View Full Version : 2nd Puppy Vaccs...How much discomfort is normal?

Gracie's Mommy
9th January 2007, 03:01 AM
We just got Gracie home from her second round of puppy vaccs tonight. She kept wagging her tail while the vet tech tried to distract her with treats, so finally they had to hold her to get the shot in...she screamed bloody murder. She seemed fine right after and on the way home. At first she yelped when we touch her hindquarters...But now she yelps when she gets up and moves around. She wanted to be held, but every time we'd move it would hurt her. We put her in her travel kennel wiht the door open and she's staying in there now...and seems to be doing better, but she won't really sleep.

Is this normal...or too much pain? I'm a bit worried.


9th January 2007, 03:13 AM
what was the shot??-- one of mine (in my avatar)did that to an extreme after getting the lepto shot. I always ask about how much of a baby aspirin my pups can have if they have an issue. Some people give Thuja (herbal suppliment) before they give shots.

Gracie's Mommy
9th January 2007, 03:17 AM
Sandy...thanks for the reply. It was the distemper/parvo combo.

9th January 2007, 08:52 AM
I didn't have Zack when he had his first two or three puppy shots. I only had him for the last one when he was about 16 weeks. He seemed fine the day of the shot, but the next day he had a lot of tenderness and soreness in the rear end where he had the shot. He yelped when i picked him up, and unlike his usual self, he wasn't leaping up into my chair. He was a different dog and i was troubled by it. He also seemed a little feverish and quiet. I called the vet and they said it was normal and can last several days. But he seemed back to normal by the next day.

so, according to my vet these symptoms are "normal." What i feel is unfortunate is that these reactions are not routinely reported to the vaccine companies and are treated as unimportant. I think it would serve dog health better if there was good documentation of the occurance of any symptoms, including those considered mild. This is not a reason (necessarily) to not have vaccinations, but is a way of helping manufacturers continue to try to develop the best possible vaccines, in response to feedback from vets.

9th January 2007, 12:44 PM
Judy: vets do not report these minor reactions because, as yours notes, they are *normal*. The same thing happens with many human vaccinations. The point of a vaccine is to stimulate the immune system. The immune system is only stimulated to produce antibodies if it is stressed. This brings on exactly the reactions you note and is why your vet was not at all concerned.

The same thing happens when you get a cold. The way your body creates the antibodies is to react to the cold virus in all the ways that make us feel uncomfortable -- eg you get a runny nose, you ache, you sneeze. Only by stimulating the body's defenses by pressuring the immune system do you get the formation of antibodies. Your dog would also produce antibodies if it actually got distemper and survived. Unfortunately, few do. Giving small amounts in a vax to stimulate antibodies but not give the dog a lethal dose of the disease is the whole point of a vaccine. Some dogs will react more to this process than others but it is *normal*.

With some people/animals and some vaccines, the process is barely noticeable. With others, it is very noticeable. I have seen this difference when a friend and I got the exact same vaccinations for a trip to Africa -- to some she had no reaction, to others I had no reaction. But I was completely knocked flat for 24 hours by the yellow fever vax (she was not).

Vaccinations are a cause for concern when there is an anaphylactic reaction. Tenderness and some short-term discomfort is not a serious reaction, is expected from a certain number of dogs, and is not an anaphylactic reaction. You may recall having the exact same reaction to yourself as a child from tetanus or other injections for example.

For anyone with a cavalier, ask that vaccinations be given somewhere other than the neck or the back. Always call your vet if you are concerned at ANY reactions you are seeing as well. They are happy to answer questions for clients. If they are not -- then change vets.

