How to Legally Avoid Rabies Vaccine

Aylen’s Story of Rabies Vaccine Avoidance

My husband and I currently share our home with five cats. The baby, Aylen, is now sixteen months old. When she reached nine months we finally decided it was past time to get her spayed. I always dread these things, and knowing she’d only had one round of vaccinations when she was eleven weeks of age, I was dreading more the inevitable discussion of requiring vaccines from the vet who would do her surgery.

I had started to follow Dr. Falconer a few months prior and emailed him for advice. We had tried numerous vets over the years and even had one experience where I, too, was bullied by one. I remember exactly what Dr. Falconer had told me: Look for a vet who is sympathetic to your beliefs, and if they’re not, take your business elsewhere.

Sympathy for a Price?

Despite the fact we thought we had found a nearby clinic that appeared sympathetic, their fee was almost twice as much as a vet I’d gone to many times before but was thirteen miles away. In Houston traffic this means up to a forty five minute drive one way! Price won out, and I made her an appointment. The night before the big day she cuddled with me in my arms and next to my face all night long, and I cherished those special moments. It was almost as if she knew I needed comforting somehow.

Get Your Kit Together

In case you have to plan for such a surgery in the future, here’s a quick list of things I’d recommend for the morning of:

  1. A bottle of Relief Tone by Energetix (a homeopathic1 that helps speed recovery from surgery and detoxing the anesthesia out of your kitty)
  2. A cat carrier
  3. A bottle of Bach’s Flower Rescue Remedy
  4. A strong cup of coffee (you can choose to spike it if you’d like ???? )
  5. A cold washcloth
  6. A good eye cream that fights puffiness
  7. Someone else (besides you) to drive your precious cat to the vet’s office

Confession: Items 1-3 are for the cat; items 3-7 are for you. Yes, I had to use the Rescue Remedy on me–I was a mess.

Thank God I talked my husband into dropping her off because I know now after being in charge of this task for all our previous kitties it is NOT something I can go through anymore. It’s quite embarrassing to be the cat mom in the lobby who has a tear-stained face and is sobbing uncontrollably.

The Confrontation

The morning started off pretty well all things considered, until the staff at the clinic asked my husband if Aylen had been vaccinated for rabies yet. After arguing with them that she was not going to be vaccinated for this and them replying that “it’s the law,” it was agreed that the doctor would give me a call later.

Plus, they didn’t know how to answer him when his final rebuttal was “our other cat died from getting vaccines.” Yes, poor Snowbear, we are still reliving his nightmare.

My phone call with the doctor about an hour and a half later didn’t go much better, but I stuck to my guns. And I cried. Through tears I explained my stance on why we just couldn’t risk her life.

Aylen lives indoors and doesn’t come in contact with other animals and is not at risk of contracting rabies to begin with. Then I explained that Snowbear, (a former patient at this clinic) had died from vaccinosis. The doctor did agree that the risk to Aylen was very low indeed but insisted they are bound to fulfill a requirement by law.

This is where things became very interesting.

Here’s The Rub

Did you know that the law doesn’t care if your pet is old, frail, sickly or have a compromised immune system?

They expect you to keep giving a rabies vaccine at best every three years…even though most pets acquire lifetime immunity after the first vaccine.

Think about it: do you get re-vaccinated every year? Of course not! And your life span is decades longer than an animal’s.

Just keep this in mind: the traditional veterinary medical model is based upon generating revenues, and many veterinary practices rely on annual re-vaccinations for a large part of its revenues. In some cases titer tests may be used, but even they are not completely reliable.

I quit drinking the Kool-Aid years ago when I got smart and started questioning the whole agenda behind the vaccines. Thankfully I have had a good relationship over the years with this particular doctor, and she has respected my beliefs and not pushed vaccinations. When the doctor finally realized I was not going to back down she informed me that I could opt out if I signed a document acknowledging that if Aylen were to bite someone she would have to be quarantined at a clinic. I simply told her I wasn’t worried about that happening, and I’d be more than happy to sign the form. This fight was over, and I won.

And, better yet, Aylen won.

The Homecoming

I picked her up later in the afternoon, and she was quite perky and anxious to get out of there. When we finally got home she was hungry and very happy to be back with her family. The instructions on her discharge papers clearly stated “no running or jumping.” Yeah, right. She clearly didn’t plan on following any of those, and despite our efforts to keep her off tables and counter tops, we found her snuggled up with our cat, Gunner, in the laundry basket on the counter in the laundry room later that evening.

For three days following surgery I used the homeopathic Relief Tone1 to help clear her body of the anesthesia. Seven days out her incision started to look a bit unusual in color so I put her on colloidal silver product called Silver Shield by Nature’s Sunshine. A few days later her incision was completely healed!

