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Vaccine Reactions in Dogs

Vaccine Reactions in Dogs

All veterinary procedures, including pet vaccinations, carry some level of risk. Most of the time, the benefits of vaccinating your dog outweigh the very small risk. Our Beacon vets discuss the potential side effects of vaccines and what you should do if your pet experiences one in this post.

Should I vaccinate My Pet?

Vaccinations are an important part of protecting your pet from serious and contagious diseases which could threaten the long-term health and well-being of your furry companion. In most situations, the benefits of giving your dog or cat vaccinations greatly outweigh the risk of your pet experiencing any side effects. Although, once in a while, some pets do have side effects. But note that some are completely normal, such as your puppy yelping right after vaccination.

How many pets have serious side effects to vaccines?

Veterinary procedures, including vaccinations, are always fraught with danger. The risk of your pet experiencing a serious side effect from a vaccine, on the other hand, is extremely low. Although it can be frightening for pet owners whose adorable animal companion is affected.

An estimated 13 out of 10,000 dogs will react.

What kinds of side effects can dogs get from vaccinations?

The majority of the side effects that dogs experience from vaccines are brief and mild, making them far less dangerous than the illnesses that vaccinations protect them from. The following are some of the most common side effects that pets experience after being vaccinated:

Lethargy & Slight Fever

  • Your dog being lethargic after shots (your dog might even have trouble walking after shots) is the most common side effect dogs get from vaccines. This can be characterized by your pet not acting like their usual self. This is a normal reaction to vaccinations, and the symptoms should be mild and only last one or two days. If your dog isn't acting like themselves in a couple of days, call your vet for advice.

Localized swelling

  • Dogs commonly experience lumps and bumps as a result of their medications. At the site where the needle pierced the skin, a small, firm bump may form. This is a normal reaction, but pet owners should keep an eye on the area to ensure that the lump does not grow larger or show signs of inflammation, oozing, or infection. The lump should not be painful and should go away in about a week. If the lump shows signs of infection or does not disappear after a week, contact your veterinarian.

Sneezing & Cold Like Symptoms

  • While most vaccines for dogs are administered via injection and some are administered via drops or sprays into the animal's eyes or nose. Intranasal vaccine side effects resemble a cold and include symptoms such as a runny nose, coughing, and sneezing. These symptoms should pass in a day or two for your dog. Contact your veterinarian if your pet's symptoms do not improve within a few days or if they become more severe.

What serious side effects could my pet get from vaccines?

Most effects associated with puppies are short-lived and mild however, in a few rare cases more severe reactions requiring immediate medical attention can occur.

Symptoms of a serious reaction usually appear within minutes of receiving the vaccine, but they can take up to 48 hours. More severe side effects of vaccinations include facial swelling, vomiting, hives, itchiness, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing.

Anaphylaxis is the most severe allergic reaction that pets can experience as a result of vaccinations. Anaphylaxis typically occurs in dogs and cats shortly after vaccination, but it is important to remember that anaphylaxis can occur up to 48 hours after vaccination.

If your pet shows symptoms of anaphylaxis after their vaccinations, contact your vet immediately or call your closest emergency veterinary clinic.

How can I prevent my pet from reacting to getting their shots?

Vaccines are an important part of protecting your dog's overall health. The risk of your pet having a serious reaction to a vaccine is very low. 

If your furry companion has had a reaction to vaccines in the past, be sure to let your vet know. Your veterinarian might recommend skipping a specific vaccination in the future. You can also let your vet know of a minor issue (such as your puppy crying when you pick him up after a vaccine) so that they may calm your nerves.

In smaller dogs, the risk of reacting to vaccines is increased when multiple vaccinations are given at once. If your pup is a small or miniature breed dog, your vet might suggest getting your puppy's shots done over several days rather than all at the same time.

If your dog is due for its shots contact our Beacon veterinary hospital to schedule an appointment. You can also learn more about our pet vaccinations by visiting our website.

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Now Welcoming New Patients

Our vets at The Beacon Veterinary Associates are now accepting new patients! Our experienced team of veterinary professionals are passionate about giving the cats and dogs of Beacon the health care they need. Contact us today to schedule your pet's first appointment.

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