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Vaccine Clinic Nearly Kills 8-Year-Old Chihuahua

August 16, 2010
brown and tan chihuahua

Coughing Chihuahua Gets Six Vaccines!

If you want to do the right thing, you might try to save money with a pet vaccine clinic

Well-meaning people try really hard to do right by their pets.  Linda was one of those people.  Disabled, spending almost her whole day in her wheelchair, on a tightly fixed income, and loving her companion Chihuahua, Charlie, more than anyone else on planet Earth, Linda needed to save money to keep Charlie healthy.

These vaccines might be cheap, but you’re getting 6 to 13 of them!

Linda took Charlie to a vaccine clinic set up at a local pharmacy.  A veterinarian gave the rabies vaccine and issued the rabies certificate.  An assistant gave a distemper, parvovirus. hepatitis, parainfluenza vaccine (“distemper” vaccine), which also contained coronavirus vaccine.  They also gave a bordetella vaccine, flu vaccine, lyme disease vaccine, and leptospirosis (3-in-one) vaccine.  Six jabs.  Thirteen antigens.  Linda approved these vaccines because she believed Charlie needed vaccines to stay healthy.

Not only are some vaccines unnecessary, without the right boosters, the vaccines are also USELESS!

No one told Linda the lyme, leptospirosis, and flu vaccines needed boosters in 2-4 weeks because it was the first time Charlie was ever getting them and the immune system would not activate and reach full potential protection until after a booster shot.  So those vaccines were essentially useless.  No one told Linda coronavirus until causes clinically detectable disease in puppies under 8 weeks old.  No one told Linda Rabies and Distemper are available in a three-year vaccine, so she didn’t technically have to keep coming back to the vaccine clinic every year.  No one suggested a seven pound Chihuahua maybe shouldn’t have 6 jabs, or 13 antigens on the same day.  The whole thing was over in about 10 minutes.  Start to finish.  Paid.  Dog rabies and license certificate and all.  Maybe ten minutes.

Coughing Charlie Lands in the Pet Emergency Room

Doc Truli looked into the first examination room.  Linda’s wheelchair filled the doorway.  Linda’s neighbor sat in the room on a chair, waiting to see what Doc Truli would say.  Charlie perched on Linda’s kneecap, lunging and snarling at Doc’s gestured hand of friendship.  Obviously, Linda’s lap was Charlie’s natural habitat, and he did not want to leave the lap!

Then Charlie coughed.  A big hacking, gasping, wheezing, slightly gurgling fit of coughing that caught his breath, turned his tongue blue, and made his ribs heave in and out like a wood fire bellows in a medieval blacksmith’s shop.  Charlie nearly fell over from the effort.  He couldn’t take much more.

Doc scooped Charlie up, listening to his chest sounds through the stethoscope while quick-walking him to the oxygen support chamber.  “Lasix, stat!” ordered Doc Truli.

Linda was in tears, so worried about her Chihuahua friend.

Charlie chilled out in the oxygen and breathed easier.  Doc ordered chest x-rays , an intravenous access line, more lasix, and some laboratory tests to make sure Charlie could handle the medications.

Doc Truli returned to Linda, bound to her wheelchair, unable even to roll into the treatment room and see her little buddy; the door frame blocked her chair wheels.

Doc knew she’d have two patients on her hands if she didn’t reassure Linda.  And quick!

“I Told the Vaccine Doctor About the Cough, How Could This Happen?”

A distraught, worried dog mom, Linda bursted with — it seemed like — 1,000 questions.

brown and tan chihuahua with outie helicopter ears

"How could you?"

“How could this happen?  I just took him to the vet.  I keep all his shots up to date.  I’m a good dog owner, I swear! But I told the other vet he was coughing, they didn’t seem worried.  How could this happen so fast?”

In the midst of the panic, Doc Truli figured out that Charlie had been to a vaccine clinic two days before the emergency.  Linda told the clinic assistant that Charlie was coughing, but instead of notifying the vet, and maybe advising a trip to a regular veterinarian and holding on the vaccines, the assistant just thought they’d better add bordetella and flu vaccine to the protocol (they have something to do with coughing, right?)

Your Pet Does Not Receive a Check-up at a Vaccine Clinic

“But I though they checked Charlie before giving the shots,” said Linda.

“They do not,” replied Doc Truli.  “Ideally, the vaccine clinic staff should quickly screen out sick-looking pets, or pets who seem like they might have an illness, but really, only consultation with a licensed veterinarian can decide if a pet is well enough to receive vaccines.”

The Vaccine Clinic Staff May Legally Vaccinate Your Dog if You Hire Them to do So

Linda believed, as many people do, that the vet would not give the vaccines if her pet was sick.  Not being a veterinarian herself, she had no way of knowing that the vet could not tell in a few minutes.  Linda thought she was helping Charlie by taking him to the vaccine place.

In fact, Linda spent all of her meager savings on useless vaccines Charlie did not need and would not have boostered, meanwhile, her dog had terrible dental disease which led to a heart murmur, mitral valve disease, and heart failure.

Thankfully, Good Samaritans Help Out

Linda’s neighbor, the emergency room staff, Doc Truli, and a client in the waiting room all pitched in to offer Linda a loan to pay for some tests and medicines for Charlie.  Linda cried in gratefulness, and even though it took her 6 months, she paid back every penny.

Such a shame this loving woman had to go into debt after the vaccine clinic ignored her requests for help and wasted her money on useless jabs!

A trusted veterinarian can save you thousands of dollars!

She no longer frequents quickie, cheap vaccine clinics.  Charlie actually received a county exemption, with your Truli’s help, and no longer needs any vaccines whatsoever.  His heart condition is stable, and volunteers continue to donate the expensive heart medications so that Charlie can stay with Linda as long as possible.

Someday we’ll lose Charlie.  But not today!

Next time on VirtuaVet : Tell us more about those license exemptions!

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