Rabies Vaccine Injection-Site Tumors

Written by Jan on October 28, 2009 – 12:01 am

Zsazsa and her Tumor

Zsazsa and her Injection-Site Tumor

A Chihuahua named Zsazsa developed a large injection-site fibrosarcoma after a rabies shot.  Looking for information, Angel Moran (Zsazsa’s  “mom”) e-mailed Kris Christine, Founder of the Rabies Challenge Fund.  Below is Angel’s side of their communication. Kris’s beloved dog Meadow also had a mast cell cancer develop directly on the site of his rabies shot 3 months after it was administered, and he died after it metastasized. The Rabies Challenge Fund is a nonprofit group working to prove that the rabies vaccine gives immunity for at least seven years, thus limiting the number of shots a dog has to get.  The Fund relies exclusively on donations from pet lovers. Please give if you can.


Angel Moran, writing Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dear Kris: My chihuahua was recently diagnosed with fibrosarcoma. It is at the presumed injection site of her rabies shot. The vet said there is no correlation to her cancer and the injection site but from what I am reading I don’t believe what I am being told. Any studies you have would be greatly appreciated. She developed the lump within 3 months of her booster shot.

Kris sent Angel information from vet journals that we can send you or your vet. 

Other info Kris sent: In a DVM360 article (8-1-08) entitled  Vaccination:  An Overview,  Dr. Melissa Kennedy states: “Adverse reactions have also become a major concern in small animal medicine. …. These fall into two general categories. The first is immediate hypersensitivity. This may be a local or systemic response, and is due to pre-existing antibody to the agent. This is the classic “allergic reaction” to the vaccine and can be life-threatening.  The second is a delayed response, requiring days of longer to develop. The vaccine, seen as foreign, elicits a significant inflammatory response and is especially true for adjuvanted vaccines. This response can manifest as a granuloma, or more seriously, a fibrosarcoma.”  She added: “The likelihood of 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.”

Angel writing Monday, October 12, 2009

Kris, I just wanted to give you an update. I had to have my Zsazsa put down this past week. The vet who helped me care for her said the only way to determine 100% her cancer was from the rabies vaccine was to do a biopsy. We agreed to have it done just for our piece of mind and to have her count if this vaccine caused her death. Dr. Amy went to the company who created the vaccine … and she feels the vaccine caused it and explained we have her brother who we are concerned about as well. [The manufacturer] has agreed to pay for the biospy and claim they have no reports of this vaccine causing this cancer in dogs. They are interested in the results. I applaud the Dr for contacting the company and getting them to agree to pay. She warned we couldn’t sue the company but it’s not about that, it’s about the dangers of the rabies vaccine and the numbers not being accurate. Thank you for fighting for our beloved animal’s who can’t fight for themselves.

Angel writing Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dr. Amy called today with the biopsy results for Zsazsa. It was a soft tissue spindle sarcoma and/or with (not sure) peripheral nerve sheath tumor. Dr. Amy thought she had removed the entire tumor but based on the results it was much deeper and she said we made the right decision that Zsazsa would have needed radiation and chemo along with having to have her limb removed. She feels certain it is related to the vaccine and has reported the results to [the manufacturer]. Dr. Amy is going to fax me the results and notes and once I have them I can scan them in and send to you if you would like them. Dr. Amy said they have seen an increase in this type of cancer in dogs and feel it is related to vaccines but they need studies to proof this.


Angela Moran
More Articles on Vaccinating Dogs:
Tags: cancer, canine, cats, dog, dogs, feline, fibrosarcoma, injection site, lump, mast cell, rabies shot, rabies vaccine, tumor, tumors
Posted under Rabies Vaccination, vaccination | 29 Comments » Email This Post

29 Comments to “Rabies Vaccine Injection-Site Tumors”

  1. maria gregov Says:

    My 7 month old Maltese had his rabie shot and two weeks later I notices a lump the size of a marble where he was given the shot. I brought him back to the Vet and was told that it could be a reaction to the shot. Now I am scared to death that it could be  fibrosarcoma caused from the rabie shot. This is America, we should have the right to refuse these shots!!

  2. Jan Says:

    Hi Maria. A lump two weeks after vaccination is of concern, but not necessarily cancerous. You should keep an eye on it and if your vet suggests a biopsy, get one.

    There’s a lot more info at http://www.truth4dogs.com and http://www.truth4dogs.org

    Make sure you get good documentation of the reaction and keep a copy somewhere safe. You may want to apply for an exemption next time around. Also, check out the sites above about vaccinating, especially the article on avoiding adverse reactions.

    Good luck.

