Side Effects of Pet Vaccines: A Closer Look

Distemper (Dogs)

23 User Reviews

Posted by Debbie (Houston, Texas) on 11/04/2009

Please commemt on this request because I feel so terrible today after losing my new puppy, Suzie. She was a long haired chiwa and six weeks old. She was in great health when I brought her home last Sunday, running and playing and so cute. I was advised by my Vet to bring her in for her first shot for distemper/parvo because I have a a sweet chow at home that is ten years old and I have had her since birth. My puppy, suzie, had her vac on friday and Sunday night she was sick, bloody stool and heaving. I called my vet and he had an attitude. I called my friend and she called her vet and he saw her immediately. She was tested for parvo but negative. He called it some type of intestinal bacteria of the lining of the stomach. She received shots of penn, liquid i.v., nausea, b-12 and he said we could only hope for the best. She was better on tuesday and we started her on pedilite. Wednesday morning she was dead. I believe that it was the vac she had on friday afternoon, maybe it was to strong for her tiny frame or possibly some kind of reaction. Of course the old vet refused to comment and the new one would not comment about the other. I just cannot get a grip on this. Can someone please give me some type of opinion on what you think it could have been?

Replied by Scott

If you begin to check into vaccines for dogs you will find that regardless of the dogs size, Vets give the same dose of vaccine for every animal, if it's 5 pounds or 100 pounds. That is enough to make me begin looking for a holistic Vet that has a clue. My dog is currently sick from a vaccine and it has been a week without eating and listless, just lying there and not responding and I am praying she recovers, but that is far from certain at this point. My condolences. Question Authority, all of them.

Distemper (Dogs)
Posted by Kristina (Norwich, Ct Usa) on 10/28/2009

distemper reaction

I brought my 10 week old boxer in for his first distemper vaccination. All seemed fine, 2 days after he got the shot, my energetic puppy was unable to stand. The next day that the vet was open we brought him in and began testing him for lyme disease. It seemed very unlikely that he had lyme due to the limited exposure to the outdoors. We proceeded to give the puppy amox. and an anti-inflamatory med because the puppies joints were swollen. two days later the puppy is running around as if nothing ever happened. In between, we had x-rays and a full panel of blood work. We've come to our own decision that the vaccine was to blame. Now he is need of two more rounds of this shot and we are afraid to give it to him

Distemper (Dogs)
Posted by Kim (Flint, Michigan) on 10/10/2009

Both of my boxer dogs have had reactions to distemper shots

Distemper (Dogs)
Posted by Maystar (Newport News, Va) on 07/31/2009

we believe our dog is suffering from an overdose of distemper. Oscar, a dashound came to us 9/08 at approx 9 mos. We were not able to obtain any previous shot records from previous owner. We took him to a vet and he was healthy. They insisted he get his distemper and parvo shots since we were not able to produce it in writing. May of 09 he received his first DHPP shot for 22.40lbs. We took his new shot record to a new vet because of cost. New vet says he must have more shots since it is not on paper. He received DHLPP Annual Vaccine AND DHLPP Vaccine both the same day each dose for 22.7 lbs. A few days later Oscar appeared to be depressed. He was eating and drinking fine. He refused to jump up or down on the couch. Almost a week later Oscar is unable to use his back legs at all. His paws were dragging behind him and he could not stand on his back legs. We rubbed his back and legs looking for an area of pain, he showed none. We took him back to the vet and they said he slipped a disc and if not better in a few weeks will have to have surgery for a slipped disc. He is now on Metacam Suspension, Tramadol Tablets, Methocarbamol Tablets for pain, muscle relaxer and an inflammatory. My husband and I argued with both vets that he already had the shots and they said he must have them and it must be documented. Oscar is totally confined to his crate except for potty time .It is not known at this point if he will ever walk again. We are searching the web because of the irony of timing. We think it is due to an overdose. Can you help?

