What is it?
• Reactions from vaccines may include mild fever, muscle soreness, and/or lethargy.
• These mild reactions are common, and they are not alarming or life-threatening.
• Allergic reactions are inflammatory responses of the body to the vaccine within minutes to hours after vaccination.
What causes it?
• It is an immune reaction (response) can be directed against some vaccine component, such as infectious organism, stabilizers, preservatives, or residue from the culture.
• Giving several vaccines at once increases risk for allergic reaction.
• Clinical signs may include vomiting, itchy skin or bumps, swelling around the face, severe coughing, difficulty breathing, or collapse.
• Symptoms usually occur within 24 hours of vaccine administration, with the most serious reactions occurring immediately.
• Rarely, acute liver and kidney failure may result.
What tests are needed?
• Typically, a vaccine reaction can be diagnosed by observation of clinical signs.
• Other tests may be performed to eliminate the possibility of other diseases.
How is it treated?
• Again, anti-inflammatory injections can be used to hault the inflammatory cascade before it becomes too severe.
• For mild reactions, antihistamines and cortisones usually help to relieve the clinical signs.
• Epinephrine may be administered for a more life-threatening reaction.
• For more serious vaccine reactions, intravenous fluids and medications may be administered to restore or maintain vital signs.
What follow up care is needed?
• Ask your veterinarian regarding the administration of several vaccines at once to your pet.
• Do not have your pet vaccinated at a vaccine clinic because susceptible pets may need emergency treatment if they have a vaccine reaction.
• Make sure your veterinarian is aware of your pet’s susceptibility to vaccine reactions.