When to Worry (or Not) after Vaccinations

May 11, 2018
When to Worry (or Not) after Vaccinations

Vaccines are a critical part of basic pet care. They prevent disease, costly medical bills, and pet death. They reduce the spread of disease between pets and humans. And in most places, certain vaccines are required for proper pet ownership. But as with any medication, there can be side effects and problems after vaccines that pet owners should be aware of.

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The mild effects: Wait it out.

Just as with humans, some mild problems may develop within a few hours of your pet receiving a shot, but these usually wear off after a day. These common discomforts include:

  • Discomfort or swelling where the shot pricked the skin
  • Low-grade fever
  • Less interest in play, movement and/or food
  • Runny nose, coughing and sneezing (usually 2-5 days after the vaccination)

If these symptoms cause extreme discomfort or are still apparent two days after the vaccination, you should call your vet for a follow-up appointment.

Additionally, a small lump may develop under the skin at the site of the injection. It will most likely disappear within three weeks. If, however, it grows or doesn’t go away, contact your veterinarian.

The serious effects: Call your vet!

While serious side effects from pet vaccinations are very rare, they are important to watch out for. Call your veterinarian immediately if you observe any of these symptoms, which may be signs of an allergic reaction:

  •  Sever vomiting or diarrhea
  • Constant itching / skin feels bumpy (like human hives)
  • Noticeable swelling around the muzzle, nose, face or eyes
  • Difficulty breathing; severe coughing
  • Collapsing, fainting, or inability to get up

If your pet has ever had these serious reactions before, be sure to tell your vet before he or she administers new vaccines. And if you’re at all concerned that your pet may have an adverse reaction, stay in the veterinary office for 30-60 minutes after the shot.

So should I still vaccinate?

Remember, vaccines help keep pets healthy and avoid a long list of difficult and deadly disease. It’s important to have your pet vaccinated regularly. Learn more about vaccines on our website, and learn about the diseases they prevent on our blog.

If you’re ready to schedule your vaccinations or have questions or concerns about any vaccines, please contact the vets at Animal Clinic of Woodruff today.


This article was written with the help of research provided by the American Veterinary Association.

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