I am frequently asked,” What should I look for after my pet receives a vaccination”. How do I know if the behavior is normal or if it is something to worry about? Here is a guide to vaccine reactions, compliments of the AVMA and me. Dr.L
It is common for pets to experience some or all of the following mild side effects after receiving a vaccine, usually starting within hours of the vaccination.
1. Discomfort and local swelling at the vaccination site
2. Mild fever
3. Decreased appetite and activity
4. Sneezing , mild coughing,”snotty nose” or other respiratory signs may occur 2-5 days after your pet receives an intranasal vaccine like the Bordetella, kennel cough vaccine.
If these side effects last for more than a day or two, or cause your pet significant discomfort, it is important for you to contact my office.
More serious, but less common side effects such as allergic reactions may occur within minutes to hours after vaccination.
1. Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
2. Itchy skin that may seem bumpy “Hives”
3. Swelling of the muzzle and around the face, neck or eyes
4. Severe coughing or difficulty breathing
5. If your pet collapses
These reactions can be life threatening and are medical emergencies. You must seek veterinary care immediately if any of these signs develop.
A small, firm swelling under the skin may develop at the site the vaccination was given. It should start to disappear within a couple of weeks. It it persists for more than 3 weeks or seems to be getting larger, you should contact my office and I will be glad to take a look.
Always tell me If any of my patients have had a prior vaccination reaction whether at my hospital or at any other hospital . I can take precautions to avoid another reaction. If you are uncertain if your pet had a previous vaccination reaction, plan on staying in my office for 30-60 minutes following the vaccination to be sure everything is OK before going home.
I recommend you make a note in your pet’s medical record if a reaction to a vaccine or any other medication occurs. This can help avoid problems in the future. If in doubt, call me. Dr.L