Duration of Immunity and Rabies Vaccination

Understand This Well and Avoid This Disease

This heartbreaking story comes from a Vital Animal Pack member:

My lab mix, 12 yesterday, developed laryngeal paralysis and the resulting hind quarter weakness and lameness over the last 2 years… I believe the rabies vaccines may be a contributing factor… my county requires yearly vacs although Texas A&M recommends every 3 years (which more aligns with the period the vaccine is supposed to be “good” for).” [Ed: emphasis mine.]

…because we travelled I felt at least the rabies had to be kept current…The last was in 2012..and sadly he is not mobile to travel and is now dragging his hind end.”

His Rear End No Longer Works

The forty dollar word for this heartbreak is degenerative myelopathy, or DM for short. It’s commonly found in large breed dogs, most notably German Shepherds, but also Corgis, Boxers, Huskies, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Golden Retrievers and Labs among many others.

In a nutshell, this is a disease of nerve degeneration. When it starts, the affected dog may be subtly dragging his rear paws when he’s moving forward. If you listen closely, you can hear nails dragging as his feet are brought forward for each next step. You can often see wear on the tops of nails if you look closely.

A quick test you can do to assess this is a test of proprioception: does your animal know his foot is upside down? Here’s how to do this at home:

  1. Stand your dog up on all fours.
  2. Fold one hind foot and set it down. In effect, he’d be standing on the top instead of the bottom of his paw now.
  3. Let go and watch his response.

Normal dogs know immediately the foot doesn’t belong like this, and they’ll right it quickly, standing normally in a flash.

A dog with a “proprioceptive deficit” doesn’t get the signal of things being amiss, and stands on the top of his foot for some time.

(Other diseases can cause this deficit, so be sure to see your veterinarian to confirm a diagnosis.)

The disease is progressive, and over several months, goes from foot dragging to wobbly rear ends (the “drunken sailor” walk, or ataxia) to finally, paraplegia, meaning the rear legs no longer work, while the forelegs are fine.

Incontinence in stool and/or urine sets in around this time, and most affected dogs at this point are euthanized.

The dogs with this disease are normal from the waist up, and become completely weak and flaccid from the waist down. There is no known cure, though acupuncture and nutritional supplementation helps slow the inevitable in some cases. I’m not sure I’ve ever helped a case with my best efforts in homeopathy.

Why Rabies Vaccination Involvement?

Here’s the chain of logic tying rabies vaccination to this dog’s disease.

  1. This is yet another example of autoimmune disease, where the damage is done by one’s own immune system. In this case, the Lab’s immune system attacking his own spinal cord.

    Degenerative Myelopathy is an autoimmune disease whereby the patient’s own immune system attacks their central nervous system. This immune attack leads to loss of myelin (insulation around nerve fibers) and axons (nerve fibers).

    While it begins and is most severe within the thoracolumbar (middle back) spinal cord, DM also affects other areas of the central nervous system… The cause of this autoimmune disease is not known… Conventional medicine has little to offer patients with DM.1 –R.M. Clemmons, DVM, PhD

    Q: How does the immune system get so confused that it would attack its own nerves?

    A: The #1 reason for immune confusion is vaccination. Any vaccination.

  2. Rabies virus affects the nervous system. That’s how it spreads, in fact. The virus shuts down normal bite inhibition in the brain, the rabid animal bites another, and the virus in his saliva moves on to infect a new “carrier.”

The nervous system. Paralysis means the nervous system has been compromised, right?

No communication from the rear legs means your dog doesn’t feel where his feet are placed. He staggers and walks unevenly.

Compromised nerve impulses to the rear legs means his intention from the brain to walk is poorly put into effect back in his legs. The muscles have no impulses to work, so weakness and finally paralysis sets in.

In Hering’s Guiding Symptoms of Our Materia Medica under the remedy lyssin (made from rabid dog saliva) is this report of symptoms from a rabid dog:

Loss of power in limbs; gait unsteady, at times some stiffness of hind legs.”

We see variations of this in our chronically rabies vaccinated dogs, don’t we?

In mild form, we might call it hip dysplasia, in a more advanced version, we name it degenerative myelopathy, DM.

In DM, the nerve communications from bladder and rectum can get weak, too. The dog can’t feel when he’s full. The nerve impulses that keep the bladder sphincter toned and closed aren’t getting through, so it relaxes, as does his anus, and waste leaks out.

A Classic Rabies Symptom

In this Lab’s case, there’s also larynx paralysis, so vocalization and breathing and swallowing are affected. Still a nerve problem.

And one of the main places rabid people and animals show symptoms of the natural disease is the throat: they choke and can’t swallow without difficulty.

Just the thought of drinking can cause painful, suffocating throat spasms, hence rabies’ older name: hydrophobia.

And, vocalization changes. Rabid animals make strange sounds, likely due to their own laryngeal paralysis. Here’s the Merck Veterinary Manual:

The most reliable signs, regardless of species, are acute behavioral changes and unexplained progressive paralysis. Behavioral changes may include sudden anorexia, signs of apprehension or nervousness, irritability, and hyperexcitability (including priapism). The animal may seek solitude. Ataxia, altered phonation, and changes in temperament are apparent.”

  • Paralysis.
  • Ataxia (wobbly walk).
  • Altered phonation (the making of sounds).

Sound familiar?

That’s what this Lab has.

How Long Are These Vaccines “Good For,” Again?

So, our reader is right to suspect rabies vaccines as the cause of his old Lab’s paralysis in both the throat and the rear end. But, the most important piece of the puzzle is his notion that these vaccinations are only “good for” a limited amount of time.

After which, they run out of gas, perhaps? Their reservoir runs dry and needs refilling? They stop working their magic?

This is where you need to be smarter than the average animal owner. We’re talking about duration of immunity here.

You get your young adult dog a rabies shot. If all is working properly, his immune system responds and he establishes an immunity to rabies.

Let’s set aside the nonsensical laws for a moment and just review what veterinary immunologists are saying about duration of immunity to viral vaccines.

Here they are, quoted from the very mainstream veterinary textbook, Current Veterinary Therapy.2

Almost without exception there is no immunologic requirement for annual revaccination. Immunity to viruses persists for years or for the life of the animal… Furthermore, revaccination with most viral vaccines fails to stimulate an anamnestic (secondary) response…”

In plain English, these scientists are saying virus immunity is likely years to life long, and further vaccinations are unlikely to increase that immunity.

Our current understanding is being furthered by the Rabies Challenge Fund, whose goal is to determine rabies vaccination duration of immunity.

UPDATE (January 2018) from Dr. Ronald Schultz, chief researcher on the Rabies Challenge Fund:

Results to date of The Rabies Challenge Fund research study showed protection from live rabies virus challenge five years after the dogs received 2 doses of rabies virus vaccine.  Other data are still being collected and analyzed for the 6.5 and 7-year post-vaccination periods.”3

Odds are high this duration of immunity will be minimally five to seven years, and probably even longer. If you’d like to support that privately funded research, visit the link above and give them some money.

Hey: Let’s Be Careful Out There

So, be well informed. Duration of immunity to vaccines is a long term thing, and if Dr. WhiteCoat doesn’t know this, you can tell him.

You’d do well to OWN this understanding, along with that of harm that can come from “just a rabies shot.

Have you fulfilled the intent of the rabies “law” by getting a couple of rabies vaccinations early on, say at 16 – 20 weeks old for your pet?

That’s likely far safer than fulfilling the letter of the rabies “law,” whether it says you must vaccinate annually or every three years.

As this is often the loudest question that comes in…

I understand this duration of immunity for vaccinations, but there’s this law about rabies. What do I do about that??

…I’m going to ask those of you who’ve found a way to avoid a senseless law to please tell us in the comments how you’ve managed it. You shall of course remain nameless if you so choose.

I’ve got another valuable resource for you: my no-cost Rabies Short Course. Check it out.

  1. source: http://dog2doc.com/neuro/DM_Web/DMofGS.htm
  2. Phillips, TR, Schultz, RD in Current Veterinary Therapy XI 1992 pp202-206
  3. source: https://www.rabieschallengefund.org/

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  1. Christina Giunta on July 24, 2024 at 1:17 pm

    Our English Chocolate Labrador was born in 2008. Within his first year of life and getting all the vaccines the vet pushed on us, including many additional ones that boarding required, he started having all the symptoms listed in this article related to laryngeal paralysis and the resulting hind quarter weakness and lameness. We had years of overheating, choking/coughing, back end weakness, collapsing after short stints of walking/running, etc. In 2017, we switched to an all raw diet which greatly improved his energy and cleared up all his hot spots but the back end lameness and choking/coughing continued. His last vaccine was May of 2019 and it was the three-year Rabies. He quickly deteriorated after this last vaccine and I kept asking our vet and chiropractor why he was getting worse and worse with back leg lameness. His last year of life he was losing his bowel function — he would be lying down and poop would just poor out of him, then shortly after that he would try to make it to the door to pee but could not hold it. He looked so upset with himself. The last few weeks of life, he completely lost all use of his back legs and sadly we had to euthanize him in September 2023. We did have him tested for DM in September 2022 and the test came back as “Normal”. If this was caused by vaccines, would the DM test show as “Positive” for DM? I swear this is what he had as he had all the symptoms. All his other bloodwork was normal in September 2022. You mention in the article that other diseases can cause these symptoms. What else could it be? I am convinced this is what our precious Joshua David had even though his DM test was “Normal”.

  2. Lindsey on February 19, 2024 at 11:39 pm

    I’m so glad I found this community! I’m seeking advice or insight for my 6 year old husky. She received her last rabies in 2020 when I had to fly with her (before I was conscious of the dangers of over immunization) and I currently would like to fly with her again from California to Washington. Unfortunately they require “up to date rabies”. Is there any way I can get around this and still fly with her? My dog is above the law in this case and I will not jeopardize her health for an unnecessary rabies vaccine. Is there a vet who can help with this paperwork so we can fly together? She is a very healthy dog, raw diet, plenty of exercise, no dog parks or boarding facilities for her, and no off leash in the wilderness either. What can I do? I’m so sad about this 💔 I appreciate any insight

  3. Susan Yakus on November 22, 2023 at 4:21 pm

    The easiest way we found around rabies shots is, we took the last certificate and my husband is good on the computer. He made a duplicate and reset the vaccination date to the current year. It still has the vets signature. If there was any good thing to come out of Covid, it was that no one was going in to work. Many agencies lost workers and no county official has ever sent me anything, saying my dog needed shots. If they did, I would say the dog had died. I will never get these shots again. I do, however, have my vet titer 2 times a year. That way he is checked for rabies and heartworm. All because of you Dr. Will. Thank you!

  4. Susan on July 6, 2022 at 6:49 pm

    Hi, My horse almost died from the rabies vaccine. However, my vet is still recommending he needs yearly vaccine for rabies. I cannot fathom giving him another. I live in Baja, and two horses recently died from rabies. They were unvaccinated. So it is scary to me. Do you have any research or suggestions? Thank you.

    • Azucar on October 29, 2022 at 6:17 pm

      Stand up for your horse. No one else can. The frightening stories of animals dying of rabies are often just that, “stories.” These made-up tales are merely propaganda used shamelessly and repeatedly by drug companies get YOU, the consumer, to buy into another shot. Why do these drug companies lie? Because it WORKS. Don’t let them deceive you.

    • Azucar on October 29, 2022 at 6:39 pm

      Please stand up for your horse. No one else can. The frightening stories of animals dying of rabies are often just that, “stories.” These made-up tales are merely propaganda used shamelessly and repeatedly by drug companies get YOU, the consumer, to buy into another shot. Why do these drug companies lie? Because it WORKS. Don’t let them deceive you.

  5. Kate on July 10, 2021 at 4:14 pm

    The bottom line issue I am facing is the fact that whether you have a titer result showing immunity or you have an exemption certificate from your vet for whatever health condition… the officials in the state won’t care if/when your dog bites someone for any reason and you can’t prove the Rabies vac is “up to date” in their minds. So, unless I’m mistaken about this… your dog is taken and becomes history.

    I’m extremely upset about this as I’m needing to make this decision very soon.

    So do I follow the law and possibly cause all sorts of health issues for her so I can keep her and avoid traumatically losing her if an unfortunate bite occurs or do I not, and always have that concern?
    Sometimes dog bites happen unexpectedly, especially if you’ve rescued one that fought for every bit of nourishment, comfort, and safety she ever got, and some breeds are hard wired to herd which could make them prone to instinctively nip. Not saying that’s an acceptable behavior that shouldn’t be worked out, just saying these are situations that can up the probability for disaster, and we have both set of challenges against us in our dog making this really difficult.

    I guess what I’m saying is I get why people are bring crafty about this to protect their pets but we leave them vulnerable to execution should there be a bite. This is tough stuff!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on July 10, 2021 at 10:22 pm

      Hey Kate,

      The rabies experts (State and National vets and regulatory officials) publish a Compendium on Animal Rabies Control every few years. You can access that free in your Vital Animal Pack area, and see where I’ve highlighted the sections on what happens if your animal bites someone or is bitten by a suspected rabid animal.

      Euthanasia is NOT the only answer, as you’ll see.

      If you haven’t joined the pack yet, you’ll see how below (scroll down). If you have and have forgotten how to access your library, you simply login here: https://sso.teachable.com/secure/202122/users/sign_in

      You use your same email address to login and if you’ve forgotten your pw, you’ll see a way to make a new one.

      All the best,

  6. Terri Stephens on January 5, 2021 at 8:52 am

    I have 6 dogs. 2 are rescues, a Great Dane and a Pit Bull (both puppy mill rescues). 2 Labradoodles and 2 Yorkies. 4 of them had multiple skin/allergy issues, so I had them tested. 3 are allergic to beef as a primary allergy and one to pork. In addition, multiple environmental and grain allergies, to a lesser extent. When getting rabies shots, 2 had neurologic issues, and were “high” like on LSD. erratic and would stare off into space/non responsive. One had a similar response from Interceptor Plus and had to go to emergency care where they kept her overnight to flush the system. That is 3 dogs out of 6. Not a good percentage. I am holistically based, and will never give them any vaccines or medications again from a standard vet. I found a holistic vet who worked with us on curing stage 4 heartworms when we got the Pit, without the Vet shots. She is very healthy now (she had everything parasite and skin disease you can imagine). We do live in the country, so rabies are always a threat. But, we have trained our dogs very well and they do not chase deer or other animals. We have an invisible fence on 14 of 20 acres for them too. Bats are not an issue here. Our dogs all stay inside at night. I do give all of my dogs “Bug-Off” garlic chews for animals. It is by weight. The Yorkies love them, and the others open their mouth and let me insert them one at a time to swallow, with the promise of cheese, each morning. This keep the fleas ticks and flying insects off of them. We have had no issues and the only ticks I have found on their fur were all dead. This may not be the answer for everyone, but this is what works for us.

    • Terri Stephens on January 5, 2021 at 8:55 am

      Oh by the way, I have 2 country vets and both do not hassle us about Rabies vaccinations. Prior to them, the city vet gave one of our Yorkies a vaccination without our knowledge during a weigh in/checkup, saying it was the law. I was ticked off and never went back.

  7. Peggy on November 6, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Our 7.5 year old Golden Retriever’s last rabies vaccine was at age 4, before I knew the dangers of the rabies vaccine. I received a license renewal form from the city. To be approved and re-licensed, I needed to show proof of her spay and her last rabies vaccine. (Her last rabies vaccine had legally “expired” the previous month, so I sent nothing regarding the rabies vaccine. I simply mailed the proof of spay with the $6 check.) I received a phone call from the city explaining that they could not renew her license until they had proof of a recent rabies vaccine. I explained how I had had her titers taken and they showed that she was immune to rabies. They acted surprised and said I was the first person to explain that. I asked if that’s all that would occur… that I couldn’t license her. They said, “Yes.” That was the end of the call. A month or so later, I received an email requesting proof of a current rabies vaccine. I never responded. That’s the end of the story… so far.

  8. George on October 5, 2020 at 10:25 am

    FYI to those thinking the purchase of a vial of rabies vaccine and tag will deter your vet, think again. I did that. I live in PA and FL and have a vet in both states. I figured that telling them that it was administered in the other state would suffice. Well, it did not and they wouldn’t leave me alone until I produced a certificate signed by a licensed vet that my dog had been vaccinated. Obviously, I don’t have one and am wondering how to handle this going forward. Choosing a new vet will produce the same results.

    My dog has had his puppy shots and rabies booster twice. He is 8 years old and healthy so far. Like the others here, I don’t wish to push the envelope on this.

    • Robyn on March 28, 2022 at 3:22 pm

      Find another vet that does not force you to do this. I have one in Florida and one in Canada that do not require shots to see your dog. They are out there.

      • Dana Flemming on March 5, 2024 at 12:28 am

        I’m in New Mexico and my dog has not been vaccinated for anything for about 7 years now. My wonderful veterinarian and I are on the same page. Yes, they do exist! However, on one occasion he was out of town and I needed a vet for an emergency. They refused to allow my dog into the clinic unless they could vaccinate him upon arrival! They said it was the “law.” 🙄

  9. Joanne Seamans on March 30, 2020 at 10:48 pm

    My husband had a husky many years ago. The dog never went for vaccinations. I don’t know if he had any as a puppy. He ate garbage food like Gravy Train, Gaine’s Burgers, and lots of table food. He lived to be 16.5. I believe it was because of lack of vaccinations.

  10. Susan Yakus on January 23, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    I got a puppy and had the initial puppy shots due. Since then I have become much more savvy due to Dr. Will and vets like him. Here is something you can do to help your dogs, even if they have been vaccinated at any time. Adored Beast makes a product called Anti-Vaccinosis. It will remove the harmful properties from vaccine from your animal, while retaining the good benefits. It is not for pregnant or lactating animals. I have used it safely on my dog. His 1 year rabies/shots come due in April. I will NOT be giving any shots, only tittering. Thanks to someone else on here, I was able to get the printout form for a Rabies Certificate. I will be ordering some vials from Valley Vet and discarding them, but keeping the labels and the certificate and rabies tag. I will also use a homeopathic vet if my regular vet fights me in any way. I am a certified veterinary assistant, so I know well the risks of transferring rabies, but until the laws are changed, I will find a way to go around them. I also signed the legislation to change the rabies laws with all of my legislators. It comes under review this year. I would encourage everyone to write to their legislators and ask they review the laws and at the very least, vaccinate by weight. Every dog now is given the same amount whether they be a St. Bernard or a Chihuahua. Thank you Dr. Will for helping all animal lovers and animals!

    • Sharon Epperson on August 25, 2022 at 5:20 am

      How do you get a print out form for Rabies and doesn’t a vet need to sign off on it? Thank you

  11. Vlb on October 8, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    After receiving Nexgard tick med., my dog ended up with autoimmune disease. We almost lost her and it was a long struggle to get her health back. I have been trying to research and learn all I can to keep her healthy, one being her rabies vaccine was due recently, and I refused it. I had to sign a paper stating I was responsible for my dog, she must be kept leashed. If anything were to happen,, she could be taken from me and quarantined. I have found a number of articles, saying the rabies vaccine does last longer than we are told,, but because of state laws, pets must be vaccinated again and again. It just doesnt make any sense to subject a pet to unneeded vaccines.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on October 9, 2019 at 12:02 am

      A quote I recently shared with my Rabies: Knowledge is Power students might be of interest to you, Vlb:

      “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty” – Thomas Jefferson.

