How Safe is Your Pet From “Just a Rabies Vaccine?” III

rabies law annoys dogs

The rabies law says what? Oh, God. Rewrite that old dog!

Part Three: Change That Law!

It’s way past time to update the rabies laws we live with.

In their present form, animals, specifically dogs, cats, and ferrets, are legally required to receive way more rabies vaccines in their lives than what is necessary to establish immunity.

Horses are often grossly over vaccinated for this disease as well, though it’s not a legal requirement for them.

The risk to health that comes from following these rabies laws is clear.

(If you haven’t seen the outpouring of troublesome stories that Part One of this series elicited, take a moment to read the post and its record breaking number of comments. We’ll wait for you. Seriously, we think it’s that important, we’ll trim some nails or something till you have read it.…  You back? Cool, read on.)

The Need for a Rabies Law

Rabies is a zoonotic disease, meaning humans get it from animals. If a person contracts rabies, it’s usually fatal, with few exceptions.

We don’t have a law about distemper, or parvo, or feline respiratory viruses because they only affect the animal who gets the disease. While they could cause death, potentially, the infected animal won’t cause human death, so there’s no law about vaccinating for any of these other diseases.

(That’s not to say vaccinating against the other common diseases is safe. Oh Lord, no.)

Death from rabies is quite gruesome, as well. One of its main symptoms gave it its other name: hydrophobia. The fear of water. Most rabies infected humans have a sudden strangling spasm of the throat when they try to drink, due to the virus’s influence on their nervous system.

That choking after drinking is so intense, the fear of water tends to go global: fear of drinking, fear of seeing water, even fear of the sound of running water.

By the way, we see this in dogs who do not have rabies, but who have had multiple rabies vaccinations. Or even those whose ancestors have had multiple rabies vaccinations.

These are the dogs who go a bit bonkers with a running hose, biting it, barking at it, seemingly furious. Or the dogs who chase flashlight beams, bikes, or skateboards, like they were a menace to society. All these things move, you see? Close enough to running water that the rabies influenced animal will be perturbed by these things.

The Need for a Thoughtful, Reality-based Rabies Law

Rabies vaccination laws were made with good intent. Keeping domestic pets from contracting rabies significantly drops the incidence of human rabies. And the rabies vaccination confers immunity to dogs and cats, no doubt.

One only need look at where rabies in humans is still a significant problem in the world to verify this: it’s Africa and Asia, where there are no rabies vaccine laws or elimination of stray dogs. It’s estimated 60,000 deaths a year are due to rabies in these areas, the victims mostly young children.

rabies laws make rabies in humans almost non-existent.

Where rabies laws don’t live. Red alert!

In contrast, CDC stats indicate 49 human cases of rabies in the U.S. from 1995-2011.

Where the rub comes is that rabies laws, in their present form, have no basis in scientific reality. Immunologists have known for decades now that duration of immunity from most viral vaccines, rabies included, in very long. Likely lifelong, in their words.

So, to be a law abiding citizen in the United States, that means vaccinating your pets every three years, or worse, if your county or municipality has really missed the memo, annually.

That’s a whole lot of unnecessary vaccinations that:

1. Don’t add anything to the existing immunity from the early vaccinations, and

2. Have a significant potential to cause harm, even death. (You did read about Tigger in Part One, right?)

So, let’s paint a better scenario. What would a better rabies law look like?

Big Picture Rabies Law: What are We After?

The goal is a dog or cat who’s immune. Immunity is not like a gas tank that runs out after so much time. Although, it can be measured.

So, let’s put some language in our new law that makes provision for measurement, something the immunologists know well how to do.

Dr. Ronald Schultz, chief investigator of the Rabies Challenge Fund is reputed to be quite pleased with the data the study is generating in dogs vaccinated against rabies once.

The RCF dogs are being titer tested to see how long the antibodies persist, but by now you likely know that titers are not a complete measure of immunity, right?

Along with titers, the dogs on the study have been further tested to measure their cell mediated immunity (CMI).  This is a far more reliable test. It tells a much deeper story of persistent immunity, immunity that persists even when antibody titers have fallen to zero.

Here’s the exciting news.

