Lyme Vaccine For Dogs

Lyme Vaccine For Dogs – Pros & Cons, Side Effects & More!

Regrettably, a tick bite’s effects can extend far beyond an itchy sore. Tick-borne diseases can have severe and long-lasting consequences for our furry companions. 

Lyme disease is one such disease that can spread from ticks to dogs, and its prevalence is on the rise. This disease poses a risk not only to dogs but also to other animals and people. 

Lyme disease spreads through an infected deer tick or black-legged tick’s bite. The first signs of infection may include a bullseye rash at the site of contact. Other symptoms, such as fever, headache, and fatigue, may develop later on.

Although some dogs remain asymptomatic after a tick bite, approximately 10% will show clinical signs. A small percentage of dogs that become infected will develop long-term complications, including Lyme nephritis – a rare but serious kidney disease that could prove fatal without treatment.

If you want to protect your furry friend from this disease, you can always opt for the Lyme vaccine for dogs. As the name goes, it is a type of vaccine that helps to prevent Lyme disease in dogs.

To learn more about the Lyme vaccine for dogs, continue reading this article. 

Lyme Vaccine for Dogs – All You Need To Know

Dog In Pain After Lyme Vaccine
Lyme Vaccine For Dogs Side Effects

Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that affects dogs and people alike, potentially leading to serious complications like heart disease, kidney failure, or neurological issues if left untreated. In rare and severe cases, it can also lead to death.

If your pup spends a lot of time outdoors and is at high risk for exposure to ticks that spread Lyme disease, the vet may suggest Lyme vaccination. They can explain both the potential risks and advantages of the Lyme vaccine and help you to make the right decision. 

The Lyme vaccine is a type of vaccine that is designed to protect dogs against Lyme disease. The vaccine works by stimulating the dog’s immune system to produce antibodies that can recognize and fight off the bacteria if the dog is exposed to it.

Your dog should receive two doses of the vaccine during its first year and a booster annually thereafter. Additionally, veterinarian staff will administer a SNAP test prior to vaccination in order to monitor immunity levels and take swift action if an adverse reaction should arise from vaccination.

Veterinarians and researchers debate whether vaccination for Lyme disease is necessary. While some argue it helps prevent infection, others maintain it is unnecessary for healthy dogs and should only be used when necessary in sick ones.

Recently, a new Lyme disease vaccine has been developed, which is more effective and safe. The VANGUARD(r) crLyme vaccine protects dogs against the various bacterial strains responsible for Lyme disease. The new Lyme vaccine utilizes recombinant DNA technology, enabling scientists to target specific bacterial types.

Dr. Garvey, who led the development team of this vaccine, advises that dogs whose lifestyles place them at high risk for exposure should receive the vaccine and be boosted annually after the initial two-dose series.

Lyme Vaccine for Dogs – Pros and Cons

Is The Lyme Vaccine Safe For Dogs

As a responsible pet parent, you want to guarantee your furry friend is healthy and secure. This may involve things such as routine check-ups, vaccinations, and treatments for disease infections and parasites, among other measures.

Vaccines are an excellent way to keep your dog healthy and protected from potentially hazardous animals or diseases. However, not all vaccinations are created equal, so it’s always best to discuss your options with a veterinarian to decide which ones are most suitable for your pup and which risks may come along with them.

If you are planning to administer the Lyme vaccine to your dog, consider the pros and cons. 

The Pros of Lyme Vaccine for Dogs

  • Prevents Lyme Disease

The primary advantage of the Lyme vaccine is that it protects your dog from getting the disease. This is especially useful if you live in an area where Lyme disease is prevalent or your pup could be vulnerable to tick bites.

The Lyme vaccine helps prevent Lyme disease by stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies that safeguard dogs against infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease. This can prevent symptoms such as lameness, fever, and swollen joints that may arise after a tick bite in dogs.

The vaccine works by creating antibodies in dogs against both outer surface protein A (OspA) and outer surface protein C (OspC). These antibodies enter the tick during its early feeding stage, stopping it from transmitting Lyme disease bacteria to your pup.

