Skip to Content

(7 Tips) Dog Having Trouble Walking After Shots [2023]

Dog Having Trouble Walking After Shots

Every fur parent wants their furry pals to be healthy and protected…

And that’s why we ensure our dogs get their vaccine shots.

But there’s a problem.

Suddenly, your dog is struggling to walk.

Should you worry about this? 

And what can you do to help your furry friend? 

I’ve got you covered. 

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Why your dog is having trouble walking after shots.
  • 7 important tips to help your dog when this happens.
  • Whether you should consider taking them to the vet or not.
  • And so much more…

Why does my dog have trouble walking after shots?

Your dog has trouble walking after shots because of an allergic reaction. It can also be due to a lump that can develop around the injected area. But in most cases, both the reaction and lumps can go away after 2 or 3 days. 

Dog having trouble walking after shots: 7 tips

#1: Identify if there’s a lump 

It’s common for many dogs to develop sarcoma after getting their shots.

This is the term used to describe the lump around the injected area. 

When there’s a lump, your furry buddy will have trouble walking.

Especially if the lump is close to their legs. 

Put yourself in their paws. Isn’t it uncomfortable to walk around with a lump under your skin?

Still, it’s normal for any fur parent to panic at the sight of lumps or swelling.

So to reassure you… 

Lumps are a good sign that your dog’s body is reacting well to the shots.

Moreover, lumps will disappear in a few days up to a week. 

And you can expect your dog to recover within that timeframe.

“How can I find out if the lump on my dog is safe?” 

You can try touching it and see your dog’s reaction.

The lump should feel solid to touch and shouldn’t be too soft.

Most cases of sarcoma also don’t involve pain for your pooch. 

So if your furry pal is showing a negative reaction when you touch the lump…

This could be an alarming problem that needs a vet’s attention.

Note: If the lump doesn’t go away after a week, consider contacting the vet. That’s also the case if your dog continues to have trouble walking.

#2: Know the signs of post-vaccine paralysis

Post-vaccine paralysis is a condition that affects a dog’s legs after shots. 

Most of the time, it affects both of the rear-end legs. But there are cases when only one leg gets affected. 

This can cause any dog to have trouble walking. 

But the problem with this condition is that it doesn’t show up right away. 

According to a study

Post-vaccine paralysis tends to happen after 3 weeks of vaccination. 

But if it takes this long, no fur parent would want to wait until it happens. 

So, here are 5 warning signs of post-vaccine paralysis in dogs:

  • Muscle stiffness.
  • Sudden laziness.
  • Losing interest in food.
  • Constant licking of their legs.
  • Limping for more than a week.

If your dog is showing one or more of these signs, contact the vet right away. 

“But how  can vaccine shots affect my dog’s leg?”

This is a common problem caused by the rabies vaccine. 

Research found that it can affect the dog’s brain and lead to neurological damage. 

As a result, this damage causes paralysis in the legs. 

The good news is this issue can heal with immediate and proper care.

#3: Find out if your dog has a fever

Dog Has Trouble Walking After Shots If He Has Fever

Whenever you’re sick… 

It can sometimes affect the way you walk.

The same thing can happen to our dogs. After vaccine shots, their body is busy reacting to it. 

As a result, some dogs may experience fever after vaccination.

Following a study… 

Fever is a common body reaction to most types of vaccines. 

So, should you worry about your furry companion? 

Typically, this fever only lasts up to 24 to 48 hours. 

You should only worry under 2 circumstances. 

  • Your dog’s fever is high.
  • The fever lasted for more than 48 hours.

“How can I tell if my dog’s fever is high?” 

Warning: A temperature of 106°F (41.1°C) is abnormal for dogs. This can be dangerous, so take them to the vet ASAP. 

Their normal body temperature should be around 101.0 to 102.5°F (38.3 to 39.2°C). 

To find out if your dog has a common fever… 

Their body temperature should be between 103°F (39.4°C) to 104° (40°C).

How to check if your dog has a fever

Check your dog’s temperature in 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Grab a thermometer

The best one to use for dogs is a rectal thermometer.

Some people use an ear thermometer or an infrared thermometer, but those aren’t always accurate. 

Step 2: Lubricate the thermometer

Apply petroleum jelly or another safe lubricant to the tool. If you’re using an ear thermometer, then this isn’t needed.

Step 3: Insert the thermometer

Only insert it 1 inch deep into your dog’s anus.

