To Rabies Vaccinate or Not?

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Postby kera09 » October 13th, 2009, 7:09 pm

Split from this thread: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=31175

mnp13 wrote:
kera09 wrote:looks like im going to have to get lulu a rabies shot :(


yes, unless you have a waiver from your vet.


hmmm how do i get one of those? i just hate to do it but i will if i have to!
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Postby Marinepits » October 13th, 2009, 7:37 pm

Your dog has to have a SERIOUS medical problem in order to qualify for the waiver. If your vet says that your dog's health will be harmed more by getting the rabies vax than by NOT getting the rabies vax, then your dog will qualify.

Why on earth would you NOT want to get the rabies vaccine for your dogs? Rabies is fatal 99.9% of the time and rabies is very widespread in NY and in New England. Why take the chance? :?
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Postby TheRedQueen » October 13th, 2009, 7:54 pm

Marinepits wrote:Your dog has to have a SERIOUS medical problem in order to qualify for the waiver. If your vet says that your dog's health will be harmed more by getting the rabies vax than by NOT getting the rabies vax, then your dog will qualify.

Why on earth would you NOT want to get the rabies vaccine for your dogs? Rabies is fatal 99.9% of the time and rabies is very widespread in NY and in New England. Why take the chance? :?


yeah, this thread has taken an odd turn... :confused:
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Postby kera09 » October 13th, 2009, 8:04 pm

personal choice, i dont like the idea of giving vaccines yearly or 3 yrs. They all have had everything they needed, i just have not updated them. I know where my dogs are at all times and what they come in contact with. Dont bash me for the way i feel. If it means lulu can get into agility/flyball i will do it. Thanks everyone for the info.
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Postby mnp13 » October 13th, 2009, 8:13 pm

kera09 wrote:Dont bash me for the way i feel.

No one is bashing... or has come within a mile of bashing. :wink:

You'll have to have current rabies to register for classes, but yes Jen is correct, your vet can exclude you from vaccinating with a waiver that meets state guidelines.

Erin is right though, you should definitely stop in and see if a class if you have a chance to - it's always good to make sure you like an instructor ahead of time.
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Postby Marinepits » October 13th, 2009, 8:48 pm

kera09 wrote:personal choice, i dont like the idea of giving vaccines yearly or 3 yrs. They all have had everything they needed, i just have not updated them. I know where my dogs are at all times and what they come in contact with. Dont bash me for the way i feel. If it means lulu can get into agility/flyball i will do it. Thanks everyone for the info.


Asking you to clarify why you feel the way you do is hardly a bashing! :wink:

I can understand not wanting to get the other core vaccines, but rabies will kill your dog if they contract the disease from an infected animal. There is NO treatment for rabies. YOU may also contract it if your dog gets it and you don't want to go through the treatment. Hell, I didn't even want to get the series of preventative shots I needed for my job because they HURT (big ass needles!), but it was either that or no job.

I worked Animal Control in an urban area for a couple of years and had to euthanize (ie: shoot) more rabies-infected raccoons, skunks, fox, and woodchucks than I care to remember. Once the animal is destroyed, the head is then sent to the state for testing, and the vast majority came back as positive for rabies. (All of them showed signs of being very ill, otherwise I wouldn't have destroyed them of course. With the ones that came back as negative, we could only guess that they had distemper or some other similar disease.)

You may *think* you know what your dogs come in contact with at all times, but you never know -- my neighbour had to go through the rabies shots this summer after being bitten by a raccoon that was hiding in his shed. He reached into a large bucket to grab something and came up with a sick raccoon instead. Thankfully, the raccoon was caught, destroyed, and tested negative for rabies, but that test took 4 days to come back and his doctor made him get the shots rather than wait because rabies is THAT serious.

Something to really think about: if your dog gets bitten by a wild animal and your dog has never had a rabies vax or is not up-to-date on the rabies vax, your public health department can immediately euthanize your dog with or without your consent. If they choose to NOT euthanize your dog, they will quarantine your dog for 6 months or more at your expense, usually around $20 per day. Plus, you'll get ticketed for not having the vaccine done and last I checked, the fine was $120. It is the ONLY vaccine every state requires you give your dog.

