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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17893
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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I have taken a five year, healthy old Chihuahua (today, 3/3/14

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I have taken a five year, healthy old Chihuahua (today, 3/3/14 at 1.30pm) to a vet for a booster injection having had the original injection two weeks ago. He was fine immediately afterwards but about an hour afterwards he is slow in walking doesn't jump about as per normal and doesn't want to move. Also when my wife or me pick him up he yelps, was injected on his side so this may account for the yelping? He isn't off his food and drinks his water fine. Is he for want of a better phrase, "stoned" from his injection and/or is it normal for a little dog to react like this from a booster? When I took him to the vet he was very sacred, his heart was going crazy and the vet and assistant had to restrain him in a towel to give the injection. We are both worried about him.
Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help with your concerns about Dandy. I'm sorry to hear that he is uncomfortable and it may be that he is having a mild reaction to the vaccine or that he is sore from struggling so much when he was being held.

You can apply a cold compress to the area where the vaccine was given to reduce inflammation and discomfort.

In case he is having a mild allergic reaction you can give him Benadryl (diphenhydramine only, don't use the combination products with decongestants or acetaminophen as they can be toxic to dogs) at 1mg to 2mg per pound or one half of 25mg tablet per 8 to 15 pounds of dog orally every 8 hours for 72 hours.
Be aware that antihistamines can cause sleepiness or hyperactivity in some dogs. These side effects do wear off with repeated use.

You can also call your veterinarian and ask that they prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication like Metacam or Rimadyl for his discomfort for the next few days until his discomfort resolves.

If your veterinarian isn't still open toady to reduce pain and inflammation, as long as he is eating and has no history of clotting problems or gastrointestinal ulcers, instead you can give him enteric coated buffered aspirin at 5mg to 10mg per pound of body weight every 12 hours. That's one half of an 81mg low dose aspirin per 8 pounds of body weight, or 1/4 of a 325mg regular aspirin per 15 pounds of body weight. Give it with or after a meal as it is very irritating to the gastrointestinal tract. Do not use for longer then 2 to 3 days.

Things to watch for that indicate he needs emergency veterinary care are vomiting and diarrhea, facial swelling or difficulty breathing. These would signify his reaction is worsening.

If he is still uncomfortable by tomorrow then call and describe his situation to your veterinarian, they may want to recheck him. Make sure that you tell them that you gave aspirin if you do so, as we need to wait several days between prescribing different anti-inflammatories and they will need to use other drugs to make him more comfortable.

Even if he seems better with aspirin and Benadryl I would definitely let your veterinarian know about his reaction and in the future they may pretreat him with an antihistamine injection to lessen his reaction. I would use antihistamines prophylactically and put him on an anti-inflammatory to mitigate side effects in the future.

If you believe his stomach is upset you may want to feed him a bland diet of 1/3 boiled hamburger (or white skinless chicken), all fats and juices drained off mixed with 2/3 boiled, plain white rice. Feed several small meals a day for the next few days. Once he feels better start mixing in his regular dog food very slowly. Less bland more regular with each day. It should take a week or so to convert him back.

Most dogs are sore for 3 to 4 days after a vaccine, some are affected more then others but given time he will feel better.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you Dr. Kara for the very quick and detailed reply about Dandy.. We have applied a cold compress to the area where he was affected and as he ways 2.5 kilos am not 100% sure on the dosage of aspirin and also as we have had him for a year only (he is 5) I don't know his medical history of clotting or not, so for these reasons have not given him any aspirin. I have informed the vets which are closed for today and hope to get a reply. My wife has Dandy with the cold compress but he is wrapped up in a blanket to keep him warm, is this a bad idea as it might encourage any swelling? There appears to be no existing swelling anywhere, no vomiting, no diarrhea and no difficulty breathing. I am hopeful as he ate some food earlier if he was very ill he wouldn't eat? Sorry for emailing again we just love him to bits, as does the cat who is sleeping beside him and keeps looking at him. If no severe reactions occur can I assume this would not be a life threatening condition to a healthy small dog?

No worries, of course this unexpected turn of events have you worried.
If he is 2.5kgs then he is about 5.5 pounds (2.2 pounds per kilogram of body weight X 2.5kg = 5.5 pounds) You could give him 1/2 of a low dose aspirin (81mgs size) if he seems especially miserable but I agree, not knowing his history if you don't have to give it I wouldn't.

The cold compress will decrease inflammation and pain at the site of injection, but if he is enjoying being wrapped up in a blanket otherwise then that is fine, that won't hurt him at all. Poor little guy needs to feel loved and as comfortable as possible when he's feeling crummy.
If there's no facial swelling or difficulty breathing, vomiting or diarrhea then although he is uncomfortable and achy, this isn't life threatening.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.
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