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make. She was one of the best dogs a girl could ever want.
In every other way, Indy was a healthy 10-year-old dog, but her quality of life was not what it had been. She was not the happy dog she used to be. Each seizure seemed to take something from her, leaving a confused empty shell of a dog behind. We said good-bye with her lying in my arms.
What I learned
What I did not know then but I know now is that the rabies vaccine can cause serious side effects. It is also the one that can be the hardest on your dog’s system. The vaccine stimulates an animal’s immune system in order to create protection from specific infectious diseases. This can create mild symptoms, ranging from soreness at the injection site to fever and allergic reactions, to severe reactions like seizures, muscle weakness, autoimmune diseases, etc. Because of the virulence of the rabies vaccination, it is best to avoid giving it with the other vaccinations.
Don’t give any other vaccination in combination with the rabies shot. Veterinarians have reported that risk of reaction increases with the number of vaccinations given. Request that your veterinarian not give your dog a combination shot and wait a few weeks before giving another vaccination.
What I do now
I can never know for sure that it was the rabies vaccine that caused Indy’s seizures, but in all likelihood it was the culprit. Although it is not a an experience I ever wanted, my experience with Indy did teach me a lesson I will carry with me the rest of my life – my dogs will always receive the rabies vaccine separately from the rest of their vaccinations. It is not an option for me.
My vet is aware of my concerns and supports me fully. We usually schedule my dog’s rabies vaccinations so they are 3 weeks before or after their other core vaccinations. This may be a slightly more expensive route to go, but the peace of mind I get in return is worth it. Does this mean none of my dogs will ever experience what Indy went through? No. I know there is never a guarantee of that, but it does make me feel like I am doing everything I can to reduce the chances it will happen again. Titers are another route to go if you choose to do so. I have chosen not to do so. Yet.
Disclosure: Please keep in mind that while I have consulted professionals regarding Indy’s care, this post is not advice on how to heal your pet, but more of a cautionary tale that may be worth heeding. As always, please consult your vet before making any health decisions for your pets.
This post is part of the Caring for Critters Round Robin hosted by Heart Like a Dog. You can find a huge list of helpful posts about a variety of pet illnesses and needs by clicking on the image above. Check out last yesterday’s post from Cascadian Nomads on the dangers of Salmon poisoning.
We’re heading into the last throes of fall here in Minnesota. The leaves are peaking, the bees and mosquitoes have called it a day and the sun is setting earlier and earlier every day.
Perhaps a last look at summer fun is in store before we settle in for the polar vortex (or whatever else we have in store this year). It seems appropriate that we enjoy a little fun in the sun (ballet style) before we put away all the garden hoses. Don’t you think? :)
Happy Friday everyone!
I am sorry to report that my computer hard drive has died and is in need of replacement. It is in the shop being fixed right now.
I thought perhaps this would hinder my ability to post the Friday video this week, but as luck would have it, I had one already picked out! Here is a cute little commercial that will leave you smiling.
Happy Friday eveyone!
Here is another one if you like the cute kitties!