Navigating Potential Side Effects From Your Dog’s Core Vaccinations

Navigating Potential Side Effects From Your Dog’s Core Vaccinations

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Navigating Potential Side Effects From Your Dog’s Core Vaccinations

Making sure your dog is vaccinated is essential to protect them from diseases and infections, but some owners may be concerned about how vaccinations may affect their dog. Because vaccinations work by injecting the dog with a dead or altered microorganisms, an immune system response is triggered, which can have side effects. These reactions can occur the first time a dog is exposed to a vaccine, but also in response to booster vaccinations, even if they have not experienced any side effects before. Learning what those side effects are and how to navigate them can help you prepare, should your dog start to show a reaction.

Core vaccinations your dog should receive

In Australia, pet vaccinations are split into core and non-core, with core vaccinations considered essential for all dogs to receive, while the non-core are optional. Your dog should receive vaccines for:

• Canine Parvovirus

• Canine Distemper

• Canine Adenovirus.

Why do side effects occur?

Vaccination side effects are rare and, if they do occur, should only be mild and clear up within a few days. Because a vaccination stimulates your dog’s immune system, this can create side effects which generally occur within the first few hours following their vaccinations. However, if their symptoms do not clear up after 24-48 hours or they’re starting to get worse, it’s time to call your vet.

Possible side effects to keep an eye out for

Your dog may experience mild side effects from their vaccinations, such as:

• tenderness or sensitivity where they’ve been injected

• fever

• fatigue

• loss of appetite.

More severe side effects can include;

• anaphylaxis

• severe coughing

• hives, swelling on the face

• trouble breathing, vomiting

• diarrhoea

• they may even potentially collapse.

However, it is worth noting that these side effects are very rare.

Side effects from the Canine Parvovirus vaccination

The Canine Parvovirus vaccine protects your dog against the highly contagious virus that can cause nasal disease. The vaccine isn’t known to produce any specific reactions but can cause mild side effects, such as:

• pain or a small bump at the site of the injection

• slight fever

• tiredness

• loss of appetite.

Side effects from the Canine Distemper vaccination

The Canine Distemper vaccine can cause mild and severe side effects, including the mild side effects listed above. The more severe side effects from the vaccine may include:

• severe coughing

• vomiting or diarrhoea

• hives

• difficulty breathing

• swelling on the face

• collapsing.

These side effects are potentially life-threatening, so it’s important to get your dog to a vet as soon as you can if they display any of these symptoms.

Side effects from the Canine Adenovirus vaccination

Canine Adenovirus is a serious and often fatal respiratory disease. If your dog has received the vaccination for it, they might experience mild side effects, as listed above. The more serious side effects from the vaccination may include:

• swelling, especially in the neck, muzzle, face and eyes

• severe coughing

• itchy skin

• raised bumps all over the skin

• persistent vomiting and diarrhoea.

These side effects are rare but can be fatal, so it’s important to get your dog to a vet as soon as you can if your dog starts displaying symptoms.

What to do if you spot any side effects

Serious side effects can occur minutes after the vaccination and most reactions will occur within the first 24 hours post-vaccination, so make sure to keep an eye on your dog. If your dog experiences mild side effects that clear up after a few days, be sure to make a note of them so you can let your vet know. The side effects can become more severe after subsequent injections, so it’s important your vet is aware of how your dog has reacted.

When to see your vet

If your dog is experiencing mild side effects after their vaccinations, and they haven’t cleared up after two days, make an appointment with your vet. If your dog displays any serious side effects, contact your vet immediately as this is an emergency. With a little pre-planning, you should feel confident about taking your dog for their core vaccinations, and feel ready to handle any potential side effects that may occur. You can find more information about vaccinations and caring for your dog on our petcare blog.

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