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Vet help
Vet help, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2736
Experience:  12 yrs experience as a small animal veterinarian; 21 yrs exp. in the animal care field
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my puppy had rabies shot yesterday. was sleepy after the shot.

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my puppy had rabies shot yesterday. was sleepy after the shot. last night starting lumping on l front leg. wimpering. today can't walk on leg. still sleepy. he is eating and drinking fine. breathing is normal
Thank you for your question. I would like to help but will need some additional information.

What kind of puppy do you have?

Do you see any swelling of the leg in the area of the injection (usually up toward the shoulder area)?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

He is a 3 month old Clumber Spaniel. Borm 3-13-2011. no swelling near the the site. my paper work states right hind is where he was injected. No other shots given. was walking and played a little when we got out of vets. by night time, he just got sleepy.

when i took him out outside for walk, he was limping but still walking on the front leg. during the night he would cry out and whimper 4-5 times. This morning i had to pick him up to go outside, he peed. while outside he stood for a little bit, but not on front leg. i brought him inside. he ate and drank same as always, lots of water. he did walk around for a shot time, but has been sleeping ever since. Breathing is fine. I called local vet hospital, my vet is closed today, and they told me this sometimes happens to watch him????? he is normally a very very active puppy. i have had him since he was 7 weeks old.

Discomfort on the leg in which the injection was received is not uncommon, though usually these pups are not 3- legged lame. The reason I asked his breed is that some pups (especially toy breeds like Maltese, Miniature Pinscher and Chihuahua) are overly dramatic and can make small aches and pains look major.

Clumbers are not known for being drama queens, and the fact that he is lame in a foreleg when the injection was received in the hindleg, is not common. It's possible that the paperwork misidentified the location of the injection, since we don't often give immunizations in the hind leg in dogs. We do this in cats for a specific reason, but in dogs that concern does not exist.

My concern would be that this is unrelated to the immunization and may be from another cause. Clumbers, with their build and limb structure, are prone to various bone diseases as they are growing, such as elbow dysplasias and panosteitis (inflammation of the long bone).
Since he is otherwise doing well, you can restrict his activity for the day (leash walks only to go outside for elimination and then back in his crate or confined to a small room. No running, jumping, stairs, or rough play).
I do not recommend any over-the-counter pain medications, as these are not generally safe in such a young dog. If he seems painful in any particular spot, you can use a cold compress over that area. A bag of frozen peas or corn works well as it can be molded to the shape of the leg. Be sure to wrap it in a light towel or wash cloth so it's not too cold for him. Applications of 5 minutes at a time, 2- 3 times today is sufficient.

If the lameness continues, he should be seen by your vet tomorrow.
If other clinical signs develop, evidence of significant pain (crying, yelping), fever, lethargy, decreased appetite develop, he should be evaluated today on an emergency basis.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I was with him yesterday when he got the shot and i'm almost postive it was given in the front. So I also question the paperwork. Should i be trying to get him to move more, or is he ok to sleep like this? He can sit himself up but takes a while. How do you tell if he has a fever? when you say crying or yelping do you mean constant crying? he does let out a cry when he tries to move. lethargy, he is lathargic do you mean where I can;t wake him up or no response if i talk to him? when a puppy has a reaction like this, how long does it last. will he just bounce out of it, or is it a graduale coming out. I am planning on bringing him to the vet tomorrow, I want them to know about this, If nothing else changes and he doesn;t improve is it ok to wait until tomorrow?
If you believe that the injection was given in that leg, you're probably right.
As such, this is not an uncommon vaccine reaction. Typically, there is pain at the injection site (though this severe is unusual). There may also be fever because the immune system has been challenged to produce antibodies. Subsequent to the fever, you can see lethargy (he's sleeping more than usual, but is rousable and responsive when you talk to him), and a decrease in appetite and water intake.
These types of reactions generally last about 24- 48 hours, but you will see gradual improvements during that time.

Pain is expected and you might be able to alleviate it to an extent with the cold compresses. If you can remember about where they gave the injection, you can focus on this area. If the pain appears severe (constant crying/ yelping, inability to get comfortable), then the poor little guy likely needs a pain medication. It's a shame to spend extra money at the ER if you don't have to, so if he seems comfortable while resting, let it ride. But if he's really painful, he should be seen so you can get something for him.
You can help to alleviate some inflammation with the use of plain Benadryl (with no additives like Tylenol). You can find the dosing information here:

Definitely let your vet know about this reaction so that they can take precautions for future immunizations. Often, pre-treatment injections of Benadryl and/ or a steroid can help minimize effects in dogs with known vaccine reactions.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you so much for this information. I was feeling very stressful due it it's Sunday and my vet is closed. you have eased my pain :) Thank you again for this information. I wished my Vet Hospital offered me these tips. The cost of the ER visit is one thing for sure, but putting him through the poking and probing when he could just rest at home today is something else. while talking he has actually moved himself from one spot to under the table without assistance, I'm breathing better. I can't Thank you enough !!!

This is a wonderful site, I'm glad I thought about going on line.