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Rabies Vaccine Reaction

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rivie had her rabies vaccine on 6/17 (thursday) - and the vet gave her a good look over then because of her age (dob 11/6/98). on saturday a.m. the 18th i noticed a walnut to lemon sized knot on her side about 2" back from her "armpit" and down towards her tummy. of course i phoned the vet right away, but thought it was probably a reaction to the vaccine, as we would have seen this knot, and i think he would have felt it in the exam of her. he confirmed that it was his belief it was a reaction and to watch it and if it wasn't down in size in a week to phone him back. well - 6/25 i thought it was still about the same size - maybe a little smaller, but not much....i phoned to ask if i could just run her by to ease my mind - the only part that troubled me was the location - more towards her tummy and on a rib - i thought this a very strange location for them to give the rabies shot (if indeed it was at the injection site). i was, i admit, miffed because they told me he was REALLY busy and it was not convenient, (come on -- we have been GREAT clients for a really long time) but went to check with him when i insisted. they came back on the phone and told me it would take at least a month to go down and were just pretty short with me (ERRRR). i thought i should google "rabies shot reactions" to make sure this was OK info and now am a bit scared -- anybody else have any experience/info/advice for me??? thanks in advance!!! teri


UPDATE 7/2 -- thank you so much for all your great input! yesterday i was still just a bit uneasy with the situation. i went to the vets office and just asked to speak with the tech - i explained the whole story and showed him on a dog where the lump was.....he said go get her and let the dr take a look right away. dr was so nice and appologetic - said it was not at all what he was thinking and took an x-ray....she will have biopsy on wednesday - PRAYERS APPRECIATED!!! thanks in advance - teri

Edited by teri_d
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One of mine did have a reaction to a rabies shot like that. It did finally go down. I do not give ours a rabies shots if they are 10 or older. I feel the antibodies or whatever it is called is built up in there bodies. Our vet also does not give older dogs these shot if they have had a good record of getting their shots up to this age.


Then God sent the Greyhound to live among man and remember. And when the Day comes,

God will call the Greyhound to give Testament, and God will pass judgment on man.

(Persian Proverb)

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Guest DoofBert

My one cat had a reaction like this -- although a much smaller 'bump'...... It went down without any issues. The cat vet did say I could put some ice on it it I wanted (which I did as it was a hot summer day).


All the best....

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You followed the vet's directions to call back if the lump did not go down in size in a week. "Vet is busy" doesn't cut it with me, especially since they're now changing their mind about how long you should wait before you expect to see a change.


Yeah, it's probably a vaccine reaction, but there is a chance that the lump was there--less large--and just missed by the vet on the initial exam (especially since we're not talking about a lump at a usual injection site). The vet expected you to see a change within a week; now he (or his staff) are saying "a month." I don't think that blowing off your concerns on a senior dog is acceptable behavior.


Having said that, I don't know what good it will do to insist on an office visit. You're not expecting the vet to remove it, and an x-ray at this stage doesn't seem sensible (very stress-inducing events, x-rays). And so that might be why the staff is stalling. If the lump is there after a month, then they'll start talking about biopsies or whatever, but at this stage, there really are just two ways the exam is likely to go: (1) vet says, "yeah, it's an odd reaction, but it's just a reaction" or (2) "this isn't a typical reaction, but it's too soon to panic, so let's just keep an eye on this for a few more weeks and see what happens." Either way, you still won't know for sure what's up with Rivie, you'll have spent money on an extra office exam, and you'll still be waiting a while for the lump to go away--or not.


So, while I don't like the reaction of your vet's staff, I think their advice probably was good. It's just that their bedside manner stinks, and it wouldn't have hurt them any to have explained things to you.


Mark your calendar for 19 July (a Monday). That's the day you call the vet if the lump is still there and not substantially smaller. In the meantime, you can check the size of the lump once a week. Please don't stress yourself (or Rivie) by checking on the lump every day and trying to judge bigger-vs-smaller. (Hint: Measure width x length with a ruler, and try to guess the "depth" it's sticking out from her ribcage. Make notes. Put the notes away until the next week.) With your weekly check, if the lump is noticeably bigger, you get to jump the gun and call the vet sooner. Unless that happens, you and Rivie should just have some fun and stop worrying about lumps. (Senior dogs are prone to odd lumps, anyway, which is something else your vet and his staff are considering.)

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If it is in fact a reaction to the vaccine it can take a month to diminish---however, in my opinion the Dr needs to check it first to see if it truely is related to the vaccine or is this something else completley unrelated. Bottom line, I would demand a recheck appointment--even if you need to show up to the clinic unannounced, then that's what you have to do.

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If it's a different location from where the vaccine was given, it's almost certainly unrelated. If for some odd reason they gave the vaccine there, then, yes, you can have a bump that takes many months to go away entirely. Usually not an issue as these bumps usually aren't tender.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Wow, how timely! My Woody had his rabies vaccine on 6/15 and I feel terrible that I didn't notice the HUGE lump on his shoulder until 6/22 - exactly one week later. And of course, I panicked - cause that's what we do when we live with greyhounds. smile.gif


I'm actually glad to hear that it could take a month for the lump to go away because I had heard 10 days and Woody's lump is still there. It is smaller thought so I'm not (too) worried. Woody is 7 and it's a three year vaccine, so he will be 10 1/2 before he's due again. I would prefer not to vaccinate at that age anyways so now I have a good excuse not to.


I agree that I wouldn't be too happy if the vet office told me they were too busy. My vet is always happy to have me come in for the cost of another office visit. Of course, my vet is my best friend's sister so if I had to I would just drive to her house and have her check it out lol.giflol.gif

Measure wealth not by the things that you have, but by the things you have for which you would not take money.

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OK something is rotten in Denmark. Don't know if I did the linky thing right but Minny just nearly died from his rabies shot on the 19th and he is a very healthy houndie-has no health issues at all. Here is my thread. In case link don't work topic was called "Allergic Rxn To Rabies Shot"

http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/256854-allergic-rxn-to-rabies-shot/page__p__4588539&?do=findComment&comment=4588539 His vaccine was the Pfizer 3 year I have the serial number. PLEASE REPORT IT!! ADVERSE RXNS NEED TO BE REPORTED. With vaccines you report it first to the manufacturer and 2nd to the USDA. If its Pfitzer you have to phone them but the USDA has a quick convenient on-line form:




If people don't report adverse rxns then if something is bad then it will continue to be used. Seems peculiar to me that all of a sudden there are all these rabies vaccine rxns. And in my case the clown technician that gave the shot actually gave it at his stomach tuck on the side(which the manufacturer was upset about when I told them.)

Sure hope your girl don't have any more problems from the shot. No more shots for Minny.



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