Monthly Archives: January 2013
Allergic reactions, including reactions to vaccines, can happen at any veterinary hospital and anywhere – not just the Las Vegas / North Las Vegas area. In this blog post, Craig Road Animal Hospital’s own Dr. Tampira explains the various types of allergic reactions that your cat or dog may experience, and how to spot a minor versus a major life threatening emergency. Of course, if your pet experiences any allergic reaction please call Craig Road Animal Hospital, or your local veterinary clinic, or bring them straight in.
By Orlena Tampira, DVM
Allergic reactions are an individual inflammatory response against a specific protein entering the body. These proteins can be anything from pollens, foods, medications, or even vaccines.
These are the different types of reactions that your pet may have.
- Facial swelling or Hives
Swelling of the face usually occurs around the muzzle and the eyes. It can be so severe that the pet cannot open his eyes. Hives are small bumps that can be located anywhere along the body. In both cases, your pet is often very itchy.
- Vasculitis and Hair loss
Vasculitis is the inflammation of the blood vessels that occur as part of an immune response. The evidence of vasculitis is often manifested as flakey skin along the ear margins and hair loss at the site of where a vaccine was administered. This is often seen several months later and near the right hip, where the rabies vaccine was administered.
- Lump and/or Pain at the Vaccination Injection Site
Initially when a vaccine is administered, there is a raised lesion at the site of injection that may be painful but the discomfort should subside in a few days. A lump may persist as the vaccine causes local inflammation and will resolve in few weeks. If the lump persists longer then 3 months, it should be removed as they have the potential to develop into tumors.
- Anaphylactic reaction
This is the most serious and life threatening of all reactions. Anaphylaxis is an immediate response that when untreated, results in shock, respiratory and cardiac failure, and may progress to death. This occurs within minutes to hours of the vaccination. The most common symptoms are the sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, coma, and pale gums. If you witness any of these signs, please bring your pet in immediately as life saving measures need to be taken.
The treatment depends on the severity and type of the reaction. If your pet has hives or a swollen face, antihistamines and steroids are administered to help decrease inflammation. Hair loss and vasculitis may be treated with a medication to help improve blood flow. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories may be prescribed for any pain associated with vaccination. Because each symptom is managed differently, please contact us to best tailor the most appropriate treatment for your pet.
In general, there is no way to predict which animals may develop a vaccine reaction. If your pet has a history of an allergic reaction, to a substance, medication, or vaccine then please inform your veterinarian at each visit prior to any medications or vaccinations are administered. Most often, however the inciting cause is never identified.
If your pet has had an allergic reaction to a vaccine, it is often advised to administer an antihistamine one hour prior to being vaccinated. In some cases, certain vaccines may be excluded from your pet’s vaccination regimen, or a different type of vaccine will be used.
“For every 10,000 vaccines administered, there are 13 reactions”
Although your pet may have had the same vaccinations yearly without adverse reaction, you should always take precaution and not assume that this year will be the same. Always monitor your pets for the next few days to ensure that they do not have a reaction. As with any medical procedure, there is always a risk of adverse side effects. When comparing the risk to benefit ratio, the diseases against which we vaccinate can be serious and lethal. The risks associated with vaccinations are small compared to the risk of the developing disease.
Parvo virus, or Parvo, is a common illness that we see here at Craig Road Animal Hospital and in the Las Vegas / North Las Vegas area in general. In this blog post, Craig Road’s own Dr. Tampira goes over the basic treatment and procedures used to help give a puppy the best chance of surviving this life threatening disease.
By Orlena Tampira, DVM
What is it?
Known simply as parvo, parvovirus is the most common infectious disorder of dogs in the United States. The virus is spread through contact with contaminated feces. It is very hardy and can survive freezing temperatures, resistant to many household disinfectants, and can be readily carried on your shoes to new areas.
If my dog is infected with parvo, how would I know?
Once your susceptible dog is exposed to parvo, the virus will grow inside the body for 3-14 days. Once this time has elapsed, your pet will become lethargic, not eat, vomit, and have diarrhea. These symptoms progress rapidly and death can occur as early as two days after initiation of clinical signs. Many other diseases can cause similar signs and it is important to confirm with an elisa test. If the test is negative, however, it means that your dog is not shedding the virus and it may be too early or late in the disease process.
How is it treated?
Parvoviral infection centers on supportive care while the virus runs its course. The goal is to address any clinical problems that arise during the course of the infection. The most important aspect of treatment is fluid therapy. Severe dehydration and electrolyte derangements are caused from the profuse vomiting, diarrhea, and the inability to drink. Antibiotics are warranted because the bacteria are allowed to enter through the ulcerations in the gastrointestinal tract. Gastroprotectants and anti-nausea medications allow your pet to be more comfortable and promote healing of the ulcers. Please do not purchase or administer any medications or supplements without the advice of your veterinarian. They may be harmful and counteract the medications prescribed.
Different options of treatment are hospitalization versus at home care. In the hospital, medications are administered through the vein and under the skin. This allows the medication to be absorbed properly. During at home care, the medications are given through the mouth. The gastrointestinal tract is compromised, however, and absorption is questionable. Hospitalization is far superior to at home care but even despite the best care available, there are no guarantees. The medications and fluids support your dog as the virus progresses.
One ounce of feces has enough viral particles to infect 35,000 dogs
How can we prevent it?
Vaccinations against parvovirus are effective when administered appropriately and consistently. During the initial puppy series, your pet is susceptible to the virus until the series is fully completed; that is why it is so important to limit your pet’s exposure.
Once the virus is in your environment, it is difficult to get rid of. Diluted bleach (1/2 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water) will inactivate the virus. Be sure to clean the area thoroughly before applying the bleach and then allow 10 minutes of contact prior to rinsing the bleach off. Outdoor decontamination can be difficult and can take up to 7 months before the virus dies. If good drainage is available, thorough watering the area will dilute the virus particles.
Parvoviral infection must be considered as a possible diagnosis in any young dog with vomiting and/or diarrhea. With proper hospitalization, survival rates approach 80 percent. Still, there are many myths and misunderstandings about this virus, how it is spread, and how to prevent it.