Feline Rabies Shot Side Effects

Dogs require a number of vaccines to prevent several diseases that occur frequently in dogs. Rabies shot should also be administered, as rabies is a fatal disease in canines and can also be transmitted to humans. However, the rabies shot has a few possible side effects that you need to be aware of.

Rabies Shot

The rabies shot is the only shot required by law for dogs. The shot should be administered periodically to prevent your pet from getting rabies but to prevent the infestation of humans also. Rabies can be contracted from other canines or cats or from wild animals such as bats, coyotes, skunks, raccoons or foxes.

The first rabies shot should be administered at the age of 4 months and then a booster shot is given when the dog is 1 year old. Depending on your location and the regulations in your area, your dog must be vaccinated yearly, or once every 3 years. However, research has proven that a rabies shot may be effective for up to 7 years.

When getting a new dog, make sure to get his vaccination records also, especially if he is no longer a puppy.  

If your pet has adverse reactions to the shot or has cancer and is under chemotherapy or has autoimmune diseases, the vaccination should be avoided.

The rabies shot shouldn’t be administered within 3 to 4 weeks of other major vaccinations.

Negative Reactions to Rabies Shot

You have to be able to recognize if your dog is having a negative reaction to the rabies shot. Symptoms displayed by dogs with a negative reaction to the vaccine include:

  • Heavy breathing
  • Facial swelling
  • Watery eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Skin rashes
  • Anaphylactic shock, in rare cases; there will be swelling and this may affect the airways, being possibly fatal

These symptoms can occur on the day of the shot and may indicate that your dog is allergic to the shot; you need to contact your vet immediately.

Dogs may also develop health problems after the shot, so make sure you let the vet know that the disease occurred immediately after the administration of a rabies shot. 

Rabies Shot Side Effects

Some of the long term side effects of rabies include:

  • Aggressiveness and destructive behavior: chewing, barking, biting, growling
  • Stress or separation anxiety
  • Chasing tails or other obsessive compulsive behaviors
  • Autoimmune diseases (i.e. lupus)
  • Allergies to food, inhalants
  • Skin rashes
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Weak muscles
  • Carcinomas at the injection site
  • Seizures, in rare cases

If you notice any of these side effects, you should contact your vet.

The rabies shot is essential in protecting both your and your dog’s health. Even if side effects and negative reactions may occur after the administration of the injection, these are rare and are not as serious as the rabies infection.

Never administer the shot in combination with other vaccines or if the dog is suspected to have rabies.