Add New Post

Vaccination Side Effects in Pets

Last Modified on Jan 24, 2016


Posted by Sally (San Diego, California) on 05/06/2008

[SIDE EFFECTS]  My 3 year old Bichon-Poodle mix just had her yearly Bordetella Vaccine and is experiencing side effects of loss of appetite, very tired, slight cough and cries when I try to pick her up. Prior to receiving the vaccine, she was a normal happy dog. The side effects began about 6 hours after receiving the treatment. I have given her 4 mg of Chlorpheniramine Mealeate which has not helped yet. She has never had a reaction to this vaccine before.

Posted by jasmina (mount prospect, illinois) on 04/29/2008

[SIDE EFFECTS]  We took our yorkiepoo for her 9 week shots one was the bordetella on her back and a couple of weeks after noticed that the hair fell out in that spot and on the skin was a dark quarter size looking mark. Now in that same spot there is brown hair growing in the shape of a quarter size circle. Asked vet, said they did not know what it was. Vet gave her another shot at 12 weeks this time over her right leg and a couple of weeks later the same thing has happened. Should I take to another vet and have her blood checked or is this from the vaccines. Scared to get her 16 week shots. Affraid my yorkiepoo will look like a dalmation by the time all of this is over. Anyone have the same problem. Is this genetic or from the vaccines?

Replied by Sunshine
Coral Springs, Florida
Use your head people, if you put poison in your dogs system, they will undoubtly have horrible adverse reactions, DO NOT VACCINATE, DO NOT SUPPORT THE CONVENTIONAL VETS, FEED YOUR ANIMALS A RAW FOOD DIET, Take them off all medications, find yourself a holistic vet, give your pet natural supplements, and I promise you, you will have nothing but healthy vibrant animals.
Replied by Marianne
Berlin, Germany
Hallo, Sunshine: What a comment! I just want to congratulate you to your intelligence and common sense. You speak right out of my heart. By the way, the same goes for humans, especially babies, too. Keep on spreading the message.

All the best, Marianne

Replied by Janet
Raymond Nh, Nh
Sunshine from Florida, You are so right about not vaccinating. I lost 3 goldens within the last 3 years due to all these horrible vaccinations that vets are pushing. The sad part is that I found out to late and lost them. All developed some form of cancer. I really want justice for all the heart ache I went through. Not to say all my hard earned money spent on there greed.

The sad part is that so many people don't know what going on. You probabley heard of the Rabies Challenge Fund. If not get on any read. Very interesting. Frontline and Advantage is a pesticide which causes cancer. People don't realize that too!

I think we need to do more to make people aware of whats going on. Any ideas?


Raymond NH

Replied by Kay
Jax, Fl/usa
I wish I had found a Holistic Vet 9 yrs ago when I got my puppy and raised my GSD on the natural foods and no drugs. Now, here we are with a diagnosis of polyneuropathy, kidney disease, degenerative disk disease and possibly degenerative myleopathy. I do have her off of commercial foods. Now the vet wants her on Enalapril and another Vet wants her on Benazepril. Both are drugs to treat high blood pressure and heart problems, but also Kidney disease. Lots of side effects which is typical for drugs. So far, I have not done anything. I am cooking mixed veggies and center loin pork chops, she gets a compounded vitamin mixture, etc. So far, we have spent close to $4,000 and I don't think it is going to stop! She hasn't gotten worse since I first wrote in May so this is good.

So, yes, perhaps, I had started her early, on the natural diets, etc, she wouldn't be in the position she is.

Replied by Esprit64
North Yarmouth, Maine Usa
Several years ago, I had three pets. In one year, I had spent $3, 000 in vet bills. It was then I realized something was really wrong with how I cared for them. Their sicknesses just did not make sense since I had been following what I believed was good advice.

I therefore did a lot of research and realized how the vet industry is beholding to the commercial pet food industry (their foods causing pets' illnesses requiring ongoing and never-ending vet bills). Do a search on "What's really in our pets' foods. " Also, don't forget, there's additional money to be made by vets using their various machines for medical testing (it's not uncommon for vets to require a more costly test when a simple bloodwork might do--always research what you suspect your pets' condition may be PRIOR to a vet visit, learning what the appropriate and less costly testing may or may not be involved for diagnosis and treatment). Unnecessarily repeated and toxic vaccines also add to a vet's bottom line. One year, my dog had a vaccine and 2 weeks later, he developed black crud in his ears. Another costly vet bill to resolve. However, afterwards, I learned that the condition was a by-product of the vaccine. My vet's explanation--"Oh, these things happen"--never once, did he allude to the vaccine until I called him on it. Needless to say, I never visited him again.