I am grateful for Dr. Falconer’s advice to find a veterinarian who was sympathetic to my beliefs and to give me the courage to stand my ground. We must not be afraid to take control of our cats’ health because they are counting on us!

Note from Dr. Falconer: This is perhaps your most vexing problem: how to legally avoid rabies vaccine! I get asked about this repeatedly. Hopefully Pam’s story will help you in your quest. A key understanding: you can fulfill the intent of the law with two rabies vaccinations given over the age of 4 months. Odds are high that’ll give lifetime immunity, say veterinary immunologists.

Fulfill the letter of the law at your own risk.

________________

For more from guest author Pam Roussell, please visit Purrrfectly Holistic

67 Comments

  1. Lori Fisher on January 24, 2022 at 7:47 pm

    This is Lori. I’m wondering what you used for manufacturer and lot number for your rabies certificate as mine are long outdated. Now my dogs are older and one is having dental work done and is required to have an updated rabies shot. Thanks for any help!

  2. Shelly on August 3, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    Can anyone on on here help me obtain a rabies shot vaccine record for my beloved 4 & half month old puppy. (for apt complex to see). She is a sweet, smart, small dog breed. (Shitzu-Maltese). I would be so grateful and could compensate. I’m in CA, the Los Angeles area. arenewedyou.net@gmail.com

    • Stephanie on July 15, 2022 at 10:55 am

      I am looking for the same thing. Were you able to get this?

  3. Helen E Lindemuth on April 16, 2020 at 11:47 pm

    Hello Doctor,
    I have to drive through Canada from Alaska to pick up my Mom in Colorado. I must bring my chocolate lab who is 13. He has had bad reations to medications in the past. He is doing so well now, but with is advanced age, I do not want to risk it with the rabbies vaccine. Do you know of any way to pass through Canada’s borders without risking my dogs health with the rabbies vaccine. Do you know of any dogs getting through with a rabbies titer? Help!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 18, 2020 at 11:18 pm

      I’m told this happens regularly now, so you might search around on Canada’s websites and see what they say. Any Canadians reading who can verify that rabies vaccine requirements for crossing to the U.S. from your country have eased?

      • Judy on September 13, 2021 at 3:11 pm

        My pup and I went into Canada ….both going in and out, no one asked for rabies/vaccination records.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on September 14, 2021 at 12:32 am

          Thanks for this, Judy. How old was your pup and where did you cross? Guessing you had a health certificate, correct?

    • Justamom on September 9, 2022 at 3:41 pm

      Hi,

      I recently got laid off and because of my visa cannot stay in the country past 2 months after losing a job. So I am now suddenly having to make arrangements to move back to India with my 11 year old boy who is a mutt. I am being told that he absolutely has to have a rabies vaccine certificate for me to be able to get a permit for him to fly home with me.His last rabies vaccine caused his autoimmune disorder to flare up and he has since been diagnosed with cushings. I know the vaccine caused it for sure because his thyroid values were in control until he got the vaccine. I had somehow managed to avoid getting him the vaccine until 2019 but then he and I had to flee an abusive situation and I didn’t know where we would go and to keep him safe it was important for me to make sure that legally everything was covered. It broke my heart even then. I begged the vet if she could just give me the certificate and not actually insert the vaccine into him. My poor boy weighs just about 50 lbs. Down nearly 25lbs from his normal weight. He has lost all his body hair and I am dying on the inside because I can’t find a vet to just give me the damm certificate so I can get the permit needed to fly him to India. I don’t have a work around for the rabies vaccine. They absolutely need it. And we will be traveling through 2 other countries during our transit that also need him to have the rabies vaccine. Do you all know any vet in this entire country that is courageous enough to be kind to an animal and do what is best for him and does not mind giving the certificate. I will compensate for it by paying towards this person’s favorite charity or animal shelter or any way I can. I just want my boy not to get the rabies vaccine. I am afraid it will be the worst and I absolutely have to be flying with him in another 4 weeks from now unless of course I am extremely lucky and find a new job. If any of you know a truly animal loving vet please let me know. My lips are sealed and I will never ever reveal the vets info or the kindness shown to us to anybody to protect the vet. I am willing to travel to any part of this country to meet the person. My own holistic vet who was going to help us with this when the time came shut down her clinic a few weeks ago because she got seriously ill. I am still hopeful that there is somebody out there who is ready to do what is right for an animal no matter what. I have until end of next week to find this person. If I can’t then I am left with no choice but to get my boy that shot afterall. It will take us nearly a month to get the paperwork in place once I have that certificate. Please help!

