Lyme Vaccine Side Effects in Dogs

Apr 29, 2017

Lyme Disease can be a very serious disease for dogs. A vaccine for such a feared disease is great in theory. However many, many pets have had serious side effects from the Vaccine for Lyme Disease including behavioral changes, arthritis, pain, vomiting, lethargy, loss of consciousness, and death.

Earth Clinic readers have shared many alarming stories of reactions in their dogs to the Lyme Vaccine.

Anne from Wisconsin tells us, "My vet suggested my coonhound mix, Trixie, be vaccinated for Lyme disease even though I use tick prevention all year. Within 3 days she was having trouble moving her head and neck and "screamed" if anyone bumped her. She is normally somewhat crazy, jumping and barking at everything, but she stopped barking completely."

"Maxsmom25" from UT shares that her four month old puppy had a reaction to the Lyme Vaccine, "It was terrifying. He went limp and was vomiting, luckily we were still at the vet so they were able to reverse it. But now I am terrified about going back to continue vaccinations!"

In Virginia, Pamela's 11 year old dog went lame within 24 hours of receiving the Lyme Disease Vaccine.

Should My Dog Get the Lyme Vaccine?

What is a pet owner to do? There are risks to the vaccine and risks to the disease it is meant to prevent! But pet owners do have a choice, this is not a mandatory vaccine. In areas where animals are not at risk for tick-borne disease, the risk of the disease is low. Animals that are kept indoors are at low risk, unless the pet owners bring the ticks in on their clothes. There are products to prevent ticks in animals, but these products often come with side effects, too. Happily, may pet owners have found some natural alternatives to these products.

Reducing Risks of Lyme Disease in Dogs

If you have control of your pet's outdoor area, you can work to keep the area tick-free and greatly reduce the risk of Lyme Disease without the worry of the vaccine. Keeping grass short and eliminating brushy areas helps a lot with tick problems. Some pet owners sprinkle cedar granules or diatomaceous earth in the yard to prevent ticks. This may need to be done several times during tick season.

If you do get your pet vaccinated for Lyme Disease, do not get the vaccine if your pet is ill. It is also best to only get one vaccine at a time. This makes it easier to know what vaccine is causing a problem, should your pet have a reaction.

Scroll down to read the stories about the Lyme Vaccine sent to us by Earth Clinic readers.

If your pet has experienced side effects from the Lyme Disease Vaccination, please share your experience!

Lyme Vaccination Side Effects  

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Posted by Kathy (Ny) on 04/29/2017
0 out of 5 stars

My 8 month old GSD received the Lyme vaccination and within hours began limping and became lethargic. He became worse and returned to the vet the next day. He had a 106 temp and could not bear weight on his front leg. Was given an anti-inflammatory and antibiotic. It's been 2 days and he is slowly responding. Needless to say, he won't be getting the 2nd dose

Posted by Nath (New Brunswick) on 04/20/2017
0 out of 5 stars

After my yorkie had the lyme vaccine...I realize she has a hard lump at the spot of the it normal? - 2 weeks now 😢

Posted by Dd (Devils Lake, Nd) on 09/29/2016
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My Golden Retriever had the Lymes vaccine and within two days she was lethargic, crying and could not get up by herself. After taking her to the vet they gave her aspirin saying they thought it was an ACL injury. A month later she was still not well, in fact worse. We had xrays for her hips and decided it was not hip displaysa. After going to another vet they decided it was due to the Lymes vaccine. It is attacking her. Her muscles in her legs would shake and she could not get up by herself. We have put her on prednisone and she is better however when we lower the dose to 1/2 pill every other day she goes back down hill, so then we have to go back up to the previous dose of 1/2 pill every day. We don't know if she will ever get off of the Prednisone. This has been going on since April 2016 and it is now the end of September. If anyone has any suggestions I would like to hear them.

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn

Hey Dd,

You might find a holistic vet to repair the damage. If you cannot locate a holistic vet a common remedy for vaccine damage and allergic reactions is thuja occidentalis. You can usually find thuja at most health food stores. Google on what dosing schedule applies in your particular situation.

