The Rabies Vaccine and Your Dog: Side Effects

Written by Jan on June 18, 2008 – 4:39 pm

Rabies Vaccine Adverse Reactions

The rabies vaccine is arguably the most dangerous shot our dogs get. Because it’s required by law, it’s a difficult shot to avoid. Because the vaccine is made from a “killed” virus, rather than “modified live” virus as are the other important “core” vaccines, manufacturers add dangerous “adjuvants” to boost effectiveness. These adjuvants too often cause adverse reactions, some of which occur quickly, but many of which occur days, weeks or even months after vaccination. A “killed” vaccine (rather than one from a modified live virus), the rabies vaccine contains adjuvants (chemical boosters) to enhance the immunological response. In 1999, the World Health Organization “classified veterinary vaccine adjuvants as Class III/IV carcinogens with Class IV being the highest risk.”

My year-old Maltese Jiggy developed autoimmune liver disease after a rabies shot. Rabies Challenge Fund Founder Kris Christine lost her dog Meadow to a vaccination site fibrosarcoma (cancer). Countless other dogs have developed anaphylactic shock; autoimmune diseases affecting the thyroid, joints, blood, eyes, skin, kidney, liver, bowel and central nervous system; seizures and epilepsy; autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA); aggression, separation anxiety and strange compulsive behaviors; lack of muscular coordination; skin disease; fibrosarcomas at injection sites and countless other disorders. Click here to learn more about adverse reactions to the rabies shot.

But the vaccine is required by law, so what can you do about it?

First, if you can trace your dog’s illness to the shot, you may have a better chance of treating it. A steroids and Benadryl shot may stop an allergic reaction, but will likely do nothing for on-going problems.

Second, if your dog has a documented history of problems with this or any other vaccination, you may be able to get a special exemption from your local Animal Control. Your vet needs to be told about any reactions immediately. Make sure they’re documented. Get a copy of the file.

Third, because of an amazing study by the Rabies Challenge Fund, we now have the opportunity to help extend the period between shots to up to seven years, maybe even longer. Even a $5 tax deductible donation to this fund can make a big difference.

Click this link for more information on the rabies vaccine and rabies vaccine reactions and learn how to document and report the reaction (so you can get an exemption from the shot next time), plus protective measures you can take to make the shot safer.  Find a holistic vet to help you undo the damage from the shot.  Don’t wait too long. Time is important when dealing with reactions.

Please post your questions, stories or comments here. And please read all the previous comments. There’s a lot of good information here including answers to many questions.  Click “comment” below.

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Related articles:
What to Do When Your Dog Has a Vaccine Reaction
Does Your State Permit Rabies Vaccination Medical Exemptions? 
Rabies Vaccination: 13 Ways to Vaccinate More Safely

Rabies Vaccination: Caution! The Devil is in the Details
Vaccinating Unhealthy Pets: Beware Reactions & Vaccine Failure
Vaccinating Dogs: 10 Steps to Eliminating Unnecessary Shots
Vaccinating Small Dogs: Risks Vets Aren’t Revealing
Titer Test: Don’t Vaccinate Your Dog Unnecessarily
Dog Flu Vaccine: Do You Really Need a Shot for the H3N8 Canine Virus?
Is Your Dog’s Vet a Vaccination Expert?

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Tags: adverse reactions, aggression, autoimmune disease, coordination, how long does shot last, liver, rabbies, rabies, rabies shot, seizures, side effects, swelling, Vaccination, vaccine, vomiting
Posted under Rabies Shots, Vaccination, Videos | 520 Comments » Email This Post

520 Comments to “The Rabies Vaccine and Your Dog: Side Effects”

  1. Jeanna Says:

    My dog, a malti-poo rescue (we think) started having symptoms within hours of having his vaccinations last week. We took him twice to the vet with 4 days for not getting up, yelping when we picked him up and back end mobility. The dr gave him pain meds for a possible injury but he has gotten worse. Unfotunately, we are out if town and a friend is keeping him. Apparently he has gotten worse with his back end. His back is crooked and he is walking sideways she said. He is not eating or drinking much since. She is taking him back to the vet tomorrow for me. He is only about 4.. What should I do? He never mentioned it could be a reaction and it has cost us about $300 for a few pain relievers and office visits. His blood panel was normal. The shots were last Monday and symptoms started within hours. Is there a certain test? Should I have to pay more? Any help is appreciated!

