Rabies Vaccination: Caution! The Devil is in the Details

Written by Jan on August 23, 2011 – 12:01 am

It’s that time again: time for your dog to get her rabies shot. Wait! Proceed with caution. This is a serious medical procedure. And no, you can’t just leave it to your vet.  Please read on for answers to questions you may not even have thought to ask.

How long do rabies vaccines last?  The “three-year” vaccine has been proven by vaccine manufacturers, to the satisfaction of the US Department of Agriculture, to be effective for at least three years.  Despite this, many veterinarians vaccinate every one or two years. In fact, in a recent article by Edie Lau for the Veterinary Information News Service, the Vice-President of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association admitted that he gives a “3 year” rabies vaccine every 2 years!  Surely, these vets have seen the “3” on the label.  Or have read the 1992 French study proving five year immunity, or the blood studies suggesting seven or more years immunity. The Rabies Challenge Fund (a nonprofit funded solely by dog lovers) expects to confirm five year immunity in the US by November 2012 and seven years immunity two years later. 

Why is vaccinating more often than required a problem? In addition to the unnecessary expense for the office visit and innoculations, this shot can be dangerous for your dog.  According to a 2008 Report: “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).”

Adverse reactions, by percentage reported, include: Vomiting-28.1%; facial swelling-26.3%; injection site swelling or lump-19.4%; lethargy-12%; urticaria-10.1%; circulatory shock-8.3%; injection site pain-7.4%; pruritus-7.4%; injection site alopecia or hair loss-6.9%; death-5.5%; lack of consciousness-5.5; diarrhea-4.6%; hypersensitivity (not specified)-4.6%; fever-4.1%;, anaphylaxis-2.8%; ataxia-2.8%; lameness-2.8%; general signs of pain-2.3%; hyperactivity-2.3%; injection site scab or crust-2.3%;, muscle tremor-2.3%; tachycardia-2.3%; and thrombocytopenia-2.3%.

Even adverse reactions occuring within several days of vaccination are reported only an estimated 1% of the time (according to a former FDA official). Most long-term reactions are not reported at all — or even recognized. Long-term studies using a large number of dogs are not performed because of the expense. Long-term reactions, to name just some, include injection-site and other tumors, autoimmune diseases, lack of rear end coordination and seizures. Read the comments on my rabies vaccine reactions page for reactions reported by readers of this blog. And see other reactions reported by this holistic veterinarian.

Do you have a knowledgeable vet? Has your vet informed you of the potential health risks of the rabies vaccine?  Has your vet told you about the legal requirements?  Or explained about the possibility of a medical exemption for your health compromised dog? If not, why?

Why would vets (and localities) vaccinate more often than legally and medically required? Perhaps because of increased revenue from county license fees and vet visits, or ignorance of current laws, or fear that clients can’t be trusted to vaccinate on time. To my mind, however, vaccinating more often than legally required, and more often than manufacturers recommend, without informing clients of the law, manufacturer recommendations and potential health risks, is unethical and a violation of the legal doctrine of informed consent. It may also be consumer fraud.  

Why is there a one-year vaccine and a three-year vaccine?  World-renowned vaccination expert Dr. Ron Schultz, whose studies have been the basis for guidelines for the WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association), AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association), AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) and other organizations confirmed this in our  vaccination DVD (see below). In his report “What Everyone Needs to Know About Canine Vaccines and Vaccination Programshe wrote: “There is no benefit from annual rabies vaccination and most one year rabies products are similar or identical to the 3-year products with regard to duration of immunity and effectiveness.”

Ms. Lau wrote in her article, “Manufacturers’ representatives say a key distinction between most one- and three-year rabies vaccines is the testing they undergo to demonstrate the duration for which they confer immunity.” She added: “Some one- and three-year formulations do differ, but exactly in what ways is considered a trade secret.” 

That is, manufacturers test basically the same formulation for one year for the one-year shot, then stop the study. The three-year vaccine study is stopped at three years. How long these vaccines might potentially last is unknown. And manufacturer’s have no incentive to find out.