  4. Natalia Olivencia on April 11, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    Hi,

    My name is Natalia and I have a 2½ year old yellow lab/whippet mix named Ginger. Just last week I took her to the vet for a check up but I was not allowed in the facility because of the COVID-19 pandemic precautions. I looked through a window from the outside and received a phone call from the Vet. She asked me if I wanted for her to administer a rabies vaccine to Ginger because there was nothing in her chart. I said “no”. I was not in the room and I could not see everything the Vet was doing. There was a moment that Ginger was out of the room after the phone call. I am worried that the Vet gave her the vaccine anyway against my wishes. Would the Vet do that? Alzo, do vaccines ware off? She seems to have some type of seizure when she sleeps and, although it has gotten better than when she was a puppy, I hope it goes away completely. I blame the vaccine for the seizure like manifestation. I live in Pennsylvania (added information). Please help.

    Thank you,
    Natalia

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 11, 2020 at 9:36 pm

      Unless your bill shows a rabies vaccination, you can bet it didn’t happen.

  5. Ivette on July 30, 2019 at 9:26 am

    I took my cat to a new vet to get his butt shaved and for a general check up due to being a bit on the heavy side. She pushed the distemper on him even though I didn’t want it. Merial I believe is the manufacturer…..my seven cats are strictly indoors they enjoy a happy healthy spoiled life no risk of diseases or rabies. But it didn’t matter I said no they went ahead and gave it to him along with the rabies shot ….a few days later he acted letargic, feverish and stopped eating and drinking. I called the vet and they said it was impossible for the rabies to cause that reaction that usually it happens within hours not days. Roofie ended up in ER for four nights and after several days with fever which I thought it could mean his body was fighting a mild side effect. ER could not find the cause for the fever and it was labeled unknown origin all his blood work was perfect and he is a super healthy cat. Took him home and fever spiked up again . Called main vet and they kept insisting is something else. Took my cat to a different ER vet place that was more expensive than the prior one but the facilities were better to keep him overnight. After 3800 dollars and negative results for every possible virus or bacteria on this planet … finally the ER vets had to agreed that it was an allergic reaction to the distemper vaccine. I kept telling them from the beggining that it was one of the shots they kept saying that’s a REMOTE possiblity because the risks outweighs the benefits of the vaccines….so I guess my poor cat had 106.7 fever for days that could have killed him or cause severe neurological issues and these Vets think they are right. It’s all about the money they don’t care about the real facts. I will never ever let a vet put any vaccines on my cats. No one took responsibility for this faulty vaccine and manufacturer aren’t liable for anything…. Greedy world we live in

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 1, 2019 at 10:10 pm

      Just that ignorant reply: “it takes place within hours, not days” is so telling. It’s actually far more common to see a vaccine reaction a MONTH after it’s given, and it’s not usually fever (which, as your cat demonstrated, can come much earlier, even though that’s more rare). Given that level of “shoot first, ask questions later,” you can appreciate why I’m so keen to make sure you’re discovering the realities that are plainly present if a vet only cares to look for them.

      I suspect this wake-up call has been a life changer for you and your cats, Ivette. Bravo for your resolve to never let this happen again!

  6. Barbara on June 22, 2019 at 8:46 am

    What, are you people mad? My dog was bit by a squirrel I had no idea had rabies AFTER I decided not to vaccinate her and she is gone. It’s like these families that don’t vaccinate their kids! Don’t believe everything you read!!

    • Ivette on July 30, 2019 at 9:36 am

      I think most people here agree that is a mentality among vets to over vaccinate pets even though many have received a few shots at an early age they keep saying every year, or there they need the rabies again. Indoor pets that have no contact with the outdoors should not be put through that. I believe initial vaccines build inmunity for several years.

  7. Marina on June 6, 2019 at 9:58 am

    In 2004 I had a perfectly health 10 year old Rottweiler/Doberman mix that was a therapy dog for a local Nursing Home/Assisted Living/ALZ unit. He was bitten twice by a Brown Recluse Spider. His surgery opening was 36” long. It took me over 6 months to close the wound completely and finish all the antibiotics before he could return to the Nursing Home. Normally a dog wouldn’t survive a spider bite as severe as his. But his size (100lbs.) and excellent health were on his side. By that time he was due for his Rabies vaccine. Within 24 hours of receiving the vaccine he had spiked a 106 degree temperature and went into a 4 minute long Grand Mal seizure. He started vomiting and refused to eat. The next day his liver panel showed his liver had shut down and he was euthanized. I was devastated. I started researching spider bites and discovered that their venom never dissipates once you have been bitten. And it can erupt in your system again at any time. The Rabies vaccine triggered this eruption. This event educated me on vaccines and their over use as well. I’ve been an advocate ever since. I later adopted another dog (medium size terrier mix) for therapy for the Nursing Home. I was obligated to get his Rabies vaccine to fulfill my adoption contract. We still had a 1 year Rabies policy at that time. When he was due for all his vaccines again per state nursing home laws, I stopped taking him. And he never received another vaccine of any kind except for one Rabies vaccine in 2016. He lived to be 17-18 years old. No Cancer or vaccine related diseases. And he passed with all his teeth firmly intact.

