"A deliberately broken wasp nest, and an accidentally broken wasp nest, look exactly the same."
Rabies is most commonly transmitted through a bite from an infected animal but the fact is that any contact of infected saliva with mucous membranes or an open wound can also lead to transmission.
The good news is, there is a rabies vaccine available for our dogs.
But how much of a good thing is too much?
It has become clear that our dogs are being notoriously over-vaccinated.
There is also growing evidence that all those vaccinations are not entirely without adverse effects, sometimes severe.
Reactions that have been documented include:
- Behavior changes such as aggression and separation anxiety
- Obsessive behavior,self-mutilation, tail chewing
- Pica - eating wood, stones, earth, stool
- Destructive behavior, shredding bedding
- Seizures, epilepsy
- Fibrosarcomas at injection site
- Autoimmune diseases such as those affecting bone marrow and blood cells, joints, eyes, skin, kidney, liver, bowel and central nervous system
- Muscular weakness and or atrophy
- Chronic digestive problems
Rabies vaccination is required by law in nearly all areas. Even though protection from rabies is documented to last at least three years, current law in some states or areas still requires that boosters be given annually or biannually rather than the standard policy of every three years.
Some veterinarians, even though using a three-year vaccine, push for re-vaccinating annually, or every two years.
There is no such thing as a two-year rabies vaccine.
A friend of mine, over from Champion of My Heart, is dealing with the outcome of a severe reaction her dog, Lilly, had to a rabies vaccine. Even though Lilly's situation is rare, adverse reactions of various severity do occur.
We want our dogs protected from this horrible disease. But are we vaccinating more often than we need to?
The Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust is working to determine the duration of immunity provided by rabies vaccines. The goal is to extend the required interval for rabies boosters to 5 and then to 7 years.
Jasmine and JD will be due for their rabies vaccination next spring.
They never had a visible adverse reaction to it but, like with most things, there never is a problem until there is one. We vaccinate very discriminately and titer. But rabies vaccination is legislated.
I don't want to risk my guys contracting rabies but I don't like risking potential adverse effects from too much of a good thing either.
I support the Rabies Challenge Fund and really hoping that their study might show that the immunity from a rabies vaccine does indeed last at least 5 years.
It is time to find out.
Adverse Rabies Vaccine Reaction: Lilly Needs Our Help
The Vaccination Conundrum
The Rabies Challenge Fund
Why Challenge Current Rabies Vaccine Policy?
Duration of Immunity to Canine Vaccines: What We Know and Don't Know
ASPCA on Rabies
Rabies in Dogs: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Vaccination