  • Tested and Safe

If your dog is prone to be bitten by ticks, the Lyme vaccine is an effective tool in protecting him against becoming infected with Borrelia Burgdorferi. Most dogs that receive vaccinations against Lyme disease do not experience any symptoms from it.

This vaccine is mostly safe for dogs. All currently available canine Lyme vaccines use this delivery format and have all been thoroughly tested and licensed by the US Drug Administration as being safe, effective, and dependable.

  • Prevents Other Infections

The Lyme vaccine is safe and proven to prevent Borrelia burgdorferi infection in healthy dogs. In addition to its ability to prevent Lyme disease bacterial infection, the Lyme vaccine also triggers an immune response that guards against potential future infections caused by the same microbe.

As a result, if your pet comes into contact with the microbe again while still within the period of vaccine protection, your pet will be well-protected and secure.

  • Easy To Administer

The Lyme vaccine is an effective way to shield your pup from contracting Lyme disease. There are various vaccine types available, each producing antibodies which attack the bacteria responsible for this illness.

These vaccines are easy to administer compared to treatment if your dog gets infected. Vaccines for dogs must be given in a series of two initial doses, followed by annual boosters. 

  • Cost Of The Vaccine Is Relatively Low

The Lyme Vaccine is an affordable option recommended by most veterinarians and is especially beneficial for dogs who spend time outdoors or travel to areas prone to Lyme disease, like the North-eastern United States or Upper Midwestern states.

If you can’t afford the full cost of dog vaccinations, consider taking advantage of low-cost or free vaccines offered by local veterinary schools or animal advocacy organizations. Pet insurance may also be an option that usually covers some or all of these expenses.

Compared to the cost of treatment, the cost of the vaccine is cheaper. 

The Cons of Lyme Vaccine for Dogs

  • Possible Side Effects

A Lyme vaccine can help shield your dog from becoming infected with bacteria and developing Lyme disease. The vaccine contains small amounts of the outer surface proteins found in bacteria to help fight off infection. However, it can also result in side effects. It is normal for mild side effects to occur after receiving the Lyme vaccine as it stimulates the immune system.

Common side effects include mild fever, swelling, soreness at the injection site, loss of appetite, and fatigue, which usually go away within 24 to 48 hours.

  • Allergic Reactions

Vaccines are used to combat Lyme disease by stimulating a dog’s immune system to create antibodies against the outer surface proteins of bacteria responsible for it. This response kills off the bacteria, preventing infection.

Although vaccines are generally safe and effective, they can sometimes cause allergic reactions. If your dog experiences symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or facial swelling after receiving the vaccine, it could be an allergic reaction.

In such cases, it is advisable to contact your veterinarian immediately for prompt medical attention.

  • Contains Chemicals and Metals

It is important to consider that the vaccine contains formaldehyde, aluminum, and mercury, which have the potential to cause hypersensitivity reactions such as allergies or cancer.

While it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with vaccines, it is also important to understand that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks.

  • Kidney Failure

Lyme nephritis vaccine is a type of vaccine used in dogs to prevent Lyme disease caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. One of the potential adverse effects of the Lyme nephritis vaccine is kidney failure.

If your dog has a history of Lyme disease, it may have resulted in some kidney damage, and the Lyme vaccine could potentially worsen this damage if there is an excessive protein in the dog’s urine. In such cases, your veterinarian may recommend that your dog avoid the vaccine to prevent further harm.

  • Arthritis

After receiving the Lyme nephritis vaccine, a small percentage of dogs may develop arthritis. However, there are various treatment options available for dogs with arthritis. One effective option is the use of CBD oil, which can help relieve arthritis symptoms in dogs.

  • Cost to Pet Owners

The cost of the Lyme vaccine can differ depending on the veterinary clinic but typically ranges between $20 and $40 per injection. It is recommended to contact your veterinary clinic beforehand to confirm the precise cost before scheduling an appointment.