  2. Jan Says:

    Jeanna, please read What to Do When Your Dog Has a Vaccine Reaction at Skip the beginning.

    It is unlikely, from what you said, that your vet understands the problem. You need a vet skilled in homeopathy. The article has lots of tips on what to do. Please report this to the drug maker. They may help pay for treatment, although they will want you to use a conventional vet. Write again if you’d like me to recommend a great vet who will treat your dog long distance. He’s not expensive.

    Even if your dog gets better, treatment is important. And do it soon.

  3. Christie Says:

    Lulu had her rabies shot Saturday. I took her to one of those low-cost vaccinations events at PetCo in Orlando. She immediately had a reaction, though it was mild — she became very calm and tired. And being a beagle, it was obvious. They gave her a benadryl and steroids shot, and she perked up fast.

    However, I think she might still have a problem. I took her to the dog park Tuesday she avoided the other dogs and was unusually timid. I’m not quite sure whether I should take her to a vet or not, or whether this will wear off. Please send me an email if you have a solution to my question.

  4. Jan Says:

    Christie, it is odd for a beagle to have a reaction. They use beagles to test vaccines. Of course, it does happen.

    Please read this article, skipping the first part:

    Personality change is a relatively common reaction, although vets seldom admit it. Will the change wear off? Who knows? If it were my dog, I’m find a vet who understands homeopathy. There are links at and in the article I suggested you read. Your dog probably doesn’t feel that well. If it doesn’t change soon, please see a homeopathic vet. A “regular” vet will likely be a waste of money, although you need to make sure the reaction is listed in your dog’s file and also contact the manufacturer of the drug to report it.

    BTW, in the future, avoid those mass producing vaccine factories. Also, your dog is likely finished with shots. Please read this on eliminating unnecessary vaccines.

  5. Christie Says:

    Jan — Thanks. Looks like the closest homeopathic vet is about an hour away. :/ I will try to do an over the phone consultation with one of those doctors.

    I pretty much don’t have a choice but to avoid that vaccine group now. They gave me all this paperwork and said I can never come back to them for a shot. They said they would report the reaction to the manufacturer, but I assume I should do it again anyway?

  6. Jan Says:

    Christie, yes, you should report the reaction yourself. Document who you talked with and take notes and keep them in a safe place. If you go to a new vet, give them a copy. You may need a paper trail documenting the reaction in the future.

  7. Clotilde Kaelker Says:

    Exceptional article! I just dug up your website and will easily become a regular lurker now. Keep up the outstanding work.

  8. Judith Says:

    In January my leashed Tibetan Terrier was bitten by another dog and had two deep puncture wounds. The other dog was up to date but our dog was due for the 1 year booster shot (we live in MA) so you have to vaccine twice within the first year and thereaafter they give the 3-year shot. All the shots have the same amount of medicine – enough to protect them for 6 years! One week after his vaccine, he developed very large swollen lymph nodes under his both sides of his jaw and behind his knees. The vet put him on doxycycline for 6 weeks telling us it might be a tick-borne disease. Now three months after the vaccine, his lymph nodes have not gone down and the vet wants us to biopsy for lymphoma. Our local natural pet store is convinced that it is a reaction to the rabies vaccine. His appetite has gone down and he is coughing. Have you heard of swollen lymph glands from a rabies vaccine?

  9. Jan Says:

    Judith, the bite by a vaccinated dog should not be relevant, as far as I know. A vaccinated dog should not present a rabies threat. The booster at 1 year after the first shot around 4 months should last for 3 years.

    If the swollen lymph nodes developed shortly after the vaccine, I would think most vets would suspect the vaccine, not ticks. But I’m not a vet. Please read all but the first part of this article about vaccine reactions:

    I can recommend a trustworthy vet in Hopkington, MA if you’re interested in a consult.

    Good luck.

  10. Judith Says:

    Hi Jan,

    Thank you for your response. His breathing is very shallow and rapid last night and this morning. Yes, we would be interested in the number for the vet in Hopkington. Many thanks, Judith

  11. Vivian Says:


    my mini sized black Poodle, 1 1/2 years has recently taken a rabies shot and a microchip injection for us to take him to the United States (flight on the 21st of June). Probably half an hour later on the car, he started sneezing (about every 10 seconds) and had a clear runny nose. When we got home, we noticed that he was acting very lethargic and not as active as his hyper self. He just lies down most of the time, but stands up to bark at random noises coming from outside. Is this a normal reaction? Should I call a vet?

