Puppy Died from DHPP Vaccine
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Thread: Puppy Died from DHPP Vaccine

  1. #1
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    Puppy Died from DHPP Vaccine

    I'm heartbroken, I had to have my 4 1/2 month old puppy put to sleep due to a DHPP vaccine reaction that destroyed her bone marrow. After she received the vaccine (her second set) the first indication of problem was swelling and vomiting, the very next day I took her back to the vet and they gave her two more injections to counteract any allergic reaction. Next day, she still had a large swelling and refused to eat. This launched a two week period of hospitializations and emergency night runs to the 24 hour clinic, once with a 105.5 fever. All of the tests were fine until 5 days later, her cbc was normal but showed she was slightly anemic, she hadn't been eating and was on IV fluids during her hospitalizations. A week later and Pie was so lethargic, the vet did a bone marrow aspiration and discovered Pie was destroying/not making red or white blood cells. She started a transfusion and sent labs out, since it was Saturday the results wouldn't be back until Monday. The vet had ruled out everything but Leukemia which is very rare so we decided to treat for the auto immune reaction as it was the only thing it could be. The next day inspite of the transfusion her red count was down to 10 and although she hadn't fully regained consciousness from the anesthesia given for the bone marrow aspiration, she was beginning to moan. It was time to let her go.
    The vet asked if it were okay to obtain additional bone marrow samples and a liver biopsy. I said whatever you need to keep another puppy from going thru this just do it. Thankfully she covered her bases with this. In the following week my vet has been in contact with the vaccine maker. Their vets are saying they have never seen such a severe reaction where the bone marrow is actually destroyed, immune mediated hemolytic anemia yes but destruction of the ability to make blood cells no. Since we've ruled out anything organic causing the problem the manufacturer is saying the only known substance to cause this is an overdose of a chemotherapy drug or a pharmaceutical grade poison. They have asked my vet to catalog lot numbers and inventory every vaccine she has on hand, want all records and samples. They are also offering to pay for all expenses not just from the vaccine reaction on but from the very beginning, even the puppy food I bought at the vet when I first brought her home.
    This makes me suspicious as hell. I want to know how many other dogs have died from this? Pie was such a sweetheart, dumped with mom and three other nursing puppies at some awful rural kill shelter. Everybody had found homes except for her, she was going to be put down. When I brought her home she was 3 months old, had known no human contact other than someone filling the food bowl, had never walked on anything other than the concrete kennel. She asked for nothing, she deserved so much better than this. She was my companion and went to work with me every day, I can't believe she is gone. I can't tell you how many times I said to the vet... she was fine until she got the vaccine, they won't listen. Well now the vet is a believer and sadly it took my puppy's life to prove it.
    How would I go about finding out if others have lost their dogs to this same "mistake"? I know I was only trying to protect her from deadly diseases but I feel like I betrayed her. My vet summed it up by saying how terrible she felt and that her first vow was to "do no harm".

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  3. #2
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    Wow i bet this was a super rare event, It is possible that if the vaccine needs to be refridgerated the Vet might have not done so properly or the Vaccine makers didn't put enough preservatives into that batch. The fact that they're paying you means there probably won't be a recall of the product if it is defective. Since if it was a widespread event then not recalling the product would not be cost effective.

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    I'm so sorry...many hugs, prayers, and condolences

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    I am so sorry for your loss.
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    Senior Member bigdawgs's Avatar
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    I am sorry to hear about your loss. I have never heard of a vaccine doing anything like this, nor has any of the vets I work for. Usually, a vaccine reaction to DHPP is to the lepto component, it lowers blood sugars and we do not give it to dogs under 10 lbs. Maybe she had an underlying congenital problem that made the vx do this, but I would be interested in hearing the necropsy results.
    Unaltered dogs are at greater health risks, including some cancers. Please spay or neuter your pet!!

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    I am so sorry to hear about your puppy. It is very unfortunate for you that your dog had such a significant reaction to her vaccine. How big was your puppy?

