Rabies: The Agony of Making the Right Choices for Your Animals

So many decisions to make for those in your care. Choices, choices.

Rabies and what you do about it is a rather large one, compared to say, whether you’re going to share your organic left overs with Charlie the dog.

Some of your choices carry a lot of weight, others less so.

“I’m buying organic carrots this week, they look so great, and I can afford them. C’mere, Charlie, let me grate some of these babies into your raw food.”

“I’m going to just vaccinate for rabies. It’s the law, after all, and I’m a law abiding citizen. Load up, Charlie, I just got a postcard saying you’re due, and I’m taking you to the vet.”

One of these choices affects him for the next 24-48 hours, and the other can have effects that last a lifetime.

Rabies and Nosodes and Immunity, Oh My!

A reader wrote this week asking about getting nosodes to aid in her drug free heartworm prevention program, and mentioned that she’d been giving rabies nosodes regularly.

How odd. Rabies nosodes? Why?

I don’t want to vaccinate for rabbies. And here it is the law. I also am in motion to move out to the country where exposure may be higher. Fear I suppose, is the driving force. If you could I would welcome your thoughts on the rabbies issue and the nosode.”

As I emailed back and forth between appointments, I discovered that someone had sold her on this regime for her two dogs when she purchased nosodes for rabies from a homeopathic supplier:

Give a 30C monthly for a couple of months, then a 200C monthly for a couple more months, then a 1M (all ascending homeopathic potencies) a month later, and “Done. Immunity.”

I was led to believe it is preventative and yields lifetime immunity.”

Gulp.

What You Know So Far: Vaccinations Are a Cautionary Tale

You’ve learned, here and elsewhere, that

  • Vaccines are vastly over used in conventional veterinary practice.
  • Vaccines can and regularly do cause illness in the vaccinated.
  • Repeatedly vaccinating your animal flat out doesn’t work.

You want to do the best for your animal, you definitely don’t want to cause illness for God’s sake, and you want your animals protected against disease.

But is the use of rabies nosodes going to confer lifetime immunity to your dog or cat or horse?

What Nosodes Can and Can’t Do for You

Nosodes are homeopathic medicines made from disease discharges. They help protect against infectious disease. One of the greatest examples of this in recent history is in 2.3 million humans, in Cuba. Leptospirosis nosodes brought the incidence of this disease down dramatically after the hurricane of 2007, at a time when lepto epidemics are the rule.

We homeopathic vets use them in puppies to protect against parvo and distemper, and in kittens, where we protect against panleukopenia or feline distemper.

I usually tell my clients who opt for this method of protection over more vaccines (or any vaccines) that it’s a bit like sticking a finger in the dike. The nosode, in its similarity to the actual disease, takes up residence in the “hole of susceptibility” that would allow parvo or distemper or what ever to get in.

My homeopathic vet colleagues and I use them fairly frequently, and don’t see “breaks” of these illnesses when they are used properly.

But lifetime immunity from nosodes?

No way.

Nosodes are only effective around the time of exposure. We’re really guessing about when that exposure may occur, so in my practice I give nosodes twice a week for distemper and on the opposite week, twice a week for parvo. My clients repeat these only until their pup reaches about nine months of age.

I add to this a healthy dose of immune support in the form of transfer factors and encourage getting out and getting exposed to the real world and its germs, so their little immune systems get a “work out” while being intelligently stimulated to respond appropriately.

I have to say, I’ve had no parvo or distemper in animals so treated, and to my knowledge, neither have my homeopathic vet friends.

Rabies: Further Complicated by Being a Human Health Risk

People get rabies from bites of rabid animals. It’s a potentially fatal disease in humans. It’s known that rabies lives in “wildlife reservoirs” like raccoons, skunk, fox, coyotes and bats. Depending on where you live, one or more wildlife species are there keeping the virus alive and transmitting it by biting a susceptible animal.

It’s also clear that vaccination of pets against rabies drops the incidence of human rabies. The rabies virus vaccine is so effective that, according to the immunologists who study it, the immunity from one or two vaccinations, if given at four months of age or older, likely confers lifetime immunity.

