Side Effects of Pet Vaccines: A Closer Look

Combination Vaccines

375 User Reviews
1 star (2) 

Posted by Michele (Gutenberg, Iowa) on 06/11/2015

Please help!! I just took our baby (a shitzu mix) yesterday to get his da2ppv booster, lepto, and rabies booster. I hate the lepto and skipped it last year but asked for a lower dose this year. Now I have a lethargic, unwilling to move on his own, dog. He yelps when you touch his body and can't walk on his back leg. Food is of no interest to him and we have to bring his water to him. I called my vet this am and the nurse said it's just like when a little infant gets shots...they get sore. Wth??? My dog doesn't MOVE, EAT, OR DRINK. And all he does is yawn and sleep! Sorry, but I tear up every time he looks at me :(

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Michele!

Sorry to hear about your boy experiencing side effects from vaccination.

Often the first 'go to' remedy for vaccination side effects is homeopathic Thuja Occidentalis. It is in the form of tiny sugar based pills; dose them directly into your dog's mouth and hold it shut for a few moments for them to dissolve- do NOT touch the pills as this can de-activate them.

If your boy is in good weight and not skin and bones, I would not sweat the lack of appetite too much. Offer him broth or home made doggy pedialyte for electrolytes and salts to keep him hydrated. If he does not want to drink then use a syringe and get **something** down him so he does not get dehydrated; do the fluids about half an hour AFTER the thuja to avoid de-activating the thuja. Dose the thuja every 2-4 hours to start, and monitor results. It it is the right remedy you will see some improvement in the first 6 hours or so. Again, do not push him to eat, but do offer him broth to keep the sugar, salts and electrolytes up.

Once he comes around it might be a good idea to offer him activated charcoal in some canned food, or bentonite clay - these will help draw the toxins from his body as they pass through. Additional support for his organs might be milk thistle.

If this were my dog next time I would consider only doing the legally required rabies vaccine and skip all the rest.

Good luck and please report back!

Replied by Rob
(Southern Usa)

Hi Michele, so sorry you had vaccine problems. As an owner of toy dog breeds, I NEVER give them the Lepto vaccine. In many toy breeds such as Shih Tzu it can cause bad problems and even death. I know that many toy puppy health guarantees are void if the lepto vaccine is given.

Another thing concerning is really bad to get a rabies vaccine at the same time as the distemper combo. I wait at least 3 wks. between vaccines. This is not something all vets will tell you and to my knowledge the amount of lepto in a vaccine cannot be reduced. For more info about vaccination you can google Dr. Dodds vaccine recommendations.

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Jean (Lincoln, England) on 06/09/2014

I was trying to find an answer to a question when I came across this site and read how dogs don't need to be vaccinated every year after having them done as puppies. We were upset when our usual vet retired and another vet injected our little Jack Russell on his back above his hind leg. All the other vets we've used did it in the scruff, but she crept up behind our dog whilst my son was holding him and did it quick without us being able to stop her. My son asked what she was doing and she said they did it there sometimes when they didn't want to cause stress. Two weeks later, he seemed to act strangely, as if he were dreamy and then he began to lose control of his bladder. He was eight years old, but he was healthy before the vaccination. We took him to be checked out after the bank holiday and he was scanned around his bladder and had blood taken. Then we were given some tablets for infection, even though the vet said there wasn't any sign of infection. We were so afraid he would die suffering as two other dogs we'd had, we believed suffered with cancer, so we took him to be euthanized, which ended up being quite horrific as he cried and was fighting it. Now I'm wondering if it was the vaccination or the way that it was administered that actually caused our last little dog's death. We cannot bear to go through such heartbreak again, so we can't have another. I'm afraid the vets have broken our trust now.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)


I can't begin to tell you how upsetting your post is. I am sorry for your little JRT.

It is hard to answer your question about the vaccine causing a reaction observed in your dog two weeks after it was injected without knowing what it was that was injected. IMHO from what you posted - dreamy look/loss of bladder control - sounds like your dog may have had idiopathic epilepsy, which can appear at any age - but this is only my guess based on what you shared. And the vet told you true: many animals won't notice a poke in the leg or rump but take exception - terriers in particular - to having their scruff's grasped for any reason, much less a sharp poke.

It is unfortunate that you were not aware of the services being provided in time enough to accept or decline them. When you show up at the vet, you need to know *why* you are there so you can discuss your options. Vet and client should have a two way relationship and I can only urge everyone to not settle for the closest vet to you - but to go the distance for the vet you find you *can* trust.

