In an effort to keep our clients aware of current issues in veterinary medicine, we have come up with an explanation of vaccinations and possible reactions. This is a general information sheet and is not inclusive. Despite the fact that reactions are not frequents, we feel it is important to educate our clients regarding the possible side effects of vaccination.

Why Vaccinate?

Vaccines are important to protect your pet against various diseases such as Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvo, Parainfluenza, Corona, Bordatella, Lyme Disease, Feline Rhinotracheitis, Calici virus, Panleukopenia, Chlamydia, Leukemia, Ferret Distemper and Rabies. These diseases are still present in the population and can cause life-threatening diseases.

What animals can have a vaccine reaction?

Although it is ore likely for a young animal to have a reaction during their “series” of vaccinations, any ANIMAL AT any AGE can have a reaction.

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What is the basis for the vaccine reaction?

Any time a vaccine is given it stimulate the immune system to form antibodies against disease. In some animals, the immune system can “over-respond” and have atypical reactions/presentation. These are listed below:

Possible reactions to vaccinations:

Lethargy, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, soreness, anorexia, hair discoloration or loss at injection site, skin discoloration/scarring at injection site, fibrous reactive tissue (lump) at injection site, facial swelling/edema, pruritis (itching), auto-immune disease, cancerous tumors at injection site noted in cats, anaphylactic shock, or death.

If my animal has a reaction, what happens next?

It depends on the severity. Most pets are treated with an antihistamine and/or steroid, to negate the “over responsive” immune system. These may be giving as injections and/or as medications to go home. If severe, other treatments or medications may be administered. After the reaction, you should discuss further vaccination with the veterinarian in regards to a revised vaccination schedule or a letter or waiver, to allow your pet to not be vaccinated.