Posted by Johnny (Pittsburgh, Pa ) on 08/08/2016
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Took both of our chihuahuas to Petsmart for their Sunday clinics where vaccines are much cheaper. We needed to get our dogs the lymes vaccine because we're taking them to the beach in a few weeks. Later that nite our one older chihuahua started acting different. The younger one is fine. She Didn't want any attention, was more scared than usual and slept under the bed instead of on the bed with us. She also is shaking non stop and screams if you touch any where near the injection site. It's been over 24 hours with no change. Is this normal? Or should I be worried!

Replied by Suseeq
Sydney Australia

Johnny, is this vaccination necessary, I don't vaccinate any of my dogs after the age of two, give 500 gms vit c to help her get over this and help move the toxins out.

Replied by Katie

Johnny, this is not normal and you should get your dog to a homeopathic vet immediately where they can antidote this vaccine. Lyme vaccine is very dangerous, in fact it was removed from the human market because proper safety studies were not done prior to release and because of the numerous adverse events that followed the vaccine, some resulting even in death. Then what they did, as they typically always do, is they passed the vaccine onto the veterinary line because the standards are less stringent for animals. Read the attached article from Dogs Naturally Magazine on this topic.

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn

Hey Johnny,

I DITTO the advice to take your chi's to a holistic vet :

Things you can do right away: dose with homeopathic Thuja, and also activated charcoal capsules am and pm in the food. Your girl may not have an appetite - I would not try to get her to eat, but I would do what I could to entice her to eat a cream cheese covered activated charcoal tablet.

Posted by Beachdogglory (New York, US) on 04/13/2014
1 out of 5 stars


On Thursday, April 2,2014 I brought my 11 year old Golden retriever to the vet for her wellness exam and was told she needed 2 vaccines. I told my vet that she still had her cough, and that she was not herself. She had an x ray in December and was diagnosed with a bronchial infection. She gave my dog the vaccines and prescribed a cough medicine.

On Monday, I returned to the vet as my dog was still acting unusual. She was not playing with any of her toys, not sleeping on my bed and when I woke up she was sleeping in a strange place. I went downstairs and she didn't follow me. She didn't eat her breakfast and then she wouldn't lay down for 1/2 hour. I took her back to the vet that morning.

They admitted her and put her on fluids, took blood work and told me that her anal glands were infected. They discharged her at 5:30 and said it was all caused from her anal glands. They prescribed Batril and Rimadyl.

Wednesday she still wasn't doing any better. She was pacing and panting a lot. Not eating. I kept calling the vet because we were still waiting for some of the results from the blood work. The vet kept leaving messages on my home phone. I called again left one last message never heard back. When I finally called back around 8pm, I was told she was gone for the day. I spoke to the on call Dr. She told me my dogs liver levels were elevated. I asked why she wasn't being treated for that? She said she would note the chart to have the Dr. call me first thing. I told her I wanted to come in first thing.

At this point my dog jumped on bed and was laying with me. I was petting her gently, trying to get her to sleep, when I looked down at my hand it was covered in blood. I at first thought it was a hot spot. I patted it gently with a tissue. It bled all night.

When I finally got her to the vet and they shaved the area it was swollen, purple and the size of a grapefruit. They did more blood work. Then said they didn't know what it could be. Possibly cancer, tumors etc... They said they recommended an ultrasound and referred me to another hospital.

I took her to the hospital. They admitted her. She had surgery and was in for 3 days. I believe it was the vaccines. I have not heard a word from my vet of 30 + years. My dog has a drain in the area that they operated on. Part of the skin may not be viable and we are waiting for the culture to come back. This is $4,000 later and I am not done with the expenses. Is there anything that I can do? At least get them to help with the cost?

My dog was sick. My vet never should have given her those vaccines given her age and the risks.

