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Vaccinating A Seizure Dog


Guest LindsaySF
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Guest LindsaySF

My foster girl Sophie has epilepsy and she is due for vaccines. In May 2009 (before she came to WAG) she was vaccinated for rabies, distemper, para-influenza, adenovirus 2, parvo, bordatella, and lepto. We will only get the vaccines she legally and realistically requires.

 

Should we do titers for her? Or split the vaccines up over several visits? I will ask Sophie's vet what she recommends, but she doesn't see a lot of seizure dogs... Thanks in advance. :)

 

 

 

~Lindsay~

 

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Guest Greytluv

I only titer my dogs. I have to get their rabies mad.gif I've never vaccinated any of my dogs and they all live really long lives :)

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Lindsay, if you have documentation of those vaccinations, she doesn't need anything for a minimum of 2 years. Do you have 3-year rabies? If so, she doesn't need that either. I remember that you've had trouble keeping her seizures under control - if a vaccination isn't essential, I'd avoid them, especially any containing modified live virus.

 

seizures and vaccinations

 

 

by Jean Dodds

 

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Guest GreysAndMoreGreys

CT does have the 3 year vacc. But IIRC you have to show the one year vacc and then the next one would be for 3 years.

Which totally drives me crazy because the one year vacc and the 3 year vacc is the exact same thing.(per my vet)

 

I would opt for titer or just go with the rabies which this time should cover her for the 3 years.

I don't believe the other vaccs are required by law in CT.

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CT does have the 3 year vacc. But IIRC you have to show the one year vacc and then the next one would be for 3 years.

Which totally drives me crazy because the one year vacc and the 3 year vacc is the exact same thing.(per my vet)

 

 

Isn't that ridiculous? Do they issue waivers in CT for dogs who should not be vaccinated for medical reasons?

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State of Connecticut:

 

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2006/FC/2006SB-00411-R000268-FC.htm

 

(B) A licensed veterinarian may grant an exemption from vaccination against rabies for a dog or cat if such licensed veterinarian has examined such animal and determined that a rabies vaccination would endanger the animal's life due to disease or other medical considerations. Such licensed veterinarian shall complete and submit to the department an exemption from rabies vaccination form approved by the Department of Agriculture. After receipt of such form, the department shall issue a rabies vaccination exemption certificate, copies of which shall be provided to the veterinarian, the owner of the dog or cat exempted from rabies vaccination and the animal control officer of the municipality in which the owner of the dog or cat resides. Certification that a dog or cat is exempt from rabies vaccination shall be valid for one year, after which time the animal shall be vaccinated against rabies or the application for exemption shall be renewed.

 

Unfortunately, if your dog bites someone, that'll probably be the end of them. Dunno what happens if you have a rabies titer on hand.

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Guest Swifthounds

My foster girl Sophie has epilepsy and she is due for vaccines. In May 2009 (before she came to WAG) she was vaccinated for rabies, distemper, para-influenza, adenovirus 2, parvo, bordatella, and lepto. We will only get the vaccines she legally and realistically requires.

 

Should we do titers for her? Or split the vaccines up over several visits? I will ask Sophie's vet what she recommends, but she doesn't see a lot of seizure dogs... Thanks in advance. :)

 

~Lindsay~

 

If you want to titer just for your own piece of mind, then do it. I would have a vet draw the blood and mail it off to Dr. Dodds yourself. She's less expensive and also gives interpretations and consultations.

 

I would skip the bordetella altogether. It's only effective up to one year (or as little as 5-6 months) and kennel cough is rarely fatal. I've never heard of a fatal episode of kennel cough in an otherwise reasonably healthy animal. If you feel you MUST do it, make sure you give it 2-3 weeks apart from any other vaccinations.

 

Re: distemper (which is everything else in your list other than rabies) I wouldn't give that now. The major vet schools have been recommending vaccination not more than every three years for a number of years now (at least 7 years in most places and 11+ in others). Now AAHA and other organizations are following suit as of 2006. There's no medical reason to vaccinate a dog for distemper annually (though there is a financial one).

 

CT does have the 3 year vacc. But IIRC you have to show the one year vacc and then the next one would be for 3 years.

Which totally drives me crazy because the one year vacc and the 3 year vacc is the exact same thing.(per my vet)

 

I would opt for titer or just go with the rabies which this time should cover her for the 3 years.

