Rabies is a serious infection that can be passed from other animals to your dog, and from your dog to people, which is why rabies vaccines are usually mandatory for pets. A rabies vaccine will help protect your dog against contracting rabies if they are ever bitten by an infected animal.
1. Get Vaccinated Early in the Week
When you get your dog vaccinated, take them in the morning, and make sure schedule your appointment early in the week.
When dogs experience adverse reactions to vaccines, they usually occur in the first day or two after the shot. So if you have your dog vaccinated early in the week and they have an adverse reaction, you will be able to take them back to your vet's office because they will still be open.
2. Know the Signs of an Adverse Reaction
A serious negative reaction to the rabies vaccine is a very rare occurrence. However, it does happen, which is why you need to know the side effects of the vaccine. Most negative reactions to the rabies vaccine are minor, such as welling and discomfort at the injection site. Other common side effects include a low-grade fever, lack of appetite, and low energy.
More serious reactions to the rabies vaccine usually appear within hours or days of getting the vaccine. Serious side effects to watch out for include diarrhea, vomiting, hives, respiratory distress, and collapsing. Whether your dog has minor or serious reactions to the rabies vaccine, be sure to contact your vet right away.
3. Only Get the Rabies Vaccine
When you get your dog vaccinated against rabies, be careful about the other vaccinations that you get at the same time. Your veterinarian will usually set up a vaccination schedule, so you can split up the shots into more than one visit.
When you give a dog multiple vaccines at the same time, you increase the chance of a negative reaction. This is especially true for smaller dogs, but all dogs are at risk for complications when they receive multiple vaccinations.
Some vaccines are commonly given with the rabies vaccine, such as the Lyme disease vaccination or the canine distemper combination vaccine. If you do decide to get more than one vaccine, make sure the veterinarian gives the rabies vaccine at a different injection site.
4. Make Sure That Your Dog Is Healthy
You want to make sure your dog is healthy when you take them in to get a vaccine because your dog has the best chance of developing an immunity when their immune system is healthy.
If your pet is recovering from a virus, infection, or surgery, you should wait to get your pet vaccinated against rabies until they have fully recovered. If your pet has a small infection or skin problems, you should speak with your veterinarian and determine the best course of action.
If you have any concerns about your pet receiving a rabies vaccination, speak to your veterinarian. And before you get your dog vaccinated against rabies, make sure they are healthy, schedule the appointment early in the week should your pet have an adverse reaction, and make sure you space out the rabies vaccine from other vaccines your pet needs to get.
Also, make sure that you know the signs of negative reactions, and keep a close eye on your dog after their vaccination. If you notice any signs, whether they are minor or major, of an adverse reaction, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Reach out to Dr. Michael Butchko, DVM and we can help ensure that your dog is vaccinated and protected against rabies.