    My toy poodle had a reaction to his first rabies vaccination last year . He was only 2 1/2 lbs. at that time. He is now 5 1/2 lbs and full grown. It caused him to loose his hair follicles at the site of his injection. It took a month for his immune system to react. I thought he had mange or something when I brought him back a month later until my vet told me what it was. I was very surprised to learn from my vet that all dogs no matter what size they are get the same amount of vaccine (at least rabies). I would think it would be more likely to cause reactions in smaller dogs due to that fact alone.

    Anyway, I am now very worried that he will have an even worse reaction next month when he is due his 3 year vaccination. The vet said that they would be giving him a steroid injection first, then they would give the shot and watch him for an hour to make sure he has no immediate life threatening event. (ie anaphylatic shock - throat closing up). I am keeping my fingers crossed that he will be alright. If he has ANY further reaction at all (and lives), he will no longer be able to get a rabies vaccine.

    I will keep you all posted. Wish us luck on Sept 3rd. that is when he is scheduled for his next vaccine.

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    Swimkin my puppy was about 17lbs. The first indication of reaction was the swelling, then vomiting, not eating, lethargy, fever, stumbling. All told, it took two weeks. She would have periods of appearing almost her normal puppy self, to within hours spiking a 105.5 fever and being limp. It took a week for my vet to start focusing on the vaccine as the culprit, and said if it turned out this was what it was she would have to get the steroid's before and after the vaccine. If after 4 years she didn't outgrow this we would stop vaccinating her. I've done alot of research thru this and discovered there is something called at Titer Test, they will do a blood draw and measure for the antibodies your dog has for rabies. Above a certain level a vaccine is not required as your dog already has sufficient Rabies antibodies. If I were you this is what I would do. You can get your vet to explain so you are not violating the law, and if your dog is a house pet, and is unlikely to come in contact with wildlife the chances of him/her getting rabies is slim anyway. Pie hadn't gotten a rabies shot yet, it was the second DHPP vaccine that killed her. Although there are almost instant vaccine reactions there are also reactions that take weeks to build to a life threatening crisis. Ask your vet about the titer test, I would rather do that than play roulette.

    I just want to thank everyone for their kind replies. Bigdawgs, as I find out more info from my vet and the vaccine manufacturer I will post it. As of now they are looking at it as a tainted vaccine, as the manufacturer hasn't seen this type of reaction either. Having ruled out organic causes, the vaccine manufacturer's vet's are concluding that it was either a chemotherapy drug or a pharmaceutical grade poison. Neither of which should have been in the vaccine, how or what is what they are trying to determine. My worry is how many other bad vaccines are out there? I have documented her symptoms and treatment over that two week period, it is rather lengthy but if anyone is interested feel free to email me. ubenframed@cinci.rr.com

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    correct vaccine

    I hate to read that you lost your loved pup but I wanted to suggest that you ask you vet if they are sure your puppy received the correct vaccine, and not one meant for another species. Just like human hospitals, mistakes can be made in vet offices. I don't want to point blame but hopefully you will get answers and closure soon.
    I hope this does not discourage you from vaccinating future pets, as this circimstance is unique and vaccinations are important for young dogs. Take care.

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    Bigdawgs, the vaccine maker is Shering Plough. They are still investigating.
    Doghaireverywhere, I love the name by the way. It is what was in the DHPP vaccine that the manufacturer is questioning, not that the wrong one was given. Their willingness to take responsibility tells me it was something on the manufacturing level. I will continue to get my dogs vaccinated, but I will become proactive in their vaccination. No longer will I believe that it as innocuous as some vets tell you. I also will consider getting the Titre test, and will no longer vaccinate my dogs over 10 years of age. This has truly opened my eyes. And if ever I take my healthy dog for a vaccination and within two days have a lethargic, feverish dog I will demand that the vet consider the vaccination FIRST, or I will find one who will. This has been an extremely heart breaking experience for me, and I am angry at the fact that most vets will not even acknowledge a relation between the symptoms and the vaccine. It was two weeks into everyother night hospitilizations before my vet made the connection. It was the absolute last thing they examined, even though I kept saying... she was fine until the vaccine. Thankfully she took post death tissue samples or this could have been another unexplained death that happened to coincide with a vaccine but not blamed on the vaccine.

