Westie Has Bad Reaction to Canine H1N1 Vaccine

Posted on February 3rd, 2010 by Joy Ward

If you’re thinking about having your dog vaccinated against the newly emerged canine H1N1 you might want to read the following letter I just got from one of my neighbors here in St. Louis. The letter is from her sister-in-law. I asked my neighbor Heather to validate it and she quickly okayed its publication.

Just FIY:

Yesterday we went to the vet for Annie’s annual vet appt. The vet told me that she was a perfectly healthy 10 1/2 year old Westie, and he couldn’t believe how “young” she still seemed. She received her normal bloodwork and vaccines, then I was told that this new canine virus was going around and that there is a new vaccine was 100% effective in lowering the severity of this virus H3N8. It is initially a 2 shot procedure followed by a booster once a year. I had no reason to question it, so we went ahead and got this vaccine. After we were home for an hour, Annie started limping, then she became lethargic, she stiffened up, wouldn’t eat or even take a bone (which she LOVES). She stared off into space and started breathing really quickly. I was so scared that I took her back to the vet a few hours later, he examined her and said he thought she was just in pain from her vaccines. She has had 10 years of vaccines and has never acted THIS way afterwards.

Her behavior worsened when we got home, so  I went on line only to find out that this vaccine is BRAND NEW…has only become available in US since 8/09.
The drug company, Schering-Plough says it had been tested on 700 dogs with no side effects. So I guess, we were the 701st dog! The Government approval certificate is “conditional” b/c they seem to be waiting to see what will happen to these dogs. This vaccine is completely optional, and I was just trying to do what I thought was best for Annie. If I knew this, I would have never tried such an “experimental” drug.

We were up with her all night and were ready to take her to the emergency vet if her breathing got any worse. Finally, at about 2am her breathing slowed down and she was able to fall asleep. By morning she seems to be back to normal, no limping, and took her bone. I will not take her back for her follow up shot next week, and I recommend to all of you, do NOT to put your dog through this. I will contact the drug company about this, but I’m not sure it will make a difference, so I wanted to tell all the dog lovers in my life! I really thought we were going to lose Annie last night.

Jacki