Taking Your Dog to the Vet in the Middle of the Night

I look through my bloggy friends’ posts today and see all sorts of neat summer stuff: bbq recipes, trips to zoos, picnic stories…then you get to me, a story about a taking your dog to the vet in the middle of the night!

Ahhhh, thank goodness for CareCredit, right? (If you are unaware of this amazing program for pet owners, please check it out here. I am unaffiliated with them, other than being a cardholder, and am simply sharing the information in case you haven’t heard about it. It’s a simple application process you can do while in the vet’s office and will give you interest-free payment options for veterinary bills. OH SO handy to have on hand. You can read about my Yorkie princess’s history here; it’ll help you understand why my husband calls her The Investment and why I am so cautious and protective with her healthcare. Let’s just put it this way: $15,000 and a lot of heartache followed-up with a happy, healthy spunky Yorkie who lives life like a puppy again.)

taking your dog to the vet

We took her into the vet’s office yesterday afternoon for her DA2PP vaccine — distemper, parvovirus, etc. Now, I am not a big fan of vaccinations without education so I’d looked into the DTP shot…just not that particular 4-in-1. (I selectively vaccinate my children, breaking necessary vaccines into lower doses so as not to shock their immune systems. It works for us: they are protected, others are protected and we avoid side-effects like we saw on earlier versions of combo vaxes.)

That’s my dirty little secret…though it’s not so much a secret. I realize this is a controversial decision, but my children are very healthy, rarely get ill, and it’s a personal choice we can all make, so please, no negative commentary or attempts to persuade and I’ll do the same! I know as much about human vaccines as anyone can learn aside from going to medical school..and even doctors will point out the fine print that there are side-effects to vaccines, good reading if you’re interested.  I was unaware it was a 4-in-1 until afterwards, and I trusted it as I love my pets and we get all their vaccines, heartworm medications, anti-flea meds..you name it.

Between the two dogs, we’ve spent approximately $19k in the last two years on their care, as my son’s service dog has torn out both back ACLs and we had them repaired. He has a bionic knee now!  Our pets are pampered and get the best of everything, so you can imagine that a side-effect can freak me out.

Which it did, at 1:30 in the morning when I woke up and she was shaking. She’d been pretty hyper before bedtime, but that’s not entirely unusual — it just usually doesn’t happen that late. We joked that she’d had caffeine and played with her some more thinking she’d burn it off. However, at 1:30, she was not only jumpy but she felt warm. I tried to bring the temp down a smidge, but at 3am, pup daddy decided we couldn’t wait until 8am anymore and it was time to take her to the emergency vet. After a quick text to my daughter who had used that vet a couple of months  ago (for her sweet puppy who has epilepsy) I had the name, number and directions, and my little dude and I were on our way with Missie the Yorkie. I made the trip in about 10-12 minutes…and there were a surprising number of cars on the freeway at 330am, especially by the airport.

They did an exam and could find nothing. No signs of pain, tissue looked good, tummy was soft, heart/lungs, it was all good. The vet gave me the option to run some bloodwork to rule out anything weird, and we took him up on it. $237 later, we have a pup with excellent levels — including her kidney, which is awesome as she only has one kidney and it’s always the first thing I think about when she acts different — and absolutely no signs of anything other than the shaking. A quick call to the specialty vet in SC yielded us more info, and a few hours later, it’s looking like she’s having site pain and possibly a reaction to the shot. You do these things to save their life and to see it cause them pain? It’s so hard. You know the risks are there — in any medical treatment and/or vaccine — but you always hope it’s not your kids or your pups. But, someone has to be the few, right?

She’s laying here next to me, cuddled on the RV table bench. The compresses seem to help. After talking with three vets, everyone agrees to give her a couple of days for shot side-effects to go away, and if she’s still shaking, take her back. And of course, if anything changes for the worse before then, take her sooner. Thankfully, we’re a lot closer to good vets here than we were in SC. We had a couple of good local vets there, too, but they didn’t take care of a lot of the higher-risk issues, like kidney problems and badly torn ACLs. I do not miss the 2.5 hour drive with a sick or injured dog.

She’s going to get a lot of cuddles today, as she catches up on her rest from a night with little sleep. And I might do the same later. Two cups of caffeine..I mean, coffee…later, and I’m only on the edge of sleepy. We’ll see where that goes in a few hours.

Keep her in your thoughts for a complete, quick recuperation! She’s a sweetheart who is the puppy love of my life. Taking your dog to the vet in the middle of the night can be expensive, but it can also be lifesaving or in the very least, educating. Our pups rely on us, so it’s the least we can do, right?

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    1. Thank you, Christy! The compresses seem to be helping. She’s not shaking now and she’s been sleeping a lot. She wakes up and shows interest, but then shakes again sometimes so I think she’s getting better. This was the first shot side-effect with any of the dogs, I was totally unprepared. Your little one is smart! They totally know how to get us, they just don’t know how important that stuff is.

  1. Indeed they are! It feels like so often, things like that happen in the middle of the night and you’re left wondering on how to handle it: wait until morning? Go now? Then there’s the cost! Thank you — pup’s doing wonderful now! (And thanks for posting!)

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