The best way to prevent disease in our dogs and cats is to feed them a raw meat diet (no grains/dairy/any COOKED foods), to include healthy pre-packaged dog/cat foods like BRAVO in the USA(containing the balance of nutrients required for their daily needs). As a layperson, it's next to impossible trying to duplicate these needed pet nutrients yourself. But, I do add to their diets by buying low-cost meats like hearts and livers from my local butcher (livers contain Vitamin A, a vitamin that stores in the body, hence, you must not overfeed liver--I limit my pets to 3x weekly). Fresh vegetables and fruits are also added to meals, care is taken not to overdose on fruits either.

For teeth, forget the toothbrushing, which, I believe is ridiculous advice from an industry that simply wants to sell their products. Dogs & cats natural toothbrush is the eating of raw (never cooked) bones. Some pet owners disagree with such advice, stating that some pets simply cannot eat bones. If you think that, do your own research and decide for yourself.

One indicator that you are feeding your pets well is you'll notice that their poo and breath do not smell--and, most importantly, they are not passing gas. My dog is presently 3 years old, her teeth are pearly white, and, she can pant in my face--you can hardly notice any smell at all. Always watch your pets elimination practices and results--a good indicator of current health (Fiber in the form of crushed flax seeds is good).

Once disease takes hold, as it did with each of my three wee ones, I tried hard to save them. However, my guess is that after years of bad eating before I got smart, the damage wasn't able to be undone. As you seek answers for your dogs or cats, also remember--they may be mammals like human beings and therefore may share benefits from similar remedies. However, their biologies are unique to them, and, a remedy safe for one may be lethal for another. Even between dogs and cats. Were you aware that gerbils eat cyanide safely? Imagine what it'd do for you. Do your research before deciding on any remedy for your pets.

Posted by Kendra (Effort, PA) on 04/20/2008

[SIDE EFFECTS]  In response to you query about side effects. Montana, Airedale 65 lbs and 10 months old given Bordatella internasal vaccine. 2 days later lethargic, loss of appetite, no fever for 24 hours. Pulled through with no intervention, but I won't do that again.

Posted by Mary (West Haven, CT) on 04/14/2008

[SIDE EFFECTS]  My 7 year old Bichon Frise received the annual bordetella intra-nasal vaccine. The next day he sounded like he had whooping cough. He seemed better the following day, but the next day he had a bloody nose from the nostril which received the injection. He was also experiencing severe pain on the side of his neck. I brought him to the 24 hour clinic and was told he was probably having a reaction to the vaccine. My Vet called me the next morning to say that it was not possible, to bring him in for an exam. He was at the Vet all day and I picked him up with a "so called" clean bill of health. The next morning he was having trouble breathing; rushed him back to the Vet; and he was dead within ten minutes after I got there. After death an x-ray was taken which showed his chest cavity full of fluid. A review of the x-ray from the previous day showed the beginning of fluid, but it wasn't addressed at the time. My dog was a healthy and active dog. I truly believe his death was a result of this vaccine.

Replied by Monie
[DEATH REPORTED]   My maltese died within 5 days of receiving vaccines.

Posted by Nicole (Placentia, California) on 02/13/2008

[SIDE EFFECTS]  My dog Ozzy a 6 month old Boston Terrier had his first Bordatella vaccine before being fixed. He has been very sick with flu like symptoms for 4 days now. He's been dry heaving, vomiting, and losing weight. He's just not himself. I honesty think it was the shot that contributed to these symptoms.

Posted by Katie (Terre Haute, IN) on 07/24/2007

[SIDE EFFECTS]  I boarded my Maltese and Yorkie at the Vet's office for a week and was told I had to get the Bordetella Vaccine for my Yorkie and Maltese. A week later, when I picked them up they were both wheezing and coughing. It seems the vaccine caused this instead of preventing it.