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    I have read a ton of articles about the vaccines. The studies are showing that vaccines do not need to be given as often as vets say. All the studies show that every 2 to 3 years is sufficient. Unfortunately, if you board your pet clinics require yearly vaccines.

    Thanks for the heads up though. Horrible situation! I am really sorry that you lost your pet.

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    Sorry to hear that, Linda.

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    Re: Puppy Died from DHPP Vaccine

    I am so sorry to hear about your puppy!

    It seems to be more common than I ever realized. I too had my dog vaccinated about a week ago and she went into anaphyalactic shock and almost died. She had the shot last year and was fine. It was horrible. My mother-in-law had the exact same thing happen with her cat after her distemper shot.

    Everyone else please be aware of the symptoms-in animals it is usually a drop in blood pressure and not necessarily airway constriction like people get with anaphylaxis. Usually vomiting and diarrhea within a half hour of getting the shot. She was vomiting and then laying down and just loosing her bowels. She was panting heavily and her tongue was white. Stay near your vet's office after the shot! Had we gone home she may not have made it.

    They gave her epinephrine, steroids, iv fluids and oxygen for several hours, then I had to give her benadryl for two days afterward.

    I am so sorry for your loss. It is a terrible experience.

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    Re: Puppy Died from DHPP Vaccine

    I'm very sorry for your loss. We lost a 6 year old greyhound to leukemia (well, technically myelodysplasia) in January...same symptoms as your puppy though. Just over a week of hospitilization and 2 transfusions. She simply wasn't making any red blood cells and her body shredded any that were transfused into her.

    Before we knew what was wrong, the vet had talked about immune mediated hemolytic anemia which can sometimes (rarely) result from a vaccination (IMHA can also spontaneously occur). Basically, the immune system just goes into super over-drive.

    We only vaccinate every three years (titers are fairly worthless IMO).

    I hope you find some answers that give you comfort.
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    Re: Puppy Died from DHPP Vaccine

    Sorry for your loss.

    I never give those combo shots anymore, they are dangerous. Mine only get a couple of distemper/parvo and then a rabies, and that's all for them.

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    Re: Puppy Died from DHPP Vaccine

    I am so very sorry!

    Years back a veterinarian that owns a large kennel lost many many puppies due to a vaccine that was not up to par. It is rare, but it does happen. I am so very sorry.

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    Re: Puppy Died from DHPP Vaccine

    Um, guys...this thread was from 2006.

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    Re: Puppy Died from DHPP Vaccine

    Well I am sorry it was from 2006. I am still sorry and it looks like people are still interested. I wonder why it wasn't closed? Hmmm

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    Re: Puppy Died from DHPP Vaccine

    LOL I didn't pay any attention. ;-)

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    Re: Puppy Died from DHPP Vaccine

    Quote Originally Posted by coldwaterlabs
    Well I am sorry it was from 2006. I am still sorry and it looks like people are still interested. I wonder why it wasn't closed? Hmmm
    No need to get snarky about it... I only mentioned it because I am pretty sure the OP wouldn't get your condolences.
    Last edited by BoxMeIn21; 04-07-2009 at 07:04 PM.

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    Re: Puppy Died from DHPP Vaccine

    I went through this about 2 months ago. My 5 month old siberian husky passed away after a month of being ill. She would eat but would not move much, started limping on her front leg and sometimes had problems with the rear legs. She also was severe anemic at the end and started bleeding from the nose. She had no shots around the time she first became ill and they never did find out what the cause was.

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