Why is my dog limping after shots?

Original Question: I have a dog (currently a pup) and we just got him an injection for an itching problem that was leading to hair loss. After the vaccine, the skin problem went away and the hair has started to come back rapidly but he has started to limp on one of the legs on which he had got the injections. It has now been over a week and he still visibly lifts his right hind leg while walking. We will be reaching the vet soon but is there anything else we can do for now? Thanks. - Om

Why is my dog limping after shots? Dec 26, 2018

Hi Om,

Thanks for your question.

I’m a little confused by your question. You suggest that you received a vaccine for some sort of skin condition but I am not aware of any vaccines that exist for conditions that cause alopecia (or loss of hair).

I can tell you that an injection of any kind can cause an irritation at the site of injection. This can be a normal reaction that subsides or an on-going issue. The vast majority of therapeutic injections are administered under the skin, which is called a subcutaneous injection. If an injection is administered directly into the muscle, then it has more potential of causing muscle soreness.

I recommend you speak to the veterinarian who administered the injection and ask where it was deposited and into what tissue. Let them know about these clinical symptoms and ask if it is typical for the medication that they are using. I can’t identify the drug by your response as many exist.

I think you should also keep in mind that lameness can occur for other reasons as well and it may just be coincidental that these symptoms arose at the same time as the shot but were due too something else.

I recommend you have a physical exam and consultation with your veterinarian and have them manipulate the joint for signs of structural damage and arthritis. Consider taking radiographs so the joints can be imaged and assessed for their integrity.

I hope this helps.

Dr. Clayton Greenway

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