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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16714
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 12 y/o baby pom girl just got her routine set of vaccine

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My 12 y/o baby pom girl just got her routine set of vaccine this afternoon. She was fine for about 4-5h, but after my husband put a little massage on her vaccine site, she began to have mild shiver. Then I held her for some minutes and yhen she started panting. But she still have quite some appetite & still able to walk. It just that II'd known her for so long I know her posture shows that she is still uncomfortable. What's wrong with her and what should I do. Vets won't be available till another 10h. Fyi, between this vaccine and the one before it, we didn't give her any for about 3-4 years due to our financial state. Please kindly advice. Thanking you in advance. Caroline
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: Nothing else is wrong.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Caroline?
Customer: I am Caroline, my girl is Cherry, & she is 12 years old. I just got her checked to the vet twice before the vaccine today. All is fine

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

I am sorry to hear that Cherry seems uncomfortable and is panting and has a different posture compared to her usual self after her veterinary appointment and vaccines earlier today.

It is possible that she is having a mild reaction to the vaccines. These sorts of reactions can make her feel sore, especially at the area the vaccine was given, and can cause a low grade fever and muscle aches. Some dogs will get quite sleepy. This is just like the reaction you yourself may feel after a vaccine.

The good news is that means her body is responding to the vaccine and mounting an immune response.

But of course we don't like to see our pups hurting.

I recommend giving her an antihistamine to control allergic symptoms for at least 72 hours. You can try:

1) Benadryl (diphenhydramine only, the combination products with decongestants and acetaminophen are toxic to dogs) at a dose of 1mg per pound of body weight every 8-12 hours. That's a half of 25mg tablet every 8-12 hours for a dog that is 8 to 15 pounds.


2) Chlorpheniramine at 4mg per pup orally twice daily.

Be aware that antihistamines can cause drowsiness or hyperactivity which should resolve with continued use.

She should be more comfortable in about 2 to 3 hours.

You can also apply a cold compress to the vaccine injection site, and massage any muscles that seem sore.

If she is otherwise healthy (no kidney or liver disease) and is not taking any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (carprofen or meloxicam for example) and she seems truly miserable you can give her a dose of baby aspirin. Give one 81mg aspirin per 8-16 pounds of body weight every 12-24 hours. Do not give aspirin for more than 2-3 days this as dogs have a hard time metabolizing aspirin. Aspirin does cause stomach and intestinal irritation and ulceration as well as clotting problems so should not be given for more than 2 to 3 days consecutively and should always be given with a meal. If you choose to use it watch for lack of appetite, vomiting, blood in the stools or dark tarry stools and stop immediately if you see those. Do not use aspirin if your dog has liver or kidney disease or a history of a sensitive stomach or clotting problems. Do not give if she is vomiting or not eating anything.

If she begins vomiting or has diarrhea, has any difficulty breathing or facial swelling it is time to have her seen on an emergency basis for a steroid injection.

You should report this reaction to her veterinarian. It should be noted on her permanent record and the manufacturer should be informed.

In the future she should only be given one vaccine at a time and they may wish to pretreat her with anti-histamines, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory or steroids when she is vaccinated as a precaution to prevent such reactions and/or send her home with some anti-inflammatory medications.

This is not truly harmful given what you have told me, but rather more discomfort that should resolve over the next several days.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi Dr.Kara, thank you so much for taking your precious time in answering my question. Cherry is feeling much better now. Shivering has stopped, no more panting & she is sleeping comfortably. I just use some medical cold pad to ease the pain, refering to your suggestion. I didn't give her any drugs as her symptoms weren't severe. I can't thank you enough. May you have a great day!

That is terrific news, I am glad to hear that she is feeling so much better.

My best to your little one, please let me know if you need any further help.

Dr. Kara and other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi doctor. I'm so sorry I didn't know you wrote. For that matter actually she is better. But then i remember she has been kinda coughing or sometimes like choking a bit, and its becoming more often. I gave her some ikadryl during weekend because we dont have working vets in where we live (it consists of pseudoephedrine HCl, paracetamol , diphenhydramine HCl, ammonium chloride, sodium citrate). Then this morning we took her to vet. Seems like she has a slight heart enlargement (hers is 11cm, when norma is 8.5-10.5cm vet said). He gave some prescription drugs. But I notice that for the past 2 days after the vaccine, she is somewhat different in sleeping habit. Normally she sleeps through the evening from 6.30-9.30 ish. But these past 2 days she just lay there but won't sleep. But ahe slept through he nights. But tonight besides all that, she is panting as if she feels the air is too warm & she won't sleep, but the panting is on and off. Otherwisely she is normal. I don't know what's going on and what I should do to help her. May I have a piece of your valuable advice please? Thanking you enormously in advance

You need to be careful giving dogs paracetamol as they have trouble metabolizing it and high or repeated doses can lead to liver disease and red blood cell damage.

Pseudoephedrine and other decongestants can cause a rapid heart beat and high blood pressure in dogs, so we don't normally give decongestants to dogs.

