Canine Distemper Vaccine Side Effects

When a dog receives its core vaccinations, the canine distemper vaccine is included in the series. As with any vaccination, including the parvovirus vaccine or the adenovirus vaccine, the distemper vaccination can have some side effects on how the dog feels or acts. While not all dogs will have an adverse reaction to the immunization, it is important to know what signs to look for and which to report to your veterinarian.

Possible Side Effects to the Canine Distemper Vaccine

  • Lethargy - After receiving its vaccination, a dog may want to just lie around and sleep, avoiding its typical activities.
  • Slight fever - Some dogs react to vaccinations with a slightly elevated temperature.
  • Swelling at the injection site - Dogs occasionally get a lump at the injection site that absorbs into their system within a day or two.
  • Loss of appetite - Loss of appetite is another minor side effect to the distemper vaccine.

While the majority of reactions to the distemper vaccine are minor, should the dog react with swelling of the face, diarrhea or vomiting, or become unresponsive, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Many people are questioning the need to immunize their dogs against diseases that are practically non-existent today to avoid causing their dog discomfort. These owners should weigh the possible adverse reactions against the potential loss of their dog should they contract the disease. Prevention is the key to a healthy dog.