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Dog rabies vaccination side effects

Updated February 21, 2017

Rabies vaccinations are required in many states. Yet, rabies vaccinations have one of the highest side effect rates of any vaccination you could give your dog. Rabies vaccinations can cause adverse reactions in dogs ranging from a simple fever to seizures to death.

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When Side Effects Occur

Side effects from a rabies shot typically occur within two to three weeks after vaccination. However, side effects can appear up to 45 days after vaccination.

Immediate Side Effects

Reactions immediately after your pet receives the vaccine are fairly common. Side effects appearing within hours of vaccination include vomiting, lethargy, fever, loss of consciousness and even death.

A Change in Behavior

Dogs have been known to become aggressive, experience separation anxiety and show signs of obsessive compulsive disorder due to the rabies vaccination.

Nervous Problems

The most commonly reported side effect of the rabies vaccine is a sudden occurrence of epilepsy and seizures. Because of the nature of rabies, the vaccine often attacks the nervous system, causing muscle weakness or brain and spinal issues similar to rabies itself.

Other Side Effects

Other reported side effects from the rabies vaccination include autoimmune diseases, allergies, skin problems, digestive disorders, eating inappropriate materials, like paper, and fibrocarcinomas, a type of cancer, at the injection site.

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About the Author

Sienna Condy began writing professionally in 2001 while attending the University of Cincinnati, and she's been at it ever since. Since graduating, she's written everything from marketing materials to articles on removing stains. Today, she enjoys writing about weddings, legal issues, science, health and parenting.

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