Welcome to Shiba...What?

I chose that name because that was probably the first thing I said when I heard about the breed. And, I get that quite often when I have the girls out and they meet new people. Most people have never heard of the breed, although we do occasionally run into someone who actually knows what they are! I do know one thing and that is Shiba owners love to see other Shibas and read about other Shibas. I recently came across I Am Shiba and within a few days, read the whole blog. Many times I found myself laughing so hard I was on the verge of tears. LOL While not every dog is the same, there are enough similarities. Through this blog, I would love to share how I came to have these two beautiful girls, what we have been though and what we are up to. Occasionally even the girls will add their input, they can be very opinionated you know.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Scary time with Calista

Besides my two Shibas, I also share my home with 3 cats.  Buzby is an 8 year old female Torte, Beau is a handsome 5 year old orange and white tiger and Calista, who is also 5 years old.  She is a mitted Torte Point Snowshoe.  She is my baby.  Some day I will have to share the story about how I came to have her.

It's that time of year to get her yearly shots.  In the past, I could tell the shots affected her a little as she just seemed to lay around a couple days afterward.  So, since all my cats are strictly indoor cats, I asked the vet if all the shots were necessary.  My normal vet is on maternity leave so had to see a different vet in the group.  She told me that the rabies and distemper shots had to be given, but the feline leukemia shot could be skipped.  So, she just got the 2 shots.

Later that night, I was out in the living room watching some episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond and must have dozed off.  The next thing I knew, I heard some retching and opened my eyes just in time to see Calista vomit on the living room floor.  So, now I have to corral both the dogs into the dining room and put the gates up. I wiped up the mess and mopped the area.  It was getting pretty late, so I decided to check a few things on the computer and was then going to bed.

I took the girls outside one more time and then noticed that Calista had thrown up again in the living room.  I cleaned that up as well and my son came down stairs and told me that Calista had thrown up in my bedroom.  Cleaned that up and got ready for bed.  I collected up Calista and put her on the bed as she loves to sleep with me.  Well, she was definitely not acting very good at all.  She hunkered down on the shelf of my waterbed headboard and within a few minutes started retching again.

So, I picked her up to put her on the floor and that is when I really noticed how hot she felt.  That was when I decided we needed to make a visit to the emergency vet.  So, I call them up to let them know I was coming and got ready to go.

Now, I really hate going to our emergency vet.  Not just the cost, ( $125 just for the exam) but I have had problems with them in the past with Sami.  I won't go into that as it just makes me so mad just thinking about it.  Anyways, I took the papers from my vet in so they would know what shots she got.  Well, the vet was not convinced that this was from the shots.  Her temperature was 105.5 which is very high for a cat, normal being between 100 and 102.  She thought maybe she had some kind of infection going on.  I told her she was just fine before she got the shots, but since my vet failed to take a temperature, she said there was no way knowing.

Now comes the guilt trip, the vet says, if she were my kitty, I would have x-rays and blood work done and some other test.  Now my blood is boiling.  I tell her, I'm almost positive this is from the shots and she tells me the only thing she is willing to do is give her a Benedryl shot to help bring down the fever.  I told her that if she was not better in the morning, I would take her into the vet and have her rechecked.  So, she gives her the shot and out we go minus $147.

She said the shot would probably make her sleepy, so when I went to bed, I put her next to me.  Didn't get a whole lot of sleep, didn't get to go to bed until almost 4:30 and got back up by 7:30 so I could call the vet and take care of Sami and Miko.  It was then I remember seeing a sign on the door to the vet that they would be open Saturday from 8 to noon, but only to get prescriptions filled and sell food.

So, I call them up and tell them what happened and asked if they knew any other vet I could take her to.  Just so happens there is another vet close to them that has Saturday hours.  So I call them and luckily they could get her in at 10am.

When I get her in there, her temperature is now down to 103.  The vet said this was definitely a bad reaction to the shots.  She recommended another Benedryl shot, a shot of Fomotidine to keep the nausea down and some subcutaneous fluids injected between the shoulder blades to keep her from getting dehydrated.  Now, why couldn't they have done this at the emergency vets???  Total cost for this was $102, but I felt this was well worth it.

She went to one of her sleeping spots and slept for a few hours and later she was roaming about, acting more normal.  I could also tell her fever seemed to be gone.  I was afraid she would be a little mad at me for all she had been through.  She has her ways of getting even, like opening up and taking all the clothes out of one or more of my waterbed drawers.  LOL

I had called my Mom to tell her what happened and she told me that in Indiana, the rabies shot is only required every 3 years.  Now, why don't they tell you that at the vets office.  I am definitely going to make an appointment to have a talk with the vet and try to get some of this straightened out.  I'm definitely going to get some of my questions answered and possibly have Calista exempted from getting shots since she had such a bad reaction.

So, I think everyone should find out what the requirements are for immunizations in your area.  Why get unnecessary shots for your pets?  Especially when there are side effects involved.

Two is more fun then one.


  1. You could see if you could have a titre test done to check immunity levels. If the level is fine, no shots. If the level is low, shots.

    I'm not sure this would fly with regards to rabies shots, however. Most states are rather strict about their rabies laws.

    Please report your cat's adverse vaccine reaction.


  2. I would report it, but the problem is, she got two shots and there is no way of knowing which shot caused the reaction. It may have been one, or it could have been both. I have talked this over with the vet and we have decided on two different approaches for next year. We will either pre-treat her with Benedryl and give her both shots and see what happens, or pre-treat her with Benedryl and give her one shot and wait a couple days and repeat with the second shot. I think that is the route we are going to go with. The vet says that if we find out she does have a problem with either shot, we can exempt her from having that shot again. Then I would just have to be careful about what she is exposed to.

  3. goodness, we hope Calista gets better. we enjoy reading your blog. will you update it soon with more silly pics of the shibas?

    your fans,
    kuma & hiro

  4. Why thank you very much kuma and hiro! I am happy to say that Calista is completely back to normal. In fact, every time I get out of my computer chair, I come back to find her in it. LOL I promise I will update soon. I did get a cute shot of Calista, Miko and Sami just yesterday.