Posted by Teresa (Austin, Texas, USA) on 06/19/2007

[SIDE EFFECTS]  Our LhasaApso was given a bordetella vaccination to prevent. One week later she developed a severe dog cough and scared us a great deal. Our neighbor commented that her dog also had the same type of cough after the same vaccination. Children's cough syrup helps keep the cough under control. We were not informed when the vaccination was administered that this would happen. In effect, the vaccination for "dog cough" creates "dog cough.

Combination Shot  
1 User Reviews | 1 DEATH REPORTED

Posted by Kris (Las Vegas, NV) on 05/08/2013

[DEATH REPORTED]  I took I my 11 yr old sharpei mix for "annual vaccines" and within 7 days she had exploded with cancer and was dead. A year earlier, she had a hanging cancerous growth removed from near a nipple. The vet believed it had not spread. She showed no signs of any mammary involvement and was a healthy, active dog until the vaccines. Within 24 hours of the vaccines, she had labored breathing which worsened day by day. Within 4 days, large mammary masses appeared and her back legs swelled. One week to the day of the vaccinations, she died in the back seat of my car on the way to the vet for the 4th time that week (not the same vet that did the vaccines! ) I believe her immune system had been healthy and had kept the cancer at bay, but the vaccines affected her immune system and allowed the cancer to explode. I miss her terribly and blame the "4 in 1" for her death.

Distemper (Cats)  

Posted by Rich (Chapel Hill, Nc) on 04/25/2015

[DEATH REPORTED]  I am writing this because our beloved one-year old, Reido, just died this morning, a week and a half after getting his distemper shot. We'd notice that he was much more lethargic than usual a couple of days after his shot, and not playing at all. His appetite was off, though he was eating some and drinking.

I called my vet. She said it was unusual for it to last more than a few days, so watch him and call her back.

Reido was simply been like an old man. Very slow to get up, very slow to lie down. He'd walk a few steps and then lie down again. No sounds. Just a sick cat, without any other visible sign other than his obviously low energy, low appetite.

I tried Bach Rescue Remedy, which seemed to work some to get him to look me in the eye. I comforted him, petted him. But otherwise, I hadn't even heard a purr from him in a week.

Last night, I saw him walk (ever so slowly and gingerly) over the toilet downstairs twice, each time to hang his head near the water and eventually lap some. Over the past week, he's vomited, albeit with little volume, twice or three times over the past week. Lethargic, legs under his body much of the time, unresponsive.

I can't really say he was acting at all like that before the vaccinations. And now that I research it just a bit, I find that he was acting like he had distemper.

Reido died this morning, around 7:30a. He crawled to spot close to where our beloved Sebastian died about 2 years ago, very quite, very warm.

It would be wonderful if these sorts of 'exceptions' were publicized -- if this is, indeed, one of those. At least to get the conversation going among vets. But given that there are seldom any official autopsies, they never rise beyond presumption, scientifically speaking. Honestly, there are LOTS of people telling the same kinds of stories, but not much in the official literature. Not surprising, but disheartening for those of us who want to make well informed decisions for ourselves and our animals.

Replied by Diana
Though I don't have answers about the distemper shot, I will never agree with any vet who wants to give my cat multiple shots. Possibly they no longer do it. But my great 16 pound LynxPoint Siamese whose big heart personality won over everyone who ever met him, was given multiple shots at a traditional vet and ever after that, came down in failing health until he died a few months later. During that time, I took him back to the vet and my cat tried to attack the fellow who gave him the shot. (He was good at this because he had practiced on dogs. For some reason, though he was a big mushball, he had it out for dogs and whenever he saw one, he would run and jump on their backs and dig in his claws. The dog would be in full alarm not knowing where the attacker was! My big cat got away with this multiple times. One day, when he was inside the house, a huge German Shepard came to the window. He was the largest G.S. I'd EVER laid eyes on. My cat saw him from a bedroom and took off like lightning heading for the dog. Fortunately, there was a sliding glass door window between the two. My cat didn't let that stand in his way. Leaping up towards the dog, he ended up spread-eagled on the window like a pancake. I gave thanks ...)

Later I read that multiple shots confuse the immune system and that down months later, cats come down with a problem. Owners don't make the connection back to the shots and the vet is never questioned or held responsible.