  8. Yvette on May 15, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    I found this information very interesting and helpful as I can confirm how dangerous this vaccination is..my problem is that we have to move into a appartment and the landlord require a vaccination for all indoor cats ,if we don’t than we are homeless..I live in NJ and I am so Heartbroken😭

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 21, 2019 at 6:51 pm

      This one is easy (and, by the way, who the heck gave an apt manager the right to make critical health decisions for your pets? does he know immunology? side effects? what “current” really means?):
      Get a letter from a sympathetic vet saying these animals are exempt, for whatever reason. It’s worked every time I’ve used it for my clients.

      • Sky P on October 5, 2022 at 12:37 pm

        How does one find a sympathetic vet? I would love to know. I haven’t taken my cat to any vet for 2 years because of his botched neuter operation that resulted in an infection and a second “corrective surgery.” I was so angry. Especially since the vet never took responsibility for his actions. I vowed never to take him anywhere near those cruel fake vets ever again.

        I am in dire need of a holistic or sympathetic vet who understands my worries. I want a rabies exemption too to bring my cat on my annual work trips to New York because he gets depressed without us, at home all alone.

  9. Brenda on February 26, 2019 at 10:25 am

    Dr Falconer,
    I live in CA and my puppies are 5 months old today. I need to get them fixed and I am dreading going because they require rabies shots. I fostered then adopted these two sick parvovirus puppies at 7 1/2 weeks old from FOAC ( friends of the animal community) and because they were so comprisimized and lost their two siblings to this disease I am scared of what the rabies vaccine might do to them. Any suggestions?
    Brenda

  10. Vivi on December 10, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    I did had Silver Persian 4 y.o. cat who got cancer from rabies vaccination and it was very sad experience which could be avoided bc he was indoor only cat but he got multiple rabies vaccinations, which were unnecessary. Cats are also much more susceptible to cancer from rabies vaccinations than dogs. I do also think that vaccinations that animals were given back in the day differ from the ones they get today and I wonder if they are worse now. I’m interested in one time only vaccine for felines as well.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on December 11, 2018 at 5:05 am

      What’s worse may not be the vaccine but the health of recent generations as a result of decades of vaccinations now.

      That’s why we are seeing “old animal diseases” in younger and younger animals now.

  11. Jean Wheeler on September 28, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    My little 3 1/2 pound poodle had over 30 seizures and a stroke after receiving a rabies vaccine. He was paralyzed on one side and unable to walk for over a month, he slowly recovered but he will never receive another vaccine ever. Period. Law or not.

  12. berthoudanimalhospital on May 24, 2017 at 5:57 am

    Thanks for all of the great information! I appreciate it!

  13. L Coggins on April 13, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    I have 3 standard poodles.Two have Addison’s,one is a senior.I have stopped vaccinating them for over 3 years now,but the rabies has been due. Since I’ve been taking one in for testing quite a bit lately the rabies shot has been brought up. Since I was in for other things I just said “let’s focus on…today.” Obviously I cannot have these dogs vaccinated and I have a feeling my vet knows this deep down because she hasn’t pushed. I hope I’m right.

    • Pam on April 14, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      If the vet pushes the issue I would request a titer test at the very least, even though it may not be foolproof. And remind the vet that your animals’ health is compromised and the vaccine label states the vaccine should only be used on healthy animals. Good luck to you and your pups!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 15, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      Agreed, L, and I hope you can have a heart to heart with her, explaining why more rabies vaccinations in sick animals (or seniors with a history of past vaccinations for rabies) is of no benefit, is of significant risk, and (for the sick ones) malpractice. Hopefully, she’ll see the light and support your knowledgable stance.

  14. Alison Knight on April 12, 2017 at 11:21 am

    I have a small Chihuahua with multiple health issues..there is not a exemption for the state of Kentucky..How can I get around not getting the Rabies shot for her? Thank-you

    • Pam on April 12, 2017 at 11:55 am

      Because your dog already has health issues I would think that in itself would make the vaccine contraindicated. According to Dr. Falconer, the vaccine label itself says it’s only for healthy animals. I would search for an integrative or holistic vet in your area that would be open minded to your dog’s situation. I would be interested to hear Dr. Falconer’s thoughts, too, regarding your question!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 11, 2019 at 1:18 am

      Pam answered well. It all comes down to finding a sympathetic vet that understands the vaccination of sick animals is malpractice. Those vets are usually holistic or, better yet, homeopathic ones, but some of the older vets may understand and grant leniency as well.

      They know we never vac’d repeatedly throughout an animal’s life, and many will recognize vaccinating a sick animal is just plain bad medicine.