Is the one-year shot safer than the three-year?  No. In fact, it’s probably more dangerous because it has to be given much more often.

Why label the vaccine “one-year” if it really lasts three years? In short, to simplify paper work. The USDA requires an initial shot followed by another a year later.  That is, one-year shots require a “booster” a year later; three year shots require boosters three years later.The different labels make record keeping easier.

At present, every state in the US requires an initial “one-year” shot (around 3-6 months of age) followed a year later by the three-year vaccine, with revaccination  every three years thereafter.  

What you need to know about the two rabies vaccines:

  • If you give the one-year vaccine when the three-year vaccine is due, you will have to vaccinate one year later even if the vaccines are identical.
  • If you can’t prove the one-year vaccine was followed by the three-year vaccine a year later, or if a three-year wasn’t followed by another within three years, you will have to start all over again.
  • Vets lose records and make errors. Check the vaccine label BEFORE your dog is vaccinated and check the license paperwork and vet notes immediately afterward. Paperwork, not reality, rules.
  • If you are even one day late with the vaccine, and your dog bites someone, your local Animal Control will control your dog’s fate. They can mandate in-house quarantine or in-shelter quarantine or even euthanasia — depending on where you live. Proof of  strong antibody titers is not a legal substiture for vaccination paperwork.
  • A licensed veterinarian must give the innoculation and provide you with accurate paperwork. Otherwise, your dog will require revaccination.
  • Give the rabies shot 3-4 weeks apart from the distemper/parvovirus booster or any other vaccine, heartworm med, flea med, etc. Failure to do so will greatly increase the likelihood of a rabies reaction.
  • According to manufacturer’s label recommendations, only healthy dogs should be vaccinated. if your dog has a documented history of health problems, or problems with this or any other vaccines, you may be able to get a special exemptiono or postponement  from your local Animal Control.  (Consult your vet or local animal control for exemption requirements; exemption availability varies from locale to locale. Willingness to request an exemption varies from vet to vet. Again, you may have to vet shop.)

Which brand should you use?  All of the US brands used “killed” vaccines, not “modified live” vaccines.  A “modified live” vaccine would be too dangerous as sometimes, although rarely, it can cause the disease it is meant to prevent. 

Many of my veterinarian friends mostly recommend the Merial IMRAB TF 1 or 3 year. For cats, the Merial PUREVAX Feline Rabies.  But remember, all rabies vaccines have the potential of causing serious adverse reactions.  And some animals will react differently to different vaccines. 

“TF” stands for thimerosol free, that is, free of a mercury adjuvant.  Mercury is used as a preservative in vaccines, and can be present even if it is not on the label.  The ingredients are part of the proprietary stew. Many experts believe it to be dangerous. Note: Several manufacturers offer thimerosol-free rabies vaccines.

Unfortunately, most vets carry only one brand and it’s probably not thimerosol free. In larger practices, some of the vets may not even like the brand they carry. It is often selected by price, because the senior partner or corporate buyer like it and/or because one manufacturer’s rep does a better job than another. You cannot buy the brand you want and vaccinate yourself.  Most vets won’t even order the brand you want if you offer to pay for a whole case.

How do you get the brand you want? Find another vet.

So, as you see, rabies vaccination is a complicated, potentially dangerous, procedure. Educate your self and proceed with caution.  

Unless your dog is granted a rabies vaccination exemption, you are legally required to vaccinate.  Vaccination with any vaccine is serious business. Your dog’s future health, and even her life, may be at stake. Vaccinate cautiously.

***   Renowned pet vaccination scientists Drs. Jean Dodds and Ron Schultz spoke at my Safer Pet Vaccination Benefit Seminar in 2010.  Click here to purchase a DVD of the event, the proceeds of which benefit the Rabies Challenge Fund.

