Our Dogs' History of Adverse Drug Reactions (Part III)

Continued from part II

Luckily, our first experience with adverse drug reactions didn't end up in any major disaster, just a big scare and a wake-up call. It could have, though.

It also meant that Jasmine could not have any type of NSAID, ever. That became quite a useful exercise in finding alternatives to manage her pain whether from arthritis or from injuries, surgeries and anything else under the sun.

Paired with her food allergies, which also dramatically limited our choices of supplements, it was quite a work-out in researching and finding solutions.

We also became extremely careful about any medication she would be given.

I never looked at a bottle of meds the same.

And while I was always very conservative medicating my dogs, I always look for non-drug solutions first.

With all the precautions, little we realized we were in for much bigger disasters to come. And we did not expect one when we just took Jasmine for x-rays.

Her episodes of panting, pacing, and general distress were becoming worse and more frequent. Having considered and ruled out many options, it was decided to x-ray her heart and lungs to see whether the problem was there after all. What didn't occur to us that she would come so close to not coming back home to us from that.

Hubby dropped her off at the vet and went to run some errands. It was supposed to be a couple-hour deal; quick and easy.

Instead of getting a call that Jasmine was ready to be picked up to go home, he got a call that Jasmine suffered severe hyperthermia, and they were going to keep her until they can get her stabilized. What???

As Jasmine was coming from her anesthesia, she seemed in pain. This can happen from the manipulation needed to get the right images. It was only logical that her vet gave her a shot of pain med to get her comfortable. It was the pain med, Buprenorphine, that triggered her hyperthermia. Her temperature spiked. There is an antidote which they gave her to reverse it. It took quite a while to get her temperature back to normal.

That day we almost killed our dog.

Technically we didn't do it, but we brought her in for the x-rays. And everything else happened from there. Jasmine was in very bad shape. Once stabilized enough, it was decided that she'd go home where she'd be happier and more comfortable. She looked terrible, barely able to walk at all. Could only get up with help and needed support while walking otherwise she kept stumbling and falling.

We were told she should improve by morning.

We all slept on the kitchen floor with her for moral support and also to be able to help her if she needed anything. We were all awaiting the morning when she should be feeling better.

But she wasn't better, she was worse.

With a lot of help, she barely made it to potty and when she peed her pee was brown!

She also had bruising on her tongue and belly. We immediately took her to an emergency vet where further horror unfolded. I wrote about that already.

This little adventure fried her muscles, fried her liver and fried her platelets. It bought her a week stay in ICU in our teaching hospital and a month of recovery before she was back to normal.

What the heck happened?

It was conclusively determined that the Buprenorphine triggered all that. It was not, however, determined why. There were reports that this drug can cause hyperthermia in cats but it is unheard of in a dog. There was nothing in her history or blood work that would predict a problem with this drug. And yet it almost killed her.

This was beyond any wake-up calls. This was living in a twilight zone.

Related articles:
Our Dogs' History of Adverse Drug Reactions (Part I)
Our Dogs' History of Adverse Drug Reactions (Part II)

Our Own Emergency Vet Horror (Part I)
Our Own Emergency Vet Horror (Part II)

Do you have a story to share?

Your story can help others, maybe even save a life!

What were the first signs you noticed? How did you dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?

Email me, I'll be happy to hear from you.