Certain breeds of dogs, especially the little ones can react to vaccinations. There are many things we can do to minimize those. First let’s talk about what is a vaccine reaction and what to do about it.
What constitutes an adverse event?
- An adverse event is any undesirable ocurrence associated with the use of a medical product.8 Possible adverse events of vaccination include mild reactions (eg, local inflammation, swelling, pain, irritation). More severe events include anaphylaxis, immunosuppression, autoimmune disorders, transient infections, and the development of long-term carrier states. Failure to immunize is also considered an adverse event.
What is adverse event reporting?
- Any adverse event for any medical product should be documented and reported. This aids in the monitoring and recognition of trends in the adverse events of vaccination. If a pet has any type of vaccine reaction, record the event in the medical record so preventive measures can be taken in the future. The AVMA and the WSAVA encourage the reporting of any adverse event to the technical services department of the vaccine manufacturer and regional/governmental oversight committees (eg, US Department of Agriculture’s Center for Veterinary Biologics, Canadian Food Inspection Agency). Reporting forms and procedures can be found in the 2011 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines.
We work really hard to have your pet’s chart flagged with a warning that he has had a vaccine reaction in the past. We may suggest doing one vaccination each week or even a month apart to allow your pet to handle that one better. We have different formulations of distemper which usually helps little dogs be less reactive. We have antihistamines we administer at the same time as the vaccine to minimize a possible reaction. Don’t be surprised if Dr. Flanders asks you to hang around after for 15-30 minutes just to make sure no reaction occurs. It is much less scary if you are still in our office when your pet reacts than to be driving home and not feel like you can hold your pet and get back to our office for treatment.