The dogs on the study, even though after three years, had low “non-protective” titers, or no titers at all, STILL HAD protective immunity as measured by CMI testing!

So, to reiterate what’s being learned in the Rabies Challenge Fund right now:

  1. Dogs were vaccinated once against rabies, and immunity was measured in two ways:
    • Antibody titers that persisted for three years, then mostly fell off.
    • Cell mediated immunity measurements that indicated immunity was still present at five years, even when titers were gone.
  2. The dogs will finally be challenged with live rabies virus to fully prove their measured immunity was truly protective. That’s the gold standard that every vaccine currently licensed has to achieve.

[Wait. Why not measure every dog and cat with the CMI testing? It’s not practical and is very expensive. We are therefore left with titers, which don’t measure full immunity. But you knew that, right?]

The results of these RCF studies will be published and can be used to both label vaccines with longer intervals of repetition, and more importantly, form the basis for new rabies laws.

And, The Envelope, Please. Our New Rabies Vaccination Law

Therefore let it be proclaimed in whatever legalese is deemed necessary, that:

1. Pets vaccinated for rabies will be considered immune to rabies and exempt from further vaccination when they show a positive titer test. Titers are optional in lieu of vaccination, and will be recognized by all regulatory bodies.

2. Those who’d rather vaccinate instead of titer test can, and the minimum requirement across the land will be three years. (Listen up, Podunk County officials!)

3. A period of ___ years will be waived from further rabies vaccination once the titer test has fallen below “protective levels.”

This latter provision will be based on the good, solid data coming from the Rabies Challenge Fund, showing cellular memory lasts X years beyond the falling off a titer (we’re still awaiting numbers, hence the blank and the “X” until we know).

This Is Only a Start. Repeat: Only a Start

The odds are, say the veterinary immunologists, that lifetime immunity results from viral vaccination in most cases. Knowing this and the harm that vaccination can cause from even “just a rabies vaccine,” you have to decide how to interact with a law like this.

I’ve provided some ideas to help you decide now and in the future how you’ll act.

But, if we’re going to have a rabies law, and that seems inevitable, let’s at least graduate to one uniform law that all states, counties and municipalities can use, and let’s write that law based on sound scientific knowledge.

Our animals deserve that.

Anything you’d like to add? Tell us in the comments.

p.s. Coming soon: an interview with a client who took her dog to repeated shows (to titles!) and never had a single rabies vaccination! Have you subscribed yet? You’ll get first notice of this coming out when you do.

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  1. Wanda Thomas on October 11, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    My blind diabetic, but otherwise healthy dog just had an allergic reaction from a rabies shot. He was treated as if it were kennel cough or allergies. Thank heavens our holistic vet (who now lives on the other side of the country) shed light on the issue.
    I live in Missouri and have already contacted my state representative to start the process of medical exemptions. We can’t even get rid of puppy mills in Missouri so I know it will be an uphill battle, but your site has given me hope. Thank you.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on October 11, 2021 at 9:46 pm

      Good for you, Wanda! It should be very basic: any sick animal needs to be exempt from vaccinations of all kinds. Vaccinating the sick is malpractice, pure and simple. And, unfortunately, it happens every day, and will until people like you stand up and say, “No.”

  2. Groomer on September 17, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    Dr. Falconer (and anyone reading this comment)

    I am a groomer in Texas, recently invested in a system called Thera-Clean, it is a microbubble system for baths.

    I recently learned that the veterinarian of their company suggests people wait 7 days before getting a Thera Clean bath after receiving shots, this is due to the findings that the microbubbles removed some or most of the vaccines. If true, my suggestion if a vet gives your dog a vaccine against your will, get that dog a Thera Clean (has to be Thera-Clean) bath ASAP! If my dog ever receives another, he is getting multiple Thera Clean baths as soon as we leave that office! The beauty here is it cannot hurt, because it is just bubbles and water, and it is the most gentle relaxing bath available for dogs with many other benefits!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on October 5, 2020 at 12:06 am

      Hi Groomer, this is beyond improbable, it is quite impossible! Anything injected into the animal’s body is going to have its effect on the body. Any vet who suggests it could be shampooed away is, guess what, trying to sell more shampoo!

