Every responsible pet owner must vaccinate their dog against diseases such as rabies. It might not be easy to see your furry friend deal with the side effects of the rabies vaccine observed in dogs, but what needs to be done must be done.
The rabies vaccine is one of the few (if not the only) vaccines mandated by law in most US states and worldwide. This shows how important it is for your dog and society at large that your dog is vaccinated.
Unlike the adverse effects of the disease without vaccination, we can minimize the negative side effects of the rabies vaccine in dogs. Consider the risks you take with rabies vaccines and their side effects as a necessary evil for the greater good.
What are the side effects of rabies vaccines in dogs, and what can you do when your pet suffers? And why do you even have to subject them to all that? This article will take you through everything you need to know.
Table of contents
- Why Rabies Vaccination?
- What Are The Side Effects Of Rabies Vaccine In Dogs
- Causes of Rabies Vaccine Allergies in Dogs
- Common Side Effects of Rabies Vaccine in Dogs
- Rare Side Effects of Rabies Vaccine in Dogs
- How To Treat Side Effects of Rabies Vaccine in Dogs
- Duration Of Side Effects of Rabies Vaccine in Dogs
- How Can I Comfort My Dog After Shots?
Why Rabies Vaccination?
You might want to ask why? Why vaccination? Why must I take my dog to be vaccinated if he gets sick?
A disease like rabies could be a major health problem for dogs and even cause death in pups. Its causative agent is the lyssavirus, which turns lethal once the symptoms appear. The rising issues can be so bad that the side effects of rabies vaccines in dogs seem to pale in comparison.
Rabies is spread through rabid animals’ bites through saliva or mucous membranes, mostly affecting the neurological system.
Vaccines can help your dog avoid acquiring rabies in the first place, which is always preferable to treating them once symptoms appear because the disease harms your pet’s health, and treatment can be costly.
Besides, it’s essential to have your dog’s vaccines on time, early in life, so they can get off to a good start and have a better chance of long-term health.
But what else must we worry about once these pups are vaccinated? What risks and chances are we taking by giving them these vaccines? The side effects of the rabies vaccine in these dogs can be as subtle as they can be alarming.
What Are The Side Effects Of Rabies Vaccine In Dogs
Rabies vaccines are nothing to be afraid of. They are necessary to keep your pet and others around it in good health. The only issue is when the dogs’ bodies react to the vaccine after they take it. This could result from certain allergies contributed to by the vaccine or the dog’s immune system trying to fight it.
The negative side effects of the rabies vaccine in dogs can range from mild to seriously fatal. Most are quite common, while others are rather rare. Whether mild or serious, common or rare, long-term or short-lived, all these symptoms must be noted and treated immediately to avoid grave consequences and regrets.
The minor symptoms are typical and expected; they should only last one or two days before disappearing. Contact your veterinarian if your dog does not appear to return to normal after two days.
Though most dog vaccine reactions are moderate and short-lived, more serious reactions requiring immediate attention may occur in a few rare situations.
All possible side effects of the rabies vaccine in dogs should be treated cautiously. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian for urgent or emergency care or the nearest emergency veterinary clinic.
You might also want to read: Why is My Dog Peeing a Lot? What Should I Do?
Causes of Rabies Vaccine Allergies in Dogs
The possible side effects of the rabies vaccine in dogs are mainly because of a stimulated immune system, as vaccines function by boosting the immune system.
The immune system in your dog’s body does a great job of defending him from numerous things that could make him sick. The immune system achieves this by sending antibodies to target any foreign substance that enters your dog’s system that it believes will cause harm to the body.
Unfortunately, it will sometimes also target things like vaccines that mean well. This is the root cause of the side effects of the rabies vaccine in dogs.
Your dog’s immune system has a hypersensitive response to the rabies vaccine, causing an allergic reaction. Skin rashes, diarrhea, and abrupt renal failure are all symptoms that might occur.
Your dog’s immune system can respond to everything that enters its body that it deems dangerous, but in vaccination, doctors must often go through the allergy to prevent sickness.
The same mechanism leads some dogs to react to pollen and other seasonal allergens. Many things might induce an allergic reaction in your dog.
