I Could Only Hold her and Listen to her Cry

I had never experienced such a reaction to vaccinations with Sili. She was a couch potato to begin with. If she napped more than usual on the day of her shots i didn’t notice, but it was never like this. We went back for puppy shots 5 times before she made it through the series of mandatory doses. If i were to put a stop to this madness, they would hold the heartworm medication she needed hostage until i relented and let them continue. If i refused, my animals would be removed from my care for neglect and i would be barred from further adoption. I didn’t have a choice. Nobody really does nowadays. I’m not against the idea of vaccinations at its core. What im upset about is that i cant see the added ingredients. Whether its egg whites or mercury, i want to know what i’m putting in my dog’s body. I think it’s strange that we want to read the ingredients on every package of food we purchase and yet we’re not the least bit curious what’s in our medications. I spend the few dollars i have making sure they eat wild salmon, organic sweet potatoes, carrots, and blueberries. I have no idea what’s in those vaccinations. I don’t get the right to read the ingredients. All i know is that three out of three vets i called in a panic that day advised me that it was completely normal for the shots to induce tremors, fever, vomiting, and muscle pain. Call me crazy but when did we accept that standard as the new “normal”. The first time it happened i was terrified because i didn’t know how severe the reaction was going to get. As the minutes ticked on Cashew seemed to get worse and worse and i wondered if i should be driving her towards a city, as there was no vet to help a dog in distress in our small town in the woods. She shook uncontrollably in my arms, her jaw clenched and leg muscles stiff. She had a fever. I wrapped her in my jacket and held her to my chest. She pressed herself into my shirt and closed her eyes. The part that broke my heart was the noises she made. She would cry, like a baby. Not a whimper or a noise you would associate with a dog. She would whine like a distraught child. It was almost a human noise and each time it went on for hours until her fever would break and finally able to achieve some level of comfort, she would collapse in exhaustion in my arms and sleep soundly for hours. The first time it happened i felt so bad. I told her it was going to keep her healthy to get them and the shots caused her to be sick. I was her mother. She was supposed to be able to trust me and i had required her to do something that had rendered her sick, exhausted, and crying for hours. At first i told myself that it probably wasn’t as bad as it sounded. She was probably just tired. But when i called the first vet he said that she was likely crying in response to the muscle and bone aches that the vaccinations had been known to cause. Her symptoms always started within twenty to thirty minutes of receiving the shots and worsened in severity over the next few hours. She would start out shiverring ever so slightly and end up shaking violently in my lap. I asked the vet what i could do to ease her pain and he said, “just leave her alone and let it pass.” I couldn’t do that. After her shots i would wait in line to pay. By the time we got to the car the symptoms would already be appearing. She would refuse to walk. She would take a step or two and then lay down on her belly in the parking lot so i carried her. I placed her on my lap while i drove and i held her and spoke to her in a soothing mama voice as i drove towards home. My heart was too broken to even get her out of the car. When we made it to the land i’d pull the car in the gate, park under a big oak tree, and watch her ride it out on my lap, stroking her head and holding her little shaking body. I would lay there with the seat back reclined and the air conditioner on, soothing music playing on the cell phone and i would cling to her until her fever broke and her muscles relaxed as she melted into my lap like chocolate on a hot day. I would turn the music off and hold her and we’d sleep. When she woke i’d turn the car off and we’d go inside. She was wild and healthy and crazy fast and every couple of weeks i’d render her helplessly vulnerable and sick. I didn’t feel like i was protecting her from anything. I felt like i had failed her as her guardian, and in order to keep her in our home, i would fail her again.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi there (this is my 2nd attempt to comment, I’m new and apparently I suck at this more than I thought haha) How is the pup doing now? Did you find out if she was allergic to something in those shots?
    I don’t know how you managed to keep your cool through all of that girl… I would have been a total lunatic about the whole thing and probably been banned from all vets in my area for life (ha ha..i wish that wasn’t as possible as it is).
    I hope all is well now. -kris

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    1. Hi. The vet said some dogs are more sensitive to the shots than others but that it was a normal and regularly seen reaction. After a few hours her symptoms always subside (thank God). She needs the heartworm meds so i kind of dont have a choice. I just hold her and wait for it to end, but its definitely hard for me to watch her endure.

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