  3. melissa volck Says:

    Hi.  I had a 3yearold border collie.  We lost him in september to soft tissue spindle cell sarcoma.  He received the three year rabies vaccination.  He developed a tumor.  It was two years to the date of his injection that this developed.  His sister is exempt from the rabies vaccination because she gets seizures.  What is in this stuff.  It has to stop.
    We are getting a puppy in a few days and I am scared to death to get her vaccinated.  What can we do so this stops happening to others?

  4. Jackie Says:

    My great dane has a large bulbous tumor on his leg, located near his right hip.  The vet wasn’t concerned when I pointed this out.

    Then I thought it was odd when I saw a shepard dog the other day with a tumor in the IDENTICAL location.  The chihuahua in this article has the tumor in the same location. Is this the hip that they use to do the rabies shots? I do know that the vets use different areas for each shot.   We used to laugh and call this Zeus’s “extra nipple”. 

    Now I’m concerned that this is not just a “warty” growth, but rather a tumor from the vaccination injection site.
    Is there any way just to have the vet proactively remove this bulbous growth without having to do more tests that I can’t afford?

  5. Dakota Says:

    My daughter was given a chihuahua for Christmas and I gave her the rabies shot, a requirement.  Yesterday she developed a lump very close to the shot site (behind the shoulders) and the lump is painful.  Could it be a reaction to the shot? or something else?

  6. Jan Says:

    Hi, I’m sorry to take so long to get back to you. Your pup for need a rabies shot until she’s at least 4 months old. Please go to my other blog for more info on shots. Here’s a good place to start: http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/10/08/protecting-dogs-from-vaccine-reactions/ Do not allow your vet to vaccination before 8 weeks — 9 or 10 is better according to experts. DO NOT allow combination shots. Parvovirus and distemper are the necessary shots in most places. Leptospirosis is very dangerous. Write again if you still have questions.

  7. Jan Says:

    Dakota, I hope YOU didn’t give the shot. A vet has to do it for it to be legal. It should have been given in the leg, but there’s not much you can do about that now. If YOU did give the shot, you have a dilemma. You won’t want to vaccinate again any time soon because of the health risks. But then you’ll have a legal problem.

    Yes, the lump is likely a reaction. Tell your vet about it immediately and make sure it’s put in your dog’s file. Hopefully, it will go away in a few days. If it’s still there in two weeks, see the vet. It could be something serious.

  8. dakota Says:

    I don’t understand how they can sell the shots if it’s illegal; I did give her the shot.  The man owns the feed store and has for years so I assumed he knew what was what.  He said I could give her the shot the day after her pup shot and to give it between the shoulder blades….big mistake on my part!  She’s not sore but I am watching the spot and will take her in if it doesn’t go away…..she will NEVER! get a rabies shot again either -she’s a house dog anyhow.  Thanx for your help.

  9. Jan Says:

    Hi Dakota. It’s not illegal to sell the vaccine, as far as I know, it’s just that giving the shot as a non-vet does not fulfill the legal requirement of rabies vaccination. I would think the seller would know that, but who knows. In any event, I hope you’ll watch the spot. I hope it works out. Check out the articles at http://www.truth4dogs.com before you vaccinate for ANYTHING again.

  10. dakota Says:

    He shouldn’t be in business if he doesn’t know all the rules.  What’s funny, he wouldn’t sell me the heart worm because he said I need a prescription for that -and I understand that is true.  I will check out the article and I will always research before I give her anything again!  The lump has gone down since last night -about half the size so we are all very much relieved.  Thanx again for your help.
    PS.  No more rabies shots for Mushu!

  11. Stacy Says:

    My 1 1/2 year Olde  English Bulldogge was given her rabies vac on mon. the 8th. Today (3 days later) I noticed a lump the size of a ping pong ball on her rump(injection site). Called the vet, they said to just watch it for the next 3 weeks. Is this right? Or should I get her to another vet? She did not have the same reaction last year.

  12. Jan Says:

    Stacy, my vet says to give it two weeks, but in the meantime, make sure your vet records the reaction in your dog’s file. And get a copy in case you need to file for a health exemption in the future. Take a photo, too.

    If the lump doesn’t go away in two weeks, you need a vet trained in homeopathy. There are referral lists at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/vet Good luck!

  13. Stacy Says:

    Thank you for the advice, one problem though, the link is not working.

  14. Jan Says:

    Sorry. I can never remember if it’s vets or vets. http://www.dogs4dogs.com/vet

  15. Elaine Says:

    I have had to deal with the bad results from the rabies vaccinations on 2 of my corgis. One had Ischmeic Dermotopathy the other suvere allergys. We had to have the one put down when she was 6. She ended up with Lymphoma. The other one can now get by without shots. But we don’t use any toxins, like fles guard. She goes into toxic shot from bee stings.
    I have to go through 3 vet to get a titer on my last dog. His titer came out with a 1:370. That was even going over a year when he was suppose to have a shot.
    When ever I get the chance to bring up the topic I’m on the band wagon pushing a titer test.

