Rattlesnake Vaccine Side Effects

Portrait of a rattlesnake.
Portrait of a rattlesnake. (Image: johnaudrey/iStock/Getty Images)

Rattlesnake vaccines help dogs to produce antibodies that counteract the actions of rattlesnake venom. While veterinarians often recommend vaccinating dogs who live in areas with significant rattlesnake populations, many owners worry that the medication will cause their dog to suffer from side effects. While side effects can arise from the use of the vaccine, they are typically minor.

Side Effect Statistics

According to Methow Valley Veterinary Hospital, approximately 1 percent of dogs who receive the vaccine develop a small, painless lump at the injection site. Such lumps require no additional treatment, and resolve within a few weeks. Flu-like symptoms afflict 1 in 3,000, while more serious, systemic reactions occur in approximately 1 out of 15,000 dogs. Red Rock Biologics -- a company that manufactures rattlesnake vaccines -- states that the vaccine is safe for pregnant and lactating dogs, as well as puppies over 4 months of age.

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