  15. Jo Ann Zant on January 29, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    I live in Katy, Texas (near Houston, TX) and I have looked at many Texas Hollistic/Homeopathic Veterinarian Lists on this site as well on The Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy (which I joined) and they all list some homeopathic vets. However, some corrections need to be made to these lists: Patricia A. Cooper is no longer at 1136 Heights, Houston, TX and I am still trying to find her. Took a trip to her location on Heights because the phone number says number no longer in service. Talked to her neighbor and she moved from there seven years ago.
    Another one on the list for the Houston area is a Dr. Cory Stiles/Tanglewilde Vet Clinic. Called there and found out she sold that clinic to another Vet in 2013 and she retired…the current VET who now owns the clinic is not homeopathic and does not even treat for vaccinosis. She doesn’t even believe there is such a thing! So, I am still trying to find a homeopathic vet because I have two vaccine-injured dogs.
    I have been reading this website for a week or so and joined the Vital Animal Pack to get the articles and I will most probably take some courses since there is such a shortage of homeopathic vets. We definitely DO have to self educate in this matter for the lives and well being of our fur babies.
    Dr. Falconer, please update the list on your website and remove both Dr. Cooper and Dr. Stiles. I saw in the Winter 2016 AVH Journal that there were 16-17 graduates of The Pitcairn Institute (and, yes he has the same erroneous list). So, I am hoping that due to so many sick dogs from over-vaccination that the homeopathic vet industry will start booming !
    In the meantime, Dr. Falconer, may I send you via the Contact form here some questions I have for my two dogs. I stopped vaccinating them in 2013 but they both have had the itchies and scratchies, chewing on paws, shaking the head, etc…. all the symptoms of vaccinosis. I just started them on 4Life Transfer Factor 3 days ago and I have been raw feeding now for six months, but I want to find out if Thuja will help better. I did find Thuja on a website…Newton Homeopathics Thuja for Dogs & Cats… Thanks.

  16. Paola Brown on January 8, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    I live near Houston. Any conventional vet names you can offer? I have a holistic vet but she doesn’t do surgeries, -andvwe may need to neuter soon…

  17. Kathleen Bowron on December 25, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Vet schools seem to be bankrolled by big pharmaceutical companies.Most vets take their word as gospel.Thank goodness that a few vets look outside the box and realise what some of these meds are doing to Pets. l

    • Dede on January 29, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      Yep…from what I’ve been told, the conventional veterinary college instructors are all taught the standard pharma lies and that’s what they teach the students. Same for the instructors on nutrition – from the pet food industry. Raw diets and species appropriate diets are a big no-no for that crowd. I know a couple whose daughter is in vet school; she plans on becoming a holistic vet but must attend conventional vet school to get her DVM. She says they get about 1/2 hour to 2 hours on nutrition and it isn’t stressed that proper/good nutrition is essential to good health. Haven’t heard what she’s been told about vaccines yet but we know it’s all false anyway. Their brainwashed…year after year, the graduates come out doing more harm to innocent animals and their owners. We MUST get forced vaccination stopped and pharma must lose it’s immunity from lawsuits. They’ve got to be held accountable for the world-wide harm they’ve done. More corruption in a totally broken system.

  18. Nora on December 12, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    I’m in the Atlanta ‘burbs, living with a severely vaccine damaged cat. I will NEVER vaccinate one of my animals again, after watching this poor cat suffer after the rabies shot she got in 2014. She acts just like an autistic child.
    I’ve been taking care of her around the clock for almost three years, force feeding when she won’t eat, spending thousands of dollars on vet bills, cleaning her up because she doesn’t groom…she is not the cat she used to be. I feel she’s in there somewhere and I keep hoping she’ll get well, but the remedy has escaped me. It’s heart breaking to see what was once the most playful, plump, merry and affectionate kitty just lay on her bed, not wanting to be touched. She slept draped across my lap and followed me everywhere I went until that shot…
    She’s lost so much muscle mass, her spine is sticking out. Her fur looks awful despite tons of supplements and fish oil. She’s mentally dull and unresponsive when I talk to her. She doesn’t socialize with the other cats, either. She has an eye lesion, bad teeth, constipation and appears to have neurological damage, all of which are the result of the vaccine. I have a great deal of guilt; that vet ruined her life for a few bucks in profit. I didn’t know about the harm vaccines do then.
    It’s time for us to stand up to big pharma and put a stop to all this. We need to collectively refuse to obey the bad laws they’ve lobbied to put on the books, and draft some legislation that makes them accountable for the harm they cause.