With other core vaccines, you have some leeway in not getting them done. Distemper, lepto, and other vaccinated diseases aren't necessarily found in all areas, and they can be sometimes treated if caught by the vet in time. Rabies is fatal, cannot be treated, and is preventable by getting ONE shot every three years. The benefit FAR outweighs the risk.
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Postby TheRedQueen » October 13th, 2009, 9:08 pm

I think you'll find many, many of us on the forum that don't want to over-do vaccinations and such with our dogs...but I don't know of anyone that doesn't get the rabies shot done. :| I'm not bashing, I'm just puzzled...as I've never met anyone that doesn't get rabies for their healthy dogs.
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Postby mnp13 » October 13th, 2009, 9:54 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:I think you'll find many, many of us on the forum that don't want to over-do vaccinations and such with our dogs...but I don't know of anyone that doesn't get the rabies shot done. :| I'm not bashing, I'm just puzzled...as I've never met anyone that doesn't get rabies for their healthy dogs.


I know a couple of people who don't vaccinate their dogs for anything. Do livestock get rabies shots?
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Postby Marinepits » October 13th, 2009, 10:11 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:I think you'll find many, many of us on the forum that don't want to over-do vaccinations and such with our dogs


:wave2: I'm one of them!

Katy Scarlett is no longer being vaccinated for anything, including Lyme, because she's ancient. Her last rabies vaccine was two years ago and we'll all be surprised if she outlives it at this point. Her arthritis is BAD. On the off chance that she *does* survive past the expiration of the rabies vaccine, she will be re-vaccinated for it.

Indiana Jones will probably only be getting the rabies shot from now on, mainly because he's older and he's recovering from cancer.

Short Round gets all the core vaccines and no longer gets Lyme. However, her shots are spaced out over a couple of weeks because she tends to get lame when they're given all together. She's never had a severe "reaction", though.

Semper Fi Mac gets all the core vaccines except Lyme spaced out over a couple of weeks, but he's given dexamethasone beforehand because he has allergies and we don't want him to react.

Tucker gets all the core vaccines except Lyme. He's young and healthy and I want him to stay that way.

All of these decisions were made on the advice of my vet, the amazing Dr Blabs, and due to my own research. The dogs no longer get Lyme because all of them were vaccinated against it when three of them came down with the disease. Of course, the Lyme vaccine is not 100% effective and that was the chance we took when we vaccinated them.

Because we live on the border of some wonderful woodland and within an urban area, we have wildlife all around us. Early this morning (3:47am) we were woken up by coyotes howling in our backyard. I will NEVER let our dogs' rabies vaccines expire.
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Postby Marinepits » October 13th, 2009, 10:17 pm

mnp13 wrote:Do livestock get rabies shots?


Here are some NY guidelines: http://www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/ ... elines.pdf

You might want to google for a more updated version.....
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Postby plebayo » October 13th, 2009, 10:22 pm

The issue really isn't even whether or not your dog will contract the disease, the disease is the least of your problems. If your dog bites someone and is not up to date on their rabies the dog will have to be quarantined and YOU will have to pay for it.

If your dog is loose, and gets picked up by animal control, happens to be neurological for whatever reason and bites someone they will euthanize your dog, hack its head off and send it to some lab to be examined. We just went through this with a stray cat, acting neurological that bit someone.

Why not vaccinate your dog, and then pay to test for titers every year to see if your dog is truly protected? It's only like $50-$80 I think to do the titer test.

I know a couple of people who don't vaccinate their dogs for anything. Do livestock get rabies shots?


Yes they do. It isn't common so much in large operations, say for large dairy farms or something but in high risk areas they vaccinate and also vaccinate valuable animals. My horse is vaccinated. I never considered it until I read a forum post about a woman who was out riding, minding her own business. A chihuahua came out of nowhere and started going after her horse, while she was focused on the small dog, a pit bull came out and attacked her horse biting it and drawing blood. The dog was not vaccinated against rabies, neither was the horse. BOTH of them had to be quarantined. The horse owner not only had to pay for the quarantine but she wasn't able to ride her horse for that period of time.
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Postby Marinepits » October 13th, 2009, 10:52 pm

plebayo wrote:If your dog is loose, and gets picked up by animal control, happens to be neurological for whatever reason and bites someone they will euthanize your dog, hack its head off and send it to some lab to be examined. We just went through this with a stray cat, acting neurological that bit someone.


Here, we don't even have to see neurological symptoms to euth or quarantine the dog (or cat). If the animal bites someone and you cannot prove rabies vaccination, the animal is confiscated by Animal Control. If the dog or cat is a stray, they're more likely euthanized because most places lack the resources to quarantine a stray with a bite history for six or more months.
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Postby plebayo » October 13th, 2009, 11:27 pm

Here, we don't even have to see neurological symptoms to euth or quarantine the dog (or cat). If the animal bites someone and you cannot prove rabies vaccination, the animal is confiscated by Animal Control. If the dog or cat is a stray, they're more likely euthanized because most places lack the resources to quarantine a stray with a bite history for six or more months.


