Veterinary Treatment Decisions: Get in the Game, Ditch the Blame

Those of you who’ve been following our saga — both before Lilly suffered vaccine-induced brain inflammation and after — may have noticed (or not) that you have NOT seen a whole lot of BLAME going around here on Champion of My Heart.

Sure, I’ve posted a rant here and there, but they were based on one-time situations that made me cranky … a deliberate legal act / insult or an inexplicably rude encounter in my quest to get Lilly the best possible care.

But, what you have NOT seen me do is pretty important!

I have not become a rampant anti-vaccine crusader.

I have not accused my veterinarian nor written off the entire veterinary profession, as negligent, in cahoots with vaccine makers, or other slurs.

I have not named nor indicted the vaccine or the vaccine maker … even though I asked them to take some responsibility and wished they had made a better financial settlement offer.

Often as Lilly’s case gets more mainstream press or social medial attention, folks whose pets have suffered equally terrible adverse vaccine reactions contact me and want me to join their fight, to sign their petition, to crusade against the veterinary profession.

I’ve not done any of that for a couple reasons:

  1. Lilly is still in a fight for her life, and that’s my top priority.
  2. I’m exhausted and don’t have time.
  3. I’m not keen about getting on the blame-o-rama rollercoaster.

Even in my holy-crap moments, I’ve tried to focus on education, including this post: What I didn’t know and when I didn’t know it.

best dog blog champion of my heart blame graphicThe rabies vaccine caused this problem we now face, but blame? You won’t find any here. For me, cause and effect and blame aren’t the same thing. It just isn’t in my heart.

I make veterinary decisions in collaboration with our veterinarians. When things go wrong, we’re ALL in the game.


Plus, anti-veterinary rhetoric fueled by emotion in emergency or surprising situations — especially in our current social climate — might lead to even worse things happening. I saw this in the news this week >> Man threatens Oklahoma veterinary hospital after cat’s death. 



7 thoughts on “Veterinary Treatment Decisions: Get in the Game, Ditch the Blame

  1. January 16, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Well, there is neglect, screw-ups, and incidents. In case of incidents, it’s not REALLY anybody’s fault. When Jasmine almost died due to a drug-induced hyperthermia, it was an incident. There was no reason under the sun to expect that to happen. It just happened. It was clearly nobody’s fault.

    There are cases, though, when bad things happening ARE somebody’s fault and in such cases somebody should be held responsible.
    Jana Rade recently posted..Back To Where We Were Last May? Why Do These Things Keep Happening To Jasmine?My Profile

    1. January 17, 2013 at 9:17 am


  2. January 12, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    I commend you for not playing the blame game. I honestly don’t know that I could have restrained myself in the same situation. I’ve followed your blog since before Lilly got sick, and I’ve told a lot of people about her situation. I’ve also told them that you haven’t ranted against vaccinations and that you’ve shared the downsides of Lilly’s not being vaccinated. There are definitely two sides to Lilly’s story, as there are two sides to the benefits (and risks) of vaccinations–and you’ve been more than fair in sharing both (a damn good trait for a journalist!). Keep strong!

  3. January 11, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Roxanne, I totally admire you for not getting into the blame game. It doesn’t help move us forward, only education can.

    This past summer when my Katie had her rabies shot I had to take her back 3 days later because of her reaction. The vet gave her a shot and allergy meds for me to put her on. Although the same thing happened three years ago they didn’t check the chart carefully enough and missed the note. I also forgot about her mild reaction. This time the vet put a big note on her chart to give her the allergy meds at the same time. Because of what I have learned from you I know I won’t forget to make sure the vet is aware of her reaction. Thank you for educating me and hopefully many others.
    Janice Scissors recently posted..Does Your “To Do List” Have Tasks or Opportunities On It?My Profile

    1. January 11, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      Thanks, Janice. We did the same thing with Lilly. She only EVER got 1 vaccine at a time. We ALWAYS gave her both antihistamines AND steroids before any vaccine, and she still got into trouble this time, so keep a real eye on it, and talk to your veterinarian about your options. When you are only doing certain vaccines every 3 years, it’s easy to forget there was minor trouble before.

  4. January 11, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    I can understand why you’re not getting into that fight on the blog. But do you think that you posting about your struggle kind of gotten people thinking against vaccination?

    When Lulu had her reaction I posted about it and my findings. I just wonder if this is something that needs more discussion because animals can get so sick and it may not even be necessary.
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    1. January 11, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      Thanks, Christine. Discussion? Absolutely. But, raging, screaming, conspiracy theory blame? Not so much. I definitely want people to know this is possible, and I definitely want them to talk in detail with their veterinary team about their pet’s specific vaccination needs and risks, especially if their pet has EVER had even a seemingly MINOR adverse vaccine reaction.

      I cannot control if people feel more anti-vaccine because of our case. I’ve made really clear that just because Lilly can NEVER have another vaccine that doesn’t mean I’m saying your dogs shouldn’t either.

      Have you seen this really good discussion over at AngryVet >> For the Good of the Herd?

      There is much to talk about, but when those talks cross over into an indictment of ALL vaccines or ALL veterinarians, then that’s not where I’m going to go. I understand the people who do. That’s just not my personal bag.