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Canine Distemper Vaccine Side Effects And Reactions

Canine Distemper Vaccine Side Effects And Reactions

Canine Distemper is one of the most feared diseases among dogs, and rightly so. It’s extremely contagious and potentially fatal even with aggressive supportive treatment. In fact, it’s found that only 50% of infected adult dogs and 20% of infected puppies will survive the disease. That’s why Canine Distemper is one of the core vaccines always provided to puppies and unvaccinated adult dogs during their initial vet visits. However, like with other vaccines or medications, some dogs may experience side effects and reactions after getting a Canine Distemper shot. It’s different for every dog, but reactions can range from a mild rash to severe seizure episodes.


Canine Distemper Vaccine Side Effects


Canine Distemper Vaccine Side Effects And ReactionsOne of the most common side effects that come along with the Canine Distemper vaccine is a fever. After getting their shot, your dog may start to feel a bit warm to the touch. Some dogs will experience an increase in body temperature only a few hours after the vaccine is administered, while for others, fever can strike after a day or two. Make sure to check their body temperature. If it reaches 40 Celsius and above, contact your veterinarian immediately.

When getting your dog vaccinated, it’s best to pick a day when you’ll have free time to monitor them afterward, especially if they’re getting that shot for the very first time. There’s no way to predict how your dog is going to respond to a vaccine beforehand, so you’ll need to keep an eye on them for a while to make sure they don’t experience any adverse reactions.


Weakness And Loss Of Appetite

Another common side effect of the Canine Distemper vaccine is weakness together with a loss appetite. Most dogs will just want to lay down, maybe even sleep after getting vaccinated, which is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. When this happens, all you need to do is allow your dog to have some peace and quiet while they nap it out.  They’ll bounce right back once their immune system adjusts to the vaccine.


Itching, Facial Swelling Or Hives

Canine Distemper Vaccine Side Effects And ReactionsItching, swelling or formation of hives can happen when dogs are allergic to the vaccine itself or a specific chemical in it. After getting vaccinated, small red bumps may form around the injection site or on your dog’s head. It’s also possible for their face or tongue to start swelling and block their airways, which is very dangerous.

Always check your dog for any signs of an allergic reaction after getting a Canine Distemper shot, or any other shots, for that matter. If you notice facial or tongue swelling, take them to the animal hospital right away.


Vomiting And Diarrhea

The Canine Distemper vaccine may also cause dogs to feel sick and nauseous. That’s because the dog’s immune system is fighting the weakened form of the virus from the vaccine and affecting their gastrointestinal tract in the process. Mild vomiting and diarrhea are not unusual; however, if your dog starts vomiting excessively and diarrhea continues, seek medical attention right away.



Canine Distemper Vaccine Side Effects And ReactionsSeizures are probably one of the most worrying side effects of the Canine Distemper vaccine. It can start as mild tremors or muscle spasms and progress to a full-blown seizure episode.

It can be very alarming to see your dog shaking violently, but the best way to go about it is to stay calm and try to remove objects around your seizing dog that might hurt their head. Once the seizure stops, take your dog to the animal hospital immediately so they can receive medical attention as early as possible.



Canine Distemper Vaccine Reactions


Local Reactions

Local reactions, also known as local injection-site reactions, are mostly harmless and resolve on their own. If your dog is experiencing this kind of reaction to a Canine Distemper shot, you’ll see some swelling, redness, pus, or abscesses around the injection site. They can form within minutes to an hour after your dog gets vaccinated. Once they appear, make sure to note any changes. However, it’s rare for local reactions to get worse. They can typically heal without needing medication or treatment.


Anaphylactic Reactions

Anaphylactic reactions are the scariest among all the types of adverse reactions and can easily take an animal’s life without timely medical attention. They’re normally associated with vaccines that have a lot of adjuvanted or chemically enhanced, foreign proteins—also known as adjuvanted vaccines. Non-adjuvanted proteins, on the other hand, are considered safer and less likely to cause reactions. One example is the Recombitek®.

Signs of an anaphylactic reaction include itching, facial swelling, hives, excessive salivation, head tics, severe diarrhea, excessive vomiting, breathing difficulties, and bluish gums and tongue.


Has your dog ever had an adverse reaction to a vaccine? Let us know in the comments!

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