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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

White Feather Update

White Feather, a happy and healthy 15 week old puppy (who is in the gangly stage with long thick legs that she sometimes doesn't know what to do with)

If you recall from an earlier post, White Feather began having head tremors shortly after her first puppy shot at 8 weeks old. At the same time her left ear, which had been straight up, began to droop to the side. We consulted the vet and sought input from friends and people on our various email groups to figure out what could have happened and how it could be treated. After all of the input was received we concluded that when she got her first shot she still had maternal immunity and the shot created an oversupply of antibodies in her system and caused an outward immune reaction which, based upon stories we have since heard, could have been much worse. This reaction was the head tremors and cocked ear.

A fellow Hedlund Husky owner suggested we begin White Feather on a round of Melatonin which is a holistic substance that produces serotonin in the brain. We also were to work her up to 500mg of Ester C and keep her at that level for two weeks. Slowly increasing the amount of Ester C given helps to avoid the diarrhea that giving the full dose upfront may cause.

White Feather was watched closely throughout this process and the head tremors were still there but seemed to be less frequent. We are now happy to report that we have not noticed a head tremor in over two weeks! In addition, the ear that was cocked after the shot was given and when the head tremors began to take place is now standing straight up!

What ever it was that caused the tremors to stop, be it the melatonin and Ester C, time or a combination of both, we'll never know. What does seem apparent is that the vaccination caused the problem. We've had other vaccination related problems in our kennel and have changed the protocol since but didn't realize that even a first puppy shot given at an atypically late date (8 weeks old) could create such a problem. White Feather will get another shot to make sure she has proper immunity, but it won't be until 5 months of age and a month before her rabies vaccination. She'll get a booster at a year old then titres will be done at two years to see where her immunity lies in relationship to what is needed.

It has become obvious that over vaccination is a big health concern. Dogs and puppies have had reactions ranging from fatigue to seizures to death from too many vaccinations. If you have a dog, please do some research on the topic to make sure that your dog stays properly immunized but is not unnecessarily vaccinated. Dogs don't need yearly shots nor should they have them.

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