Then, wait for at least 1 minute to get the most accurate temperature of your pooch.

Tip: If you’re hesitant to do this alone, contacting your vet to instruct you over the phone can help.

For further reading: 17 Alarming Side Effects Of Rabies Vaccine In Dogs

#4: Hold off their training and physical activities

Since you already noticed your dog has a hard time walking… 

Then it’s a good idea to put off any physical activity you’ll have for that day.

For example, some fur parents like to train their dogs with fun tricks. 

Others enjoy going on long walks daily with their furry companion. 

But these things should stop in the meantime. 

This is to prevent worsening the state of their legs. 

“But what if my dog needs to go potty?” 

For important reasons such as going potty, i’s fine to let your dog out. 

But it’s best to keep your walks brief. Anything that’s shorter than your usual routine.

So say that you take them for a 30-minute walk every day around your whole block.

Now that Fido has trouble walking…

Keep it less than 10 or 15 minutes. Then, make sure that they don’t stray too far away from your home.

Or if you have a yard that they can go to, then that’s much better.

This is to ensure your pooch doesn’t overwork themselves.

Ideally, always choose the closest option for your pooch. 

“How long do I have to wait before we can go on walks again?” 

Walking problems after vaccine shots go away on their own. 

In most cases, it’ll be gone within a week. 

So you have to be patient and limit your dog’s physical activities for a while.

Note: If your pup’s walking problem hasn’t improved within a week, consult the vet.

#5: Provide pain relief medication 

According to PetMD, soreness is a common side effect of shots in dogs.

And this can affect the way your dog walks. 

Vets further state that if a dog is in pain, some of them will even refuse to move. 

If this is the case, you can consult the vet for pain relief drugs. 

Warning: Never give any medicine to your furry buddy without a vet’s approval. 


That’s because there are only a few drugs that are dog-friendly. 

Only your vet can prescribe the ones that work best for your pooch. 

Giving your furry pal the wrong medicine can only make things worse.

“But how will I know if my dog is in pain?” 

Sometimes, it can be hard to spot if your dog is in pain. 

In this case, there’s also no physical injury involved. 

What you can do is look for hints that they’re not feeling well. 

Don’t know exactly where to start looking?

I got you…

Here are signs that your dog might be in pain: 

Warning: If your dog is showing extreme signs of pain, go to the vet ASAP. 

In most cases, soreness after shots subsides after 1 to 2 days. Sometimes, it can last up to a week. 

Note: The vet will only prescribe pain relief medication if they deem it necessary. They’ll find out after assessing your dog.

Continue reading: (11 Vital Tips) Dog Behavior Change After Vaccination

#6: Beware of dumb rabies 

Do you know that failed vaccines can cause rabies in dogs? 

As scary as it sounds, this is a real but rare incident that can happen. 

A study reports that a few dogs in Nigeria got infected by rabies due to the vaccine.

This incident led to 2 types of rabies. One is furious rabies, and the other is dumb rabies.

The former causes aggression and extreme appetite. Moreover, VCA Hospitals tell us that dogs with furious rabies die of violent seizures. 

On the other hand, dumb rabies is the most common type… 

And it affects dogs by paralyzing them. 

In the early stages, infected dogs will have trouble walking.

Other symptoms will appear within 4 to 14 days of infection. 

Here are signs of dumb rabies in dogs:

Warning: Rabies has no cure until today. If you suspect dumb rabies in your dog, visit the vet ASAP.

You can watch this video to identify how dumb rabies looks like: 

Note: Viewer discretion is advisable. A dog in distress appears in the video.

#7: Give your dog enough time to rest 

Sometimes, the best thing we can do to help our furry friends is to give them time. 

As you’ve read throughout the article… 

Most causes of walking issues in dogs after shots will go away by themselves.

It’ll help your furry companion recover faster by letting them rest properly. 

Within 1 to 3 days, most dogs will already be back to normal. 

Some can take a week, but that’s also fine. 

You can also follow these 5 extra tips:

  • Tell your family to not disturb your dog.
  • Don’t force-feed or reduce their food amount.
  • Keep their food and drinking bowls closer to them.
  • Ensure that someone is always looking after them.
  • Always check in on them but avoid physical handling.

These tips are the simple yet best things you can do for your pooch in the meantime. 

In case you still have any concerns, always contact the vet.