Can vaccines cause diarrhea in puppies?

Original Question: Do vaccines cause diarrhea in puppies? - Heidi

Can vaccines cause diarrhea in puppies? Oct 25, 2017

Hi Heidi,

Thanks for your question.

It is completely normal to see some symptoms occur following a vaccination. Typical clinical signs are a temporary fever, lethargy, and soreness at the site of the injection. These can be expected when people or pets receive vaccines. There is a video I would recommend you to take a look that covers this subject: ‘Everything You Need to Know About Vaccine Reactions’.

Vomiting and diarrhea are less common but can still occur. They can be the result of nausea secondary to vaccination, nausea due to the car ride and stress of the visit, or they may be due to other reasons. I think it’s important to mention that there are many other medical issues that can cause vomiting and/or diarrhea in puppies. If it didn’t resolve within a day, I would recommend you visit your veterinarian for some diagnostics and a physical exam to make sure your puppy is not becoming dehydrated. Getting your puppy checkup regularly is very crucial, there is a video covering more information on this topic: ‘The Importance of the Annual Pet Checkup and How to Prepare For It’. Some common puppy diseases that can cause diarrhea are gastrointestinal parasites, viral infections (such as Parvovirus), dietary sensitivity, bacterial infection in the digestive tract, and dietary indiscretion which is a fancy way of saying that your puppy could have eaten something off the ground that has upset their stomach, or ingested an object that is irritating the gastrointestinal system.

My recommendation for you is to monitor your puppy for the next 24-48 hours. I would withhold food for about 4-6 hours to give the gut a bit of a rest but make sure there is free access to fresh water at all times. You can reduce the amount of food you’re offering and turn a daily amount of food into smaller meals given more frequently. You could consider picking up a probiotic at your local pet supply shop which will seed the gut with good bacteria. If there is no improvement I would recommend that you visit your veterinarian for a consultation and physical exam.

Thanks for your question and good luck.

Dr. Clayton Greenway

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