The pinscher is a medium sized dog from the Kennel Club’s working group, and which is similar in appearance albeit smaller than the better-known Doberman pinscher. Originally bred in their native Germany as stable dogs to help to keep rats and other rodents under control in outbuildings, today’s pinschers are popular pets with dog owners who value versatility, high intelligence and high energy levels.
Pinschers are good allrounders that can fit in well with all sorts of owners and living environments, as long as they get enough exercise and mental stimulation too. Dogs of the breed are reputed for being very easy to train and able to learn a lot of skills, as well as being low maintenance on the grooming front and generally, happy to keep their own company for a few hours at a time when you are out.
However, one downside of the pinscher dog breed and one that all prospective buyers of a dog of the breed should be aware of is that the pinscher has elevated risk factors for a number of health conditions that can have a significant impact on the dog’s health and longevity, and which are hereditary in nature.
One of the less well-known of these is an elevated tendency to suffer from adverse reactions when administered with the standard canine vaccinations, and this is something that all pinscher owners and the vets that treat them should be aware of.
In this article we will look at adverse vaccine reactions in the pinscher dog breed in more detail, examining why this might occur, the symptoms to look out for, and what can be done about it. Read on to learn more.
Vaccinations are really important for dogs, as they help to protect them against a number of canine health conditions that are contagious and that can be serious, even proving fatal in some cases. All dogs should be vaccinated as standard and receive their booster shots at the appropriate intervals, unless there is a good medical reason not to do so.
Adverse reactions to vaccines in dogs are thankfully rare, but they can be acute and life-threatening if they do occur. This is why it is so important for pinscher owners to acknowledge the risk of adverse reactions to vaccines in their dogs, ensure that their vet knows about them too, and to be able to monitor and recognise the sings of a potential adverse reaction to a vaccine at home.
Adverse reactions to vaccines can be highly variable in terms of their presentation and severity. Some reactions will be mild, transient and localised, whilst others can be fast in onset, very acute, and very dangerous.
Next, we will look at some of the most common types of adverse reactions to vaccines that you may see in your pinscher, and explain their main symptoms.
One of the most mild forms of adverse vaccine reaction that dogs might exhibit is a localised reaction at the site of the injection itself. This leads to symptoms such as localised swelling and inflammation that may be uncomfortable or slightly painful for your dog, and that usually goes away on its own within a couple of days.
Reactions of this type may develop within just an hour of vaccination, or may take up to a week.
Some dogs will have a different type of mild vaccine reaction that is systemic rather than localised, and that will generate a range of mild to moderate symptoms that are also common to a number of other problems and disorders.
These symptoms include loss of appetite and loss of interest in exercise and play, and also, a slightly raised temperature. Your dog is likely to feel and act a little under the weather for a few days at most, and again, this type of reaction usually goes away on its own.
A more serious and acute vaccine reaction can cause neurological symptoms, which might also affect the eyes. This is actually one of the more common types of adverse vaccine reactions seen in dogs, and it causes inflammation within the brain. This in turn can lead to inflammation of the eyes, although due to a slight change to the vaccination protocols that most vets in the UK use today, this is less common than it used to be.
Keep an eye out for symptoms such as pain, discomfort, lethargy, and inflammation of the eyes and face.
A serious and acute type of adverse vaccine reaction can result in anaphylactic shock, which occurs when the dog has an extreme allergic reaction to the vaccine in question. Anaphylactic shock is fast in onset, and can produce symptoms that are wide and diverse but usually quite pronounced, including sickness and diarrhoea, shock, pale mucous membranes, a weak pulse, fast heart rate, breathing difficulties, and swelling of the face and throat.
This is an emergency that warrants an immediate visit to the vet as a priority in order to treat it, without which, the dog in question might die.
If you know or suspect that your dog will react badly to vaccines, you must discuss this with your vet to determine how to proceed. Your vet may be able to order in different types of vaccines (such as individual doses of different agents rather than the normal combined vaccines we generally use) or they may advise against vaccinating your dog at all, if they have had a very serious reaction in the past.
Whilst it is certainly true that an unvaccinated dog is at higher risk of catching an illness, a level of herd immunity is present within populations of dogs within which most members are vaccinated. Try to ensure that your dog only plays and socialises with vaccinated dogs if they have been unable to have their own vaccinations, and talk to your vet immediately if you have any concerns.