Friday, April 6, 2012

Rabies shot update -- more side effects for Lulu the beagle

It's been almost a week since Lulu got her rabies shot and had that reaction right after.

Since then I've been watching her pretty closely, and she's been slightly off. She's been a little clingier (is that a word?), a little more timid.

For instance, I took Lulu to Dr. Phillips Dog Park again Tuesday. Normally she has no problems mixing it up with the dogs, but this time she was more than a little shy. Even with ther little dogs, she would not get in and run around with the other dogs. She stayed close, unless she needed to run from other dogs. She also did not bark at or follow dogs on the other side of the fences.

So I started to look up side effects of rabies shots, other than negative reactions.

I found out that behavioral changes are common after a dog get a rabies shot, via the website Dogs 4 Dogs, which campaigns against unnecessary vaccinations for dogs. The website's owner, Jan, responded to a message I left on the site with my questions. Here's her response:

Personality change is a relatively common reaction, although vets seldom admit it. Will the change wear off? Who knows? If it were my dog, I’m find a vet who understands homeopathy. There are links at and in the article I suggested you read. Your dog probably doesn’t feel that well. If it doesn’t change soon, please see a homeopathic vet. A “regular” vet will likely be a waste of money, although you need to make sure the reaction is listed in your dog’s file and also contact the manufacturer of the drug to report it.
She also sent me to this part of her website, which explains everything dog parents should do if their dog has a reaction.
That includes documenting everything and contacting the rabies shot manufacturer, not just allowing the vaccination place to do the documentation, and also report to the USDA.

Jan also said something I had never thought about -- she said it's rare for beagles to get reactions because the testing is done on beagles.

As for Lulu -- she seems to be getting back to her old self. She decided to visit one of her doggy friends in the neighborhood, which means she was back to being sociable.

But I'm still going to wait until next week to take her back to the dog park.

On another note -- April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. ASPCA has ways you can help fight animal cruelty in your area and, if you helped save your pet, ASPCA is holding a photo contest.

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