I love Cavalier King Charles spaniels. They are cuddly and very sweet and loving. However, I don't want my corgis to look like them. That's what happened, though, a couple of weeks ago.
Gael went to the veterinarian's for her annual checkup and her vaccinations. Knowing that occasionally dogs (and cats) may have a reaction to a shot, I almost suggested that she just get either the rabies shot or the distemper-parvo shot and I'd reschedule the other one. Instead, she got both shots, and a "kennel cough" shot.
Her appointment was at 9:30 a.m., and we went home and everything was fine. Then, after lunch, I was giving both dogs a dog biscuit, and I thought Gael's mouth looked funny. Sometimes the upper lip will get caught on a tooth and, that's what I thought had happened with Gael. However, about 15 minutes later, I heard Jim comment on Gael's mouth, and I knew then that there was a problem. Sure enough, her muzzle had swollen, giving her a broad, soft muzzle, very much like a Cavalier King Charles spaniel.
Gael didn't seem to mind the puffiness at all, but I was concerned. I wasn't yet hysterical because she seemed to be breathing just fine. A quick call to the vet, and the advice was to give her a Benadryl and to call back in an hour if the swelling hadn't gone down.
It hadn't, so we returned to the animal hospital for a shot. By bedtime, Gael's muzzle was almost back to normal. I gave her another Benadryl and by morning, she looked like a corgi again.
I'm not sure if the puffy face was because of the shots, or if she had annoyed a bee and gotten stung. Either way, since her breathing wasn't affected, I wasn't terrified. I did, however, check out pet-informed-veterinary-advice-online.com/vaccine-side-effects.html to get a little more information on pet reaction to vaccines. There's information about both cats and dogs on this site if you're looking for more information.
A puffy face is one of the least problematic reactions, which was good news. The not-so-good news is that the next time Gael gets her shots she may not have any reaction at all, she may have the same reaction, or, she may have "a severe anaphylactic reaction " Yikes.
So, next year, the good news is that she'll only need the distemper-parvo combination shot, so there won't be the rabies shot. I will wait at the vet's for a half hour or so to see if she's going to have a problem. If she has trouble breathing, I don't want to be at home when that happens. I want to be where she will get immediate help. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes up to 24 hours for a reaction, and I don't imagine I can stay at the vet's quite that long. The website article suggests giving an antihistamine before the dog receives the shot, and I hope to remember to do that, too.
Gael's not my first dog to have a reaction to a shot, but she's the only one who has ever puffed up. Years ago, one of the other dogs had a slight lump at the site of the injection. It didn't bother the dog, and it disappeared within a couple of days. A lump is not something to worry about unless it continues to get larger, or, if your dog or cat seems listless and loses appetite. That might indicate an infection at the site.
Your dog or cat might seem a little listless after being vaccinated, or they might want to sleep a bit more than normal. The injection site might be sore to the touch for a day or two. None of these is cause for alarm. However, when in doubt, call your veterinarian. They won't mind, and it's better to make the call than to ignore something that might be potentially serious.
Most dogs and cats have no reactions at all to their vaccinations, but the next time your pet needs a shot, check on them periodically that day. It's one thing if a dog develops a puffy muzzle and looks like an adorable Cavalier King Charles spaniel and quite another if the airways swell and close.
Gael suffered no permanent ill effects and she really did look kind of cute with her spaniel muzzle. Still, it's good to have her back to normal. I do love that foxy corgi face.