      I appreciate you’ve invested in this product, and yeah, it probably causes no harm to anyone, but for a vet (working for the company, no less!) to claim something on the surface will keep animals safe from vaccinosis is utterly irresponsible. Causing people to think this works will add to the damage being done on a daily basis from the overuse of vaccines.

      • groomer on May 18, 2022 at 7:53 pm

        Dr Falconer,
        It is not shampoo, there are no soaps, no shampoos, no chemicals other than water and enzymes. This is advanced technology that has changed what can be done for pets with skin issues. What was said was nothing about vaccinosis, to the contrary. Part of what we were told by the owners of Thera Clean who you are welcome to talk to is to not give any pets their bath within 7 days of vaccines because the vet who found this technology with 20 years of research in Japan has found that the microbubbles will remove most to all of the vaccine.

        My mind going in the opposite direction said well hmmm, if our dog ever is given an injection that we do not want, like if he runs away somehow and goes to the shelter and they inject him, or if he gets a procedure and they inject him, I will rush him home for his bath which we do every few weeks anyway, we would just make sure it is as soon as possible.

        It cannot hurt, can only help, even if mainly helps by keeping skin clean and healthy. In no way am I saying for anyone to get any vaccines.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on May 18, 2022 at 11:35 pm

          I’d suggest it can “hurt” in the sense that people might think they’ll simply be able to “bubble away” all ill effects of vaccination. Crazy assumption.

          Consumers are, of course, always free to believe what they wish about products and what they are capable of.

          • Groomer on May 22, 2022 at 5:03 pm

            Definitely a crazy assumption if they are assuming at longer than a week after vaccination that they can cure vaccinosis with anything other than homeopathy as the damage is done.

            I am saying for example our next puppy or current dog who I plan on never getting another vaccine, if they get any unwanted vaccine forced on them like rabies I will be rushing them that day into our tub, fill with water, put pup in and turn on our machine. Will it work, I do not know, but the side effect will be vibrantly clean and healthy skin and a deep massaging of their joints. What a good way to introduce a puppy to enjoy water as well.

            We own the system and have had miraculous results with skin issues and dogs with joint issues, it would be great for humans as well but the FDA does not allow that advertisement, although I can cure my cold sores a lot faster than ever before now 🙂

          • groomer on June 3, 2022 at 3:03 pm

            Hi Dr Falconer,
            This whole conversation prompted me to call them up, as it is two partners, both of which I love, and I called to get clarification as this subject had confused me as well. Well it was the guy who I normally do not talk with as often about any questions regarding our system. He informed me that they advise no Microbubbles within a week of topicals, as the negative ions would bring out the topicals, especially as these topicals already say no water baths for a week or something. Our dogs do not get those toxic topicals anyway, we use neem and essential oils, Neem oil, nematodes, and Boric acid you recommended last year destroyed our flea infestation, it was a bad year for those pests.

            So I went into what I was told last year and elaborated that even at one of the Tradeshows it was reiterated about the shots and I was wondering the mechanism of the microbubbles, how it effects a dog who just had shots, etc.

            He was not sure so he got on the phone with their vet, and his partner must have misheard it or something, because they were referring to topicals. I know multiple times I was told shots, so I was only going with what was said, however it has been clarified. There is no evidence at all about any effects of microbubbles given within one week of the shots (I had asked how this was measured, eg a study with dogs that received titers and one group had received microubbles and one had not, etc) , however there are cases of dogs that had hairloss at the vaccine site and after their 3-2-1 protocol the dog regrew hair in that spot (which we have seen as well, not sure if it was the vaccine site on dogs we have helped). Therefore if our next puppy gets a forced rabies shot, we will still rush him home for a microbubble bath for his skin care. I would be thrilled if his next titer revealed no titers, lol, even though it is unlikely and I do know titers do not measure cell mediated immunity.

            Next puppy we are having a hard time with on this whole idea of Rabies shots, I want to train him as our service dog, however I really do not want to deal with even one shot that is unnecessary as our breed we do not worry one bit about them biting anyone, and they are always at our side. For example, the tradeshow we love their new center they are going to have made it abundantly clear they are checking every dogs rabies status under Texas law, and that they hope to stay at this location, ugh, so frustrating!! I hate our laws!

