My Dog Is Shaking After Shots

My Dog Is Shaking After Shots

Last Updated: August 20, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Shaking is a common reaction to a canine shot. It may simply be a result of the dog feeling pain around the injection site, particularly if there is significant swelling. In addition, the dog’s uncontrollable shaking could be a sign of an allergic reaction to the vaccine.

The purpose of this article is to explain “My Dog Is Shaking After Shots“.

Its your duty as a dog owner to try to do what is best for your pet. Despite your puppy being vaccinated against several infectious diseases your little buddy appears to be quite miserable after his shots.

My Dog Is Shaking After Shots

If you touch the dog it might shake and refuse to respond. It raises a lot of questions in your mind. What does this mean? What can I do to help? What will happen to him?

In order to put your mind at ease lets just say that yes such reactions are common after a dog gets their shots and most of the time they’ll go away within a few days.

Nevertheless you must keep an eye on him and be ready to take him to the vet if his condition worsens.

Here we’ll talk about the most common vaccines for dogs their side effects and how you can help your dog feel better.

What is the Lepto Vaccine?

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can cause liver and kidney damage to dogs. The Lepto vaccine protects your dog against this infection.

Rodents are the most common carriers of bacteria.

The East Coast Midwest and South are more likely to contract Leptospirosis.

The vaccine would not guarantee your dogs total protection against Lepto but it will provide a high level of protection.

In the United States this bacteria isnot a threat so its not given to pets routinely – your veterinarian will advise you about how appropriate it will be for your pet.

Why is my dog shaking after getting Lepto shots?

Shivering and shaking are common side effects of canine vaccines and there has been no evidence to suggest that certain breeds may be more susceptible to such reactions.

Experts believe that in many cases all that shaking is directly associated with the pain and inflammation at the injection site. 

Certain smaller breeds of dogs may shake after receiving a Leptospirosis vaccination.

Vaccines can cause a firm swelling at the injection site which usually subsides within a few days if not longer.

In addition some dogs get a bit of a fever after receiving a vaccine. He is starting to produce antibodies as his immune system reacts to the vaccine.

Some shivering is to be expected when the dog has a fever.

Stress may also be responsible for your dogs shaking. Some dogs are more sensitive than others so they will have to take more time to get over all the poking handling and injections.

If your dog is shaking uncontrollably however you should pay close attention because this could be a sign of an allergic reaction.

Even if your dog shakes a little you should call your vet if he starts vomiting or has diarrhea. Observe his body for any signs of rash and his head for any signs of swelling.

Your dog might be about to enter anaphylactic shock if there is any puffiness around the eyes muzzle or ears.

This is very serious since his throat might also swell up and he will stop breathing. Whenever you see swelling in your dogs face you should immediately take your pet to the vet or to an emergency clinic as an allergic reaction will require antihistamines.

What should I do?

If a dog is not feeling well it probably wants to be left alone. After receiving a vaccine many dogs are lethargic and just want to sleep.

If he wants to lie down anywhere he wants let him he deserves it. Cover him with a light blanket if hes shivering. However he might throw it away in which case you should not insist.

He should be offered his favorite food but do not be surprised if he does not seem to be hungry. Additionally make sure he has access to clean water but again he may not care about that either.

When he is clearly not in the mood to play do not bother him. He needs time to recuperate. Hopefully he’ll come to see you when hes feeling better.

Make sure hes not disturbed. Tell your kids to leave the dog alone so he can sleep it off.

Be sure to keep an eye on him constantly but do not get too close to examine him if you do not see any additional signs of concern.

What can I give my dog for pain?

Tylenol and Ibuprofen are usually recommended for pain and fever when you take your baby to get shots.

Dogs however can be toxic even from very small doses of common OTC pain medications. You can give him aspirin but make sure the dosage is correct. Dogs should not receive more than 5 to 10mg of medication per pound of body weight every eight hours according to current advice.

Since prolonged use of aspirin may cause internal bleeding it should only be used in a temporary pain relief capacity. When giving your dog aspirin choose coated tablets that are easier on the stomach.

If you know your dog can not resist the treat hide the aspirin in it.

Apply a cold compress to relieve pain at the injection site. An ice pack might be difficult to apply to a dogs swelling but a towel wetted with ice-cold water can be gently placed over the painful area.

You can also give your dog an antihistamine drug-like Zyrtec or Claritin if you think he is experiencing an allergic reaction to mils. Check out how much each of these drugs should be given.

