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Vaccination Side Effects in Pets

Last Modified on Jan 24, 2016

Avoiding Vaccines  

Posted by Kathy (Clover, Sc) on 09/20/2011

How can I deal with boarding my dog without the required shots? I have a 5 lb Maltese and right now have someone come to the house to take him out when I'm gone away. But at some point I may have to board him. Even a friend who has a kennel requires the rabies and bordatella. If she is inspected and the dogs don't have their shots, she can lose her license.

Replied by Vickie
Lansing, Mi/usa
I do not have dogs, but love them. Personally from a couple of friends & one of my own boarding experiences with my cats years ago-I would recommend skipping as many vaccines as possible and instead having a trusted friend dog sit or have one of those paid pet nannys come and vistit your pet 2-3 times a day while you are out, making sure they are bonded and insured, and have a high reputation for the safety of your pet.

Posted by Waterviola (Golden, Colorado, Usa) on 04/21/2011

oh yes - you are welcome - I love this site - so much good info. And great to be reminded of stuff that can be easily forgotten unless I talk about it with others - regarding titer test for your pet - any vetinarian should be able to administer - and send it out to a lab. The test is way more expensive than the immunization - unfortunately - but so worth the extra expense considering the added time you will give to your beloved pet (and time without disease and the pain that goes with that - since they cannot tell us whats wrong and often they suffer in silence. I plan on doing it myself as soon as possible since my dogs license has already expired - she will never have another vaccine - just being really careful in the mean time - Live IN Health!

Posted by Waterviola (Golden, Colorado, Usa) on 04/20/2011

If your pet has had even one rabies shot - he will have evidence of that in his blood due to the antibodies - no need to have more vacinations for the same shot-year after year -that is over use and misuse of vaccines and that is very debilitating for your pet - get a titer instead - a blood test that recognizes the antibodies which will render another vaccine of the same unecessary (and proof of this titer test is acceptable verification for city license for your pet)

The same is true for all other vacinnations - Live in Health!

Replied by Jr
Coloma, Mi
Thanks so much for that information. Just curious.. Do you have any idea what a titer test costs?
Replied by Jr
Coloma, Mi
I have one more question about the titer test. Who does that? Does the vet do it?

Posted by Jr (Coloma, Mi) on 04/13/2011

I have been fighting illness in my dog due to all the vaccinations, heartworm medication etc. She is finally starting to do better and it's time for another Rabies vaccination. Does anyone know any way around this? I can't get a dog license unless I show she has had her rabies shot and I don't want to put her through another vaccination as it just makes her sick and back to square one.

Replied by Dianna
Austin, Tx
why do you need a dog license? you can just keep the old one on your dog and don't bring anyone's attention to it.

Posted by Ron (Canton, Mass) on 09/19/2010

Read up on vaccincations. They are 16% of vet profits. Overvaccination is something called vaccinosis. A DISEASE! Read all you can about what your pets really need. We humans don't get vaccinations every year. Titers should be checked to see if your pet really needs that yearly vaccinations.

Booster Shots  
4 User Reviews | 1 SIDE EFFECT

Posted by Shanon (Las Vegas, Nv) on 01/05/2016

[SIDE EFFECTS]  Our 9 year old Boxer received several booster shots recently (approx 4 to 5 weeks ago).

My boyfriend's daughter works at a dog daycare/vet clinic and gets some services for free. She had mentioned this to us and said to let her know next time Roscoe needs anything. So we asked her about having his nails trimmed and she suggested she take him to work with her to have the service done. We said fine and off he went for the day.

When she brought him home she announced she'd had several boosters given to him and the vet had checked him for arthritis in his hips and blah blah blah. We were not thrilled and we've already decided next time we'll just pay someone to clip his nails because we feel she way overstepped her boundaries, but anyhow...

Beginning about a week after this all happened we noticed he smelled different. Not really foul, but different. He smells kinda like peanut butter with a dash of "dog needs a bath" smell on it.

Also we have noticed him occasionally dragging one foot (on the injection side) slightly and being a bit clumsy though his hind end. These symptoms neither of us have ever seen him exhibit before. We BOTH noticed.

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hello Shannon,

Sorry to hear about the over stepping [step]daughter :-(

The catch all term for what has occurred with your boy is 'vaccinosis'; this is a series of events and not just one thing. Commonly an adverse reaction to vaccination results in yeast over growth, often in the GI tract, which then manifests outwardly with skin funk and funny odors.

