I took Capone to his vet around 5pm for his routine booster shots of Parvo and Bordatella. At this time, Capone was almost 2 years old. My vet had suggested that I also give him a Lepto shot because Lepto can be transferred from dogs to humans. I reluctantly agreed, the vet gave him his shots, and we went home.
Capone seemed to be ok, but a little sluggish as expected from the shots. Around 10pm, I got up to take a shower. Usually when I get out of the shower, Capone is already asleep on my bed. However, when I got out, he was sitting by my bathroom door scratching uncontrollably at his neck. I thought it was kind of odd, so I felt his neck and thought nothing of it. I sat back down on my bed reading for school, and he came up right next to me, scratching even more, so I took his collar off, thinking that was the problem.
About 30 minutes had passed and he was still scratching. So I felt his neck again, and found big welts and bumps around his neck and I panicked. I decided to call my old vet of 18 years, who is now retired. After telling him the situation, he told me that I needed to get Capone to an emergency clinic as soon as possible because he was having a severe allergic reaction to the Lepto shot. He told us to go to VERGI clinic and he called ahead for us. I never thought, nor was I told, that dogs could have allergic reactions to shots like humans, and had I known this, I probably would have noticed the signs sooner.
My mother and I rushed with Capone to VERGI and when we walked in, a nurse was waiting on us. She immediately took Capone from my arms and took him in the back with no questions asked. VERGI did not know or seem to even care if we could pay or not, they simply wanted to save my dog’s life and they did!
After the nurse took Capone, we anxiously waited and a vet came in after what felt like an eternity to let us know that he was stabilized and that we brought Capone just in time. It was later told to us at the annual Christmas party that Capone had serious problems when we brought him. His neck was swollen to the point that it was blocking his airway, a tube was put down his throat, and many shots were given to him to stop the reaction and bring the swelling down so that he could breathe. Fortunately, we were able to take him home around 3am and he fell asleep with his back paw scratching in the air, but thankfully showing us he could breathe through his normal snoring!
There are no words to express how much VERGI clinic means to us…they gave us many more healthy years with my Capone that can never be replaced. Thank you VERGI Clinic for all that you do and all of the dogs you save…May God continue to bless your place and all those who work so hard to save our family members when we need it the most!
Janikka Bratton and Elaine Timberlake