Dog Shaking After Vaccine [Canine Shivers]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

So, you’ve just taken your beloved furry companion to the vet for their routine vaccinations, ensuring they stay healthy and protected against a myriad of diseases. 

You leave the clinic with a sense of responsibility and relief, knowing you’ve done the right thing for your four-legged friend. 

But as you return home and settle in, you notice something that sends a shiver down your spine—your dog is shaking uncontrollably. 

Panic sets in, questions flood your mind, and you find yourself wondering, “What on earth is happening to my precious pup?”

Don’t be too alarmed just yet, as it’s likely not an emergency. Read on to find out the common reasons and what you can do.

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Why Is My Dog Shaking After Vaccine?

Why Is My Dog Shaking After Vaccine

We all know the importance of dog vaccinations, but when things go awry, we tend to panic quickly. 

So look, first things first – it’s totally normal to notice your dog shaking a bit after they’ve had a vaccine. 

Don’t worry, it’s not a big cause for concern. 

Let me break it down for you in simple terms.

  • Reaction to the Shot: Their body is responding to the vaccine going into their system, and that can sometimes make them feel a little uneasy or shivery.
  • Nervousness: Dogs might feel a bit nervous at the vet’s office. It’s a new place with new smells and people. Shaking could be their way of showing they’re a bit anxious.
  • Temperature Change: Sometimes, the vet’s office might be a bit chilly. When dogs get cold, they might shake to warm up their bodies. 
  • Stress or Excitement: Going to the vet can be stressful or even exciting for some dogs.
  • Adrenaline: Sometimes, dogs might release a bit of adrenaline when they’re at the vet. Adrenaline is a hormone that can make them feel more alert and a little shaky.

Our dogs have different ways of showing their feelings, and sometimes, a little shake is how they cope with the unfamiliar sensation.

Think of it as a quick shiver that usually goes away in no time.

How Long After A Vaccine Would A Dog Have A Reaction?

You might wonder, “How long does it take for my dog to have a reaction after a vaccine?”

Well, the answer isn’t set in stone because our dogs can react in their own time.

Usually, if your dog is going to have a reaction, it can happen within a few hours to a couple of days after they’ve had their shots.

Now, these reactions can vary.

Some dogs might feel a bit tired like they had a long day at the park. Others might get a slight fever, which is like when we humans get warm foreheads when we’re under the weather. 

And sometimes, you might notice a little swelling where they got the shot. It’s kind of like when we get a bump after a mosquito bite.

But here’s the thing, not all dogs will show these signs. Some dogs take it all in stride and act like nothing happened.

What Kind Of Vaccine Reactions Are There In Dogs?

Just like us, dogs can have all sorts of responses to those shots. Some are mild, and some are a bit more intense.

The common reactions are kind of like when you get a little bump or itch after a mosquito decides to make you its dinner.

In canines, you might notice some swelling, itching, or mild discomfort around the area where they got the shot. It’s like a tiny, temporary inconvenience.

But sometimes, reactions can be a bit more dramatic.

Think of it like when you eat something that doesn’t agree with your tummy. In dogs, this can mean vomiting or having a bout of diarrhea

In very rare cases, a dog might have an allergic reaction to a vaccine. It’s super uncommon, but it can happen.

This could lead to more serious symptoms like trouble breathing or a swollen face. If this ever happens, it’s a big deal, and you should contact the vet right away.

What Are the Symptoms Of Vaccine Reactions In Dogs?

Ever wondered what happens to your furry friend after they get a vaccine?

Well, just like us, dogs can show some interesting reactions

Let me help you identify symptoms your pup might experience:

  • Itching: If you notice your pup scratching more than usual, it’s like when we just can’t help but scratch an itch. They’re trying to find relief.
What Are the Symptoms Of Vaccine Reactions In Dogs
  • Swelling: Sometimes, the spot where they got their shot might puff up a bit. It’s a bit like when we get a bump after accidentally knocking into things.
  • Shaking: Your dog might shiver a little, just like when we humans get the shivers when we’re cold or nervous. It’s their way of dealing with the new experience.
  • Discomfort Signs: If your pup starts panting a lot or can’t seem to settle down, they might be feeling a bit uneasy.

The next time you notice any of these symptoms after your dog’s vaccine, don’t worry too much.

They usually go away on their own. But if you’re ever unsure or concerned, you can always chat with your vet for some peace of mind.

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How Do You Treat A Vaccine Reaction In Your Dog?

As a dog owner myself, I’ve learned a few tricks for comforting our furry buddies. If your pup is experiencing mild symptoms like shaking or itching, here’s what you can do: 

  1. Offer Extra Love and Care: Dogs could use some extra love and care. Yep, just like when we’re feeling a bit under the weather, a little TLC goes a long way for our furry babies.
  2. Create a Calm Environment: Set up a comfy spot with their favorite blanket, toys, and maybe even some soothing music. It’s like treating them to a spa day, but better – because it’s all about them!
  3. Use a Cold Cloth: If you notice some swelling around the area where they got the shot, you can take a clean, cold cloth (not freezing cold, just pleasantly cool) and gently place it on the spot. It’s like giving them a mini ice pack – it can help reduce the swelling.

