Side Effects of Pet Vaccines: A Closer Look

Combination Vaccines

375 User Reviews
1 star (2) 

Posted by Elaine (Greencastle, Pa) on 02/14/2010

Deadly Vaccinations

It's been 2 1/2 years, but I still can not get over what happened to my precious cats. Here's my story.

On the evening of August 20, 2007 I took two of my cats in for their yearly FVRCP booster and Feline Leukemia booster. Within an hour after we returned home Rebel began vomitting and having breathing difficulties, and Levi began digging at himself and biting his paws. We called the after hours service as by this time the office was closed. The vet blew us off stating that it was the cats' nerves. Things were not better an hour or so later so we again called the vet and this time he agreed to see us. Upon seeing the two of them he agreed they were having some type of allergic reaction. He gave them both an antihistamine shot and steroid shot and sent us home with steroid pills to give them in the morning.

Levi got better within an hour or so of returning home, but Rebel did not. He vomitted and cried all night and labored for breath. I called the vet on the morning of August 21,2007 and they had me bring him in. The vet just said that it was taking longer to wear off and that they would keep him until evening and see how he was. Unfortunately, by evening he was no better. I asked if it could have been a bad batch of vaccines and was assured no because the vaccines were from highly reputable companies. The vet at this point also stated that something was affecting his nervous system and that this wasn't a typical vaccine reaction. He assured us that he would call the vaccine companies.

On the morning of August 22, 2007 I called to see how Rebel was doing he was rapidly declining. They just now had decided to give him IV fluids and do blood work. We could not understand why the delay in treatment. It seemed like it was a wait and see situation. I called back a few hours later and was told that he was in liver and kidney failure. The test also revealed that the phosphorous levels in his kidneys were high and that this could not have happened in such a short amount of time. The vet more or less insinuated that he was already sick before he received the vaccine, but that did not explain Levi's reaction. I even stated this to him again he just said he wasn't really sure.

After this phone conversation, I immediately left work and went to be with Rebel. When I got there he was just laying in the cage convulsing in pain and crying. His once bright pink tongue was now almost black. I knew then that he wasn't going to make it so I called my boyfriend to leave work. I couldn't even hold him one last time, even that hurt him too much.

At 12:45 P.M., Rebel began throwing up so I told my boyfriend to turn his head so he wouldn't choke. He stopped breathing, I ran out to get someone, who proceeded to take her good old time getting to him. I don't why she even bothered because all she did was put her hand on him and say yes there is no heartbeat. I know it was probably too late but a little effort may have been nice. She couldn't even bring herself to say she was sorry for our loss.

The office staff then called our vet because he was not even there when he died he was out on a farm call. Once he arrived, he half-heartedly apologized and asked if could do an autopsy. He then stated that he would call the vaccine company which he was supposed to have done the day before!

He did contact me that night by phone to tell me that he had done the initial part of the autopsy and that Rebel's kidneys were small, the liver was mottled, and that he had large amounts of blood in his colon which apparently is due to the immune system going into overdrive and causing the body to over clot blood. We have not heard from his since and don't know that we will. He was supposed to send samples from Rebel away for pathology tests but we were not even told how long it would take and in our state of grief and shock we didn't think to ask. We did finally get the results of the autopsy, several months later I might aid. The cause of death heart failure. I stated to the vet, that you mean the reaction caused his whole body and heart to shut down. All he could say was yes more or less.

I am blaming the vaccine companies for pushing these vaccines on animals that don't really need them and the veteranarians for not explaining the risks. I found much of this out too late through my own research. Rebel never went outside and neither was Levi so their risk to anything was minimal. I also can't understand why vets are giving more than one shot at a time. They would often say, "Well that way you only have to bring them one time". I thought I was giving them the best care possible, little did I know that it would kill one of them.

Levi seems to have fully recovered but I am concerned that there could be long term problems. My cats will no longer be receiving these booster shots. I will only do what is required by law, which in this state is a rabies shot every three years. We will also no longer use this vet or any of the other vets at their office because we really do not feel that Rebel received adequate care. Perhaps if the vet would have seen us the first time we called for help and not an hour and a half later, maybe it would have made a difference.

I apologize for the length of this e-mail. I tried to keep it as brief as possible without leaving out too much detail. Thank you for taking up this cause. Many people do not understand the bond with a pet and can not comprehend what someones goes through in situations like this.

Thank You,

Still Grieving in PA

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Therese (Austin, Tx) on 02/11/2010

I wish I had found this site and done research about vaccinosis before I lost my beautiful lab. He developed huge tumors at the site (neck) 2 weeks after the vaccinations. My backward vet said he had never seen cancer cells like those and that was that. I no longer vaccinate any of my pets except required rabies (Texas finally agreed to 3-yr period.) They have more than enough titers! We have 1 holistic vet in the area.

