Hello everyone, My daughter has a 16 week old border collie puppy. Three days after his second vaccination he became sick - symptoms were very listless, hot (temp was 40.9), discharge from eyes (like conjunctivitis but found out this is a reaction to dehydration from the high temp), slight cough,whimpering, wouldn't eat or drink, wouldn't get up /couldn't walk. He was in hospital for three nights and they did a heap of tests, put him on a drip and treated him with anti-inflammatories and anbti-biotics.
He came good enough to bring home (though he still couldn't use his back legs and was crawling on his front legs) but within two days was up and running and returned to normal in about a week. We didn't get a specific diagnosis from the vet, just confirmation it wasn't kennel cough, parvo, dog flu, blood disorder. This week (five weeks later) he started showing all the above symptoms again so we had to take him to the vet again. Had to see different vet as ours was closed and he was also stumped as to what it could be. Vet wanted to keep him in overnight and do a heap of tests again (at a cost $1200).
We paid that last time so we weren't keen so he gave him an anti-inflammatory injection and let us bring him home. Almost immediately he started to get better. I took him to our usual vet the next morning who prescribed more oral anti inflammatories and he is now almost back to normal . Our vet has done some research and thinks he may have vaccine-induced poly arthritis (his second vaccine triggered the arthritis). To confirm this diagnosis (it doesn't actually confirm it but rules out everything else) they take some fluid from his leg joint (while he's sick) under general anaesthetic. This test will cost $800.
My daughter was fully prepared for the cost of having a dog, with the occasional mis-hap but certainly not this. There is no cure for this condition and treatment is steroids when he gets sick and for a month after. They won't prescribe the steroid treatment unless he's had the joint fluid test though. We think he does ok on the anti inflammatories so think we might be better just treating him that way if/when he gets sick again. We're also too scared to get him vaccinated again when he's due in case it triggers a chronic attack. The poor baby is in a lot of pain when he gets these attacks and we have no way of knowing how often he's going to get sick - for all we know he could get sick every 6-8 weeks for the rest of his life or he may grow out of it??
He's never been an overly active puppy and is a bit of a sook so we're wondering if he has joint pain all the time but we're only aware of it when he gets a chronic attack and becomes unwell. Does anyone have any experience with these symptoms and can advise us which road to take in regards to treatment options? We'd love any advice, especially if someone has a dog with this same or similar condition. Thanks