      (And, if ever there was a law that was unjust and built upon zero science and a whole lot of greed, that’s the rabies law, rubber stamped into existence from state to state to county to city, with no one minding the store on what immunologists have known for decades or what it’s doing to the animals who fall under its sway.)

      • Dana Flemming on March 5, 2024 at 12:30 am

        I 100% agree!

  12. Ramona on August 24, 2019 at 11:29 am

    I’m not sure of what I’m more shocked about, the fact that animals get seriously hurt because of vaccines, or the fact that their owners lie about their pets being vaccinated and put people at serious risk for the disease.

    For all of you who lie to your vets about being current on your pets vaccine: you do realize that you could find yourselves being charged with murder in the rare event of your pet infecting a vet or technician with the virus, right? Just because you “think” your dogs or cats won’t ever get into contact with a rabid animal doesn’t mean that it won’t. What if your pet escapes one day? How can you be sure s/he didn’t get exposed? What if your dog is in his/her fenced in backyard one day and a rabid bat falls out of the tree or literally out of the sky into your backyard? More than likely your dog will go check it out or perhaps even eat it. If he gets bit in the process, guess what: your dog just got exposed to rabies. You just don’t know it yet. Two months later he starts showing symptoms, you take him to the vet, lie about him being current on the vaccine. He bites one of the technicians. Ten days later your dog is dead. And two month after that, the technician dies of rabies. If the authorities can trace the case back to you, guess what: you’re going to jail for the rest of your life!!

    I understand that sometimes animals, just like humans, can have bad reactions to vaccines or even die from it, but these cases are far and few between. If, let’s say, more than 25% of all vaccinated pets would end up with severe reactions or even die after vaccination, I could understand rebelling against this vaccination out of fear that your pet would be one of the 25% percent. However, injury or death caused by vaccines is in the single digits.

    Also, by law, if your dog or cat escapes your house/yard and bites or scratches someone and you cannot provide proof of your pet being vaccinated against rabies, they will immediately euthanize the animal and send its head off for testing to find out if the bitten/scratched person will need to be treated for rabies. If you can provide proper documentation, your dog will have to be quarantined for 10 days. If it doesn’t show signs of rabies in these 10 days. He can go back home.

    So I understand both sides: one side is terrified of hurting their pets through vaccines, the other side is terrified of a disease that kills within 10 days of onset of clinical signs.

    I just think I’d rather take the small chance of my dog having a bad reaction to a rabies vaccine than risking her getting into contact with a rabid animal and dying a horrible death. Unfortunately, they do not offer post exposure treatment to animals as they do for humans.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 25, 2019 at 8:58 pm

      Hey Ramona, I see in your missive a whole lot of misunderstanding about the disease of rabies and about duration of immunity (the central point of the article). If you feel best getting repeated shots for rabies throughout your animal’s life, so be it. Just don’t criticize people who have learned more than you and act in a different manner. Your fears won’t be shared by others here, who’ve learned enough to dispel them.

      • Barbara McWha on May 28, 2023 at 12:34 pm

        Thank you for your response to her! I was horrified by her total lack of knowledge! I will live off the grid before I give my girl another rabies or other vaccination.

        • Dana Flemming on March 5, 2024 at 12:39 am

          I also want to thank you for your response. This attitude is typical in my state (New Mexico) and I have dodged many bullets for my dog here due to the lack of knowledge and ignorance.

    • Robyn on March 28, 2022 at 3:33 pm

      I have had 1 dog die at 6 yrs old after his first ever rabies shot (for emigration), my next dog almost died due to vaccines. My parents Golden got DM from shots and had to be euthanized. My GSD/Lab got DM as well and died shortly before being euthanized.

      The 6 yr old that died had no shots after the breeder at 9 wks old but still had antibodies at 5 yrs old.
      Dogs are no longer automatically euthanized after a bite. I know of several people with dogs never vaccinated for rabies but still had antibodies to rabies. I tested my dog before his first rabies shot at 6 yrs old for curiosity sake as we live in a forest, but the second vial of blood was not useable and the lab only tested the parvo, distemper, adenovirus antibodies unfortunately. If you go to the right vet you do not have to lie to them, they know the dangers and do not require shots to treat your animal.

    • Elle on March 3, 2024 at 11:30 am

      No offense but your fear-laden beliefs cause agony and pain for vulnerable pets and their caretakers. There’s a question as to whether Rabies even exists. And no shots can ever do anything but harm—animals and humans. You’ve fallen prey to the propaganda that Big Pharma and their lackeys, the media, put out because people like you buy into their nonsense. All to please their shareholders with big profits.

      Wake up, do some research and cease spreading fear-based BS to responsible and caring pet parents who have experienced first-hand, the angst and grief having live bacteria, viruses, aborted fetal cells, toxic chemicals, and other assorted garbage injected into their beloved fur babies and watching their trusting babies waste away before their eyes.

      In the mountains, where no one takes their fur babies to vets ever, because they haven’t been brainwashed and have little funds to do so, have dogs living well into their 20s. Never any disease. When they die, it’s natural-old age.

    • Liz on March 27, 2024 at 12:36 am

      Wow….Soooo you clearly didn’t read…anything….literally…anything…that is on this website.

  13. Diane on August 23, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    Because my almost 5 year old mini Aussie has some skin allergies (which I have since been able to resolve – hallelujah!) my holistic vet gave me a signed form saying that the rabies vaccine could cause severe allergic reactions, even death. I’m not sure how it will hold up if ever needed, but we carry it with us when traveling. She has only had the 1st puppy shots – breeder did it before I could take her home. She also just had and Ovary Sparing Spay and is doing great!!! Gets to keep her hormones, and Hubby doesn’t have to freak out at the sight of blood! hahah. I do keep my deceased dogs rabies tags from years ago to dangle on her collar if I think I may be around anyone that cares. Also, proof of vaccinations were required for dog school but when I brought in article after article written by you and many other wonderful veterinarians about the dangers of over vaccination – the waived it for me!!! And many of the trainers wanted to know more! Be bold, keep speaking out! People love their pets, and many of them just don’t know any different from what they are being told!

  14. dog Mom on August 12, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    My daughter’s puppy bit someone recently. She had taken him for a rabies vaccine (luckily?) but has to quarantine him at home for ten days. In light of this event I would be concerned to not have rabies vaccine for a dog who is enjoying an active social life out in public for walks, going camping, playing at the park, etc.
    Is the thimerosal-free rabies vaccine safer? Do the 1-year or 3-year vaccine carry different risks? Can a smaller dose be “effective”? If so, what dose?

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 12, 2019 at 9:06 pm

      All questions I’ll be answering very soon, dog Mom. Start with my free Rabies Short Course and keep an eye on your inbox for more coming. This is one disease you can’t be too smart on!

  15. Karen on May 10, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    My large mixed breed has had many of the same symptoms as the dog written about in this article.
    They started being noticeable in 2017, and a little more so early in 2018.
    When we started using TRS, I gave him some too. It seemed to help the symptoms a little, for a few months. When we added a certain CBD oil to our TRS, I added it to my dog’s, too. That combination helped for about a half-year, then he had a couple of instances where he struggled to get up. We added MSM that day, and it helped tremendously. When a collagen with HA helped my worst hip joint, I added it to the protocol for my dog. So far, he is still doing so well, I’m not worrying about having to put him down. He’s almost 10+1/2, and well over a hundred pounds, and I know that there’s a sad day coming, but it’s not today.
    I’m so discouraged about veterinarians being so complicit in the vaccine scams, and causing the same health issues that humans are.
    They take normal symptoms of toxicity, call it a virus, and wa-la !, they just happen to have a vaccine for it. They are full of neurotoxins and other contaminants, and should be outlawed.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 11, 2019 at 5:51 am

      It sounds like you’re managing a difficult disease very well, Karen! Bravo! What’s good for Mom is often good for baby…

  16. Deanna Bates on May 2, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    This is probably going to sound dumb but when you have nerve damage from the rabies vaccine as described in this article could you use vitamin B1 Benfothiamine? In humans there is what is called wet beriberi and dry beriber The wet affects the cardiovascular system and the dry imparcts the myelin sheath and nerve endings. obviously the cause of these conditions are not the same. When my dog Desy became really sick I was really burning the midnight oil trying to compare and contrast what I have learned regarding human nutrition and supplementation to dogs, So google became my closest friend. because I didn’t want to give Desy something I couldn’t verify as being used with dogs, It’s like Pandora’s box once you mess up the immune system you have big problems, I live in communist CA so human or animal they are going to shove those vaccines down your throat. No more for me, not my other dog. I love him enough to let him go and ship him out of state. Des is with the angels safe from Vets. Don’t be hoodwinked by fancy smancy titles I’m Holistic nonsense! An old saying if you are going to talk the talk you better walk the walk. Like when does a vet become holistic? After they make your pet sick with shots? I have always said only when you own your actions can you change your life. Desy is gone because I didn’t do the right things like letting her have a rabies shot. A bitter pill to swallow but I will never vaccinate another dog. They can go pound sand!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 11, 2019 at 11:49 am

      Hey Deanna, not a dumb question, and B vitamins, being entirely water soluble, are not going to be a problem in pets. Any excess will get urinated out. Will they help rabies vaccine victims? Maybe you’ll be someone who can tell us!

      I appreciate your integrity and no BS stance, which is becoming ever more important to consumers of all kinds of health care these days. You’ll have fun with this post, on Fauxlistic vets!

  17. Francia on April 21, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    I have a rescue dog that has extreme allergies, both food and environmental. I first eliminated all the foods that her testing revealed. I had already added pre and probiotics and Salmon oil. No relief. I then added Gut Soothe, medicinal mushrooms and CBD, She is not taking any steroid or immune suppressants and is holding her own in peak pollen season. I live in a community that is very strict about licensing, and thus Rabies vaccines. I called the Animal Services department. I was told that as long as my Vet writes a letter saying the vaccine is a health issue for her (which it most certainly is, as all this started about 8 wks after the rescue agency had all of her vaccines given at one time), that she can be exempt from the vaccine.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 24, 2019 at 5:48 am

      That’s great, Francia. If the vet you have isn’t on board with your understanding and the AS allowing a waiver, just find another who gets it.

  18. HAILY on April 18, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    I get my Aussie titered every year, then I lie and say that she is having seizures, but so far they are managable without meds. This gets me an annual exemption. I opt for a licience.

  19. S. D. Granger on March 21, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    I stopped getting vaccs for my 2 dogs. Told my town I don’t have them any more. I got both of them titered for parvo/distemper and rabies through Dr. John Robb and PROTECTTHEPETS.COM He uses the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Labs. Very reasonable rates through Dr. Robb’s website. My vet drew the blood and centrifuged it for me, no need to keep chilled. My groomer accepts titers. I support Dr. Robb’s efforts to get the rabies laws changed.

  20. anon on March 21, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    If they remind you to re-license, just tell them the dog has passed or you gave it away.

  21. Anon on March 21, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    I simply stopped registering my animals the last time I moved. If you’ve already registered or licensed your animals and you wish to stop, just tell them the dog has passed or you gave it away.

  22. BVK on February 21, 2019 at 7:47 am

    For 13yrs I had a Westie who became immune compromised by the puppy vaxx he’d received. Incessant itching, scratching, gnawing at paws, and hair loss as well as digestive issues were the result.
    At nearly one year old and all vet options exhausted I was told to put my dog on steroids and to keep doing elimination diets. That’s when I started doing my own research and discovered rawfeeding and homeopathy. That took care of it all!
    No more vaxx and only titer testing – which showed “sufficient” (legally) antibodies the rest of his life. Only one time was his “legal minimum” insufficient. I asked my vet to indulge me in a test – he put on gloves and broke a small vial of rabies vaxx on a cotton ball. He held the ball very close to my dog’s nose for a full minute then threw it away. A week later we re-tested his titer and it boosted to well over the minimum!
    No vaxx the rest of his life and he traveled to over 8 countries and internationally on planes 10 times!

    • Brenda G on November 5, 2019 at 2:12 pm

      I would be interested in seeing a response from Doctor Falconer on the results from smelling of rabies vaccine on a “cotton ball”.

      • Will Falconer, DVM on November 5, 2019 at 8:36 pm

        Killed virus vaccine = no response. Especially if you’re hoping for a measurable immunity by titer.

  23. maryellen fantasia on February 21, 2019 at 7:18 am

    My west highland terrier developed Myasthenia Gravis 2 weeks after having a rabies shot. She was 7 years old at the time. She nearly died before she was diagnosed because many vets never even see this in their lifetime of practice. She is in remission now and is excluded from having any shots via a written letter from her neurologist. In my humble opinion there should be closer attention paid to the dogs that are not healthy and receive rabies shots. My friends schnauzer was dying of cancer and the vet gave her a rabies shot weeks before she passes and she had the cancer for 3 years. SHAMEFUL WHAT THEY WILL DO FOR MONEY…

  24. ELAINE WINTER on February 20, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    If the rabies vaccine is connected to DM why is it that only the large breeds as you noted get my DM? My German shepherd ended up getting this and I had to have him vaccinated about every three years. I could have gotten away with not having to do this if I didn’t have to show proof of this at the groomers or boarding places. I won’t ever get a dog vaccinated more than once in their life again.

  25. Gina on February 20, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    I live in Florida, and I got an exemption for my dog. Fortunately, I have a vet that practices alternative medicine and he agreed with not giving the rabies vaccine gave me the exemption.

  26. Alison Knight on February 16, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    Wonder if several of your dogs have been licenced through the City, and to do that they had to get the rabies vaccination…When it comes time to renew, they will send out a reminder to Licence your pet again..How do you avoid more rabies Vaccinations??..I

  27. Pam Baumann on November 20, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    My springer developed hypothyroidism as a result of over-vaccination. Once we figured it out, we had her titered for Parvo/Distemper and Rabies and she was given an exemption based on the fact that it is illegal to vaccinate an immune challenged animal. Our vet wrote the exemption letter and we still received a license from the city. :-). I have her letter/titer information with me at all times and also in the car.

  28. Figs on September 4, 2018 at 12:35 am

    I have an epileptic vizsla dog likely due to rabies vaccine. Seeing a neurologist at local veterinary university teaching hospital. I have asked 3 of their neurology staff if they still recommend vaccines in dog with epilepsy. They all look at me like I’m crazy and say YES OF COURSE. We have always recommended them, even more so for epileptic dogs. What the heck does that mean? WHY? I asked why would you vaccinate them for anything if they already have a messed up neurologic system. They say there’s no reason not to. And refuse to write an exemption.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on September 4, 2018 at 2:21 am

      Amazing. And these are the ones teaching vet students. Did they never read a vaccine label about it being for “healthy” dogs, cats, and ferrets? Or do they consider epilepsy somehow part of normal health?


      • Figs on September 4, 2018 at 4:12 am

        They apparently do not consider idiopathic epilepsy an unhealthy situation or condition. They have done a spinal tap, brain MRI, loads of lab work, etc… This poor dog is on so many meds that do NOT control the epilepsy but we cannot wean him off of them because apparently (they did NOT tell us this before he started the meds) when reducing them, this induces even more seizures… so instead he has compromised liver function, reduced quality of life, ataxia, sedation, and bloodwork every few months to keep an eye on things… despite liver enzymes rising (and he takes milk thistle and SAMe to counteract this), they say this cannot be helped on the meds he HAS to take. They absolutely deny any possible connection with vaccines.

  29. Haily Alexander on August 6, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    No more rabies vaccines for my ten year old Aussie! Here’s how I stopped them.

    She is very healthy, but in 2016 I told her vet that she was showing symptoms of seizures. When I was offered Rxs, I said I wanted to observe her a while longer and would get them if needed. Armed with the knowledge that the vaccination is not recommended for a canine in poor heath, I was successful getting a letter to disqualify her. Although she does not seize, I have continued to report seizures to her vet and continued to be successful exempting her from the vaccine.
    However, I have needed to make adjustments to her(our) life. Instead of hiking with her off leash, which was great fun, she is always leashed when on the trails. When in town and people ask if they can pet her (cause she’s really cute) I tell them she is too shy with strangers for that. Once a toddler broke away from his parent and came running over to us. Although Haily is very friendly to everybody, I got between them.
    Also, I titer test her annually and so far, she is protected. I hope she will stay this way from one test to the next because there is a rabid fox in the next town over that hasn’t been caught. It has already bitten two children and one adult. This is a real threat, not to be taken lightly and you need to be well armed with a plan that works. However, the lies I need to tell and the changes I have made have been very much worth it!
    I am sharing this information in the hope that it may be of help, but for obvious reasons I need to stay anonymous, so I am trusting that my email address will not be posted anywhere. Thanks!

  30. Blue on June 26, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    I have a very good holistic vet, my pups do get their puppy shots through 16 weeks and, annual titers after that. I live in a very rural location and, these are wolfdogs so, vaccines can work a bit differently for them anyway. So far all have tested good to go, no more vaccines needed.

    I’d rather pay for titering than over vaccinate my canine companions. I don’t board my dogs or, take them to dog parks. I do travel with them occasionally but, except for rabies, we can buy the 5 way and 7 way OTC at the feed store here – I buy them, get the receipt and stickers for the vet record book. My vet gives me the rabies tags at their checkups but, not the vaccine.

    I feed a raw, prey model diet with a small portion of quality kibble – just to insure they will eat kibble if they ever need to eat only kibble for a few days. I also have a plant called chocolate mint (contains no chocolate) and rosemary planted in and around the dog run. They roll in and, nibble on both plants – pest control for them.

    No fleas, ticks or mosquitoes, not even flies bother them. A little natural preventative and, a strong immune system for the dogs does the trick. A good vet that understands the legal issues tops it off perfectly.

  31. Linda on June 3, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    I’m happy to report that I never vaccinated my Icelandic Sheepdog and she is now 11 yrs old. Before I received her, the breeder had done the first round of puppy shots. I did do nosodes (although they are supposed to be irrelevant if already vaccinated). I had her titre tested a couple months ago and her immunity is good.

    • Amber on January 31, 2024 at 12:16 pm

      So the Nosodes alone is or is not sufficient for immunity?

  32. Carol Sawnie on July 23, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Dr. Will,
    Do you believe in any vaccinations at all? How dangerous is feline leukemia? Can a cat fight this off? At what age is a kitten out of the danger zone of viruses etc. My kitten is on a raw diet and so far no vaccines.

    • Margaret on March 3, 2024 at 3:00 pm

      I understand I’m responding years later, but I had two beautiful, well-loved cats that I was advised to give the Feline leukemia vaccines (this was decades ago – before I knew better). They both developed feline leukemia after the vaccines and died terrible deaths. I regret listening to that d*** vet.

  33. Coni on July 11, 2017 at 7:15 am

    I live in Colorado in a rural area with 6 dogs. None of the dogs are vaccinated. I asked my Western vet to remove my name from the “reminder” list for vaccines which he did. He did tell me that if any of my dogs contracted leptospirosis he would not treat them because it would put him and his staff at risk. My holistic vet is my go to guy.

  34. Stephen Johnson on January 4, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Dr. have you seen this? Titering for some diseases made easier and cheaper:
    At least it mentions vaccines have dangers. Still some of the typical distortions and no rabies test but could be a helpful tool and step in the right direction to at least less vaccinations.
    I am amazed that we have this understanding about immunology and prevention of disease but we still don’t have the wisdom to correctly apply the knowledge to a solution that doesn’t cause problems similar in severity to the disease itself. I have hope. If we truly ask and seek for wisdom, we shall receive it.