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Karrie (Arandis , Namibia) on 01/24/2010

I have a 5 year old Jack Russell whom we got from the SPCA a year and a half ago. He was vaccinated at that time and just received his boosters on Jan. 20. He became lethargic and feverish that evening (he was perfectly healthy beforehand). He also would not eat or drink and was trembling. He continued like that so we took him back to the vet the next day and they gave him an injection to bring the fever down, just said it was probably the vaccine and sent us home with him. Now, 4 days later he is not much better, his eyes are runny and when he barks he sounds different. I am trying to find a natural remedy for him online. Suggestions would be great because I have a feeling something is really not right.

Replied by Ronda

Our dog is exactly the same right now. Please tell me what happened with your dog.

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Suzanne (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) on 01/22/2010

Side Effect from Vaccination

My one year old standard dapple dachshund received his vaccinations this morning (DHPP, rabies and Bordetella). Seven hours later he had an allergic reaction, his mouth and eyes were swelling up. I had to take him back to the vet where they gave him a shot of steroid and antihistamine.

He's had these shots before and never reacted, but this time he did.

Vet uses Pfizer.

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Dori (Powhatan, Va) on 01/13/2010

Pet vaccination reactions

I have 2 English bulldog/Australian shepherd mix dogs. They are from the same litter and are about 2 years old. They recently had their first vaccinations at a vets office. Prior to this the farmer who had them used the 7 in one vaccination shot from tractor supply. She didn't mention any reaction to that. But they had rabies 3 yr. vac. w/out incident. The distemper shot both reacted to with not eating for a week and being very lethargic. We even tempted them with eggs and they didn't want to eat those either. Now they seem fine.

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Amanda Carlin (Warrington, Cheshire, Uk) on 01/13/2010

I took my 1 year old Border Terrier to the Vets for his 1 Year booster injection, but within a few hours he developed Diarreah. The next day I rang the vets and they said this wasn't a side effect of the booster and to just starve him for 24hrs to see how he goes. Later that day he still had diarreah but this time it had blood in it, and all the next day too. I am going to take him back to the vets tomorrow but it just seems strange that he had his booster and is now very ill, he hasn't been ill all year so it can't just be a coincidence can it ??

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Jp Perez (Miami, Florida) on 01/04/2010

my 3 months old american bulldog puppy female just had a bad allergic reaction to the penicillin in the booster shot, we had to rush back to the docter and they gave her a shot with benedryl. her face and eye got swollen bad and reddish pink as well as her legs and hives on her body. it was really scary. within 15 mins of the shot the dog was covered in bumps. it was really scary, right now the bumps have gone down very lil cause of the benedryl we gave her and half teaspoons of kids benedryl, what else can we do?

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Donna (Brownwood, Texas) on 12/28/2009

Puppy vaccine reaction

I have had several puppies die over the years after getting their 1st puppy vaccine at the age of 4- 6 weeks. I'm currently watching one (maltese) fade away as I type this. The breeds have been Maltese, cockers, shih tzu's and poodles.

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Telly (London, Uk) on 12/27/2009

Vaccination reaction

My 12 week old Jack Russell terrier puppy suffered a severe reaction to the 2nd booster vaccination. She weighs 3kg, and had Leptospirosis, and a combined Distemper, Hept, Parvo Parainflu vaccination. She had swollen eyes, severe itching, hives. The vets gave an anti-histimine but symptoms continued for 12 hours. Worried now that there may be other problems in the future.

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Joanie (Vero Beach, Fl) on 12/20/2009

My dog Tasha, a now 14.5 year old, 10 pound Shih Tzu, has had a reaction to her yearly shots since a puppy. After each vaccination she would be very quiet and whine like she was in pain when I picked her up all day long. I finally stopped getting her annual shots, except the rabies one required by law, with the 2005 checkup. According to a natural dog publication, dogs don't require annual shots after age ten anyway. By then, they have built up enough antibodies to fend off most ailments. Of course the vet tried to avoid this when I questioned him except to say that the vaccinations actually last 3 to 5 years. It seems we have been over vaccinating our pets for years. Perhaps that is why they have all of the ailments they do ie. kidney and liver problems, since everything is filtered through these organs and even cancer.

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Sherry (Nashville, Tn) on 12/10/2009

We have a dachshund/chihuahua mix who broke out in hives and welts on her head,face and neck about 20 hours after her first series of shots at 10 weeks.

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Lisa (Ferndale, Mi) on 12/06/2009

Booster side effects

My 11 yr old himalayan cat had no known health problems until she was given a booster for rabbies & FVRCP. 1 wk later she was limping & after many test she was diagnosed with cancer which had matastisied Lesions found in lungs, shld blade & both paws. She passed away 2 months later. I am against boosters & some vaccinations that are not necessary.