            I wish I knew the vet that lady mentioned in comments on one of your blogs that he looks at her, she shakes her head No, and he hands her certificate.

  3. B. VDLOO on October 24, 2019 at 7:17 am

    Thanks for all you do and the great info and awareness on your site, Dr. Falconer.
    I had a Westie for 13 yrs that was damaged by his rabies/puppy vaxx. The many vets and specialists I saw either claimed it was something to do with his diet or didn’t know but were willing to prescribe steroids to mask the problem. I needed answers and kept looking. I “discovered” Dr.Pitcairn’s research about vaccine damage and also some books/articles that were starting to be written about the raw diet. I must say, the raw diet helped a LOT but not totally. My puppy would be biting, scratching, losing hair, inflamed skin, bad tummy, etc. I lived in the Netherlands during these years and someone suggested a homeopathic veterinarian. You may as well have said to take him to a witch doctor for all I knew, but desperation does something inside and I went. One consultation, one remedy from this excellent classical homeopathic vet and the itching stopped! Health started flooding in. His digestive system remained compromised all his life but he thrived.
    During this time I never allowed another vaccine to be given but had titer tests done instead (and I traveled with this dog all throughout Europe and several times to./from USA).
    At one point the titer measurement was lower than the legal level so I asked my vet to try an experiment that I’d only read about: allow my dog to “sniff” the rabies vaccine instead of injecting it. We measured his titer again 10 days later and it had been boosted well above the legal level!
    That was several years ago… fast forward to present.
    I have a Scottie (5 yrs, spayed female, never vaxxed) and a Westie (3yrs, neutered male, puppy vax from puppy mill). We live in a large city in the USA now.
    A few months ago I ordered a rabies vaccine and did the sniff test with my dogs. My intention was to titer test them shortly afterwards but life got ahold of the calendar in other ways.
    One month ago my dogs encountered raccoons and were bitten. I flushed their wounds immediately, put on an antiseptic, and gave them Ledum. Police came and they called animal control… I thought they’d go get those pesky raccoons. They took our dogs! No current rabies certification… it got worse. They were sentenced to FOUR MONTHS of strict quarantine (that or euthanasia). They were immediately revaxxed with DA2PP and rabies. We’ve been trying to get them out ever since. Yesterday they were RE-VAXXED with rabies! We are beside ourselves… still trying to get them out of jail and wondering how to help our furry friends.
    We have limited access, can bring them their raw food, and even handle them briefly. I will be observing them today to see what effects a 2nd vaxx has had on them, though I know it could pop up anytime in the next weeks. I know my dogs have a strong immune system but this is an all-out assault on their systems. And I begged for a titer test instead, to which the one in control said “titer tests on dogs suspected to be bitten by rabid animals are not accurate”.
    And this is where I need your help, Dr. Falconer… I need scientific, AVMA, RCF, and other recognized sources to prove that this statement is inaccurate… I need this for an appeals process we are beginning. So, if you, or others can help – please do! Soon!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on October 26, 2019 at 7:02 am

      The statement sounds credible to me. They’ve just been vaccinated, so they’ll have a titer from that forming. If you’re trying to avert quarantine by claiming an existing titer, can you see how this would be impossible now? They are following the “exception” to euthanasia, as described by the Compendium on Animal Rabies. I’d be thankful they didn’t insist on euthanasia and plead ignorance to quarantine. And it actually sounds like a looser quarantine than normal, if you’d able to handle the dogs. If the purpose of the quarantine is to watch for slow onset signs of rabies from the raccoon exposure, that’s risky to let you handle the dogs.