  16. Elaine Says:

    Forgeot to mention the Dermotopathy was the pads of her feet. They sluffed off. She couldn’t walk on rocks or pavement.

  17. paula taylor Says:

    1 My yorkie named Lily 1year 3 months was given shots on friday by sat. she coulnt walk stand or anything, called vet ,they said watch her by sun at 2 she came around by monday she developed a golf ball size lump in her area of injection, Iam worried sick about it,,,,I want to find a specialist on this for her 

  18. Rhonda Marcotte Says:

    I am so upset right now. I am a retired practical nurse. I thought this was qualification enough for me to give my dog his vaccinations. Let’s face it, giving an injection is not rocket science. Anyway it was time for my dogs yearly booster shots but money has been tight so i figured I would get the vaccines from the feed store & save us a few dollars. I gave Bearr his 7 in 1 in his hip & his rabies shot between his shoulder blades. I was never told the shots should not be given on the same day. The vet has always given them on the same visit. I gave the shots on April 29th & I saved the vials & marked them with the date & placed them with all the dog’s records. Now he has a large lump(the size of a golf ball- he weighs about 23 pounds) on the back of his neck. I feel so guilty now. He seems to feel okay & it’s not sore. Is there anything else I should know or be doing for him? He will never get another vaccination that is not absolutely necessary. It has always bugged me that the vet insisted on him having a kennel cough vaccine when he’s never around other animals. I appreciate this site & all the information. Thank you so much and please pray for my dog, Bearr.

  19. Jan Says:

    Hi Paula. I hope Lily is doing better and the lump has gone away. If it hasn’t, it needs to be biopsied. You should probably have a board certified surgeon do it.

    Make sure the lump was recorded in Lily’s file. You won’t want to vaccinate her again and may need proof to apply for a rabies vaccination exemption. If she had her puppy shots, she has a 99% of having lifetime immunity for the important diseases: parvo and distemper. You can do a titer test to prove it. Read about the testing here. http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/category/titertesting/

    I hope you’ll find a vet certified in homeopathy to help Lily deal with the damage done by the vaccine. Find referral lists at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/vet

  20. Jan Says:

    Rhonda, not only should shots not be given on the same day, the shots were likely unnecessary. Each vaccine given increases the chance of a reaction by 24%. You gave seven. That’s a lot. Probably NONE of those shots were needed and many are harmful. You can find lots of info at http://www.truth4dogs.com. Please read this: http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/04/22/no-unnecessary-dog-shots/ Even if you dog isn’t small, please also read http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/09/30/vaccinating-small-dogs-risks-vets-arent-revealing/

    Now, you need homeopathy. Find a vet trained in homeopathy at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/vet If you can’t afford that, contact marina@naturalrearing.com and ask her what remedies you should give. Make sure you are feeding the best possible food as well. http://www.dogs4dogs.com/food Bearr needs as few chemicals now as possible.

    Another thought: I hope you didn’t give a rabies shot. It would not be legal and to repeat the shot anytime soon would be dangerous.

  21. carol Says:

    my 3 yr. old poodle (9lbs)  got his rabies vaccine in june.  it was given up by his shoulder blades.  a few weeks after the shot he developed a raised area at the injection site the size of a half dollar and about twice at thick.  slowly that went away…about a month ago after he was trimmed i noticed a black mark in the same area.  it is about the size of a dime and thick…like a mole would be??  he isn’t growing any hair all around that area now…..could it be cancer??  what should i do…

  22. Marissa Says:

    My kitten is three months old and is required by NY state law to have documentation of having had the rabies vaccination to attend a cat show. She is an indoor cat, but we want to take her to the show for the kitten class, so will be vaccinating her. Is this too young? My vet gives the rabies vaccination in the back/neck area between the shoulder blades. Should I ask that he give it in the right leg, or find another vet? I like my vet, but he is older and is a bit old fashioned, and I am not sure he knows about the problems with the vaccination.

