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Ask the Veterinarian/My dog is not himself after recent vet visit


Hi. I am concerned about my dog. I took him to the vet yesterday afternoon for his annual check up and the doctor gave him two shots (one for rabies and one for heartworm prevention) and did a blood test. I was unhappy because we were not told our regular vet was on vacation and would not be there, and another doctor we did not know was filling in for him. But we didn't want to be rude or offend anyone so we decided to just let the doctor who was on call do the exam. Anyway, my dog has not been himself since. He is a Jack Russell/Poodle mix and normally very energetic (bordering on hyper!) but he has been tired and lethargic, doesn't come when called and won't eat (he normally has a good appetite). He backside is also very tender and sore (he growls if you go near that area). We called and the receptionist said to give it a day, but I'm really worried and my regular vet is away all of next week as well! Is this normal? Could he have had a negative reaction to the drugs he was given? I checked the bill from last year and nothing different was done, and he didn't have this problem last year. Should I take him in again if this persists? If so, I'm not sure whether I should go back there or take him somewhere else since I did not really feel comfortable with the vet who is taking his regular vet's place although perhaps that is just because I am so used to dealing with him (we've had him for many years). My dog is nearly two years old so still a puppy, in case that information is relevant. We all adore him, and would be devastated if something were to happen to him. I recall hearing a story where the vet made a mistake and accidentally euthanized a perfectly healthy dog, or where the animal was given the wrong drug and ended up getting sick or dying. And so I am very worried. Thank you very much for your time doctor.

Hi Lisa,
Usually there are no side effects/reactions to anti rabies shots except in very few cases..You didn't mention what kind of medicine was used as heart worm preventive.Some of the medicines used orally / topically/systemically for heart worm preventive do have side effects like loss of appetite and lethargy,in a few  animals.
Hence check all these things comprehensively and if you feel that the symptoms are not fading or rather aggravating, a veterinary consultation would be ideal.


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Dr S Bindu Anand


Large and Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Farm Management,Preventive medicine


A Senior Veterinary Surgeon with more than 25 years’ experience in the field of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry. Mixed animal Practice that will utilize my skills in medicine and surgery, public health, client relations, and developing relationships within the community, such as humane society

Veterinary Consultant with Department of Animal Resources,Ministry of Environment,State of Qatar (Present). Animal Husbandry Department, Government of Kerala, India. Oakland's Park, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Severnside Veterinary Center, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Saud Bahwan Group, Sultanate of Oman. Trivandrum Regional Co-operative Milk Producers Union,Kerala,India.

BVSc & AH (Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry) 1990. College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Mannuthy, Thrissur, Kerala, India under Kerala Agricultural University. Certificates Of Accomplishments- Equine Nutrition- University of Edinburgh Principles of Public Health-University of California, Irvine. AIDS- Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. General Environmental Health – EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Food Protection-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Zoonoses:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Food Safety:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Occupational Safety and Health-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Rabies Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Animal Handler & Vaccinator Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Wildlife Conservation-United for Wildlife

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