  12. Jan Says:

    Vivian, yes, call the vet. Your dog is having an allergic reaction. If his face is swelling or he’s vomiting, that’s even more seriou, but no reaction is good. At the very least, you need to report the reaction. Here’s an article to read on vaccine reactions:

    Only you know your dog well enough to know if you need to rush back to the vet. My feeling is: better safe than sorry. If your dog recovers quickly, consult a holistic vet when all this is over — especially one trained in homeopathy. Allergic reactions are serious and can be life threatening.

  13. Vivian Says:

    Hi Jan,

    Thank you so much for your reply! I called the vet today and he said this was normal, and just to observe him for a few more days. I will contact a holistic vet when he stops (hopefully soon) Thanks again!

  14. Janice Oswald Says:

    I took my almost 15 year old minature poodle for her rabies shot today. That’s all I give her and always have only given her. She was fine this morning but this afternoon she is panting badly, and around her good eye, it’s now all red and she keeps pacing around. I gave her a benedryl a few moments ago because she seems like she’s itcy and keeps wanting to itch her eyes. I hope she will be okay and if she is, I will never get her another rabies shot. She stays in the house and only goes outside to go to the bathroom. This has scared me.

  15. Jan Says:

    Janice, I’m sorry to delay so long in answering. For some reason, I didn’t see your comment.

    I hope your dog is better. Please read this:

    Let me know how she is doing.

  16. Darcie Palmer Says:

    I have just begun to foster a dog from a local shelter that apparently has this condition. Apparently when he came to the shelter in Jan he had almost no hair on his body and now he is covered in hair but he still has the lesions on his ears and his snout on one side is red and looks sore, his eyes swell up underneath. I give him Vit E pills, Benadryl, an ointment on his open wound on his ear, a oil of some type on the tips of his ears. He has a itchy patch on one of his front feet. Is there anything that will help with the eye situation. It breaks my heart everyday seeing him go through this, he is a pomeranian and we are trying to cope the best way we can. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  17. Jan Says:

    Darcie, it sounds like you’re talking about Ischemic Dermatopathy. Please read this: If you’d like to talk to the author of that post, please contact me by email. Find contact info at

  18. Ellen Says:

    Our 10 year old chocolate lab had the rabies vaccine one week ago. She started vomiting, was not able to walk, cannot stand up. The vet is telling us they think it is vertigo. After reading everyone’s posts and all of the information that you have provided, I’m starting to think its from the vaccine. Will she recover from this or is this permanent damage. Thank you for any information that you can provide.

  19. Jan Says:

    Ellen, it’s likely the vaccine from what you describe. It’s important to report the problem to the USDA and manufacturer. There’s info here: This will also give you advice on how to proceed.

    It is possible to reverse the damage but it’s unlikely to heal itself, and if you go to a conventional vet, he/she probably won’t know how to proceed, especially if that vet didn’t recognize this as a reaction. Ask the vet for the vaccine’s package insert; it should show the reaction there. If not, check out While you’re at it, get a copy of your dog’s file and make sure the reaction you reported to the vet is there. Ask your vet to help with reporting to authorities. Vets are supposed to do this. You might also want to read this article about why vets don’t recognize vaccine reactions:

    You’ll need a really good holistic vet. Check out my two referral lists at Also, where do you live? I might know someone who can help.

  20. Abby Says:

    About a year ago we adopted a 2 year old beautiful labrador retriever/whippet mix from the animal shelter. The dog was very healthy and very active. We would take her for walks every day. She was a very loving family dog who would snuggle up to you. She was a very happy dog and we grew very attached to her.

    Well almost a year later, we received a postcard in the mail that it was time to get the rabies shots and 2 other shots to renew the dog license. We went to the low cost vaccination event at the animal shelter thinking this was the thing to do to renew the dog license. Our dog seemed healthy at the time we went to the vaccination clinic. They administered the rabies and 2 other required shots that same day. The next day, our dog was vomiting and having seizures, was very lethargic and not eating at all. We took her to the vet and they gave her fluids (electrolytes and anti nausea medicine) and told us to take her home and see if she will feel better the next day. She was so lethargic that she slept curled in a ball all day long.

