Our Australian Cattle Dog, Jasper, almost died 3 years ago. He came down with a mysterious “virus” about a week after receiving his rabies and Lyme Disease vaccines. Long story, short version: He developed symptoms similar to Lyme Disease and ended up getting vasculitis so severe that the knuckles in his front paws burst and he developed an infection from the inside-out. We had to remove almost all of his toes in order to save his life. He came home after a month at the animal hospital with a $3500.00 bill!
At the time, we were struggling with the issue of whether or not to resume vaccinations with Princess. You see, she had a reaction to her 2 month shots which caused us to hold off until her 2nd birthday to make a decision about where we stood on the vaccination issue.
We were a bit “on the fence” until Jasper’s unfortunate near-death experience. We took our cues from the universe and committed to being one of those vaccine-free families. For the record, every state has a loophole. New Hampshire allows for a “religious exemption”. We simply sign the form and have it notarized prior to each start of school. So far, we haven’t had any issues, not even from the private-Catholic school where Princess will be attending kindergarten. (I held my breath when I submitted that one!!) I will expand on the topic of childhood vaccination in a future post.
Getting back to the dog, Jasper is a strong and feisty soul. He gets around just fine despite his lack of toes…a close friend of ours has nicknamed him “paws”. SO, he was due for another rabies shot this month. The town where we live is diligent about dog licenses. Our state almost never allows for exemptions and will not accept a titer as replacement for having the shot. I was extremely hopeful that the vet would support us if we opted to NOT give him the vaccine. Unfortunately, there was no way around it.
My WTF moment this week was the realization that it’s easier to exempt the kids from vaccinations than the poor dog!! Another WTF moment…I cried twice yesterday, and I’m not a crier…once when I dropped off BamBam at day care and the other when the needle was going into Jasper