  4. Valerie on May 16, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    I am so frustrated with all of this! I just lost my two 10 y.o. Boston Terrier girls within two months of each other. One had aggressive mast cell tumors, the other started having seizures out of the blue and was in the end suspected of having a brain tumor.
    They had the full puppy series, and then I never vaccinated them again for parvo or distemper. Both of my girls had reactions to vaccines that the vets said were not reactions, basically because their faces didn’t swell up and they didn’t go into immediate shock—as if that’s that’s the only thing that can be a true reaction.
    It didn’t matter that my one dog stood in the same place for about two hours unmoving, looking glazed, breathing hard, not coming when called, not coming to eat. She laid down to rest when I picked her up and laid her next to me. The vet said that was normal! As long as she was breathing and that she returned to mostly normal after 24 hours.
    We were caught owning dogs by animal control when they were young and got stuck in the rabies vax every 3 years situation. I live in a rural part of Los Angeles county in California and they will go door to door in my area and follow up on people who have not licensed any animals recently.
    We also got stuck with the bordatella vaccine a few times when we had to board them. It was impossible to find a place that would accept a waiver instead without a letter from a vet. I told the vet that my dog reacted to the bordatella vaccine, and she said, “Oh yeah, that’s common. Just have Benadryl on hand.”
    One boarding place told me my dogs were a danger to other dogs because they had not recently been vaccinated. They said that positive titers meant they were carriers of the diseases and were shedding the viruses, therefore a danger to all the vaccinated dogs staying with them. They were upset at all the “uneducated” people out there listening to fear mongers and not vaccinating their animals. When they said this to me, I actually could not respond because of the sheer stupidity and lack of logic. I just walked away.
    After I scheduled my dog for surgery to remove a suspected mast cell tumor, the staff asked me if she was up to date on her shots and if I wanted them to vaccinate her. Me in my head: ??? !!! $#%&, are you kidding me?? Outloud: No, thank you. If she has cancer, her immune system is compromised and a vaccine is probably not the best thing for her since she is not heathy.
    My dog when she started having seizures this last summer had not had the rabies vax for 5 years. I “forgot” to take her in for it. The vet (different from the one above) said she needed to have a full dental because she had some infected teeth, and that while it more than likely was not the cause of her seizures, it would probably help with them. Then she said my dog had to be vaccinated for rabies first to protect her staff. I questioned her about it, being that I had brought my dog in for seizures. And if she had a tooth infection isn’t her immune system compromised? She said she would accept a rabies titer, which I did and she charged me an exorbitant amount for. Then called me up a few weeks later after we found out the phenobarbital she prescribed for my dog’s seizures caused her liver damage to tell me a dental was out because of the liver issues, my dog needs to be taken off pheno immediately. I was to expect horrible, bad seizures and needed to prepare myself. Then I never heard from her again. I tried three times after that to talk to her about how to wean my dog off of the pheno, and she never returned my calls. They still send me email reminders for vaccines though. These are the kind of vets in my area.
    What was interesting to me though, was that my dog had a rabies titer of 2.7 even though it had been five years since her last shot. Looking back, I see where she clearly had issues over the years from past rabies vaccines and it breaks my heart to think that maybe those vaccines caused the situation that ultimately lead to us euthanizing her. This is especially so because I did not want her to ever have these vaccines. I feel like they were forced on us against our will. It makes me so angry because I feel powerless and like the health of my dogs is out of my hands, like I have no rights when it comes to their health.
    Even though California supposedly allows exemptions for the rabies vax, it’s my understanding that it’s extremely hard to get it accepted, especially in LA County. It also seems hard to find a holistic vet, I’ve been trying to find one for the past 10 years. Those closer to me listed on some of the holistic veterinary searches, unfortunately, are fauxlistic vets.
    I’m frustrated too because it’s near on impossible to find a puppy from a breeder that naturally rears their dogs. Most puppies, by the time I would get one, will have had at least two or more vaccines and have been wormed almost every week of their young lives. And if you get one from a rescue or animal control, they are multi-vaccinated, microchipped, and neutered by 8 weeks of age. On top of this, LA county has a mandatory spay/neuter, microchip and rabies vax by 4 months of age law for all dogs. How can I protect my dogs and give them the best life possible with this?? The bureaucrats are ruining the health of our animals, and what place do they even have in this?? They aren’t doctors, researchers or specialists. They’ve taken control over my own animal out of my hands, but are unwilling to acknowledge or pay for the repercussions of the things they force me to do. It is maddening.
    I have had dogs my entire life. My two girls that just died are the only ones who were microchipped and who were spayed under a year. They are the only dogs I’ve had with seizures and die from cancer. I can’t help but wonder what DNA damage has been done from vaccines that is being passed on and getting worse with each generation.
    This situation is beyond frustrating.

