Northern Virginia, What to expect after your pet’s vaccination

Just like humans, your dog is likely to experience some negative side-effects after being vaccinated. Whether it is your first time vaccinating a puppy or your dog has been vaccinated before, it is important to understand the symptoms and do what you can to help trainingĀ dogs to be more comfortable.

Some of the side-effects that you can expect your dog to display after a vaccination include:

1. Swelling And Discomfort

The body’s immune system reacts to vaccinations in order to develop an immunity to the diseases that the vaccination is aimed at. Unfortunately, this reaction also results in inflammation (swelling) and discomfort (pain) at the site of the vaccination. This is not a direct side-effect of the vaccination but rather the body’s defense system kicking in.

It is important to keep the site clean and prevent your dog from licking. The discomfort is likely to cause your dog to lick the site. A small bandage or gauze will help avoid infection and stop your dog licking. Placing a cold pack on the site periodically will help numb the pain and reduce the swelling. You can expect the swelling and pain to go away on its own within a day or two. However, a small lump may develop under the skin and this can take up to 3 weeks to disappear. If the swelling, discomfort or lump do not go away, call your vet.

2. Mild Fever

Another common symptom of vaccinations is a mild fever. A mild fever is not dangerous to your pet. Keep your dog in a cool, well-ventilated space. Remember that dogs don’t sweat to cool the body down like humans – they pant to draw in more oxygen and air to keep cool. Temperature should return to normal within a few hours or a day or so.

So if your dog is panting, it is probably due to the fever and you can help by cooling him down. However, it is not recommended to cool the dog down too much or too quickly like placing him in a cold bath. A fan, aircon or airy space should be sufficient. If the fever does not dissipate or increases, call your vet.

3. Lethargy

Your pet is unlikely to be as energetic as they normally are after a vaccination. The body’s immune system is busy using the energy supply. If your dog is tired and just wants to sleep, this is normal. Make him comfortable and give him the peace and quiet that he needs to recover.

4. Lack Of Appetite

Pain, discomfort, fever and tiredness are all going to affect your dog’s appetite. He isn’t exactly going to feel like eating his normal serving of food after a vaccination. Give him some soft food or a favorite treat if he refuses to eat entirely. His appetite should return to normal in a day or two.

If your pet does not start eating after a day or two, call your vet.

5. Respiratory Symptoms

Your dog may have a snotty nose, wheeze, cough and/or sneeze for 2 – 5 days after a vaccination. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about it. Call your vet if the symptoms persists after 5 days or if the dog has extreme difficulty breathing.

If you notice any of the following symptoms, take you dog to the vet immediately:

– Vomiting or diarrhea that persists for a day or more

– A rash or itchy skin that may seem bumpy

– Swelling around the face, muzzle, neck, or eyes

– Extreme coughing or difficulty breathing

– If your dog collapses and won’t get up

Author: Nick White

Nick White is the owner of Off Leash K9 Training. He has over 80 dog training franchise locations throughout the United States. He currently hosts the A&E show, America's Top Dog.