  35. Stephen Johnson on December 30, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Thanks for the passionate stance on animal (and even human) health. Interesting page.
    I have recently gotten a stray dog, estimated to be 10-12 months old, seems happy, healthy dog. And am considering whether to get any vaccinations. Dr. do you give rabies vaccinations when requested by clients? I live in south Texas 2-3 hours from Austin. I see a lot a references to one shot is most likely good for life but that one shot can have devastating effects. So, I am in a dilema as to which way to go and trying to learn all I can. I am on the edge of a small town and have wanted a dog to guard our fruit trees from varmints eating the fruit. Just the fact of him being around has and will probably continue to discourage anything from coming around anymore, unless maybe it is rabid. So, he may have a somewhat dangerous job. Regarding Texas law what is the required timing of rabies vaccinations? All the vets I have asked say after the first shot, 1 yr later a second shot, then it is legally valid for 3 years. Is it the same shot? Is the series required by law or the vaccine manufacturer or merely standard practice by vets? From what I read of the law, it just puts the protocol on the manufacturer.
    Maybe before he had some vaccines. I believe I will have him tested for antibodies first and then make decisions on any vaccine(s). And maybe have blood tested, other lab work, to check general health, any hidden issues, as well? Any recommendations?

    • Will Falconer, DVM on December 31, 2016 at 1:43 am

      Hey Stephen,
      I’d be willing to bet this guy has a titer to rabies from previous vaccination. Titer first and decide from there. If positive at any level, it indicates he’s immune.
      If he’s healthy and young, a blood test in general is likely to come out very normal. Doesn’t hurt to check as they’ll need blood for the titer.
      I don’t give rabies vaccine. And the law is not based on immunology, so I’d not ask too many questions on that. Better to learn what you need to know (my dog is immune!) and go from there. Most of my clients, once they’ve learned of immunity, fly under the radar. Lots of useful comments on this post about how to do that. Best of luck with your varmint repeller!

  36. laurie harsh on May 21, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Thank you and I apologize for posting in the wrong place! Was reading so much I sort of forgot where I was…..I sort of had some thoughts on the vaccination conversation as well as the apoquel conversation. What I failed to mention is that I KNOW the allergies worsened after the last vaccinations. Until then it was manageable and not really too bad. My local vet will not acknowledge the correlation. Anyhow, I am familiar w/homeopathy having gone through a couple years of intense homeopathic treatment w/another dog. Very unfortunately, that vet moved to a different part of the country. I will however look @ your recommendations and go from there! Thank you so very much!

  37. laurie harsh on May 21, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    I rescued a yellow lab when she was 1 year of age. She had never been vaccinated, was fed poorly and tested positive for lymes. My local vet, whom I had really liked because he was really open minded about my previous treatment of another dog w/a holistic and homeopathic vet for osteo scarcoma saw her and of course he recommended vaccination immediately and treatment for lymes although she did not have symptoms nor had she ever had symptoms. We do live in a very tick infested area of the woods and almost all dogs and people have had some form of tick born illness. I did go ahead w/the initial rabies, parvo, distemper vaccinations, but spread them out rather than the load they prefer to give. Once she had completed the protocol I have not allowed further vaccinations but do titers as needed. There is always adequate protection.
    Moving forward, this dog has developed seasonal allergies that have become debilitating for her over the last couple of summers. We live on a lake in northern MN that is very clean and we all swim constantly so if there were something in the water we would all have been affected. I know the dog has a pollen reaction but which one is any ones guess. We did serum testing that I now feel was a waste of money. A couple of years ago I was desperate to find her a solution and allowed the vet to give her 3 steroid injections while I was researching other options. Everything subsided over the winter months but before it began again last summer I got some Transfer Factor Plus and began giving her that in an attempt to avoid a miserable summer for her. She has eaten a balanced fresh and raw diet since I adopted her 7 years ago. She gets lots of exercise all year. She has been a happy healthy dog other than this escalating allergy situation during the warm, pollen filled months.
    Regardless of all I did, the itching returned last summer. I gave up and took her in to the vet again to discuss possible options and he immediately recommended apoquel. I had been reading Dr Hines’ website and was familiar w/the drug. I got a bottle of the apoquel w/the recommended dose being 16 mg 2x daily. I did that the first day and sure enough, her itching ceased and she just looked so comfortable and happy! But, being the minimalist w/drugs that I am I figured why not try a lesser dose and see how it goes. As it turned out I watched her closely, did all the things I could to minimize pollen getting to her skin and was able to control the itching w/an 8mg dose of apoquel every 24-48 hours. Since we only need the extra help for a short period of time, I felt that it was the best compromise I could make to keep her comfortable and hopefully minimize the risk from the drug. I continued the TR+ along w/cool baths and rinses after swimming and good towelings after those as well in an effort to just collect as much of the offending pollens as possible. (In my mind, anyway…)
    As soon as we had a hard frost in the fall, the need for any further apoquel disappeared and the winter months we worked on building her immune system. Sure enough this spring, the itching began to return. Once it became systemic to the point of not being able to even touch her w/out it setting off spasms and scratching I succumbed to the 8mg dose of apoquel on a minimal basis. Again, it is suppressing the misery of the itching. At this point I don’t know what else to do as we continue w/the TF+, fresh foods and balanced raw diet, soothing shampoos, cool showers and good exercise. I even rub organic coconut oil into her skin occasionally as it is so soothing and healing and she likes it! I continue to look for alternatives to apoquel but for the time being I use the least possible dose along w/everything else and it keeps her comfortable and functioning very well. I do hope for a day when it won’t be necessary however.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 21, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      Hi Laurie,
      I hear you. These itchy guys are just miserable, often as you see, worse in Summer and better in Winter. When they’re not happy, ain’t nobody happy, as the saying goes.
      The only thing I know the can truly cure this is homeopathy, in the hands of a competent prescriber. Over at the first Apoquel page I posted, you’ll find a free report at the bottom. In that, I detail how to find a homeopath to get you on the curative path. Homeopathy isn’t easy. It takes time, patience, and attention to symptom details, but it works like nothing else in chronic disease, which is what you’re clearly up against.
      All the best to you and your itchy lab.

  38. Cindy Swain on May 20, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Hi! I just joined this site and appreciate all the great information. I have a 14 year old Shih Tzu, who for the first 5 years of her life, got all the shots every year, was spayed at 4 months old, got her Frontline and heart worm preventative every month faithfully….everything I THOUGHT was the right thing to do, and I was so proud of myself for being a conscientious pet owner and doing everything “right”. My sweet girl has had terrible skin issues since she was just 2 years old, and I cringe to think of all the pesticides and vaccines I put into her body those first 5 years. Since she has been the age of 5, I have done only her rabies every three years, because I thought I had to. I have been making my own food for her for the last year, and she is thriving on it. I just wish I had known then what I know now.
    We just brought home Maltese puppy in April. He will be raised so much different than my Shih Tzu was raised now that I know what I know. I have just a couple of questions…after the initial puppy vaccine series and the rabies, does my puppy need the one year booster that my vet said he would need? I’m very disappointed in my vet, and will be continuing my search for a true holistic vet. I went to this current vet with my puppy because they claim to be holistic, and yet, they do not support my decision to not use flea and heart worm preventative. I have been using an essential oil mix on my Shih Tzu for the past 9 years, and she has never in that 9 years had a flea or a tick on her, and she has never had heartworm.
    My other question is this…is garlic safe or not safe for my dogs?
    Thank you!

  39. Mary Ellen Marucci on May 17, 2016 at 12:03 am

    I was bitten by a confined coyote at a conservation center, and though the wound was thorougly cleaned before I went to the ER, I did get the anti-toxin for tetanus. A month later I received a call from my state Center for Disease Control. She siad I should get the rabies vaccine. But since neither I or the coyote had any synptoms I wondered if it was wise, that it might reduce my immunity and if my body was fighting it off, then the vaccine might lower my resistance and I would get it. I told her the animal had been vaccinated, but they did not know how long or if it was effective in coyotes and if coyotes would be symtomatic for it if they did carry rabies. She also said someone could be bitten and get rabies years later. When I asked her how effective it was in dogs, she said 60%. So a vaccinated dog has a 40% chance of having rabies though vaccinated. I decided against vaccination. With those odds it did not seem protective. When I did a search about those bitten who developed it much later, it looked like her statement about getting rabid years after being bit, was based on a young child who died of rabies years after she was bit…but what could have bit her since then…and did she get treated with the rabies vaccine? YOu got to love the CDC protocol that wants you to believe in magic.

  40. Laura Scott on February 15, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    I would like to know how to get ‘around’ the current rabies vaccine when boarding my dog, Bella. In the past, I have always had someone come to my home, but we just moved to Ruidoso, NM and do not know many people who we would trust doing this. There is a great boarding place here but I anticipate they will want a current rabies vaccination. Any suggestions for how to deal with this?
    I have to go to a new vet too, so would like the “check rabies vaccine 6 months ago and fein, can’t remember the vet’s name, will get it for you. I would like to get a rabies titer and blood work done to check for heart worms. I quit giving her heart worm meds the first of last year 2015. Do all vets do the rabies titer?

    • Will Falconer, DVM on February 15, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      Hi Laura,
      The easiest is to find a pet sitter. I’d interview a few, ask folks where you shop for names, etc. And the vet ruse might work with the kennel as well. Worth a shot. A large part of this is attitude!
      No vets actually do the rabies titers, though they can draw the blood for you and send it to Kansas State, the only lab I’m aware of that does them. The presence of a stout titer and a reasoned discussion with the right open minded person might be all you need.

  41. PC on January 20, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    My dog just got her rabies titer from dr dodds and kansas state university and it showed extremely high level at 15.0. def no more rabies vaccs for her ever.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on January 20, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      How long after her shots was her blood drawn, Peter? You’re right: she done for life now.

      • Peter on January 20, 2016 at 9:56 pm

        Her last rabies shot was a 3-yr in February 2013.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on January 20, 2016 at 10:05 pm

          Well, if you read a bit further, I think on Vaccinations: Efficacy, you’ll see the 1 yr/3 yr falsehood for what it is: pure marketing,
          but WOOT!
          You are done, man. For life.

  42. PC on January 7, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Well, I did it. I said to my vet no more vaccinations. Including rabies. She doesn’t agree with the rabies law but still advised me to do it. She said she would still accept my dog at her clinic without getting it though because i asked, otherwise I’d have to find someone else. I also called the town and told them i rehomed my dog. I know I made the right decision.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on January 9, 2016 at 5:31 am

      Right on, PC! I love the bold move you’ve made in favor of a healthier future for your dog.

      • PC on January 9, 2016 at 9:14 am

        Thank you Dr. Falconer! It feels damn good. Haha

  43. Eugenie Martell on October 6, 2015 at 12:07 am

    Creative commentary , Just to add my thoughts , if someone needs a 2008 DD 2208 , my kids encountered a sample document here Rabies Certificate.

  44. Belinda on September 22, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    P.S. I now have an 18 month old Scottie female (intact and will stay that way until she has fully matured) who is non-vaccinated. I will get her titered soon to see if she has any natural immunities (carried over from her mother, who’d been vaccinated as a puppy).

  45. Belinda on September 22, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    I have a 12+ yr. old male westie who has not been vaccinated since his 6 month booster. He was castrated at age 7.
    I lived in the Netherlands and only recently returned to the USA and am astounded by the PUSH of the vets to get not only a rabies vaccine but many, many other unnecessary vaccinations.
    My vet in the Netherlands was very accommodating and sensible with regards to any vaccinations or meds. He was first and foremost concerned with the effect on my dog. I encountered homeopathic veterinary medicine in the Netherlands in order to find a solution for the “vaccinosis” I saw in my 9 mo. old puppy (I imported him to Holland in 2004). I had already started him cautiously on raw food but that didn’t solve his allergic-type reactions to the 6 mo. old vaccination cocktail he’d received. My homeopathic vet examined him and asked many personality-type questions and was able to specify a remedy that literally turned his life (and mine) around! I’m so glad that I am by nature a very observant person because this helped so much in the diagnosis and cure.
    From 2005-2013 we lived in the Netherlands and benefitted from the care of this Hvet. Even now I will telephone her for a consult.
    With regard to vaccinations… My 12+ yr old westie male had a blood test/titer each year to comply with rabies requirements. He tested above minimum range until 3 years ago. He was slightly below range and my Dutch vet suggested a rabies vaccination and I consulted with my Homeopathic vet regarding eventual fall-out should I really need to do this (to be honest I would have refused rather than put my dog through the hell he experienced after his 6 mo. vaccination).
    Then I read about a study regarding rabies vaccines dropped in remote locations in the USA to combat rabies among coyotes. The coyotes only sniffed the vaccines and natural immune levels increased. I consulted my Dutch vet to try an experiment by allowing my westie to only sniff the rabies vaccine that would have normally been injected. He agreed. He donned white gloves/mask and broke open the vial and placed it on a cotton ball. I held my dog as close to the cotton ball as possible without letting him touch it. We held that pose for one minute and then discarded the cotton ball. 10 days later we re-tested my dog with a blood titer and his reaction had spiked! It was no longer necessary for him to be vaccinated with a rabies booster!
    He has still retained his minimum levels on the titers…. in fact, he was imported to the USA in Nov. 2013 with those titer levels and NO rabies vaccination since 2004.
    Tell that to the authorities!

    • Amber on January 31, 2024 at 3:14 pm

      I wonder if that would work for unvaccinated pups?

  46. Sandra Todd on September 21, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    I have just read thru all of this and find it so fascinating. I currently have 2 small dogs from the shelter and am working with Dr. MaryBeth Minter in AZ on skin issues for my little poodle mix that she attributes to rabies miasm. She is due for another vaccination next month and a re- register and even tho Dr. Minter has written a vaccination waiver for me, I am going to try to “stay under the radar” and keep the waiver for back up. My work with dogs goes back many years and has been a slow awakening for me from the highly traditional methods to my totally holistic beliefs today. I worked for the military Veterinarians for many years and am now totally appalled at the “advice” that I was taught and dispensed to people for many years. I was taught that the more vaccines you give and at frequent intervals, the better for the animal (and that older animals needed them even more, because they had weaker immune systems than younger ones). Also, if you didn’t have them on heartworm prevention and topical flea prevention, you were harming your pet! They still adhere to these protocols. I did foster care and worked with rescue groups and had many dogs pass thru my home, in addition to the 5 older “foster failures” that I owned. I quit that Vet job and started down the natural path. I found a “holistic” Vet many years ago and started working with her. I know now that she is basically “fauxlistic” but she was a step up from Dr. Whitecoat. Anyway, after a series of mis-steps with my beloved little pekinese from her and the traditional specialists because of which he spent the last two years of his life ill and going from one crisis to another, I finally let him go at 13 years old which broke my heart. I dropped Dr. Fauxlistic and have turned to totally homeopathic. I belong to DNM academy, Dr. Will’s Vital Animals and absorb everything I can find. I just want to say thank you to these wonder truly Homeopathic Vets for doing all of this and to this fabulous Homeopathic Community for all the advice and support. I felt like I was swimming against the tide for years and although I still am, you folks are my life preserver! BTW, I have been kicked out of 2 Dr. Whitecoat’s clinics and told not to come back unless I could co-operate with Vet, who knew more than I could ever know, told I was terrible pet parent for not receiving proper vet care for my dogs and denied two adoptions that I wanted from a rescue because I would not agree to the vaccinations and heartworm prevention. It is a constant uphill battle, but well worth it. I use a mobile pet groomer who comes to my house and doesn’t ask for vaccination proof, a pet/house sitter when I travel (who follows my strict protocols on feeding and where to take my dogs), no dog parks, and I have an old rabies certificate, that I just copy and alter to carry with us when we travel in our motor home (just in case). Life is Good!

  47. Marti on September 21, 2015 at 10:57 am

    I had not vaccinated my 9 month old kittens until last week and really didn’t want to do it then, but they had gotten a bat and I freaked! I haven’t gotten the results yet about whether or not the bat had rabies. Could I have avoided the rabies shot even if the bat comes back positive?

  48. stephanie on September 17, 2015 at 7:04 am

    Thanks Doc, the thing that is most perplexing is that the vets at OSU vet school will not even examine her without a full series of inoculations which they want us to start at 6 weeks! We will continue to follow a natural course of treatment with complete faith that we will be shown the way for him/her to have a full recovery. Miracles Happen!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on September 21, 2015 at 5:16 am

      Oh, my. Here’s an animal coming into life malformed, perhaps with life threatening malformation, and the vets at a major university teaching hospital, Ohio State, are pushing a full vaccination schedule on the pup!
      What’s wrong with this picture??
      Nobody reading the labels, where it says, “Only for Use in Healthy” animals? At the veterinary teaching hospital level, even?
      All the more evidence that you won’t get your needs met in conventional veterinary medicine.

  49. stephanie on September 16, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    We just took into rescue a new mom and 3 pups. While she was at the pound and at around 1 month into gestation, she was given a 7 way and rabies. She has one pup with a rare developmental anomaly called Perineal Hypospadias … don’t yet know if he/she is Bruce or Caitlin but a few articles that we read said that it could very well be caused by vaccines while pregnant. she has no visible male or female organs or anus in the appropriate place. She will need several reconstructive or gender reassignment surgeries. I AM hoping the Dr. Will might have a suggestion or two for any homeopathics that could support her elimination and/or prevention for bladder or colon problems/infections which she/he is starting to have. She is vigorous in every other way and the most interesting thing is that she was the runt at one week and has now outgrown her/his siblings. If anyone might be willing to contribute to her soon to be immense surgery bills, please visit our website and we will keep you updated on her progress. I AM as you are with Love for the animals.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on September 16, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      Hey Stephanie,
      What an unusual disease. Homeopathy has definitely helped developmental abnormalities, but it’d have to be in the context of appointments with a vet homeopath. Definitely will take careful work, definitely not DIY. My Resources page has the AVH list on it. Look for a full time homeopathic vet, and know that distance matters not. You can work by telephone, Skype, etc.
      Best of luck with her/him! Let us know how it all comes out.

  50. Ellen on September 14, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Wow! Love all the good information in this post and the comments. While I have not yet reached the point of falsifying anything, and I have fulfilled the intent of the law, I do find myself skirting around some of the so-called requirements of my city (which will remain nameless although it is a pretty big city in north Texas with a stadium that looks like the mother ship).
    I did register my dogs and maybe even renewed once but can’t figure out how to get around the old rabies certificate thing so I have not re-registered in 2 years. This city is way too big for ACOs to go door to door checking. My holistic vet does not push vaccines so I do not have trouble in that department.
    My breed is known to have a number of autoimmune issues so I don’t want to do anything that would set something off.
    My 3 year old dog has histiocytosis (cutaneous) and is under the care of a dermatologist who has written in each of her check up notes that vaccines are not to be given. I did have her titer tested which shows “good” immunity.
    Last weekend I took her to one of those dog swim events at a pool in another city and they did have ACOs checking paperwork so I showed the original rabies certificate (which she saw had expired) and I also showed the titer results and notes from her specialist and that seemed to satisfy the ACO! I don’t take her to dog parks or regular kennels because of her condition but she does go to training classes and trials. I have a good friend that has taken her a couple of times when we needed to travel without her. My groomer has not asked about vaccinations and I try to limit her time there anyway.
    Unfortunately she has to be on some serious meds to keep her disease under control. We have stopped the heartworm pills and everything else we can for both this dog and our 7 year old dog. I think I will ask for an “exemption letter” for him when the time comes. They are also both co-owned so if it comes down to it, I will say they were with the co-owner in another state for a while.
    I do hope the laws are changed soon and I try to educate my friends who talk about getting their dogs “annual shots”. Ugh!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on September 16, 2015 at 4:53 pm

      Thanks for your comments, Ellen. I advise your “under the radar approach” quite often, and am glad it works for you there.
      I’d caution you to beware the “serious meds” that control symptoms, however. That disease is slowly growing while being on palliative meds, and will one day “explode” into uncontrollable disease, very likely. It’s a tenuous “okay” state she’s in.
      Better would be to go for cure. See my Resources page for the AVH list and get a professional homeopathic vet to help you. Long distance is fine for this, as long as you can describe symptoms well. Autoimmunity can be cured, but not by drugs, unfortunately. I hope you can start down that road before the other shoe drops.
      I wish you all the best.