  5. Marianne Sewall on September 14, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    How can we petition,to to get the one size fits all rabies vaccine law changed? How can we petition for titer testing instead of mandatory 3 year vaccines? They give a full dose at 6 months and another full dose at a year! OMG! Some small breed dogs only weigh 24 oz. This is wrong. It needs to stop. This is murder. My seven year old yorkie just died of a enlarged heart due to the rabies state mandated 3 year rabies vaccine. His life cut short,mine destroyed forever.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on September 14, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      Oh, Marianne, I hear your pain. And it is pure injustice to have such a law on the books, and I’m painfully aware of it, the more comments I get like yours.
      Although the Rabies Challenge Fund is working to gather data to get this changed, it sounds like a slow process. Maybe years more, and it’s already been underway for several years.
      A very knowledgable person is part of that effort, though, named Kris Christine. She knows how state legislatures work, and could be a key person for those who want to take on this laudable project. To my knowledge, it would need to be state by state.
      I’m happy to provide testimony when it comes to that, but I won’t be the one to lead the charge. Too much else going on in my life, and it will necessitate nearly a full time person to push it through, my best guess.
      I think, though, your story needs to be written down, as do the many, many stories of “one more rabies vaccine and disaster followed” experiences. You are far from alone, and all sized dogs have had serious illness and/or death follow this procedure.
      All my best to you.

  6. Susan Lewelling on August 26, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    I agree with Dog Lover. One vaccine is one too many. This is such a tough decision. Knowing that ONE rabies vaccine can cause life long dis-ease or even death, and on the other hand that the law is that we MUST vaccinate for rabies, what to do, it is a huge risk either way. I am having a hard time vaccinating even once, I cannot get past that vaccines can kill, My grandson died at 8 months old, 12 hours after getting “routine” vaccines, so I KNOW that what is possible CAN happen.
    Dr Will, your law is good for a start, but the only solution is insisting on safer vaccines. And what to do in the meantime? It is a hard decision that educated pet owners must make, with no perfect answer, sadly in the meantime our dogs are the ones that suffer if we choose to vaccinate even ONE time.

  7. Esther on August 26, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Great Blog again! Thank you for taking the time to write such a good article about a subject that is worrisome to so many people. Nice ideas for a new law.
    I certainly hope the RCF will come with a positive result for CMI for at least a number of years, hopefully a lifetime. Like Darci mentions there is this belief or idea that people and veterinarians, not only conventional but some holistic as well have that if a titer is low, you need to booster. It is like they have not heard of CMI.
    Thanks again for caring.

  8. Darci on August 25, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Great update in this worrisome area of the Rabies vaccine. I’m so excited and hopeful that the release of the Rabies Challenge Fund findings will spur on change. I think you, Dr. Will, are a great one to lead us on in this area and am so grateful you have taken this on. I will do my best to educate along my path. One thing that concerns me is the idea that many people and vets have and it is that a low titer means time to vaccinate. I realize that this is born out of a lack of education. Do you think that the cell memory test will become affordable and in the tool box down the road? Thanks Dr, Will!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 25, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      My concern, too, Darci, and one that’s going to take some pointed and repeated education to overcome. I see titers as very much a starting place, not an end. They tell us too limited a story.
      I suppose CMI testing could become a salable product at a price more affordable than at present. Certainly many things have gone that route. Right now, it’s a cell culture, and an in vitro test, so not accessible to any labs but those capable of growing cell cultures, a pretty high level lab.
      One hope I have is that the RCF study data will be strong enough to prove that a titer falling off precedes a fall in CMI by a set number of years, say 10 more. If there are strong data to prove something like this, we’d have a foot in the door for regulatory folks to back off substantially. I’m not sure how long data will be gathered on these dogs, though. And if a lack of CMI test at a certain point will still be somewhat like a titer: it may not tell us the immunity is truly gone.
      Guess we’ll have to wait and see what comes of the study and go from there. Still, hopeful times are afoot.