Replied by Lydie
(Alicante, Spaini)

Two days ago, I had my cat's yearly vaccinations done for rabies and RCPCh FeLV. Until the moment of vaccination, she was very active, talkative, ate and drank normally, walked, ran and jumped often, played and was generally alert and completely healthy. After vaccination, she immediated became lethargic, stopped moving at all or moved slowly by limping low to the ground as if in pain and only over a short distance, would not eat, drink or relieve herself. Yesterday, 24 hours later, I returned her to the vet. She confirmed the cat had a fever and was swollen at the injection site "probably" as a reaction to vaccination. She put her on an intervenous solution for 20mn to hydrate her and gave her an anti-inflammatory shot saying she would immediately become herself again. Today, day 3 since vaccination, she is not herself, she is hardly better, still moving with difficulty and lethargic, eating and drinking very little and moving hardly ever. I was told to bring her back today if symptoms persisted. I will be doing so today. I am very bothered that this should occur. My cat is an indoor only cat with no other animals around, therefore not exposed to these diseases and I regret accepting the vets recomendation to vaccinate.

Replied by Lisa
(Wichita Falls, Tx)

Lydie, this is why I do not do the vaccines any longer. All of my cats are indoor and my dog goes in the back yard and that's it. My little dog used to get sick for days from the vaccination and one of my cats would get sick for almost a week. So, no more. My dog is 11 years old. All of the bad stuff that we put in our pets is why they get cancer and everything else. Vets will say it is not, but it is. . . What else is a vet going to say?

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Darren (Cecil, Pa) on 12/02/2009

We brought our two one year old cats into the vet for one year vaccinations, rabies and the flu/virus bundle almost two days ago. The cats are littermates and both female although one is about 9.5 lbs and the other is 7 lbs. The larger cat has responded fine with no side effects and is completely back to normal and in fine health. The smaller cat is not herself and has been quite lethargic over the past two days. She has gone from a playful cat that runs around and jumps and climbs to laying around, not running or jumping or "talking" and has taken some interest in a few toys, but has not run or jumped since these injections. I have read that cats can exhibit signs of sluggishness and lethargy for a day or two after injections, so I am hoping this is a matter of soreness of hind legs/trauma of going to vet (both are indoor cats) and maybe a bit of (a non life threatening) reaction to shots. I'll be honest, I have read the possible side effects of what these shots can do to animals and I'm worried. She has, it should be noted been eating and drinking and using the litter box.

Before we got these two kittens, our 3 year old cat came down with FIP which we believe was transmitted from exposure from the same vet clinic that we took our new cats to as the previous cat was also a perfectly healthy indoor cat. We don't want to go through this anguish of seeing an animal suffer again. She died what must have been an extremely painful death through this FIP, and anytime something happens to our other cat that stems from this vet, these feelings come back that something wrong is happening. Thanks for reading. I guess my question is is a 2 day reaction to these vaccinations commonplace?

Replied by Terri
(Chillicothe, Oh)

We just had our 5 mo. old Choc.Point Siamese vaccinated for distemper/leukemia Fri. She has been laying around since, got up once to play briefly, and I don't thinks she has eaten or drunk, either. I am going to take her back to the vet Mon if this persists. My other Siamese is "sensitive" to shots and has to be re-treated and watched. Good-luck w/your kitty and I hope ours comes out of this. I am getting worried now.

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Carol (Pittsburgh, Pa.) on 12/01/2009

15 years ago and before I thought I was being the good pet owner and getting my dog, a mix Golden X, vaccinations whenever they were needed. Long story short, my dog acquired mast cell cancer from vaccinosis and it developed at the injection site. I did enlist a holistic vet after his vet said he only had 3 months to live. Going totally holistic with treatments, my dog lived a good quality life for 2.5 years thereafter.

I now have 2 Old English Sheepdogs who are naturally reared. They are 9 & 10 currently and have had no chemicals in or on them, are fed a raw diet and have only been to a vet once. They had their puppy shots and that was it until my one dog was diagnosed with a hernia. He had to have an operation and they wouldn't do it until he had a rabies shot. This would be his second in his lifetime. I was reluctant but knew he needed a repair of his hernia. 2 months after that shot, he developed cysts all around his neck area. Sheepdogs are extremely sensitive to shots of any kind and he did puff up at the injection site. I was told by an herbalist to take a slice of lemon and rub it on the site and the puffiness went away. I then began using Colloidal Silver in drops 2x a day on the cysts and in a matter of a week, they burst and were gone and have never returned. They will never get a rabies shot for the life of them. My dogs have never had medications either of any kind. I treat them homeopathically and herbally and they are thriving.

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Denise (New Melle, Missouri) on 11/24/2009

Vaccination death

Our baby, Tinker Bell was a six year old, almost 7 pound Chichawa. We took her in for her yearly vaccinations last week. Less than fifteen minutes later, she was dead. She had never experienced any problems with her shots before. Our vet said she had never seen a death as a result of the vaccinations, but she knew it was a risk. We didn't realize the risk involved. Thank you for your web site.

EC: We are so sorry for your loss.