Wednesday, 24 September 2008

lumps, bowels and doggy illnesses

Penny's been keeping us on our toes lately. She had her annual vaccinations last week, one of which which should protect her from distemper, infectious hepatitus and parvovirus; the other from bordetella brontiseptica and canine parainfluenza.

Well, I think that's what they were - the teensy tiny stickers on her health record are hard to read, even with my glasses on!

That evening she threw up five times. I rang the local animal hospital and the vet said to keep an eye on her and gave me the phone number of a local all-night clinic. However, she slept through the night okay.

We didn't, though.

In the morning my own vet examined her and he thought she was more likely to have vomited because she had a bowel inflammation. (She had been having jelly-like material in her poos on and off over the last few weeks.)

He put her on antibiotics for a week, which are nearly finished now.

It's hard to know what to do for the best for our beloved animals. There are lots of internet sites with scary stories of pets' reactions to vaccinations, and I did check out lots of such sites when I posted last year about the concern that we over-vaccinate in Australia.

I thought Dog Owners' Guide seemed to have a reasonable overview of the question. Basically they referred to vomiting as a severe reaction, but said we should still have the vaccinations with the proviso that the dog might need to take antihistamines or the leptospirosis part could be omitted.

They discuss (but not in detail) recent research that suggests we should vaccinate less frequently.

As I write this, Penny is frantically licking her paws. She tends to have a problem with her paws, so it's not a new issue, but I feel sure she's doing it more these last couple of days. So I'm interested in a site that suggests paw licking can be a reaction to vaccinations.

And to top off our worries, when I got home from the vet after the vaccination, I noticed Penny had another lump - this time on the top of her head. It's not long since she had one removed from her chest.

The vet said it would be safer to remove it, but not to worry about rushing into it. I'm fairly sure it is getting smaller every day. At first it was as big as a pea, but I think it's only pin-head size now. Here's hoping!

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