What are the most common vaccinations that dogs have?

You might be confused when you first get a puppy because he needs so many shots.

Theres no doubt that dogs need to be vaccinated against rabies and in some countries these vaccinations are mandatory. So what about those other vaccinations?

When puppies are 6-8 weeks old distemper and parvovirus vaccines are highly recommended.

Distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that affects the digestive respiratory and nervous systems.

Dogs are prone to contracting parvovirus easily. Dogs can die within days of contracting the disease due to its attacks on the digestive system. German Shepherds Dobermans and Rottweilers are more prone to it than other breeds.

In addition puppies should get their first vaccination against leptospirosis by the age of 10-12 weeks.

Direct contact with the urine of an infected animal can cause leptospirosis in dogs. The presence of high levels of bacteria in the dogs kidneys and liver can cause severe damage to these organs and this can lead to death.

In addition to vaccinations against kennel cough veterinarians recommend shots against hepatitis and parainfluenza. You may need to give your dog a parainfluenza shot if you intend to take him to dog daycare or training sessions.

Coronavirus shots are recommended for dogs as early as 12 months of age. There is no coronavirus that caused the Covid-19 pandemic but a canine coronavirus that attacks the digestive system.  

Dogs can receive a variety of other types of vaccines so if you follow the complete schedule of vaccines you will be visiting the vet frequently.

Nevertheless most of the vaccines veterinarians recommend require several boosters.

Will my dog feel bad after the booster shots?

The booster shots will make your dogs condition worse if he was unwell after his first shots. In fact allergic reactions are more common after booster shots.

The veterinarian must be informed about all of your dogs symptoms including shaking after the first shot. Your vet may recommend against booster shots in some cases.

The vet might also decide to space your dogs booster shots allowing one or two weeks between injections.

Often dog inoculations contain several vaccines in one injection and this can overwhelm the dogs immune system.

When small dogs receive the same vaccine dose as larger dogs the problem is more severe. German Shepherds will be able to tolerate the vaccine much better than little Chihuahuas.

Small dogs are perfectly safe to receive the same shots as large dogs according to experts.

If your dog had an adverse reaction to his first round of shots you need to speak with your vet about the common canine diseases in your area.

The doctor may decide which vaccinations you can skip if theres a low risk of catching one or another disease.

What are the other side effects of vaccinations?

Pet owners often become extremely concerned when they notice their pet is having trouble walking after a vaccination.

In many cases this is caused by a lump that forms at the injection site. Since your dog is probably in pain he tends to avoid pressing on one leg. His walking problems should clear up in a couple of days.

In the event that swelling at the injection site does not subside within a month you should see a veterinarian.

Additionally you should know that some vaccines including rabies shots can cause paralysis in one or both of a dogs hind legs.

Despite the injection taking place three weeks earlier this reaction may still paralysis will usually disappear in seven to ten days when it is temporary.

It is possible for this type of paralysis to progress towards the front legs resulting in the dog dying since he would not be able to breathe normally.

Why do dogs shake?

There are a number of reasons why dogs shake that have nothing to do with vaccinations. Generalized Tremor Syndrome also known as Shaker Syndrome is a common problem in dogs between the ages of 9 months and 2 years.

Shivering shaking and general tremors are symptoms of GTS. Symptoms usually subside in a week or two after receiving corticosteroid treatment for this disease which affects small white breeds.

Shaking can also be caused by nausea in dogs. In addition to motion sickness nausea can also be a sign of kidney or liver disease.

Toxins of various kinds can cause dogs to shake. If your dog decides to eat your cigarettes it will also get poison like chocolate xylitol or nicotine.

The shaking should be taken to the vet as soon as possible if the shaking is accompanied by vomiting diarrhea drooling or seizures.


Shaking is a common reaction to a canine shot. It may simply be a result of the dog feeling pain around the injection site particularly if there is significant swelling.

In addition the dogs uncontrollable shaking could be a sign of an allergic reaction to the vaccine.

You should monitor your dog closely to ensure he does not go into anaphylactic shock if there is puffiness in the head area.

If the dog is sleepy and the shaking does not seem to bother him leave him alone. After a day or two he should be fine.

However if your dog is having a severe reaction to the first shots talk to your vet about skipping vaccines or boosters.

Have the vet give him only one vaccine at a time instead of three or five as is usually the case.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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