Fawn’s Story – Anaphylactic shock

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Ignore the couch!

It was supposed to be a routine vet appointment for our two beagles – shots, blood work, the norm.  Afterward,  we had stayed to chat with our Doctor.  She has been our family Veterinarian for many years.  We had a lot to catch up on – our new baby, her new dog, just general chit-chat.

 We were so busy talking we almost missed it.  My little girl, Fawn,  started to curl up into a ball.  Then she pooped on the floor, very unlike her.  When we tried leaving the exam room, she wouldn’t walk with us.  We remarked at how out-of-sorts she was.  Then, my vet scooped her up, looked at her gums, said ‘Oh No’ and ran. 


We sat in the exam room and waited.    The Doctor came in once to tell us what happened – Fawn went into Anaphylactic shock.  Before she returned to the operating room, she couldn’t say if Fawn was going to make it.

While we sat, we heard beeps, calls for assistance, all sorts of things one doesn’t want to hear.  Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, we were told we could see Fawn.    She wasn’t out of the woods, but she was on her way to recovery.  Her circulatory system had started to fail.  If we had left the vet, she would have died.  As it was, she almost didn’t make it and she was steps from the operating room. 

If it wasn’t for the quick thinking on my doctor’s part, this story would have had a very different ending.  

Apparently, Fawn had an allergic reaction to the one shot she had – The Leptospirosis vaccine, a shot she has had two times previously.  Wild animals (such as the bunnies we have running around our backyard) carry this organism in their urine.  The practice of administrating this particular vaccine is highly debated.  Many, many people have strong opinions both ways.

 The moral of the story – after any shot, routine or not, watch your dog.  While Anaphylactic shock is rare, without treatment, death is almost always the outcome.     Symptoms of Anaphylactic shock include defecation, lethargy, drooling, pale gums & elevated heart rate.   Usually, if your dog is going to have an allergic reaction, it will happen within 30 minutes of administration.  You can ask the vet to perform the shots early in the visit or hang out for a few minutes after if you do not live close to your vet (as in my case).

 Fawn is back to her typical, playful beagle self – climbing on the dining room table to steal dinner and howling at the squirrels.  I can’t imagine it otherwise.

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