I can assure you your dog died because you euthanized it. It may or may not have had what your last two may have had; this cannot be ascertained unless you do a necropsy/autopsy- however it sounds as if you really do not know why the last two died as you did not perform diagnostic tests. Since it's three dogs now for you feel that had the same issue, you should strongly consider environmental toxins in your home as a possible common factor in all this. Kudos for making the decision to not obtain another dog.

RIP little JRT

Replied by Om
(Hope, Bc. Canada)

The post made me cry and I have to thank Theresa for her excellent reply. Thank you again, Theresa. It made me feel better even though it will sit with me for a while unfortunately. Namaste, Om

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Erika (Plano, Tx) on 10/06/2013

I took my healthy vibrant loving five-year-old Chihuahua named peanut in for his vaccinations yesterday morning and nine hours later he was dead I am devastated and I never want anyone else to go through the pain that I'm going through right now.

I am so angry that he was healthy and fine and after he got his shots he died all I was doing was trying to care for my animal.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Erika, I am so very sorry for your loss of Peanut.

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Lisa (New Jersey) on 09/05/2013

I just took my 17 week old King Charles Cavalier to the vet and he had the DA2PP vaccination and Leptospirosis vaccination. He came home and within an hour showed great distress, and wouldn't let us touch him. He was yelping and obviously had back pain when we touched him. He was lethargic and tried to sleep most of the day and 10 hours that night. He has a fever that has lasted into day 2 and is still limping and is very lethargic. I am really concerned. I tried calling the vet but they are not answering the phone. I will try again later today.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Lisa!

The symptoms you describe do NOT sound like a vaccine reaction to the DA2PP or Lepto.

Acute immediate vaccine reactions include shock and skin reactions - you would have seen these reactions within the hour and they would have warranted an immediate return to the vet, while reactions such as lethargy are seen later, within 24 hours. *Some* of what you describe [lethargy] sounds like a reaction to the vaccine, and dosing with homeopathic thuja occidentalis may help to negate the adverse vaccine reactions along with probiotic therapy to combat any tendency towards yeast overgrowth in the GI tract as a secondary reaction to the vaccine - BUT the limping and the obvious back pain appear to be the main issue and they sound like something else.

What you describe sounds like an injury; is it possible your puppy jumped off the couch and landed hard or twisted and pinched his spine? Cavalier King Charles spaniels are reportedly prone to a form of IVDD known as Hansen Type I intervertebral disk disease. Its important to see your vet to rule this condition out - or to begin supportive therapy immediately if in the clinical findings.

Replied by Julie
(Asheville Nc)

The "good stuff" is unpasturized apple cider vinegar. You can find it at organic grocery stores or a health food stores. Or search in the internet to have some shipped to you!

Replied by Kelly
(Davis, Ca)

This happened to my 2yo 5lb Papillon after he was given Lepto vaccine in his hind leg. He was miserable and wouldnt even lay down or sit because his leg hurt too much. I took him back to the vet the same day and they gave me OstiLox which is a doggie NSAID (like advil or tylenol for humans) and he felt better within an hour! It was $30 but I have the whole bottle now and it was worth it to see my dog normal again.

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Bowie (Beaufort, S.C.) on 06/18/2013

My dog received all shots and dewormer and heart worm test and heart worm and flea preventitive medicines yesterday and I found him panting heavily and eyes dilated ? What should I do? can I wait till morning to contact his vet?

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Cheryl (Vancouver, Wa) on 12/27/2012

My 11 yr old shih tzu received the following vaccines on a tuesday - rabies, dhpp, and bordatella, along with a dex/depo shot for his itchiness due to allergies. this same vet diagnosed my baby with a heart murmur, and had him on lasix and elanapril, and was giving my dog a dex/depo shot app every 6 weeks.

2 days after getting all those shots at the same visit, my beloved dog died of congestive heart failure. since then, i have learned that the dex/depo shots were steroids, and that steroids should not be given to a dog with heart problems. i would like to know if the dex/depo shots caused him to die so suddenly or from receiving too many combo vaccines at the same visit. (i got my baby when he was 8 yrs old; the previous owner could not find his vaccination records, thats why my vet kept after me to get these shots. and also because i was planning on boarding him at this vets office over xmas, thats the reason the vet gave for giving him the bordatella along with the others. )

i am almost ready to get another dog; i have never been so heartbroken or so sad as i have been since losing my baby. we were inseperable, and i need another companion soon. i need to know if holistic practice is what i should seek for my new pup and if things would of turned out differently if i'd of done this with my pet that died. thank you for reading this; any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Betterinthesouth (Longs, Sc) on 11/16/2012

19 month old mini Schnauzer almost died from 3 yr rabies and 3 yr distemper/hep/parvo vaccines approx. 36 hrs after administered. Airway was being restricted, constant vomiting and diarreha. Dog had to be rushed to an ER clinic and then again 6 days later is still barely eating.