For 24 to 36 hours after immunization, slight fever, mild lack of appetite, and mild-to-moderate energy loss are possible side effects. Dogs may also feel pain and slight edema around the injection site.
Common Side Effects of Rabies Vaccine in Dogs
Not all dogs experience side effects from dog vaccines. To some, it’s a simple procedure, while some suffer from some minor issues.
Side effects usually appear within an hour of vaccination and disappear within a day or two. They could range from slight, painless swelling at the injection site to patches of hair loss at the base of the tail in rare circumstances.
Different dogs may have varying symptoms from their fellows. Some common side effects of the rabies vaccine in dogs include:
- Uneasiness and general body discomfort
- Swelling at the site of injection
- Mild fever
- Lack of appetite
- Decrease in activity or desire to play
- Swelling of the face, eyes, and ears
The swelling at the injection site is the only common side effect that could last up to a week. If it passes that time, it may get serious and form a tumor. Be extremely cautious with this particular effect and report it to your vet immediately.
While others will last just a day or two, consult your veterinarian for a check-up if symptoms persist afterward.
Rare Side Effects of Rabies Vaccine in Dogs
Dogs can have severe and more serious side effects from the rabies vaccine. These might be rare, but that does not make them nonexistent. This might not mean that something is wrong with the vaccine.
Your dog’s immune system might be creating allergic reactions to it. Anaphylaxirare,s is a severe allergic reaction that causes the dog’s body to react negatively to the rabies vaccine. They require immediate attention.
Some of these include:
- Hives are all over the dog’s body in solid lumps. They could be itchy.
- Face, eyes, or muzzle swelling
- Swelling or severe pain at the injection location
- A tumor developing at the injection location (this is more common in cats)
- Respiratory distress
- Passing out or collapsing
Once your dogs start showing symptoms of these serious side effects of the rabies vaccine, don’t hesitate to take them to the vet immediately.
How To Treat Side Effects of Rabies Vaccine in Dogs
So, how do you treat these side effects of the rabies vaccine in dogs to relieve your pooches of their sorrows? Always notify your veterinarian and have it recorded if your dog has an allergic reaction to any medication or immunization.
The decision your veterinarian will take will depend on the severity of the side effect of the rabies vaccine in the dogs.
Treating rabies vaccine allergies in dogs sometimes works like every other reaction and allergy. They could administer relief treatments like Antihistamines and cortisone. This will calm the side effects quickly and treat skin reactions and those that are not life-threatening.
Your veterinarian may administer epinephrine to your dog in severe circumstances to provide immediate relief from life-threatening discomfort.
In these cases, your dog will receive intravenous fluids and drugs like dexamethasone or diphenhydramine to aid recovery and restore vital signs.
After the medication, keep an eye on your dog for any recurrence of earlier symptoms. Contact your veterinarian if symptoms reoccur.
Fortunately, your veterinarian can effectively treat most adverse reactions to immunizations. Your dog should recover quickly with proper treatment.
It is uncommon. However, in some places, it is permitted if a veterinarian deems that the dog should not receive the vaccine for health reasons until the patient is pronounced healthy enough to receive it again. Your veterinarian may also ask that your dog waits in the clinic for up to 30 minutes following your appointment to check his or her reaction to the immunization.
Depending on the intensity of the response, your pet may improve in 15-30 minutes after receiving treatment.
Duration Of Side Effects of Rabies Vaccine in Dogs
Knowing that your four-legged friend might not take these shots so well, you might want to do it and get it out of the way. Now the question is, how long will it take to get it over with? And how long do the side effects of the rabies vaccine last in dogs?
The state mandates rabies vaccination for dogs to be taken annually. Your little friend might have to go through all this every year.
You might be wondering, what about the side effects? After the rabies vaccination, How long do they last? If you have to do this every year, it is understandable that you are hopeful your lovely pet won’t have to bear the pain of side effects for too long.
However, if the symptoms are mild, the side effects of rabies vaccination in dogs should be gone after some hours. Some may last 1-2 days after the vaccine is given. Allergic reactions may show before you leave the clinic and medication is given to calm the dog.