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn

Hey Beachdogglory! I am sorry to hear about your senior GR's ailing condition :( Have you spoken to your vet of 30+ years about this? While I do agree that your dog should not have been vaccinated while ill, it's an old school vet practice to vaccinate at all costs, and *you* did allow it - despite your better judgement. If you expressed reservation at the time, I would mention this to your long time vet and explain you would like some restitution for the current bills you are facing. You certainly could take to social media, or various online feedback sites and post about your bad experience with your longtime vet; you could file with the BBB as well. You can mention these choices you have in front of you to your vet; complain about them vs compensation for a poor joint decision. To help your girl heal, you might consider giving her turmeric; this works inside and out on cancers and tumors. One half a teaspoon per meal is a good start. Read up on turmeric for pet tumors on EC:

Posted by Celine (Nottingham, NH) on 05/08/2013

I just brought my 3 year old pug to get her Lyme Booster and every time she breaths she shakes, She is very tired and not moving is this normal?

Replied by Om
Hope, B.c., Canada

Be very careful with vaccination of any sort and do research first. Some vets admit the lyme vacc. Is not working. But it can kill. Clean your dog of this poison. One suggestion is Essiac.

You can dillute ACV with some water and spray your dog before going out. A friend of mine has done it with good results. His dog had no more ticks on him after a hike. But because his dog had been hit by ticks many times , though they were removed promptly, his dog has now signs of ill health. My friend is now using MMS to reverse the bad effects, such as low energy, etc.

Vaccines are business. And very lucrative too. Observe cats/dogs eyes closely after vaccination and you may see a faint ring indicating the nervous system is hit. Again I cannot warn enough about vaccs. A homeopathic vet told that from allopathic training he changed to homeopathy when he discovered (among other things) that there are vaccines waiting for a disease). Some holistic vets agree as to the deleterious effects of vaccinations. Be alert and only trust yourself. "Health" is a businesss. Om

Posted by Susan (Rindge, Nh) on 03/27/2013
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My healthy 8 month old Male Boxer received his second Lyme Booster on Friday. Monday afternoon he began exhibiting the following symptoms: Lethargic like he had a seizure, rapid heart beat, high fever, arching of his back. We took him to the Vet Hospital were they performed blood work which came back fine, tested for tic-born illnesses which came back negative, performed x-rays but found nothing. They administered antibiotics and fluids, he had a seizure during the night which they administered seizure medicine for and also had to give him medicine to bring his rapid heart beat back to normal. The next day he went into cardiac arrest and died. They said the symptoms seemed to resemble toxin poisoning but he did not have any access to poison and no evidence was found that he got into something he shouldn't have. We believe these symptoms were a direct result from his 2nd Lyme Booster.

Posted by Roger (Egg Harbor, Wisconsin) on 05/22/2012
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I brought my 5 & 1/2 year old Yellow Lab Buddy into the Vet for a check up and the Vet informed me that Buddy needed a Lyme's Booster Vaccine. I mentioned that we will be moving to the city (Milwaukee) and he may not need one. The Vet said he needed it and administered the shot. Buddy was in excellent condition prior to the shot.

Within two hours Buddy's eyes started sagging lower than any Blood Hound I ever saw. I called the Vet as I was on my way to Chicago and was instructed to take him in to a Vet. I took him in and the Chicago Vet said he was experiencing Kennel Cough. I said he was not in a kennel and that he just recieved a Lyme's Booster shot. I asked that an I-V be placed into him and was denied. The vet gave me some coughing pills and some Predisone and sent me home.

Two days later Buddy had a siezure. I took him to a animal hospital in Lyle, Illinois and the doctor gave him a shot of Phenobarbatal and sent me home. Buddy had another siezure within two hours. I called the hospital Vet and he said give him the 1 & 1/2 97.2gm of Phenobarbatal and take him to the Vet in the morning. Before I coulld get Buddy to the Vet he had four more siezures two while sleeping. The vet put him on more 97.2 gm of Phenobarbatal twice daily. With siezures these proceedures took place about 15 times in a two week period from vaccine administer date. I then returned to WI and Buddy had another three siezures as I was trying to get him to my WI Vet.