9th January 2007, 02:01 PM
Tilly had her second round last weekend and was very sore for about 24 hours. She would yell at us if we picked her up the wrong way (well mainly me, she would never fuss at her daddy :roll: ). The next day she was back to her normal self. Spencer acted the same way when he got shots when he was small, so I did not worry. :flwr:

Gracie's Mommy
9th January 2007, 02:57 PM
Thanks everyone...she seems fine now. I was expecting tenderness around the injection site, but began to worry when it hurt to walk or be picked up gingerly. However, she was quite feisty this morning and ate all of her food...I think she was making up for the lost playtime last night!

9th January 2007, 03:26 PM
Glad she's OK now :flwr:

10th January 2007, 03:52 PM
Judy: vets do not report these minor reactions because, as yours notes, they are *normal*. The same thing happens with many human vaccinations. The point of a vaccine is to stimulate the immune system. The immune system is only stimulated to produce antibodies if it is stressed. This brings on exactly the reactions you note and is why your vet was not at all concerned.

yes. i'm suggesting there's value in collecting data on frequency and other factors. Systematic reporting of possible adverse events would provide information to manufacturers, and to veterinarians if it were available to them.

My point isn't that some reactions aren't common and understandable but that useful information could be learned by studying the occurances of adverse reactions to vaccines.

Vaccinations are a cause for concern when there is an anaphylactic reaction. Tenderness and some short-term discomfort is not a serious reaction, is expected from a certain number of dogs, and is not an anaphylactic reaction.

yes. i'm saying it could be valuable to have more knowledge about what those numbers are. There are so many kinds of reactions, mild, moderate, severe, local, sytemic, immediate, delayed, brief, sustained. A good mandatory reporting system could yield more information about factors associated with these occurances. There may be discoverable reasons why some animals have them and others don't. Information about the use different ajuvants could be gained. etc. Problems with contaminated batches could be caught early.

The idea of reporting isn't for the purpose of criticizing vaccinations but for learning more useful detail about them.

Here's the section on adverse events and reporting in the 2003 AAHA report on vaccination. i put some sections in bold for emphasis.

Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting

The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986 mandated the reporting of certain adverse events fol-lowing the vaccination of children to help ensure the safety of vaccines distributed in the United States. The Act led to the establishment of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in November 1990 by the Department of Health and Human Services. Today, VAERS provides a data-base management system for the collection and analysis of data from reports of adverse events following vaccination of humans. However, there is currently no federal or state man-date for veterinarians to report adverse events associated with animal vaccination. Practitioner reports of known or suspected vaccine adverse events in animals may be volun-tarily submitted to either the vaccine manufacturer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Center for Veterinary Biologics, or the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) through the Veteri-nary Practitioners’ Reporting Program (VPRP).
At the time of this writing, an amendment 35 to the Virus-Serum- Toxin Act has been proposed by the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to:
1. require veterinary biologics manufacturers (licensees and permittees) to record and submit reports to the APHIS concerning adverse events associated with the use of biological products they produce or distribute,

2. require veterinary biologics manufacturers to report to the APHIS the number of doses of each licensed product they distribute, and

3. provide definitions for adverse event and adverse event report.

NOTE: The definitions and information provided below on vaccine adverse events and adverse event reporting are sub-ject to change if this amendment is approved.

For purposes of this discussion, a vaccine adverse event is defined as any undesirable side effect or unintended effect (including lack of desired result) associated with the administration of a licensed biological product (vaccine).

For vaccines administered to animals, adverse events are those involving the health of the treated animal and include the apparent failure to protect against a disease. It is impor-tant to note that an adverse event includes any injury, toxic-ity, or sensitivity reaction associated with the use of a vaccine, whether or not the event can be directly attributed to the vaccine. In other words, it is appropriate to report any known or suspected event associated with vaccination. A vaccine adverse event report may be defined as a source of communication concerning the occurrence of one or more suspected adverse events, which identifies the product(s), animal(s), and person making the report.