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Linda (Kerhonkson, Ny) on 08/09/2012

My 8 year old golden retriever went from a seemingly vibrant & healthy to gravely ill in the 2 weeks following an annual visit to the vet where she was administered a lyme booster and a distemper booster. The day before the appointment she seemed under the weather, not wanting to eat or go for a walk, which was very unusual & out of character. But that evening & on the morning of her vet appt. she seemed fine and back to normal. I reported these symptoms to the vet, who could find nothing wrong with her and said she seemed perfectly healthy and that, "everyone is entitled to an off day". With that, I agreed to let them go ahead with her booster shots.

The day after the shots she was very lethargic and when things hadn't improved by the day after, we were back at the vet, who said her leg was swollen at the injection site and was probably having a reaction to the vaccine. I was told to bring her back in a few days if she didn't improve. During the days that followed we had some signs of improvement followed by signs that the condition was persisting. I made another appointment to bring her back to the vet and the morning of the appointment (6 days after her initial visit) she was unable to get up, experiencing partial paralyzation of her hind legs. She was admitted and put through a battery of tests and treatments. Following an MRI and spinal tap, 13 days after her initial vet visit, she was diagnoses with an abnormality in her lower spinal column with the presence of cancerous cells. Her rear legs remain partially paralyzed and she has lost control of her bodily functions.

The vet does not want to acknowledge any possibility of a correlation between the illness and the vaccines, and I am not convinced. Ironically, I had a friend who told me of someone he knew who had a similar experience with his dog following a lyme booster. Just wondering how many more cases may be out there, and wondering if this & other cases are being swept under the rug by vets and pharmasutical companies. What do you think?

Replied by Daveyo
(Nakhon Sawan, Thailand)

The Vets diagnosis is all wrong. Your dog has Distemper now in the CNS. It is called vaccine induced distemper.

You need to have the dog taken to Dr. Mueller in Atlanta Georgia (Briarcliff Clinic) to have the NDV-CSF tap done ASAP. If you don't the dog will DIE!!! This cures the disease in 24 hours in the CNS and your dog will recover from the paralysis. The cost for this is just 500 dollars. It covers one overnight stay plus the CSF tap and followup treatments of which you can take home if your dog has pneumonia which always accompanies Distemper.

I am an expert on this disease and have 3 dogs as proof of the cure. One was completely paralyzed and today is jumping and running around etc. The other had seizures and today none.

There is also a book out pertaining to this disease of which me and Dr. Sears made to inform people that this disease is treatable and fully cures in 24 hours.

As of that VET who gave the shot and did a horrible misdiagnosis, give him your bill from Atlanta and make him/her pay for it, and after that find another VET.

Take care Daveyo

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Tanya (Adelaide, South Australia) on 05/19/2012

I have a 3yo Mini Schnauzer x Lhasa Apso who had here annual c4 vaccination today. After 1.5 hours she started to have a severe allergic reaction including:

- swelling of the face

- swelling under the neck

- lumps all over her body

- increased temperature.

She has been given some anti-inflamatories which have helped out a bit but she is still swollen.

The vaccine was Protech c4 by Boehringer Ingelheim.

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Sharon (Prosperity, Pa) on 04/30/2012

I got my kitten vaccinated yesterday for rabies, leukemia, & feline distemper. She is just laying around today & cries when I touch her. She is 6 months & about 4 pounds. What can I do for her?

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Alene (Douglasville, Ga) on 04/16/2012

We have an 80 lb doberman who threw up and was very lethargic after vaccination. She had occasional shivers. I will update if it lessens or worsens.

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Connie (Tucson, Arizona) on 03/30/2012

My 10 year old cockapoo received his parvo/distemper vaccine yesterday. This morning he did not want his breakfast, then started eating grass, then threw up, is running about 1 degree fever and very tired. I told my vet that 3 years ago with this vaccine he felt bad afterwards, but he had to go through this again. This is his last vaccine.

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Debbie (Tonganoxie, Ks) on 03/06/2012

My healthy 11 year old Yorkie who I have had since he was three months old had his shots on Sep 14, 2011. He had a five-way Distemper, Kennel Cough and a Rabies shot. Heaven knows I wish I had read the new protocols before I allowed that all in one day. Three weeks later he was rolling on the floor, would not stay in one place for more than 5 seconds, seemed to be itching everywhere and was crying he has never cried. It made me cry.