I don't believe the other vaccs are required by law in CT.

 

If it's the first documented rabies vaccine, it cannot be for more than one year, per federal law. Rabies, because it is a potentially fatal disease transmissible to humans, is the only vaccine for animals that is mandated by federal law and where it's duration if immunity (DOI) is set my statute.

 

Once a dog has had the initial one year vaccine, unless one lives in one of those antiquated states where it's required annually or biannually, there's no reason to ever give anything again but a three year vaccination. You have to be careful though. Ask to see the vaccine bottle. the actual vaccine in the rabies labeled for one year and the one labeled for three is the same vaccine, but the label governs. If your vet grabs the wrong vial and gives the 1 year labeled vaccine instead of the three year one, you're stuck with the one year. In some states you can get a rabies waiver. See below.

 

State of Connecticut:

 

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2006/FC/2006SB-00411-R000268-FC.htm

 

(B) A licensed veterinarian may grant an exemption from vaccination against rabies for a dog or cat if such licensed veterinarian has examined such animal and determined that a rabies vaccination would endanger the animal's life due to disease or other medical considerations. Such licensed veterinarian shall complete and submit to the department an exemption from rabies vaccination form approved by the Department of Agriculture. After receipt of such form, the department shall issue a rabies vaccination exemption certificate, copies of which shall be provided to the veterinarian, the owner of the dog or cat exempted from rabies vaccination and the animal control officer of the municipality in which the owner of the dog or cat resides. Certification that a dog or cat is exempt from rabies vaccination shall be valid for one year, after which time the animal shall be vaccinated against rabies or the application for exemption shall be renewed.

 

Unfortunately, if your dog bites someone, that'll probably be the end of them. Dunno what happens if you have a rabies titer on hand.

 

CT does have a waiver. A fair amount of states do. It's important to remember that you'll have to have it certified by a vet each year and that it's merely a waiver of the requirement to be vaccinated for rabies - all of the other provisions of law pertaining to rabies remain applicable. If the dog bites or is even accused of a bite (even a bite no one saw happen), the dog will be treated as an unvaccinated dog, so it's wise to check those provisions before deciding to go for a waiver. It's also important to remember that you need to check the state, county, and local provisions. Local or county provisions can be more strict (ie bad for the dog) than the state, but not more lenient. Treatment differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. You want to know what you may be getting into.

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Guest LindsaySF

In the paperwork I have from Oklahoma, she received the 3-year rabies vaccine (they checked the box that says 3 year, so the label must have said). But being the first rabies vaccine on record, it is only "valid" for one year. rolleyes.gif I won't get Bordatella, I don't even give my own dogs Bordatella. She received DHLPP from Fort Dodge. I won't do DHLPP if it's not necessary.

 

 

 

~Lindsay~

 

 

 

 

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Guest LindsaySF

I spoke to Sophie's vet. She said we can do titers for distemper and the others. She does not recommend a titer for rabies because CT is so strict with it. She said she has tried to get rabies waivers for seizure dogs in the past and they won't do it because they are afraid of the seizures mimicking rabies symptoms, stuff like that, so it's not worth the risk. But as long as we can do titers for the others I feel better. :)

 

The rabies vaccine should be fine right? She had 2 seizures this week, should I wait a while before making the appointment? Or is it risky whenever she gets it?

 

 

 

~Lindsay~

 

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Honestly wouldn't think it would be significantly risky. I suppose there's always *some* risk, given that the cause of epilepsy is usually unknown and that stress can contribute to seizures, but the immune system response to the vaccine shouldn't have any impact on her condition.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I spoke to Sophie's vet. She said we can do titers for distemper and the others. She does not recommend a titer for rabies because CT is so strict with it. She said she has tried to get rabies waivers for seizure dogs in the past and they won't do it because they are afraid of the seizures mimicking rabies symptoms, stuff like that, so it's not worth the risk. But as long as we can do titers for the others I feel better. :)

 

The rabies vaccine should be fine right? She had 2 seizures this week, should I wait a while before making the appointment? Or is it risky whenever she gets it?

 

~Lindsay~

 

"Vaccinations can lower a dog's seizure threshold and trigger a seizure. If you feel that this is the case for your dog, ask the vet to split the shots, give them separately at weekly or two weekly intervals and ask for the Rabies shot to be given 2 weeks after that. Ask your vet if he/she knows about the new 3-year protocol now being used by many vets and veterinary schools." This is from the Epil-K9 website: LINK. Here's another from the same website: LINK 2.