When I got him to the Vet he was so collapsed and in pain that they said they could not do anything. I had to have him euthinized. Buddy was in pefect condition before the shot, I asked both doctors and the hospital to give him an I-V drip and they all said that it was not the answer, that he probably has a brain tumor. As I reseached my dogs failure I came upon the term Anaphylactic Shock, every symptom from start to finished match what Buddy was going through short of respitory failure. He breathing was at the time prior to death one breath every 10 seconds, otherwise evrything matched. The two doctors and the hospital all told me that Buddy could not have had a diverse effect from the booster, it just does not happen. I am puzzled, anyone or any animal could have a diverse effect from any vaccine or medicine. Blood cultures were good, xrays were good. Not one doctor ever check Buddy's blood pressure or breathing. Just temperature and heart rate. My final answer was to myself that Buddy experienced Anaphylactic Shock due to the Lyme's Vaccination. Can you please help me get a good perspective on this situation. Thank You, Roger

Replied by Doolysam
Pv Peninsula, Ca, USA

I read somewhere that even this vet does not give Lyme booster shots to her dogs. Unless problems are endemic locally or at certain boarding kennels, there're certain shots your dogs just don't need: those are Lepto, corona, bordetella, and Lyme.

Posted by Ashlie (Buford, Ga/usa) on 05/15/2012
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In April, I had my 5 year old Greyhound's annual exam and immunizations, including Lyme Disease vaccine. He had itching for a few days after, and 2 weeks later we returned for his Lyme Disease booster. He has been itching so severely on the back half of his body that he is getting bald patches, and we are using his muzzle to keep him from tearing his skin. We are also using Benadryl on a daily basis without relief. I will NEVER have another Lyme Disease vaccine!!!

Posted by Dixie (Stamford, Ny) on 03/14/2012
0 out of 5 stars

On March 2, 2012 I took my 6 year old Boston Terrier to the vets for her annual check up and her booster shot for Lyme since it is prevalent in our area and since Maggie loves to go hiking with us. She has received the shot ever since she was a year old and has had minor reactions like a small welt at the shot site.. But this year the welt was the size of a goose egg and she still had it a week after getting the vaccine... About 10 days after the shot, the swelling started going down.. However it seemed to settle in her hip area where it caused her to limp. After about 11 days the limp in her hip went away, but then she developed lameness in the opposite side in her foreleg.. She seemed to have no pain if you touched her leg as she didn't cry out in pain and eventually she would put the leg down and walk normally. Today is the 12th day since the vaccine and she almost seems normal again.. Though there still is a small lump near the shot site.. She has never lost her appetite through this whole ordeal, but I am questioning the safety of this vaccine.

Replied by Marianne
Berlin, Germany

Dear Dixie: The Lyme vaccine shouldn't be the only one you question.

It's only a start. There are so many really qualified people talking abou the dark side of vaccinations (for me there is absolutely no bright side) you should really start researching this subject before you have yourself, your family or your animals given one more vaccination.

Good luck, Marianne

Posted by Joelle (Lewisburg, Pa) on 02/27/2012
0 out of 5 stars

My 10 lb mini dachshund had a terrible reaction to the lyme vaccine. She started with swelling around her eyes, which turned into swelling of her nose and wheezing and hives over her entire body. She also vomitted 3 times. She was treated with benedryl and something else, but it took four doses and two trips to the vet to take care of the situation.

Posted by Pamela (Warrenton, Va) on 01/15/2012
0 out of 5 stars

I had my 11 year old dog vaccinated for Lyme's disease and 24 hours later, she is is lame. The vaccine was recommended by my vet, so I thought it was safe. Macy had Lyme's 3 years ago (which I told the vet) and was treated with antibiotics -- and has had no symptoms until now. I took her back to the vet today and they claim it's arthritis. I will get her on antibiotics tomorrow morning -- please give me some feedback on this vaccination. Thank you.