  51. Jennifer on August 31, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Hello Dr.,
    As non Dr’s, we try to do the ‘right’ thing with our pets. If we vaccinate, there could be toxicity problems, if we don’t – there could be disease or other problems. It’s so frustrating and I’ve been debating this issue as well for a long time. I have a concern and some questions.
    My dog, Patch, had his first ‘seizure’ June 2014 (he is 9yrs/Chihuahua mix) 3 days after his annual Distemper vaccine. No treatment was given because the Dr’s didn’t believe it was related. Patch had his annual booster this June with seemingly no complications. He’s also been on Heartgaurd monthly since May – only the summer/fall months. Last week I gave him the Heartgaurd chew and the next day noticed at one point, it appeared he was going to vomit, but didn’t. The following day (now 2 days after drug) he had another ‘seizure’. The vets are telling me it was a seizure, but it looked more like stroke to me. His face froze up, chin to chest and eyes bulged a bit. After, he wandered about for a minute to try to get comfortable, hanging his head low and arching back. To me it looked like he had a severe headache and was trying to get comfortable. He had a similar, but shorter episode the following day. So over a period of 3-4 days, 3-4 instances. Lethargic in between, barking less and somewhat hoarse. Appetite and bathroom duties normal.
    Bloodwork came back perfect. Dr’s are telling me they believe he has a brain tumor. I think it could be related to the drugs/toxicity since both ‘seizure’ occurrences happened within days of drugs administered. They started a course of Prednisone and within 24 hrs, he is nearly back to normal. (not fully)
    Would the CBC be normal if there was toxicity from the Ivermectin in Heartgaurd? What do you do for your dog if they are toxic from these meds – I can’t seem to find a treatment course online.
    Thank you (so much) in advance for your help!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 31, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      Hi Jennifer,
      Thanks for writing in the comments here. Let’s get a couple of things established first, as I see some misunderstandings that are likely still very common among pet owners.
      “If we vaccinate, there could be toxicity problems, if we don’t – there could be disease or other problems.”
      First, there can certainly be toxicity problems, but vaccinations carry much more insidious, long lasting, even inheritable effects. I wrote about that here, if you’d like to learn more.
      Secondly, veterinary immunologists tell us that protection from the early shots lasts a very long time, perhaps a lifetime. So, if you’re thinking “I’m damned if I don’t!” you might want to visit this page to see how an adult dog doesn’t need vaccinations. Nor benefit from them.
      Third, seizures have been associated with vaccinations, certainly, and two in particular, whose diseases can include convulsions: distemper and rabies. Again, this is more than just intoxication, as that first link will tell you.
      Then, you can Google seizures (or convulsions) and ivermectin, and see what you find. The common heartworm “preventatives” are neurotoxins, as I point out in my ebook, Vital Animals Don’t Get Heartworms.
      CBC’s won’t usually reflect acute intoxication, no. And diagnostics for “what caused those seizures?” usually comes up normal.
      What to do? Pred is the subject of this week’s blog post, called Instant Gratification. Does not and cannot cure anything. Period. Best to get a homeopathic veterinarian on board. You can start with the AVH list on my Resources page. See who does telephone consulting if no one is near you.
      All the best, and try to keep learning through all of this. Knowledge is power, and you could use more now that you’re on the cusp of a very difficult disease. I hope this helps.

      • Jennifer on August 31, 2015 at 7:58 pm

        Thank you SO much, Dr. Falconer! Your quick reply is much appreciated and the links filled with such valuable information. I stumbled upon this site by chance tonight and I’m so thankful I did. Of course, beating myself up for not going with my instincts and instead the norm, or as you mention – even the laws in the case of rabies vaccines. I’m going to taper off the Prednisone immediately. Also share the info you provided with my husband to read and look into consulting with a Dr. with the AVH. I’m interested in a Dr., who cares about the whole well being of my pet. Thank you again and have a great evening.
        Jennifer (and Patch)

        • Jennifer on September 1, 2015 at 7:38 am

          I should also add I’m not faulting my own Vets – they’re very good with my pups over the years and do take the time with me and I know they care. They’re good people. I wanted to space out the last vaccines Patch received and he agreed that was a good idea. I think it’s more the ‘system’. I love the blog on ‘instant gratification’. Make the symptoms go away – so true. Everyone should read this!

  52. Lori on August 26, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    This vet does do phone consults, but doesn’t feel this sort of thing was a good candidate for phone consults………:(
    So then naturally, I’m suspicious of one who does, afraid I’ll be throwing more money away.
    Regardless, it’s not going to help her today, she’s tearing herself to bits.
    We have an appt. for her Pred. prescription tomorrow night, kills me but she is a train wreck and nothing else stops the itch. Apoquel may have been a better alternative but not sold here in Canada……
    If you believe this is a candidate for phone consults I will keep looking in hopes we can prevent it next year.
    Appreciate your help Doc, keep up the good fight!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 27, 2015 at 5:41 am

      I’ve seen very few cases that couldn’t be helped by phone consults, Lori. The ones that can’t are usually human related, not dog. The commonest thing is to be so overwrought with the itch that no other symptoms are noticed, and a curative remedy can never be found based on skin alone.
      A homeopath who does a lot of phone work can help, but will need to hear about a lot more than the itch and what the skin looks like, even though it’s the #1 bother.
      Better luck next year.

      • sarah on August 30, 2015 at 6:32 pm

        Dr. Falconer,
        My 12-year old lab mix has LP and the resulting hind end weakness,.
        Does laser offer any help?
        I’m in East Texas with only one holistic vet in the area who told his receptionist he’d “never heard of this” and to go to A&M.
        I’m not sure what all that was about and he is a very gruff fellow – can’t deal with gruff with my boy being ill.
        He had successful tieback surgery in April.
        I’ve long suspected the rabies vac. It’s required yearly in my area – his last was 2012, required for boarding but he will never have another one.
        We travelled the latter part of 2012 but he’s not even able to walk now.
        Suggestions? – or help with a phone consult?

        • Will Falconer, DVM on August 31, 2015 at 5:34 pm

          Hi Sarah,
          As I mentioned, there just seem to be no good answers in treating this disease. Acupuncture, laser, homeopathy, maybe they could slow it a bit in the hands of a good practitioner, but to date, I know of no cured cases.
          I really wish I had more for you. I won’t be taking new patients by phone or in my clinic until December now, and I’d think you’d want to get something started much sooner. Or not. I really don’t want to paint a false picture of hope here.

  53. L on August 26, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    I found IDT and ASIT very helpful and effective. I had tried everything else for over a year with negative results. Peace.

    • Lori on August 26, 2015 at 7:35 pm

      L, we did immunotherapy for 14 months.
      Cost over $1000 and she is worse than ever.
      I’ve stopped the daily spray now, figure if it didn’t help, at this point it’s probably hurting!
      Between that, the thyroid panels, blood work ups etc etc, it’s cost a bomb, and we’re no better off. If anything, it’s worse.
      Thank-you Rabies vaccine 🙁
      Happy you found a solution

  54. L on August 26, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    @Lori, I had excellent results by taking my dog to a dermatologist/specialist. It’s an option.

    • Lori on August 26, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      Thanks, but it’s seasonal, allergic to dirt moulds etc….:(

  55. Lori on August 26, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Hello again Doctor, you gave me the link to Homeopathic vets for my allergy GSD.
    The one I chose who is 100% Homeopathic said she is not comfortable doing consults by phone re: this matter, pointed out another one closer but she is only 25% and frankly if the 100% one doesn’t think phone consults are a good idea for allergies………………well, you know
    So! My last question to you, she is actually causing sores now from her constant chewing & scratching, clearly what I’m trying isn’t working.
    Is there ANYTHING I can do to avoid Pred., to me an elizabethian collar is just torture at this stage…………HELP???

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 26, 2015 at 5:42 pm

      Hi Lori,
      I can’t make decisions for you, but I’d say you’ve far from exhausted your choices of homeopathic vets who work at a distance. They list that they do or don’t do this kind of work.
      If it’s between that and pred, I’d think you’d much rather do your due diligence and find someone to cure this. But that’s me, thinking for you. I’m old enough to know that never works especially well, in any area of life.

      • Destiny on September 15, 2015 at 9:00 pm

        My dog too was itching and scratching and causing sores etc. If you would like to talk with me, I cannot give remedies of course, but I have supplements and homeopathic recommendations I can give you. (Dr Falconer’s site is a great resource!) My dog is 7 months into homeopathic treatment (phone consults/emails) and 95% better.
        You can contact me – doggiegetawaybooking@yahoo.com – it’s my business email.

  56. DocDFitz on August 24, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Every time you purchase a prescription for a human medication and pet medications, there is an insert of ‘informed consent’ law, usually in miniature
    print you need a magnifying glass to read.
    NOTE: on the rabies vaccines, from the manufacturer it clearly states to
    “ONLY VACCINATE HEALTHY DOGS”…….what does that mean…….It means
    1-) if your dog has a cold, he’s not healthy.
    2-) if your dog has an ear infection, he’s not healthy.
    3-) if your dog has fleas, he is not healthy.
    4-) if your dog has allergies, he is not healthy.
    5-) if your dog isn’t eating normally or is over-heated or cold, he’s not healthy.
    Get the idea here? The vaccine manufacturers say Do Not Give to Any Dog Who is Not Healthy. Why, because ites suppress their immune system, and they will have reactions and side effects to their neurological systems and their entire physical systems. Once the immune system is compromised and the dog continues to get yearly vaccinations, their immune system will be destroyed.
    WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?? Because it gives the vaccine companies a reason to not have to take responsibility for the damage to your pets. It virtually gives them “a pass on the vaccines causing the decline of our pets’ health”.
    This Vaccine Safety Warning is indeed a true warning. If you give your dogs or cats any rabies shots even if they have a ‘little snivel of a sneeze’ they can get sick. And the vaccine manufacturers can say truthfully: WE WARNED YOU.
    And in essence they did warn the consumer.
    **Two more things to be wary of are poor diets for dogs.
    On top of poor diets (read as fake dog feed like Purina and Pedigree) because it it not food, it is feed which is a lower grade of feed. And combined with a compromised immune system this will lead to the poor dog or cat becoming susceptible to many other illnesses and diseases. Which will shorten their live span.
    Watch out when you’re purchasing human medications, the full fold-out ‘informed consent’ sheets are being REPLACED by the CDC with a condensed version of a ‘summary’ of the benefits and risks of each medication. They have removed what they do not want you to see, and know this will harm, hurt or even kill some humans. But they’ll get their profits even after paying out for any ‘collateral damage’ to any family for an injured, or paralyzed or dead child.
    You are your pet’s only advocate, be aware and prepared to protect your pets.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 25, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      Good points. And to add to this train of thought, you should seek a waiver based on “my dog’s not healthy.” No shame in calling this out, and your vet will have a hard time arguing this (even though most blithely ignore things like being on a thyroid hormone every day as “not healthy.”)

  57. Joanne Werth on August 21, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Without saying whether I have vaccinated or not I can comment that the best thing for a dog lacking any proof of vaccines is to be under control at all times while outside of your home or fenced back yard. Keep the dog close to your side when another dog being walked approaches. Stay out of dog parks and the cute little stores that allow your dog to shop with you. I have lived all over the US and I have yet to find any animal control entity that has the time to go door to door checking. I’ve even had to call animal control for a dog that was hit in the highway – took them hours and hours to respond. The only time you are going to get caught is if there is a bite situation – your dog got bit or it bites another dog. Don’t take them to the big dog shows that allow you to bring your dog to try “My Dog Can Do That” or any of the other games offered. If your local grooming salon requires it – find another or learn to do it yourself – it’s quite fun! Have a friend or family member dog sit if you need to be gone. Just don’t put yourself in a position where you’ll be required to show any proof.

  58. Juliana Pavelka-Johnston on August 20, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    The more I read, the more research I do, the more it becomes evident that the vaccines that ought to be protecting our animals is killing them, or leading them to a slow death. This is not only appalling, its heart breaking. When you love and care for your animal, you think you have done the right thing, but in effect you paid to injure him. Bad for the animal and how sometimes crippling for the pet guardian once they learn “Dr. Whitcoat” misled them to believe they were doing the right thing.
    Thank you Dr. Falconer for demystifying matters in this article. I’d also like to make reference to “Vital Animals Don’t Get Heartworm”, available at this sit – a must read for everyone. This week I cried because I could identify with some of the symptoms presented in both articles regarding my pets. But I’m grateful that I know better today, and understand more. I wish I would have known sooner, I might have been able to save my pet a few years back.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 20, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      It takes everyone, myself included, some time to realize this, Juliana. Imagine, the very things sold as “prevention” actually sickening and even killing the animals they are given to.
      As it slowly dawned on me that one procedure after another in conventional prevention was actually causing the chronic diseases and shortened lives, I vowed I could no longer be quiet. That’s what’s propelling the launching of a website years ago and now what’s spurring me on to teach courses.
      Knowledge is power, even if it comes late. We owe it to future generations at least to learn this natural approach well and turn this sad ship around.

  59. M George on August 20, 2015 at 10:47 am

    I find the article fascinating but many of the comments that follow terrifying. I have been a breeder of show dogs 25 years, and I have been assiduous in investigating their care. I also have four degrees in unrelated fields from Ivy League universities. My breed is normally long lived but also plagued by DM. It is not a DM that has been previously identified through existing DNA tests, so I am certainly interested in any research on contributing variables. I also follow current vaccination protocols and with my vets permission have stopped re vaccinating dogs over 9 or 10. However, the statements here that people NEVER vaccinate for rabies are scary and comparable to those parents who failed to vaccinate their children for measles they endanger others. I scarcely think that all of the canine ailments attributed above to autoimmune responses to over vaccination are credible in the least. I live in an area of rural Virginia where rabid possum and fox are not uncommon and while I have high fences, I don’t kid myself. Unlike measles, rabies is a death sentence. Should any of you animals bite anyone, if you aren’t able to produce a verifiable rabies certificate, your animal will be killed. I think using good judgment at minimum means doing the minimum, complying with laws. I have 4 generations here (16) dogs total, all vaccinated on a schedule approved by my very knowledgable repro vet. I will wait for the results of the Rabies Challenge studies to confirm their theories before I endanger others – or my dogs.

    • L on August 21, 2015 at 9:33 am

      @M George
      I hear you. Loud and clear.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 21, 2015 at 11:49 am

      Hi M,
      If your breed has a propensity for DM, you (and your trusted vet) are putting them at great and unnecessary risk by repeating vaccinations for nine years. You’ll find efficacy lacking in this from immunologists’ understanding, and safety concerns are spread all over this site, including many of the comments right here on this piece.
      I’d suggest that, rather than being terrified over other people’s choices for their dog’s health care, you’d do better to place that concern over this outdated practice for your own dogs.
      Just as in people and their children, this is a matter of learning all you can about risks vs benefits of vaccinations and deciding wisely what’s best for you and your charges. Complying with laws may or may not be part of intelligent people’s decisions.

  60. Mary Marseglia on August 20, 2015 at 6:55 am

    Please do not get my name out there in social media about this! I did not realize my full name was going to be out there. People have to do what they need to do and I don’t need problems.
    Dr. Falconer, why don’t you offer a service of getting your followers rabies certificates & tags? I would think since most of us believe what you believe and believe in you(& other true Holistic/Homeopathic vets) that you’d offer this as a service to us. I know I know about your license and not needing it revoked, but we need advocates out there for us & our pets so that we don’t have to do some of the things necessary to protect our pets from over vaccinations including over vaccinating with rabies. We all know one core vaccine & one rabies vaccine can do damage to the immune system and cause horrible side effects, diseases and even death.
    Just curious and hope you’ll respond so can all figure out solutions to this problem. Thanks! 🙂

    • Dede on August 25, 2015 at 9:54 pm

      I commend you, Mary for being an awesome natural breeder! If my family were into bigger dogs, we’d be thrilled to get our next pack from you. God bless you for doing it right and having the courage to tell it like it is.

  61. Laura Smith on August 19, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    I’ve lost several dogs to what I believe was over vaccinating. My Golden mix got IMHA 4 weeks after getting the 5 in 1 and rabies vaccine at 8. He died a week later. I also believe that my lab/dane mix was sentenced to death from his rabies vaccines. He developed epilepsy at 3 years of age (possibly earlier, this is when I adopted him) and seized about once a month. A few weeks after his last rabies vaccine I noticed a lump near his shoulder. I took him in to have it looked at and the vet said, “oh, just a reaction from the rabies shot”. That was before I had any clue about the damage over vaccinating does. Two weeks later his seizure disorder changed and he started clustering, something he’d never done before. He lasted 7 months until the last round of clusters put him in status and his heart stopped after 5 hours of sedation. He was 10 and healthy otherwise. Seven weeks after I lost my dane mix, I lost my Golden. She started dragging her hind feet occasionally. I noticed the nails dragging. She saw her vet and he checked for several things but found nothing definitively. She started having seizures 6 months earlier. She also died when she went into status and while at the emergency vet she had an MRI which showed a brain tumor. This poor dog also had a host of issues her entire life. She had hip dysplasia, diagnosed at 8 months old. She had OCD in her shoulder, Horner’s syndrome and irritable bowel. I have no doubt that all the vaccinating I did during her 11 years brought on these maladies. Both of these dogs died unexpectedly. And in between them, I also lost my 14 year old terrier to lymphoma. That was a rough summer. It’s been 3 years and I’m still not over it. So to anyone who says, “have you ever seen a dog die from rabies?” I’d say “have you ever seen a dog die from the rabies vaccine?” I have a 13 1/2 year old chow mutt and she’s not been vaccinated in 5 years. I wish I’d have stopped earlier. I have an 8 year old yorkie/doxie mix who came to me almost 3 years ago and had previously been vaxed on the 3 year schedule. I won’t list all of his medical issues as I’m sure I’d run out of my allotted word space. But he’s not been and won’t be vaxed again. I also have a 2 1/2 year old Wirehaired Vizsla who had a parvo/distemper vaccination as a puppy and one rabies at 8 months old. She will not be vaxed again either. I live in fear of epilepsy. I recently tittered her and she’s immune and is 8 times the required amount for rabies immunization. I don’t license. I’ve found groomers who groom with out current rabies, and my “sorta” holistic vet keeps them if I have to board them. I wish my state had a medical waiver.

  62. J.P. on August 19, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    My dogs were vaccinated with Rabies when they were younger before I knew about titer testing or that over vaccinating was an issue and really dangerous!!!
    Since then I have old rabies documents that my vet sent over to me electronically in pdf format….I have adobe acrobat reader/writer so I can alter pdf documents….so now I just go in and alter the date that it is given and expires…has doctors signature in file already so I’m good to go and no more over vaccinating for my dogs. I’ve used it at my city hall to get them dog licenses with no issue… 🙂

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 19, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      Nice, J.P. You have fulfilled the intent of the law (i.e. your animals have that long lasting immunity from earlier rabies vaccinations) and are now keeping them out of harm’s way.
      Way to advocate for your charges!