    • Bonnie on December 15, 2016 at 12:41 pm

      We have that one in 10,000 rabies kitty here too. 3 yrs after getting the sarcoma mass on her leg and not amputating her leg she is slowing dying from what we think is intestinal cancer. Lost of muscle mass….sounds like yours….The vet suggested Cerenia for her vomiting issue and Prednisolone for the shi#s that she has. Ordered the Transfer Factor to see if it will help boost her immune system for a couple of months. She eats all the time (thank goodness the raw food we have) and it seems to be keeping her from losing more weight. She has lost over half her weight in the past year. Have not decided on the drugs yet. Anyone ever used these. If I read the info on them….once u start…you will not be able to stop using them.

      • Bonnie on December 15, 2016 at 12:43 pm

        The pic of the siamese is what my cat used to look like before she started wasting away from the cancer.

    • Pam on December 15, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      Nora and Bonnie,
      Your stories bring me to tears, and I am heartbroken to hear what your precious kitties–and you– have had to go through and continue to endure. Now that we are all a little wiser to the true dangers of vaccination we need to find the courage to stand up to the powers that be who care more about following a law than common sense. I wish you both only the best and hope that you will cherish what time you have left with your kitties, despite the obvious hardship, challenges and sadness you must experience every day.

    • Allen on October 21, 2020 at 8:15 pm

      Thank you for your kindness

  19. Becky on December 12, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Thanks for this article. I choose to titer for all the other vaccines but have been perplexed on how to handle the rabies. My 2 cats are indoors so they get no vaccines and my holistic vet is fine with that. My female cat actually had a granuloma appear after her last vaccine at another vet, so my current vet said absolutely no vaccines for her.
    My dog had his distemper and parvo vaccines as a pup and has had no vaccines since then. I pushed the rabies as far as I could and he got it shortly after he turned a year old. He did have a minor reaction to it. A slight swelling at the injection site and then a week later he got really itchy and broke out in a skin flare up. We haven’t done any vaccines since and he’s doing great. He will be 3 in January and I know technically according to the city he will be due for rabies again. My vet doesn’t push vaccines even the rabies though she warned me that we would techincally be in violation of city laws. I don’t license him because I don’t plan on him being vaccinated regularly for rabies, I just don’t know how to handle dealing with the city if it ever comes up. We walk and hike regularly but have never been asked for proof of his vaccine. I wish my state had a waiver like some states but unfortunately Washington state doesn’t allow for exemptions. We technically are breaking the law, but I’d rather have a healthy dog than risk his health when he already has immunity.

  20. Lynn Whinery on December 12, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Apparently more in the veterinary community are seeing that titer tests have merit.
    https://www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/160701b.aspx

  21. Lynn Whinery on December 12, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    I didn’t even realize that some states required cats to have rabies vaccines. Here’s a list compiled this January:
    [Replaced Broken Link]

    • Pam Roussell on January 7, 2017 at 9:43 am

      This is AWESOME! Thank you for including this link!

  22. Anna on December 11, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Rarely will they tell you but there are times animals should not be vaccinated (and it’s right on the vaccine label/insert . So thankful for Dr. Falconer, Dr. Dodds, Dr. Schultz and others that are willing to educate us to be our pets advocate. We have found a vet who #getsit and we are beyond grateful not to be bullied about it. Check this out, states that allow medical exemptions.

  23. Jill Burns on December 11, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    I too am not giving repetitive vaccines to my dogs. When my middle daughter was about 10 she got bitten by a feral cat (we lived out in the country it was one of the neighbors barn cats that I’m sure were not vaccinated.) so I called the pediatrician since we could not catch the cat for quarantine. I had to get the rabies serum from the hospital pharmacy where I worked. 5 injections in all on a defined schedule. Being an RN I wasn’t going to take her in for every shot and insurance ok’d me to give them to her myself. While reading the drug insert it said that it was good prophylaxis against rabies for vets, zoo employees, game wardens, national park officers etc since the ONE ROUND provided LIFETIME IMMUNITY. So why do we give this vaccine every 1-3 years?? (BTW it was the SAME RED serum I had given to our dogs before!!!) The answer was clear. MONEY. Now we are seeing auto immune diseases and increased cancers in dogs and cats. The common denominator? VACCINES.
    I’m on the bandwagon with VAXXED the movie and the nationwide rebellion against mandatory REPETITIVE vaccines for our kids. But that’s another story. The fact remains we are seeing more problems occurring in dog’s and cats because of the overuse of vaccines. Why not draw a titer and see what the test reveals? Let’s err on the side of caution. You know our health care and I’m sure vet care is pharmaceutical driven. Big money. Where there’s big money there’s corruption.

  24. NativeAtlantaGirl on December 11, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    One of my cats got quite sick after a rabies vaccination. After learning about them, my more-holistically-focused vet noted on all 3 of my cats charts that they have severe reactions to one of the additives and should not be vaccinated. They are indoor cats and I don’t GAF what my county says.

    • Jill Burns on December 11, 2016 at 8:27 pm

      I hear you! I agree!