Her panting tonight can be related to adjusting to her heart medications (sometimes they cause nausea or weakness due to a sudden drop in blood pressure), or it could be related to heart disease or it may all be coincidental.

I would take a wait, watch and see approach for now. If she is not eating, not able to sleep at all, has a worsening cough, or is very lethargic then a recheck is in order.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Good evening Dr.Kara. I apologize for my late reply. I was very consumed by my dogs health check issues and all that. Cherry has all along been normal with her appetite and cheerfulness. And after stopping the flu syrup for more than 24h, she has lost the insomnia stage on Tue. My only concern now is that she somehow seems to feel bit hot (not in temperatures, but rather like as if she is in a warm room), when the real room temp is actually quite cool. I told her vet today & he ordered to stop her heart medication, to see if it's not taht suitable for her. One thing I don't understand is that, she is sleeping nicely but sometimes her respiratory beat is too fast (appx 1 in-out per second), then after a bit, it becomes normal again. But her sleep doesn't seem to be troubled at all & she doesn't look like those that are suffering from breath shortages. May I have some of your baluable opinions please? Thanking you in advance for all of your kind assistance.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
For your added information, she eats well, sleeps pretty well, no more coughing. Only the sometimes normal sometimes abnormal breathing rates that makes me worry

I suspect that the decongestant in the flu medication was the culprit, and with that gone she should be able to sleep.

If she is sleeping well but breathing rapidly that may be related to REM sleep & dreams. If she truly were having trouble exchanging oxygen she would be awake, open mouth breathing with neck extended. Some old dogs are very active dreamers!

I truly would not be concerned about this.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
No she doesn't show any signs of breathing or discomfort problems despite her occasional rapid breathing. And yes, i notice this rapidity during her deep sleep sessions. But can you please tell me what could be the probable cause for her occasionally feeling somewhat hot (not referring to body temperature)? Thank you so much for your time Doctor

I'm not sure she is feeling hot. Rapid respirations can be related to anxiety, excitement, changes in oxygen levels due to poor heart function, heart rhythm arrhythmias, or anemia. If she has periods of irregular heart rate/rhythm that will periodically change her breathing pattern. She may need to wear a holter monitor (long term EKG measuring device) to find that.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Oh btw, her vet here prescribed her with a mix of drugs that includes a small doze of lasix
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
It's not the heart rate that makes me think she feels hot, but because she pants mildly and want to sleep on the floor tile or the cooling pad, and also sometimes wants to be fanned
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
She does that occasionally (lately), when I'm already feeling a bit chilly and other dogs have gotten up onto couches

Panting is not just related to feeling warm.

It can be secondary to anxiety, pain, fear, feeling indecisive, as well as poor oxygen exchange and a fever.

So it sounds like her veterinarian is thinking this is all related to heart disease. I don't suspect heart failure as then I would expect her to cough and have difficulty resting. But an irregular heart rhythm would make sense, as they she would feel flushed and stressed/anxious and may seek out cool places.

I would ask her veterinarian about her wearing a holter monitor to look for a heart arrhythmia.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
She did have cough and occasional choking-like condition for about 2 months, but by then i thought her trachea was narrowing as she aged and didn't get her checked for heart problem. Just recently my suspicion about it was raised, and her x-ray-ed on Mon which shows that she has a very mild heart enlargement & a slight edema on her lungs. Vet here said that we need not worry that much yet, but gave out a prescribed medication anyway to losen the edema

I see, so she does have some early signs of heart failure.

But she may also have arrhythmia too, and that is worth looking for.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Is there anything that you would recommend for me and our vet here to do for her, in anticipation to reduce further damage?

I would want to know if she has an arrhythmia and how severe it is to know whether it is something that can be monitored for now, or needs treatment now. So a holter monitor is a great plan.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I'll tell our vet about your opinion and ask him to help assist with it. I will get back to you ASAP. It's Good Friday holiday here tomorrow & we got no vets nor animal clinics available during any holidays and weekends. Thank you so much Doctor. I'm extremely grateful

No worries, let me know when you have time. Happy Easter, Dr. Kara.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Have a great Easter too, Doctor. And thank you for everything

You're welcome.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Doctor, just want to inform you that our local leading senior vet just informed me that in our country, holter monitor isn't available yet. She suggested EKG. But she is based in Jakarta, not where we live and we don't have the means to travel there, as our old car isn't fit for travelling far & public transportation here don't allow pet onboard. I'll try to check with our local vet if we can do it in our city, which hopefully we do. Will get back to you ASAP. Have a nice day

I understand, you can only do what is available. Hopefully at least they will find an EKG machine.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Really hope so too
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Doctor, just want to inform you that our vet here told me that EKG isn't necessary as he is 100% sure there is no arrhythmia. Lung edema has becoming much better too. So we're still on the same medication, and now we are also focusing on the recent cramps, set off by the pain obtained from the previous vaccine site. Thank you so much for your tireless efforts. You have been such a great help. Maybyour days be great ahead

I am glad that her pulmonary (lung) edema is improving, and that your veterinarian is sure she does not have an arrhythmia.

My best to your little one, I hope that she continues to improve.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your best wishes Doctor. I hope so too.