Vaccine Reactions & Post Vaccine Care
How to Know if your Pet Is Having a Vaccine Reaction
There is always a possibility that your pet could have a vaccine reaction. Reactions vary in type and degree. A “reaction” is a symptom or something that is abnormal to your pet’s regular health condition or in the way it is acting. A pet may act differently if it is in pain. Pain is a reaction, but not necessarily an allergic reaction. Depending on the severity, treatment for the pain may be necessary.
Vaccine reactions can increase in severity with age and/or with the accumulation of vaccines. Reactions can start out “mild”, but rapidly increase to a “severe” level which could ultimately result in death. Symptoms may include swelling, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or other abnormal conditions.
If your pet shows any sign of a reaction to a vaccine immediately following the injection, always notify the attending veterinarian immediately. If your pet shows a sign of illness or lethargy in the 48 hours following vaccination, contact your regular veterinarian or any licensed veterinarian or an emergency pet hospital.
It is not unusual for a pet to be quiet and uncomfortable for up to 24 hours after a vaccination. There may be localized or generalized pain, lethargy (diminished activity or decrease in social behavior), loss of appetite, mild swelling at the injection site, or even a low/mild fever associated with the shots. (Normal temperature for dogs and cats usually range from 100.5 to 102.5 degrees). If any of these signs persist longer than 24 hours, bring your pet to a licensed veterinarian for an examination.
In rare occasions, more severe side effects may occur within minutes or hours of the vaccination. These are allergic reactions called “ANAPHYLACTIC” reactions. Symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction may include any of the following (or possibly other) symptoms: Swelling to face and legs, whole or partial body itching, hives, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, choking, seizures, staggering, and/or collapse. These may appear almost immediately after the vaccinations are administered, or possibly hours after. Any of these signs may start out in a mild form, but can progress rapidly to a more severe anaphylactic reaction which could result in death. IF YOU NOTICE ANY OF THESE REACTIONS, IMMEDIATELY BRING YOUR PET TO A LICENSED VETERINARIAN OR TO THE CLOSEST EMERGENCY PET HOSPITAL. EARLY TREATMENT OF THESE SIGNS MAY PREVENT MORE SIGNIFICANT PROBLEMS FROM DEVELOPING AND SAVE YOUR PET’S LIFE.
IF THERE IS ANY QUESTION WHETHER YOUR PET IS HAVING AN ALLERGIC REACTION, IMMEDIATELY CONTACT YOUR VETERINARIAN OR ANY LICENSED VETERINARIAN, OR AN EMERGENCY PET CARE FACILITY.
IF YOUR PET IS EXPERIENCING MILD PAIN OR DISCOMFORT OR BECOMES INACTIVE AFTER RECEIVING A VACCINE, you may apply a WARM compress (NOT HOT) to the vaccination site every 6 to 8 hours within the first 24 hours after vaccination for approximately 15 minutes per application. If no improvement, contact a licensed veterinarian immediately.
You may also immediately give your pet Benadryl (Diphenhydramine), tablets or liquid form every 12 hours for 2 to 3 days as further described below. The dose to administer is one-half of the pet’s body weight. For example, if your pet weighed 10 pounds, you would administer 5 mg every 12 hours for two to three days.
Do NOT give this or any medication to your pet if it is currently taking other medication or is under the care of a veterinarian for a specific health condition. In that event, please contact your veterinarian immediately to seek further advice.
NEVER give your pet Tylenol – – – it could cause death. Do not administer plain Aspirin, as it could cause ulcers.
WEIGH YOUR PET BEFORE ADMINISTERING ANY MEDICATION! LEARNING YOUR PET’S EXACT WEIGHT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!
If your pet becomes listless or sleepy after the medication is given, you may cut the dose in half or completely stop the medication.
DO NOT ADMINISTER THE FOLLOWING MEDICATION TO DOGS OR CATS WHOSE WEIGHT IS UNDER 3 POUNDS
PET’S WEIGHT DOSE (25 mg tablet form) DOSE (12.5 mg/5ml liquid form)
12 lbs 1/4 tablet OR 2.5 ml liquid
25 lbs 1/2 tablet OR 5.0 ml liquid
50 lbs 1 tablet OR 10.0 ml liquid