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Stiff after Vaccinations

June 21st, 2007, 11:08 AM
My little 2 year old West Highland Terrier went for her regular vaccinations yesterday, got her heartworm and flea medicine as well.

Last night (about 5 hours after the shots) she started walking very stiffly around the house and did not want to go upstairs to go to bed...I had to carry her. Now this morning she is so stiff, I had to carry her downstairs and outside to go to the bathroom and she is kinda hobbling around the house today, not wanting to walk anywhere.

She has not had this stiffness before when she has had shots…should I be concerned? Has anyone else’s dog been stiff and sore after vaccinations?

June 21st, 2007, 11:17 AM
I would be concerned. A phone call to the vet sounds like a good idea. I would get this seen to as soon as possible if I were you.

Good Luck, and keep us posted.

June 21st, 2007, 11:19 AM
Our dogs sometimes get 'cruxy' and restless...sometimes even feverish...after vaccinations, but they've never gotten stiff. The heartworm and flea meds can cause some odd symptoms, too, but I'm not sure if stiffness is one of them.

If it were our dog, I'd call the vet's office right away and let them know what's going on. If it's not the meds, then there's still something else going on that needs to be checked out.

Good luck with your Westie! :fingerscr Please keep us posted on what the vet says!

June 21st, 2007, 02:54 PM
Awww... I am sorry to here this!

I would definitely consult your vet.

It sounds like your little girl had a variety of things introduced to her system in one day. Vaccinations for pets are not administered by weight. All dogs get the same amount of vaccine, which I would imagine could have a larger impact on the little ones...

If you have concerns about yearly vaccinations you can either have them do a titer to check to see if she needs the vaccines and/or have each needed vaccine administered separately (not bundled) and on different days.

Also, you may want to ask what dose of Vitamins A, E and C you can give to your dog and give them to her daily over the next 3 weeks as they should help your dogs system work through the toxins that are in the vaccines.

Good luck and take care.

June 21st, 2007, 04:47 PM
The problem with giving vaccines singly to your dog is that most vaccines are recommended to be given at least a month apart due to the bodies natural immune system. I would be very hesitant in giving the vaccines separately for each one.

The idea of getting the titers is a good idea since there is a lot of speculation about whether animals should be receiveing yearly vaccinces for most things anyways. Kind of like human.

June 21st, 2007, 05:53 PM
Thanks all for your replies. It is now about 7:00pm our time (about 7 hours or more since I last posted) and Charlotte did not eat her dinner and is still refusing to go up or down stairs...that is very unlike her as she is a 2 year old terrier with LOTS of energy....I agree that a call to the Vet is mandatory!!!!

I spoke to a lady today in a pet store and mentioned that my Westie was not feeling well and she kinda chastised me for vaccinating her in the first place. She does not believe in vacinnating your pet at all and none of her 4 dogs have ever had rabies or heartworm or anything else...
Does anyone else on the board not vaccinate thier dog???? I just assumed it was a given, but now that I am seeing her reaction to the needles, I am now second guessing my deciasion.

June 21st, 2007, 06:05 PM
I stopped vaccinating my dog after she had a bad reaction. She also was very stiff and in pain and didn't want to move around. It took her weeks to get completely back to normal. I'm not ever vaccinating her again, since she could have a similar reaction or an even worse one the next time. She does still go to the vet every year for a physical exam and heartworm test, but the vet has put right on her records "vaccine allergy". I don't use chemical flea treatments anymore either, but she is still on heartworm pills because that is a big concern where I live.

I do have to get the vet to write a letter stating she is unable to have the rabies vaccine, because it is a state law to give pets their rabies shots. Luckily animals who have official letters from their vets saying that there is a medical reason why the pet can't have the shots are exempt from the law.

There's lots of interesting info available on these issues, if you google "vaccines" or "vaccinosis", you'll get a bunch of sites.

June 22nd, 2007, 03:14 PM
How is your dog doing today? I hope he is feeling better. Just an extra word of caution. Once a dog has a vaccine reaction once it is much more likely to happen the next time so make sure you discuss the issue carefully with your vet before revaccinating. Titter testing is a great option.

The reaction could also be related to the flea or heartworm meds.

It is so tough to know what to do with vaccines, over vaccinating is becoming a real issue. I disagree with the lady at your pet store, I believe that vaccines are important although i tend to stick just to the core vaccines and not do the others (kennel cough etc). I think that annual shots are waaayyy to many and would be more likely to subscribe to the every 3 years theory and to do the rabies shot seperately. My eleven year old lab has not had shots since she was six and was diagnosed with a liver problem. At this stage I have no plans to give her any more vaccines. My one year old did have shots (3 sets) and I will likely not vaccinate him this year and reevaluate next year.

I personally always do the rabies shot on a seperate visit and never ever let them give shots when the animals are in for a procedure that involves anesthesia or if they are not feeling well. I would also recommend spacing the flea and heartworm meds on different days. It does mean spending a bit more for the seperate meds but I think that the less toxin they need to process at one time the better.