Clients often have reservations regarding vaccinating their pets and are worried about potential side effects. An immune response is stimulated when a pet is vaccinated, and minor side effects can be expected but are not necessarily a serious concern. For example, it’s not uncommon for a pet to have a low-grade fever, a lump/swelling or mild discomfort at the injection site. Other symptoms such as decreased appetite, feeling unusually tired, or coughing/sneezing is also normal following an intranasal vaccine. This type of response is typically seen in the first few hours following vaccination but can last for 48 hrs or more.
On occasion, certain pets can have a more severe reaction, which should be reported to your veterinary team. These reactions could be — persistent vomiting/diarrhea, facial swelling, difficulty breathing, itchy skin/hives, and collapse. These are serious reactions and must be addressed by a veterinarian. If your regular veterinary clinic is closed and your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, you should contact your nearest emergency hospital. Treatment depends on the type of reaction and could be as simple as an injection.
If your pet does have a vaccine reaction, it does not necessarily mean they should not have vaccines in the future. There are protocols to lessen the chance of a reaction. It is important always to let your veterinary team know if your pet has had an issue in the past!
Written by: Trisha Ferris RVT