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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 28567
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Not up to date with vaccinations,

Customer Question

My female St. Bernard 6 has not been up to dare with vaccinations, I believe in them every 3 years, but my vet is telling me no no she needs 2 sessions now to catch up.
I want the best for her and money not an issue, I want a 5 part quality vaccine I'm a student Dr so able to do my self last time 2009. I have the vaccine in the fridge in two vials one a liquid one a powder. But expired in 2011. I'm sure it will be just fine or is it simply not worth the risk ? And what's the worst that can happen. She is fit and well and vet checked because she has epilepsy she was on epiphen but the vet said try without the meds. She has the odd fit say twice a month, would you medicate her or let her illness run its course ? How long is her life expectancy ? She is super fit and well active eating great and if she ever has a repeat fit I give her 10mg of Valium IV that seems to help is this ok my vet said fine but need a second opinion plz
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'll address your concerns as you presented them...

1) If Parris has been vaccinated within three years, just one jab is necessary. If she hadn't been vaccinated within 3 years, two jabs three weeks apart will give her the optimum immunity. If leptospirosis is a concern where you live, that bacterin should be administered every 6-12 months.
2) Vaccine that has expired in 2011 should be thrown away. Its antigenicity may be nil.
3) I'll accept one mild seizure (no wild thrashing about, lasts less than 5 minutes) monthly before I consider anticonvulsive medication. If her two seizures are simple partial seizures (previously called petit mal) and they meet my criteria, I'll stetch my rule a bit for Parris.
4) Life expectancy for a St. Bernard is 8-10 years. It's more likely to be less than 8 years than more than 10 years.
5) Yes, IV diazepam (Valium) is appropriate for break-through seizures but shouldn't be relied upon for thorough anticonvulsive control. "Repeat fits" worries me for clustering which can be life threatening. Does "repeat fits" mean one in close proximity to the prior one? If this is occurring, Epiphen (phenobarbital) should be considered once again.

Please respond with additional information and further questions or concerns if you wish.
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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

Please disregard the info request.

You may receive an inappropriate follow up from the site ostensibly from me. It wasn't and I apologize in advance should you receive it.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi sorry about the delay, PARRIS has never had a mini or part fit its her whole body from top to to averaging 5 minutes, she has never had repeat fits.
My vet said theirs nothing you can do and only be their for her after, but I know for a fact she can be bought out of it with cuddles cuddles and offers of dinner.
I feel my vet has not got your experience and is a rabbit specialist. He said never go near her when fitting she is liable to have your arm off but her state of mind when fitting she has no control. Her head is on the floor her WHOLE body shakes her legs swim and does not scare me in any way, I feel she is not capable of biting or doing anything else but fit. Am I right or wrong ? She struggles standing like a cat on ice for an hour after I take it that's the electrical pulses still too active in her brain. She wonders outside falling over that's heart breaking to watch and seems to get worse but never has she had a mini or part seizer its full on look forward to your reply
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
No worries. Thank you for the additional information. As long as she doesn't lose consciousness or experience altered mentation or behavioral abnormalities, we still classify the event as a simple partial seizure. It becomes a complex partial seizure when an alteration in mentation and/or behavioral abnormalities are seen and this is what you've described. Generalized seizures (previously called grand mal) are characterized by diffuse, bilateral motor activity with loss of consciousness. Wonderful info for cocktail parties...

I don't think she's "with it" enough to consciously bite you. Perhaps she could hurt you inadvertently so some care should be taken by you. That stumbling around afterward is typical post-ictal (post-seizure) activity. Be sure to log these events as to date, how long they last, and just what you've witnessed. Should they become more frequent or severe, please consider an anticonvulsive again.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dr me again, PARRIS behaviour Is like a 6 month puppy.
The only issue is food, she is always after food and will do any thing to get it.
She is such a placid dog and loving but if the public are carrying food, my worry a small child she will instantly snatch it out of their hand.
She is fed with the best food, and mixed with meat but it's such a shame, me as a responsible owner simply can't let her off leach.
If a friend visits my home, she would and has snatched a Big Mac out of their hand causing damage, so now she is always on a lead for safety of the public. What steps or therapy could be given to PARRIS to stop this behaviour regards Paul
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
This kind of behavior is addressed by not allowing it to happen in the first place and you're already doing that by keeping her on a lead. The likelihood of your curbing such an innate behavior at her age is near nil. You would need to correct her at the first inclination of her going for food and then rewarding her with treats and praise when she behaves. That's a tall order to ask of you.

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