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Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Day at the Vet

Poor Zulu!

White Feather and Topa

Last Thursday turned out to be a very difficult one. The night prior, White Feather had her puppy class and did exceptionally well, all except for about a half of dozen, almost indistinguishable head tremors. It took me a few times to actually pick up on what was going on they were so mild. A head tremor is not a seizure. It is, in her case, a split second bobbing of the head almost like a bobble head doll. It didn't interrupt her function and otherwise she is acting completely normal.

Thankfully, for observation sake, she did this again in front of the vet the next morning. Blood work was draw which subsequently came back normal. All the research that has been done and that has come from all of the wonderful people I have been in contact with tells me that the most likely scenario is related to her recent vaccination and it is something that will just go away.

What can happen if a vaccination is given when there is still immunity is an outward expression of this oversupply in the dog's system. I have had it expressed in the form of an autoimmune flesh eating disease and an autoimmune hepatitis years ago and as a result, changed our vaccination protocol but I have not seen it in the form of head tremors. How can an 8 week old pup have an oversupply of immunity? It is called maternal immunity and it is carried on from the mother for several weeks of the puppies' lives. The understanding has been that it expires about the time a first shot should be given at approximately 8 weeks. If this is the cause, then we can assume that she still had her maternal immunity.

There is still research to be done and White Feather is being watched very closely. For the next few weeks she will be kept out of situations that may cause stress such as puppy class and we are hopeful that it will resolve on its own.

Taking White Feather to the vet happened in the morning that day. We ended up taking another trip to the vet that afternoon. I had been gone for a couple of hours to run errands and returned to find Zulu's front legs bright red and missing patches of fur. Fairly sure this was another one of his demadex issues, off to the vet we went. Demadex is a mite that all dogs carry but it only expresses itself when the immune system is down. Zulu came to us with undiagnosed lyme disease at the age of five which is an overall stress on his system and ever since then has had this affliction just about every year at this time or in early winter. He was given prednisone and an injection of Ivermectin. In two weeks we go back for another Ivermectin injection and in a few days he will be tapered of the predisone which is a steroid that helps the itching and swelling and he should be back to his old self.

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