I took him to vet and he asked what "I" had changed. Nothing. He gave him antihisimine and later that day another shot. He also was getting hard crustiness in his ears. And was having some eye troubles and he kept giving him drops which never helped. Two weeks later he gave him Prednisone because itching was still present. We went to vet 5 times in three months and I felt were just treating symptoms that kept coming back so I decided to take him to the Specialty and Emergency Vet. Dog also had a bad cough, like gagging. They found some fluid between his trachea and his lungs which should not be there. It ended up being lympacytes but not cancer. Along with having the crustiness around his eyes and in his ears, I discovered it also on the front and back hocks and between the pads of his feet. They did lung aspirations and found he had lung inflammation and they took samples from his hocks and pads while he was under anesthesia. They said he had immunosuppression and vasculitis.

Now I have read this is consistent with vaccine reactions but can I get a yes from anyone on this NO. Can I get some type of reason why a normal, happy, fun dog who is an indoor dog, has never been in a kennel or around other dogs and has a groomed fenced area to go to the bathroom, would or could get what he as NO. He has had numerous blood tests, ultra sounds, x rays, echocardigram you name it we are up to $3,500 now and there way we will give up on him unless he is in pain. He was on a high dose of Pred and now a lower dose, also on Pepcid (stomach), Tums (low calcium), Pentoxifylline and Doxcycline Hyclate and now has a Holistic vet and using some herbs.

A non medical person has only their common sense to use and ask yourself what is different than when he was well and the only thing we can come up with is vaccinations. Why would anyone give a dog all those shots in one day especially one that weighed 8.5 lbs. (who by the way went down to 6.5 during this).

My dog is my life and now I'm not sure if he will make it I even asked that question directly to the vet and got no response. Why am I and all the other people here and those who don't even know where to go for help have to put up with this. I thought they took an oath- FIRST DO NO HARM. My dog has lethargy, an eye infection, vasculitis on ears, all four pads, all four hocks, does not play, does not look happy, sits and stares, sleeps 23 hours out of 24, doesn't walk much, waits to be picked up sits in my lap a lot. I wonder am I tortuing him? Will he get well, I do not know, will he have lifelong lasting effects if he does live? You do not have to ask me if I will vaccinate any other dog without titer tests and certainly none in the same month as the other ones!!! What happened to being responsible? Are a good percentage of the vets related to the lady who spilled her McDonald's coffee on herself??? I am beside myself and am more frustrated than I have been in my whole life- it seems everyone is against you when you want to find answers and help your dog and others from this horrible situation. Everyone is afraid to say yes it is this and yes it was caused by this. Gee are they the experts- after all the tests and money, no one can really tell me anything helpful. But they will say he is never to have any more vaccinations, including rabies. I just don't wany any other dogs or their families to go through this.

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Sherry (Calhoun, Ga) on 02/26/2012

My dog got her vaccines and in just a few hours she was lethargic, not eating or drinking, breathing rapid and labored, the next day she is moving some eating very little, I have to bring it to her, will not drink, walking some but is still laying around just about all the time. Looks like she feels bad.

Replied by Deborah
(Chino Valley, Az)

Hi Sherry, So sorry to hear about your pup. Please read this link from the Earthclinic site. You will see you are far from being alone in this.

Thank you Earthclinic for simply gathering this heartbreaking but critical information and feedback, and for helping us see for ourselves the dangers inherent to our beloved pets from vaccines.

May the absolute madness of this 'standard practice' someday be made clear as day and bring it to a providential end. With each heartbreaking story I know we come closer to that day, but always at too high a price.

Prayers to your pup, Sherry ~

Combination Vaccines
Posted by Patricia (Durham, Nc) on 02/22/2012

I rescue English Pointers and one of my fosters became incontinent immediately (day after) her spay and vaccinations. I've had 2 vets test her for a UTI and she is fine; I tried PROIN (no effect whatsoever) because I had a female English Springer Spaniel who (unfortunately) took PROIN after being spayed for all of her 12 years. Anyway, Eve the Pointer was absolutely fine before the spay and vaccinations, no accidents at all for the several weeks I had her after I pulled her from the shelter.

After the spay and rabies and distemper-parvo vaccinations, she is very incontinent. This will affect her being adopted, I am quite sure, and I already have 6 permanent dogs. She is a lovely Pointer, young, with a great temperament, and I feel terrible that whatever happened to her happened. This is a vet that has spayed countless rescued dogs and my own and I've never had a complication before now.

Replied by Marianne
(Berlin, Germany)

Dear Patricia, I do not know how often I have answered on this blog to people that had bad experiences with animal vaccinations. Many of them weren't even published so I don't know if the addressees even got it. I never got any answer (except once just recently) so I have no idea if this is all to no avail. Still, I keep hoping that people start waking up and research vaccination critique before they have themselves, their children and their animals vaccinated.

This madness will not be stopped by people who are making their living with vaccinating unsuspecting creatures. It has to be you who has to stop believing in their bullshit - before it is too late.