  63. Lori on August 19, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Sadly we are in rural Ontario, Canada……….no Homeopathic Vets near here. We consulted via e-mail with both Dr. Dodds and Dr. Becker.
    All the liver cleanses, natural antihistamines etc did nothing. I had to resort to Pred. for her sake though I hate it I can’t allow her to suffer.
    AllerPaws blood test allowed us to pinpoint what dietary allergies she has and remove them but the spray to desensitize her to the environmental allergies has not worked at all……….
    So when it sadly began again recently ( earlier than ever ) we decided to try both Antronex by Standard Process, Quercitin, Bromelain & Pepain (sp?), lots of fish oil, coconut oil as per Dr. Becker. It has only been a week or so, but no results yet, fingers crossed it helps enough to avoid steroids.
    If you know of a Homeopathic pellet to try too I’d love to know?
    Wish us luck 🙁

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 19, 2015 at 11:37 am

      Hi Lori,
      So, the H word is giving confusion, not uncommon, I’ve found. You have yet to consult a homeopathic vet and none of the things you’ve named are homeopathic. They are natural, supplements, procedures to cleanse, etc. Not homeopathy, which is more powerful than all of these combined, at least in the hands of a practitioner.
      Did you get Vital Animal News on Monday? You’ll want to review that, or sign up here if you didn’t. I spoke to just this issue: “How to find a homeopathic vet.” And, if anyone offers you a “pellet to try,” run the other way! This is chronic disease. It takes skilled management by a trained homeopathic professional who does this for a living.

      • Lori on August 19, 2015 at 2:59 pm

        Correct, I haven’t any Homeopathic Vets near me. I used to for my last GSD but he retired 🙁
        All I’ve been able to find are Holistic approaches, hence the supplements, cleanses etc.
        I have signed up for the Vital Animal News, thanks for that……..
        Are there any Homeopathic Vets who would do e-mail or phone consults???
        I’m at my wits end.
        Also, I am a groomer and do not require vaccines. A lot of groomers are changing their opinions on vaccines, look for those who are self employed, sign a waiver if you have to.
        Thanks Doc, you’re one of a kind 🙂

        • Will Falconer, DVM on August 19, 2015 at 3:27 pm

          Yes Lori, I assume most will not have a local vet homeopath, as we are too few to go around at present. See my latest newsletter for how to “shop” for a vet homeopath, many of whom work by phone. Let me know if any trouble accessing and I’ll forward it to you.
          Bravo on being a forward thinking groomer! We need more of you like we need more homeopathic vets!

          • Lori Cote on August 19, 2015 at 5:49 pm

            I’m logged in but don’t know where to access the latest newsletter, please forward it to me?

          • Will Falconer, DVM on August 19, 2015 at 5:54 pm

            Here you go, Lori. You’ll get them fresh to your inbox from now on, but this will be easier the first time. Please note the top menubar when you open this link, as you can meander through past issues from there, if you wish.

  64. Lori on August 18, 2015 at 9:35 am

    I have 2 GSD’s, they have been raised as natural as possible………….eat raw, no vaccines since puppyhood, no flea or heartworm meds etc….
    A few years ago we moved to a farm, there were dead bats on the property. I got scared and vaccinated them for Rabies, thinking it’s been so long since they were done last, no biggy.
    Boy was I wrong, my female almost immediately developed severe seasonal allergies and my male began to stand odd ( hocks touching ) and would tense up if my female ran to him to play.
    Thought it was a sore back, but Chiro adjustments didn’t help. A year later he became ataxic and after over $4000 in tests he was diagnosed with DM.
    The DNA test was A/A but I believe the vaccine triggered it, and it may never have emerged otherwise.
    He is now fully down in back, incontinent, and needs a wheelchair to go outside. As soon as it begins to effect his front we will have to let him go.
    And meanwhile my female has been on AllerPaws immunotherapy for over a year to no avail……..I’ll probably have to resort to Prednisone again for her sake ( then have 2 GSD’s in diapers)
    Biggest mistake of my life 🙁

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 19, 2015 at 4:50 am

      Oh, Lori, such a sad outcome from “just a rabies vaccination.” And, I think you bring up a good point: the recessive genes for this disease, whether they are there in all cases or not, could easily be triggered by a vaccination.
      Then, we’re back to understanding more about epigenetics: the things that turn genes off or on are, many times, decisions we make.
      I wish you the best in your very difficult situation. Before pred for the allergies, I’d sure encourage you to hire a vet homeopath. That’s curable, while the DM seems not to be. See my Resources page for the AVH list and get your female some help.

  65. Concerned Groomer on August 18, 2015 at 3:10 am

    You don’t have to groom your own dogs to fly under the radar. There is a growing faction of mobile grooming called house call grooming where the groomer brings all their own tools, equipment and consumables into your home to groom your pets. A bit of extra vacuuming is a small price to be able to keep your pet safe.
    Many mobile groomers who use a vehicle also do not require vaccines. Just ask the groomer when you make the appointment, “What kind of vaccines do you require Sparky to have?” The groomer will let you know on the phone before you ever make the appointment.

  66. Groomergirl on August 17, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    I’m a groomer( home based shop) and I have never asked a client for any rabies vaccine records or any records for that matter. I get my dogs all lifetime licenses when they are pups so my county/state knows my dogs are licensed. I’ve had 3 dogs over the yrs who basically had to be put down due to their backends giving out. The first two (Shepherd/husky cross and a husky) were more than likely way over vaccinated as we had some run ins with raccoons and skunks. I was advised to have them re-vaccinated to be safe. Now after reading all of this, I”m kicking myself. The third guy was also a Siberian. He was a rescue and so more than likely vaccinated upon intake at the shelter plus possibly as a pup and again possibly at a yr as my state requires. (every 3 yrs after that) So I’m guessing he had at least 5-6 vaccines over his 10-12 yr life. I also currently have two that are epileptic so wondering if that is also related to their vaccine history. With the dogs I currently have I’ll be trying to stay under the radar one way or another.

  67. JOAN BAUR on August 17, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    My dog had a lump between his shoulders at a little over age one. I thought it was his microchip and read how they can cause problems so I had it removed. The pathology report came back full of the rabies vaccine. He developed a large filled sack at the operation site and needed antibiotics for weeks plus pain medication. I asked what I should do when he needed another and was told if he gets another lump well just cut that out. When I told a dog warden about this he said he would never vaccine him again and the Vet should have paid for the surgery. I have another dog with an autoimmune problem, dry eye. Another is hypothyroidism effected. My Vet said if someone gets bit I will be fined and my dog quarantined. I guess I’ll pay a fine but hopefully my explanations will suffice.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 18, 2015 at 4:39 am

      Hi Joan,
      I appreciate where your learning curve has taken you. For more help justifying your stand, should you ever face quarantine, be sure to read this post:
      Warning: If Your Dog is Out of Date on Rabies, You Need to Know This
      Bottom line: you need to be the most informed voice in the conversation with animal control, and that’s not hard. Letting them know your dog’s options with confidence based on knowledge will make a huge difference.

  68. TP on August 17, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Reading thru these comments, I find myself wondering….have any of theise people actually SEEN an animal suffer and die from rabies? If you had, you would reconsider your views on the subject. There IS rabies in this country…and likely in your backyard. Ive seen this virus first hand, and with more and more people refusing to even vaccinate once, you are making it MORE necessary! (and in turn, will increase the need for laws and increase in vaccination requirements for the rest of us!) Yes, your dog or cat can contract rabies even if they “only go outside on leash to potty” or stay indoors. I can tell you of SEVERAL cases where a rabid bat entered a home, one where a pet dog killed (i believe 3) rabid animals in their yard in one summer! If they had “lied” like so many of you, and never vaccinated their pets, then they would know the pain and horror of this virus. Their dog would have suffered and died, and likely passed it on to them, because im sure they would be against getting the post exposure vaccines for themselves…because…”rabies vaccines are bad”. And even if they did suck it up and do them, they still might have died. I am not a fan of the current laws regarding frequency of vaccination, or the crazy amount we bombard our pets (and our children) with. However, they DO save lives, and never vaccinating, is just as irresponsible as over vaccinating.

    • Nora Claypool on August 17, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      TP, have you ever seen an animal suffer from a rabies vaccine? I live with a vaccine damaged animal. She’s suffering long term, chronic illness that could easily have been avoided if I’d only known the truth about vaccines before I let her vet bully me into vaccinating her because “it’s the law.”
      She has seizures, a tumor, kidney disease, thyroid imbalance, cataracts…all from a rabies vaccine that she didn’t even need.
      The laws are written by the companies that manufacture the vaccines, who only care about profit. These companies know that their products damage animals, and yet they continue to try to brainwash everyone into vaccinating because if we all refuse, their bottom line will be wiped out. That is exactly what needs to happen of course, since there is plenty of science that supports what Dr. Falconer has stated in this article.
      How do you explain why animals were able to live down through the millennia without vaccines and remain perfectly healthy, reproduce and thrive with only their natural immunity?
      There is far more risk to the animals vaccinated repeatedly than there is to you or your animal companion from unvaccinated pets or minimally vaccinated pets. If you really read this article, you would realize how much suffering is caused by repeated vaccination, both in the pets and the people who love them who have to live with the results on a daily basis.

    • Cindi on August 17, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      I think you are missing the titer recommendation for rabies. If the titer comes back for immunity to rabies why would I slam my dog with a vaccine that he does not need? That is the biggest issue. Many states mandate a “one year” rabies vaccination in puppies (or shelter dogs), then a booster in a year then every three years when the research is showing that many dogs build up immunity with one dose. Rabies is serious disease, but so are the diseases that continual vaccination can cause. I want to have the choice of titering my dog instead of being mandated to give him something he may not need without the worry of being fined for breaking a clearly outdated law.

      • Will Falconer, DVM on August 18, 2015 at 4:34 am

        The long lived immunity is true, Cindi. Just don’t make the common mistakes about interpreting titers that so many seem to make. It’ll end up with you getting unnecessary vaccinations and more damage.

        • Cindi on August 18, 2015 at 5:35 pm

          Thank you for that reminder. I am a faithful subscriber to Dogs Naturally Magazine and Whole Dog Journal. I just got into an “argument” on FB with a vet friend of a friend over food and vaccination recommendations. She said she was sad that so many people are listening to “random, uneducated, uninformed internet bloggers/journalists” instead of their vets. That ticked me off big time. So I fired back with a list of holistic vets whose work and research I follow and admire: Dr. Falconer, Dr. Pitcarin, Dr.
          Goldstein, Dr. Schultz and Dr. Dodds to name a few who I do not consider to be any of the above unlike vets who advocate feeding SciDie and constant vaccinations. I asked her which group she belonged to…Funny—she never responded.

          • Will Falconer, DVM on August 19, 2015 at 5:07 am

            Oh, LOL, Cindi! Thanks for lightening my day, and good on you for speaking out so boldly! We really need to speak our truth to get this world of animal care out of the dark ages.
            And a new term for my lexicon: SciDie! Love it!!

          • Cindi on August 19, 2015 at 7:41 pm

            SciDie is no better than Bene-kill

          • Fuzzy Wunz on September 14, 2015 at 10:46 pm

            I have one word: Photoshop. Over the past 10 years, I’ve travelled from Canada to the US with two dogs that followed the three-year rabies vaccination protocol. Now I’ve got two dogs who came to me at 3 and 5 years of age, vaccinated for everything under the sun for each of those years. I’ve had them for 4 years without getting “their shots”. Titre testing showed they were well within range for distemper and parvo. A little Photoshopping, a generic signature I had on file and I have their “required paperwork”. In the past when crossing the border, 9/10 times there was no mention or question about the dogs. Once I handed over 3 perfectly legit rabies cert for three dogs and the customs officer glanced at the first one and asked “Is this for all three?” I just said yes and we were on our way. After making weekly trips for the past month, I was finally asked for my paperwork. Again, just a glance at it and we were on our way. It used old reference numbers, a fictitious clinic and my GM’s digital signature which I had on file. Seems to make no difference whether we have bonafide certificates or not. I’m just playing the game by their rules, while heeding my own.

          • Will Falconer, DVM on September 16, 2015 at 4:45 pm

            Bravo, Joanne! You’ve got it wired and I admire your working the crazy system to support your animals’ health!

          • Fuzzy Wunz on September 14, 2015 at 10:49 pm

            Excellent Cindy. I also point out that each of the Drs. you mentioned are DVMs, just as those pushing vaccines and kibble. Why should they be ignored for following a different path when their credentials are identical plus they’ve expanded on them in a more enlightening direction?

    • Dede on August 25, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      ALL my dogs have suffered vaccine damage and shorter lives from vaccination. The chances of them ever contracting rabies is slim to none. Here’s the latest stats for my state: “One rabid dog and one rabid cat were confirmed.” Many years, there are none. If rabies is such an epidemic, why aren’t wolves dying from this in high numbers? Because it isn’t happening. No rabies were reported for humans in my state in the latest report. Five cases were reported for humans for 2004-2013; that’s not even 1/2 case a year yet the fear-mongers want us to believe we’re all in terrible danger. This same report states that almost all cases are found in wild animals and those numbers aren’t high either.
      This is from the CDC: “Rabies in humans is 100% preventable through prompt appropriate medical care.” It is a slow moving disease and not easily transmitted from animals to humans. There’s also proof that Vitamin C can cure all viral diseases when given intravenously and in high doses. I’ll happily take the very slight chance of any of my animals or family contracting rabies versus the certainty of vaccine damage. If we’re ever bitten by anything, we’ll wash the wound with warm water and soap; then apply colloidal silver and oil of oregano (take it internally, also), and contact our wonderful homeopathic vet, Dr. Falconer. Unfounded fear will not govern our lives, nor ruin our health or our peace. http://www.vaclib.org/intro/rabies.htm

      • Will Falconer, DVM on August 25, 2015 at 9:39 pm

        Yes, Dede, very low mortality with rabies exposure in humans. I’ve recently heard 2-3% from a colleague who’s studied it. And you are of course correct: anyone can search out the rabies incidence in their area. Visit the state health dept’s website. It’s reportable, unlike distemper or parvo or feline leukemia.
        Fear is just not a sound basis for decision making, for your animals, your kids, or yourself. I applaud your refusal to buy into it.

      • Rachel on September 8, 2015 at 1:43 pm

        This reminds me of a past episode of Criminal Minds that I saw last night. The show was about a former dog catcher that was infecting people with the rabies virus. He would kidnap them and infect them with the virus and watch them succumb to the disease and die. One rabid woman, frothy mouth and all, escaped his capture and went stumbling about the town frightening everyone.
        It was really ridiculous. But this is what the media does. They are fear mongers and so many people believe everything they watch on TV or read on the internet without doing their own research. What a shame.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on September 8, 2015 at 9:26 pm

          Crazy! How was he infecting them, exactly? Biting them? In which case, he’d not live very long himself! But yeah, main stream media regularly seems to be contributing to Big Pharma, so why not Big Vet Pharma?

    • Andrea on August 26, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      A Natural Rearing dog breeder of 30 years that I know, had one of her dogs, a 6 year old who has NEVER received a rabies vaccine titred for rabies two years ago. This dog had sufficient rabies antibodies inherited from maternal antibodies. There are other dogs in this exact situation. She wrote to Dr Schultz to make him aware of this and sent him a sample of blood.
      I had my human homeopath order lyssin for me to give to my 3 y.o. dog (you can’t buy it in health food stores here) when/if I do vaccinate him for rabies for the first time, only AFTER a rabies titre, just in case he may already have antibodies.

      • Will Falconer, DVM on August 27, 2015 at 5:24 am

        This is remarkable, but I doubt if it’s maternal antibodies. Those are short lived, by definition, and usually gone by 16 weeks. No, I think a 6 year old must have had exposure somehow, most likely to recently vaccinated dogs. Shedding isn’t supposed to happen with this vaccine, especially if it’s killed, but maybe some other form was used that got the transfer to this dog. Very peculiar.

  69. Lynn on August 17, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    I do have a question though. I thought DM in corgis was genetic. I thought they’d identified the gene for it and created a DNA test. Can it have 2 causes, one genetic, one rabies related?

  70. Lynn on August 17, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Thankfully I live in a large enough city that they don’t go door to door verifying your dog is licensed. So I don’t license my dogs. That way I don’t get sent reminders to license, which requires proof of rabies. On the rare occasion I see a vet, if they ask about vaccines I just say they’re up to date, or have had all they need. I’ve never been asked for proof. My dogs haven’t been vaccinated for four generations, which to me is ‘having all they need.’

  71. Janie Lerner on August 17, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    There ARE states that allow for medical waivers for the rabies vaccine. I wrote about that in my website. If your readers would like to see which states provide waivers. The link is: http://www.essentiallydogs.com/medical-exemptions-rabies-vaccine.

    • Cindi on August 17, 2015 at 8:46 pm

      Thank you for that link. I read Dr. Goldstein’s book when my Chuck was first diagnosed with LP. I wish I was within a hour of traveling to him. There are 2 holistic vets about 45-60 minute drive of me. I love my vet of 25+ years who respectfully agrees to disagree with me about my anti-vaccination stance as she knows I’ve done my reading, except for rabies. She has already said that she will not do an exemption in the absence of actual disease. I stay with her as she is generous in speutering the rescue dogs at a very reduced rate. Vaccines and food (SciDie) is what we have to agree to disagree on. Thankfully, my dog has only gone once/year for his physical exam in the 2 years I’ve had him. If she is not retired by the time he is due in 2017, I will have to leave for the exemption as I am NOT going to vaccinate Shay again unless his titer shows his immunity is too low. He is 3 and has been vaccinated twice that I know. Very interesting discussion, folks.
      My niece is getting a Great Dane/Mastiff puppy and she just sent me the contract for my review. I was sooo happy to see that the contract calls for titers and vaccinations according to Dr. Dodds’ protocol!! She also advocates a raw diet. I wish more people were so conscientious with their adoptions.

      • Dede on August 25, 2015 at 8:25 pm

        Cindi – Even if a dog is only vaccinated once, it has vaccine damage. You just may not recognize it. These are just some of the damage vaccines cause: chronic conjunctivitis, flea/other allergy, atopic dermatitis, dietary hypersensitivity, contact hypersensitivity, asthma, autoimmune diseases, lymphoma, lymphoid leukaemia, multiple myeloma, plasmcytoma, hisiiocytoma, thymoma, immunodeficiency disease, decreased mobility, joint problems, anxiety, aggression, fear, hyperactivity, compulsive behavior, behavior/personality changes, rheumatoid arthritis, immune system neoplasia (the formation of tumors), immunodeficiency diseases, skin problems, repeat ear infections, greasy ears/skin, warm or red ears, anal gland problems, short attention spans, unsocialized behaviors, inability to train or potty train, heart/kidney/liver conditions, thyroid disease, epilepsy/seizures, chronic or recurring infections, intermittent vomiting; eating dirt, feces, stones or other inappropriate things, and much more.
        These websites give you some of the symptoms: http://miningcamplabs.com/Symptoms%20of%20Vaccine%20Damage.pdf, http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/vaccine-damage-in-dogs-1/ (there’s Part 1 and Part 2).
        ANY health condition qualifies for a vaccine exemption. Vaccine labeling instructions clearly instruct veterinarians to only vaccinate healthy dogs. Personally, I’d make up something if necessary. Allergic reaction to chicken or or a certain kind of grass pollen that you discovered when the dog was playing on it at a friend’s home. There’s no way your vet can refute it and any vet who vaccinates an animal that has a health condition can be sued because it’s against vaccine manufacturer instructions. Tell that to your vet when you take the dog in; he/she won’t want to risk being sued. To cause itching, give it extra calcium. Experiment to find the amount that makes your dog itchy and how long it takes for them to have the reaction. Then you give the extra calcium in some food when it’s time for the vet appointment and you’ll have proof of the allergy. “He’s developed an allergy to chicken. I forgot about it and fed it to him this morning. This is what’s been happening when he eats chicken; he scratches and scratches.” Or, say you took him to a shot clinic that had a cheaper price if your vet won’t insist on a copy of the certificate. As the owner of a dog who suffered terrible vaccine damage from just one rabies shot (given at only 1/3 the normal dose), I’ll never put more of that poison into any dog. Once you’ve got the health condition on the record, just keep using the calcium trick if needed to get future exemptions. Allergies are a very common auto-immune disease caused by vaccination in both animals and people.
        If you read Dr. Falconer’s blog, you also know that just one vaccine gives lifetime protection. Your dog really doesn’t need more. “One and done” is for a lifetime.