Replied by Farialreb
(Millsboro, De, Usa)

In response to "Maystar from Newport News, VA" -- If Oscar is indeed suffering from a slipped disc, you may consider locating a chiropractor in your locale who will manipulate Oscar's spine to correct the injury. At the very least, the chiropractor would be able to tell you if that is in fact Oscar's problem. If it is the problem, you may be able to save Oscar from surgery. We are fortunate enough to have an excellent chiropactor in our area (main clientele are humans) who will look at most any animal with a spine to see if he can assist them. I have taken two of our dogs (who play too rough) to him and he successfully treated them. One dog I had already taken to my vet and he had prescribed muscle relaxers and an anti-inflammatory -- this alleviated the symptoms, but did not cure the problem. The visits to the chiropractor cured the problem.

Replied by Brenda
(Northwest, Indiana)

dont settle for slipped disc. When dogs can use back legs and are weak it could be kidneys. Or just too weak to move. My dog was misdiagnosed and I ended up losing her. the vet was so wrong said it was a back issue and it was kidneys.

Distemper (Dogs)
Posted by Michele (Baltimore, Md.) on 05/25/2009

Reactions to shots update. I had said that my dog Molly had been sick from her distemper shot,she ha

EC: Hi, Michele. Could you please resend your feedback? You put your comments in the subject box, which only allows a few characters! Thanks!

Replied by Michele
(Baltimore, MD)

Well I am very sad to say that my Molly has passed away only 12 days after receiving her 3 yr. distemper shot. I am still devastated and very sad and upset with this situation. Within 36 hrs. of getting the shot, Molly couldn't get up or walk. We took her back to the same vet(our vet) and I told him I thought it was a reaction to the shot. He put her on Rimadyl (for arthritis)? I should have been much more persistent, But I had always trusted my vet. Then we didn't mess around with it anymore and had to take her to the emergency vet at 8a.m. on Monday morning. They did all kinds of tests on her all day long. Here is the outcome: High white blood count, off the charts high sugar levels dehydrated (from vomiting and diarrhea), high potassium level. They called me at 4p.m. Mon. and said that Molly was very critical and not responding to anything that they were doing for her.They were going to do an ultrasound on Tues. but we got the phone call at 3:30a.m. Tues. morning that Molly had a heart attack and passed away. So sad and upsetting. I went to the emergency vet right away to see her. The vet told me that Molly had died from acute Pancreatitis. She was healthy before her shot. At the same time Molly got her shot, my other pup,Tank, got his distemper shot. He also is a very healthy 80lb. boy, but he had diarrhea for about 1wk. and only picked at his food. This was totally unexpected with Molly. I lost 3 of my pets in 7 wks.( my white rat-Ratty, my red tabby-Redgee (from chylothorax, a very horrible disease, and then my pup, Molly from her distemper shot, which no one will ever tell me any different.) So I have been very upset. You know, you think you are doing whats right as a very responsible pet owner and your pet dies. So all I can say is that I will take a chance and get my pets their first shots and NEVER any boosters at all after that. We had Molly cremated and she is in our house now. Tank is eating better finally and pottying normal now. Well I'm going to close for now so love the pets with all your heart and soul. It has grest rewards! Sincerely, Michele

Distemper (Dogs)
Posted by Michele (Baltimore, Maryland) on 05/17/2009

I started reading this site about all the pets with reactions from their shots because I, like most of you, get my 2 dogs their shots as a responsible pet owner. My vet has went to every 3 years, but I don't think that really matters. Here is what has happened to my Molly. We took both of our dogs for distemper shots. They are Tank and Molly. Tank seems to be fine. Molly, by Sat.(2 days after her shot) couldn't get up,or walk, we had to carry her up and down the steps,then she started throwing up,not wanting to eat she seems very confused. We took her back to the vet Tues. he put her on Rimadyl. I have since taken her off the Rimadyl because of more vomiting and not wanting to eat. She is also diabetic. Her diabetes is controlled. She has developed a hugh lump (that is bigger than what my hand can cover)by her hind leg,on her side coming up on her back. My vet told me that she is carrying alot of weight in her backend, which dogs usually carry the weight in their chest. Well this lump has quadrupled its size in 1 week. So we are going to see a specialist on Mon. After reading this site and even before I am convinced this is all from her Distemper shot. I told my husband that none of our pets will ever receive boosters as long as they live. I will let you know the outcome.Sincerely, Michele

Distemper (Dogs)
Posted by drjenhawes (Kalispell, MT) on 04/30/2009

Has anyone had success treating hypertrophic osteodystrophy in puppies? It is the technical name for the distemper vaccination reaction that happens in Weimeraner and other breeds of dogs....HELP! My poor puppy CHILI is miserable...

Distemper (Dogs)
Posted by Michelle (Virginia Beach, VA) on 04/29/2009

1 1/2 year old mini long haired daschund had distemper shot. 4 hour later no engery and throwing up. Emergency vet gave benydrl. Two days later still not eating and not feeling well.

My complaint is why the same dosage for 8 lb dog vs 100 lb dog.


Distemper (Dogs)
Posted by Trish (Arnold, Missouri) on 04/14/2009

We adopted a pit mix 4 month old puppy from the humane society. Her first shots were given there 2 weeks prior to us adopting her. We took her to our vet for her follow up Distemper/DHHLP?? last Saturday. By early Sunday morning she had large welts all over her body, scratching, crying, eyes swollen shut and lips and mouth area swollen, vomitting, diarreah. We took her to the emergency animal hospital early on Sunday morning. They gave her 2 injections of benadryl and a script for prednisone. They said it was a severe reaction to the vaccine and her next step would . I would have thought the humane society would have mentioned this to us prior to adoption. We are worried now that she has to get her 3rd dose on May 2nd. There has to be another way. This is torture on the animals and on the owners.

Distemper (Dogs)
Posted by Glenda (Stoughton, WI) on 11/05/2008

We took our Miniature Daschund, Hannah in for her third distemper vaccination yesterday and she had a severe reaction. The first shot gave her a reaction and we had to take her back to the vet for steroids, I questioned them on whether this shot was really necessary given the severity of her reaction. They indicated it was and that if we pre medicated her she would be fine. We did pre medicate for the second shot and there was no reaction. Yesterday she began vomiting, loose stools, face began swelling, eyes swelled shut, veins in ears swollen and she was obviously in pain. She went back to the vet for steriod injections and benadryl. We have to give benadryl every 12 hours for 2 more days. There will be no more distemper shots for this dog, she is too valuable to us.

Distemper (Dogs)
Posted by Diane (Stockton, NJ ) on 10/22/2008

I took two Blue Merle Cardigan Corgi pups for distemper shots. At ten weeks old, this was to be their second shot. The first was done by the breeders vet. We were informed that they would act tired for the next day, and not to worry. While waiting for my husband to pay the bill, the male had a bowel mishap. As the vets assistant went to clean it up, she noticed that it was very mucusie look to it along with a white stringy effect. They put a sample under the scope and detected coccidea eggs. The dogs were given Albon Oral Susp.-5ml first day,2.5ml for the next 8 days. This was done on Sat., by Mon. The male was vomitting, had the runs and began shivering, we went back to the vet for the next three days, we were told to be patient. The third day, after keeping the puppy for a few hours, the vet called, saying that they could not tell what was wrong, and to take him to an emergancy clinic. We took them both, she was starting to act the same way. The male was taken in immediatly, the female waited to be examined before being admitted. We were called the next night, telling us that the male was in horrible pain and needed to be put down. After his actions were described to us, we both agreed not to let him suffer like that. The girl was kept in intensive care for 5 days, and was tested for everything known to man. Everything came back neg. We racked our brains, trying to come up with a cause for all this horrror and told the vets every little detail of the two weeks that they lived with us, and, nothing! We brought her home on the 6th day, paying a vet bill of slightly over $10,000. We still do not know what happened to our babies, the only thing not mentioned was the vaccines.