First things first: make sure you are feeding high end groceries - grain free kibble or home made or RAW.

Dosing with homeopathic Thuja Occidentalis is also a good idea.

Organ cleansers such as Milk Thistle [1 pill am and pm for 10 days], and bentonite clay and activated charcoal also a good idea.

Given that there very likely is a systemic yeast infection in the works, Ted's borax protocol for dogs would be my next step.

Topically I would consider Ted's Mange Remedy as a start for one dip, and then follow up with weekly or twice a week dips in Ted's Anti-fungal/Anti-staph dip - you can use this to flush the ears when you do the body dip.

Lastly, after the borax protocol, I would begin supplementing probiotics/acidophillus - perhaps starting with DDS w/FOS or PB8, and then rotate among several brands so the various strains of bacteria are varied. Typically you would dose 1 brand for 3 weeks and then alternate to a different brand, and keep on in that way.

Please report back!

Replied by Phyllis
Tuscumbia, Alabama
Hi Shanon,

First of all yes she overstepped in a big way. Secondly the vet should not have been giving shots to a non patient without the OWNER'S permission and should be reported. The only vet giving medications to an animal is their own vet who knows whether they may be allergic to certain medications.

Second, take him to his own vet, it sounds to me like the foot dragging and clumsy movements could be serious. The smell may be as simple as yeast build up which is easily dealt with but check with his vet to be sure.

Posted by Mi (St Augustine, Florida) on 06/03/2009

How many Booster shots does a puppy need any way? When I first purchased my male rat terrier, the seller told me that he already got his first set of shots and gave me the vet's paper work for my vet. When I took my puppy to the vet for exam they told me that they were going to start all over because I waited too long to get him his next booster. I have been going every month to the vet for booster shots since that first time and it never seems to end. The last time I went to the vet, they told me that was all the shots he needed and he got his rabies shot too. Now I receive a reminder that he now needs his Corona booster #4 and DHPP booster #5 - gee how many of these booster shots does he really need? Will it harm him if I do not get these (hopefully) last set of shots? Thank you for your assistance.


Posted by Barbara (Alabama) on 01/08/2016

[DEATH REPORTED]  6 months ago at a wellness check my vet said that my 8 year old MaltiTzu needed a Bordetella vaccine - Immediately after he started snorting and started reverse sneezing - Over the next few months he went back to the Vet and relayed the frequent snorting, sneezing and reverse sneezing - the Vet told us to administer Benedryl - the vet said that the Bordatella had nothing to do with the reverse sneezing and coughing -

Yesterday he became lethargic, stopped eating and had labored breathing - it was after hours and we took him to an emergency vet - his temp was 103 - the vet said that he walked fine - tail wagging and that the only thing she saw was that he was gassious - she told us to take him home and give him a gax-x - she said to followup with our vet in the morning - all night his breath was shallow and raspy - he did not sleep and I held him up to enable his breathing - this morning I was at my local vet at 6 am - the vet told us his temp was 106 - very low white count and that the xray showed fluid in his right lung - diagnosed with asperation pneumonia - we took him to a critical care hospital with an oxygen crate - they worked on him all day - they said that it could be bronchial pneumonia - his status deteriorated and he went into total organ failure - he passed this evening - I am convinced that the bordatella was the cause - all of my vets have denied even hearing of bad reactions from bordatella spray vaccine - something needs to be done

EC: We are so very sorry for your loss.

Replied by Barbara
I am distraught and frustrated. I have many questions about the care my dog got at the initial emergency vet visit - it was 9:30 PM and after letting an on-call listen to his breathing over the phone she suggested we go to the emergency clinic that was closer to our home - she called that clinic to relay the symptoms and advise that we were coming. When we arrived they took Gumbo from us for evaluation. A vet tech came in to get our version of symptoms. Along with fast, raspy breathing, not eating, not walking we advised that he had jumped off the back of a sofa earlier in the day. The vet came in and advised that his temp was 103 and that he walked and wagged his tail and that she thought he was just gassious - advised a gas-x and to visit our vet in the morning.

At 6:30 after a long night of no sleep and labored breathing I arrived at our vet's office - his temp was 106 and in grave condition. They administered oxygen and antibiotics and said that the xray showed possible aspiration pneumonia - we were advised to go to the same emergency clinic for him to be put into an oxygen crate - he died late that afternoon. I did not INSIST on a blood test or xray at the emergency vet the prior evening which is eating at me every minute. I wondered at the time why neither was given. I thought that at minimum a blood test and chest xray were warranted. His white count was low on exam the next morning I believe the was pure negligence by the emergency vet the prior evening. Antibiotics and oxygen could have been started 11 hrs earlier and may have made a difference.

