Puppy Yelping After Vaccinations? This Will Reassure You

pug puppy looking sad with puppy eyes

 Is your puppy yelping after vaccinations at the vet?

It is normal for a puppy to be sore and uncomfortable after being vaccinated, just as a human would be. They may express this discomfort by yelping when they are touched or picked up.

Unless there are signs of allergic reaction in the minutes to hours after your puppy receives a vaccine, yelping is not a major concern and does not need to be specifically addressed. The best course of action is to make your puppy comfortable, let it rest, and continue to monitor it for any more serious side effects.

Why Is My Puppy Crying?

Puppies cry after vaccinations for the same reasons that human children do- it hurts!

In the first few hours after vaccination, puppies can be particularly sensitive to the pain of the injection. This is especially the case if the vet injected into the muscle rather than just underneath the skin.

It can also feel uncomfortable or weird for the puppy as the vaccine makes its way through the puppy’s body. Vaccines are designed to stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies without actually causing the specific disease. However this antibody production process releases biochemicals which can raise body temperature and cause inflammation.

This will without a doubt cause some puppies to feel discomfort. Puppies may cry when they move around. They may cry when you pick them up or pet them. They may even just sit by themselves in the corner, and cry.

Sometimes, a puppy will whine while it is napping, and then wake up and continue to whine!

All this is to say- it is perfectly normal to find your puppy yelping after vaccinations. Each puppy will have different vaccine reactions since each immune system and response is unique to them. Some may become sleepy, while others have aches and bumpy sore at the injection site where the needle was inserted.

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Others will merely be affected psychologically and have a flair for the dramatic, even if they aren’t in physical pain. Even the memory of having an injection can scare a puppy enough that the slightest touch can make it yelp and scream in terror.

In addition to the yelping, puppies may experience a few mild side effects following their vaccination. These can include itchiness, irritability, sneezing, loss of appetite, and a slight fever. Make sure to keep an eye on whether your puppy has any of these common side effects.

You can monitor your puppy and at the same time keep your mind at ease by checking that it is within the following average bodily markers:

  • Body temperature should be between 99 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Normal heart rate should be 60-100 beats per minute for large breeds, 100-140 bpm for small breeds
  • Normal breathing rate should be 15-20 breaths per minute.

There may be some variance in range, but once the first 24-48 hours have passed, your puppy should be back to its original, playful self.

When Should I Be Worried?

If your puppy is still crying or has other symptoms 3 days after the vaccination, it may be time to take him back to your vet to see if there’s anything wrong.

Additionally, if your puppy displays these following symptoms at any time after vaccination, take him to the vet for medical attention immediately:

  • Weakness or collapsing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Swelling muzzle or puffy, swollen face
  • Continual diarrhea
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Rashes along its body
  • Shallow, labored, or difficulty breathing

These symptoms are very rare, however they can be an indication of a more severe allergic reaction to a particular vaccine. If these side effects are not attended to as quickly as possible, they can be dangerous to your puppy’s health.

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Here is a handy-dandy flowchart that you can go through over the next few days to make sure your puppy is ok!

Puppy yelping after vaccinations? Symptoms flowchart

Is IT Normal For My Puppy To Have A Lump After Shots?

Yes, it is quite normal for a small, firm lump or nodule to develop at the injection site. This occurs due to the body’s immune system becoming active at the spot, or from lymph nodes in the area becoming enlarged.

Though it may be sore, this is usually harmless and will disappear within a few days to a week. If it still persists beyond then, contact your vet for an examination.

What Can You Do To Help Your Puppy Feel Better?

Ollie sleeping it off after coming home from his second vaccination. Poor pup!

Though vaccines can cause mild discomfort to your puppy due to the nature of how they work, they are now developed to the point that they usually have minimal immediate or lingering side effects.

Often puppies can feel slightly depressed after an injection, so a lot of the time all they need is a cuddle and some comfort to feel better immediately. If they bury their head in you for warmth and reassurance, give them allllllll of your love!

However if the injection has made them feel sore, they won’t want to be touched or held. In this case, make their usual bed or crate as comfortable as possible, put a few of their favorite treats inside, and let them rest quietly.

If the site of the injection is particularly red and painful, you can try placing ice on the area to see if that makes your puppy feel better. If it still seems to be in pain the day after vaccination, call to see if your pet professional can provide any veterinary medicine to soothe it.

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Usually, any pain and discomfort from vaccination will subside over the course of two days at most. After that, your puppy will be back to normal and protected from potentially life-threatening disease!

What Can I Give My Puppy For Pain After Shots?

Always consult your vet first before giving your puppy any pain medication! They will be able to determine how safe and necessary it is for your puppy to have painkillers at any particular moment.

Generally, the vet will only recommend aspirin for puppies, so do not give it any other anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol.

The proper aspirin dosage for dogs is 10-25mg per pound of body weight– and up to one total adult aspirin every 8 hours. Since it is a puppy, it may be a good idea to start from the low range of dosage and only scale up when it doesn’t seem to be working.

In Conclusion

If your puppy is crying when you pick him up after its shots, understand that this is a perfectly normal reaction for it to have.

Vaccinations are painful for anyone, but for puppies they can be an especially frightening experience. Coupled with possible discomfort and other side effects such as mild fever and irritability, it is no surprise that puppies often whine and yelp after vaccination.

However these symptoms likely won’t last longer than one or two days, so until then, comfort and care for your puppy as much as possible and it will be wagging its tail again in no time!


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