Vaccinations: What to expect after your pet's vaccination


It is common for pets to experience some or all of the following mild side effects after receiving a vaccine, usually starting within hours of the vaccination. If these side effects last for more than a day or two, or cause your pet significant discomfort, it is important for you to contact your veterinarian:

Discomfort and local swelling at the vaccination site
Mild fever
Decreased appetite and activity
Sneezing, mild coughing, "snotty nose" or other respiratory signs may occur 2-5 days after your pet receives an intranasal vaccine

More serious, but less common side effects, such as allergic reactions, may occur within minutes to hours after vaccination. These reactions can be life-threatening and are medical emergencies. Seek veterinary care immediately if any of these signs develop:

Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
Itchy skin that may seem bumpy ("hives")
Swelling of the muzzle and around the face, neck, or eyes
Severe coughing or difficulty breathing
Collapse


A small, firm swelling under the skin may develop at the site of a recent vaccination. It should start to disappear within a couple weeks. If it persists more than three weeks, or seems to be getting larger, you should contact your veterinarian.

Looking for more information about sarcomas? View our Vaccines and Sarcomas: Cause for Concern page.

Always inform your veterinarian if your pet has had prior reactions to any vaccine or medication. If in doubt, wait for 30-60 minutes following vaccination before taking your pet home.