    The following day, our dog was having seizures again and I also noticed she was breathing very rapidly. Her condition got worse. I brought the dog back to the vet. They did a blood test and found our dog had pancreatitis and was having kidney failure. We were crushed. The dog had to be hospitalized and given IV fluids and antibiotics. We were told that if our dog did not respond to the IV and antibiotics, the prognosis did not look good.

    The next day, the vet called and said our dog was not responding to the IV fluids and antibiotics and her kidneys were failing along with the pancreatitis getting worse. Her condition was worsening. So, after going over our options with the vet, we had to make the painful decision to euthanize our dog to end her pain and suffering she endured from the side affects of the rabies shot.

    Here we had a playful, healthy dog the day before the rabies shot, and in a matter of 3 days after the shots, we lost our dog. If we would have known about the side affects of the rabies shots, I would not have had our dog vaccinated. We truly believe that the rabies shot was what did her in. Our dog had all the symtoms of the rabies shot side affects.The vet said that the rabies shot was not the cause of the kidney value and that it was something she may have ingested that was toxic causing damage to her kidneys. The rabies vaccine was the TOXIC!!

    I wished I could have read your website with all the comments before I sent my dog to her death sentence!. I am upset that perhaps this could have been prevented and our dog would be here today if I knew about the rabies vaccine side affects.

    Thank you for putting the information out there about the dangerous affects of the rabies vaccine.

  21. Jan Says:

    Abby, I’m so sorry for your loss. Yours is a tragically familiar story.

    I have several questions: what made you think it was the rabies vaccine? What were the other two vaccines? Some are just as dangerous. And the combination may have been overwhelming. Worst of all, you couldn’t avoid the rabies but the others may have been unnecessary. Why did you call them “required shots.”

    Also, would you mind if I posted your story on my new not-for-profit all-vaccination website: I’d need your explicit permission and a photo or two of you dog, plus her name. You wouldn’t have to do any more work, unless you could find out about the other vaccines and we could add that. We are collecting vaccine stories to alert the world about what is happening, and it will get more views there. There’s more info here:

    We also have a petition on Veterinarians: Fully Inform Us Before Vaccinating Our Dogs and Cats at

    Each signature on the petition will send an email to the AVMA, USDA, pet insurance companies and state vet boards asking them to stop enabling over-vaccination and start fully informing us before vaccinating. It just takes a moment and they don’t sell your email address. Please, please sign it and share it.

    If you want to correspond about any this privately, just ask. I’ll email you.

    Thanks, and again, I’m so sorry.

  22. Mary Takaoka Says:

    Hi, we just put our 10 year old sweet Sheltie Simba down. We brought him over here to Japan with us when he was age 6 in 2008. Before we came here, Simba was active and curious.

    Japan requires about 9 Rabies shots for imported animals from America. Right away we could see that he was gaining weight and getting bloated, not to mention his changed personality. We called him, “Eeyore” the donkey from Winnie the Pooh after arriving in Japan.

    Also Simba started to have dry flaky skin, and there was a lump under his left armpit.

    Simba continued to love our walks, and loved to bark at everything, but he started having dry gags, especially after drinking some water. This last year he didn’t want to walk so much.

    We gave him medicine and prayed for him continually. The vet was surprised how long he lived after he was diagnosed in May 2010 with liver cancer, but he finally succumbed last Saturday.

    Rest in peace, Simba Sep 2002~2012 ! You were such a good dog! We love you always! Dedicated by your family, the Takaoka’s.

  23. Lori Says:

    Thank you for your informative article. I have long been sounding the alarm against all vaccines used against children and adults but had not had a dog in many years. We adopted a sweet and very loving long-legged Jack Russell Terrier over a month ago.

    It was required that we spay her and get her rabies shot within 30 days. While I had done extensive research on the horrible effects of vaccines on children, I did not know about the equally common and disastrous effects on our pets.

    The first 3 weeks she was probably the sweetest and most loving animal I have ever had in my life. We took her in to get swayed and they did her rabies shot at the same visit. As soon as she got over the initial healing from the surgery, she rapidly had a complete change in behavior. Extreme hyperactive episodes with aggressive behavior towards us, erratic and uncontrollable activity such as eating up wood in backyard, clothes in the house, you name it. She turned into a Dr.Jekyll/Mr. Hyde type of animal that continued to get worse to the point of losing trust with her being around our family. Sadly, for our safety we felt like we had no choice but to make an immediate decision to take her back to the shelter before she hurt one of us.

