Training My Own Guide Dog

Training My Own Guide Dog: Sagan, 16 3/4 Months Old

I have calmed down only a little since my last post about Sagan’s reaction to the DA2PP vaccine given almost 3 weeks ago. His eyes are going down but are not yet normal. We have begun tapering down the steroids which is helping his energy level somewhat. He has an appointment with the ophthalmologist this week. My hope is that she says he is healing nicely. I am most grateful that his vision does not seem to be affected.

Due to his lethargy, his training has been suspended. I am not trying to teach him anything new. I am drilling him on things he knows well around the house. We have gone on some short walks and he is doing very well with that. His pace and pull have slowed down just a bit which is actually nice for me.

What have I learned from this episode? I have learned to ask over and over again for what I want and demand that I get answers. What I am struggling with is the answers are not satisfying, so I find others to ask. I have also learned that pet insurance is a good idea even though we resisted it when he was a young puppy. The hardest thing for me to relax into is that I can’t suck this vaccine out of his body and return him back to my perfectly healthy dog. I have no idea if this is going to affect him for the rest of his life and that feels absolutely awful! I am very much struggling with letting these strong emotions move through my body and not stick to me like glue. I must move through this and do what is best for my dog in every way I can. I am doing my best not to do “what if” scenarios in my mind. I know that helps nothing.

My request of you is to please do your research before you follow the vaccination standard protocols that most vets will tell you your dog must have. Your lifestyle and geography should be the main factor in the vaccines you choose for your dog and your vet should be aware of what is needed for your specific situation. Vaccine reactions are often more prevalent in certain breeds. Find out about your dog and the risks. Push hard on your vet to split out vaccines and separate them out as far between as you can do safely. If you have the choice, ask more than one vet. Chances are you will get different answers. Pick the one you like.

Now I am going to write an email to the manufacturer of this vaccine in hopes of calling their attention to the problem of multiple vaccines in one injection and maybe even play on their emotions just a bit.


The 2 pictures above show Sagan's eyes 2 weeks ago on July 13th. The vaccine was administered on July 5th. 


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