Why Is My Puppy Crying When I Pick Him Up After Shots?

GSD Puppy after vac

Vaccinations are necessary to protect your precious little puppy, but you might be wondering why it is crying when you pick it up after it got vaccinated. It is entirely normal, and this is because it hurts to get vaccinated.

The injection site on your puppy can be sensitive for about 2 to 3 days after being inoculated. It is completely normal since the vaccine introduces foreign particles into your puppy, and now its immune system is fighting to get rid of the foreign particles.

When vaccinating your puppy, you should always beware of the possible side effects that could come through after vaccination. These side effects could cause discomfort for your puppy and could also be a reason for its crying.

Why Do Puppies Hurt After Vaccination?

The injection site on a puppy’s skin will hurt after being vaccinated, and it is entirely normal for this to occur. The vaccine introduces foreign particles into the puppy’s body, which the immune system sees as an attack. The entire immune system goes into overdrive to combat the perceived threat and produces antibodies against the disease being vaccinated against.

Of course, there are also the common side effects that most puppies get after being vaccinated. The common side effects could be a slight fever and not having the energy to do much, swelling at the injection site on the puppy’s skin, a runny nose, and any other cold-like symptoms.

These common side effects are nothing to be worried about, but they could still make your puppy behave differently than usual. These side effects will usually subside in a day or two, but if it does not, you should call your local vet.

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Serious Side Effects After Vaccination Of Puppy

Although most puppies will only get mild side effects from being vaccinated, there are also severe side effects that could occur after your puppy is vaccinated.

Serious side effects usually show themselves quickly after the puppy has been vaccinated but could also take up to 2 days to start to show itself. These side effects are generally caused by an allergic reaction to the vaccine administered to your puppy.

These side effects include swelling of the face, vomiting, diarrhea, breaking out in hives, itchiness of the skin, and difficulty breathing.

These side effects are severe and should be treated right away once your puppy shows any symptoms. If your puppy shows any of these severe symptoms after being vaccinated, you should contact your local vet for assistance.

Why Is It Important To Have Your Puppy Vaccinated?

Just like with humans, in the animal kingdom, there are also a lot of preventable diseases. These diseases can be stopped by vaccinating your puppy. Puppies should go for their shots from about 6 or 8 weeks after being born until usually around the time it reaches four months old.

There are many different types of vaccines that you could give your puppy to protect it against various diseases.

Core Vaccines To Give Your Puppy

The vaccines are divided into two groups. The first group is core vaccines, and the second group is non-core vaccines. First is the core vaccines.

  • Canine Parvovirus – This is a contagious virus mainly found in dogs. It is mainly spread from one dog to another by direct or indirect contact with their feces. Vaccines can prevent infection, but mortality in untreated cases can reach up to 91%.
  • Canine Distemper – A viral disease that affects a wide range of mammal families, including dogs. It can be spread in many ways, like contact with infected bodily fluids or even through contaminated food. Mortality depends on the age and overall health of the dog.
  • Canine Hepatitis – This is an acute liver infection in dogs. Canine Hepatitis is spread by coming in contact with the bodily fluids of infected dogs. It is contracted through the nose or mouth and then replicates in the tonsils, after which it infects the kidney and liver. Mortality is high in puppies, but most dogs survive it.
  • Rabies – Is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cords. It is mainly spread when a dog has been bitten by another dog that is infected. Rabies in dogs is 100% preventable by using a vaccine. The mortality rate is high in all ages of dogs if it has not received a rabies shot.
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Non-Core Vaccines For Your Puppies

The second group of vaccines is non-core vaccines, but it is still highly recommended that you do give your puppy these shots.

  • Bordetella – Also known as canine cough in dogs, is a highly contagious disease and causes inflammation of the trachea and bronchi. It is mainly spread by means of direct contact between dogs, through the air, and contaminated fomites. Transmission can also occur between cats and dogs. The mortality rate is low.
  • Canine Influenza – Also known as dog flu, is influenza that occurs in canines. Dogs do not have any natural immunity, so it spreads quickly from dog to dog. The number of cases is high, but the mortality rate is low. Vaccines protect dogs from canine influenza.
  • Leptospirosis – Is an infection that spreads through the bloodstream. It is primarily found in different bodies of water that have been contaminated by infected animals or rodents. It has a mortality rate of about 10-20% but is preventable using vaccines.
  • Lyme Disease – Is a disease that is spread by ticks. Lyme Disease, although not common in dogs, can occur and be fatal. This disease could cause kidney failure that could lead to death in severe cases. The vaccines for Lyme Disease are less effective than others, but you could also use antibiotics to help your dog recover.


The reason why your puppy is crying when it is picked up is that it hurts the puppy to get vaccinated. The pain that your puppy is feeling should subside anywhere between 24 hours and 2-3 days after being vaccinated.

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Vaccinations are essential for the longevity of your puppy, and although it might hurt it for a while, it is the best way to save it from far worse pain sometime in the future.

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