A personal story about a pet lost to vaccine complications

Author's name withheld by request.

My Siberian Husky (Tickle Me) Elmo was the love of my life. He was my soul mate-my best friend, my protector, my therapy dog and my constant companion. I got him as a puppy and he had always been a healthy happy boy. He ate food more expensive than my food and had responsible veterinary care. I loved him so much. Nothing in this world was more important to me than my Elmo. I followed my Veterinarians instructions religiously and cost was never an issue. He would get veterinary care before I would buy groceries or anything for myself.

ElmoBut from an early age, he had reactions every time he had a vaccination. His face would swell up and he would rub his face on the carpet because it itched so much. His lips were red and swollen. He became lethargic and wouldn't eat. One time when he had a Rabies vaccination I had to rush him back to the Vet and he ended up in the hospital way into the late evening hours with IV's and breathing tubes. The Vet insisted he did not react to the vaccination and said "he must have been bitten by a Bee" because the shot was given over 3 hours ago. I insisted it was the vaccination that caused this reaction so the Vet told me he would "pre treat" him with steroids and an antihistamine before any more vaccinations. So when it was time for another vaccination I spent money on steroids and antihistamines so he could have the Rabies shot every 2 years. The vet never told me the vaccine lasted 3 years. Instead the vet pre-treated and insisted continuing the administration of the vaccine every 2 years. I trusted my Vet. I knew I needed a city license every 2 years but the vet never told me I only needed a CURRENT certificate to obtain that license. Elmo had a vaccination in May and by June he had become very sick. Blood work and a bone marrow biopsy with a specialist documented he had an "immune system compromise, toxic insult to the bone marrow". The specialist told me he "was poisoned". I asked if that "poison" could be vaccines and the specialist said "it could". I took out a loan as Elmo's vet/hospital bills were over $5,000. Blood transfusions and even expensive human drugs were given to try to reverse this condition but it was too late. Nothing could save him. He took his last breath in my arms in the back seat of the car on the way to the hospital for another blood transfusion.

Just maybe if my vet had given that vaccine every 3 years instead of every 2 years, that sweet innocent boy could be alive today. If the vaccine manufacturer and all veterinary medical associations and the CDC recommend administering this vaccine no more often than every 3 years and there is no scientific proof that giving it more often is beneficial to the pet, why aren't the veterinarians following those instructions. I am very grateful I had 7 years with my best buddy but I am sad and angry because I believe I could have had double that time with him and he wouldn't have had to suffer.

AVMA article: What to expect after your pet's vaccination (Common & Uncommon reactions)