Posted by Therese (Wadsworth, Ohio ) on 11/14/2013

[SIDE EFFECTS]  I took two of my cats (siblings) for their distemper shots about two weeks ago. One of them is currently at the vet for what I beleive is a reaction to the shot (high fever, no appetite, lethargy, nausea). Prior to this shot he was perfectly healthy. Just got off the phone with the vet and shes testing for kidney infection/failure because of his labwork. This is now my second cat that had the EXACT SAME THING happen. Three years ago I took my cat Buddy for his distemper shot and exactly two weeks later he was rushed to the vet with high fever, lethargy, no appetite. After a couple days on fluids he was fine and has been 100% healthy to this day. My vet is in Medina also. After Buddy's incident I spoke with the vet several times explaining that I beleived it to be a reaction the the distemper shot. She refused to believe it!! She finally said that if I felt so strongly we would not vaccinate Buddy again. Now I just called back and left a message for her that this appears to be another shot reaction just like Buddy's. We shall see what she says THIS time!! I'm wondering if these shots are worth the risk at this point since my cats are indoors.

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hey Therese!

I'm sorry to hear about your ill kitty; I'm even more sorry to hear about the reaction by your vet! This is a person who is supposed to be your team mate in your pet's health, and they are failing to take into consideration the first hand feedback from the team member who spends 100% of their time caring for and observing the pet! [Head:Desk]

It makes perfects sense to me that if one sibling had a bad reaction, that the second sibling might react the same way; its familial.

You might consider dosing both cats with homeopathic Thuja Occidentalis; also dosing some activated charcoal - mixed in with wet food am and pm for a week.

If these were my cats I would NOT vaccinate again, ever. Particularly since they are both indoor kitties.

I would also consider changing vets; the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association lists several holistic practitioners in your area. I find the website hard to use, so a few options if you are interested:

These vets may be able to help heal via nutrition some of the damage done. Please keep us posted on your cat's recovery!

Posted by Oleander (South Carolina) on 10/15/2013

[SIDE EFFECTS]  We are fostering a mother cat and her 2 kittens. We have had this little family since they were less than a week old. The 2 kittens; one girl and one boy, have been totally healthy and fine. They are now 8 weeks old. We were told to get them their first "Distemper" vaccine at 4 weeks old, but since they had a mother and were not orphans, they could wait til 6 weeks. We had their shots done at 6.5 weeks, 11 days ago. Well. Within 3-4 days the little girl started limping on her front leg. I thought this was weird so I planned to call the vet in the morning. The next morning she was limping on her BACK leg. So I talk to the vet and they said this was a vaccine reaction and should clear up pretty fast, and that I could give her a few drops of baby benydryl. So I did that, and continued to watch her. She was eating fine, drinking normally, peeing and pooping normal with no signs of any other issues except her back, left leg.

So, last night, on day 10, I was doing the daily check of her leg to make sure it wasn't getting worse, and I notice it was really swollen at the upper joint, nearly the size of a golf ball!! So today I called the vet and they said to bring her in. I did, and when the vet saw her they said it looked like her back leg and front leg were broken! I said NO WAY and they did X-rays and of course, NOTHING was broken or fractured or injured at all. They said there was a lot of swelling in her back leg joint and a little in her front leg (right) lower joint. They said she had a slight temp. They first said maybe it was DISTEMPER?? I said NO, she has been only with her mother and brother, no where NEAR any other cats and none of them are sick. Plus she has been vaccinated. They do not believe me that it is a vaccination reaction. I said, but don't you give the vaccine in the rear left leg?? and they said No, it's given in the upper back. Which is NOT true. So now my little baby girl is being hospitalized at the vet on multiple antibiotics when I believe all she needs is something to counteract the reaction to the vaccine. What a mess. I have had many foster kittens, have done tons and tons of kitten vaccines and have never seen this happen. I also am pretty positive the shot was given in the left rear leg, not the upper back as they now are stating.

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hey Oleander!

I am sorry for your experience. Was this experience with a vet with whom you were familiar, or a newer partner? I certainly would have a frank talk with the owner if a partner treated you in this manner, or seek a new vet if this was the owner. Veterinarians are *generalists* and wise vets understand that breeders and rescuers are *specialists*, often with far more experience in a particular niche than their own. Of course they poked the lil' kiki in the leg and NOT the upper back - you are not mis-remembering this; that is the new protocol as a leg is easier to amputate should cancer develop at the site of vaccination [sad but true].

