Vaccinations, given appropriately, are needed for our dog and cat companions. It helps protect them from life-threatening diseases such as parvovirus and distemper and well as feline leukemia and panleukopenia.
However, while necessary, vaccinations can cause reactions in a very small subset of the animals receiving them. When a reaction does occur, it’s important that it’s recognized and treated immediately.
About Allergic Reactions:
Allergic reactions are highly individual inflammatory responses against specific proteins entering the body. These proteins can be pollens, dusts, foods, medications, or even vaccines. Within the vaccine itself, reaction can be directed against the infectious organism, stabilizers, preservatives, or residue from the vaccine organism’s laboratory tissue culture.
An allergic reaction might include hives,
facial swelling, or even nausea seen as vomiting and/or diarrhea

More serious reactions can include shock
The time frame after vaccination can be immediate (the Type I reaction) or anytime in the next 48 hours (the Type IV or delayed hypersensitivity reaction.)
What to do during the Reaction
If your pet is having a reaction more severe than just some general malaise or soreness, you should let your veterinarian know right away. If it is after hours, it is prudent to consult the local emergency clinic. Anti-inflammatory injections can be used to halt the inflammatory cascade before it gets dangerously out of hand. Be sure you know who to call in case of problems after your pet is vaccinated.
Most family veterinarians are trained to treat vaccine reactions but if one gets particularly severe or occurs after your veterinarian’s normal hours, you should head to the nearest 24/7 ER so your pet can be treated and observed.
What to do for future vaccinations
Make sure your veterinarian is aware of what occurred. This allows us to create a plan tailored to your pet. It often involves pre-medicating prior to a vaccination and it often means administering one vaccination per visit. In some very serious cases, vaccines may be considered too dangerous – but this is extremely rare.
In most cases animals receiving vaccinations do just fine and vaccinations are being made safer and safer as time goes on. Just as in people, there are life-threatening diseases that require vaccinations. The important thing is to know the symptoms to watch out for and talk with your veterinarian about what to do if a problem arises.
Houston Heights Pet Vaccines
At Urban Animal, we limit the number of vaccinations given at one time in young small pets and make sure owners know what to look out for. Since most of us at Urban Animal have ER backgrounds, we can quickly diagnose and treat a vaccine reaction.

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