  25. Lynn Whinery on December 11, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    You’re right, some vets are golden! I wish more were!

  26. Lyn on December 11, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    We live in a very large city in California located in the middle of five adjacent cities. About 10 years ago my city began requiring vets to report all animals that were unvaccinated or overdue for vaccinations so they could better enforce the licensing laws (& their coffers by issuing citations). My vet told me about this on what turned out to be my last visit. He was good, compassionate, and he LISTENED. He even gave me a copy of the letter he received and suggested I find a new vet in a neighboring city that I didn’t live in and would have no such requirement. At the time both of my corgis had degenerative myelopathy and one had Addison’s disease, both are on a recently published list of 60+ ailments that are now associated with vaccinoses. Of course I took his advice & now go to a vet (in a neighboring city) that who, coincidentally was an inturn for my previous vet. Two months ago I adopted my second extraordinary dog from a breeder (she’s on the list of holistic breeders Dr. Falconer sent out a few months ago) and on our first “well baby checkup visit” she asked if the dog was current on her shots. This was clearly just a question on the form she had to fill out because she knew EXACTLY what my answer would be. I told her that this dog had never been vaccinated and that’s the way I’d like her to stay. Vet looked at the form I’d filled out (to check my address) then, with a big smile, said, “Good” and went to the next question. Some vets are golden.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on January 7, 2017 at 11:45 pm

      Brilliant moves on two vet’s parts, Lynn. So glad you’ve found some who understand your vaccine concerns and honor them.
      Apparently not obvious enough to my colleagues, but it would have been malpractice to vaccinate your dogs with the chronic disease they had. All too many plow right ahead, in the name of “the law!”
      Thanks for sharing this.

      • Stacey on July 21, 2018 at 5:52 pm

        Hi,

        Can anyone recommend a vet in the city of Los Angeles who will sign a waiver?

        Thank you in advance!

        • Heather Michelle on November 12, 2019 at 10:11 pm

          Did you ever find a vet in the L.A. area?

    • Jenna on January 3, 2019 at 12:20 pm

      Can you share whom you go to? I live in Los Angeles and would love to start going to your vet if she is realistically drivable.

  27. Jen P on December 11, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    The only sadness is that the (killed) rabies vaccines that are used in the US generally only have a 5 year efficacy… recently revealed by the Rabies Challenge Fund project — who is headed by Dr. Schultz. We were all disappointed to find that while the 5 year post-vaccinates did quite well when challenged, the 7 year post-vaccinates did not. 🙁
    If the USDA were to approve a modified-live Rabies vaccine for dogs such as is used in Europe, I do believe that would confer a lifetime of protection for our dogs (and has been proven in Europe).
    The good news is that there IS a modified live rabies vaccine available for cats here in the US: ask for “Purevax” (by Merial) and that (I believe) is a one-and-done-forever for our feline friends. (Yay)
    As was iterated by another poster, when getting a letter to avoid vaccination, while the authorities will respect the letter for your now not vaccinated pet, if they bite, they will be considered unvaccinated and have to be quarantined for 10 days at an approved facility. (FYI, here in rural WI, where life is inexpensive, that costs about $800 for your dog, half that for a cat)
    Interestingly enough, we used to vaccinate our pets yearly in years past, and our pets didn’t have the problems we are seeing today. My personal belief is that it’s something in the genetics (or even epigenetic) of these animals who have problems. I have never owned an animal who has suffered problems post vaccination, ever. I have been a hobby breeder for 20 years, and have only ever had one pup who had a reaction- a cyst-like lump that appeared on his scruff 3-4 weeks after where his owner got every vaccine under the sun in that spot on the same day (!!! The poor woman was a sucker at the vets office)… out of a couple hundred puppies.
    I do keep my dogs current– but then I show my dogs and one is my seizure alert dog.
    I have found that a healthy lifestyle after a healthy start are the best things to avoid the problems seen with vaccination that we can do for our animals (and ourselves!). Unfortunately, with the influx of people pushing the “adopt” on our society, and the associated issues with that (another story), people are now owning dogs with unknown health, history, vaccinations over done by shelters, the myth that mutts are healthier (also another story), it’s really no wonder our dogs are seemingly unhealthy in the public eyes– (another story, but the best chance we have for a healthy long lived pet is to start out with a brand-new model and care for them right from the start!)
    For those looking for a rabies titer, the only governmentally accepted laboratory is at KSU. Though I love Hemopet & Dr Dodds (who is offering the service now), the USDA accepts those sent to KSU only.
    Live to the fullest, beginning to end!

    • Lynn Whinery on December 12, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      As to vaccine reactions getting worse, we need to remember that the vaccines the parents get are passed on to the offspring. I haven’t vaccinated my Aussies for 4 generations, but the studs I breed to have been. After 4 generations I still see the effects!
      Also, the dog food the average person feeds their dogs is garbage. Each generation of dogs is a generation further away from the ‘raw food’ (table scraps) dogs were fed until the 1950s.

