Puppy Woes, Part Two

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on! ~Author unknown

My previous post probably struck you as pretty depressing.

Well, read on.

Despite Monkey’s compromised system from the bladder infection and antibiotics, the vet said he was due for another round of puppy vaccinations, so I made an appointment.

Monkey was poked twice — one, a combo shot designed to prevent seven different diseases (including hepatitis, distemper, parvovirus, coronavirus, and leptospirosis), and the other, a vaccine to prevent rabies.


Not all dogs handle vaccinations well, and Monkey is clearly one of them.

The diarrhea worsened, and he was put on a five-day regimen of Metronidazole (another antibiotic).

It helped some but wasn’t a cure. Monkey started vomiting and acted sluggish, and my fears kicked into high gear.

One of his littermates had been diagnosed with Parvo, so back to the vet we went.

Yay, that test was negative!

Then I did some checking online and learned shots should be administered to healthy puppies only.

And an online forum of pet parents indicated Monkey was far from the only one suffering bad side effects after combo vaccines.


Then I consulted Dallas’s breeder, who was horrified.

“Shelties are too sensitive for that,” she told me. “You never give them multiple shots at once. All that did was fry his intestines!”

Uh-oh. No wonder he got diarrhea.

Sorry, Mama, I didn’t mean to!

I was frantic. What if he became dehydrated, lost weight, “failed to thrive,” and ultimately had to be put down?

Bad enough that this pup had already cost me a small fortune between his purchase and the vet bills, but I didn’t think I could endure another heartbreak so soon on the heels of Dallas’s death.

I was overwhelmed. Tired from lack of solid sleep. Exhausted from making frequent trips to Mom’s rehab facility, retrieving her laundry, washing clothes, and returning them to her. Achy from being on my hands and knees, cleaning up Monkey’s “accidents.”

And bone-weary from worry … over both of them and how poorly I seemed to be handling things. Where had my usual sunny optimism gone??

Not even Monkey’s cuteness, love, and potential companionship could offset this much misery.

Come back Friday for the final installment in this story.

24 thoughts on “Puppy Woes, Part Two

  1. WOW, Debbie, what journey you and Monkey have had!

    But I have to say, looking at the photo of him that you shared, he looks so healthy, in great shape, and oh-so cute. Shelties have the most adorable, sweet, and kissable faces. And so huggable!

    “And bone-weary from worry … over both of them and how poorly I seemed to be handling things. Where had my usual sunny optimism gone??”

    Anyone who has had to go through what you’ve been going through would be equally as weary. And I don’t think you’ve handled this poorly at all. You’ve handled it with concern, care, and love.

    Sending you a big hug, my friend! X

    And Monkey too! X

    • Aw, Ron, I’m glad you see him as cute … and huggable. Most puppies are, you know. I suppose that’s what convinces people to adopt or purchase them. Nobody ever expects the situation to go south as mine and Monkey’s has.

      I truly appreciate your encouragement, too. Of course, you can’t know how many prayers I’ve offered, how many tears I’ve shed, over this. A healthy puppy has its own challenges, but a sick one brings its own bag of woes. xx

    • Thank you, Laurie. Normal puppy craziness, exuberance, and shenanigans offers a lot of challenges, but a sick puppy is heart-breaking. Nobody seems to know (or say) what’s going on with him, and his breeder swears the other pups are fine. I’ve had dogs most of my life, but I’ve never run into a situation like this … and I have NO CLUE what to do to help this pup.

  2. What in the world is up with your vet? Why did they not know that multiple vaccinations weren’t recommended? You’re not the one who marched into the office and said, “Multiple vaccinations, please. Let’s get this checked off the to-do list.”
    Oddly, I went through a similar experience with my mother, whose surgeon prescribed Demerol after a stent implant. She developed a full-blown case of ICU psychosis, and the nurses just sighed. According to them, surgeons don’t know a thing about geriatric medicine, and always are prescribing Demerol in the aged, even though there are strong recommendations against it.

    Mom got over it, and I hope Monkey has too! I’ve got my fingers crossed that Part 3 is at least a little sunnier — for Monkey’s sake, and for yours.

    • Exactly, Linda, especially since Dallas’s breeder cautioned her on this very issue many years ago. I hate to say it, but waiting just a few more days to administer the vaccinations — just giving Monkey’s immune system time to recover — would have been the wise thing to do. And since he’s not been anywhere or around other dogs, it probably wouldn’t have hurt one bit.

      Your poor mother! You’d think surgeons would know Demerol isn’t something they should give to the elderly. Why, you can find that stuff out online! Pah!

      I’m glad your mom’s outcome improved — no wonder everybody kids that doctors are “practicing” medicine!

  3. I hope this story has a happy ending.

    Katie doesn’t do well when we vacinate rabies and lepto together. When she was young she did fine, but about 6 or 7 years ago she was sooo lethargic after her shots and we figured out to never do the two of them together again. She’s been fine with her shots since then.

    Poor little guy. And poor you too, you have a LOT on your plate and it’s understandable that you’re feeling exhausted. I hope your mom improves, and I hope you and Monkey figure out how to have a joyful home life!

    • Everybody wants a happy ending, right, Dawn? I’m glad to hear that even Princess Katie has issues with some combo vaccines. Why vets don’t seem to recognize that is beyond me. I’ll gladly have my pup protected against most diseases, but others he has little chance of contracting? Hard pass.

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