Other articles of interest:

Rabies Vaccination Medical Exemptions for Unhealthy Dogs
Rabies Vaccination: 13 Ways to Vaccinate More Safely
What to Do When Your Dog Has a Vaccine Reaction

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Posted under Medical Exemptions from Rabies Shots, Rabies Shots, Uncategorized, Vaccination, Vaccine Reactions | 36 Comments » Email This Post

36 Comments to “Rabies Vaccination: Caution! The Devil is in the Details”


  1. Steffie Says:

    What to do when your State requires your pet be vacinated?? I have personally almost lost two dogs to Rabies shots and one was done by a Holistic vet with over $700 vet bills to save him. Of course needless to say it was another vet that saved him. I think it is most important to change the law, not the vets. Our precious pets are not welcome at day care centers or any place where the law requires they have all their shots. It is not fair. Pets depend on us to do whats right for them not kill them. Just my opinion.

  2. Jan Says:

    Steffie, some states have added medical exemptions to rabies vaccination to their rabies law. It takes a while, but it is possible. Of course, if your dog is well, you have no choice.

    Re changing the law, I think the Rabies Challenge Fund is our best bet. They are attempting USDA approval for a 5 year vaccine, then a 7 year vaccine. November 2012 is the end of the first year. It is funded by pet lovers.

    Re changing vets, I do believe that vets trained in homeopathy are your safest bet when vaccinating. Of course, they aren’t foolproof. And some holistic vets aren’t really holistic.

    Also please read Rabies Vaccination, 13 Ways to Vaccinate More Safely. There are some good tips there.

  3. Beth Says:

    There is a reason that we vaccinate for rabies in America. (http://www.wwnytv.com/news/local/Fort-Drum-Soldier-Dies-From-Rabies-129163788.html)

    This is a matter of public safety. The federal government and veterinarians didn’t just get together and decide to vaccinate for a random disease that affects our dogs because we love them (or to make money). Rabies is a real disease that is transmissible to humans. And if immediate treatment is not received, it is always fatal. There is no law saying that you have to vaccinate your dog for Distemper or Parvo viruses (because the government doesn’t care if your dog dies of parvo.) They only care about protecting the public from zoonotic diseases. If you choose not to vaccinate your dog for rabies, that puts everyone at risk. And again if you think that rabies does not exist in companion animals, you have been misinformed. The one case of rabies that I’ve seen in my years of working at multiple veterinary clinics was a beagle. It was an indoor, family pet that belonged to a police officer. This family had 3 children. Thankfully, none of the children were exposed; however this family risked the lives of all of their children (as well as everyone in the neighborhood) by not vaccinating their dog for rabies.

    I do believe that many pet owners can be trusted to have their pets vaccinated every three years. But I live in an area where people have pets tied to a tree outside, and they only make it into the vet maybe once every 4-5 years. These owners absolutely cannot be trusted to run rabies titers on their dog every year. This is why the law still requires a one year rabies vaccine followed by a three year vaccine.

    Furthermore if you think that veterinarians are getting rich off of giving rabies shots, again you have been misinformed. In my area, rabies vaccines average between $8 – $15 per year. People spend more than that every month on cable TV, cell phones, internet, etc. Yet for some reason they still complain about the price of a rabies vaccine. Really?

  4. Jan Says:

    Beth, re profit: it’s not the cost of the vaccination, it’s all the extras added on when bringing in the dog for a visit. Do a wellness visit, not unnecessary shots. Please watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdPhj8Vq9ck&feature=relmfu

  5. Amy S. Says:

    Hi Jan,

    Thanks for sharing all this great information! I have used it in making the decision to opt out of heartworm prevention and learning a lot about dog vax as well.

    We just got a dog in august and waited until he was 23 weeks old and requested the vet give only single vaccines of distemper and parvo. This was given in middle of November. I just found out today that the Vet took it upon herself to give our dog two combo shots consisting of 1 Parvo + Adeno combo and 1 Distmeper + Flu combo. After having several conversations over a months time with her and her staff about our wishes her apology is not enough. I’m furious and wondering if there is any agency that I can report this to. It’s bad enough that he got the shots in the first place, but the thought of him being injected with these other things without our consent is disturbing. If there is any advice you can give I’d appreciate it!

    Take care!

  6. Jan Says:

    Amy, I don’t blame you for being furious. I would be, too.

    You can report her to your state’s veterinary medical board, and I would if I were you. I would not expect satisfaction, however. Vets, like medical doctors, police, etc., tend to protect their own. It will probably at most be embarrassing and time consuming, but the vet will likely not go against client wishes the next time.

    The good news is that your dog is likely immune for life. I’d ask the vet to pay for a parvo/distemper titer test to prove your dog’s immunity. You might also get a homeopathy consult to help undo any harmful side effects of the shot. Your vet should pay for that, but probably won’t.

    How did you find out about this anyway? I hope you’re changing vets and telling her why.

    Good luck.

  7. Amy S. Says:

    Yes we are changing vets. He had a follow up appt today for parvo/distemper titer and his first rabies vax. After re-reading the reminder email they sent I realized that it said dhpp was going to be given and I called them on that and both the assistant and the vet confirmed that he was given the combo at his last visit.

    My husband was already on the way there so the vet agreed to allow my husband to stay with our dog in the exam room (they didnt allow this last time) to make sure nothing more was given except the TF Rabies we requested and the blood draw. My husband has reported that the vet would not give free titer, but waived all other cost of this visit. I will be following up with the Vet med board. Atleast my complaint will be on record and may deter them from doing it to another pet.

    I know exactly what you mean about not getting any justice in reporting them. We’ve had similar responses when my son was vax injured. This is partly the reason for our caution with our pet vaccines. My son has been diagnosed with several medical and neurological issues after these reactions. Had we been fully informed about vaccines these things could have been prevented. We no longer vaccinate and even if we still chose to, we were told we shouldn’t. Not one of the many specialist he was seen by could tell us what part/ingredient of the vaccines caused the reactions so we have been advised to keep him away from all of them.

    This dog was suppose to be our son’s service dog, but due to our decision to delay the canine vaccinations we couldnt get him into any training programs at an earlier age. Having a healthy dog was more important to us because what good is sick dog for a child dealing with his own nuero and medical issues; right? So at this point we will be glad just to get him trained enough to be a good companion dog and not get on my furniture. 🙂

    I really appreciate your efforts to let people know about pet vaccine safety. Thanks for being a voice for our friends who cannot speak for themselves!

    Happy Holidays to you and your family!!

  8. Jan Says:

    Your vet should have never given the rabies vaccine with other vaccines. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. This vet makes me really angry.

    You might contact Marina at naturalrearing.com and see if she can recommend a homeopathic remedy. Try to head off any problems at the pass.

    Good luck.

  9. mandy Says:

    Okay so I cannot get a straight answer. If a dog has been vaccinated for 1 year rabies shot, is it good for three years? I was bitten by a dog that had the one year shot and its been a whole year since its had another shot. Should he be good?

  10. Jan Says:

    Mandy, a 1-yr shot is usually given to a young dog as the first vaccine in the series, or to a dog who hasn’t stayed current on the requirements and has to start all over again.

    Immunity doesn’t evaporate by the calendar, so you’re probably fine, but you should contact someone who is an expert. Write or call Dr. Ron Schultz at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He’s the top expert and I’m sure he won’t charge you. First, if possible, find out what vaccine was used and when it was given, also how many other rabies vaccines it had previously received, and when they were given. You can also call the drug manufacturer. The main thing to learn is the dates shot(s) were given.

  11. mandy Says:

    Jan
    Thanks for your response! The only shot record she gave me was that the 7 year old dog had its last shot on 9-5-09. She though it was a three year but it wasnt when we checked it was a one year because she had to start all over I assume. i do know the rabies 1 year was given in sept of 09. I am just concerned and to not want to take the Rabie treatment if what I read is right. Some people say that the one year shot last as long as the three year! What is Dr. Shultz email. I am just on a time frame here of whether to get the treatment which would make me sick if I did not have it. What is your opinion!`

  12. Teri Says:

    Is there a way to reverse adverse reactions to vaccines?

  13. Jan Says:

    Hi Teri, it depends on what the reaction is, how long ago the vaccine was given and the general health of the dog. I’ve seen the best results from holistic vets, especially those trained in homeopathy. Scan down near the bottom of my article on dealing with canine vaccine reactions at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2010/12/02/what-to-do-when-your-dog-has-a-vaccine-reaction/

    Good luck!

  14. Debbie Baker Says:

    My healthy 11 year old Yorkie who I have had since he was three months old had his shots on Sep 14, 2011. He had a five-way Distemper, Kennel Cough and a Rabies shot. Heaven knows I wish I had read this website before I allowed that all in one day. Three weeks later he was rolling on the floor, would not stay in one place for more than 5 seconds, seemed to be itching everywhere – and was crying – he has never cried, It made me cry. I took him to vet and he asked what “I” had changed. Nothing…He gave him antihisimine and later that day another shot. He also was getting hard crustiness in his ears. And was having some eye troubles and he kept giving him drops which never helped. Two weeks later he gave him Prednisone because itching was still present. We went to vet 5 times in three months and I felt were just treating symptoms that kept coming back so I decided to take him to the Specialty and Emergency Vet.
    Dog also had a bad cough, like gagging. They found some fluid between his trachea and his lungs which should not be there. It ended up being lympacytes but not cancer. Along with having the crustiness around his eyes and in his ears, I discovered it also on the front and back hocks and between the pads of his feet. They did lung aspirations and found he had lung inflammation and they took samples from his hocks and pads while he was under anesthesia. They said he had immunosuppression and vasculitis. Now I have read this is consistent with vaccine reactions but can I get a yes from anyone on this – NO. Can I get some type of reason why a normal, happy, fun dog who is an indoor dog, has never been in a kennel or around other dogs and has a groomed fenced area to go to the bathroom, would or could get what he as – NO.
    He has had numerous blood tests, ultra sounds, x rays, echocardigram – you name it – we are up to $3,500 now and there way we will give up on him unless he is in pain. He was on a high dose of Pred and now a lower dose, also on Pepcid (stomach), Tums (low calcium), Pentoxifylline and Doxcycline Hyclate and now has a Holistic vet and using some herbs. A non medical person has only their common sense to use and ask yourself what is different than when he was well and the only thing we can come up with is vaccinations. Why would anyone give a dog all those shots in one day – especially one that weighed 8.5 lbs. My dog is my life and now I’m not sure if he will make it – I even asked that question directly to the vet and got no repsonse. Why am I and all the other people here and those who don’t even know where to go for help have to put up with this. I thought they took an oath – FIRST DO NO HARM. My dog has lethargy, an eye infection, vasculitis on ears, all four pads, all four hocks, does not play, does not look happy, sits and stares,sleeps 23 hours out of 24, doesn’t walk much, waits to be picked up – sits in my lap a lot. I wonder am I tortuing him? Will he get well, I do not know, will he have lifelong lasting effects if he does live? You do not have to ask me if I will vaccinate any other dog without titier tests and certainly none in the same month as the other oness!!! What happened to being responsible. Are a good percentage of the vets related to the lady who spilled her McDonald’s coffee on herself???
    I am beside myself and am more frustrated than I have been in my whole life – it seems everyone is against you when you want to find answers and help your dog and others from this horrible situation. Everyone is afraid to say yes it is this and yes it was caused by this. Gee are they the experts – after all the tests and money – no one can really tell me anything helpful

  15. Jan Says:

    Debbie, hang in there. Call or email Dr. Charles Loops. He is a homeopathic vet and works over the phone and is excellent. And his prices are good. Another option is the brilliant Konrad Kruesi. http://www.crvetcenter.com Homeopathy is the only thing I know of that will help. Do it soon.

    Here are some articles that should help you. First read Rabies Vaccine Skin Reaction: Ischemic Dermatopathy at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog4dogs/2009/07/01/rabies-vaccine-skin-reaction-ischemic-dermatopathy/ Does this sound like your dog?

