Medical Update & Odd News
As promised, here’s a quick update from Lilly’s wellness exam last week. Her first with our new family veterinarian. I’ve already reported on the behavioral side of our visit, so here is the physiological news of note.
#1 – Lilly may have a heart murmur. It’s just a whisper, not a definitive diagnosis, but something our new doc wants to listen for every time she sees Lilly. Considering my mom’s ongoing heart drama, this freaks me out some, so I’m happy to hear any input on what this might mean. I haven’t had time to research it.
#2 – Lilly had another vaccine reaction. This makes three times, as I recall. She had a rough time after her first round of “adult” boosters. She had a rough time about three years ago. And, now this one. My assumption had been that the reaction came from giving all the vaccines at once. So, this year, I spread them out. She had rabies in January with no issues, so I figured were were golden. But, this DALPP (distemper/hepatitis/leptospirosis/parvo/parainfluenza) caused a big bump and lethargy.
I’ve noted before that I generally follow the AAHA Vaccination Guidelines, but just to be sure, I asked again. Rabies can be given every three years. Most of the things in the distemper combo can be given every 3 years, but this Lepto one is needed every year. Lepto is pretty big here, especially with our pond and wildlife, so it’s important. It’s likely the one in the combo causing trouble.
So, I guess we’ll only give Lepto alone for the next couple years, with benedryl and maybe a steriod injection to counter or prevent a reaction.
If necessary, we could test for titers on the others in the meantime, but honestly the efficacy is much longer than you’d expect based on the old idea of giving everything every year.
#3 – They are recommending we get Lilly the rattlesnake vaccine. I guess it’s a two-shot series the first year, then (I believe) annual boosters after that. Not sure on cost. I’ve heard from friends/colleagues that there is some research out of Western University on the vaccine that shows some protection in the case of a bite. It might help counteract some of the venom, if she gets bitten again, but a bite is still a major emergency. I tried finding the reserach on Medline, but I had no luck. I emailed the company last week, asking for data, but I have not heard back.
If it weren’t for the vaccine reactions noted above, I’d be less hesistent about this option. It’s something to think about for sure.
#4 – We’re putting Lilly on heartworm medicine, with combo tummy parasite control. Because of the growing threat of heartworm, and because Lilly is such a rodent hunter, our new doc thinks it’s better to be safe.
HOWEVER, and I suspect I’m the last border collie person to know this, but Heartguard (or any medicine that contains ivermectin) can cause trouble for any kind of collie breed and some other herding dogs. Holy cow! I had NO idea.
So, we went with Interceptor instead.
#5 – We did a slew of bloodwork, including a fancy thryoid test (free T4 by ED). The second doc who saw us for the vaccine reaction gave me a quick look at the results. Despite a few things being out of range (a pancreas thing, high cholesterol, highish white cell count, etc.), he said there wasn’t anything of concern. I should have asked for a copy of the results and more time to chat, but I had a million other things to worry about, and I didn’t want to eat up his time since they squeezed Lilly in and did not charge us for the second visit.
So, I’ll see if I can get more info down the road.
Ginko is due for his exam soon too, so I can ask for a copy then … maybe.