Purpose of Reporting
Reporting field observations of unexpected vaccine perform-ance is the most important means through which the manufac-turer and the regulating agency (and the American Veterinary Medical Association) can be made aware of potential vaccine safety or efficacy problems that, if necessary, warrant further investigation. If a particular adverse event is well documented, reporting serves to provide a baseline against which future reports can be compared. In addition, reported adverse events could lead to the detection of previously unrecognized reac-tions, to the detection of increases in known reactions, to the recognition of risk factors associated with reactions, to the identification of vaccine lots with unusual events or unex-pected numbers of adverse events, and to further clinical, epi-demiological, or laboratory studies. Therefore, veterinarians are encouraged to report any clinically significant adverse event occurring during or after administration of any vaccine licensed in the United States. Reporting a vaccine adverse event is not an indictment against a particular vaccine. Report-ing simply facilitates review of temporally associated condi-tions and adds to the safety database of the product.

Reporting a Vaccine Adverse Event
The AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents has reported that the current adverse event reporting system needs significant improvement in the capture, analysis, and reporting of adverse events.36 Veterinarians are encouraged to participate in the vaccine adverse event reporting process by reporting suspected and known adverse events to any of the following three locations:
1. The vaccine manufacturer, usually through telephone communication with technical services [Table 3];

2. the USDA-CVB by toll-free call (800-752-6255); or

3. the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Veterinary Practi-tioners’ Reporting Program (VPRP) by toll-free call (800-487-7776; press #3), by fax (301-816-8373), or online (www.usp.org/vprp).

Reports made to the USDA are forwarded directly to the vaccine manufacturer without specific action. Although adverse event reports made to the USP VPRP are collected and maintained in a database, individual vaccine adverse event reports are not necessarily forwarded by USP to the vaccine manufacturer. While still available, the future of the USP VPRP is currently under review.

Event Criteria
Reporting a known or suspected vaccine adverse event should include the:

1. Manufacturer’s name

2. Product brand name, lot/serial number, and expiration date

3. U.S. veterinary license number and product code

4. Signalment (age, species, breed, gender) of patient affected

5. A description of the clinical signs or diagnosis associ-ated with administration of the vaccine. Although spe-cific reporting criteria are not defined for clinical events, the type of reaction and length of time between adminis-tration of the vaccine and onset of the adverse event should be documented using the following guidelines:
a. Local (injection-site) reactions occur exclusively at or around the site of inoculation. They may occur at the time of injection, or several minutes, hours, or days later and may persist from minutes (e.g., pruritus) to months (e.g., granuloma). Reports should include the route of administration (i.e., subcutaneous, intramus-cular, or topical [oral, conjunctival, or nasal]). Exam-ples of injection-site (local) reactions following vaccination include pain, pruritus, swelling, injection-site alopecia, abscess formation, granuloma forma-tion, and neoplasia. Infection and skin necrosis are rare but have been reported. Vaccines licensed for administration by the topical (conjunctival/intranasal) route have been associated with sneezing (persisting =3 days), nasal and oral ulceration, ocular discharge, and cough (persisting >24 hours).
b. Systemic reactions are events that involve the entire body or a defined location/region other than the injec-tion site. Like injection-site reactions, systemic reac-tions typically don’t occur at the time of injection but can develop within minutes or hours and may persist for hours or days. Examples of systemic reactions fol-lowing vaccination include angioedema, especially involving the face, muzzle, and ears (most often reported in dogs); anaphylaxis and collapse; poly-arthritis (lameness); vomiting with or without diar-rhea (most often reported in cats); respiratory distress; fever; and lethargy. Severe events that may be vaccine associated requiring long-term medical intervention and patient follow-up include immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, icterus, renal failure, and glomerulo-nephritis.

c. Vaccine-associated death, although rare, does occur. In dogs, anaphylactic shock is the most commonly reported adverse event leading to death. There has been no trend to suggest an association between ana-phylaxis and a particular manufacturer’s vaccine. Vet-erinarians are strongly encouraged to report any death suspected or known to be associated with vaccination to the vaccine manufacturer