Distemper (Dogs)
Posted by Jill (Bellingham, WA) on 06/30/2008

You asked about vaccination reactions. With my new whippet pup, I actually decided to do a modified vaccination schedule. A single distemper then wait 2 weeks then a single parvo. After both shots, the pup literally screamed all night long. I had no idea this was a reaction. A few months later my pup wound up with cardio-myopathy and is dying. I read in the book Homeopathy for Cats and Dogs by Don Hamilton, DVM that the parvo vaccine can cause cardio-myopathy. Also, my holistic vet said that my pup was probably susceptable and that the vaccine caused his condition. This has cost me thousands of dollars over the past 2 years to keep my sweet dog comfortable until his ultimate death. I no longer vaccinate at all and my dogs are healthier than ever. Unfortunately, it took the slow death of my sweet Jack to finally figure it out. We've been using Arsenicum (homeopathy), a raw diet, Canine Cardiac Support (glandulars), CoQ10 as well as Pimobendan (pharmaceutical) from Canada in support of his condition.

Distemper (Dogs)
Posted by Jane (Somerset, Pennsylvania) on 06/04/2008

My four year old bichon received the distemper vaccine last year and started having seizures that lasted up to an hour. The seizures lasted about one month. He continues to have seizures when he hears loud noises or becomes extremelly upset. THIS WAS NOT AN ISSUE PRIOR TO THE VACCINE FOR DISTEMPER.

Distemper (Dogs)
Posted by Jackie (Mansfield, Pennyslvania) on 04/12/2008

Molly, a rescue puppy, (lab/rotty mix) was 10 weeks old when we got her. Already had 2 distemper vacs from the shelter. At about 12 weeks (12 pounds) took her for healthy puppy checkup. Dr. said she was very healthy. Then he gave her a third distemper.

He turned toward a cabinet (didn't know what he was doing), turned around with a huge needle. As I was asking "what is that?" he injected her. Then informed me it was her rabies.

I would have waited if he'd given me an opportunity to say "NO, not yet". At 7 months, called to make an appointment to have her spayed. Was told she was ready for a booster distemper. Told them I wasn't going to give any more.

Then was informed that they wouldn't/couldn't take her in without the booster. Against my intuitive "knowing", I let them give it.

That's when she began acting goofy: licking/ chewing her paws constantly, chewing at her belly, licking the air, very exciteable, displaying symptoms of separation anxiety. Her npples were swollen (maybe from the chewing).

Got homeopathic detox meds from the Pet Medicine Chest. Gave her two two-week sessions. It helped temporarily.

Talked with another homeopath who said it was her immune system. Got two bottles of Transfer Factor. It took both bottles (2 months) before I began noticing the improvement.

She seems to have recovered almost completely, except she still licks at the air when she gets excited.

Her diet consists of some commerical kibbles (Beniful) supplemented with home-cooked stew containing either organic chicken or ground organ meats (raised locally, non irradiated - heart, tongue & liver). Also brown rice, 16-bean mix, fine ground carrots, yam, home-grown broccoli, celery & home-canned green beans.

I freeze it in 1/2gallon glass jars.

To that, at feeding time, I ad: raw wheatgerm, brewers yeast, Vit C, MSM & cell salts, diatomacious earth, cod liver oil. She and her 12 year-old sister, Mariah (Old English Mastiff) are beautiful, healthy, sleek coated.

Molly will have her 3rd birthday end of this month (April '08). She's never had another vaccine of any type. Had a titer run at the vet about 4 months ago and she's STILL PROTECTED against distemper.

She'll NEVER had another vaccine until the Rabies titer tells us she needs it.

Distemper (Dogs)
Posted by Kim (Granger, IN) on 01/02/2008

My wonderful dog Dusty was almost 10 years old. He had been healthy except for some recent arthritis. I took him in for his annual checkup. They gave him his distemper shot. By the next day he was humped over, wouldn't eat and couldn't have a bm. Within 3 days he was on an IV and on the 4th day he couldn't even stand and we had to have him put down. His platelet count was 6, his red & white counts were both extremely low. He was bruised all over and had a huge lump at the place of the shot. The ultrasound showed that his spleen was dimpled and the vet believes he had tumors in his spleen. I don't know if he already had cancer, and the shot set things into motion, or if the shot caused his death, but I am mad! If I had known this would happen, I would NEVER have had him vaccinated that day! I miss him terribly. He was the best dog I have ever known and we will never forget him.