  72. Carol on August 17, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I don’t know what to do.
    Palm Beach county requires rabies shots. I had to move here to care for my 90 year old mom. The condo association that she lives in has demaned to see dog licenses . In order to get a license for the dogs you need rabies shots. One dog is 12 years old the other 8 weimaraners. I will not vaccinate them any longer. They were up to age 7.
    And the condo association wants to report me to the county if I don’t get them Licenses. I still refuse the rabies vaccination but will be reported and then what can I do ?
    I have had a cat previously die after a vacination.
    He had terrible convulsions and only lasted 1 month after being vaccinated.
    Changes should have been made years ago and need to be made soon for the sake of our animals.

    • Janie Lerner on August 17, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      Florida state actually provide medical waivers for the rabies vaccine. Here is the link to the actual statute: http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2011/828.30

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 17, 2015 at 6:07 pm

      Hi Carol,
      Janie’s advice and a holistic vet’s help sounds like your answer. Your state has a bunch of them. See if Dr. Michael Dym is near you. Seem to remember Palm Beach being where he lives…
      Good luck and don’t give in! What does a condo manager know about immunology, any way? Ridiculous, them making rules like this.

      • Esther on August 18, 2015 at 9:19 pm

        Dr. Will can out of town doctors write rabies exemptions for their clients? or is it required that the doctor be one in your own state?

        • Will Falconer, DVM on August 19, 2015 at 5:04 am

          Hi Esther,
          That’s a question I’d never ask. It’s like walking into a groomers and asking, “How many vaccines do you demand and do you need to see papers to prove it?”
          Far better is to act like you own the place, submit your waiver letter and carry on. It’s up to them to tell you that’s not going to work, if they even notice.

          • Esther on August 19, 2015 at 11:32 am

            Dr. Falconer I was talking about sending medical exemptions for the county license, where you get your license and tags, I do not think you can send a waiver yourself that has to be written by a doctor. Unfortunately my dogs are already register there so they send you a renewal every year, and they want the shot when “expired”. This state take exemptions but I do not know if an out of town doctor can do that

          • Will Falconer, DVM on August 19, 2015 at 4:27 pm

            Not likely, Esther. Your best bet out might be paying a fine and seeing how much time that can buy you (at least a year, maybe many). Search on the word “fine” on this page to see some discussions on this ploy.
            Or, perhaps one or more of your dogs “died” this year, or were sent to live with relatives in another state. As another commenter said, “You gotta do what it takes” to protect your charges.

  73. Jen P on August 17, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Autoimmune disease?
    just ask any of the veterinary researchers who have been studying this disease (and only this disease) for the past 20+ years, devoting their careers & lives to this devastating disease.

    • Nicki on August 17, 2015 at 2:28 pm

      Thanks Jen, I had similar questions about this being a genetic defect in my post above, and the connection between DM and rabies. If you are familiar with this, do you mind reading my post (one of the first posts above) and maybe have some more information for me? I really appreciate Dr Falconer’s blog posts but this one left me feeling like there was something missing (maybe even wrong?) about the intended message, and the science. This disease is very close to my heart, and I want to be as informed as I can be. I am not a scientist, I try to learn from googling.

    • Paula Smith on August 17, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      If it’s genetic then how did it “spread” to other purebred dog breeds and to cats?
      Or are genetic diseases now contagions? Sounds auto-immune related to me.
      I think the problem is that most studies are not accurate. The scientists go in thinking “genetic” and then they find a gene that may or may not actually be the cause, but because they were ONLY looking for a gene, they eventually find one.
      I read an article about this, it’s one of the major flaws with how studies are developed and run. I’ll see if I can find it.

      • Will Falconer, DVM on August 17, 2015 at 6:04 pm

        Excellent point, Paula! The number of affected breeds has steadily grown since the days when this was mainly a GSD illness.
        Infectious genes? No, I don’t think so 😉
        What’s changed in those days since it was a GSD only/mostly disease? Lots more vaccinations, rabies among them.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 17, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      Here’s a vet who’s researched this for years, and says flat out: It’s autoimmune.
      Am I missing something here, Jen P?

      • Emma's Mom on August 25, 2015 at 6:33 pm

        WOW; love this article and all the great comments! Your blog is one of the best sources of natural rearing information, and our family is so grateful for it!
        Some suggestions for how to deal with the proof of vaccines. Using Photoshop is one that’s already mentioned. Another is to get a copy of a certificate from someone else who owns the same breed of dog if you don’t have your own document to work with. Or use old papers from a previous dog. Some jurisdictions accept a stamp instead of the vet’s signature on the paperwork.
        We’ve flown with 2 of our dogs and had no problems. Our dogs are small and fly inside the cabin with us. They were vaccinated once only for rabies and that was many years ago. We were never questioned about the paperwork or the date. Seems the authorities just want to see the rabies certificate; date was irrelevant. If anyone had questioned us, I was prepared to state the facts on immunity and that both dogs had vaccine damage and were never to be vaccinated again. Our state does have vaccine exemption. We now have exemptions for them but didn’t at the time. To get an exemption, contact Dr. Falconer or another homeopathic vet (HP) to become a client, get help for your dog and get a vaccine exemption. You won’t be sorry. If there’s not one in your area, another HP may be able to find a vet who is in your state and who will work with them to get you the vaccine exemption. In the past, we didn’t have success with 2 “holistic” vets in our area so we never use or recommend that type of vet. Both turned out to be fauxlistic.
        This is some advise we got from an attorney we know who also loves and owns dogs. It’s worked for us to keep animal control away, and in our area, they come door to door every few yrs. It’s a source of $ for the government and they’re about to give that up. Post a sign in your front yard that says “no trespassing, soliciting, etc – private property.” In our state, this is legal notice and anyone violating it can be arrested for trespassing. A search warrant is required where these signs are posted. I doubt a judge would issue one just for animal control to check for dog licenses. Never answer your door if you don’t know who it is. If you’re caught by the animal nazis, don’t say anything, go back inside your home and shut the door. There’s no law forcing you to speak with them or any other government person. If they come onto your property, they violate the law and can be arrested. Since posting the sign, no government person has come here. FYI, this attorney also says the rabies law is unconstitutional.
        Stay away from public places like dog parks, dog gatherings. Learn to groom your dogs yourself or use a mobile groomer; they don’t require any vaccine proof. If family or friends can’t pet sit for you, find other natural rearing dog people in your area and work out a trade with them. You watch their dog and they watch yours. Since they raise their dog naturally, they understand it. Yahoo groups and homeopathic vets are excellent sources to check with as they may be able to connect you with other natural rearing owners in their area. Other natural rearing owners are another good source. More animal business owners are becoming natural rearing and you might find one that doesn’t require vaccines to groom or board. Search online using different browsers.
        Dr. Whitecoat reports all rabies vaccination to animal control; it’s one way they find out you have a dog. Almost all animal rescues report the new owner of their adopted animals to local animal control. I’ve heard that pet insurance may be another source for the animal nazis but I’ve no experience with this; we’ve never used pet insurance. Breeders do not report new owners to animal control, even the conventional ones who continue to harm their animals with vaccines, pet food and the rest of the toxic mess. Hats off to Mary for being such an awesome breeder!
        Got a question on the DNA thing, Dr Falconer. I’m no expert or scientist but I’ve seen lots of genetic damage in conventionally bred dogs and I’m talking pups who haven’t been vaccinated yet. The conventional breeders use hormone injections since their females can’t conceive naturally anymore (Pottenger’s cats and vaccination damage comes to mind) so that could also be a cause. I agree with the experts who say vaccines alter and damage the DNA. Common sense that injecting cells and/or blood from other species would absolutely cause all kinds of major problems – to say nothing of the toxins, chemicals and preservatives vaccines also contain. What’s your thought on this, Doctor? TY!

        • Will Falconer, DVM on August 25, 2015 at 9:33 pm

          I don’t know about genetic damage from vaccinations. Haven’t heard of it, but it is certainly possible. What we call vaccinosis is deeper than genetics. It’s subtler, more insidious. You can actually find the chronic symptoms of the disease vaccinated for in the animal, like rabies behavior and distemper jerks and tics. So, that’s damaging enough, and it’s a chronic state: goes on for years or life.
          I’d love it if you would have your lawyer friend contact me. Could be entirely confidential if he’s uncomfortable in any way. His name need never be used, but I’d love to learn from him about this law.
          Emma’s pretty darned lucky to have you, Mom. Thanks for your comments.

        • Donna Ziccardi on December 21, 2018 at 10:27 am

          “this attorney also says the rabies law is unconstitutional”…….Emma’s Mom…..what is the name of the attorny you are refering to.

          I am in a battle in CT with the Dog Lady and the state to vaccinate my dog who has severe allergies and survived a bad case of Parvo…..left with digestive issues. The vet i use is very good, but young and new…..and is afraid to get pushy with the state in fear of losing her licence.

          My state rep was more than happy to help me at first…..but after he looked into my plea for an exemption and request to change the rigid rabies law……he changed his tune and told me there is nothing he can do to help.

          I refuse to give my dog the rabies shot as I know it will put her quality of life in danger…..and after all my research I have come to the conclusion it is not needed.

          I was also told going to an attorney was a waste of money because the state law is indeed constitutional…..but my common sense tells me other wise.

          I appreciate any help or information anyone here would like to offer.

  74. Jackie on August 17, 2015 at 11:27 am

    In my city, the Law says we have to give the rabies vaccination every 3 years. We also have to pay annual dog license fees, which requires vaccinations to be current. I simply complete the form online and check the box “yes” that my dogs are current. No one asks.

    • Cindi on August 17, 2015 at 11:41 am

      We are required to file the certificate of rabies in order to license. Like I said above, the ACO has nothing better to do than check this stuff so “lying” is not an option. So far, I have had no luck finding a vet who will write me an exception to this ridiculous outdated mandate

      • Destiny on August 17, 2015 at 3:37 pm

        What I had to do with a dog who was previously licensed was lie and say A) the dog either passed away or B) I no longer owned him/her… I went with B. That way if I somehow get caught I can make up I got her back or something. I simply do not register my new dogs with the county, so they dont know I have any..

    • John Sturgess on August 17, 2015 at 3:57 pm

      They just want your money is all..

      • Rachel on September 8, 2015 at 1:06 pm

        I completely agree. The county doesn’t care about the welfare or safety of your pets; they only want you to register with them so they can charge you fees.

  75. Terrie Thomas on August 17, 2015 at 11:02 am

    How do you get around having a current tags to have dogs groomed or boarded? Is there any alternative the state of Texas accepts?

    • Destiny on August 17, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      Are you able to groom them yourself? Thats what I do. I spent extra money to get a fold up table and a real nice dryer to save time.
      Can you have family or friends watch your dogs when you travel? Places like Rover.com may be of help as these are average people and might not ask for papers either.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 17, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      For years, I’ve been writing clients waivers for these places. Never had a refusal, as they now have their CYA on file. Case closed.
      And, you’re a client, so… Email me, if you need such a letter.

      • Nata Ta on August 5, 2017 at 2:54 pm

        I am in TX, too. My boy goes to daycare once or twice a week and have been going for over 2 years now (he is 2,5yo). They asked for papers before, but since they know how crazy healthy mama he has and how well he is taken care of, they do not…. I don’t bring up and just hoping they don’t as I am taking him off the vaccines. However, I take him to another vet that has a bathing facility, they require all vaccines. So, I found a place – Pets Supplies Plus. They are popping up everywhere in TX now and you can wash your own baby for $10 or 3 baths for $21 :). They don’t ask for papers, you can bring your own shampoos, they have towels, their cheap shampoos. Perfect solution for those of us, who doesn’t have a place to wash them at home. Rover.com works well, too for us. Some ask, others don’t.

      • Buffie Kollmann on January 19, 2021 at 8:22 pm

        Dr. Will,
        I am new to you sight. We have a one year old female miniature Schnauzer that needs to be spayed soon.
        I do not want to vaccinate her. We just lost our Lab & rescue schnauzer two years ago after the vet gave them both rabies & a Bravecto chewable on the same day! It was just horseless! I listened to the vet on the Bravecto. I always used Apple Cider vinegar & water for a flea & tick repellent. The vet sad the ticks were very bad this year & they needed it!
        A very hard lesson to learn!
        Our little schnauzer came to us with all her 12 weeks of vaccinations but never the rabies. How can I become a member so if you would kindly write us a letter? They are excepted in Pennsylvania.
        My husband has Multiple Sclerosis & our puppy is his therapy dog, as was our Lab for almost 13 years. He would be just devastated all over again if anything happened to her. She makes his day worth doing everything!
        I have spent over two hours on your wonderful sight!
        I am overjoyed by everyone being so informative & helpful! This sight will be a daily read for me!
        Thank you Dr. & Everyone!!!

        • Buffie Kollmann on January 19, 2021 at 8:28 pm

          You have to love spell check! I did proof read! But anyway…
          I think you can understand what I was trying to say😂
          Thank you!!!

        • Will Falconer, DVM on January 19, 2021 at 9:57 pm

          So glad you’re finding value here, Buffy. Currently, my course on rabies called Rabies: Knowledge is Power is closed to new enrollment, but I’d urge you to not rush into this decision. You can’t start by learning more about rabies on my free Rabies Short Course. At the end, you should see a place to sign up for first notice when the in depth RKIP course opens again.

          If you haven’t already, you’ll also want to join my no cost Vital Animal Pack, so you’ve got access to the free library there.

          Rabies is not a black and white decision. It’s got to be a risk/benefit decision and that’s what I coach my RKIP students on.

  76. Cindi on August 17, 2015 at 10:57 am

    My town ACO used to work at the shelter where I volunteer and I see her all the time. Since there isn’t much else for her to do, she goes through the dog licenses and rabies certificates to make sure they are updated. I can’t avoid seeing her without my dog either. I had gotten away w saying a prior senior dog had died in another town and didn’t license him, but that was quite a few years ago, an option no longer available to me. The guy across the street paid some hefty fines when she was going door to door and found his unlicensed, unvaccinated dog. Suggestions welcome.

    • Destiny on August 17, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      What town? As far as I am aware they dont go door to door in AZ. How scary and ridiculous. Dont they have anything better to do?

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 17, 2015 at 5:03 pm

      Cindi, I had a client out in West Texas who adamantly stood her ground, went to court when the case was brought against her for refusing further vaccinations in already vaccinated dogs. She cited her knowledge, said she was not going to comply, and was fined.
      She paid the fine and was never bothered since, now many years gone by.
      It may be worth weighing the fine against the cost of dealing with serious chronic disease and heartbreak. I’m not saying that’ll be easy, but it’s one option I’d not dismiss out of hand.

      • Cindi on August 17, 2015 at 8:08 pm

        It is part of life in a small town in MA where the ACO does not really have enough to do and has to justify her paycheck. She knows me well from volunteering at the shelter she used to work at, plus my being involved in rescue. She knows my feelings about mandated rabies vaccination so I am going to try to “get one by her” in 2017 (by using one of the tips above) if I cannot get my dog an exemption letter.

      • Andrea on August 24, 2017 at 9:26 am

        If I may, how much was the fine? That may possibly be my future if I can’t figure something out…

        • Sue on May 28, 2018 at 3:33 am

          My sister told the pound administrators that she had her dogs vaccinated at a low cost clinic, but she lost the paperwork, and taking the offensive, she said she knows that over-vaccination is a bad thing, and she was not going to do it again. She gave them their money for the licenses, and they were satisfied with that.
          My position is that all vaccines are all poison, all the time, in all doses. Antibody tests only show circulating antibodies, and those don’t correlate with immunity.

  77. Karen Quillen on August 17, 2015 at 10:43 am

    I actually own a daycare and training center. We do not require vaccination and try to educate all who enter. We are usually ignored and the Vet is the expert which is heartbreaking. I do not vaccinate my dogs and I do not get them registered with the county. The county does not know I have dogs unless the Vet sends them a rabies record. I am very careful that my dogs never wander off and keep my fingers crossed that I stay under the radar.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 17, 2015 at 4:58 pm

      Nice, Karen! I sincerely hope more daycares, kennels and groomers get on with this approach! We really need more of you out there to speak the reality you now own.
      Thanks for standing up in this way! You inspire me.

      • Cindi on August 17, 2015 at 8:02 pm

        My doggy daycare does not require anything other than rabies and that is only because she is mandated by law. She told me today that a dog came in with kennel cough (she sent him home) but she felt she had to tell us just to be aware. I said that my vet and those who run the local dog park ppl are always telling me to vaccinate against it. I told her I was not worried about it. If he happened to get it (chances were very slim), that is what Robitussin was for. She said “That’s why I like you.”

    • Drea Harris on September 8, 2015 at 7:19 am

      I am doing the same with my boarding/grooming/training facility. Vaccinations not required, though I will say we have only had one client bring us a dog that had been titered. Many dogs around these parts are either in the allopathic vet’s camp or from the local shelters (which we know OVER vaccinate). But my goal is to educate.

    • oxford on September 29, 2019 at 12:09 pm

      I have a new puppy and I bought his parvo vaccine and distemper vaccine separately from allivet and had the vet administer at two-week intervals. I don’t vaccinate after that but now I’m flying under the radar for rabies and they haven’t called me in so that’s the way it’s going to remain because once the city gets that one piece of paper, you’re pegged. Unfortunately my two year old had his rabies vaccine and before he had to have the second dose a year after the city for the first time ever sent a letter of reminder. The crappy mayor does nothing for the city but decided to stick his big fat nose into this area. We’re getting another puppy at the beginning of next year and I’m going to do the same thing for him. Bring in my own vaccines and lay low and play stupid for the rabies.

