Rabies are extremely rare and extremely dangerous. These can be fatal for dogs, cats, and even humans. Luckily the vaccine is very effective and it will protect your dog. A dog acting weird after a rabies shot is rare but possible. Below we will have to explain all of the side effects and all of the things you need to know about.
Importance of Rabies Vaccine
Rabies is not common but it is still important to vaccinate your pet in order to help him build up the immune system. This is a slow-acting virus so it will need weeks or in some cases even months to start showing the signs. A dog acting weird after a rabies shot will occur much sooner. Anyway, this vaccine is strong and will protect your pet.
A dog will get one vaccine that will trigger his immune system. It will start producing antibodies that will attack rabies. Over time, the vaccine strength will decrease. A dog will need another vaccine or booster so he can stay safe. Usually, a dog will get another vaccine after 1 year and boosters 1-3 years after that.
Common and Possible Side Effects of The Vaccine
There are some side effects that are more common and we will have to explain all of these. Keep in mind that it is possible that your pet doesn’t have any of these side effects.
In fact, this is a more common outcome. Most dogs don’t show any symptoms and they don’t even know that they got the vaccine. But some dogs do have side effects. Because these affect his body, a dog will act weird. He will be in discomfort or pain and as such he will be sad, tired and he will not be interested in doing anything.
Mild fever and loss of appetite are most common. These last 24-36 hours after the vaccination. Because your pet will not eat, he will have less energy to use. He may spend a lot of time on the floor. Many dogs also show side effects on the injection site. For instance, you can see swelling and redness. This is normal and there is no need to worry about it. All of these will go away within 1-2 days.
Swelling on the injection site can be painless or painful. Some dogs will lose their hair around that area. This is very rare and it is less likely that a dog will experience that. It is important to add that swelling can last up to a few weeks and it is harmless.
Extremely Rare Side Effects
It is also possible that dogs have severe side effects. These are obviously very are and most dogs don’t have anything like this. But some dogs can have these side effects. Keep in mind that these side effects can become visible 1 or 2 hours after the injection.
Hives are probably the most common of these side effects. These are lumps that show below the skin. This can’t be painful or painless. If they cause pain your dog will show that and he will need help. Vomiting and diarrhea are possible. Usually, these two go together but your dog can vomit or has diarrhea separately.
The swollen face is another side effect. There is no need to tell you that this is a severe issue here. Collapsing, fainting and severe pain that affects the injection site are all possible in this case scenario.
Regardless of when or how your dog starts showing these side effects, take him to a vet. It means that your pet has severe complications and he needs professional help. A good thing is that your vet can help him within minutes and your dog will start feeling better. This can happen at any given moment and even if the first injection caused none of these side effects.
What You should Do About This
There are a few things we must mention here. The first one is that in most cases you don’t have to do anything. Make your pet comfortable and allow him to rest. After 1-2 days he will be just fine and there are no side effects present.
But, if you notice some complications or your pet is in pain you must contact the vet. He may even prescribe pain medication. These are commonly used to help dogs who have complications after rabies injection.
If you see that the signs are worsening, your dog is in pain and he doesn’t feel any better, take him to a vet immediately.
You should always look at the injection site. If it becomes very red, swollen, or affected in any other way, he needs help and it means that some more severe side effects are present. This can take a couple of weeks so don’t think that after a few days your dog will become safe and you don’t have to check for side effects anymore.
Last but not least important is to look at other side effects that are not here. Those cannot be generalized due to the fact there are countless possibilities. If you notice any of the complications that even look severe, take your dog to a vet as soon as possible.
All of this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t vaccinate your pet against rabies. It means that you should do it and you should make sure that the dog is safe and sound even if side effects are present. Remember that rabies are deadly for dogs and as such the vaccine is the only protection.
How to Care for Your Dog After a Rabies Shot
Monitor Your Dog’s Behavior: Following the rabies shot, you should keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior and reactions. Look for signs of discomfort, loss of appetite, excessive sleeping, or any other unusual behavior that persists for more than 24 hours.
Provide a Comfortable Resting Spot: Ensure your dog has a comfortable and quiet place to rest after getting the vaccination. This can help them to feel secure and safe as they recover.
Keep Hydration Levels Up: It’s crucial to make sure your dog stays hydrated after receiving the vaccination. Make sure they have easy access to fresh water at all times. If they refuse to drink, you may need to consult your vet.
Maintain a Calm Environment: Try to minimize noise and other distractions around your home that could stress your dog. A calm environment helps your pet recover faster.
Limit Physical Activity: It’s normal for your dog to feel a little tired or lethargic after a vaccination. During this time, limit their physical activity and postpone any vigorous exercise or play until they are feeling better.
Offer a Balanced Diet: If your dog is willing to eat, provide them with their regular diet. In case of loss of appetite that lasts for more than a day, it might be best to consult your vet.
Don’t Neglect Affection: Give your dog plenty of love and attention during this time. This can help comfort them and also allows you to keep a close eye on their health.
Remember, if your dog seems to be experiencing severe side effects or their condition does not improve after a day or two, contact your veterinarian immediately.
The Final Word
A dog acting weird after a rabies shot will be an issue if your dog has side effects. There are common and even rare side effects that can present. Common side effects are not severe and they will go away within days. Rare side effects are more severe and they will require professional help from a vet. Your role is to look at the injection site, symptoms, and anything else that can present after rabies show even a few weeks after.