      • P Smith on December 15, 2016 at 11:52 am

        Lynn Whinery is correct. What has been done to the parents, grand parents and great grand parents has effects on the genetics they pass on. That’s what epigenetics are. There are tons of articles on grandparents lifestyles affecting the current generation’s genes. And vaccines are known to cause genetic mutations.
        For a time it was common for only purebreds to be fed the ‘best’ commercial dog foods and get all the ‘best’ medications including the latest vaccines because they were worth something, where the common mongrel in the average home was left to fend for himself. (immunity wise) It is my belief that is why purebreds get the bad rap, they had more generations of disease causing agents behind them. When in reality they were the first canaries in the mine. Now a days the mix breeds are just as cherished as companions and have ‘caught up’ in a sense with the poor diets and over-medicated disease causing agents and as a result have the same types and amount of instances of illness.

    • Ellen on December 20, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      Hi – Dr. Dodds’ lab sends the samples to KSU for the definitive. She is not performing the tests.

    • Kata Rowe on January 9, 2017 at 7:54 pm

      What is KSU? Kansas State University??

    • Vivi on December 10, 2018 at 6:58 pm

      How can you make money out of dog breeding when so many homeless dogs in shelters looking for homes? If you truly care for animals instead of making money you could help local shelters and stop talking bad about people who does. People like you make situation so much worse, because on each bred dog by you were will be at last one euthanized in shelter, do you ever think about it before you go to bed? And you advocating against adoption is just sound so bad, it obviously cuts in your pocket. Pure bred animals in fact do have worse health and more genetical issues. I don’t believe pure bred animals are superior to mix bred ones, for me a friend is a friend, regardless of their appearance or purity, it sounds somewhat racist actually. I do however agree that all animals need to have great natural diet and not dry food from a store.

    • D. Rouse on April 6, 2021 at 9:53 pm

      Please calarify.
      What do the initials KSU stand for?

  28. Bob on December 11, 2016 at 7:31 am

    If you live in California they have what is called “Molly’s Law”. This is a law that allows you to forego the rabies vaccine if your pet is immune compromised. You will need a vet to write a letter stating such but if you can find one you’re home free. The law states that the pet must be on a leash of no longer than 5 feet and is considered “unvaccinated”. Check your state to see if they have something similar. Often they will accept a rabies titer test in lieu of a vaccine as well. Good luck.

    • Anonymous1 on December 11, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      Most unfortunately, the entire state of CA is ignoring Molly’s Law. The animal control agencies (aka animal nazis) aren’t honoring this and are insisting on a rabies certificate every 3 years. They’re also pressuring the vets about this. My advice is go make a fake rabies certificate. It’s been done by many without any problem. It’s bad that we’re forced to do this but the alternative is so much worse. Like you, I believe we must protect our animals the same way we protect ourselves and our families. When a government is wrong or evil, it must not be obeyed. Nazi Germany teaches us that.

      • Bob on December 12, 2016 at 8:30 am

        Is there a website showing how one makes a certificate?

        • Janet on September 27, 2017 at 10:37 pm

          Google “rabies vaccine form”. There are a couple different ones. Best wishes.

          • Lori Fisher on January 24, 2022 at 7:44 pm

            Janet, I have been doing this for years for my dogs. I now need a more current lot number, and manufacturer. I’m sure the vet’s office i have been using in Littleton CO is also outdated. Any suggestions?



      • Shelly on August 3, 2021 at 5:38 pm

        Can you please contact me regarding how to do what you suggest. I would be so grateful to chat etc. Can email me and I will give you my cell. My email arenewedyou.net@gmail.com

  29. Josh on December 11, 2016 at 6:36 am

    I decided in February after having many GI issues with my dog that j would stop all vaccines including rabies which she has had numerous times and her last one was almost 4 years ago. I did a rabies titer with dr jean Dodds just because and I plan to do one every year just as one more piece of evidence that I don’t need the vaccine, even tho I know they won’t care about a titer. I’m at more risk though because I’m in the woods with my dog almost daily and she goes to day care every day and thankfully they are ok with no vaccines for my dog because I asked although They require it for the other dogs. My vet also is ok with seeing my dog without a rabies vaccine and if they ever need to bring her in the back and I can’t go I will just muzzle her, she should be fine but it’s Just to protect her. I have spent a ton of time and money on her training both on leash and off leash obedience and we work on it daily and she needs to listen perfectly if she’s in the woods off leash because of not being vaccinated. We’re just flying under The radar was though with the town.
    My big question though is what can I do if I want to travel to Canada with my dog? I have no problem with being deceitful if it means protecting my dog

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