  78. Jan Ludvik on August 17, 2015 at 10:30 am

    This is exactly what happened to my 11 yr old Malamute. One day his howl that we loved so much turned soft and raspy and it got harder to get his back end up to walk. Then came the day he didn’t get up at all. After a lot of coaxing and pulling I got him outside and his back end was like a drunken sailor wobbling back and forth. Later that day he wouldn’t get up at all. I agonized all night and decided it was time to let him go. He had diabetes and cataracts for about 2yrs and I thought he had suffered enough. By the next morning he was 150lbs of “I’m not going anywhere” and we had all we could do to load him in our truck.
    My question is does DM present shortly after the rabies shot or can it take a few years to slowly progress down to this. I had not given him a rabies shot or any shots after he was diagnosed with diabetes about 2 yrs.
    A few years earlier our Siberian Husky ended up with bone cancer in his rear leg joint 6 months after he had rabies shot. I can’t tell you how bad I feel that it was my getting this shot that caused so much pain.
    I now have Aussies and they’ve had the puppy shots and that will be it for them. Thanks to the knowledge I have now I’m done with shots.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 17, 2015 at 4:57 pm

      Oh Jan, I’m so sorry you’ve had such tough situations in two beloved dogs. Yes, vaccinosis can crop up slowly.
      And yours is now the third story of throat paralysis and rear end paralysis. In your Malamute’s case, it sounds like they came quite close together.
      And, I’m remembering a patient now who had both of these conditions simultaneously. I just never connected the dots to say: One disease, two symptoms of rabies in chronic form, and one likely cause: rabies vaccination!
      I’m so glad you’ve taken what you’ve learned and are raising your next gen Aussies in a safer way. Right on.

  79. a del gato on August 17, 2015 at 10:26 am

    I take my dogs to Canada once, sometimes twice a year. Rabies vacc is required, and you have to bring the paperwork in case you are asked for it at the border.
    I have documentation from past years–when I didn’t know better and got my dogs vaccinated. I scan the document into Photoshop, and change the date to the current year.

    • Lorraine on August 17, 2015 at 10:44 am

      What a great idea! Thanks.

    • Nancy on September 21, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      Awesome, never thought of that. Worth the money to buy Photoshop.

    • Andrea on August 24, 2017 at 9:21 am

      Hopefully, I get a response with this even though its been a couple years lol! But, can you tell me a bit more about how you did this?? What app you used, etc.?? thanks!

    • Guin on October 6, 2018 at 4:13 pm

      I too do this but how do you get around the current vaccination brand name and lot numbers? Please help. thanks. California sucks.

    • oxford on September 29, 2019 at 12:03 pm

      I was thinking of doing the same thing since I keep their paperwork but wasn’t sure how to change it without looking squirrely so photoshop it is

  80. Cindi on August 17, 2015 at 10:18 am

    I went through this exact thing with my lab, Chuck, my ❤ dog. He was diagnosed in August 2012 with LP then DM 2 months later. Acupuncture and water therapy gave me 8 months I don’t think I would have had. When he could no longer move his back end without help, I let him go. He was 13. My heart is still broken. I would love to know how to get around vaccinating my lab mix who is now 3, but has had 2 rabies vaccinations (maybe more as the shelter vaccinated him when he came in w a 1 year then last year w a 3 yr at my vet). MA does not recognize titres and I never want to give him any vaccinations again, but how do I get around it? My vet won’t “lie” and say he is too medically compromised to get the vaccine which is the only “out” I know. Any advice is appreciated. I never want to go through that again.

    • Destiny White on August 17, 2015 at 10:55 am

      Stay under the radar as much as possible. Dont register/license him with county. Dont take him to events that require the vacccine. Groom him at home. Kennel/board him with family or friends when you go out of town.
      Dont even bring it up to your vet about not vaccinating. If you find another vet and they ask just say “yes”. Dont give paperwork. Technically since the vaccine last 7 years or more he IS current.
      If you follow Dr Falconers advice and use homeopathy when issues arise your dog should stay in top health 🙂
      I understand your fears and have been through this myself. Good luck. 🙂

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 17, 2015 at 4:31 pm

      Destiny has good advice for you, Cindi. It’s what the majority of my clients have figured out, and it’s easier in some places than others to “fly under the radar.” You may have to be very creative.
      Now, you bring up the second case I’ve heard (the first being the original poster that I framed this article around) of laryngeal paralysis preceding rear end paralysis.
      Am I late to the party? How common is this? Anybody else seeing these two seemingly unrelated diseases coming together?
      If so, it makes perfect sense that rabies vaccine has a hand in this, as these are two common rabies symptoms.

      • Cindi on August 17, 2015 at 7:56 pm

        When I took Chuck to the neurologist when he first starting dragging his feet, he told me that it was “pretty common” for DM/lower spinal neuropathy to follow LarPar. I had joined a non-surgical options group on Yahoo and was very surprised how many dogs had the same issue, the back end following the front end. Dr. Marty Goldstein and Dr. Pitcarin spoke about conium maculatum (sp?) which I got from a certified homeopath, but I noticed only minimal effect. Sadly, as you mentioned, there is nothing to be done but try to treat the symptoms. I did acupuncture and water therapy which I credit for an additional 8 months that I do not think I would have had with him.

      • Cindi on August 17, 2015 at 8:04 pm

        I am trying to figure a way out of the rabies mandate in town. It is very difficult to fly under the radar in a small town. I am hoping by 2017 when he is due again that MA either accepts titres or I can find a holistic vet who will write me an exemption letter. Crossing all paws.

        • Linda Obrien on August 31, 2017 at 2:30 pm

          Someone posted in a previous comment that Ma is one of the states where u can buy the rabies vaccine on line at Valleyvet. Just throw out the vaccine and keep the tag and paperwork. I’m on Maine and if you could get me one also I will pay you. chynamay@maine.rr. com

      • Andrea on August 26, 2015 at 9:16 pm

        My mothers 14y.o. Golden Retriever has had DM for at least 2 yrs now. I did notice his bark became very hoarse 2-3 years ago. I just read an article on DM this year that listed hoarseness as a symptom, the first I had heard of that but it reinforced my DM diagnosis. He has had some acupuncture with my holistic vet last yr but is doing really well on turmeric (curcumin) twice a day. He does have more trouble in the winter with deep snow. He hasn’t had a rabies or other vaccine in many many years and has been fed raw for over half his life.
        Ten years ago my GSD/Lab had DM and within the same year became incontinent, having BMs without knowing it. He died at 12 while napping on the cool barn floor on a very hot June evening, but had been running around just that morning and even stole a piece of meat from my dobe – his hindquarter weakness was worse walking and easier running. I didn’t notice a change in his bark.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on August 27, 2015 at 5:28 am

          Thanks for this, Andrea. So, I suspect it depends on where the lesions occur along the spinal cord. Never saw the laryngeal part of this until recent years. Maybe a new variant of the disease, now that we’ve got far more generations of multiply rabies vaccinated animals among us.
          Again: it sure fits rabies symptoms, just in chronic form, which is classic vaccinosis.

  81. Marie Dalzell on August 17, 2015 at 10:11 am

    A number of years back, we had a foxhound who had some issues pop up: I was on my computer, heard a dog drinking out of the dog bowl. I turned around & no one was at the bowl. I looked behind me & Emma had urinated on the floor & was drinking it. Also, she started doing something with her paws, dragging them. I can’t recall if it was front or back, it’s been too many years.
    My vet at the time thought she had a brain tumor or canine cognitive dysfunction (she previously started wandering during the night & getting caught in strange places, such as between pieces of furniture). I now wonder if it was possibly due to the rabies vaccine but we’ll never know.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 17, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      Yes, Marie, could have been or could have been something else, too long ago to say.
      I see a common interval of about a month, maybe 6 weeks, from a vaccination until symptoms start popping up that are bothersome. When it’s much longer, it doesn’t mean the vaccine didn’t do it, and if we find a vaccinosis remedy that cures the patient, we “back into” the reason: likely the vaccines.
      Thanks for joining the discussion.

  82. Nicki on August 17, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Could you give a bit more background on DM? I thought it was a recessive gene mutation that can be passed from the parents. I have tested my dogs via a cheek swab. Is the science such that the rabies vaccine may cause mutation in that gene? Are there other causes for DM than that gene? Do we call something DM when it “looks” like DM or does the gene mutation have to be present for that diagnosis? I am opposed to giving the rabies vaccine but I’m not seeing the link made here just yet. Is there any more science to support this? I only know what I read about DM, I’m not a scientist, so I’m happy to expand my horizons. Was the lab ever tested for being at risk or a carrier of that gene mutation? Thanks so much!

    • Mary Marseglia on August 17, 2015 at 10:24 am

      DM is a recessive gene but it has to be in both parents & grandparents. If you have high quality bred dogs, like I breed Top 100% W.German Bloodlines GSD’s from Germany, it is a “rarity” in this breed because we breed so well. Unlike what AKC allows or what people don’t give a rats ass of how they breed just to make money.
      But DM & Hip Dysplasia can be & has been proven to be caused by over vaccinations especially rabies vaccines(too many core “combo” vaccines beyond a 3-in-1!!! too) and early spay/neuter also causes hip dysplasia, ligament problems & long bone growth problems.

      • Nicki on August 17, 2015 at 11:58 am

        Thanks Mary. Isn’t it by definition that a recessive gene has to be in both parents / grand parents? Goes to show I have a lot to learn about genetics. I didn’t know about DM having been proven to potentially develop after rabies vaccines. I’ll be looking for that research and would appreciate any pointers if you have them. DM is very close to my heart as it is such a devastating disease and does occur in the breed. I’m trying to learn as much as I can about it. I understand that the one gene the cheek swap tests for may not even be the only gene involved, but I believe that DM test offered by OFA and others is the best science to date. For what it’s worth, my dog is not vaccinated for rabies and the test showed N/N (normal on both sides) for the cheek swap. For sure my breeder pays a LOT of attention to this and many other things to produce healthy pups. I hope that this sets us up for minimal risk of DM. Thanks again for your information.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on August 17, 2015 at 4:02 pm

          Hi Nikki,
          I suspect the gene is a relatively small player in this disease. If a dog were multiply vaccinated for rabies over its life and developed rear end paralysis, I’d be inclined to associate the two, gene or no gene.
          I think your course of avoid both the gene and the vaccine is likely a sound one. Just make sure you have your ducks in a row in case a bite to a person ever occurs. No history of rabies vaccine in a biting dog makes it easier for a knee jerk reaction if animal control isn’t thinking clearly.

          • Mary Marseglia on September 8, 2015 at 11:40 am

            You are exactly correct Dr. Falconer. The gene does have only a very small part to play in DM. It is being caused by over vaccinations including the darn rabies vaccine which is why I’m so happy you and other like you are around for pets. I do wish you did phone consults as you are very difficult to get hold of. I have wanted to refer you to clients that have contacted me but because you aren’t really all that available 🙂 I refer to other true Holistic vets that do phone consults.
            Keep up the good work and God Bless You! You are wonderful!

          • Will Falconer, DVM on September 8, 2015 at 12:24 pm

            Though I’m not taking new clients now, I’ve done phone consulting for years, Mary. 25 at least. If “not available” means I don’t advise on cases over Facebook, yeah, that’s true. Not how I work. But my Contact page has made it clear for years that distance is no impediment to work with me.
            I may have openings again in December, but the direction is teaching more now rather than one on one case work. I’m feeling the need to make a bigger difference in the world of animals.

      • Colleen on October 4, 2016 at 10:44 am

        I don’t agree. We had a German Shepard years ago that never got his shots and ended up with hip dysplacia. He actually put his full weight on his back foot. The vet came to the farm to put him down. So it’s not from vaccines. This was like 50 years ago before they became so strict.

        • Johnna Cook on May 4, 2017 at 10:41 pm

          This is an interesting comment…. I do wish dr. Falconer would respond to this one!

          • Johnna Cook on May 4, 2017 at 10:42 pm

            I’m speaking of Coleens previous comment about her German shepherd

        • Will Falconer, DVM on May 5, 2017 at 12:56 pm

          Hip dysplasia is a whole ‘nother disease, Colleen. We’re talking here of spinal degeneration, resulting in increasing paralysis in the rear. Nothing painful about it (like hip dysplasia, which is arthritis).
          So, why did your GSD end up with hip dysplasia, 50 years ago?
          Take a look at what the breed has been plagued with for decades, in fair part due to breeders’ whims, like a sloping rear end. Find me one canine in nature (wolf, coyote, fox, dingo) who stands like that!
          Another man-made disease, and though I think vaccines contribute to it, probably much more is poor genetic selection criteria.

          • carly on July 11, 2017 at 4:40 am

            We are in the UK. Sloping rear ends on GSDs are not as common here. Our GSD had started to have hip problems. The chiropractic vet has worked wonders and says most hip dysplasia he sees is actually misaligned sacro iliac joint. She has chiropractic adjustment and canine myotherapy now which has given huge improvement. We don’t have compulsory vaccination here, though joining dog training classes or doggy day care requires vaccination certificates, but not for rabies.

          • Will Falconer, DVM on July 12, 2017 at 3:35 am

            Hey Carly,
            IME, joint disease, including hip dysplasia, is quite curable with carefully prescribed homeopathy. My own homeopath, Sue Armstrong,is in UK, and likely works by telephone if she’s not near you. You’ll find the need for regular chiropractic falls off when the prescribing is correct.

        • Sue on February 21, 2019 at 12:17 am

          I have also noticed that German Shepherds have been bred to have a down sloping back end within the last 60 years. I’ve compared that to the shepherds of 80-100 years ago, and those dogs had straight backs and strong hind ends. I watched the original Rin Tin Tin in the movies of the 1930’s, and that dog was a straight-backed true athlete. What people have done to dogs in the name of AKC breeding and the latest trendy “look” is criminal.

          • Cheri on February 21, 2019 at 8:42 am

            RinTinTin was a beautiful dog and I truly wish GSD breeders would Wake up to what damage ” fashion “has done to many of the dog breeds.

      • barb on March 3, 2020 at 1:13 pm

        Hi Mary!
        If both parents are tested and free of HD does it skip a generation? I have a large show dog English Pointer male he is now 13.5. The breeder that we are friends with says he did not have HD. But I am dealing with a dog that is crippled in the hind end. But was not sure if it is linked to rabies or having an accident getting wedged between the car seats. We did acupuncture and now have an appointment for chiro with Xray. I just stared THC and will start my CBD oil when it arrives.

    • Mary Marseglia on August 17, 2015 at 10:35 am

      I am tired of people being so afraid of the laws in the US about rabies vaccines. We are the only ones that can be their voice. I do not vaccinate at all except the dogs I import from Germany are already & International law requires before transportation rabies vaccines. There use to be a company you could buy your own rabies vaccines, with rabies tags & certificates, but they went out of business in 2011 after being in business since 1946. So I now since the state I live in, and 28 others, don’t allow rabies to be shipped to my state, I have other friends that live in the states that allow rabies to be shipped to them. I tell them to order a 10 dose vial for me along with rabies tags “if” they aren’t included(few companies include them, another you have to buy 10 tags–not expensive), then when they receive it, ship it to me, don’t need to ice it because I’m not going to give it anyway, just want the serial number off the vial & the rabies tag. You can print rabies certificate from the CDC website, complete it and do what you want with the vet license number & signature 🙂 And I’ve been doing this for years. This way it looks like I am up-to-date with rabies on my dogs. And my cats are indoor cats and I refuse to rabies vaccinate them. I did have an “allopathic/dr.whitecoat” vet take over my regular vet who retired that told me I had to rabies my indoor male cat that needs to be neutered, and dumb dumb me, when asked if he had his rabies already, I immediately said “no” and they said he had to have one before they would neuter. I said no way! I said do a rabies titer since I had already asked the new vet when was the last time he had his rabies vaccine and he said 20yrs ago but he titers himself & staff every year. I said how much does it cost to do on himself & staff, he said $100 each; I said fine, do it to my 10lb cat, he came back 10mins later and said it would be $400! I said he was full of BS, and I laughed and said you are just looking to make tons of money. He said just do the rabies vaccine. I said, no thank you I’ll find a vet that won’t require it “or I’ll be smart and answer “yes” he has already been vaccinated”(they make you LIE) To date, I still have not found a vet that will neuter him without rabies vaccine and even the so-called Holistic vet 45 mins from me, believes in rabies vaccine “because it is the law” So still looking and keep my open for spay/neuter clinics that won’t ask or I’ll lie and then he’ll finally be neutered. He is 2 1/2 and did start to spray which is why I wanted him neutered. He has stopped for now 🙂

      • Destiny White on August 17, 2015 at 10:52 am

        Do you forge a vet signature/license number? I have a certificate but would be terrified to forge a name!
        Btw, I would stop asking vets if they will neuter without a rabies vaccine. I used to ask that way and some vets would agree at first but then change their mind, and I dont want them turning me in. I just now make an appointment, dont bring paperwork. When they ask either 1) make up a vaccine date and say you’ll bring paperwork later or 2) say yes, hes current. I was in a rush and forgot the papers. I will bring them next time and just forget. Normally they dont keep asking… At least in my experience. My got 5 of her Pomeranians spayed that way. Usually spay/neuter clinics WILL be more strict and need to see proof. Most vets dont really care if you say yes….
        Also, I stay with my pets in the room. The vet sedates them and up until the MINUTE of surgery I am with my pets. Some vets even allow you to watch. Then as soon as its done, they bring the dog/cat back into the room so I can be with it. This is my one requirement. This way they cant say “oh he bit me when waking up…” And my animals are not more stressed.
        Good luck 🙂

      • Sherry Zendel on August 17, 2015 at 11:04 am

        What states will send rabies for vaccination with tags and id numbers? I am interested in this idea. I might have friends who live in some of them. I have three goldens who have never had rabies vaccinations. My 12 year old golden passed away two months ago after suffering his entire life from the age of six months with seizures that started within ten minutes of the first vaccination. He was the second of my dogs to experience seizures from the vaccination, so I will never give it again. He died of Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia, another auto immune disease. It took four days to kill him. No more rabies. There has to be a way around the law. If I lived in the ountry, I might do it once if there was a high risk of infection, but I would definitely give it a lot of thought. Thank you for any help you can give me.

        • Destiny on August 17, 2015 at 3:33 pm

          Allivet is one website I believe. Good luck. Sorry about your Golden 🙁

          • Mary Marseglia on August 20, 2015 at 6:47 am

            If you are in a state that “allows” shipping(Valleyvet shows you the states that will “not” allow) You will also have to order separately the rabies tags. They are not expensive and come in package of 10.
            KV Vet supplies does the same thing as ValleyVet but seems to be little more strict 🙁
            Most places that sell tell you the states that they will “not” ship too and there are I believe 38 states that don’t allow it. I’m not sure if Allivet has a list of states it won’t ship to? I’m going to check with them and let people know as soon as I can.

      • Rebel Pack Mama on August 17, 2015 at 1:27 pm

        God Bless You Mary!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing the rabies CDC certificate info. I just printed it. I have long wondered how to get one of these in my hands. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Thank you….

        • Toni on August 17, 2015 at 4:00 pm

          Where did you find it to print?? I’d love to find a copy I can use. I recently moved to a county that requires annual rabies. I don’t want to give my dogs anymore vaccinations. I just worry that if they get sick or hurt and I HAVE to get help from a vet that they will check the records. (Before the dogs I have now, I had two Chihuahuas who both ended up with paralysis from all the vacs they’d had. Breaks my heart to realize how dumb I was to let that happen to my furbabies.)

          • Rebel Pack Mama on August 17, 2015 at 8:44 pm

            Toni….I just Googled CDC rabies. Click on the cdc/rabies website. Then you find the certificate on the page that appears. It’s in PDF format. Good Luck 🙂

          • Alicia on August 18, 2015 at 5:27 pm

            Hi! I tried looking for this certificate in the way that was stated, but I can’t find it anywhere on the CDC website. Has anyone else had this problem?

          • Jen on August 19, 2015 at 12:15 pm

            Can somebody find the certificate and post a link to the exact page on the CDC website? I can’t find it either.

