Side Effects of Pet Vaccines: A Closer Look


45 User Reviews
1 star (2) 

Posted by Carin (New Haven Indiana) on 07/06/2017

My shih-tzu got her yearly shots on June21, 2017 and nine days later she was unable to do anything. She was dead July 3, 2017. She got the kennel cough medicine on June21, and went to the emergency vet. hospital on July 2. They said she was dehydrated and had a upset stomach. Tilly, was only 3 1/2 years old. In my heart I feel that she had a stroke and no one would listen to me. She was a loving, happy, smart, playful girl. She never got sick in the three and a half years we had her. This was to sudden and I wish I knew what killed her.

Posted by Gina Field (Sydney ) on 01/19/2017

My Chihuahua was given the kennel cough shot up his nose and since then has had breathing problems, cant breath through his nose etc. He is really ill. I am not happy with my vet.

Replied by Breeann

Hi I'm sorry to hear about your Chihuahua getting sick from the vaccination. I have a miniature chihuahuas while she's three pounds in almost 2 years old. About three weeks ago I took her to get vaccinated and she had the intranasal bordetella and since she's had severe breathing problems. I'm not sure if that's what's causing this but it's been going on for weeks. She has went through a course of temaril P steroid and antihistamine after not getting any better from those she was put in the hospital blood work showed infection elevated white blood cell count elevated liver enzyme count and they said that was from temaril P so taper her off and we did and now is on a 10 day supply of Clavamox which is an antibiotic and she's on day 7 she only has 3 days left and she's still coughing sneezing reverse sneezing depressed not wanting to take food or water. I'm extremely worried about her and I was just wondering if your Chihuahua got better over time and maybe it just was the vaccination if that's the case she will never get it again. I would love to hear back from you and see how your dog is doing so I can have a better peace of mind for mine thank you so much.

Posted by Scott (Sacramento) on 08/06/2016

Our small Terrier mix went to the vet and got a Bordetella and Rabies combo vaccine, and then was fed a pill for flea protection given by the vet. After two days or so she was vomiting, had diarrhea, and has quit eating completely. She was doing some drinking but not much. She has been totally listless and unresponsive for almost a week now. We took her back to the vet who was rather non-committal as to what might be wrong, but hinted at something about kidney failure. She was fine the week before the shot. She spent three days at the vet and came back to us today in no better shape than when she went in, but we are $600 lighter for her stay. She still has slight shaking and refuses to eat, and is completely unresponsive. I hope she pulls out of this but she will starve if she doesn't start eating again. She is almost 6 years old and up until the vaccine was an active and healthy dog. I am not certain that was the problem but it is quite the coincidence. And I don't believe in coincidences. And I don't trust most Doctors much more than most Vets. I know my health better than anyone, and I wish I had used my instincts with my dog and left her alone.

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney Australia)

Scott, I am sorry for your little dog, please try to syringe down your dogs throat slowly some chicken broth and vit c to help move the toxins out of her body. I am sorry, it's a hard lesson learned.

Replied by Delise
(Midway, Ky)

I am so sorry to hear about this reaction. Did your dog ever improve?

Posted by Penelope (Berwick, Pa) on 06/13/2016

8 days ago, we took our rescue pet to a vet clinic at a local store to get her first shots ever. We believe she was about 2 years old. Yesterday we put her to sleep. Her lungs and body filled up with fluid. Before being vaccinated she had NO HEALTH ISSUES. We had her for almost a year before taking her to be vaccinated. She was given the usual vaccines we get for out other dog but also a Bordetella nasal vaccine. We NEVER board our dogs. I wish someone could tell me what the cause was. I was not even aware she was being given the Bordetella vaccine. I don't think I will ever have another dog vaccinated except for Rabies. Our family is heartbroken.

Posted by Shoni (San Diego ) on 03/25/2016

Older pets cannot handle Bordatella vaccines or Rabies shots as we experienced with our 13 year old beautiful Border collie mix. He was going up stairs, jumping in the car, and daily walks. This all immediately changed one day after two vaccinations with a slight right sided nose bleed was noted. By the second day, a heavy nose bleed required a visit to emergency with fever. Unfortunately, he became lame in the right rear leg by the third day from the rabies shot. We tried to rehab him back with minimal progress. After two weeks his immune system was so wrecked with a huge abscess in his left front leg appeared over night. Along with terrible decisions and Vet care this poor fella was a victim of pure stupidity. Never never never blindly give vaccines as we caused the death of our own very loved pet being irresponsible idiots allowing incompetent Vets to control. Educate, intuition, and common sense can get you a lot farther and save your pet and yourself a lot of unnecessary grief! We laid him to final rest approximately two weeks after his shots-no more suffering in the hands of humans. He is now in a safer place.

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

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

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

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
(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
(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

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

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)

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
(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

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

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


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.

Posted by Nancy (Lewes, De) on 12/15/2009

We just got our 5 year old min-pin (who had never before gotten) a bordetella vaccine. Since we are going to board our other dog and he needed the vaccine, we figured we should get both dogs the vaccine so that the min-pin did not catch kennel cough. They both got the vaccine over a week ago and i just noticed last night that our min-pin been swallowing hard over and over again. At first i thought that he had a dry throat because we have electric baseboard heat but today he started to cough a little. I'm thinking that he may have developed a slight case of kennel cough from the vaccine. That's the only thing that we can associate it with at this point. I'm contacting our vet tomorrow. Has anyone else seen the side effect of their dog swallowing hard frequently?

Replied by Walter
(Newport, Gwent)

Yes, our shih tzu puppy had Bordetella shot last friday and we have noticed it being quiet and wretching for a few days, but was frightened tonight because she seemed to be convulsing fit like and then stopped.

Replied by Shanna
(Winter Park, Florida)


I will never give my handsome boy/ any pet a shot the rest of my life! My min pin got them today and he almost died. He is a healthy 5 year old! Thank goodness I have a dear friend that is the best vet in the world! She saved his life! This reaction took place 5 minutes after the shot! Never put that posion in your animals! Please take caution!

Posted by Mardi (Eureka, Ca) on 11/28/2009

My pup Oliver received a Bortadella shot in May of this year. On July 2nd, I had to rush him to the emergency clinic as he was having a hard time standing up and walking. His PCV was 17. Long story short, he had developed Auto Immune Hemolytic Anemia. After two awful months of massive medications, blood transfusions, and weekly vet visits, extensive expense and awful heartache, we had to put him to sleep on September 8th as he had a serious relapse. I have read that vaccinations can cause a pet to get AIHA. This was the worst experience of my life. I miss my pup terribly and did everything I could for him. Did the vaccinations cause him to go into AIHA? I don't know, but it is a very good possibility after researching and communicating with others who are going through the same thing with their pet.

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