  9. Dog Lovers on August 25, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Great start, Doc and another awesome article. Every vaccinated animal our family has owned suffered vaccine damages and shorter lives. Two previous dogs were “water aggressive” for lack of a better description; both would attack the water coming from a garden hose. Our last vaccinated dog was 8 yrs ago; he’s a little guy at only 7 lbs so we got our vet to give him a 1/3 dose of the Thimoserol-free rabies vax when he was 13 months old. We were wrongly informed and had him neutered a month before this. That’s another thing we’ll never do. He still had vax damage, including that he coughs after every drink. I’ve posted about him in one of your other rabies articles. He suffered the brain inflammation every vax causes and has never been the same since that jab.
    Hubby and I decided we’re never again vaxing any living creature. Since the incidence of rabies is so very low, making rabies vax mandatory is ridiculous. More people die in car and plane accidents but we still allow both worldwide. More deaths are caused by prescription meds, too. Rx meds are not only accepted, it’s encouraged for us all to “see our doctor.” NOPE; Dr. Whitecoat (human or animal) can’t restore health and doesn’t even have a clue about how to do this. Essentially, they’re drug/chemical/toxin pushers. That can never give or restore health.
    It’s time for us to take responsibility and not allow another person or group to tell us what will be done to our bodies, our health, our lives, our animals. Since we KNOW no vaccine is safe, the only safe vax is the one not given. I believe all vaccines should be stopped unless they’re proven to be 100% safe and effectual. Then people should be allowed to choose if they wish to vaccinate or not after being given all the facts. NO mandatory toxins/vaccines. It’s just not right. Ok, stepping off my soap box now.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 25, 2014 at 9:28 pm

      You have some good thoughts here, but I don’t think rabies is as simple as deciding to never vaccinate for parvo or distemper, or ever vaccinate your children. All of the latter decisions ultimately affect only your animals, kids, or you.
      Rabies, being a zoonotic disease, is a bigger can of worms. The state gets, rightly or wrongly, involved when people’s actions can cause death to other people.
      Agreed, low incidence disease. But if your loved one got rabies because of wildlife biting your dog and your dog biting your loved one (or your neighbor, for that matter), that person dying from rabies might have you re-evaluating your decision.
      Proving safety and effectiveness before going to market with a vaccine, now there’s a concept! We’d have none, if that were the case. Nor any GMO’s, Roundup, or other pesticides. Seems like I wrote about this in a post on the Precautionary Principle. Responsibility is ideally on the heads of those coming to market with a new product to prove it’s safe in that scenario. Not holding my breath, in the age we find ourselves.
      Thanks for your thoughts!

      • Cynthia T. on April 18, 2016 at 3:11 pm

        Hello Dr. Falconer,
        I’m really confused. My husband and I recently purchased an Airedale puppy (who just turned nine weeks old.) I was lucky enough to convince the breeder to not vaccinate him at six weeks, when she vaccinated the other pups in the litter. However, she did worm them. My husband and I have decided not to vaccinate, with the exception of his rabies.
        I am so torn up and am almost to the point of having an anxiety attack over whether or not to vaccinate for rabies. On one hand my head tells me no. But then my husband (who is against vaccines as well) brings up the fact that if the dog bit one of our children (and he unknowingly had rabies), we could not live with ourselves! We live in north Arkansas in the Ozark Mountains. We live in the country on 306 acres.
        I have read all that I can find regarding rabies and vaccinating (or not) for rabies (both on your site and others.) I’m ok with the idea of letting him be exposed to it in our woods for natural immunity, however, what if he is never exposed to it on our land? I just want him to be as healthy as he can be.
        Also, I read in one of your rabies articles (I don’t remember which one…possibly part one) regarding dogs that lick (or even attempt to chew) concrete and drinks all the time being abnormal dog behavior. My husband has wondered if our puppy has a mineral deficiency because he does these things as well as other things (like trying to eat rocks, grass, leaves, or anything else that catches his attention. I’ve never had a dog do this. Should I be concerned? Could he have been exposed to something from his mother or another dog at the breeders?
        Cynthia T.

        • Cynthia T. on April 18, 2016 at 3:14 pm

          P.S. I should’ve said that it was in the comments that someone mentioned about their dog licking concrete…not that it was written IN your article.

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