Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Always Expect the Unexpected

So, yesterday I told all of you how good Hermione's general health was and that she had received her second set of vaccinations. Well, after I posted that post things got a bit weird and scary as the night progressed. Eventually, Mr. K and I landed in the emergency vet clinic at 1 AM with our little girl with, what we think, was a horrible neurological reaction to the vaccinations.
Upon arriving home yesterday afternoon, Hermione seemed a bit off, but I just assumed it was due to her shots. Most puppies get a bit lethargic  and sleep. So, I didn't think much of her curling up on my feet and sleeping for two hours. If I had ben able to see, I may have noticed little strange things going on with her, but as I cannot and I didn't want to disturb her sleep by touching her, it wasn't until I fed the dogs their supper that I noticed something was not right.
First of all, Hermione loves supper time. Usually, she bounces around the kitchen while i prepare everyone's meals and tries climbing the cupboards. She can also be a bit vocal, which we are working on. Last night, I put her down in the kitchen as per normal and she went skittering off into the bathroom. I didn't take much notice as there is a puppy pad in there and I thought that perhaps she had to go. Vaccinations, after all, usually give puppies messy poop. She did come out for her own food, but only after I scooped her up and showed her that it was there. She sat as she always  does, but she didn't eat all of her food until I pointed out to her that there was a bit  left. She scarfed that down and I thought all was good.
I ran Glacier and Roscoe out to "park" and when I was finished, I picked up Hermione and went to sit on the couch with her. She sat in my lap, but wouldn't lay down. Her face was twitching and she seemed to be looking for something or maybe listening. It was like she was twitching from a caffeine high. I sat and petted her and she eventually lay down, but it was only for five minute periods.   I told mr. K and although he was concerned, he figured that she was just having a hard time with the vaccinations.
The evening progressed with Tenie coming over and saying that Hermione's eyes were unfocused and again, that she looked like she was "tweaking." I tried to hold her, but she just couldn't sit still. I'd put her down and she'd run off somewhere and just sit and stare and twitch. By 9.30 I was getting worried and tried to take her to bed. I thought that if I could get her to relax a bit, she'd get better. Her heart had been racing and as I laid in bed with her sitting beside me, still twitching, I could feel it pounding away. That was concerning me.
How long could a little puppy's heart race for before there was permanent damage or something worse happened?
I slept on and off between the time I laid down and midnight when Mr. K came to bed. I kept getting up and taking Hermione out to go to the bathroom as she kept skittering around on the bed and I didn't want her to go there, but she wouldn't go. She'd just sit down and make little sad noises. My heart was breaking and I was so worried about her. Mr. K finally realised how bad it had gotten when he came in and Hermione wouldn't stay still.
I had made a make-shift crate for her on the floor with her bed and she just couldn't settle. Mr. K tried bringing her up with us again, but she was so unsettled there   was no way any of us would sleep. He felt her heart and told me to call the emergency vet.
My first phone call was to describe her symptoms and ask if they had any idea what was going on. The vet obviously said she couldn't diagnose over the phone, but that I shouldn't feed her anything and that I should take her outside just in case she had a fever. Mr. K and I discussed it further, baring in mind that an emergency vet visit would set us back quite a bit financially. In the end, we decided that despite the 108 pound examination fee, Hermione needed to be seen. I called the vet back and we took a cab to the clinic.
Upon arriving the vet met us and showed us back to an examination room where she checked Hermione's eyes, heart and temperature. She wasn't running a fever, but her heart was definitely racing. She mentioned the potential for the heart murmur again. She placed Hermione on the floor to see what her response was and Hermione did what she had been doing at home; scurrying away and sitting in a corner, twitching. She wasn't very responsive to kissie noises or snapping, which is highly unlike Hermione. She would look at you if you called her name, but that was about it. The vet said she would give her a sedative to help her calm down and see if that helped. Originally, she was going to send Hermione home, but since Hermione's condition had gotten progressively worse over the night, she decided to keep Hermione in for observation.
Mr. K and I took a cab back without our little girl. I wasn't too happy about it, but it made me feel better knowing she would be watched over night and that she was in the right place if anything else should happen.
This morning, the vet called and said that she had settled down quite a bit. She still seemed a bit "buzzy," but that she had improved greatly; avoiding   obstacles on the floor, eating her breakfast and seeking human attention. All of this sounded more like our Hermione. The vet advised that we should leave her in for another 24 hours since Hermione had been displaying neurological symptoms, but that he expected a full recovery.  He had even called the vaccine company to see if any other dogs had had similar reactions to the vaccinations,  but they said there hadn't been. He was concerned since we didn't know the origin of her symptoms and asked if we wanted to do blood tests. Mr. K and I discussed it and felt as though the blood tests weren't necessary at this time. There was a very specific cause and effect reaction that we noticed and we were pretty certain that something that had been given to Hermione had caused her tweaking. I also told the vet that I had forgotten to mention that I had given Hermione Benadryl to try to stop an allergic reaction. I also mentioned that I had no idea when I gave it to her that it was Benadryl Plus and he said he'd research it and get back to me.
This afternoon I called for an update and the vet said he'd looked into the Benadryl Plus. Apparently there is a stimulant in it that can cause quite a few of the symptoms that Hermione was exhibiting. He figures that with the Benadrl Plus stimulant, the vaccinations and all of the stress, Hermione's little puppy nervous system was overloaded and she reacted accordingly. He said he feels that he can sleep better at night knowing where the cause lies as he was concerned that her reaction was due to something wrong in her brain, which would obviously require further diagnostic testing. He said that she seems to be settling quite nicely and that I could phone back in the  evening for an update.
I feel horrible knowing that I caused some of Hermione's troubles. If I had known that it was Benadryl Plus, I never would have given it to her. That said, what is done is done and the best part is that she is okay and that there doesn't seem to be any permanent damage. I definitely want her home sooner than later, but I think another night in a quiet, calm environment would do her some good. Not to mention, maybe I'll get some sleep tonight.
Moral of the story: no matter how much you think you know about something, there is always more to learn.
I am just so relieved that she is going to be okay. Hermione has only been with us for two and a half weeks, but that little fluff ball has already tied very thick strings to my heart.


