Side Effects of 7 in 1 Vaccinations for Dogs

Updated March 23, 2017

Giving vaccinations to your dog is scary. The protection is important and helps prevent diseases and spread of serious viral conditions. There are many possible side effects ranging from minor to severe; however, and the best method of combating them is to know what to watch for and what to do if your dog has a reaction to the 7-in-1 vaccination for dogs. The 7-in-1 vaccine protects against the main viruses, most of which can be deadly. These are canine distemper, adenovirus, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza and either two or four types of the leptospirosis virus.

Causes of Serious Side Effects

It is the leptospirosis portion of the vaccine that causes the most problems for dogs. Many owners choose to vaccinate with the smaller six-way vaccine first, and use a separate leptospirosis vaccine. This can help reduce the possibility of negative side effects.

Injection Site Pain

Slight swelling or painfulness at the site of the injection is a normal reaction to a vaccination and is not usually serious. Watching for signs of infection such as heat in the area, pus or other oozing is important, though it's a rare occurrence. If infection does develop, your veterinarian will likely prescribe an antibiotic.

Joint Pain or Muscle Stiffness

Limping or soreness to the touch, especially in the areas closest to the injection site, happens frequently and is usually not a serious condition. The stiff appearance and soreness usually does not last longer than a day.


Laying around and feeling drained and tired is commonly associated with dog vaccinations of all types. Allow your dog to have a quiet, undisturbed place to be comfortable until he feels better.


Low-grade fevers are a common reaction to vaccines of any type and are usually short-lived. Your veterinarian may prescribe a fever reducer for your dog if it persists.

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions to vaccinations are the most serious. Swelling of the nasal passages or throat can make it impossible for a dog to breathe and, if not treated promptly, can occasionally be fatal. Quick attention by administering epinephrine is required to combat this reaction. If the drug is administered early when symptoms first appear, it is very effective.

To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate

Some dog owners are so worried about the inclusion of the leptospirosis portion of the vaccine that they choose to not vaccinate against it. This is a very serious disease and extremely contagious. Most dogs who contract lepto (leptospirosis) die as a result, especially young puppies. It is far better to vaccinate and be prepared to assist your dog in case of a reaction than to leave him exposed to a potentially deadly disease.

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About the Author

Tami Parrington is the author of five novels along with being a successful SEO and content writer for the past three years. Parrington's journalism experience includes writing for eHow on medical, health and home-related topics as well as writing articles about the types of animals she has raised for years.