I think that is the way it is here too, especially if they have bitten someone. But we just had the cat case come in so it was an example I at least knew was for sure true hehe.
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Postby Malli » October 14th, 2009, 3:47 am

um, does anyone realize that the only way to eliminate rabies as a diagnosis (as in, an animal has bitten someone and rabies comes into question) is via a test? And how that test is done?

While I do question the frequency necessary for vaccinating, I will vaccinate my dog for every disease where mortality is common - often the reason the vaccine was created was because there is no cure once the disease is contracted, or the chance of the cure working or chance of recovery is highly unlikely.

In the end, only you and your vet can decide on what is right for your dog.
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Postby Marinepits » October 14th, 2009, 8:33 am

Malli wrote:um, does anyone realize that the only way to eliminate rabies as a diagnosis (as in, an animal has bitten someone and rabies comes into question) is via a test? And how that test is done?


VERY good point!
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Postby plebayo » October 14th, 2009, 10:19 am

um, does anyone realize that the only way to eliminate rabies as a diagnosis (as in, an animal has bitten someone and rabies comes into question) is via a test? And how that test is done?


Is this a rhetorical question? Because I'm not sure how to read it haha :oops:

But I know with the last cat we had we had to behead it and send it to a lab. I'm assuming they took samples from the brain?
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Postby mnp13 » October 14th, 2009, 11:13 am

plebayo wrote:
um, does anyone realize that the only way to eliminate rabies as a diagnosis (as in, an animal has bitten someone and rabies comes into question) is via a test? And how that test is done?


Is this a rhetorical question? Because I'm not sure how to read it haha :oops:

But I know with the last cat we had we had to behead it and send it to a lab. I'm assuming they took samples from the brain?


That would be the one and only way to test it. The only other thing to do is quarantine and wait.
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Postby Pit♥bull » October 14th, 2009, 11:54 am

When I was 10 yrs old (wow that seems impossible) I was bitten by a squirrel, being a creative youngster I trapped it later that day and beat it's head in :( Opps..... Not so creative as they had to have it's brain for testing, then needless to say I had to have a series of rabies shots (21) not fun.

Trouble's Vet has advised us not to give her any vaccinations since the chemo and has furnished us an exemption form to be carried during travel.
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Postby Malli » October 14th, 2009, 12:55 pm

yep, the animal must be killed and then decapitated.

I have actually seen it done on 2 animals and though it was not the entire reason for the animal's death (medical and behavioral) I am quite sure that it could be demanded should the situation be severe enough.
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Postby DemoDick » October 14th, 2009, 2:09 pm

I'm not big on vaccines, myself. For people or animals. Too much fear-mongering going on. Do we really NEED to vaccinate every kid for chicken pox, the flu, H1N1, halitosis, etc? No, we don't. Compromised populations like the elderly? Inject away if they want it. Otherwise, let a healthy immune system do its job and it will stay tuned up. Unless we're talking about lethal bugs. In which case...

I'll vaccinate for rabies and then titer if there's any chance the animal will encounter vermin who carry the disease (i.e. if the dog will go outside sometime in his life). It also makes travelling, registering for competitions, etc., much easier. And as previously mentioned in the event of a bite on a person or animal, that rabies certificate can help to mitigate an already difficult situation.

All vaccines carry risks, including potentially fatal vaccinosis. Of course, rabies itself is fatal. Not potentially fatal, but fatal. I can't ignore that, so I will vaccinate and check titers. Reluctantly. :rolleyes2: It's an "I think" vs. "I know". I think that a rabies vaccine may potentially make my dog sick and could even kill him. However, I know that rabies will, if he contracts it. And he doesn't exactly play nice with wild animals, and we spend quite a bit of time in the woods. So I'm balancing out the probabilities and I choose to vaccinate for rabies. It makes sense for me.

I still get nervous at every vaccination. I don't vaccinate for everything (bordatella? WTF?), and actually prefer to vaccinate much less than most people. But I'm also not going to risk my dog's life by hoping that some goofy hippy remedy will work when I KNOW that the rabies vaccine will.

I understand and generally agree with the criticisms of over-vaccination. However, this isn't kennel cough. This particular bug makes your dog dead.
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