    I will not be silent about this and am angry that I felt forced to do these things in essence paid a vet to ruin our sweet beautiful little girl. I would probably have not even gotten her spayed and resisted the vaccination for as long as legally possible if I had known there was such a problem like this with the rabies vaccine. I should have known better with all my research but just frankly had not had a pet in many years and heard of this problem effecting our beloved animals.

    Our family will never forget our sweet girl and I don’t want any family to go through these horrible conflicting emotions and sense of loss.

    Thank you for your information and I hope we can do whatever we can to fight this horrible mandatory procedure that is harming our pets and our families.

    PS I must add that she was also in heat when the spay and shot were done. I questioned them about doing the spay while in heat and was told that it was ok and they just charged a little bit more because there would be more blood loss but that it was still safe. The shelter said it had to be done within 30 days or else a $200. fine and repossession of our pet.

  24. Jan Says:

    Lori, all of your dog’s symptoms are symptoms of a reaction to the rabies vaccine. Just as an adverse reaction to the Bordetella vaccine resembles kennel cough, and a reaction to the human flu shot can resemble the flu, a reaction to the rabies vaccine can resemble rabies. Please report the reaction to the USDA and drug manufacturer; your vet is supposed to do this but probably didn’t.

    I lost my dog last month to a reaction to a long ago rabies vaccine. Please see my latest post and new 3-minute video.

    I hope you will expand your post here (I can send it to you if necessary) and add photos if you have them. And join us in our fight. We need an army.


  25. Louise Says:

    Jan, I have an approx 2 year old westie that we rescued from a puppymill a year ago, she was one of over 500 dogs. At the time she was seized from the puppy mill she rec’d all her shots, you name it, she got it through the international humane society. She would of been approx 1 year at the time and I assume these are the first shots she ever received. Now a year later I am being told she should get a booster for rabies etc. Based on the fact that I am pretty sure she has only had one rabies vaccine in her life should she have her second now or should I titer? She is healthy in every way – no issues at all and I want to keep it that way. Thanks for you input.

  26. Jan Says:

    Hi Louise. According to experts, it takes two vaccines, a year apart, for a dog to develop immunity. A titer won’t help with the law yet. I wish it did. Please read: Also, check out the great work of They are working to make titers legal.

  27. Elijah Freyermuth Says:

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!|

  28. Jan Says:

    Elijah, I’m sorry you’re getting multiple comments. Please click the unsubscribe at the bottom of one email.

  29. Hoyt Arntzen Says:

    Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your article seem to be running off the screen in Safari. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know. The layout look great though! Hope you get the issue solved soon. Thanks|

  30. Says:

    Just what truly motivated you to publish “Rabies Vaccination: Side Effects and Help | Truth4Dogs”?
    Idefinitely appreciated the post! Thank you -Swen

  31. Joyce Says:

    I am relocating for work from Canada to Singaopre, but Singapore has straight guidelines on rabies shot. Here’s my dilemma, my almost 4 year old maltese got his rabies shot back in august 2009 and its expiry was august 2012. I didnt bring him for another shot as i wanted to “stretch” it longer to avoid any health risk, but now i need to move with him, and in order to qualify for 10 days quarantine for him, i need to do a rabies shot niw and then another one within one month of departure, which is likely be in August 2013. Can these rabies shot do twice since theres only 6 months gap? Is it too harsh on his body? If i only do one rabies shot instead of 2, then he needs to quarantine for 30 days instead of 10 days…. I worry about him… Any feedback and comments will be greatly appreciated.. Many thanks in advance!

  32. Jan Says:

    Joyce, you do have a dilemma. Two vaccines so close together are dangerous, but so is having your dog in a kennel for a month. That could cause emotional problems as well as health problems. My dogs are Maltese and I know how delicate they are.

    Here’s a question. What’s the vaccination protocol in Singapore? How often, if ever, do they require a rabies shot? Make sure you know the requirements.

    If they were my dogs (I’m not a vet), I’d do the two shots but have a holistic vet do the vaccinating. See if you can find one near you at

    Make sure you use a vaccine that is thimerosol free — that is, free of mercury. Merial makes the one most of my vet friends recommend. This is very important. And make sure you follow the guidelines in this article:

    Make sure, too, that your dog is getting the best food possible. The healthier the dog, the better the result.

    Good luck. Enjoy Singapore. It’s a beautiful place. I’m told the national bird is a crane (the mechanical kind used in building).

  33. Chad Fisher Says:

    I thought I was being a responsible pet owner whenever the vet would send a card of the required shots. We took our 4yr old 55lb black/white short haired mixed terrier in (1-17-13) for his Rabies Vaccination (3yr Vx2225) and he was in perfect health before that day. One day after the shot a yellowish diarrhea started and continued for another 5 days.

    On 1-21-13 I took him back to the vet for the diarrhea where they gave these three following injections (PS4875 Penicillin G)…. (Ho1075- Fluids Subcutaneous)….. (Ol 1450 Pepcid Famotidine) and I got tablets of (Ant2650-Flagyl Metronidazole}

    No sooner than we left my local vets office the vomiting started and continued for the next 3 hours as well with shivering. At that point we took him to a different emergency vet at around 11pm on 1-21-13. They did 4 radiographs (X-rays) and they came back perfect. Next up was blood work and it came up perfect. So they gave him a (Cerenia injection) and a (Buprenex injection) I was told these were a muscle relaxant and to help stop the vomiting.

    We stayed home from work to monitor him and slowly bring food and water back to him and he did well holding his food down and the diarrhea stopped.

    One thing we noticed roughly 3 days after the Rabies Vaccination was a small light reddish bump start on his chest near his left leg. It was probably about 25mm long and 10mm wide. We thought nothing of it until the morning of 1-30-13 when my wife noticed the area was the size of a tennis ball and was getting hard and scabby. That evening we went back to our local vet where he thought it looked like Vasculitis. He sent us home with an tablet antibiotic (Ant2150-Cephalexin).
    Two days later (2-1-13) he had a hole in his skin starting so once again we went back to the vets office. He told us that our dog would lose the skin in that area, to keep it uncovered, and let the infection out. Three times a day we are to apply a warm compress to help aid in the chunk of skin coming off. Since this is in an area of a lot of movement that surgery may be needed to help heal over. The vet gave us (Ant1715-Baytril 136mg tablets)

    The vet swabbed the area and will be sending it out for a culture test. It will be a week before I know the results.
    So far we are $933.58 into vet costs from what I feel all started from $22.00 Rabies vaccination that had side effects. We have missed work, we have been broken hearted watching our boy go through all this, and were left pondering how did all this happen. All we want is for Jerry to be back to his happy go lucky normal self.

    Chad Fisher

  34. Jan Says:

    Chad, Your vet certainly has given Jerry a lot of antibiotics. Is your vet a specialist in this problem? Maybe you need another opinion. Here’s a vet with lots of experience treating vaccine reactions. You can consult with him by phone. He’s quite brilliant. Or find a holistic vet in your area.

    The first thing that should have been done is to contact the vaccine maker. Your vet should have done this but often they don’t. The manufacturer, if you make a fuss, may pay for a biopsy and some or all of the treatment. It’s worth a try.

    Has your vet admitted it was the vaccine? Often they don’t.

    Make sure everything is in Jerry’s file so you can file for an exemption next time. Also, do see a holistic vet. Jerry may have other damage not yet manifested.

    Do you mind if I post your comment on my page with rabies reactions?

    Good luck.

  35. Kymberly Sedwick Says:

    Passed by your post and decided to share it on my blog so my followers can see it too. I used the same title, “Rabies Vaccination: Side Effects and Help | Truth4Dogs”

  36. Laurel Says:

    I have a 12 year old healthy Lab mix that had a rabies shot back in April 2012 at my local PetCo pet store. Within about a week, I noticed him having tremors in his hind legs when we were on or walks. He has a lot of energy and loves to run at the park and although I have not noticed any other changes, the tremors continue almost 1 year later. I took him to the vet for a check up immediately after noticing the tremors but they had no idea why it was happening and just said it was because he is getting old. I could not afford xrays after spending almost $500 on blood work & the check up but is it possible the tremors are a reaction to the vaccine?

  37. Janie McLaughlin Says:

    Thank you so much for providing the information on side effects on rabies vaccine! I was researching information regarding the behavioral changes in my rat terrier who previously had a very sweet disposition ever since we adopted him about 5 years ago. He suddenly decided he would not let us put on his harness and lease so we could go for daily walk. He growled at us and backed away. If we tried to approach him he acted as though he would attack us. I never heard that type of growl from any family pet. Then he acted the same way when we put him into and tried to remove him from his kennel where he slept every night since he joined our family. At his last rabies vaccine in Jan. 2012, I had requested he get the 3 year vaccine; but due to miscommunication he was given the 1 year vaccine. I have been very stressed because there was no way to take him to get his vaccine, which I thought was overdue; and I wanted to be a responsible pet owner – protect both my pet and all who would come in contact with them. My husband was bitten by an aggressive stray dog while taking his daily walk two years ago; and because that dog was not current on his vaccines and the neither the owner or dog catcher could not catch the dog, my husband had to take the rabies shots. Another of my dogs began having seizures since her last rabies vaccine last year; but I thought it was due to unknown trauma while she was a stray living on the street. We had to amputate one front leg due to nerve damage and infection. Now I wonder if the rabies vaccine could be responsible for the changes in my pets.

  38. Laurie Smith Says:

    My 3.5 year old Airedale was in great health and we didn’t have any issues. Then in February of this year we were travelling to the US so she needed her rabies updated. Pfizer rabies vaccine. Last week, after dealing with diarrhea, she was opened up and lymphoma was found! The breeder says there isn’t any cancer in her relatives. We are devasted and furious. 2 months after the vaccine….

  39. Louise Says:

    Today my six year old chihuhua (5 lbs 13 ozs) had an adverse reaction to her rabies vac (Pfizer). That is the only vac she got today. Two hours after the vac her muzzle, face, area around her eyes, etc. were all swollen, she had hives & welts over 40% of her body, her belly was beet red with welts. I called the original vet & took her to a closer vet where she was treated with steriods & benadryl injectables. Upon returning home, I called pfizer to report the reaction. Everyone needs to report EVERY reaction. The lady sounded like she was reading a script as she told me a reaction was possible any time anything was put into a body…. This same chihuahua had a reaction three years ago, at that time she had two vacs so we didn’t know which vac was the culprit, I pulled out my old records and was shocked to find that three years ago one of the vacs was the Pfizer Defensor 3 Rabies vac…. I’m thinking that i will discontinue rabies althoughter, there seems to be more danger in the vacs than likelihood that she will encounter rabies while sitting on the couch in my living room. I certainly will ensure that if she is vaccinated it is not with the Pfizer vac.

  40. Jan Says:

    Louise, make sure the reactions are recorded in your dog’s file. You may need to file for an exemption to rabies vax. I hope your dog is finished with all shots. Puppy shots are for puppies, not adults. Please read this for more information. I hope your dog has completely recovered but watch for other hypersensitivity and allergic reactions. They could be related.

  41. Sheila Says:

    My son had two terrier crosses who had their initial Rabies vaccination 3 years ago. They needed a booster so that they could still be brought back into the UK when they travelled abroad. They were given the boosters at the beginning of May.
    Instead of receiving usual vaccinations for parvo etc they were both treated with an homeopathic combined altenative, as are all my own dogs. Last weekend they killed a rat, the third in the last few weeks, in their kennel, on Monday the dog was off his food, we took him to the vet who suspected Leptospirosis as he had yellowing in his eyes and gums, various test were carried out ad he was put on drip and given anti-biotics, his blood indicated his liver and kidneys were damaged in some way. The bitch developed Jaundice the next day so antibiotics were prescribed for her too, I contacted my Homeopathic Pharmacy and they supplied some medication for them both. We went to collect the dog from the vet on Friday but his condition had deteriorated so much that the decision was made to put him to sleep. The bitch seemed a bit better this morning but when we went to give her medicaion after lunch, she suddenly had a fit which lasted several seconds, then brought up frothy blood and went into shock, despite giving her rescue remedy she died in my sons arms after a few minutes. I have 10 other dogs, one in the adjacent kennel, who also killed some rats. All the other dogs are still well and are showing no adverse symptoms, but they have not been vaccinated for rabies. The vet is saying the dogs were not protected by homeopathic vaccines for Leptospirosis. The pharmacist at the homeopathic pharmacy believes that the rabies vaccine compromised the dogs’ autoimmune systems.
    The lab results for Leptospirosis were inconclusive. What did the dogs die from. Could the Rabies Vaccine have been the cause of death directly or indirectly of the dogs?
    Thank you

  42. Jan Says:

    Sheila, what a heartbreaking story. I’m so sorry so you and your son and the dogs.

    The rabies vaccine could have been contributory; it’s hard to say. Another thought is that perhaps the rat had been poisoned with rat bait and the dogs were poisoned indirectly.

    Whether or not the dogs had Lepto, or whether the remedy (a nosode?) had protected them from Lepto or whether Lepto was even present, will probably remain a mystery.

    Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

  43. Marcie Says:

    My 5 month old bichon frise had her rabies vaccination on Monday. She did really well and acted like her normal self for the next 4 days. On the 5th day, however, she acted very tired and was dis interested in her usual food; but did eat chicken and rice. Today, she has also been sleeping much more than usual and hasn’t wanted to play. She did have chicken this morning but threw it up. I did feed her chicken again later which so far has stayed down. She just acts really tired and is not her normal bouncy little self. Does this sound like it could be related to the rabies vaccination? Thank you so much.

  44. Jan Says:

    Marcie, here’s an article that might help.

    I’d like it if you could talk with a holistic vet about this. There are referral lists for vets, including vets who’ve been trained in homeopathy and vets who’ll consult by phone. Conventional vets probably won’t know what to do, but they’ll be better than nothing if the condition persists. But sooner is better than later. Don’t wait till she’s really in trouble.

    Check your dog carefully for ticks, just in case that’s the problem. And read this before even thinking of vaccinating again.

    Good luck.

  45. Marcie Says:

    Hi Jan,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to write a reply. I appreciate all the helpful info. you provided. I am glad to say my puppy is better this morning; but I am still concerned about her. Even though she has been playing this morning and definitely acting more like herself; she also has congestion that settled in last night. I clicked on the first link you provided but didn’t see congestion listed as a side effect. Do you think this could still possibly be vaccine related? Her rabies vaccination was a stand alone and I had it done 3 weeks after her last distemper shot. There is a holistic vet nearby but, unfortunately, they are not taking new patients as it is closing. I could try to call though or I can consult the list you provided. The other thing I wondered about is that I took her out for a walk on Friday.(She had only been out for 1 walk previously as I didn’t want her out walking until she had all of her shots.) and was wondering if because of the rabies vaccine her immune system was lowered and she might have picked up something on the walk?? Thank you too for advising on the tick. I have not seen any but I will check again. Thank you very much for any additional insight and if you still think I should consult a holistic vet.

  46. Jan Says:

    Marcia, you might want to watch this video on ticks. If you can afford it, definitely contact a holistic vet. They can help ward off worsened conditions. Good luck.

  47. Jan Says:

    Marcia, here’s a good article on ticks.

  48. Marcie Says:

    That was a great video by Dr. Becker on ticks. I found it very informative; especially the testing info. I have bookmarked it. Since the puppy is improving, I am hoping it is just something viral she picked up. I tried calling the holistic vet but just got the answering machine. I will try again and leave a message if I can’t reach anyone. Thank you again.

  49. Marcie Says:

    I just checked my puppy for ticks again and found and removed one on her. I will definitely be getting her checked out. Thank you SO much for suggesting I check her for ticks. It is somewhat engorged and I think it has the white spot for Lone Star Tick. I will be watching the video again so that I know what tests to ask for. Thank you again!!

  50. christina Says:

    How do I report a bad reaction to the manufacture of the rabies vaccine? I have the vaccine name and the serial number but I couldn’t find anywhere to report the reaction!

    My 14 pound dog went into anaphylactic shock shortly after receiving the rabies vaccine. She started vomiting, couldn’t stand, eyes dilated and zoned out, unresponsive to her surrounding and just staring into space, gums stark white, she lost her bowels and pooped all over the table where she was laying, temperature spiked, blood red rash developed on her belly, chest, throat, and ears.

    The emergency treatment was expensive and I don’t even care to get my money back. But if I can’t get my dog exempt how on earth is she going to be able to survive her next treatment! She nearly died! She got treatment not even 2 minutes after she started reacting because it was while she was in the vet office. And it took her 30 minutes to even perk her ears when we talked to her and make eye contact with us again. And then another 30 minutes to even lift her head off the table. Little over an hour later she was ok to walk again but still very weak. I am stressing on having to get her vaccinated again! My state doesn’t offer exemptions!

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