Animal Talk Naturally 1 hr. interview
with Dr. Jean
Dodds and Kris Christine, founders of the Rabies Challenge
Talk Naturally 30 minute interview with Jan about the vaccine and the
The three-year vaccine is guaranteed effective for three
years by vaccine manufacturers, approved by the US
Department of Agriculture and is the standard in most areas.
A 1992 French study showed five year immunity.
Habit, financial interest in the status quo, ignorance about
the duration of immunity and lack of public outrage have
kept rabies vaccine laws from changing.
Tell us your dog's rabies vaccine story.Please
leave a comment on our
Scroll to the bottom of the page and write a comment in the
box then click Submit Comment. For legal reasons, please do
not slander anyone. Just tell about the situation, not the
sure your vet records the reaction in detail in your
dog's file and get a copy of the file. Put it in a safe
place. When the rabies shot is due again, ask your vet
to apply for an exemption. And read our page on vaccinating before you give another
shot of any kind.
What are the
in your state or locality? Also check to see if your
state offers medical exemptions to the rabies vaccine
for health compromised animals.
hour DVD of
world-renowned pet vaccination scientist
Dr. Jean Dodds' presentation from our
Vaccination & Health Care
Seminar benefiting the Rabies Challenge Fund is
finally available. (Learn
more about the Fund below.) We also have
additional Program Guides featuring articles by
Drs. Jean Dodds and Ron Schultz. Proceeds benefit the
study of the rabies vaccine. Click here to
purchase the DVD now.
Have a question
about the rabies vaccine or vaccination?
Your questions will
likely be answered on this page. If you still have a
question, or wish to comment or post a story, scroll to
the bottom of
The Rabies Vaccine and Your Dog We will post
our answer there and it will also be e-mailed to you.
(Comments are monitored. No commercial entries or slurs on veterinarians by name please.) Posted questions are
answered before e-mailed questions.
does a rabies shot last? How often do I have to get the
The law: Every
state, although not every locality, requires rabies
vaccination every three years. You can read
the state law at
www.dogsd4dogs.com/rabies-laws Check with your
vet or a local shelter or animal control if you
suspect your area's law requires vaccination more
often. (Then get busy changing this dangerous law.)
vaccine is guaranteed by the manufacturer for 3
years, but the one year vaccine, which is usually
just given as the first vaccine a puppy gets, is
guaranteed for only one year -- although the
vaccines are identical!
your dog has had 2 shots (a shot at about 4 months
and another a year later), which he/she probably has
if your dog got puppy shots, your dog should have
immunity for 5-7 years or longer -- according to
experts -- although not according to the law.
The Rabies Challenge Fund is working to prove to the
USDA that the shot gives 5 years, then 7 years, of
What You Need to Know About
Rabies Vaccine To Keep Your Dog Safe
This link goes directly to Charitable Trust Website
Possible rabies Vaccine side effects
rabies vaccine is the only legally-required vaccine for
companion animals in the United States. It’s
administered primarily to protect humans from their pets
should those pets be bitten by rabid bats, coyotes,
raccoons, foxes or other animals. This is all well and
good EXCEPT that
the vaccine is known to cause serious side effects in cats and dogs,
many of which are listed below:
or up to 3 days after the shot:
Facial swelling Fever or lethargy Circulatory shock Loss of consciousness Death
Days, weeks or months after the shot:
Fibrosarcoma (cancer) at the injection site
(See Zsazsa, right) Seizures and Epilepsy Allergies Autoimmune diseases, including organ disease, allergies
and skin problems Chronic digestive problems Muscle weakness, especially lack of hind end
coordination Chronic digestive disorders Skin diseases
Dermatopathy / Cutaneous vasculitis Behavior problems:
aggression, destructive behaviors, separation anxiety
and odd obsessive behaviors (like tail chasing and paw
Dr. Michael Dym (Peaches' vet, see below)
sayschronic symptoms of a reaction to the
rabies vaccine sometimes mimic noninfectioussymptoms of rabies and "include
restlessness; viciousness; avoidance of company;
unusual affection; desire to travel; inability to be
restrained; self biting; strange cries and howls;
inability to swallow resulting in gagging while
eating/drinking; staring eyes; swallowing wood,
stones, inedibles; destruction of blankets,
clothing; convulsive seizures; throat spasms;
increased sexual desires; disturbed heart function;
excited and jerky breathing. Read his entire article on
Your veterinarian has a legal and ethical obligation to
fully inform you about the risks and benefits of any
vaccination. Read what an attorney and veterinarian
has to say about a vet's obligation of
any reactions you believe might be linked to the shot to
your vet immediately.