More severe cases could take up to a week before they are completely treated. Let your doctor know if your dog experiences these side effects of the rabies vaccine for longer than it should. Immediate attention may be required to avoid bigger problems.
How Can I Comfort My Dog After Shots?
The value of vaccination in preventing major illnesses in animals cannot be over-emphasized. Fortunately, most pets do not require extra attention after immunization because they exhibit no signs of a reaction and continue to live regularly.
While others, however, may have a minor reaction and even be whimpering and whining or tucking their tails between their legs. They may lose their appetite and want to lounge around and rest. Some animals may dislike being handled, and the injection site may be unpleasant or uncomfortable. This is perfectly OK when they take the rabies vaccine.
This might leave you wondering, how can I comfort my dog after these shots? How do I help my pet feel better after receiving their vaccination?
Here are a few things you could do;
- Patting or playing with your pet is not recommended because they may prefer to be left alone. When they require attention, they’ll come to you.
- Create a warm, comfortable area to rest. Unless they have a more preferred spot, then let them be.
- Ensure they have access to water and their favorite foods
- The essential thing to keep in mind is that this type of behavior is completely normal.
- Check in on your pet repeatedly to ensure they’re okay, but try not to bother them too much.
If you are concerned, contact your vet, but you may not need to unless these mild symptoms get serious and more painful. Then off to the vet, you go!
Can a rabies shot cause side effects?
Yes, your dog will likely have some side effects after taking its rabies shot. But it is also possible that it will not. Some dogs do not show any symptoms of possible side effects of the rabies vaccine and do not need special attention afterward.
If your dog is experiencing some weakness, slight swelling, or cough, keep him under close observation. This may last for 24- 48 hours. However, keep watch and report to your vet if it worsens.
Will my dog feel sick after a rabies shot?
Your dog will probably feel sick and experience minor side effects after its rabies shot. However, some dogs do not feel sick at all.
Symptoms like soreness, loss of appetite, diarrhea, etc., are common side effects of rabies vaccination in dogs and will disappear shortly.
What to Do If You Notice Rabies Vaccine Side Effects
If you notice that your dog is experiencing some side effects of the rabies vaccine, give them sensitive, loving care, and keep an eye on them for a few days.
If you suspect your dog is in discomfort, contact your veterinarian for help. To help your dog feel better, they may prescribe pain medication.
Does a rabies shot make a dog tired?
Yes, this is possible. Lethargy is one of the most common side effects of the rabies vaccine in dogs. You can see it as weariness involving diminished energy, mental capacity, and motivation.
A day or two of low energy, a minor temperature, mild pain, and a temporary loss of appetite are all signs that the vaccine is boosting the immune system.
How long does it take for swelling to go down after a vaccination?
A minor swelling should only last a week or two at most. If it exceeds this or gets too painful, immediately take your dog to the vet. Note that there are cases where these swellings turn out to be tumors and should not be taken lightly.
What can I give my dog for Pains after shots?
Some pain-relieving medications can help your dog if he is in pain after a rabies vaccination. But before giving your dog any human pain reliever, always visit your veterinarian. It’s risky to rely on the recommendations of other dog owners. Every dog is unique, and yours may be unable to tolerate the components in human pain relievers.
Rabies vaccinations are given to practically every dog at their annual veterinarian visit and sometimes every three years. These vaccines protect domestic animals, such as cats and dogs, from a terrible and incurable disease that affects nature.
There are adverse side effects from the rabies vaccine in dogs, which have to be endured and suppressed to avoid the disease.
Please consult your veterinarian if your dog’s reaction to the immunization appears more significant or if he has not recovered within 48 hours.
Vaccination can be expensive, but if your dog already has pet insurance coverage, you are on a safer path.
Check out this article on pet insurance: What Does Pet Insurance Cover? How it works in 2022
- hillspet.com – Side Effects of Rabies Vaccine in Dogs
- guilfordjamestownvet.com – How to Handle a Vaccine Reaction in Your Dog
- dogsnaturallymagazine.com – 65 Ways Rabies Vaccination Can Harm Your Dog
- avma.org – What to expect after your pet’s vaccination
- wagwalking.com – Rabies Vaccine Allergies in Dogs