Side effects of Rabies Shot

I just read that there are some serious side effects of Rabies shot, some breeds, especially toy breeds might get lumps that never go away, or skin condition that makes their fur fall out and itchy skin- Oh my! Also no matter what size of the dog, the rabies shot is all the same amount, which means my puppy will get a same amount of Rabies shot as a great dane!. Rufio is due for his Rabies shot in couple weeks and I'm a worried wreck, can someone please explan and easy my mind......I'm a worried mommy!. By the way I did ask the vet and he said that the rabies shot is required so nothing can be done about it :-(

Asked by Rufio on Mar 23rd 2010 in Vaccinations
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I guess you could ask the vet to find the most skin on his neck. Have the vet take extra time to be careful and find the most loose skin and help him do so. Unlike some of my dogs a toy is small and doesn't have that big meaty neck structure. Also see if you can find online any info on that type of info and injection sites for toy dogs. So sad for Rufio :(

Dieta answered on 3/23/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Rabies is given universally in the right rear leg. Right rear = Rabies. The reason for this is so that any vet can track any issues resulting from vaccinations... if each vaccine is given in the same place by all vets it means any vet can determine where any dog had his shots given.
The problem with skin reactions is that the vaccine usually leaks out into the dermal layer. After experimenting, I have found that if the vaccine is given deep into the muscle there will be no reaction in my toy poodles.
Should the dog end up with a small lump, IMO, it is way, way better than being euthanized because it bit someone and never had a rabies shot, or if it dies from rabies. Any lumps my dogs get from an intramusclular vaccine disappear within a few weeks.

Member 641257 answered on 3/23/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Actually, I learned the hard way of a more morbid reason for the leg being the new area of injection.

If a dog does develop a cancerous growth or there is tissue death at the injection site, a leg can be sacrificed.

Jack had a reaction lump develop after his second rabies vaccination. After eight months, it had grown from the side of a pea to twice that size and he had to have it removed surgically. It wasn't good; he had a fibrosarcoma, which is basically a pre-cancerous tumor that results when the immune system "walls off" the foreign substance that is injected.

Now, this sounds very scary. And indeed it was an ordeal for both Jack and us. And obviously, its titer testing for life for him!

But I hope it makes you feel much better to hear this from me, after having gone through this with Jack....

I would not hesitate to get any other dog I owned vaccinated.

That's how uncommon it is and I believe wholeheartedly that Rufio will be just fine.

Jack answered on 3/23/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I totally understand your concerns. My dogs have never had a bad reaction, however my friends pom had the hair loss thing you described. If you can imagine an almost bald pom. One vet said it was due to the vaccine, another one said it was due to a thyroid problem, which the first one agreed, that the vaccine caused the thyroid upset, so who knows what is the real truth. The fact of the matter, we still have to vaccinate them for their protection. As long as it isn't a lethal reaction, then we can usually live with any defects they may cause. The odds are they won't cause any problems, but you read correctly. I suppose there is a chance that any vaccine we or our pets get can trigger a reaction. Sometimes we just have to take that chance and choose the lesser.
Rufio is without a doubt adorable, but I know you would love him even with a defect, that probably won't happen anyway.

Good luck to you both.

Gidget answered on 3/23/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer