Rabies Vaccination: 13 Ways to Vaccinate More Safely

Written by Jan on September 23, 2010 – 12:01 am

Peaches Displaying Her Rabies Vaccine Reaction

Note: this is an expanded version of an article by Jan Rasmusen previously published by DogsNaturallyMagazine.com

Animal Control sends a notice stating that your dog’s rabies vaccination is due. Some of us will vaccinate readily. Because it’s legally mandated, it must be safe, right? Besides, what choice do we have?

Others of us panic, desperate to avoid the shot at any cost. We remember what happened the last time our dog had a rabies vaccination. We wonder, will our dog survive another? 

World-renowned pet vaccination scientist, Dr. Jean Dodds, wrote recently: “Rabies vaccines are the most common group of biological products identified in adverse event reports received by the USDA’s Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB).”   

An adverse reaction to a rabies vaccine may exact a high price – to your dog’s health and your wallet. Here’s what you need to know to make vaccinating your dog safer:   

1. Learn to recognize adverse reactions. Short-term reactions include vomiting, facial swelling, fever, lethargy, circulatory shock, loss of consciousness and even death. (If your pet appears distressed, contact your vet immediately.) Reactions occurring days or months after vaccination can be difficult to recognize. They include:

• Fibrocarcinomas (cancer) at the injection site
• Seizures and epilepsy
• Autoimmune disease
• Chronic digestive problems
• Allergies
• Skin diseases
• Muscle weakness or atrophy
• Pica (eating inappropriate materials, including feces)
• Behavioral changes (aggression, separation anxiety, compulsive behaviors and more)  

If you suspect a health or behavior problem may be connected to a vaccine, you may have to convince your vet. It’s common to hear “it couldn’t be the shot” or “a reaction like that is impossible.” Even the drug’s manufacturer (to whom you should immediately report the reaction — giving them the brand and lot# — may deny the connection. Insist on seeing the product’s package insert,  viewable on-line or from your vet. Also know that long-term reactions aren’t usually documented or even studied. Note: a vaccine reaction, especially one supported by your vet, may entitle you to compensation for medical expenses from the drug manufacturer.

2. Vaccinate healthy dogs only. Vaccinating an unhealthy animal can exacerbate illness and do irreparable harm. Also, immunity may not develop after vaccination because of the dog’s compromised immune system. This is especially dangerous as you may presume immunity that does not exist. Pets with autoimmune disease or cancer are obviously “not healthy,” but neither are pets suffering from stress from a move or surgery, a virus or infection, or allergies or skin problems or any other condition compromising health. (Never allow your pet to be vaccinated during surgery.)

3. Ask for a rabies vaccination exemption.  If your dog has documented health problems, ask your vet to apply for a rabies vaccination extension or exemption. Many localities permit them even if state law doesn’t specifically allow them. If your vet won’t apply for an exemption, go elsewhere. You may want to contact a holistic vet who may better understand the dangers of vaccinating an unhealthy animal. If local law forbids exemptions, change the law. Numerous states are in the process of adding exemptions to their laws. Click this link to check your state’s rabies law and pending exemptions.  

4. Don’t vaccinate against rabies within three weeks of other vaccinations or medication for parasites. Multiple vaccines given at once greatly increase the chance of reactions.  Multiple vaccines are especially risky for small dogs.

5. Make sure your dog gets the correct vaccine. If you’re vaccinating a puppy, make sure your vet administers a one-year vaccine initially (as late as legally possible) and a three-year vaccine (or whatever is required in your area) thereafter. The one-year and three-year vaccines are virtually identical medically – but not under the law.  A one-year shot must be followed by re-vaccination a year later. Note: the one-year shot is not safer than the three-year (except that it may contain fewer adjuvants).  

6. Vaccinate at the safest time. Vaccinate in the morning, early in the week, and don’t leave the area for at least an hour if possible. Watch for reactions for at least the next 48 hours. Reactions occurring when the closest vet’s office is closed can prove disastrous, even fatal.

7. Tell your vet you want a Thimerosol-free vaccine. Thimerosol (mercury) in vaccines has been linked to adverse reactions. Merial, for one, makes one- and three-year thimersol-free rabies vaccines: IMRAB® 1 TF and IMRAB® 3 TF. Make sure you see “TF” on the label. (If your vet doesn’t carry the vaccine, you may have to vet shop to find the vaccine you want.  You might also ask why the vet why he/she doesn’t carry it.)

8. Find a vet trained in homeopathy to vaccinate your dog.  Certain homeopathic remedies given before, during and after vaccinating can lessen the chance of ill effects from vaccination. Click the link to find vet referral lists.   

9. Report all vaccine reactions to your vet and make sure they’re recorded in your pet’s file. Have the vet sign relevant pages, get copies and put them in a safe place. (Vets lose records, retire and move away.) Also report the reaction to the drug’s manufacturer. (You’ll need the vaccine lot number.) Vets are notoriously bad at reporting reactions, but exemptions to rabies vaccination and drug safety require documentation.

10. Don’t vaccinate within a week of travel. Pets experiencing reactions on route can die for lack of immediate medical assistance.  (Find a list of emergency clinics by area at http://www.vetsnearyou.com/ml2/?v=352875029&u=0880F1AAC5EF9BA40210818080F807184B&gclid=CKOmmcXvm6QCFQY-bAodawLaEg  (I cannot guarantee the clinics’ expertise, but at least this is a place to start.)

11. Keep copies of vaccination records and titer tests in your car(s) and license tags on your dog’s collar or harness. Otherwise, you may be forced to re-vaccinate if your pet bites someone, runs away and is taken to a shelter or if you have to board your pet unexpectedly.

12. Do not administer a rabies vaccine yourself. It will not satisfy legal requirements and you’ll have to have a vet vaccinate again. You will also be unprepared to deal with a potentially life-threatening reaction.  Similarly, a vet’s office may likely be a safer place to get the vaccine than a mobile clinic.

13. Support the Rabies Challenge Fund.  World-renowned scientists, W. Jean Dodds, DVM, and Ronald D. Schultz, PhD, are working as volunteers to increase the interval between rabies boosters by proving that the vaccine gives immunity, first, for five years, and then for seven years. (The study is in year four now.) They’re also working to establish a blood “titer standard” to provide a scientific basis to avoid unnecessary boosters with a simple blood test. This nonprofit group is supported solely by dog lovers and dog groups. 

Before the next notice from Animal Control arrives, do your homework. A little time spent learning about the rabies vaccine can mean the difference between your dog’s wellness and serious illness. 

Note: a veterinarian/author who specializes in over-vaccination issues read this article and wanted to add a few points.  Click here to learn what this veterinarian says about preventing vaccine reactions

Get Our Vaccination DVD: W. Jean Dodds, DVM and Ronald D. Schultz, PhD spoke at our Safer Pet Vaccination Benefit Seminar in March. A DVD of the event is available. Buy it at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/New%20Shopping%20Cart/Check%20out%20page.htm Or learn more about it at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/saferpet. Learn more about rabies vaccination at www.truth4dogs.org and about vaccination in general at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/shots and at http://www.truth4dogs.com.  

Don’t forget to sign up for this blog and our free newsletter, due out soon.

Read more about Peaches and her skin disease caused by rabies vaccine reaction (called Ischemic Dermatopathy).

Tags: dog, dogs, preventing reactions, rabbies, rabies exemptions, rabies shot, rabies vaccination, rabies vaccine, reactions to the rabies vaccine
Posted under Preventing Vaccine Reactions, Rabies Shots, Uncategorized, Vaccination | 76 Comments » Email This Post

76 Comments to “Rabies Vaccination: 13 Ways to Vaccinate More Safely”

  1. Marisa Herrera Says:

    Excellent information! This should be required reading for everyone who has a dog. Vaccines are not all the pharmaceuticals and most vets claim them to be.

  2. Judith Azaren Says:

    Thanks for sharing this important information. I’ll be sending the link to all my friends.

  3. Rabies Vaccination of Unhealthy Dogs & Medical Exemptions | Truth4Dogs Says:

    [...] How to Make Rabies Vaccination Safer Rabies Vaccine and Your Dog: Side Effects Learn about Making Rabies Vaccination Safer Tags: AB 2000, AB2000, dogs, exemptions, Jean Dodds, medical, rabies, Rabies Challenge Fund, rabies law, rabies shot, rabies vaccine, Safety, sick dogsPosted under Medical Exemptions from Rabies Shots, Rabies Shots, Vaccination | 5 Comments » Email This Post [...]

  4. Jana Stewart Says:

    I didn’t expect it would happen to me, someone who has been a super advocate for the RCF and safe vaccine protocol…alas, my 8 year old beloved Bella is the victim of over-vaccination. She had her Rabies booster this spring, she was staying with friends when it came due and I had them take her to their Vet instead of missing the due date. This fall we found a mammary lump and scheduled it’s removal at our regular Vet. I informed them of her updated vaccine information, even gave them the new tag number. While she was in surgery they re-vaccinated her for Rabies without my knowledge or consent. I am both enraged and afraid. She has not been the same dog since the surgery a week ago. She exhibits many of the behavioral changes associated with Rabies vaccine reaction, as well as poor appitite and lethargy. Her surgical site is healing nicely and that appears to be of no concern. Bella is of a breed known to have sensitve immune systems and I will worry even more for months. The damage is done, the clinic seems dismissive of my concerns. They have been our Vets for many years. feels like such a betrayal. Thanks for this site & for the opportunity for me to vent a bit.

  5. Jan Says:

    Jana, I can understand your anger. You should report them to the state veterinary medical board for vaccinating without full disclosure and your consent. Also, any vet should know that vaccinating while a dog is under anesthesia is dangerous. Plus, even if you hadn’t shown proof of previous, recent vaccination, the vial of vaccine says “for healthy dogs only.” Is a dog with a mammary “lump and underoing surgery, healthy? I think not. I would fire them and tell them why, then report them.

    About your dog’s health, please see a vet skilled in homeopathy. (There’s a list at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/vet .) You need to “clear” the overdose of vaccine. If you can’t find one near you, let me know and I’ll find you a phone consult.

  6. Suzanne Says:

    Question: Rabies vaccine is typically administered at 12 weeks and 16 weeks. But I know with many vaccines, the entire series isn’t necessary; it’s just a blanket protection for animals whose immunity might not be high enough after the first vaccine.

    If I only vaccinated my puppy for rabies at 16 weeks, would they demand another? Or would she be set til 1 year?

  7. Jan Says:

    Suzanne,I don’t know what you mean that the rabies vaccine is first “administered at 12 weeks and 16 weeks.” It would be one or the other, depending on where you live. Give it as late as you legally can. Dr. Schultz, a top expert, recommends giving rabies shots at no earlier than 20 weeks where possible.

    The first shot will be a “one year” vaccine. 12 months later, you will get a “three year” vaccine in most places. Your dog will not have long-term immunity, and won’t be “legal,” until you have the second shot. You’ll have to revaccinate in most states every three years until the Rabies Challenge Fund proves that the vaccine lasts longer. (Please support their efforts: http://www.rabieschallengefund.org) By the way, check out our safer pet vaccination DVD which benefits the Fund at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/saferpet Check out state rabies laws at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/rabies-laws

  8. Jana Stewart Says:

    Thanks Jan. I checked the link and could find no homeopathy vets located anywhere near my location (central Iowa), there were acupuncturists but they did not have the “HC” listed. Any assistance is most appreciated.

    Bella has improved a little, her appitite has increased and although she is not herself by any means, the agression seems to have abated at this time (thank goodness).

    I have sent copies of both her Rabies certificates to my Vet with a demand that he re-issue her a 3 year certificate instead of the 1 year that was issued. I will await the outcome of that demand before I procede with filing a complaint. I am sad to have to start Vet shopping again, our dogs are all show dogs as well as pampered pets and we do a lot of business with the clinic, finding a Vet to trust can be quite stressful.

  9. Suzanne Says:

    Thanks, Jan. That’s weird. It says 12 weeks and 16 weeks on my vet’s schedule. But as I’m ignoring most of it already, it doesn’t make much difference. I really appreciate your input: this site has been so helpful. Will definitely wait until 20 weeks for the rabies vax.

    My puppy was given the combo shot at 6 weeks before I got her. I have no interest in any of them except parvo and distemper, and am planning to buy monovalent vaxes of both (my vet won’t.) But I wonder if I really have to re-vax at 16 weeks, or it’s possible a titre will show strong enough immunity from the 6 week injections.

    Will go check out that DVD now, thanks!

  10. How to Make Rabies Vaccination Safer for Dogs | Truth4Dogs Says:

    [...] A Veterinarian Speaks Out Written by Jan on November 22, 2010 – 4:45 pm I recently posted Rabies Vaccination: 13 Ways to Vaccinate More Safely.  Adverse reactions to rabies vaccines are the most common reactions reported to the USDA’s [...]

  11. Mary Jo Says:

    I need some information. I recently on November 1, 2010 took a 13 year old chiuahua mix for a 3 year rabies shot. She was completely healthy prior to the shot. We called her the mighty dog, because if you remember that commercial that dog ran and leaped like crazy. Well on the Monday following the shot she took ill. She was shaking and hunched up as if she had back pain. I went to work on Tuesday and came home to a dog who could barely move. I took her to the emergency room but first had given her a baby aspirin thinking that would help. Needless to say I was told never to give a dog aspirin. They were unable to tell me if the pain was from her stomach or her back. I declined x-rays at the time and made an appt with the regular vet the next day. She was a bit better since they had given her a perscription for tremadol. It is now well over a month later and she is still on tremadol and was given methocarbamol also. They put her on prednisone after they said it was safe from the aspirin. They did give me calfate for her stomach in the beginning. She was not eating or drinking. Screaching in pain and cannot go up and down stairs. My question is can this be a reaction to the rabies vaccine? My heart breaks everytime I look at her she has good days and mostly bad days. She has had x-rays and they did not see any issues with her back or neck. Said I would have to get an MRI to see about brain tumor. This just seems to have all happened after the shot. She weighed 16lbs at the er and now she is down to 13.8lbs. She was wobbling when she walked and they could not tell me for sure if it was the medications or they thought tumor. Help

  12. Jan Says:

    Hi Mary Jo. I can’t tell you for sure that it was the rabies vaccination that caused your dog’s problem. Neurological problems following the rabies vaccine are not uncommon. But you can’t be sure that your dog wasn’t injured while you weren’t around.

    I’m not a vet, but I hear stories like yours all the time. If it were my dog, I’d see or talk with a vet trained in homeopathy before paying for an MRI. I think a vaccine reaction is more likely than a brain tumor. I hope you’ll read an article I wrote recently: What to Do When Your Dog Has a Vaccine Reaction. Find it at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2010/12/02/what-to-do-when-your-dog-has-a-vaccine-reaction/

    If you have trouble finding a vet who understands vaccine reactions, please write me again and I’ll try to help. I’m so sorry for what you and your dog are experiencing. Be strong. Don’t let anyone scare you into anything that feels wrong.

  13. The #1 killer of adult dogs is cancer | Journey's End Ranch Animal Sanctuary Says:

    [...] http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2010/09/23/rabies-vaccination-12-ways-to-vaccinate-more-safely/ [...]

  14. How we create a healthier dog | Journey's End Ranch Animal Sanctuary Says:

    [...] http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2010/09/23/rabies-vaccination-12-ways-to-vaccinate-more-safely/ [...]

  15. Henri Labelle Says:

    Excellent article, my puppy needs his vaccine soon, I’ll keep all this in mind before going to my vet’s clinic :)

  16. RD Says:

    My usually healthy dog is in intensive care with a swollen liver, low white cell count and drooling when she is not a drooler. Her temp got up to 105.7. She started getting ill a few days after a rabies vaccine. The state I live in requires a rabies vaccine every 3 years. She has had all these vaccines before thought. How does this happen? Is the vaccine contaminated, a bad strain, or just her having a bad reaction to it? Trying to research because I will have thousands in vet bills and she was always so healthy and strong before.

  17. Jan Says:

    Hi RD. You asked: Is the vaccine contaminated, a bad strain, or just her having a bad reaction to it? It could be any of those things, but I’d bet on a reaction. I urge you to report it to the manufacturer. Better yet, if your vet thinks it’s a vaccine reaction, have your vet call. The drug company should pay for the treatment but it helps to have an insistent vet. This article on what to do when your dog has a vaccine reaction should help. http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2010/12/02/what-to-do-when-your-dog-has-a-vaccine-reaction/

    If your vet knows homeopathy, that will help your dog recover. Find a vet with homeopathy training at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/vets. I wish you the best of luck.

  18. Lee C Says:

    Holy Smokes!
    I really think my puppy has reacted badly to being over-vaccinated. I have been reading everything on this site including the links. I got our her shot records, and there it was – The Super Combo of vaccines along with bordatella and rabies, all on the same day! The first being 3 weeks earlier. Not to mention the oral AND topical flea treatments. She looked so much like the picture of Peaches above – itching and scratching until she bled. I have had her on a strict RAW diet for 10 days now. Giving her a 3rd round of TemarilP and bathing her in essential oil dog shampoo. She is a large mixed breed, weighing 30 lbs now at 5 months. My vet said allergy to flea bites – but NOW I know better! Is there anything else I can do for her? I feel fortunate she didn’t die. Thank you for this valuable information. Will she overcome this scratching?

  19. Jan Says:

    Lee, I suggest you read Peaches’ story at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog4dogs/2009/07/01/rabies-vaccine-skin-reaction-ischemic-dermatopathy/ I can put you in touch with Judy if you like and she can tell you what helped Peaches recover. Also read my article on what to do after a vaccine reaction: http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2010/12/02/what-to-do-when-your-dog-has-a-vaccine-reaction/

    Also, find a new vet! Yours is incompetent as far as I’m concerned. Read this article on giving multiple vaccines at once. It’s about the dangers for small and medium sized dogs, but applies to all dogs as well. http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/09/30/vaccinating-small-dogs-risks-vets-arent-revealing/

  20. Lee C Says:

    I have read all the articles and I am appalled. I can’t believe I never questioned my vet. I wish I had it to do over again. I will not be returning to that vet. There is a renowned holistic vet nearby. My pup is due for her 3rd round of vaccines – I will NOT be getting those, ever! Thank you Jan for your work here, helping the rest of us. I will keep reading and recommending this site.

  21. Stephanie Says:

    My 9 year old Boston Terrier was diagnosed with heart failure in Oct. 2010. He remained stable and in great condition until 5/9/11 when he received his rabies booster. Suddenly, he was constantly thirsty, his energy disappeared, contracted a parasite infection, and developed atrial fibrillation. He gained a ton of weight in the last two weeks and had 750 ml (the size of a wine bottle) removed from his abdomen on Monday. The same dog who jogged with me 3 weeks ago died yesterday.

    I wish I never had him vaccinated. I wish I my vet knew about the potential damage and had given us the option for an exemption.

  22. Jan Says:

    Stephanie, I’m so sorry for your loss. It sounds as though the vaccine put him over the edge. I don’t think “senior” dogs should receive shots, especially the rabies shot. Did your vet try to get him a legal exemption? Many areas now allow them. If they are legal in your state, I’d be very angry with the vet.

    Did you report the problem to the vaccine manufacturer? Get your dog’s records and call them. They may, at least, reimburse you for some of your dog’s expenses.

    I recently lost a dog I loved very much. I know how sad it can make you. I adopted another dog who needed a home soon after and it helped me a lot.
    I lost my beloved sweetie, but now I have a new one. It helps.

  23. Lisa Colley Says:

    Wow is all I can say. I took my healthy 11 year old Pekingnese in for shots yesterday. (Distemper, rabies and bordatello). Needless to say, today he is vomiting, lethargic, and salivating really bad. I took him back to the vet and he was given a shot for his vomiting (Cerenia) They took a fecal sample today, as he will be boarded for grooming next week, and he tested positive for hookworms. Shouldn’t this have been done yesterday, before the shots. He won’t eat, won’t take the de-worming medicine. I have a very sick dog and my vet of 18 years, doesn’t seem too concerned. Could it be the rabies vaccine?

  24. Jan Says:

    Hi Lisa. Your dog’s symptoms could well be from the rabies vaccine, or more likely, from the probably unnecessary distemper shot (were you offered a titer test instead?) or from the combination of shots. And why bordetella? It’s ineffective.

    I’d put off the grooming if it’s practical. Give your dog some time to recover. And why board him for grooming? It should be a short procedure.

    Re your vet, I suspect you can do better. Why give a puppy shot (distemper) to an adult without proof that it’s needed?

  25. Lisa Colley Says:

    Hi Jan
    Skyler is worse this morning, so I am going to take him to another vet. He won’t eat, and is barely moving. He however, is drinking alot of water, if set in front of him.

    Skyler can be quite aggressive when being grromed, so he is sedated. This is the reason for the shots having to be up to date, along with the Bordatella shot.

    I have never been one to take my dog for every shot, as I think it is unnecessary, but with the grooming issue that started two and half years ago, I thought I didnt have a choice.

    I will let you know how things turn out.

  26. Jan Says:

    Lisa, I’m so sorry Skyler is worse. I hope the new vet is helpful.

    Having to vaccinate unnecessarily is terrible. When he recovers, you might want to try clicker training if you haven’t already. It’s excellent for easing fears and replacing bad behavior with good. And dogs love it! My new dog, who is five and lived in a cage most of his life, is a clicker training addict. I can’t believe how quickly and happily he has learned. You can learn more about it at http://www.clickertraining.com/

  27. Charles in NC Says:

    Great info! We have a 13 week old boxer/terrier mix and will be postponing her rabies shot for as long as we can. NC law says 4 months but I see unforseen emergencies in our near future that will surely cause us to have to cancel and reschedule her shots for several weeks (evil grin) And I lwill surely be asking about the mercury free as well as the homeopathy :-)
    thanks so much
    Charles in NC

  28. Jeff Narucki Says:

    Thanks, Jan.

    My last few dogs have been senior adoptions and it’s scary to think that vets aren’t offering to do a titer on vaccinations first. My dogs had titers done prior to getting meds for a variety of ailments, and only recently heard of testing prior to vaccination/re-vaccination. Where do you see traditional vets on this issue and do you think that this will change in the next five years?

  29. Jan Says:

    Hi Jeff. Where do I see traditional vets being on the subject of testing before/instead of vaccinating? Who knows?

    There’s a new in-office test that is easier, cheaper and faster than traditional titer testing. (Read my article: New In-Office Titer Test for Dogs: Test Before Revaccinating) As more people like you demand tests, the tests will become more likely to be offered. The good news: more dogs will be tested instead of unnecessarily vaccinated. The bad news: more vets will use unnecessary repetitive titer testing as a replacement for vaccination income, which is also good news I guess. At least the dogs will win, if not your pocketbook.

    For rabies titer testing, there is good news on the horizon. The Rabies Challenge Fund is just one year away from having a USDA approved five-year rabies vaccine and titer antibody level. At that time, we can change the law to revaccination every five years, instead of three (or two or one in some backward localities). Two years after that, we should have a seven-year vaccine and titer. Please ask your friends to contribute to this dog-lover supported study. This is especially important for senior dogs.

    Also, note that many areas now have, or are adopting, medical exemptions to rabies vaccination for dogs who would be endangered by vaccination. If your area does not offer exemptions, make them!

  30. Kelly Leighton Says:

    I just went for our “routine” shots for my pomeranian. She suffered anaphylatic shock and died in my arms on the way home. We turned around and went right back and they revived her. It has taken a bit of a toll on her 19 year old five pound body! She is home and doing well, but I fear them now. If you want more information you may contact me at the yahoo address.

  31. Jan Says:

    Kelly, why is your 19 year old dog getting puppy shots? My advice: Fire your vet. And read this: Vaccinating Dogs: 10 Steps to Eliminating Unnecessary Shots Also read the end of http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2010/12/02/what-to-do-when-your-dog-has-a-vaccine-reaction/

    Good luck.

  32. Cheryl Plunkett Says:

    A year ago I took my 2 year old Italian Grey Hound in for his Rabies shot a month and a half passed his due date for the shot. The vet told me the shot is good for 3 year but because you are a month and a half passed the due date, he will have to get the shot again in 1 year. I Recently took him in to get his shot before the due date to get his rabies shot again a 3 year year shot. I took my little man home and 2 days later is face has bloody sores around his eyes he eye lids are swollen and they are bleeding. His noses is crusty, discolored and lumpy.
    I toook him in and they told me he has lupus, one doctor says a reaction from the shot. they put him on steriods but when he goes of it comes all back. I went into the doctor today, and I said I Reminded her how I Was late getting the shot and she told me he had to get another one again in 1 year. I told her that was to much for him he has 6 years of rabies vac in him. I brought in a beautuful health dog. ( know they have me buying al these medicines and doctors apointment and want him to do 300 dollars test. I want to know did they do wrong buy making him get a 3 year shot again because I was a month and a 1/2 late getting the shot. I look at his face and it breaks my heart.

  33. Cheryl Plunkett Says:

    With my Greyhound when I was in talking to the doctor. She kept say we did not do anything wrong. At the end of the visit now I want to know if you are all right before you go. She acted like a 300 test is nothing and I should spend the money.
    Well she doesnt know my life my daughgter has fibromialgia since she was 17 extreme and that is costly. I will never get a rabies shot again for any of my dogs. I know shes not going to report it either. She claming it not from the shot. well he was perfect for 3 year up untill the shot.

  34. Jan Says:

    Cheryl, no dog with lupus should be vaccinated. The vaccine label says “for healthy dogs only.” In many areas, you can get a medical exemption from rabies.

    You need to get your dog’s records and report the reaction to the drug manufacturer. They may help pay for treatment. Read the end of this article: What to Do When Your Dog Has a Vaccine Reaction
    You need a vet trained in homeopathy to help your dog. Steroids, in my opinion, are not the answer, especially long term.

    Find vet referral lists at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/vet Many will consult by phone if you can’t find one nearby. If you can’t find a vet, write me again. You need to treat this condition by treating the cause, not the symptoms.

    Good luck.

  35. Vaccination Reactions | www.CanineAdvice.Org Says:

    [...] Related links: Vaccinating Unhealthy Pets: Beware Reactions & Vaccine Failure Post your dog’s rabies reaction and read other readers’ stories here: The Rabies Vaccine and Your Dog: Side Effects Protecting Dogs From Vaccine Reactions Rabies Vaccination: 13 Ways to Vaccinate More Safely [...]

  36. Kim Says:

    This article came to my attention at a very fortunate time. I had a couple of client dogs staying with me and I was scheduled to take them in for their Rabies vaccinations on the day that I read this. I had taken them for Parvo/Distemper about 10 days earlier and although I had made the decision to have the shots done seperately, I wasn’t sure how much time to wait. I’m really glad I saw this in the morning before taking them nd after reading it I forwarded it to my client and we agreed that it would be better to wait a longer period of time. Thank you for this valuable post.

  37. Jan Says:

    Kim, how exciting to hear from someone before a rabies shot, rather than after an adverse reaction. Wait at least 3 weeks, but the longer the better. The older the pup is, the safer it is. Of course, the law sometimes interferes. Your client is very lucky to have you.

  38. Lori Says:

    This site has been wonderful for me. I thought I was crazy feeling like all these vaccines that are given are not always necessary. I get titers for most others and the Vet seems fine with that. Rabies is an exception for the titer rule.

    My 7 yr old Llabradoodle, Luna, is due for her three year rabies shot. She has been on Atopica (cyclosporine) for three years now for atopic dermatitis and I am nervous that this vaccination might cause her harm. She is clearly unhealthy — this medication is used in humans to help transplant patients with organ rejection! I am starting to look into getting an exemption for her and hope it can be accomplished. I am in MD.

  39. Jan Says:

    Hi Lori. Thanks. I am glad truth4dogs is helpful.

    Many states and localities readily offer exemptions. Others don’t at all. There’s a list of rabies laws at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/rabies-laws It doesn’t appear that MD offers exemptions. You can change the law! That’s how other states have gotten exemptions. I’d be glad to give you more info if you’re interested.

    I think you’re right to worry about your dog. Call several vaccine makers. Merial, for one. Ask them about your dog and whether they feel vaccination would be safe. I’m sure their labels will say “for healthy animals only.” Do they consider your dog healthy? They’ll probably evade the question.

    Having your vet’s backing would help a great deal. It all depends on your locality. Every city is different. Ask your vet if they have successfully gotten any exemptions. You should also check the law in neighboring states. If necessary, go to the media. A family with a dog named Molly successfully changed the exemption law in CA recently; it’s now called Molly’s Law.

    Good luck. Stand firm.

  40. Rabies Alert in Florida - Maltese Dogs Forum : Spoiled Maltese Forums Says:

    [...] make sure you insist on the new Thimersol (mercury) free rabies vaccine. How to Vaccinate Against Rabies More Safely | Truth4Dogs __________________ http://www.myladysdogbows.com/ [...]

  41. anita carroll Says:

    Thank you for all that you do, Anita

  42. Jan Says:

    Anita, I changed your email address as requested and also removed your email addresses from the comment section. And thanks; I’m glad I can be of help.

  43. Amy Says:

    Very informative. I wish I had seen this sooner. My Skylar was diagnosed last Aug (2011) with Fibrosarcoma. I did lots of research and there was very little info regarding dogs with this. I did see where in cats it was related to shots. The tumor was removed with dirty margins. The pea sized lump I pointed out before surgery, was there after surgery. The doctor said it was part of the scar. Wrong, it continues to grow very slowly. In March of 2012, I was told my dog needed her rabies shot. I asked about an exemption and was told they had never heard of one and there was not reason to not give the shot. We talked at length, in the end I gave in. Two weeks later, she develped uceitis, vet and eye specialist said Tick disease. After it spread to the other eye, the specialist did 4 tick tests, all negative. After ruling out truma, and parasites, it now appears that she has either an auto-immune disease or lymphoma. I know suspect related to her receiving the lastest rabies vaccination. Sad fact, I just found out the state of VA does allow for rabies exemptions. I have now taking to printing off information to inform my vet so she does not make the same mistake with other pets. We live in a small town (under 4000) and the next vet is 1 1/2 hrs away. Thank you for allowing me to be so long winded.

  44. To vaccinate or not? - Maltese Dogs Forum : Spoiled Maltese Forums Says:

    [...] is a new rabies vaccine made by Merial that is Thimerasol (mercury) free and supposed to be safer. How to Vaccinate Against Rabies More Safely | Truth4Dogs __________________ http://www.myladysdogbows.com/ [...]

  45. Jan Says:

    Amy, I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t believe you’re not angrier. No vet should ever give a shot, especially a rabies shot, to a dog with cancer. The labels read: for healthy dogs only. This is in part because an unhealthy dog may not develop immunity even though you think she has.

    Your vet should have gone to the mat for your dog, refusing to vaccinate and writing to the state for an exemption for a special case. The vet would have then known what she should have known in the first place: that rabies exemptions were available.

    She should refund every cent you paid in bills.

    Here’s an article I wrote on fibrosarcoma in dogs. http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog4dogs/2009/10/28/vaccine-injection-site-tumors/ It’s not as common as in cats, but is not uncommon.

    Can’t your vet read????? Shame on her. Can’t she Google? Can’t she call the manufacturer or the USDA?


  46. Rabies required for neuter? - Maltese Dogs Forum : Spoiled Maltese Forums Says:

    [...] free rabies vaccine. I would also wait 2-3 weeks after he get the vaccine to have him neutered. How to Vaccinate Against Rabies More Safely | Truth4Dogs __________________ http://www.myladysdogbows.com/ [...]

  47. Adrienne Says:

    My beloved 7 year old Miniature Poodle died as a result of the rabies vaccine. He was healthy on March 1oth when he received the state required vaccination, and on April 11th we had to put him to sleep. He had developed fatal encepholitis (swelling of the brain) . . . something your vet will never tell you about. He went blind, lost his balance, and suffered. I will never forgive the system that is in place and does nothing to protect our pets.

  48. Donna Says:

    Having had problems with the rabies vaccine in the past, I am being very cautious with our new puppy. He is now going on 5 months of age and has not had a rabies vaccine. I am planning on doing the rabies vaccine once he is 6 months of age. Question is can we do the 3 year vaccine? Would he need a booster in one year? I am hoping that he will not.

  49. Jan Says:

    Donna, you have to do either a 3-year or 1-year followed by a 3-year a year later. That’s the law. Also, two shots are required to form immunity. The info in this article should help: http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2011/08/23/rabies-vaccination-caution-the-devil-is-in-the-details/

  50. Stephanie W Says:

    I just found your article and had to write. We got a mini-schnauzer over 2 years ago. He had elevated liver enzymes and aortic stenosis.He had his rabies shot at 16 weeks and was never the same. He became fearful, anxious, rigid and stopped learning. We stopped classes because I worried about the stress on his heart. We didn’t realize at the time that it was the vaccine. We have spent the last 2 years seeking out alternative therapies for him. These are the things that have helped immensely: Osteopathy helped with his rigid body and brain fog. His eyes got clear and bright and his body relaxed and we could pick him up again. Homeopathy brought back his personality, curiosity, he has begun to run again, he is interested in life again and has stopped many of his obsessive behaviors. We also use T Touch daily for him and he loves it. As a matter of fact he comes looking for it and paws me until I begin the little massages. Hope this helps!

  51. Jan Says:

    Stephanie, thanks for writing. I’m happy to hear a happy ending for once.

    I wonder if I might ask you a favor? Please sign our petition (and share it and post it around) at Change.org — http://www.change.org/petitions/veterinarians-fully-inform-us-before-vaccinating-our-dogs-and-cats We wants vets to give us more information before vaccinating. It’s posted by people like us who have experienced vaccine reactions and who weren’t warned that such terrible things might happen. You could post a short version of your story as a “reason for signing” there.

    And please post it around and ask friends to do the same. We all need to work together.

    Also, if you would, let’s post your story at our new not-for-profit website all about vaccination. Just expand what you wrote here a little (or send it as is) and send a photo and your permission to post to me at dogs4dogs @ aol.com (omit the spaces).

  52. Kelly Says:

    My 6 year old boxer had her puppy shots and in the last of the series, she had a bad reaction where her face swelled up and she had to be taken to the emergency room. Fast forward to her 1 year shots, I was super nervous about giving them, but the vet would not work with me, or write me an exemption. For the past 5 years, I switch vets every time they pressure me too hard to vaccinate my dog.

    Well, I gave in last week and allowed her to get a rabies vaccine. I warned of the terrible reactions she has had in the past, so they “pre-treated” her. While she didnt get the facial swelling, I did notice a lump about the size of an egg where the shot was given. I called the vet and she told me to bring the dog back. I did and the vet determined it was swelling (not fluid) heart rate and blood pressure was fine.

    Now it 5 days later and that lump is still there. Ive googled the hell out of it and I cannot find anything about lumps that appear immediately (or within an hour) and do not go away. All I can find is information about lumps that appear a few days later, are hard, and the size of peas or marbles. This one is much larger and soft and squishy.

    Can you help me with some search words? I’m kind of freaking out.

    Oh yeah, and I am moving to Arizona in 6 week for my job. I will be “legal” for the next 3 years, but what after that? I am not vaccinating my dog ever again. As far as I can tell, there are not medical exeptions in Arizona (not that I have been able to get any vet here in Ohio to do it for me), do I just have live outside the law?

    Thanks for any input you may have.

  53. Jan Says:

    Kelly, you can relax for a while. Dr. Ron Schultz, the top expert in the field, says to wait for up to two months and then get a biopsy if the lump is still there. Where do you live now? I may know a vet who can help you. Or maybe you’d like a phone consult about it. Consults are generally pretty inexpensive.

    In the meantime, please report the reaction to the drug maker. http://truth4pets.org/reporting-reactions/ They may authorize a biopsy if the lump doesn’t go away. It’s worth a try. Also, get copies of all your documents to take them to Arizona. Make sure the vaccine reactions are in all files.

    I have a new website that is all about vaccination. I hope you’ll check it out. http://www.truth4pets.org

    I have also posted a petition. Each signature will send an email to officials in the veterinary community asking them to start stop enabling over-vaccination and to give us access to reaction reports. Please sign it and share it far and wide. http://www.change.org/petitions/veterinarians-fully-inform-us-before-vaccinating-our-dogs-and-cats

    After you move, write again and I’ll tell you how to change the Arizona law regarding exemptions. Laws have changed in 16 states and we’ll keep at them.

  54. Kelly Says:

    Hi Jan,

    Thanks for all of the infomation. I signed the petition last night before I posted. I will double check that my name is really on it.

    I will report the reaction to the manufacturer.

    Right now, I live in Columbus, Ohio. If you have any recommendations, I love to hear them.

    How do I get my vet to add the reaction to her file if the vet doesnt believe its due to the vaccine? When I took the dog back, she said the lump is probably due to the benedryl and steriod shot she got as a “pretreatment” I find that counter intuitive – espeically when my dog has had allerigic reactions to vaccines in the past.

    I will let you know when I get to Arizona. I hate that I have to own my dog illegally. I am a very responsible owner, the dog is fed, exercised, and pretty much spoiled rotten, but people think I am neglectful for not vaccinating her. Its maddening that I am not allowed make the desicisons regarding her care. I will help when I get there. I am all for public safety, but I think we really need to rethink the dog vaccination schedule for all dogs – even the ones who have no apparent reactions to the vaccines. Ill do what I can to get the law changed in Arizona.

  55. Jan Says:

    Kelly, it is your vet’s responsibility to report the reaction if it could possibly be due to vaccination. It must also be recorded in the dog’s file. The USDA threshold is possibility, not absolute certainty. And why would the vet give the shot in the same spot as the vaccine? And furthermore, there’s no evidence that the pretreatment does any good.

    An injection-site lump is a common reaction, and your vet surely knows this. I don’t know any vets in Columbus but you might check out the Vets tab at http://www.truth4pets.org

    Thanks for signing the petition. Please tell all your friends and family, post it on Facebook, etc.

    And don’t worry about your dog. It’s likely the lump will disappear. Again, write me if it’s not gone in a month.

  56. Cindy S. Says:

    Please,I have to ask for your advice. I had my 15 y/o 4lb Chihuahua go in for her check up & they told it was time for her rabies vaccine. She was on Enalapril for her heart they prescribed a few years ago & doing fine. She had the Vaccine at around 12 noon & seemed fine the rest of the day,ate all her dinner & appeared ok when I tucked her in & went to bed at midnight. However, the next morning at 7:30am I found her dead:’( She obviously had a seizure as her tongue was out, jaw locked down & teeth peirced through. She had also lost control of her bowels & it was clear she had been seizing by the pattern left in it. This just happened yesterday & we are so very sad & tears keep falling. I loved this little dog so much,she was shy & very sweet.
    Does this sound suspicious for a reaction to the Rabies vaccine, or could it have been a stroke? cjs

  57. Jan Says:

    Cindy, your story breaks my heart. You ask, was it the vaccine? Your dog gets it at noon and is dead the next morning?
    But as they say: when you hear hoofbeats, think horses not zebras.

    Could it have been a stroke? Anything is possible. Or maybe the stress of the vaccine caused a stroke. In any event, make sure the possible reaction is reported. That’s the only way things will change. http://truth4pets.org/reporting-reactions/

    You’re probably not ready to watch this yet — it will make you cry even more — but I just did a video on the horrible reactions dogs and cats can have to vaccines. When you’re ready, let me know. Join us in our fight. http://truth4pets.org/2012/07/vaccine-reactions/

    I lost my dog last month to a reaction to a vaccine given years ago. Few things hurt as much. I am not alone.

  58. Courtney Says:

    I’m hoping someone can give me some advice. My 15 month old APBT is allergic to everything. He has food allergies, outdoor allergies, he even got horrible hives after playing on a new area rug. Even though he’s barely over a year old, we’ve all ready had to deal with hot spots, ear infections, hives, etc. After trial and error, he now is on daily Benadryl, Allerg-3 fish oil supplements, Yucca Intensive, and coconut oil as well as a limited ingredient/whole food diet. Fortunately, he’s been doing great with this regimine! But now I’m worried. He had his 1st rabies vaccine as a puppy and didn’t have any adverse reactions…but anyone who deals with dog allergies knows that they don’t appear until the 2nd exposure. He’s due for his rabies vaccine (which will only be his 2nd one) at the end of the month and I am terrified he’ll have a reaction. He’s allergic to everything else so why not a vaccine? UGH! Is there anything I can do to PREVENT a reaction when he gets his shot? I’m scared of the “wait-and-see-what-happens” approach. My husband and I don’t have any human children – this boy is my world! I’d be devastated if anything happened to him. Thank you!

  59. Jan Says:

    Courtney, severe allergies should qualify your dog for an exemption. Check out http://www.dogs4dogs.com/rabies-laws to see if your state offers exemptions. You may need to find a vet who understands reactions to find a vet who will ask for the exemption. Find a holistic vet at http://www.truth4pets.org/vets

    If you can’t find a local vet who understands, check out this article: http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2010/09/23/rabies-vaccination-12-ways-to-vaccinate-more-safely/ But remember, you can stand your ground and change the law if need be. That’s how laws are changed.

    Where do you live?

  60. Courtney Says:

    Unfortunately, I live in Arizona which does not allow for medical exemptions and where titers aren’t considered acceptable. But I will do everything I can to help try and change the laws! I’m going to have to dig into this further. It’s absurd to me that I would have to risk my boy’s safety for a vaccine that he may not even need! What’s with the mercury in vaccines anyway? If mercury-free options are available, whether it’s for dogs or humans, why would we continue to use mercury? I don’t understand. But at least I know mercury-free options are available. I’ll be calling my vet tomorrow to ask about this. Thank you!

  61. maryanne Says:

    I have a 4 month old Westie and had her rabbies shot given this past wednesday. She now has a hard lump just over her right hip. Could this be from the vacine. I plan to call the vet tomorrow and report this.

  62. Jan Says:

    Maryanne, it is almost certainly from the vaccine. That’s where the shot is given. Make sure you report the reaction and that it goes into your dog’s file. Expert Dr. Ron Schultz says to take action if it’s still there in 2 months, although you might want to do something sooner. It will probably just go away, but watch for changes. Rarely, an injection-site tumor can form. Rarely! Don’t obsess! Just watch it.

    If you want to learn more about reactions, read: http://truth4pets.org/2012/07/vaccine-reactions/

  63. Lacie's Rabies Vaccination Update - Maltese Dogs Forum : Spoiled Maltese Forums Says:

    [...] than this one. I just did a quick search. That's the one I usually post along with Jan's: How to Vaccinate Against Rabies More Safely | Truth4Dogs __________________ http://www.myladysdogbows.com/ [...]

  64. Final Shots tomorrow - Page 2 - Maltese Dogs Forum : Spoiled Maltese Forums Says:

    [...] they don't carry it, find a vet who will. Thimerosal In Rabies Vaccines | Dogs Naturally Magazine How to Vaccinate Against Rabies More Safely | Truth4Dogs When the rabies vaccine should be given depends on your state law. In Florida it is required by 20 [...]

  65. Beware: side effects of rabies shots | Have dog blog will travel Says:

    [...] Note: a veterinarian/author who specializes in over-vaccination issues read this article and wanted to add a few points.  Click here to learn what this veterinarian says about preventing vaccine reactions. [...]

  66. Michelle Says:

    All this information was both interesting and heartbreaking. My Maltese Coconut is due for her rabies vaccine. Actually overdue by a year. She had a bad reaction when she received the rabies and bordetella combo and I was thankful it was taken care of quickly and she is ok but I refused to give her any shots since then. Rabies is mandatory in NJ and the vet is pressuring me. I am so scared of vaccine but also afraid of rabies since NJ has seen a spike in cases already so far. Any advice is appreciated!
    Thank you,
    Coconut’s worried mother

  67. Jan Says:

    Michelle, you are right to be concerned. First, your dog should never have gotten the rabies vaccine with any other medication. Second, experts say Bordetella rarely works and is dangerous.

    Please read this: http://truth4pets.org/question-before-vaccination/

    The good news is that NJ allows rabies exemptions. A good vet will help you get one for a dog who has reacted adversely to the vaccine. Check out the law at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/rabies-laws And find a vet who may help at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/rabies-laws

  68. Kami Says:

    I have a 15-mo old pure bred, Rhodesian Ridgeback. I waited until he was 11 mos. to get his first Rabies shot. Yesterday, just 4 1/2 mod. later, I took him to get his DAPP, Bordatella, Heartworm and Fecal tests. The Tech took him in the back to give him his shots. When she returned, she said, “Here is the sticker for his Rabies vaccine.” I freaked out! I told her we had had it in March. She was very curt and said, “Well, it’s not in our system!” I went off on her. Now, I am concerned about the impact on his poor system. Should I be concerned?

  69. Jan Says:

    Kami, several things have gone wrong. 1) The extra rabies shot. 2) a rabies shot given with other vaccines; 3) 6 vaccines your dog didn’t need. Please read this. http://truth4pets.org/question-before-vaccination/

    Make sure everything was recorded in your dog’s file, including vaccine names, serial #s, the redundant rabies vaccine, etc. Get a copy of the file. If your dog becomes ill, you’ll need proof of what happened.

    Next, fire your vet. If you’re up to it, write a letter to him/her saying why. Incompetence and/or charging for unnecessary servicing.

    Find a vet trained in homeopathy to help undo the damage. http://www.truth4pets.org/vets If your dog hasn’t had a visible bad reaction yet, that’s good, but it doesn’t mean that some damage hasn’t been done. A homeopathic vet can help undo any damage. Homeopathy isn’t expensive and can save you a fortune in the future.

    Feed the best food you can afford. Preferably raw. http://www.dogs4dogs.com/food

    You have a few things going for your dog. He is large and young but not a puppy.

    Should you be concerned? I would be mildly concerned. But don’t freak out. So far, so good. If your dog shows signs of illness, write again.

  70. Tracey Zyniecki Says:

    I have an 8 year old Chihuahua who was diagnosed with diabetes 6 months ago. We are still trying to get him regulated and he was due for his 3yr rabies back in January. We Never go anywhere, but have planned a short vacation to go see our son in Florida for his birthday. I have no family here and my friends do not know how to give him his shots for his diabetes. I wanted to leave him at the vet while we were gone so they could give him his insulin shots, BUT they told me today he must get his rabies shot, yet this is the same vet who told me we cant even think about it until he is regulated. Now after reading these horror stories I am freaking out about even thinking about getting him his shot. I feel trapped and don’t know what to do about our trip?? HELP!!!

  71. Tracey Zyniecki Says:

    Oh, I forgot to ask if there is a rabies titer test??
    Thank you so much!!!

  72. Jan Says:

    Tracey, you can do a rabies titer test but it has no legal use and is more expensive than other titer tests. It will, however, serve to prove that your dog is protected. If it were me, I’d ask Dr. Dodds at hemopet.com to do the test and interpret it. Hemopet is a nonprofit and she’s one of the top experts on rabies vaccination. Your vet can draw the blood and send it.

    You are right to worry about vaccinating with anything, especially rabies. Do you live in a state that allows exemptions? http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2012/03/05/does-your-state-permit-rabies-vaccination-medical-exemptions/ Even if it doesn’t, ask your vet if your locality allows it. Sometimes they do. If your vet understands how dangerous the vaccine can be, it’s horrible he/she would require it. People standing up for their pets is how laws are changed.

    My advice, if your state doesn’t allow exemptions, and your vet won’t protect your dog by allowing a titer test, find a holistic vet. They will know how to proceed. Find one at http://www.truth4pets.org/vets

    What your vet is worried about is his/her liability, not your dog’s health. Your dog needs you to stand up for him. Don’t be bullied into giving the vaccine.
    And here’s what you need to know about other vaccines. http://truth4pets.org/question-before-vaccination/

    The bad thing is that since your dog is well overdue for the vaccine, they may make you get one now and another a year later.

  73. Tracey Zyniecki Says:

    Hi Jan,

    Thanks SO MUCH for your response! I just took my dog to a holistic vet a week ago because the traditional vet was getting no where with regulating Little Boy’s diabetes. I couldn’t get her to return my calls after doing an in home glucose curve and thankfully I have found a holistic vet. The new holistic vet didn’t even want to talk about his vaccines until he gets regulated, but even after he is (hopefully) I don’t want to give him ANY MORE VACCINES!!! He also went through having dry eye for about 4 months a few years ago and I now wonder if that was an autoimmune response to the rabies vaccine??

    I live in Nevada and we do have an exemption for vaccines. I will just have to raise he__ I guess to get my boy exempt. I believe he should be eligible since he is diabetic and has liver issues. Boy the stress!!!!

    I have since decided that I will take Little Boy with us on the trip. Otherwise I will be forced to vaccinate him for rabies AND bordetella…NOOOOOO WAY!!! I did check into pet sitters but I just don’t trust anyone to be here on time to give him his shots. It sure is hard having a diabetic dog, but I love him to death and will do anything to keep him healthy and happy!

    Thanks so much for the information. You are so kind to help all of us with our beloved pets!!!

    God Bless,

  74. Jan Says:

    Tracey, it shouldn’t be that difficult to get an exemption if you have a knowledgeable, kind vet. If your vet won’t fight for you — that is, send a letter — then look for yet another vet.

    Have a great trip. I’m thrilled Little Boy gets a vaccination, too. One caveat. Be sure to take his regular food and water with you.

  75. Sandy Bartlett Says:

    I invest everything in the health and happiness of my two dogs. They have both had two rabies shots each but the law requires one every year. He weighs 110 and she is 25 lbs. Last time she developed a lump at the injection site which she still has. I read they inject in the hip now (instead of shoulder) so the leg can be removed if fibrosarcoma occurs. OMG!!! How can I do this to them again. I suspect he developed gastrointestinal problem. Will I go to jail?? I seriously want to move or do something illegally or something Help. I love them and can’t do this. What is wrong with this damn world and the health professional hand in Glove with law, pharmacueticals. I’d pay for the blood tittering somehow. This expensive test will be nothing next to surgery and cancer treatments. The problem is my area won’t accept blood tittering. Damn greedy world. How can people let this happen to our pets. Even if love isn’t the motivator what about the investment we’ve made caring for them.

  76. Jan Says:

    Sandy, rabies vaccination for dogs that have had their initial two shots are legally required only every THREE years in EVERY state of the USA. See http://www.dogs4dogs.com/rabies-laws There are a few backward locales that require vaccination yearly but most of these laws have been changed. New Orleans’s law, for ex, was just changed. There are also a few vets who don’t know the law or don’t care.

    Check your local county and city laws on-line and/or call around to a few local vets.

    Dogs with health problems or who have been vaccine damaged can get medical exemptions from vaccination in some states. http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2012/03/05/does-your-state-permit-rabies-vaccination-medical-exemptions/

    If all else fails, and you find that your local law is out of date, contact your state legislator about changing the law. It is out of step with state law, and even the manufacturers guarantee the vaccines for three years. Contact http://www.rabieschallengefund.org for help.

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