Beside the heartache of losing my sweet Gumbo the guilt is intense. ALWAYS go with your gut and question a Vet's actions.

Posted by Jody P. (Ct.) on 10/16/2015

[SIDE EFFECTS]  My 10 year old beagle Annie had her bordetella vaccine on 9/6/15. The next day she became gravely ill. She seemed to be in severe pain and would flinch when you tried to touch her, especially around the head. I rushed her to our vet and spent 2 days in the hospital. She was sent home with prednisone and antibiotics. She seemed to slowly be getting better until 3 weeks later when Annie developed a severe eye infection. Our vet referred us to a pet eyecare specialist and he concluded it was caused by nerve damage on the left side of her head. Annie was happy and healthy prior to the vaccine.

(HERE IS THE KICKER) our vet contacted the manufacturer or the vaccine and they replied that they have never heard of any problems with the vaccine. Then our vet said they are going to send us a check for 1,300.00 dollars.and they did. Something is very rotten in Denmark. Something must be done about this.

Posted by Dale (Nj) on 06/30/2015

[SIDE EFFECTS]  Please help me... my perfectly healthy 6 year old Tibetan terrier had his bordetella shot in April and has not been the same. He has seen 2 vets, many tests, xrays, ultra sounds, blood, stool and all have come back negative.

He is anemic, lethargic, lost weight, and appetite. I did some research on this vaccine, and am frightened with what I am reading on the side effects.

Please guide me as to how I should approach this horrible situation.

Thank you in advance,


Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hey Dale!

Did your vet check for Immune mediated hemolytic anemia? This is one documented vaccine side effect.

From the web:

"Immune mediated hemolytic anemia is a severe, life-threatening disease whereby theimmune system targets and destroys the red blood cells of the body, resulting in anemia, jaundice (yellow gums), pale gums, weakness and sometimes fever. Animals can be so severely anemic that they need blood transfusions to stay alive and some maydie as a result of anemia and lack of oxygen to tissues or as a result of blood clotsentering the lungs, brain or kidneys (ruptured red blood cell membranes float around causingclots to form). These animals are sometimes very sick and in need of special veterinary care and immune-suppressive medications in order to recover. Some willnot recover despite what we do.

When to worry:

Any dog with pale or yellow gums must be seen by a vet. These signs will often be accompanied by variable signs of lethargy (tiredness), low exercise tolerance, collapse, dark coloured urine (the urine is often deep yellow, red - the colour of port wine - or brown), heavy or rapid breathing and sometimes inappetence and fever."


Posted by T. (Usa) on 03/18/2015

About two months ago I went to get my jack Russell shots and vet said she needed the bordetella. I had no idea that I could refuse. My pup is never around many dogs and we don't do the dog parks. Now she reverse sneezes and at night while trying to sleep she has mucus in her nose and it's hard for her to breathe. This was never an issue before the nasal bordetella. I'm very angry. And I am saddened to hear that she never really needed it to begin with!!!!

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hey T!

I am sorry to hear about your JRT. The bordetaella [kennel cough] vaccine has been proven to not work AND your dog has been shedding live virus, potentially giving other dogs KC, for weeks now. The shedding of the live virus should end after 6-8 weeks, but since your girl still has symptoms of KC I would be careful about taking him out in public until she is well.

You might consider EC's hydrogen peroxide remedy for KC:

Good luck and thank you for sharing your story!

Replied by Om
Hope, Bc Canada
Hi--- re sneezing. See the video on EC about hydrogen peroxide inhalation method. I use it for myself, my cats and dogs too. You can try first a 1% solution and then use 3% if you feel it is ok.

No problem, cheap and it works on animals too.

Namaste, Om

Replied by Katrina
Pharmaceutical companies are taking advantage of people, animals and children. These are billion dollar companies. I dont believe in doctors or vets when it comes to vaccines. I have refused to do this at the vet when they were telling me to vaccinate or dog can't be groomed. I ignored them and went to a groomer in town. Be careful with your pets and not just pets people and kids are being over vaccinated!! Please learn from this!!

