Ask Seth: Rabies Shot Side Effects

Took my dog to a rabies clinic last week and he got a rabies shot. I just noticed a lump where the shot was given. Why did this happen? Should I take him to the vet?

 

Dear Seth,

I took my dog to the rabies clinic last week and he got a rabies shot. I just noticed a lump in the exact area where the shot was given. Did they give the vaccine in the wrong spot? Why did this happen? Should I take him to the vet?

Emma from Seattle, WA


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Emma,

I have been asked this question a few hundred times in my career, and the answer is always the same. You are most likely seeing a localized immune response to the vaccine. This is common with the rabies vaccine. The immune system is working to protect your dog’s body from infectious intruders. Most likely there was no issue with the administration of the vaccine. The rule of thumb for such vaccine bumps is: the amount of time it took for the lump to appear (for example, 7 days) will be the amount of time it takes to disappear (another 7 days). If the lump is noticeable after this time, or if you are still concerned, contact your veterinarian.

 

Seth Mayersohn, CVT

 

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