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Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
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My dog had a shot of DA2PL with lepto at 5pm today. I just

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My dog had a shot of DA2PL with lepto at 5pm today. I just brought her in from outside and she is acting strange. She does not want to move her head much and her eyes are glassing over. Do you think this may be a reaction? What should I do? Please help.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.
Hi there boz4 us,

Welcome to Just Answer! I would like to help you and your dog with this question, but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.

What time is it where you are?

Any swelling around the eyes or mouth, or bumps on the body?

Any vomiting or diarrhea?

Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.
Also, can you tell me if she has had this vaccine before?

Has she had any adverse reactions before?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Not that I know of. The vet said that since she spends alot of time outdoors in the country that he would recommend the vaccine.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.
What time is it where you are? (how much time has elapsed since the vaccine)

Any swelling around the eyes or mouth, or bumps on the body?

Any vomiting or diarrhea?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
No reactions to past vaccines
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.
What time is it where you are? (ie, how much time has elapsed since the vaccine)

Any swelling around the eyes or mouth, or bumps on the body?

Any vomiting or diarrhea?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
No reactions. No previous lepto that I know of. She may have in the past and I was not aware.
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.
Ok... thanks for that information.

How many hours has it been since she was vaccinated? You mentioned she was vaccinated at 5pm, but I don't know what time it is where you are now. This would help me.

Also, with vaccine reactions, we often see swelling around the eyes and mouth or "hives" on the body. Does she have any of these?

Vaccine reactions can also lead to vomiting or diarrhea. Have you seen any since she was vaccinated?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

It is 10pm. It has been 5 hrs. I was able to get in touch with her vet just a little while ago and he told me to give her 25mg of benedryl and to watch for swelling, diarrhea and vomiting. I have not checked yet for hives. I am going to do that now. So far she has had no episodes of vomiting or diarrhea that I am aware of.


Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.
Ok - that's great!

What you are describing may well be a "vaccine reaction" which is an adverse reaction to vaccination.

Some dogs are a little bit sleepy for a day or so after vaccination, and some will have a severe allergic reaction immediately on injection (like humans who are allergic to nuts - it can be life-threatening).

Your dog seems to have had a reaction that is somewhere in between these two extremes. This is not the mildest form of vaccine reaction that she has had, but not the worst either.

I agree totally with your veterinarian that giving Benadryl (diphenhydramine) should help her. The dose that one generally gives is 1-2mg/lb. It comes as 25 mg tablets. This dose can be repeated every 8 hours for 24-36h.

Here is more about Benadryl:

You should see improvement within 30 minutes. If you do not see improvement, or if you see swelling, diarrhea or vomiting then I strongly recommend that you take your dog immediately to the closest veterinary hospital for treatment. Untreated, it is possible for a dog to have a life-threatening reaction to a vaccine!! They can go into shock.

Although I agree with your vet that Leptospirosis is a risk for a dog that spends a lot of time outdoors, it is also one of the vaccines that is most likely to cause a vaccine reaction.

Something to keep in mind if this is a vaccine reaction is what to do about future vaccines! She may never have a reaction again, or she may have the same or even worse reactions. But there are steps you can take to help prevent problems.

I strongly believe that vaccines are beneficial, and you should continue to vaccinate to protect your baby from serious disease. But at the same time, there are some things that you can do to help prevent this from happening again.

1. Mention it to your vet.

If I were to give another vaccination to a dog that had reacted this way the first time, I would consider "pre-treating" the patient with Benadryl or an anti-inflammatory like Dexamethasone before giving the vaccine. This helps prevent allergic reactions before they start, and usually resolves the problem.

2. Schedule your vaccine appointment with thought.

You are best to schedule your pet's next vaccine appointment early in the day when someone can be home to monitor her for the following 8 hours, or leave her at the clinic after her vaccination to be monitored there. Be careful with Saturday appointments - many clinics close at noon, and if your girl has a severe vaccine reaction you may end up at an emergency clinic!

3. Separate all vaccines.

I would make a point of avoiding giving more than one vaccine at a time in this dog. For example, don't give the Distemper vaccination on the same day as the Rabies vaccination as this may be too much for her immune system, and she will be more likely to have a reaction.

4. Make sure that you always tell the vet every time this dog is due for vaccines that she had a vaccine reaction previously. That way appropriate precautions can be taken to avoid this in future!

Generally, when I see dogs with this problem, I treat with an injection of corticosteroids to stop the allergic reaction. I would also suggest that you keep your girl quiet, and offer her frequent, small amounts of clear liquids. You can offer her a bit of onion -free, chicken or beef broth, or the water from a can of tuna - all of these diluted 50:50 with regular water. You can offer Gatorade or apple juice diluted with water. In a dog this size, offer about 1/2 cup every 30minutes.

Here is more information about vaccines and reactions:

If this has been helpful, please "Accept" my answer and leave feedback.

If you need more information, just click on reply and I will still be here to provide more information if you need it!

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.


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