 

I've no personal experience with seizure dogs, but this website was a great resource for a friend who had a dog with seizures.

Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
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Guest Swifthounds

Rabies titers are really only good for peace of mind, if you want it. They have no legal standing.

 

If this is more seizure activity than usual, I would urge you to try to stabilize before vaccinating for rabies. If this is not more than usual, then I wouldn't be overly concerned, though I wouldn't do the vaccine when there wouldn't be a vet available for the next 24-48 hours, just in case there's an issue.

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I am due to take Ms. Elsie in for her annual tomorrow and I will run it by my vet. She treat a lot of greyhound and I know she treats several seizure dogs. For Beau, with his compromised immune system, he gets nothing. Not a one.

 

 

ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

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Guest MZH

I didn't do anything but rabies for one of our dogs, Tucker, who had GN and Lyme and other nasty stuff. I titered him after 5 years and he still didn't need any! His distemper got a little low but that really is a puppy illness AFAIK. So, I wouldn't give Sophie anything at this point, especially rabies. She's probably got an OK titer for that anyway.

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Guest MZH

Seizure dog or not, mine wouldn't get vaccinated. Even the AMVA recommends every 3 years.

 

If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't either.

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Guest Heehoo

Gabby has epilepsy, I get 2 shots done every 2 weeks until we're finished. It seems when she was 3, retired & gone for her first adoption shots, they gave her all at once & she seized, but never did it again until I adopted her at 5 (she was a return). Three months after I adopted her she had 4 seizures in 45 minutes...thankfully one in front of the vet. My vet suggested we get her shots every 2 weeks after that. She's done just fine since & she'll be 13 next week.

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Guest MZH

Glad you verified that shots really aren't that detrimental to seizure dogs if done at 2-week intervals, Hilda. My vet in CT always did it that way for any pet but they don't at our current vet's office. They also want *everything* done yearly. They'll have to make an exception if they want to keep us. I'm training them to do them at 2-week intervals and every 3 years minimum. ;) One is a blood donor and his "annuals" are due next month; this should be interesting. To be continued....:huh

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Somewhat random, but while waiting for ages at my vet's office yesterday I picked up an old copy of a veterinary journal and read a study on the reported incidences of negative side effects from vaccinations. One thing that I picked up which would be relevant here is that there seemed to be a higher rate of side effects in dogs given more than one vaccine at a time. I personally would split up vaccines for any dog, but especially a sick one. But as others have said, it sounds like you don't need to do any right now.

 

Also, a note on titers. A low titer doesn't actually mean a dog is not protected, it simply means the dog isn't fighting off the disease at that time (a titer measures the presence of antibodies, which are in the body at higher levels in response to an infection). So just be aware that you can titer and then still have to give the vaccination to a dog who doesn't need it.

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"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest MZH

Excellent point on the low titer and lack of current infection being a factor in the low number. I had read years ago that when an infection comes along the titer rises. Fascinating stuff.

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Guest LindsaySF

Thanks for the replies all. I don't want to risk her health, but I don't want her to be considered unvaccinated if she were to bite someone or get into a tiff with a wild animal in the yard.... We will do titers for what we can. I'll check to see if the rabies vaccine is valid or the next 2 years or if she needs it now.

 

 

 

~Lindsay~

 

 

 

 

Edited by LindsaySF
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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest LindsaySF

Just wanted to update this. We had to get the rabies, but now she's set for 3 years. We did titers for everything else and her levels came back great. Annual heartworm and tick-disease test was negative. Sophie is doing great! :thumbs-up

 

 

 

~Lindsay~

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Guest Swifthounds

Good to hear she's OK. Did you look into some of the suggestions to minimize possible vaccine reactions? If not, you may want to do that for next time (though you've got plenty of tiem to explore your options).

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Guest LindsaySF

We waited a while (about 20 days) to get her rabies vaccine because in the first week of May she had a lot of seizure activity. I would do titers again for DHLPP (I never do Bordatella), and when she needs them space them apart by a few weeks.

 

What other things can we do to minimize vaccine reactions?

 

 

~Lindsay~

 

 

Edited by LindsaySF
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