Vaccine Side Effects

By Dr. Karen Burgess

What are the risks associated with today’s vaccination?
Just as is the case with humans, for the generally healthy pet vaccinations are considered a safe and effective means of preventing disease in an individual pet and the population as a whole. Risk from vaccination is minimized by ensuring a pet is healthy prior to administration and giving vaccinations based on a specific patient’s exposure risks. While rarely dangerous, side effects of vaccination to monitor for include…

  • Common and mild symptoms, considered normal post vaccination-for the first twenty four hours after vaccination a pet may be sluggish showing signs of lethargy, mild vomiting or diarrhea, decreased appetite, and mild fever. Soreness at the vaccination site may also be present. If an intranasal vaccine has been given some sneezing may be noted.
  • Severe vaccine reaction warranting immediate medical attention-a small number of animals may experience an allergic type reaction of vaccination anywhere from immediately to several hours after vaccination. Symptoms of concern include swelling of the face, hives, intense itching, difficulty breathing, repeated vomiting and diarrhea, and collapse.

Infrequently, in the weeks after vaccination a non-painful lump may be noted where a vaccine has been given. While these will typically self-resolve, please notify us if a lump is noted.

If your pet has had a severe reaction to a vaccination additional precautions will likely be taken prior to any future vaccination.