Objective: To determine incidence rates and potential risk factors for vaccine-associated adverse events (VAAEs) diagnosed within 3 days of administration in dogs.
Design: Retrospective cohort study.
Animals: 1,226,159 dogs vaccinated at 360 veterinary hospitals.
Procedure: Electronic records from January 1, 2002, through December 31, 2003, were searched for possible VAAEs (nonspecific vaccine reaction, allergic reaction, urticaria, or anaphylaxis) diagnosed within 3 days of vaccine administration. Information included age, weight, sex, neuter status, and breed. Specific clinical signs and treatments were reviewed in a random sample of 400 affected dogs. The association between potential risk factors and a VAAE was estimated by use of multivariate logistic regression.
Results: 4,678 adverse events (38.2/10,000 dogs vaccinated) were associated with administration of 3,439,576 doses of vaccine to 1,226,159 dogs. The VAAE rate decreased significantly as body weight increased. Risk was 27% to 38% greater for neutered versus sexually intact dogs and 35% to 64% greater for dogs approximately 1 to 3 years old versus 2 to 9 months old. The risk of a VAAE significantly increased as the number of vaccine doses administered per office visit increased; each additional vaccine significantly increased risk of an adverse event by 27% in dogs < or = 10 kg (22 lb) and 12% in dogs > 10 kg.
Conclusions and clinical relevance: Young adult small-breed neutered dogs that received multiple vaccines per office visit were at greatest risk of a VAAE within 72 hours after vaccination. These factors should be considered in risk assessment and risk communication with clients regarding vaccination.