When to wave the VET FLAG? If your dog’s symptoms persist or, heaven forbid, get worse, it’s time to pick up the phone and call your vet. 

How Can You Comfort Your Dog After Shots?

How Can You Comfort Your Dog After Shots

First things first, offering some yummy treats is like giving them a warm hug. It lets them know that everything is okay.

You can also bring out their favorite toys for a fun distraction.

And don’t forget about extra cuddles and attention. A little extra love goes a long way.

Keep their surroundings nice and quiet. Think of it as creating a cozy sanctuary for them.

Turn down the volume on the TV, lower the chatter, and keep things stress-free. It’s all about making them feel safe and secure.

Can vaccine reactions in dogs be prevented or minimized?

I’ve wondered about this too as a dog owner. 

While it’s not always possible to prevent vaccine reactions altogether, there are steps you can take to lower the risk. 

One of the most important things is to have a good chat with your vet.

See, every dog is unique, just like us. Some dogs might have certain conditions or allergies that make them more likely to react to vaccines. 

By sharing this info with your vet, they can create a personalized vaccination plan for your dog.

Which vaccines increase the risk of vaccine reactions in dogs?

One vaccine that can sometimes make our dogs react a bit more is the rabies vaccination. But hold on, before you start worrying, let’s put this into perspective. 

Even with these “riskier” vaccines, serious reactions are still pretty rare. It’s like saying there’s a tiny chance of rain on a sunny day. 

So, if your pup needs that rabies shot, your vet will guide you through it, making sure everything goes smoothly.

What dog breeds are more susceptible to a vaccine reaction?

You see, just like us, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and this can affect how they react to vaccines.

Smaller dog breeds, like Chihuahuas and Yorkies, are sometimes more sensitive to vaccines. It’s kind of like how some of us might feel a bit dizzier after a rollercoaster ride than others. 

These little pups have tiny bodies, so even a small change from a vaccine can feel like a big deal to them.

Vaccine reactions can happen to any breed. Even big, tough-looking dogs can have a little shake or fever after getting their shots. It’s just that smaller breeds tend to show these reactions a bit more often.

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When should you be concerned about your dog shaking after vaccination?

If your dog’s shaking comes with some other not-so-friendly companions, like difficulty breathing, hives, or facial swelling, that’s a BIG RED FLAG!

Why? Well, these signs could be shouting, “Hey, this is more than just a little discomfort!” They might mean your dog is having a serious allergic reaction.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the side effects of the distemper vaccine in dogs? 

The distemper vaccine in dogs can have some side effects like a small fever, tiredness, or shivering. But these usually disappear within a day or two, just like when we get shots. It’s like a little bump in the road for our dogs, but they recover quickly!

Why is my dog itchy after vaccination? 

Your dog may itch after a vaccination because their immune system is learning to fight off diseases. It’s similar to feeling sore after exercising. To help, be gentle with your dog and give them any medicine recommended by the vet. This itching is a sign that their body is getting stronger!

Is it normal for my dog to shake after vaccination shots?

Yes, it’s normal for dogs to shake a bit after vaccination shots. Kind of like when we flinch from a quick pinch. It’s their way of reacting. If they seem too shaky or unhappy, cuddles can make them feel safer and comfy.

Is it normal for a dog to be in pain after shots? 

Yes, it’s normal for dogs to feel some discomfort after shots, similar to how we might feel a little soreness after getting vaccines. However, if your dog seems to be in a lot of pain or very upset, that’s not normal. You should definitely call your vet for advice to make sure your dog is okay. They’ll know how to help.

Can I give my dog Tylenol for the pain? 

No, you should never give your dog Tylenol or any human pain relievers. These medications can be very harmful to dogs and may cause serious health problems. It’s important to consult your veterinarian if your dog is in pain. They can suggest safe and proper treatments to make your dog feel better.

Why is my dog panting after a vaccine?

Dogs can pant after vaccines because they might feel nervous or uncomfortable, just like we can before seeing a doctor. To help them feel better, make a comfortable and peaceful space for your dog and keep an eye on them. They’ll likely feel back to normal in no time!

Will a half or lesser dose of a vaccine prevent a reaction? 

No, taking half or less of a vaccine dose is NOT a good idea. Vaccines are carefully designed with certain amounts to work well. Changing the dose can make them less effective and may not stop reactions. It’s safest to get the full recommended dose as advised by your doctor.

Does the rabies shot cause shaking in dogs? 

Sometimes, dogs can shake a bit after getting a rabies shot. It’s usually not a big deal, just their body’s response. But if you’re worried, it’s always smart to talk to your vet. They’ll give you the best advice to keep your dog feeling good.

In Conclusion: Dog Shaking After Vaccine

Next time you see your faithful companion shiver after a visit to the vet, you can take a deep breath, knowing that it’s a natural response to the vaccination process. 

Armed with the understanding we’ve shared here, I bet you can offer the comfort and reassurance your furry friend needs!

Hey! If you found this post useful, check out these dog care tips too:

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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