Although rare, several forms of adverse reactions have been documented after vaccination in dogs and cats. Here’s what veterinary teams need to know today.

While approved vaccination protocols are considered safe for the vast majority of canine and feline patients, adverse vaccine reactions can occur in veterinary medicine. Many cases are associated with either misuse of the vaccine or overvaccination.

An updated overview of the various forms of adverse vaccine reaction was provided last year in Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice.1 The author, Laurel J. Gershwin, DVM, PhD, DACVM, a long-time immunology professor at the University of California, Davis, serves on the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents, which oversees vaccination principles for the association. In her article, Dr. Gershwin described the current understanding of adverse vaccine reactions in veterinary medicine, including type I and type III hypersensitivities, vaccine-associated fibrosarcoma, vaccine-associated disease enhancement and formation of autoimmune disease.