  23. Shelley Says:

    Hi, Archie my new member of the family Jack Russell (Rescue Dog) Approx 1yr 3 months old, had his first Rabies jab on friday 12th November 2010. As i need him to have a pet passport for travel in |Europe nxt June. The next day maybe that evening developed a lump at the injection site, i called the Vet practise nurse (whom is also a personal friend) who spoke to the vet, assuring me its possibly a reaction to the Jab, and to monitor it, i am extremely worried (however i do trust my Vet explicitly) please advise
    Regards Shelley

  24. Wendy S Perroots Says:

    I just switched to a new vet who has been in business for years and supposedly reputable.  I took my 2.5 yr old jack a poo Kalvin and my 18 week old chug puppy Starsky for their shots. It was Starsky’s 1st puppy shots. This vet gave Starsky the DA2PPCV booster and his first rabies.  I said I thought he was too young and he said he was of age. Now Starsky has a marble size lump at the site of the injection.  I am really scared. I researched the producer of the vaccine and this company had recalls in 2003, and 2006.  Starsky weighs only 6lbs.  Kalvin my jack a poo has been vomiting, which I thought was because of riding in the car, but he is also showing signs of other things like an increased sex drive and an edge-e-ness. Starsky goes to the vet this friday 12-03-2010, my vet claims he does not believe that Starsky’s reaction is from the rabies vaccine so I have printed out as much info as possible.  He is a bit of a know it all and has an arrogance about him.  Can somebody please help me with how to report these symptoms to the producer as I have the name and serial number. When I look them up on line they show no contact info in the USA.  Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
    God Bless all of our furkids going through this and may we get the changes in duration between vaccinations we need.

  25. Wendy S Perroots Says:

    PS:  I was wondering if there is a connection with the manufacturer of the rabies vaccines causing these lumps. I do not want to slander anybody. Just curious…How do I find this info out?

  26. Jan Says:

    Wendy, you have a problem in that your vet gave way too many vaccines at once. This is especially bad for small dogs. Each additional vaccine increases the change of a reaction by 24%. I hope you’ll read this article about the dangers of vaccinating small dogs. Your vet certainly should have read it. http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/09/30/vaccinating-small-dogs-risks-vets-arent-revealing/

    The next problem with multiple vaccines is that you don’t know which vaccine is at fault. Or if it’s a combination of the two. You need the name, manufacturer and serial number for both vaccines. With the lump, you have a better case for which vaccine is at fault IF you know for certain which shot was given where.

    Changes in behavior are common reactions to the rabies vaccine. Either your vet is ill-informed or doesn’t want you to blame the problem on him/her.

    Re the contact info, it’s out there. What name do you have? Also, you need to report the reactions to the USDA.

    Your vet should have told you before vaccinating that parvovirus (the “P” in DALPPC) lasts 9 years to a lifetime; the same with distemper (D). CV, Coronavirus, is for a very mild, extremely rare disease of very young puppies. It’s often called a vaccine looking for a disease. A is for adenovirus 2, a disease virtually unknown in North America. Read more about your vet’s duties to get your informed consent. http://www.dogs4dogs.com/vaccination-informed-consent Read Vaccinating Dogs: 10 Steps to Eliminating Unnecessary Shots http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/04/22/no-unnecessary-dog-shots/

    You should find a vet with experience in homeopathy to treat your dog. There’s a referral list at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/vet If there’s not one in your area, write me again.

    You wrote: God Bless all of our furkids going through this and may we get the changes in duration between vaccinations we need. That’s what the Rabies Challenge Fund is trying to do. http://www.rabieschallengefund.org Also check out our DVD at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/saferpet It benefits that nonprofit.

    Good luck.

  27. pamela Says:

    hi i just had my 3y boxer and my other boxer that is outside alot ,we have racoons,posums,skunks coyotes ect. so i worrie about rabies so the one 3yr boxer got a lump like a orange cut in half and put under skin on the injectionsite the other dog that is 4yrs she only got a small marble size lump so do i worrie about my boxer that has the larger lump he didnt have one before the shot and my horse vet did it for me so i didnt have to bring them into a vet the dog vets charge so much…it doesnt seem to hurt him and it is hard almost like its in the bone the other dog hers sort of rolls around under the skin and it is real small…so should i call and tell him they both got a reaction? this is both only there 2nd rabies shot and i didnt have any other shots givin they are due but decided to wait…please let me know if there is worrie if lump is hard? thanks,pamela

  28. pamela Says:

    i forgot to put they had the rabies shot on sunday       may 15,11 we didnt notice the lump till tuesday night. but i never had a dog have a reaction before. all my dogs are boxers. one is about 70lbs the other is 55lbs. thanks pamela

  29. Barbara Knudson Says:

    I found your site to late, I had my dogs shots updated on August 31, 2016. I originally took him for a bordatello shot, and was told it was ok to do the rabies update at the same time. I had no idea this was a problem. As of Sept 6th My dog is now undergoing treatment and probably won’t survive. It set off an auto immune reactions, he how has no platelets in his blood. He is a one year old english springer spanial. I love him to pieces this breaks my heart

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