Get the lot
number of the vaccine used, brand name, date given and
location of the shot on the dog's body and report the
reaction and diagnosis to the vaccine manufacturer. The
manufacturer will sometimes pay for treatment. Have your
vet document every step of the dog's treatment and
detail the reactions. And have your vet sign his/her
notes and get a copy. This is very important!
You will need
the documentation to apply for an exemption when the
shot is due again.
us are warned about these possible adverse effects, and even
when our dog develops them, we are not made aware of the
connection. The vet may not even recognize unexpected or
rare reactions. Adverse reactions are seldom reported; all
reporting is voluntary. A federal reporting system
for all veterinary vaccines is needed. Read more about
reactions from the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical
Small dog alert!Melissa Kennedy,
DVM, PhD, DACVIM wrote in DVM360 on-line
adverse reactions in dogs has been found
to correlate with the size of the dog and the number of
inoculations given, with higher risk associated with
small size and multiple inoculations." This means:
no combo shots for small dogs. In fact,
NEVER GIVE ANY OTHER SHOT WITH A RABIES SHOT. Wait at
least three or four weeks between the rabies shot and
the stories of dog guardians whose animals have experienced
from the rabies vaccine. They are posted as comments
on my Truth4Dogs blog post on the rabies vaccine. Scroll down to the
article's end and read comments, replies by me and
several vets, and post your own story.
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is
ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is
accepted as being self-evident. --
Arthur Schopenhauer, Philosopher (1788 - 1860)
had a crash course in everything you need to know to
vaccinate your dog safely?
I'm working with a veterinarian to create the most
complete primer ever. The information will be low
cost and at least half the proceeds will go to
support a study lengthen the time between rabies shots. Sign up below and we'll
send you complete details when our Vaccine Project
is complete. We will not share your e-mail address
reactions (side effects) of vaccines here:
admits that vaccines are not tested for safety except by
vaccine manufacturing companies. Reporting agencies
report that vets do not reliably
report adverse reactions. (The FDA's estimate for all medical
communities is 1%.) The FDA relies on the public
to report problems
once the drug or biologic is released into the public.
know that a
Chihuahua and a Great Dane get the same dose shot? This
puts the small dog at a greater risk of adverse
reactions. You can legally do nothing about this.
Do you live in a
state requiring yearly vaccination? With USDA approval,
some three-year rabies vaccines are relabeled as one
year products. Your pets are being over-vaccinated by
receiving a full three-year dose every year.
Thimersol (mercury) in vaccines has been linked to
adverse reactions. Look for the TF on the label. Want
to avoid thimersol? Merial now makes
a one- and three-year thimersol-free rabies vaccine:
IMRAB« 1 TF and
TF. Make sure you see the "TF" in the brand name.
Manufacturers and the USDA
recommend against vaccinating sick or stressed pets.
If your dog is not healthy,
until your dog is well.
Do not allow matters of
convenience (yours or the vet's) to alter your decision.
Do not let your vet persuade you otherwise without
compelling need. Let your vet, and your dog's health, guide you to a safe
time to vaccinate. Dogs with allergies, infections and
skin problems, as well as dogs stressed by travel or
change, are not completely healthy. Read this to learn
Vaccinating Unhealthy Pets: Beware Reactions & Vaccine
**** If your
dog is chronically ill or immune compromised,
he or she may be able to receive an exemption to rabies
You will likely still have to pay license fees, but your
dog may avoid the shot either for the licensing period
or the life of the dog, depending on the situation. Your
veterinarian will have to apply for exemption giving
reasons and providing documentation. Some vets don't
like doing this, I'm told, but if at first you
don't succeed... Note: some locales do not allow
Read what some activists are doing. See the section
"Exciting News" below.)
For more information, check out
Medical Exemption Blog.
dog is due for a rabies shot, consult a vet trained in homeopathy
give a rabies shot within 2 weeks of other shots -- at
the area for at least 30 minutes after your dog gets
a rabies shot so that you can get medical help
immediately in case of a reaction.
give heartworm or flea meds, and do not worm, without
proof of need and never within two weeks of any vaccination.
suspect your dog is suffering a non-emergency adverse reaction from a
recommend consulting a holistic vet. Among other things, they
may recommend a homeopathic remedy to help clear the vaccine
from your dog's system. If you continue to treat your
dog's symptoms without treating the cause, you'll likely
be treating increasingly bad symptoms for the rest of
your dog's life.
Know that repeatedvaccination does not make an immune dog MORE
Renowned vaccination expert Dr. Jean Dodds
compares immunity to pregnancy:
you’re either immune or you’re not. Furthermore, if
you're immune to a virus, you're also immune to the
virus in the vaccine!
Have your vet document all reactions
to all vaccines
in case you ever need to apply for an exemption in the
future. Make sure reactions are
recorded in the dog's file, make sure your vet signs the
entry and GET A COPY. Don't be embarrassed to ask. This
is important. You need to protect your dog.
If your dog
is at high risk for rabies, know that the
only way to guarantee a dog's immunity is to have his or
her rabies vaccine antibody titers tested.
Your veterinarian can perform this simple (not cheap)
blood test. An animal may be repeatedly vaccinated and
yet never develop immunity if his/her immune system is
Your kennel, groomer or doggy day care facility may
require proof of rabies, but
more and more establishments
will accept titer testing.
If they require
vaccination more frequently than the law requires, endeavor to educate them or find another
establishment. Their ignorance is a threat to your dog's
The "one-year" shot is no safer than the "three-year"
In fact, as it has
to given much more often, it is more likely to damage
health. Worse yet, experts say that the "one-year" shot
is often a "three-year" shot that has merely been relabeled.
Don't give a rabies shot yourself.Although you can legally
buy the vaccine and give the shot yourself, you'll
likely have to have a licensed veterinarian give it
again because most states will not recognize your
vaccination as valid as they can't prove it happened. Also, you will not be equipped to
handle a medical emergency should your dog experience an
adverse reaction to the vaccine.
vet give the shot.
Do not allow them to take the dog into a back room. You
need to see where the shot was injected. Was it
subcutaneous? That is, injected just under the loose
skin between the shoulder blades? Or was it
intramuscular? That is, injected directly into the
muscle (usually the big muscles of a dog's thigh)?
Was it the right leg or left leg? Exactly where? If a
lump forms, and especially if it develops into a tumor,
you'll want to see if it's at the injection site. Also,
ask the vet to note the injection site in your dog's
file. Watch him/her record it.
If you notice a
lump where your dog was vaccinated, write down
its exact location and palpate (feel) it often to make
sure that the lump isn't growing. If it grows, or
doesn't disappear, contact your vet.
I asked vaccination expert Dr.
Jean Dodds on what part of the dog she, as a rabies vaccine expert,
prefers the shot to be given. She wrote: "There's no standard, but most of us prefer the hind leg
muscle mass in the gluteal area."
Jean Hofve, DVM and former Editor-in-Chief of The
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association
Journal, writes: "Ideally, for cats the Merial
Purevax recombinant vaccine can be used in place of the
older killed vaccines that can cause injection-site
tumors." She adds: "When vaccines were given
between the shoulder blades, these cancers were
inoperable because they would grow into the spine,
ribcage, and chest. This became such a serious problem
now it is recommended to give the rabies vaccine in
the right hind leg so that when a tumor does develop,
the whole leg can be amputated and thus the cat's life
can be saved."
Who regulates vaccines?
"CVM [USDA Center for Veterinary Medicine] does
not regulate vaccines. The USDA monitors adverse
drug reactions in vaccines and it is a voluntary,
not a mandatory manufacturer reporting
process. Vaccines do not receive the same scrutiny
as drugs. The testing requirements are different."
RABIES VACCINATION BEFORE TRAVEL
-- BE CAREFUL
within the Continental U.S. may or may not require proof
of rabies vaccination.
Check the website of the airline
in question. Flying internationally is more complicated
and may require antibody titer testing, a vaccination
linked to a microchip or tattoo, and/or vaccination
within a certain period.
PetTravel.com is a
good place to go for details. You must plan ahead.
vaccinate immediately before travel.
Your dog may experience a life-threatening adverse
and may die because you're unable to reach medical assistance
in time. Give your dog at least a week after vaccination
before flying. Check out vets on the road at
of your vaccination records in a safe place
in your home, in all your automobiles and in your dog's
travel bag. The records at your vet’s office may or may
not be available when needed and you don’t want to have
to revaccinate unnecessarily if your dog bites someone
or you have to board her unexpectedly.
HELP EXTEND THE LEGAL PERIOD BETWEEN
RABIES SHOTS AND WITH ESTABLISHING A TITER STANDARD
antibody testing provides good evidence that the rabies vaccine
persists seven years post vaccination.
The French proved, in the early 1990's, that the shot
lasted at least five years. The three year shot is
only guararteed for three years because that's how long
the manufacturer chose to test it. Testing is expensive.
Unfortunately, most laws
require vaccination every three years and some locales
even require annual or biannual
Renowned veterinary vaccination experts Drs. Jean Dodds
and Ronald Schultz (Chair of the Department of
Pathobiology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison)
are volunteering their time to conduct five and seven
year tests to prove how long the vaccine protection
lasts and to increase the time between shots. The
University is waiving its overhead fee--usually 48% of
direct costs. The second phrase of the study will test
the safety of the shot’s ingredients and will establish
an adverse effects reporting system--something
desperately needed. All donations go to the direct costs
of the study.
Part of the research being conducted by Dr. Schultz is
to establish a rabies titer standard for dogs.
What is a titer standard?
It could mean that previously vaccinated dogs could
someday have a blood test to test immunity instead of
having to get an additional shot. This is what
veterinarians do for their own protection against
rabies. They don't vaccinate unless titers are
By the way, the
term Challenge Study does NOT challenge the use
of the rabies vaccine. It merely
describes the type of testing done. Challenge
testing is the Gold Standard of testing and
is required by the USDA before laws can be changed.
Exciting News!All states (but not all towns) now accept the 3-year rabies vaccination
protocol. "There have been many developments in state rabies laws across the country
in which The Rabies Challenge Fund has had
a leading role -- the most recent being Alabama
passing a 3 year law this week with medical
exemption clause and Rhode Island's Rabies Control
Board passing a 3 year protocol with medical
exemption. It is official, now all states have
adopted the 3 year national standard! Not all have
passed the medical exemption.
(Massachusetts residents, please support this
Legislators and ask them to pass Senate Bill #784 and ask everyone you know in Massachusetts to do the
same. Find Your Legislator
$500 or more and we'll send you a signed copy of Scared
Poopless to thank you.
VACCINATING DOGS: LINKS OF INTEREST
Don't want to vaccinate? Learn about
the alternative to repeated vaccination. It is not
a substitute for rabies vaccination,
but is useful for showing immunity for this and other shots.
hosts a great
experts Dr. Jean Dodds and Kris L. Christine,
the podcast so
you can speed
forward or back.
This link goes
directly to the
page. It has
pages on drugs
that can harm
AAHA 2006 Canine
efficacy of all
in 2003 and
for vet schools
this link, then
click on the
small red link:
2006 AAHA Canine
Go to page 6.
2007, the Center for
Disease Control declared
nonexistent in the U.S.
Dogs will not contract
rabies from other dogs,
but only from wild
animals such as bats,
raccoons and foxes.
Read more about
rabies in the US at
the vaccines for parvovirus and distemper, which are
made with modified live viruses, the rabies
vaccine is made from a killed viruses. Why? Because vaccines have
been known to cause the diseases they’re meant to
***Interestingly, there is a vaccine which can be given
pre-exposure directly to humans, but
it’s recommended only for people at high risk
of infection. Dogs and cats are
vaccinated regardless of risk.
common is rabies in the US? According to the Journal
of the Royal Society of Medicine, there were 4 human
cases in 1997, 1 case in 1998, none in 1999, and 5 in
2000 (one was “a patient who had come from Ghana after
being bitten by a dog; all the others were thought to be
associated with bats.” Bats!