It may help to give this baby some homeopathic Thuja, along with probiotics and additional cleaners such as activated charcoal or milkthistle. Poor lil baby ki. Kudos for rescuing and fostering!

Posted by Benji5781 (Freehold, Nj) on 04/16/2013

[SIDE EFFECTS]  My chihuahua had a reaction to distemper vaccination. Her face became swollen and she became lethargic. Pretty scary.

Posted by Christa (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) on 07/04/2012

[SIDE EFFECTS]  My 3 year old cat got his first distemper vaccination yesterday. Starting from about 5 hours after the shot, he lay down in a closet and didn't seem to move from that spot for about 16 hours. I got him to get up and walk around a bit after that period, but he was being very lethargic - not meowing at all (he's usually very vocal) or chasing a laser pointer (which he usually loves). After being up for about an hour he eventually went and hid under the bed. At that point I decided to call the vet because he never hides under there and I know cats do that when they're dying. The vet said these are all normal side effects from the vaccine and that he should be fine by this evening. He's come out from under the bed now, but he's still pretty much just laying around. I did get him to meow a few times though. He seems to be getting a bit better, but as he's an indoor cat I doubt I'll ever put him through this again.

Posted by Nancy (Lincolnshire, Il) on 12/10/2010

[WARNING!]  Per your request for info re animal vaccination reactions:

My DSH [domestic short-hair feline, a b/w tuxedo female, age approx. 15 yrs. , had her first negative reaction to a vaccination. A distemper booster turned the white skin on the back of her neck black. Nothing further happened, and that condition dissipated; however, that small section is now bald. Her vet, who is very good, was alarmed by this result and checked with the manufacturer - which claimed no other such reactions. The vet entered into my cat's files: NEVER EVER AGAIN GIVE THIS CAT A DISTEMPER SHOT. FYI. Thank you for this forum.

Posted by Jenn (Highlands Ranch, Colorado) on 09/11/2009

[SIDE EFFECTS]  This past April we took our two cats into our new vet to get their distemper shots done. This new vet required us to get those shots for our pets to be seen by them. For the whole time I've had my cats, one for 14 years and one for 7 years they have only ever recieved their distemper shot, not the rabies vacination. So we took our cats in for their shots and there was a BIG mis-communication between us and our vet. When the vet came into give the shots they gave our cats both the rabies and distemper shot. I honestly didn't think to ask why they had two needles. I know this was a big mistake on my part and it was our fault for not saying anything or asking why two needles. So after the shots when we paid we realized that we paid for rabies shots. I was very suprised and said to my husband that well it can't hurt them but next time we won't get those for them since we never had before. Well a week after the vacinations were given our younger cat who is 7 years old came down with a Urinary Tract Infection/UTI. He had never had a UTI ever in his whole life until a week after the vacination. My husband and I immediately both thought that it was related to the rabies shot since he had never had one before and now all of the sudden a UTI! So we took him in to be treated and I asked the vet could it be related to the rabies shot. Well naturally the vet said no, that it would have nothing to do with it. But then why would they say anything different? They make money off of it! Both of our cats are indoor cats, and have been their whole lives so this is why we don't get their rabies shots. I will not be so irresponsiable again when it comes to vacinations for my pets. I personally feel it was because of the rabies shot but who knows. I know my pets and I take very good care of them so I personally feel that the UTI was caused by the rabies vacination.

Replied by Kyrie
Dickinson, North Dakota
[SIDE EFFECTS]   Well I got my kitten vaccinated about three weeks ago now, and she has been slowly losing the use of her back legs. It was the panleuk combo vaccine (not sure what brand) and I didn't notice it at first. She just stopped jumping around. I assumed it was because she was depressed at the loss of our other cat a short time before, as she was also sleeping more. But now? She doesn't seem to have any feeling. You can pinch the left hind leg and get no response, and the right one twitches but little else. I am not sure if this is a reaction to the vaccine but it seems too coincidental not to be considering she is an indoor only cat. If anyone has any advice please let me know!
Replied by Michelle
Calgary, Alberta
I went to my holistic vet and I was suggested to see a homopathic that he works with and she recommented silicea 30C homopathic medicine for 3 days 3 times a day 1 pill crushed between two spoons. It worked great! If you can check with a homopathic vet or write to Dr. Pitcarn for help.