Do you take your dog in every year to get his or her rabies vaccine? Did you know that this could be the cause of separation anxiety in your dog?
Rabies vaccines have been given to dogs every year or every two years according to local laws in most place since the development of the vaccine in the 50’s. This protocol was set up and has recently come into question by many veterinarians including Dr. Jean Dodds, Kris Christine and Dr. Ron Schultz of the Rabies Challenge Fund.
Some averse reactions to the rabies vaccine that have been reported include:
- Aggression and separation anxiety in dogs
- Obsessive behavior such as self-mutilation
- Seizures and epilepsy
- Fibrosarcomas at the injection site
- Autoimmune diseases
Here are a few things you should know about when and how often to give the rabies vaccine:
- NEVER give a rabies vaccine (or any other vaccine) to a sick animal. Yes, that means if your dog has a chronic disease like allergies, goopy eyes, diarhea or an autoimmune disease like Addison’s or Cushing’s Disease or any other illness then you shouldn’t be administering a vaccine to this animal. It states this right on the vaccine label yet some vets will still give the vaccine to your pet.
- If you do decide to vaccinate your pets never give your pet more than one vaccine at a time. Avoid the combo vaccines if possible.
- Do your research and assess your situation. There are some parts of the country that have a very low occurrence of rabies even in the wild. If you think you pet is at low risk, like a cat that never leaves the house, then you may not want to vaccinate.
- If you can try to wait as long as possible to re-administer vaccines. Studies have shown that immunity can last much longer than one year and by re-administering vaccines you raise the risk of averse effects including separation anxiety in dogs!
- Do not vaccinate very old or very young dogs! Check with your veterinarian but a general rule is that puppies should not be vaccinated before 8-10 weeks of age.
Here area few quotes from professionals regarding Vaccines:
“From our studies it is apparent, at least to me, that the duration of immunity for the four most important canine vaccines (core vaccines) that the duration of immunity is considerably longer than one year. Furthermore, we have found that annual revaccination, with the vaccines that provide long term immunity, provides no demonstrable benefit and may increase the risk for adverse reactions.”
– Ronald D. Schultz, Professor and Chair
Department of Patho-biological Sciences
School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“There is gross underreporting of vaccine associated adverse events which impedes knowledge of the ongoing safety of these products.”
2007 World Small Animal Veterinary Association Vaccine Guidelines https://www.wsava.org/SAC.htm
“When an annual booster vaccination with a modified live virus vaccine is given to a previously vaccinated adult animal, no added protection is provided. Modified live virus vaccines depend on the replication of the virus for a response. Antibodies from previous vaccines do not allow the new virus to replicate. Antibody titres are not boosted significantly, memory cell populations are not expanded. No additional protection is provided.
There is no scientific data to support label directions for re-administration of MLV vaccines annually.
Vaccines are not harmless. Unnecessary side effects and adverse events can be minimized by avoiding unnecessary vaccines.”
American Veterinary Medical Association, July 2000
For More Information on the Safety of the Rabies Vaccine
Be sure to visit and support the Rabies Challenge Fund Website. They are doing very important work that may save a lot of animals from unnecessary pain and suffering of the chronic diseases caused by the rabies vaccines such as dog separation anxiety or worse!
This post is part of Blog the Change for Animals. Please be sure to visit their site and check out more posts from other participants!