Posted by Tiffany (Memphis, Tn, Usa) on 04/13/2013

[SIDE EFFECTS]  We have a 10 week old male Labrador/Mastiff puppy. He started puppy class and we were told he had to have the Bordetella vaccine to continue. Our vet gave him the nasal spray vaccine. Within a few hours he was snippy and agressive - he had not previously been. As soon as we got home, he made a bee-line for our 5 year old son who was sitting on the floor and bit him. He ran a fever the rest of the day and through the night. We gave him some benedryl. He is eating and pooping fine today, and without fever. But he is still showing much more agression that he ever did before his shot. But there is still the agression. We are very sad indeed. This morning, he bit our 5 year old's pants and began to growl at him. He hasn't growled at any of us the whole week he has been home before yesterday's vaccine. I feel as if we have ruined our sweet puppy.

Replied by Lindy
So interesting reading the ladies story on the lab x mastiff pup having the kennel cough vaccine and puppy becoming suddently aggressive . My pup is same breed and did exactly the same with my other dog since vaccination , and has continued to . before her vaccination she was lovely, kind.

Posted by Cosmo685 (Bridgewater, Nj ) on 12/14/2011

[SIDE EFFECTS]  Just wanted to let people know Pfizer doesn't stand up and do the right thing when one of their vaccines cause adverse side effects. A multi-million dollar company can't reimburse a few hundered dollars in vet bills due to an adverse effect from thier Bordetella vaccine. They also only look into reactions if they get a substantial number - they don't review the data on a regular basis. I had a perfectly healthy dog prior to the vaccine but after he had a reaction which necessitated more vet visits. To this day, months later, he isn't the same dog.

Replied by Heidi
Okc, OK
[DEATH REPORTED]   My 11 year old Japanese Chin who was perfectly healthy just died suddenly five days after being administered the Bordetella shot orally at the kennel where she was staying while I was out of town. When I picked her up after 4 days of being there, she was lethargic and very thirsty--I thought she was tired from all the barking. She started throwing up and having diareha with fresh blood in it. She died a few hours later, before I could get her to a vet. I will never leave my babies at a kennel again or get shots!
Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Heidi, I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing so that others may benefit.
Replied by Joyce

I'm so sorry for your loss!! I too have a Japanese Chin & just had her DHLPP & Bordatella done 4/12 & she's acting lethargic, not eating or drinking and walking like she has stiff joints. This started 3 days after her vaccine. She's 10 years old and I will never have her vaccinated unless its required by law.

Replied by Mae
[SIDE EFFECTS]   Our 10 month old mutt had the vaccine nasal spray and he is wheezing and coughing and hacking.
Replied by Jackie

Two days ago I had my 10 yr old Pomeranian vaccinated with the bordetella shot. By evening he had swollen up like a tick and had a hard time walking...barely even being able to pick up his head. He was also sore to the touch for when I pet him he shook from pain.

Luckily, I had metacam (an anti inflammatory) as well as Valium (for pain). I consulted the vet for proper dosages and by morning he was back to normal size. He's still taking both medications daily and I'm hoping the swelling will stay clear after the third day of meds.

This was the only shot administered that day which is why I am so certain it was the bordetella. However, my female Pom got the same shot the same day and had no side affects. It's a case by case aware and take immediate precautions.

Replied by Reyna
[SIDE EFFECTS]   Last wed my dog got her annual bordetella vaccine. Vet tried to do it orally up nose, but she refused most of it and then got really aggressive after showing teeth which we have never ever seen her do. He ended up doing it through shot. 2 days later she began coughing up phlem and 3 days later it turned into green stomach bile. and 4 days later she had 105.6 fever and we had to rush her to er vet. She had 3 visits of intravenous fluids to keep her from passing and we luckily switched up enough treats that were easy for her to eat despite the poor thing hacking to keep her food. After much medication and worry , a week later she is finally back to normal , but we are positive it was the bordetella that almost cost us to lose the love of our life!!

Posted by Halo (Ashdown, Arkansas, Usa) on 02/27/2011

[WARNING!]  My 10 week old Wolf/husk high content hybrid has been severly congested (to the point of choking) since the eveing after his Bordatella vaccine 13 days ago. Steam and a towel with vapor rub on it just outside his crate at night helps but, I will NEVER give him that vaccine again and am hesitant to give him ANY vaccines in the future.

Posted by Bostons Rule (Saint Petersburg, Fl) on 02/21/2011

This is a deadly drug for any snubnose dog. Why must we give it to dogs at such a young age. They already have weak systems, this has cause upper respitatory infection everytime. Why not wait until they are older with a stronger immune system. Giving so many vaccines at one time is very unhealthy. If they want these dogs to get vaccinated then must the sale age greater.