WSVN — Most of us would do almost anything to protect our pets because they are part of the family. But there is one thing we do every year that could be putting our pets in danger. 7’s Patrick Fraser has the story we call "Pet Threat."
From the moment she saw Jack, Jeanette Fromkin was in love.
Jeanette Fromkin: "He’s my boy, he’s my baby."
The Fromkins have several animals. They take good care of them, which includes the yearly trip to the vet for vaccinations.
Dean Fromkin: "She took him for his regular inoculations."
Jack got his shots on March 28th, three of them for rabies, distemper and one to prevent kennel cough. Dean says Jack changed dramatically that day.
Dean Fromkin: "He thought I was a stranger, and he growled at me."
Jeanette Fromkin: "The dog I walked into the doctor’s office with was not the dog I walked out with."
Jack was acting so strangely, Dean and Jeannette started recording his behavior.
The heavy breathing, the inability to move. As days and weeks went by, the videos the Fromkins recorded showed Jack getting worse. He started having trouble walking; he had weird head tics. A month after the shot, he could barely stand to drink water. They spoke to their vet, but he had no answers.
Dean Fromkin: "He said, in 30 years, he’s never seen this severe reaction."
Jeanette Fromkin: "He told me that I should start preparing for the worst, and I was devastated."
Devastated and desperate for answers, they took Jack for an MRI, a spinal tap and went to a neurologist. The conclusion: The 10-year-old dog had too many shots and was suffering from over-vaccination.
Jeanette Fromkin: "I was finding out about this whole new underground thing about animal vaccines that I never knew before."
Dean Fromkin: "I’m more than angry. There’s a rage burning inside of me."
But vets say the problem isn’t the drugs. It’s how they are used.
Dr. Darko Mladenovic: "Most of the vaccine protocols that we follow today in veterinary medicine are established in the 60’s."
Dr. Darko Mladenovic says studies have shown pets don’t need to have multiple vaccinations every year like Jack did, that administering several shots at the same time to an old or sick dog, or a smaller dog like Jack, can be dangerous.
Dr. Darko Mladenovic: "This has been a problem for a while. It can cause the sudden death."
Another problem: Each dog gets the same shot.
Dr. Darko Mladenovic: "The same vaccination is given to the one-pound Chihuahua or 100-pound Great Dane."
There are several things you can do to protect your dog. Talk to your vet if your dog is older or has been sick. Remember, some vaccinations don’t need to be given every year. And you may not know it, but there is a blood test your dog can get before the shots to determine if they even need a vaccination.
Six months after the shots, Jack is walking, but he needs help climbing steps and has to wear a diaper. The Fromkins have spent $5,000 on vet bills, but are afraid Jack will never get back to normal.
Dean Fromkin: "He’s disabled, he’s handicapped."
They thought the vaccines would help take care of their pet, but those vaccines turned out to be their pet threat.
The Fromkins have reached out to the drug manufacturer who has offered to reimburse them for some of their expenses, but the Fromkins say it won’t cover all of their costs. Patrick Fraser, 7News.
FOR MORE INFO:
Dean Fromkin’s videos of Jack:
STUDY ON REACTION TO PET VACCINATIONS: