Rabies Vaccination Medical Exemptions for Unhealthy Dogs

Written by Jan on June 15, 2010 – 10:42 am

Note: This letter by Dr. Jean Dodds is important to everyone living in a state (including California) that does not allow medical exemptions from rabies vaccination even if  vaccination may kill the animal.  See the rabies laws in the US, plus the states offering medical exemptions, at www.dogs4dogs.com/rabies-laws  PERMISSION TO CROSS POST.

California is currently considering AB2000, a bill to allow dogs with health problems an exemption to rabies vaccination until their health improves enough to get the vaccine. Early on this bill had a quarantine clause which was removed because of public outcry. This law, called Molly’s Law because Molly’s owners asked for an exemption that was not allowed, is supported by me and by the Rabies Challenge Fund.  The Concerned Dog Owners of California, another supportive group, report that AB2000 is supported by the California Veterinary Medical Association, Save Our Dogs, PetPac, HSUS, ASPCA  and dog owners all over the state.  However, the California of Public Health has recently come out against it.  Below is Dr. Jean Dodds’ response to their letter. It is posted here with Dr. Dodds’ permission.

BTW, Drs. Dodds and Ron Schultz, both renowned pet vaccination scientists, recently spoke at my Safer Pet Vaccination Benefit Seminar. We’ll shortly be offering a DVD of much of the event, proceeds to benefit the Rabies Challenge Fund. If you’re interested, please sign up at www.dogs4dogs.com/saferpet  Now here is Dr. Dodds’ letter.

June 14, 2010

 c/o HEMOPET       
11561 Salinaz Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92843 
714-891-2022; Fax 714-891-2123      
www. rabieschallengefund.org                                             

The Honorable Curt Hagman
California State Assembly    
Re: CA Assembly Bill AB2000  
State Capitol, Room 4116
Sacramento, CA 95814                                                                                                                

Sent by e-mail to saulo.londono@gmail.com                                           

Dear Assembly Member Hagman:    

I learned today from your staff person, Saulo Londono, that the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has officially opposed your sponsored bill AB 2000.  This decision by the CDPH is a huge step backwards for veterinary health care professionals, like myself, who need to be able to justify exemption from rabies vaccine boosters on a case-by-case basis. Your bill AB 2000 would permit a safe alternative for dogs whose illnesses were caused by a rabies vaccine, as well as those too sick to tolerate the rabies vaccine because of terminal cancer, kidney/liver failure, grand mal seizures, and other chronic diseases. 

The CDPH letter of June 8, 2010 states that “there is no scientific evidence that rabies vaccines are associated with severe or a high rate of vaccination reactions.” This statement is just false.  The letter goes on to state that “Modern rabies vaccines are safe and effective”, and that “A  recent study published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that rabies vaccines used for dogs —- do not result in a high frequency or unexpected pattern of adverse events.”  On the contrary, this same cited study found: 

Rabies Vaccines and the USDA/CVB

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).  Currently, 14 rabies vaccines are labeled for use in dogs. Before licensure, a product must be shown to be safe through a combination of safety evaluations. The field safety trial is the most comprehensive evaluation and has the objective of assessing the safety of the product in its target population under the conditions of its intended use. However, safety studies before licensure may not detect all safety concerns for a number of reasons, as follows: insufficient number of animals for low frequency events, insufficient duration of observation, sensitivities of subpopulations (e.g. breed, reproductive status, and unintended species), or interactions with concomitantly administered products. 

Reporting Adverse Vaccine Reaction to Manufacturer and the Government

There is no mandatory reporting of adverse reactions in veterinary medicine.  The 2007 World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Vaccine Guidelines states that there is: gross under-reporting of vaccine-associated adverse events which impedes knowledge of the ongoing safety of these products.” WSAVA 2007 Vaccine Guidelines http://www.wsava.org/SAC.htm 

Despite the serious under-reporting of vaccine-associated adverse reactions, the 2008 Report from the USDA’s CVB [JAVMA 232:1000-1002, 2008], states that between April 1, 2004 and March 31, 2007, they “requested manufacturers of rabies vaccines to provide adverse event report summaries for theirproducts.  During this period, nearly 10,000 adverse event reports (all animal species) were received by manufacturers of rabies vaccines.  Approximately 65% of the manufacturer’s reports involved dogs.” 

The USDA/CVB 2008 Report further states that “Rabies vaccines are the most common group of biological products identified in adverse event reports received by the CVB.”   During the 3-year period covered in this report, the CVB received 246 adverse event reports for dogs in which a rabies vaccine was identified as one of the products administered. 

The following clinical terms were listed “to describe possibly related adverse events in dogs vaccinated against rabies “ and reported to the USDA/CVB between April 1, 2004-March 31, 2007. For 217 adverse event reports – the clinical term is followed by the % of dogs affected:

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%.

The overall adverse report rate for rabies vaccines was determined to be 8.3 reports/100,000 doses sold.  Adverse events considered possibly related to vaccination included acute hypersensitivity (59%); local reactions (27%); systemic reactions, which refers to short-term lethargy, fever, general pain, anorexia, or behavioral changes, with or without gastrointestinal disturbances starting within 3 days after vaccination (9%); autoimmune disorders (3%); and other (2%).  

While there may be no contraindications listed on the label for canine rabies vaccines, the labeling instructions on vaccine products clearly instruct veterinarians to only vaccinate healthy dogs.   I submit that the dogs for which medically justified exemptions from rabies boosters are sought are not healthy. 

The CDPH “believes that passage of AB 2000 could increase the risk to the public health by allowing dogs to be exempted from current rabies vaccination requirements.”  This statement lacks credibility, as the number of dogs eligible for exemptions statewide would be small and such exemptions require that a primary care veterinarian justify them on a case-by-case basis.  To deny these animals the opportunity to  avoid serious or even fatal adverse events from rabies vaccines just encourages pet owners to break the law to save their pets from harm. They would then join the approximate 50% of pet owners in our State  that fail to vaccinate their dogs at all.  It is those that flaunt the law and never comply that we should seek out, rather than penalizing the few unfortunate pets and owners whose dogs cannot tolerate rabies boosters.  

Finally, the CDPH letter states “ Standard veterinary immunization protocols already exist to prevent vaccine adverse reactions.”  I know of no such standard protocols, and further, one often cannot predict which animals will react adversely without a prior history of reaction or family predisposition. 


W. Jean Dodds, DVM                                                                                                  
Co -Trustee, Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust;
President, Hemopet                                                                                                                                                 
The Rabies Challenge Fund  is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization [Fed. EIN # 84-6390682]
Hemopet, dba Pet Life-Line, is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization [Fed. EIN # 95-4063237]

Other articles of interest:
Rabies Vaccine and Your Dog: Side Effects
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 dogs
Posted under Medical Exemptions from Rabies Shots, Rabies Shots, Vaccination | 26 Comments » Email This Post

26 Comments to “Rabies Vaccination Medical Exemptions for Unhealthy Dogs”

  1. Barbara Rogers Says:

    Hi, not sure who will notice this, but I am trying to find help on how to learn more and fight the system here in Connecticut so that legally they WILL accept titers in the future. I have been at war with the Dept. of Agriculture for two years now. They granted me an official Rabies exemption last year, but now they won’t do it. And it comes down to acknowledging the validity of titers. I just had my dog titered again at the end of 2009, FIVE YEARS after his last disastrous rabies vaccine, his titer level is FINE . But they have always refused to acknowledge it. And I’m so sick of this. It just doesn’t seem like they even care about the health of our dogs.

    In addition, when I called this time, the vet who I have been forced to talk to at the State Dept. of Agriculture, left me a voice mail and made it sound like oh, all I have to do is talk to your vet. And that was a blatant misrepresentation to me, as upon talking to my vet, she informed her she refuses to allow the exemption. Well, if my dog had an adverse reaction FIVE YEARS ago, then how has anything change? Does she think that last year he was at risk but this year he is not?

    So now I am being forced to give him the Rabies vaccine tomorrow and I will wind up just crying and enraged all night. Fortunately, this time it will be with our HOLISTIC vet, who will do everything she can (and there are several things) to try to soften the blow to my dog’s health. But if ANYTHING happens with my dog, well then the gloves are off, you can bet on that.

    Okay, so I’m off track here because I’m so angry, but what I want to know is, where can I start to gather what I will need to fight these morons in the legislature? I want to know who is on the panels that makes recommendations here. (Who’s willing to bet there are “industry experts” on there, i.e. representatives from rabies vaccine manufacturers?) I want to know the technical reasons why they aren’t acknowledging titers. I want to know if there are groups that can spearhed this in CT. And anything else that I haven’t thought of yet. Is a new email list needed to garner support? I’m happy to start a yahoo group.

    So ANY help of where to start with some of this would be HUGELY appreciated. And as for the Rabies Challenge Fund, YOU GO DR. DODDS! Want any data from me? I’ve got it!

  2. Jan Says:

    Barbara, Connecticut law contains an exemption for medical problems. I don’t know what they are giving you a problem. Insist on an exemption. Here’s the law:

    7. CONNECTICUT RABIES LAWS (WITH medical exemption)– Connecticut Rabies Law Title 22 Section 338 http://cga.ct.gov/2007/pub/Chap435.htm#Sec22-338.htm

    Sec. 22-339b. Rabies vaccination required for dogs and cats. Exemption from rabies vaccination. Rabies vaccination exemption certificate. Veterinarian appeal. Penalty. (a) Any owner or keeper of a dog or cat of the age of three months or older shall have such dog or cat vaccinated against rabies. Any animal vaccinated prior to one year of age or receiving a primary rabies vaccine at any age shall be considered protected for only one year and shall be given a booster vaccination one year after the initial vaccination and shall be vaccinated at least every three years thereafter. Those animals revaccinated after one year of age shall be given booster vaccinations at least every three years thereafter. Proof of vaccination shall be a certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian in accordance with subsection (a) of section 22-339c.

    (b) The State Veterinarian or the Commissioner of Agriculture, or the commissioner’s designee, may grant an exemption from vaccination against rabies for a dog or cat if a licensed veterinarian has examined such animal and determined that a rabies vaccination would endanger the animal’s life due to disease or other medical considerations. Such exemption may be granted for an individual animal only after the veterinarian has consulted with the State Veterinarian, the Commissioner of Agriculture, or the commissioner’s designee, and completed and submitted to the department an application for exemption from rabies vaccination on a form approved by the Department of Agriculture. After approval of such exemption, the department shall issue a rabies vaccination exemption certificate, copies of which shall be provided to the veterinarian, the owner of the dog or cat exempted from rabies vaccination and the animal control officer of the municipality in which the owner of the dog or cat resides. Certification that a dog or cat is exempt from rabies vaccination shall be valid for one year, after which time the animal shall be vaccinated against rabies or the application for exemption shall be renewed.

    (c) Any veterinarian aggrieved by a denial of a request for an exemption from rabies vaccination by the State Veterinarian, the Commissioner of Agriculture or the commissioner’s designee may appeal such denial as provided in the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act, sections 4-166 to 4-189, inclusive.

    (d) Any violation of this section shall be an infraction.

  3. Carolyn Says:

    Am I the only one to see the irony of Dr. Dodds having to fight this in her own state — I’d thought CA was ahead of the rest of us. She and Jan were both so helpful to me when my dog first had a reaction to the rabies vaccine and encouraged me to investigate titer testing. Dr. Dodds is a real hero.

    To Barbara — I had a couple of vets that did not acknowledge the validity of titer testing and wanted no part of it. I kept searching until I finally found someone that did. Good luck and don’t give up.

  4. carlie Says:

    I am concerned because i have three chihuahuas here in nevada, in nye county, 60 miles from las vegas, i dont know if its required, but my chs, are 10 lbs, 6 and my little boy is only 4 lsb, they all had all three parvo shots, and the little one he just got sleepy, but he is so sensitive to even his food that i just panic to think about him getting this rabies shot, hes 4 months old and the others are 8 months old. i do not want to get these shots

  5. Jan Says:

    If possible, wait at least three weeks between other shots and any medication before getting the rabies shot. You should get titer tests to prove immunity to other shots and then not give them again if immunity is proved. Read about titer testing at https://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/category/titertesting/ Read about avoiding vaccine reactions at https://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/10/08/protecting-dogs-from-vaccine-reactions/

  6. Caroleigh Heaton Says:

    Hi, Jan ~ I’m finding it very difficult to figure out exactly what my rights are re: mandatory rabies vaccination in TN. My vet told me recently that the law has changed from requiring revaccination every year to once every 3 years. I am assuming that this is due to a changed recommendation in “the most recent issue of the national ‘Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control’ published by the Association of State Public Health Veterinarians..” I have 2 small dogs (9 and 10 lbs.). My 6 yr. old poodle/chihuahua, in excellent health, has been titer-tested for the past 2 years (good immunity), but, by law, is due to be revaccinated. Neither I nor my vet believes this is necessary, and I don’t want her to receive another vaccine. My younger dog, a 2.5 year-old poodle, received his puppy vaccines and one-year boosters, then was titer-tested last year (titers also good). About a year ago, Remy was diagnosed with SLO (Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy), an auto-immune disease. Through much study and trial-and error treatment, we seem to have finally gotten it under control. His SLO is in remission; his claws are strong again and growing, and he is on the lowest doses of the “least offensive” (as my vet says) medications and high quality supplements he can be, for now, without triggering a relapse. I believe that vaccines may have been a cause of his SLO, and I feel strongly that vaccinating any dog with an immune-system disfunction is ill-advised. My vet agrees – as long as Remy’s titers are good, vaccination for him is high-risk and not recommended. What ARE my rights in TN? Thank you for your help 🙂

  7. Jan Says:

    Caroleigh, I am not an attorney (or a vet) but I’m pretty sure that titer tests won’t be allowed in lieu of vaccination. They aren’t anyplace that I know.

    One problem is that the USDA does not recognize a “titer standard” for rabies vaccines. The Rabies Challenge Fund (www.rabieschallengefund.org) is working on producing a titer standard. They are in their fourth year and will do titers at the end of year five, and will also prove that the vaccine lasts 5 years. I hope you’ll support their work.

    Re vaccinating an immune-compromised dog, even manufacturers advise against it. Your best bet is to try to change the law. People are doing it all over the country. Find your current law at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/rabies-laws . Check out “The Rabies Challenge Fund” page on Facebook for more info on how people are changing the laws in other states. You need to get your state representative to sponsor a bill. It sounds as though your vet might help.

    In the meantime, you can try a titer test, copies of laws allowing exemptions in other states, a copy of Dr. Dodds letter, and perhaps a letter from a vaccine manufacturer — which will likely be hard to get. Their labels say “for healthy dogs only,” but they don’t say what “healthy dogs” means and are loathe to limit sales in any way.

    BTW, titer testing yearly isn’t really necessary. The top experts say test titers for parvo and distemper once, get a strong test, then presume lifetime immunity. It’s a little different for the rabies titer, but as it has no legal use in the US except for importing dogs to Hawaii, is probably not necessary unless you are worried about your dog being exposed to rabid animals.

  8. Darla Says:

    Does anyone have any sucess stories of importing dogs to Hawaii without a current rabies vaccination? My 2 yr old Lhasa Apso/Poodle mix had a severe reaction to rabies/multiple shots a year ago and was very lucky to have survived after actually turning blue and pretty much checking out, rushed to other vet for emergency treatment. We are tying to relocate to Hawaii and am wondering if there is any hope of a vet letter for exemption?

  9. Jan Says:

    Darla, I have three thoughts. 1: Try contacting a vet in Hawaii for assistance. Check out the veterinarian referral list at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/vets
    2: See if a vet here will provide documentation of your dog’s vaccine reaction. Do a rabies titer test and see if titers meet Hawaii’s high standards. This may be a waste of money, I warn you.
    3. If all else fails, and you don’t want to leave your dog here, find a good holistic vet and have him/her vaccinate your dog. This vet will be able to provide support other vets may not know about. And I don’t been Benadryl and steroids.

    Sorry, but that’s all I have.

  10. Crystal Says:

    Hi, I am having a very hard time finding information regarding the rabies vaccination safety in a puppy that survived distemper. I got my puppy when he was 3 months old and 3 days afterward became very ill. I have worked around vets for 3 years and had him tested for multiple things the outcome, first he had giardia, then distemper with a mycoplasm infection as well as a multitude of other complications due to distemper. After thousands of dollars he made it through the distemper and then found that he also had scabies. The distemper did break the blood brain barrier and he is left with a pretty severe myoclonic twitch and also knuckles on one side, also all of his joints now are loose and pop with every movement . He is now 9 months old and made it through his normal puppy shots but I am very leary to give him his rabies vaccination due to how it works. Additionally I would really like to have him nuetered but my vet is a little leary about that due to all that has already happened she states that he could die under anesthesia. Would it be safe to give the vaccination, and if not I am in Ca and need to start fighting for rabies exemptions. Thank you

  11. Jan Says:

    Crystal, thanks for posting your story.

    BostonTerriers are among the small dogs who have the most adverse reactions to shots, especially multiple vaccines (as in combo shots) given at once. See my article: https://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/09/30/vaccinating-small-dogs-risks-vets-arent-revealing/

    Then read https://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2010/12/02/what-to-do-when-your-dog-has-a-vaccine-reaction/ There will be info there on what to do now. Especially, see a vet with experience in homeopathy.

    I hope this helps.

  12. Evelyn Says:

    I have a maltese dog, and she has just gotten a combo shot and bordetella last weekend before I saw all this information. She got her rabies and the DHLPP last year but I was told by the person at the vet clinic at petco that she would need the DHLPP again this year. Now I know she doesn’t need it every year… (she is almost 2 and half) I decided to do some research because the vet doing the shots was telling me about a “very scary parasite that used to be only on the east coast but now is shwoing here” – heartworm.. and she wanted us to let our dog get tested right there and then if negative put her on a “preventative.” my husband was smart and he decided to do some resaerch first since we had a bad experience with flea/tick medicine before.
    My question is … does she EVER need DHLPP again in her life?? it seems like you propose that she wouldn’t need it as she is an adult.. but some people insist that there is no proof that vaccines last over 3 years… My mom also have two dogs and they are both 10 years old… one has cushings disease.. it would help very much if I can just know what to do about giving them the necessary or not giving them the unnecessary shots- specifically DHLPP.. since rabies i know is required by law.
    Thank you so much for your time.

  13. Jan Says:

    Evelyn, it’s amazing your dog is okay. Small dogs should never ever get multiple vaccines at once. Ever. Each vaccine increases the reaction rate by 25%. Any competent vet should know this. It was reported in the AVMA Journal. Your dog got six vaccines at once! And toy breeds shouldn’t get Leptospiroris except in extreme cases. Read about the problems of DHLPP and other shots here: https://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/09/30/vaccinating-small-dogs-risks-vets-arent-revealing/

    Does your dog need DHLPP again? If she’s an adult, that is over 4 months of age, she probably didn’t need it in the first place. Please read this about eliminating unnecessary canine vaccines.

    Puppy shots are for puppies! Vaccinating a 10-year-old dog can be very dangerous. And no dog with Cushings should be vaccinated at all. The dog should be able to get a medical exemption for rabies vaccination. If you want proof that your dog has immunity, give a titer test. Learn about it here. https://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2008/10/22/titer-test/

    And don’t see that vet again. See a vet who is practicing medicine in the 21st Century!

  14. Evelyn Says:

    Thank you so much for your response and I am just glad that she is okay- and HOPE that she will stay okay. I live in California and it seems like the law hasn’t passed here to let dogs who are ill to be exempt from rabies vaccine… am I right? The information I saw on your site regarding this was from 2010.. Has there been a change since then? If the law hasn’t passed how should I go about asking for exemption from the vaccines? Thank you once again! for once there is somebody who really cares about dogs!

  15. Dan Says:

    I just lost my best friend, Bella, a 8 1/2 year old Airedale to bone cancer. Those in the know, know this is the painful type of canince cancer and how she came down with it was very questionable. But I had wanted to administer some holistic techniques, supplements to bolster her auto-immune system since she wasn’t a candidate for “wacking off” her rear leg which the vet said was the only solution! A statement I now question. As things progressed, she developed canine anorexia because of the pain and stopped eating. The vet wouldn’t write a prescription for Rimadyl because her “booster’ shot had expired by 3 DAYS! My wife, against my protests, took her and had the booster shot administered so she could ge the pain meds. Needless to say that only accellerated the disease and within a week we had to have her euthanized. It wasn’t fair to her, to us, to let her suffer. Ironically, we got the Rimidyl 3 days after her passing but I don’t think it would have helped, the damage from the live virus was done. I’ve gone through various stages of grief and right now I’m mad! Who do I lobby to have this rediculous law changed? I’ve already made the decision that I will no longer have any vaccines administered beyond puppy shots,and my next Airedales’ diet will be homemade and raw with supplements for vitamins and calcium. Fortunately, I have a holistic vet very close. I only wish i’d seen him first before a lot of things happened. BTW I live in PA.

  16. Jan Says:

    Dan, vaccines, according to all experts and the drug makers themselves, are to be given to healthy dogs only. Your vet is a callous moron. Immunity doesn’t expire on a calendar date and even the most ignorant vet knows that.

    I think you should file a complaint against him/her with your state veterinary board. Vaccinating a dog with cancer is like throwing gasoline on a fire. At the least, it will embarrass him/her.

    To change the law it helps to have a named animal, like yours, who died soon after the shot. Gather your videos and pictures and put something on youtube. Send photos and your story to the local media and your local state legislative representation. The video here might help. http://truth4pets.org/2012/07/vaccine-reactions/

    I presume the shot was for rabies? Make sure that your state doesn’t already have a law. https://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2012/03/05/does-your-state-permit-rabies-vaccination-medical-exemptions/ Go to http://www.dogs4dogs.com/contact to write me personally and I’ll put you in touch with someone who can help after you’ve assembled your ammunition.

    Also read this letter https://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2010/06/15/rabies-vaccination-medical-exemptions-for-unhealthy-dogs/ It helped change the law in California.

  17. This is why it is a bad idea to Vaccinate at 12 weeks | The Wellbeing of All Creatures Says:

    […] Read what nationally renowned California vaccine expert Dr. Jean Dodds wrote to the CA Assembly when she advocated exemptions to rabies vaccination for dogs with health problems (which became Molly’s Law): https://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2010/06/15/rabies-vaccination-medical-exemptions-for-unhealthy-dogs/ […]

  18. Mar J Says:

    My state has is one of the ones that has an exemption for rabies vaccinations. However, the local county government where I live does not. Do you know which one takes precedence? Thanks!

  19. Nancy Says:

    VA has an exemption law; but it doesn’t state how you can get the exemption other than if the an animal suffers from an underlying medical condition. My Sheltie has dermatomyositis and while it is a mild version of it she has a few breakouts. I don’t want to vaccinate her anymore but not sure what I need to do to get this exemption.

  20. Jan Says:

    Nancy, a vague exemption law is probably good. That means each vet can interpret it. Generally, a vet writes a letter to animal control telling them that the dog will suffer a serious reaction if vaccinated. What you need is a vet willing to go to bat for your dog. If yours isn’t, check out the holistic vets at http://www.truth4pets.org/vets

  21. Rhonda Says:

    This site is a God-send! Thank you – I’ll be supporting the cause for sure. Two years ago I rescued a Yorkie female; she had NO teeth due to a diet of catfood and she had many teats and had not been spayed. She immediately went into her estrus and it was revealed, when i took her to a vet, she suffered from pyometra.

    The cretin from whom I rescued this loving 4.6 pound Angel, whom I named Gidget, told me she had pulled her teeth herself with Kleenexes because they were falling out in her food and she would cry when eating! I could cry just writing this!

    She also told me that she had bought the parvo distemper shots at the local Co-op and gave all her animals their shots herself except for rabies as only a licensed vet can administer rabies shots.

    Gidget has no teeth and lives indoors. She goes outside for daily walk on a leash and otherwise goes potty in my back yard -always in my presence. She is literally never left alone.

    Her vet’s assistant said not to vaccinate her if I can keep from it. She nearly died from HGE only weeks after she became my baby as a result of my feeding her food that wasn’t cat food! We nearly lost her.

    My question is: if I don’t vaccinate her what are the chances she’ll contract rabies? She sure isn’t going to bite anyone or nip another dog!

    Good luck all you loving pet ownets! I want you all as my friends!!!

    Thank you!

  22. Jan Says:

    Rhonda, the only way your dog can contract rabies is from a bite from a rabid animal. The usual suspects are raccoons, coyotes, bats and in very rare circumstances, dogs. You can do a web search for rabies in your area. The instances are likely to be very rare.

  23. Prentiss Says:

    Maine had an rabies vaccine exemption for dogs testing positive for Lyme. My vet presumed it was still valid until this year (2015) I registered my two Standard Poodles in our town with waiver request in hand. We are now told they must be given the rabies vaccine even though their health is already compromised, not just by Lyme, but also anaplasmosis. In addition, SP’s are one of the breeds more susceptible to adverse reactions to the vaccine. So much for “first do no harm”. My holistic vet was told the only way to get an exemption was by providing published studies showing dogs with Lyme are adversely affected by the rabies vaccine. If you know of any, Jan, please let me know. I’m very worried for my two girls and all the others who will be facing the same issue.

  24. S golden retriever dog friend Says:

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  25. Alex Says:

    The dog have renal disease (IRIS stage 3), I want to apply exemption of rabies vaccination (Merial Rabisin) booster but the government request to provide more literature and more elaboration in the correlation of rabiesvaccination with renal disease.

  26. Jan Says:

    Alex, your vet should apply for you. It’s his/her responsibility. Vaccinating would be very dangerous.

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