Emergency Vaccine Reactions And Aftercare Issues

A very small percentage of pets may experience a sudden and severe allergic reaction after vaccination. This is a medical emergency that can progress quickly to respiratory distress, shock and death. Although serious, it responds very well to prompt treatment and most pets can make a complete recovery.

If your pet shows any of these symptoms:

  • Facial or generalized swelling
  • Hives (skin welts/bumps)
  • Breathing difficulties or abnormalities
  • Marked weakness (or collapse)
  • Repeated or severe vomiting or diarrhea

You may return to our clinic (if still on location) and we can treat your pet free of charge. IF RETURNING TO OUR CLINIC IS NOT AN OPTION, PROMPTLY CONTACT YOUR CLOSEST 24 HOUR EMERGENCY VETERINARY HOSPITAL. PET-CARE EXPRESS IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY VETERINARY EXPENSES RESULTING FROM VACCINE-RELATED COMPLICATIONS. Please inform us of any vaccine reactions and follow-ups.


AFTERCARE ISSUES

Flu-like symptoms
Mild, flu-like symptoms are the most commonly reported vaccine side effects. These may include some combination of: decreased activity, poor appetite, mild fever and injection-site pain. These are not serious and usually subside within 48 hours. They rarely require treatment.

Injection site reactions
Less commonly, a lump may form at an injection site. This occurs after variable time periods (usually weeks to months). Lumps may contain sterile fluid (seroma), inflammatory tissue (granuloma) or pus (abscess). Veterinary attention is advisable for diagnosis and/or treatment.  Another rare local reaction is hair loss over an injection site that may be permanent.

Delayed Vaccine reactions
Although definitive proof is lacking, some evidence implicates vaccinations with two very rare delayed complications: Autoimmunity and Vaccine Associated Sarcoma.

Autoimmunity
Autoimmunity results from a misguided immune-system attack on the body’s own tissues. Disease severity can vary from mild to serious depending on the exact tissues involved and the strength of the attack.

  • Autoimmune diseases possibly associated with vaccines include disorders of:
    • Platelets (thrombocytopenia)
    • Red blood cells (immune-mediated hemolytic anemia)
    • Joints (arthritis)
    • Blood vessels (vasculitis)
    • Nervous system (neuritis/encephalitis)

Vaccine-Associated Sarcoma
Vaccine-associated Sarcoma is a very rare malignant tumor seen mostly in cats. It is estimated to occur in 1 to 2 out of every 10,000 vaccinated cats . It presents as a fast growing lump under the skin appearing months to years after vaccination. This is a life-threatening complication that requires extensive surgical and medical intervention. Despite treatment, it is usually fatal.

PET-CARE EXPRESS IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY VETERINARY EXPENSES RESULTING FROM VACCINE-RELATED COMPLICATIONS.