Replied by Marianne
Berlin, Germany

Hi, Pamela. Please, check out the following website: This is an article from Catherine O'Driscoll on the topic of vaccinations. I think after reading this you will not be surprised anymore where your pets lameness is coming from. Once you start don't stop researching this subject if you love your pet - which I am sure you do. Conventional medicine (human and animals) has nothing to offer for vaccine damages, only stupid excuses and ignorance. If you have a homoeopathic practicioner in your area, that's where I would go. Antibiotica will not do anything for vaccine damages, as a matter of fact it might stop even homoeopathic remedies.

Good luck.

Posted by Ruth (Barrington, Nh) on 12/01/2011
0 out of 5 stars

My miniature schnauzer who is 7 had a Lyme vaccine in October 2011.. 3 weeks later she developed a large lump on her front left side near front leg.

We brought her back to the vet to be told she had a reaction to the shot. I was at the time relieved as we feared cancer. The vet did a a test to make sure cancer was ruled out.

I was shocked that my little dog had this lump from a shot that is supposed to keep her healthier.

I read these posts here and my heart goes out to those who have lost a pet to these vaccines.

On another note, my husband had a very bad reaction last year from the flu shot.. Blurry vision, legs went numb, couldn't urinate and to this day suffers from migraines. Maybe it's time to really think about the odds of taking these shots and it helping us or having something bad happen.

I am a guardian to my beloved Elle, I want to only subject her to things that won't harm her. I hope that the laws will change and we can choose safer options for our animal friends.

Posted by Joanne (New Hampshire) on 08/12/2011
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My mother tool our beloved 10 year old miniature Schnauzer to the vet for her yearly check up. Our regular vet was on holidays and this "new" vet suggested that my mother should give her a lyme vaccination because it had been so long. Mom agreed. As mom got through the door at home, Jenny she went directly to her crate came out, was very disoriented then promptly threw up. She became lethargic. Mom called the vet's office and they told her to bring her back now as Jenny is most likely having a reaction to the vaccination. Mom made it to the vet and they wisked Jenny to a room where she just layed there lifeless barely breathing. They administered the antidote, said nothing, and left mom, dad and Jenny by themselves. What seemed like an eternity was a 20 minute agony ridden time. Jenny's breathing was very shallow and she was definatly close to deaths door. Finally she gave 3 huge deep breaths and picked her head up. She was not herself for a couple of weeks. Now three months later mom is noticing lumps near the site where the vaccination and antidote were administered and mom noticed a lump in her mouth that pushed one of her teeth out. Jenny surgery yesterday to remove the lumps in her body as well as the mouth but the vet said that the lump in her mouth was more extensive and was not just in the front tooth area but went up the pallet. We are waiting for pathology results to confirm what our vet seems to think is cancer. Anyone know if the marine grade coral calcium from Japan, Vitamin D3 and a good dog multi will cure the cancer? Thank you Dr. Robert Barefoot!!

Posted by Distrbd1 (Cheektowaga, Ny) on 08/09/2011
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June 2011 my wife took our 51/2 yr. Old Minature Schnauzer to the vet for his annual checkup. She was told that We have a very healthy dog. The vet at that time offered to her at that time that our dog Otto be given a Lymes vaccine. Our vet knowing us , that We would do anything for our dog to be healthy she quickly agreed to the shot. She brought the dog home and all was well. 1 month later the dog was to come back for a booster. Within a week after Otto just wasn't himself. Eventually He became very lethargic, stoppd eating which was very unusual for him. Then he stopped drinking water and did not want to go outside. We took him into the vet at which time He told us We had a very sick dog. He was there for the day on IVs and antibiotics and then he was sent home at closing time. Otto was then drinking water but to our dissbelief starting urinating a full stream of blood and nothing but blood came out of him from his back side. The next morning We were back at the vets and had told him of the horrifying things that were happening. He examined the dog and said there was nothing he could do and the dog should be put to sleep. It wasn't what we wanted to hear but it was something that had to be done. A month later we now have a new Minature schnauzer and are definetly changing vets. Are Schnauzers a breed that should never be given this type of vaccine which I have read in many articles. ?????? Thank You very much for any assistance DISTRBD1