    Then read Vaccinating Small Dogs: Risks Vets Aren’t Revealing http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/09/30/vaccinating-small-dogs-risks-vets-arent-revealing/ This talks about a study published in American Veterinary Medical Association Journal in 2005. Yorkies are in the top ten of dogs that have bad reactions to multiple vaccines given at once. I’ll send you the actual study if you like.

    Next read What to Do When Your Dog Has a Vaccine Reaction (skip the first part) at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2010/12/02/what-to-do-when-your-dog-has-a-vaccine-reaction/

    When you’re ready, read Why Vets Don’t Recognize Vaccine Reactions at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2011/12/17/why-vets-dont-recognize-vaccine-reactions/ You need to report the reaction and go after the vaccine manufacturer for payment of your vet bills.

    You can very likely make all this better. I hope you like to read and confront authority! Let me know if I can help further. Jan at http://www.truth4dogs.com

  16. Debbie Baker Says:

    Thank you Jan – I cannot get any info from my previous vet as he does not affirm it was the vaccines and his office has said they have never heard of reporting incidents like this. I asked for vaccine information manufacturer, lot #, dates, whatever I need and I have nothing. I want to help keep this from happening again but I don’t know where to go from here. I am ready for war. Thanks for all the suggestions and help and love. And vets not wanting to ‘tell’ on other vets I can’t get current Emerg and Speciality place to say anything either.

  17. Janet Weigand Says:

    I found a bat in my backyard that was positive for rabies. I found it in an area I see often in my yard and the area my dogs donot go to. Because the bat was positive for rabies all the dogs are being quarantined and re-vacinated for rabies was required that day too. The little 5 pound dog was just vacinated 3 months ago. even with proof of vacine. She was real sick to her stomach for a few days and she just didn’t look well. I thought it was the vacine but others said no its stress because she misses her friends the big dogs that had to be quarantied for 6 months even though they have each had 3 rabies shots and they are only 3 1/2 what the heck. This will change my precious to us dogs forever Im affraid. It breaks my heart. I could understand the 30 days like the little one but 6 months and they didn’t touch the bat? Whats that about?

  18. Janet Weigand Says:

    The bat showed it was not pawed at or attacked by an animal. My dogs have been quarianted for 10 days now and no signs what so ever of rabies. They don’t know why this is happening to them. I have spoken to so many people of medicine vets etc. My vet said the antibodies were still in them even if they did touch the bat and they were re-vacinated asap so I was told I had no worries so why do they have to stay quaranited for 5 1/2 more months in 5 X 5 kennels covered completely with shade cloth. I really understand how serious rabies is, but if the animals don’t have it and had a preventitive why this

  19. Jan Says:

    Janet, you asked why this is happening. The answer: ignorance by animal control officials.

    Either they believe the vaccine is protective or they don’t. If they do, why go to such measures? A dog recently vaccinated several months ago is surely protected. Here’s what the CDC says: http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/pets/index.html

    Keeping them in kennels is ridiculous. Usually they are home bound. Here’s what I’d do if they were my dogs. The cheap route: go to local media and tell them what’s happening. Surely local dog lovers will be enraged.

    The more expensive route (maybe): hire an attorney or find a local animal law attorney who will work pro bono. If they will accept the opinion of the world’s top expert, I will put you in touch with him. Get them to quarantine them to your home if they must, but who could spend 6 months in a 5 x 5 space?

    Why aren’t they quarantining you and your human family members? It’s crazy.

    In the meantime, if you want someone who can help get your dogs through this with homeopathy, let me know. I’ll give you a referral. I’m most worried about your small dog. And by the way, your friends are sadly misinformed if they don’t understand how much damage two rabies vaccines in a short time can cause.

    We have a petition at Change.org explaining the damage vaccines can do. If you’re up to it, I hope you’ll sign it and share it. http://www.change.org/petitions/veterinarians-fully-inform-us-before-vaccinating-our-dogs-and-cats We have to stop this madness. Send it to those misinformed friends.

    Let me know how I can help.

  20. The 3 Year Rabies Inoculation - YorkieTalk.com Forums - Yorkshire Terrier Community Says:

    […] records you can go to any vet. These links are quite helpful explaining the rabies vaccine…. What to Do Before Your Dog's Rabies Vaccination | Truth4Dogs How to Vaccinate Against Rabies More Safely | Truth4Dogs __________________ B.J.mom to : Jake […]

  21. Doro thy Unterholzner Says:

    Our dog was vaccinated with rabies vaccine and the result was over a year of her needing to be on prednisone because of an immune mediated thrombocytopenia at the enourmous cost of over $7000. The side effects from the prednisone caused coat issues, healing issues, increased risk of infection which caused a pyometra, spay, inhibited healing causing an incisional hernia requiring repair…multitudes of blood work (every two weeks) to determine if reductions in pred. doses could be lowered…this all started in April 2012 and here it is July 2013 and we just finished her second round of prednisone because the first round was reduced too quickly and caused relapse…All because of a rabies shot…

  22. Jan Says:

    Doro, have you reported the reaction to the manufacturer? They may help financially if you press them. Also, they need to know what their vaccine is doing and have to report the reaction to the USDA.

    Also, you may need another vet. I’d chose a vet skilled in homeopathy. Prednisone is a damaging med and your dog needs a lot of support. http://www.truth4pets.org/vets

    If you’d be willing to write up your story I’ll post it on http://truth4pets.org/tell-your-story/ It will help others.

    I wish you and your poor dog the best of luck. IMT is a horrible condition.

  23. shannon Says:

    I don’t want to re-vaccinate my 10 year old poodle mix for rabies but my state requires me to do so in order to renew her license. What if I choose not to license her? I read that there is a $112 fine if you are caught without a license. I’m willing to pay that to avoid unnecessary drugs. Are there any other consequences to not licensing? Can they come to my house everyday and collect the $112 fine since they know my pet’s not licensed? I was willing to pay $350 for a titers test to demonstrate that she is adequately vaccinated already but they won’t accept this. I’m a law abiding citizen and a responsible dog owner but I never thought the two would be mutually exclusive!

  24. Jan Says:

    Shannon, please see http://www.dogs4dogs.com/rabies-laws. Also please contact a holistic vet. They are the vets most likely to help. http://www.dogs4dogs.com/vets

  25. Isreyl Says:

    Does anyone know of a vet in Jacksonville, Florida that offers the Merial brand of rabies vaccine? Or any suggestions on what type I should ask for if I ca not find the Merial brand? Thank you !

  26. Jan Says:

    Isreyl, you might check out this referral list of holistic vets: http://truth4pets.org/vets/ You’ll find more vets that don’t use mercury. And please read this: http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2010/09/23/rabies-vaccination-12-ways-to-vaccinate-more-safely/

  27. Martha Benzing Says:

    Jan, do you know why animals are not vaccinated for rabies with one of the only 2 rabies vaccines licensed for humans (derived from human diploid cell or chick embryo)?
    The other rabies vaccines, derived from brain tissue (from mice, rabbits, sheep, etc) had so many adverse effects that they have not been licensed for humans, in the US, since 1980. They are less expensive and still being used for humans in some developing countries, although the World Health organization has stated “The use of brain-tissue vaccines should be discontinued. WHO does not recommend any schedule using brain-tissue vaccine.”
    Maybe if we had access to a better rabies vaccine for our pets, the adverse reactions would lessen, as they have for humans.
    When I contacted Merial, they would only tell me that their vaccine source is murine (mice and rats), but that anything more specific was proprietary. I said that I did not want to know anything about adjuvants or preservatives, only the source, but they would not tell me.
    This is in contrast to the 2 human vaccines, RabAvert (Novartis) and Imovax (Sanofi Pasteur), both whose ingredients and source are fully disclosed online.
    I am sure that the safer human rabies vaccine is expensive, but I am willing to go without whatever, once every 3 years. We should have a choice. Do you think a petition might help?
    Thanks so much for dedicating your time, as you have, for so long.

  28. Martha Benzing Says:

    (continued from my first comment/question, for the purpose of clarification)
    I, also know Merial to be the best choice, and would not take my dogs to a vet using anything else. But, “Proprietary” arouses my suspicions. At one time, human vaccines were harvested from mouse brains, with many adverse reactions. If Merial is not using the brain tissue from mice, then why not make this known? Especially since this would satisfy the recommendations of the World Health Organization. I do not want to know amounts. I want to know if the vaccines for our dogs have been found unsafe for humans.
    I am continuing to search the laws concerning proprietary ingredients. Again, thanks for your time.

  29. mehtab Says:

    Hi
    I’m going to give my dog rabies vaccine and my vet says that after first doze it has to be repeat after fifteen days.and then every year . Is it OK .

  30. Jose Says:

    What happens when someone’s unvaccinated dog bites your 7 year old child on the face? Because such a would is proximal to the brain and nervous system (rabies could spread to brain within 24 hours) the child in the ER must have multiple excruciating shots in and around the wound, in the shoulder and in the thigh, with follow up boosters across a month. Even if the chance the dog is infected is remote, no parent or doctor would take that risk. What if the owner won’t quarantine their dog because they “know” the dogs is not infected and that the threat of rabies is “exaggerated” and all about profit (from websites similar to yours). That’s what happened to my daughter this summer. The consequences of not vaccinating can then put the dangers of vaccination on humans who are bitten.

  31. Jan Says:

    Martha, it also drives me crazy that vaccine ingredients are proprietary for pets but not for people. Contact your Congressmember and see if he/she will introduce a bill.

  32. Jan Says:

    Mehtab, the first vaccine has to be repeated after ONE YEAR, not 15 days. Thereafter repeat it every THREE years. Have your vet show you something inn writing saying what he says is correct. But don’t hold your vet for proof.

    Get another vet!

  33. Carrierwave Says:

    Being forced to innoculate our pet, I asked for the paperwork and vaccine info, and manufacturer. We made sure it was thermisol-free and copied the serial numbers and product code. Last time our dog was given rabies inoculation she was sick for 3 weeks and we thought she was going to die. She got very lethargic, and got a fever. and an odor of “dead fish” emminated from her body. She threw-up, and had diahrea, and shed alot. I gave her silver water 10ppm and milk thistle and beta glucans and she recovered. I really don’t trust anything anymore the FDA or other agencies of the government FORCE you to administer to pets, but the LAW can end up making you a slave to their mandates. We just had our dog vaxxed again, but I am supplementing her foods with beta-glucans and silver treatments that saved her life last time. Just beware and watch your dear pet for a good week AFTER the jab.

  34. Jan Says:

    Your state doesn’t allow exemptions? Contact your state representative and let him/her know how important this is. That’s how laws are changed.

    You might try Lyssin, a rabies nosode, as well. http://www.elixirs.com/prodSearch.cfm?ProductName=lyssin&ProductCategory=All+Categories

  35. Brett Schulze Says:

    Hi Jan- I have read some articles suggesting that TF may not be mercury free entirely in a rabies vaccine. Mercury can be used in the production of the vaccine too and the vaccine is still labeled TF free.

    Do you know of anyone who has requested and received a list of ingredients that are used in the production of a TF vaccine from Merial?

    Do you know if aluminum is used in TF vaccines? Thanks Brett

  36. Jan Says:

    Brett, I’ve only heard that ingredients are proprietary. They are strangely available for vaccines for humans however. It doesn’t make sense. It still wouldn’t hurt to call Merial and ask. It seems to me it may be false labeling, but I doubt the USDA will do anything. Maybe false advertising? About aluminum, it’s still secret, but I’d bet it’s there. Adjuvants like aluminum are used for killed vaccines like rabies. You might try Dr. Jean Dodds at Hemopet.org but I’m sure she’ll say the same thing. If you learn anything, please let me know.

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