        • Emma's Mom on June 19, 2016 at 4:06 pm

          I’ve just checked on what states allow people to purchase the rabies vaccine and vaccine tags. AZ, CO, DE, FL, KT, MA, MI, OH, PA, SD, VA and WI all allow it. My good friend just got caught by the animal control Nazis. Her little dog has already been vaccinated three times for rabies and the 5-in-1 shots so she’s not gonna give more. Want to share with others who don’t want to over-vaccinate. We hate having to do this but the laws are wrong on this and the animals suffer from these toxic shots.

        • Brenda on October 3, 2019 at 12:24 am

          Please, describe/explain “rabies CDC certificate”. Is it the form received from a vet after they give rabies shot including owner’s & dog’s name/description, # of vaccine tag, etc? Where is link of the form you printed?
          Please, please……
          Brenda & “Bebe”

      • Toni on August 17, 2015 at 4:17 pm

        Where can I get my hands on one of these certificates? I lost 2 Chihuahuas to being over immunized. I don’t plan to let it happen to the 2 dogs I have now. Thanks!

      • Vanilla's_World on August 29, 2015 at 1:27 pm

        Hi Mary,
        my little girl is due for her rabies vaccine in two months but I really, really want to avoid it since she is already sick and having a new episode of a herniated disk. She was paralyzed from the waist down a year ago before her emergency surgery, which she never fully recovered from. I am scared it will repeat itself as she started having pain and neurological signs three days ago. I checked out the website (valleyvet) and of course the state I live in, Texas, is amongst the no-shipping states. Also, I do not have the luck to know people across the states since I just moved her a little while ago from Germany. Further, Texas is not a state that allows rabies vaccine exemptions given Dr. Falconer’s article on the subject. Do you think there is any way your friends could include me in the sending and I pay via paypal or else?* I would be so thankful if you could reply. Here is my private e-mail as well if you prefer writing there: katharina.christian@yahoo.de please make sure to put .de in the end instead of .com (it is the german yahoo) as otherwise I wont receive any mail. Thanks!!!:) Hope to hear from you if only with more tips on the subject.

        • Kristina Young on March 17, 2016 at 12:21 pm

          Katharina, what city in Texas do you live in? I live in Denton and had a Maltese that was epileptic and asked the Animal Control Superintendent if I could forego the vaccination since an animal cannot be vaccinated if it is sick or has a disease. He said that was no problem. All you need is a veterinarian to say that your dog has health issues. I just read this blog, so I hope it is not too late for you. I have a new puppy that is not vaccinated yet and I plan to go to France through Germany this year. I am terrified of what I should do about his first vaccination…I don’t want to give it at all.

          • Nata Ta on August 5, 2017 at 2:45 pm

            Thank you, Kristina! I am in Denton county, TX. Vaccinated my boy, but planning not to anymore. I have 2 more years after 1st rabies (3 years is now allowed where we are). So, hopefully, by that time, new laws will be created. I noticed some vets are pushing on a flu vaccine for dogs! They are killing me! Why would I vaccinate my fur kid when I am against vaccines in a human world. Thank you all!

      • Brenda G. on November 5, 2019 at 1:47 pm

        I live in Florida…..one of the few states that allow rabies vaccine vials and tags to be purchased by residents. Currently, I am awaiting a delivery…..10 dosage vaccine = $14.99; 10 (.25 cent tags) = $2.50; plus, $29.99 for overnight ice-pack shipping via FEDEX. Well worth every penny spent!

        • Casondra on November 14, 2019 at 10:35 pm

          what do you do with the animal control portion on the certificate??
          looking into the vial and tags as well, my state allows shipping also. but not sure how to do the form..

    • Joyce on August 17, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      The results from DNA testing for DM are given as simple recessive genetics = Clear, Carrier or At-Risk. There is more to be researched as not every At-Risk will be affected but my understanding is that Clear & Carriers do not develop DM. Allopathic vets understand that dogs develop auto immune conditions but refuse to admit, in most cases, that they result from vaccinations, so I’m quite sure they would never adopt the view that there is an immune mediated component to DM.

      • Will Falconer, DVM on August 17, 2015 at 4:18 pm

        I think the recessive genetics, if present in your dog, just gives a loud call to pay attention to epigenetics, which I blogged about earlier here.
        Keep those genes from expressing by doing all the natural rearing this site is dedicated to teaching!
        And, if any vet is ignoring the autoimmune component to DM, they need look no further than the Merck Vet Manual, now online for all to see. [Oops. Wrong. They aren’t talking any more than “genetic”.]
        Okay, so see Dr. Roger Clemmons’ site for this. He’s the Florida clinician who’s done a lot of work in supplementing these dogs to lengthen survival times. He’s very clear: it’s autoimmune.

        • Joyce on August 18, 2015 at 1:42 pm

          The article about epigenetics is excellent !

    • Lori Cote on July 10, 2017 at 7:43 pm

      Nicki, you are actually correct. I have spent years living, eating, breathing DM. My GSD developed symptoms weeks after an ill advised rabies vaccine. I spent the next 2 1/2 years researching, speaking with 100’s and 100’s of other DM parents. The general consensus is, it is in their DNA. My beleif is, even though my dog was AA ( at risk), he may have gone a lifetime without the DM rearing it’s ugly head. Instances of dogs NN ( double negative ) developing DM ( confirmed on necropsy ) are next to nil. So to say the Rabies vaccine can cause DM, I don’t personally believe that is possible. But I absolutely believe there are many DM at risk dogs who will never become symptomatic until there is a huge hit to their immune system. The DNA test available today is absolutely accurate. The few supposed instances of it being proen wtong on necropsy, are again, very, very few and far between. All the DNA test bashing is being spurred on by breeders who don’t want any test telling them who they can and can’t breed to……pure greed.
      My beautiful Miles passed told us he was fed up once hs front end became effected. He spent almost 2 years in a wheelchair, happy as a clam. Dogs are just amazing ❤️

  83. Kimberly German on August 17, 2015 at 9:44 am

    I have two Maltese. One now has epilepsy from the rabies vaccine, so he is exempt from re-vaccination; what a horrible price to pay. My other is probably just flying under the radar in my state. I refuse to revaccinate him out of fear, so I am not sure what I will do if “the day” comes.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 17, 2015 at 12:30 pm

      Ah, Kimberly, seizures a very common sequela to rabies vaccinations. Again: nervous system disease, and you can read of convulsions in actual rabies cases. So, a “little bit of the disease” in the vaccine? Yep.

      • Eric Reynolds on February 20, 2019 at 7:44 pm

        So our RedHealer contracted seizures, maybe from the vaccine.
        We use CBDs to controll them, works awesome.
        Of course it had been soo long since he had one I got slack. He had one. Rubbed CBDs on his gums and can’t convolutions stoped immediately !!

        • Kaykay on February 21, 2019 at 12:09 am

          That’s so awesome to hear. My poor girl is 7 yrs old, she’s a pomchi and I tried CBD oil for her seizures and it did nothing. I rubbed it on her gums during, nothing. I gave it 4 months. I used a good brand I think. Nuleaf. It came highly recommended by dog owners whos dogs have seizures. I was so disappointed. I haven’t put her on pharmaceuticals , I’m scared to! She has only 1 a month. If they ever get more frequent I’ll have to do something.
          I’ve heard more success stories than not so I was surprised when it didn’t help.

          • Cheri on February 21, 2019 at 8:29 am

            I have a Papillon that got distemper at about 8 months from the vaccine, 5 way. She had a few seizures and I started giving her Sun Chlorella and NuVet vitamins. The seizures stopped for a few years, then I added CBD oil to control them. Finally she started having more and more seizures so I had to put her on phenobarbital which helped but made her groggy. Reduced the P and added 125 mg K-BroVet which reduced the seizures to about 1 every 3 weeks. These are not small ones, they are full blown body grand-mal that last minutes. She is on a new med so we will see how it works for her. She will be 8 years old the end of May.

          • DDS on February 21, 2019 at 10:18 am

            Our beagle started having focal seizures we believe after Heartguard and possible vaccines. I was told by our vet at the time that Heartguard wouldn’t cause any issues and he must take it. (I had a different opinion and discontinued usage after Christmas 2017) In November 2017, he had seizures every hour. Christmas morning 2017 he clustered again and he ended up in ER with a 3 day stay in ICU. He has clustered ever since (2 weeks to monthly) and we have been to ER with him too many times. We hated to put him on meds. CBD did not work for him unfortunately. He was started on Keppra, zonisamide was a nightmare (removed that one immediately), pheno was added and we started him on Kbr in October 2018. We had a great streak of 71 days after the Kbr addition. That is the longest we have had with no seizures since November 2017. Unfortunately in my area there is not a holistic vet within a 2-3 hour drive and he no longer does well on car rides. There are some other natural approaches we have tried. We also use Bachs Flowers Rescue Remedy for Pets. The food dilemma for our boy can be a struggle at times to get right. And I refuse to get another rabies vaccine, he is NOT a healthy dog.

          • KateB on June 5, 2019 at 9:22 pm

            Kaykay, it could have been the CBD used. Not all are equal or have the equivalent amount, humans and pets require different dosing depending on size, the condition and possibly other factors. Some on the shelves are marketing bunk and are not 3rd party tested. Only one I know uses a particular proprietary processing to ensure higher grade/quality. The bottle may use fillers like coconut oil as well and/or doesn’t show percentages so it’s unknown and guesswork at best. I’d want quality and I’m sure you do as well for yourself and your pet. There are also some homeopathic treatments effective for seizures and/or detox from Vaccine bad stuff and also some bad flea/tick products.

          • carla on August 23, 2019 at 5:19 pm

            Not all CBD oil is the same. Have to be strong and use the THC kind for seizures. Coming from CO, you can get it stronger in a state where it is legal to grow and make your own. I don’t think hemp CBD oil is strong or active enough. Just like now they have announced cannabis works against cancer. Check out Rick Simpson’s oil.

          • Martha on December 22, 2019 at 8:46 pm

            Have you considered acupuncture? My 18 month old Border collie mix has had seizures since birth. First phenobarbital was given, then potassium bromide was added but she still was having seizures almost weekly. Started acupuncture three months ago and response has been dramatic. Time between seizures is lengthening and at present, she is going almost four weeks between seizures. Agree with other responders about need for high grade CBD.

        • Kelly Hall on June 23, 2020 at 3:38 pm

          Hey Eric, just scrolling through these articles to put information together for the adopters of my rescue dogs and noticed your comment about seizures and CBD oil. My basador began having seizures 3 months after her one and only rabies vaccine. It’s been a year now and even though we are working with a homeopath, they continue to get worse. I was using CBD initially and they were only 1 each month. I stopped because it seemed to be a trigger but I was never sure. Now I am wondering if they are getting worse because I stopped. Long story – sorry – just wondered which brand you were using? I was buying the more potent Source brand. Much thanks! Kelly Hall

          • Amy Hayek, DVM, MA, CVA, CVC on August 23, 2020 at 12:09 pm

            Hi Kelly,
            You might consider finding an AVCA certified animal chiropractor to help with the seizures. Quite often when the animal is adjusted at the atlanooccipital joint, the dog can more easily address the issues causing the seizures. If you have any difficulty finding one in your area, check out these two places;


            Chiropractic helps the body speak to the nervous system better, and vice versa, allowing it to reduce the toxins in it and maintain better health overall.

          • Zac P on May 22, 2021 at 3:16 pm


    • Peggy on September 16, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      I just had my 10 yr old cat get a rabies shot,by vet said she had a severe ear infection but gave her the shot anyway. Within minutes she was spinning circles, nystagmus , and went limp, lost all muscle movement . Although after more drugs to keep her alive and a large vet bill she still has eye twitches. And of course exempt from the next rabies shot. I also have another 10yr old cat with a diagnosis of hypercalcemia and weight loss. Due for rabies shot that the vet said he has to have, he is allergic to distemper shot. Who knows what his fate will be. So I feel your pain. What is a person to do. I keep getting told what if a bat flies into your house.

      • Dede on September 21, 2015 at 2:56 pm

        Peggy – You can sue the vet who vaccinated your cat. The label on every vial of vaccine states it’s to be given to healthy animals/people ONLY. Your cat was not healthy. Google search and you’ll find attorneys who specialize in vaccine law. My heart goes out to you and our cat.

      • cindy jones on October 3, 2015 at 7:34 pm

        I think I’d take a chance on that bat flying into my house.

        • Joy on November 25, 2018 at 8:52 am

          Having lived in a farmhouse where we could count over a thousand bats flying from the eaves every night (yep, we counted them), i have yet to encounter a rabid bat. They exist, but it’s more of the “be afraid, be very afraid” mindset.

      • MrSpuddy on February 20, 2019 at 6:04 pm

        A bat flew in my house years ago. No contact with my dog and I gotot out safely without any problems myself.

      • Cathy on February 21, 2019 at 10:00 am

        The ‘bat story’ seems to be the only way they can con you into submitting to the vaccine. I had one cat that was already compromised and not healthy, hence they dispensed with giving the vaccine. But in the state I now live in, I had to file and sign papers with Dept of Agriculture to this effect. My other cat who is going on 13 and healthy has had to have the vaccine. I learned quite some time ago, that if you give them a product called Thuja, (Newton Homeopathics) either before or after the vaccine, it will stave off any signs of vaccinosis. We have had to do this 3 times (once/year) and so far, the cat has showed no immediate signs of ill effects from the vaccine. Also, I decided to research the so called story of bats…etc. It turned out that there were only 2 cases of rabies in my area; both were from ground hogs…one in 2016 in one county and one in 2017 in another county. The ‘bat story’ is a pat response vets use to scare the bejesus out of the client so they comply and go ahead and vaccinate…

      • Joy Metcalf on September 19, 2019 at 1:24 pm

        I think I’d be tempted to tell the vet that a) he is responsible for all care, free of charge, for the cat that was ill when he vaccinated, and b) tell him you would sue if he demands a vaccination for another unhealthy pet. Of course, I’d probably be waving the insert in his face at the same time.

  84. Destiny on August 17, 2015 at 9:22 am

    With my older dogs who did get the vaccine, I had to say I did not own them anymore. So far, I havent heard from county in a while…. I do have 4 rabies tags (2 for the dogs and 2 I am supposed to keep on my keychain they said)…. This way I have a tag for anyone who may need one to “look” current…
    Getting a puppy soon and plan to not vaccinate at all. It DOES make me a nervous with a puppy who will only be 3 lbs at 12 weeks and perhaps 7 lbs mature weight. Their immune system seems to small and frail compared to say a 25 lb Lab Puppy…
    PS. Why is ReelRaw (formerly SAD dog sushi) no longer on your resource page? I buy from them monthly.. Are they no longer good?

    • Destiny on August 17, 2015 at 9:25 am

      Forgot to add: in my situation I cant live in the country. I avoid any place that requires rabies vax.. I groom my own dogs and avoid Dr WhiteCoat. When I have had to go to the vet for OSS/Vasectomy I just make up a date of the vax or say I “forgot” my papers and will bring them next time… They usually forget and never ask..
      I dont travel often (due to work and the fact I have a 120 lb dog who is not as portable/easy to accomodate as my 10 lb dog). If I leave, my family watches my dogs, or if need be, I hire a live-in sitter. We have cameras in the home, as well to monitor anything.

      • Will Falconer, DVM on August 17, 2015 at 3:55 pm

        Sounds like you’ve found a way to work the system to your advantage, Destiny. Bravo.
        I simply lost track of ReelRaw (sounds like it’s a site for porn movies… I think “RealRaw” was taken) when they moved from Austin. Could be fine, I just don’t know.

        • Shama on August 22, 2015 at 12:39 pm

          Attn Destiny…The owner of ReelRaw dog food is Rich Reel. I think that’s why he named it ReelRaw. Sadly, Rich’s life and business partner, Alissa, passed away in December. He is still in business in Maine, I believe. Their product is excellent and they ship it frozen through UPS.

          • Destiny on September 21, 2015 at 11:54 am

            Oh my goodness. I talked with Alissa SO much through 2014 when I used their food (per Dr Falconer’s site recommendation). She was so thrilled my dog was doing much better on their raw food. This past year when I emailed, I wondered why she never responded. How terribly sad for Rich.

          • Clarity on December 31, 2018 at 9:22 am

            Yes, ReelRaw is now We Feed Raw. They are in business in Maine.

        • Esther Stalker on February 16, 2019 at 8:10 pm

          Dr Falconer Reel Raw is now called We feed Raw. May I ask what do you mean by taken?

          • Will Falconer, DVM on February 19, 2019 at 10:04 pm

            Taken? I’ll need context to know what you’re asking, Esther. Thanks for the update.

          • Yvette on February 21, 2019 at 12:11 am

            Esther … I’m guessing that “taken” refers to the name “RealRaw:” that it was not available had the Reels wanted to use it.

        • flatwallet farms on August 24, 2021 at 8:24 am

          Decades ago when I had a horse farm in New Mexico, we had rabies in our area (southeastern NM). I had my horses rabies vaccinated. Almost 20 years later, while living with my stallion on our farm in East Texas, rabies was found very near us. A neighbor’s horse had been attacked by a rabid bobcat, and it wasn’t realized until after the whole family had been exposed. By then my stallion had developed cancer and was not a candidate for vaccination. I had a rabies antibody titer test done on him. He was still protected—after just 1 vaccination 18+ years earlier! My horse lived to be 30.
          I have titer tests run on all my dogs every 3 years after they’ve received an initial vaccination. The tests, run at the K-State Lab at Kansas State University, can get expensive. They run around $140 US each so I try to spread them out on all my guys. And many vets don’t think they are definitive indicators of protection. The only instance I would agree with that is when a result is below zero, indicating low protection, because I know that, in those cases, if the animal is exposed to rabies, the immune system could kick in causing a higher titer value.
          Also, I’m sure the certificate of titer findings probably would not protect my guys from the law, but at least I know they are protect from rabies. That’s more important to me and I’ll pay fines and go to jail with my dogs to stand by it.

          • Will Falconer, DVM on August 28, 2021 at 5:20 am

            Amazing longevity of immunity example. Similar to a vet colleague of mine who, not wanting to get further vac’d after vet school (we all likely had at least two doses), she titered herself. Her rabies titer climbed for the first decade of practice, with no further rabies vaccinations. It was solid for many, many years after that until we lost contact with each other.

            I’d make one significant money saving suggestion to you, however: once you have a positive titer, you can stop testing. Your animal has become immunized and a titer that drops off later in life does NOT mean the immunity is gone. Thanks for sharing your story of DOI here.

    • Julie Rider on July 10, 2017 at 8:53 pm

      I fly under the radar…my dogs have had 2 years in a row positive rabies titers from KS State and my vet writes letters of exception. My dogs do not get out or are left out in the yard and I told my town the dogs do not live here anymore at relicensing time. My groomer has a small shop with exclusive clientele and does not require vax records. I am careful with whom my dogs have contact.

      • Michele Lafield on January 17, 2020 at 12:45 pm

        Julie, you commented your Vet writes letters of exceptions for the lack of rabies vaccine serial numbers I assume. Would you please copy and forward to me
        Michele.lafield [at] gmail.com

    • BVK on February 21, 2019 at 7:35 am

      We have a 4,5 yr old purebred Scottie, no vaxx ever and raw-fed using primarily homeopathic when indicated.
      My big concern was parvo as a pup but another no-vaxx friend said that her dog contracted parvo and because of the strong immune system it was a non-issue. Her dog quickly recovered. I did find a natural remedy, “ParvAid” that I kept handy in the fridge…it was never needed.
      I have a holistic vet business not requiring proof of vaxx. When she was spayed at 2,5 yrs they requested vaxx and I said she was certainly covered.
      I groom her myself.