Jen said...

Waw, that must have been scarey. Hopefully another night at the vet will help her get back to normal quickly.

Casey said...

I'm so glad Hermione is all right! Emergency vet trips are always scary. Don't beat yourself up too much, though. Everyone makes mistakes, and that sounds like an easy one to make!

The Websters said...

That sounds really scary! You get some good rest tonight (or is it already night there) and give us all an update in the morning.

Nadja Öberg said...


Poor little Hermione, I really feel for her! I am glad that the veterinarian says that she will heal completely. It must have been terrible for you and Mr K but I do not think you shall blame yourself too much, everyone makes mistakes. I wish little H a speedy recovery so she can return home, I guess you all miss her very much!

Kind regards,

chicamom85 said...

I am sorry that happened. I bet that was scary and I am glad its over. It is actually good to know these things about benedryl, there is always something to learn with these pups.

Loveys Sasha Anne

The Pawpower Pack said...

Oh Jess, *hugs* how stressful and scary. I'm glad she's going to be ok. I'm sending her good thoughts. I hope you can sleep.

Team Beaglebratz said...

Mom here - It is so hard for us moms (and dads too sometimes) to not beat ourselves up but most of the time we are really just doing what we think is best for our fur-babies. I blame myself for what Shiloh is going through now - even tho it was him who was trying to get out through the fence - I feel like if I had done a better job of blocking it. I also have really bad problems maintaining an upright balance and it doesn't take much to topple me or at least make me work harder to stay uprite. I keep a harness on Shiloh when he is outside so when he acted like he was trying to get thru the fence, the harness makes it easier for me to grab him and pull him back into the yard. But I had to maintain my hold on him to get him to the house (if I had only taken a leash) Between Shiloh struggling to get away from me and me trying to stay upright, I figure that is what caused him the biggest problem and probably strained his neck and shoulder muscles. In other words, neither of us intended to cause our dogs problems- they were accidents and we both learned a bit. Bet Hermione will love you just as much as before - she will be so happy when she gets back home with her "mom & dad". Shiloh on the other hand, I know he loves me but he is sure giving me that "poor me" look that says "you did this to me"
By the way, the Valentine's Day Co-Queen Shasta (she insists on being called that) did receive her lovely collar with the crown bling on it and here is the post in case you missed it=>

It was on 3/7/12
So glad to hear Hermione is better - hope to see an update when she gets home.

Amber DaWeenie said...

Hi Jess...Just got over here to read about what happened since I got your email earlier. The good part about this is that you discovered what seemed to cause the problems. And now the vet knows what he has to do to correct it. She'll be home well and happy before you know it. And perhaps that heart murmur that was heard earlier was also due to the Benedryl. Once it's all out of her system, she can return to normal again.

Nola said...

That's terrifying! Poor puppy, I'm glad she's okay
Dachshund Nola

The Cat From Hell said...

Poor Family! We feels for yous! Thanks for sharing as I have given Benadryl to our dogs when they get shots!
Nellie's Mom

Mango said...

None of us are perfect dog parents and we all do the best we can. The only important thing in all of this is how attentive you are to your little one and that you took her to the emergency room as soon as you knew that something serious was going on. Live and learn.

Mango Momma