  • Not 100% Effective

While vaccinating your dog against Lyme disease can lower the risk, it is not a comprehensive solution. It is recommended to continue using flea and tick medication on your dog since the vaccine is not fully effective in preventing Lyme disease and does not offer protection against other tick-borne diseases, such as ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Common Side Effects of Lyme Vaccine for Dogs

When dogs receive vaccinations against Lyme disease, the vaccine activates an immune response which may result in mild side effects.

The most frequent side effect is a mild fever or lethargy. These symptoms typically clear up within one to two days.

  • Mild Fever

Fever is one of the most common side effects you might observe in your pet after they receive a Lyme vaccine for dogs. This occurs because vaccines contain small amounts of outer surface proteins from bacteria responsible for Lyme disease.

  • Swelling And Soreness At The Injection Site

After your dog receives their Lyme vaccine, it may experience swelling or soreness at the injection site. This is perfectly normal and should go away on its own after a few days. The vaccine causes tissue irritation and attracts immune cells to the area, creating what is known as a vaccine granuloma – this may appear as a small, tender lump.

  • Loss Of Appetite

After receiving a Lyme disease vaccine for your pup, it’s common for them to experience decreased appetite. This is because the vaccine stimulates an immune response. Usually, the loss of appetite subsides within 24 to 48 hours after vaccination. However, if this side effect persists longer than this, contact your veterinarian.

  • Fatigue

Your pet may experience fatigue after receiving a Lyme vaccination. This is entirely normal and should subside within 24 to 48 hours of administration. After receiving a Lyme vaccine, your dog’s immune system responds to the outer surface proteins of Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, leading to fatigue. 

  • Diarrhea

The most frequent side effect associated with the Lyme vaccine is diarrhea, which typically begins within 24 hours after injection but may persist for several days. Diarrhea can be an uncomfortable condition for dogs, and it may also lead to other symptoms like loss of appetite and fatigue. Therefore, it’s essential to monitor your pup’s progress after receiving their Lyme vaccination.

  • Vomiting

One of the most frequent side effects of vaccination is vomiting. This usually occurs within 48 hours and is generally harmless. If your pet experiences any sort of nausea or vomiting after receiving their vaccine, speak to your veterinarian right away.

Is The Lyme Vaccine Safe For Dogs?

Vets often get asked whether dogs can safely receive the Lyme vaccine. Unfortunately, Lyme disease is a serious and life-threatening illness that can cause neurological, cardiac, and kidney issues in those without timely treatment.

Vaccinations are generally safe and effective in the majority of dogs that receive them. Unfortunately, vaccinations are not 100% successful; some dogs that have been vaccinated will still contract Lyme disease from a tick bite.

Also, approximately one out of every ten dogs receiving vaccination may experience temporary side effects like swelling at their injection site, fatigue, and mild fever, which is considered normal.  

However, if your pup is at increased risk for Lyme disease, we suggest discussing this side effect with your veterinarian to ensure its absence does not adversely affect their overall health and well-being.

To be on the safer side, dogs that are more vulnerable to contracting Lyme disease should receive a Lyme vaccine. The vaccination should be repeated once annually for long-lasting protection.

Dog In Pain After Lyme Vaccine? Here’s What to Do

After your dog receives their vaccination, it may experience pain and lethargy for a day or two. This is completely normal and should subside after some time has passed.

If you notice that your dog is in pain, here’s what you can do. 

  • Observe Your Dog for Signs of Pain and Discomfort
  • Contact Your Veterinarian If The Pain Increases
  • Monitor Your Dog’s Temperature from Time to Time
  • Give Your Dog Plenty Of Rest
  • Offer Your Dog Plenty Of Water


Lyme Vaccine For Dogs
Lyme Vaccine For Dogs pros and cons

Ticks prefer warm-blooded hosts for attachment and feeding on, so you may be surprised that your pup could contract Lyme disease out of the blue.

Fortunately, there is a Lyme vaccine available for dogs to protect them against this deadly disease.

However, these vaccines don’t offer 100% protection against other tick-borne illnesses, so make sure you take other precautionary measures to keep ticks and fleas away from your dog.

Lyme vaccine may also cause side effects, so it is best to consult a vet for advice.


  1. Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) Website:
  2. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Website:
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Website:

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