That’s a lot of bang for the buck.

And we have laws in each state and province and country that promulgate repeated rabies vaccinations throughout a pet’s life.

That’s a lot of useless and potentially dangerous vaccine use.

Follow those laws at your own risk. I’ve written a free Rabies Short Course to help you think clearly about this.

Please take some time to go through this, as this is a hot topic and one you should be fully informed about. Get others’ opinions as well, though I doubt Dr. WhiteCoat will give you a straight answer.

There’s a lot of money to be made revaccinating in the name of the law, after all.

Remember the saying: caveat emptor. Buyer beware.

Dog Loses His Head, Bites Human

So, while I saw my reader above being admirably cautious about over vaccinating, I counseled that a zero rabies vaccination policy for her two dogs was not a wise decision.

Why?

If either dog were to bite someone, under any circumstance (having a grumpy day, getting mistakenly stepped on, keeping that grubby little child’s hands off of my bone!) the result could possibly be euthanasia and brain testing for rabies.

That’s if you’re not the smartest person in the heated conversation with animal control. The authorities may jump to this conclusion, as they want to know right away if this biting animal was biting because he was incubating rabies. If positive, that bitten person needs to get rabies prophylaxis right away to prevent death from rabies.

Brain examination is currently the only accepted method to determine this, though other methods have proven useful.

I aim for my serious students to know they have a choice here. Their confidence grows, they keep a file folder of supportive evidence, and the dog usually keeps his head about him.

Literally.

Human Keeps Her Head, Keeps Her Papers In Order

In some cases, I advise people to get one rabies vaccination for their pets, at or over the age of four months, and a second at one year of age, so they are almost guaranteed to achieve lifetime immunity. If you want to test that immunity, wait a few weeks after that second vaccine, and get a titer test.

This immediately puts your animal in the class of “vaccinates” instead of non-vaccinates, and even if a bite happens years later, and you can show this proof of rabies vaccination, the worst case scenario is quarantine and observation for ten days.

I wrote about my patient Buddy who had this happen recently here in Austin. His experience is what I expect in any vaccinated animal who bites a person.

I obviously can’t guarantee this outcome, but I think it’s highly likely that this is the worst case scenario, barring PAID (Petty Authority Insanity Disease) which can happen when ignorant people are given badges. If you travel through airports, you’ve witnessed this disease, I’m sure.

When Emotions Rule, Animals Lose

So, sound choices are in order for your animal to be and remain a vital animal. Food choices, pest control choices, vaccination choices, lifestyle choices. Emotions tend to get involved when rabies (and heartworm) are on your mind. Scary diseases, but preventable ones, and preventable not only by blindly following conventional recommendations.

You need to be on your game and use careful logic in the big decisions in your animals’ lives. Emotions tend to lead to knee jerk responses that are often not helpful in the long term. Choices are less agonizing when you are well informed, and when you have others around you who are on the same page.

And that’s why we’re here, over a 15,000 of us and growing. Join us, won’t you?

Bonus Take Away

Here’s a useful answer for any vet, groomer, or boarding kennel, if you’re asked about your animal’s vaccination status:

He’s current on all his shots.”

Even if you stopped getting vaccinations years ago, you are telling the truth with this statement. And you have brilliant immunologists on your side when you speak this truth.

Tell us in the comments what’s worked for you in navigating the maze of choices in keeping your animal vital while living amid laws that don’t take immunology or health into account.

 

50 Comments

  1. paula on August 17, 2022 at 3:10 pm

    I have 6 month old golden retreivers. They have had zero shots, not even from the breeder. We feed real food, raw and cooked. Huge variety, including organ meats, veg, fruit, salmon and coconut oil. I have them on parvo and distemper nosodes, started 2 weeks ago. They are healthy and growing like crazy. After reading the above about rabies, I am concerned I should get them the v@x because they run in a pasture with wild animals around. Coyotes for one. They love to chase the rabbits. Should i get them the rabies? Im also concerned if they happen to mouth someone and they want to know if theyve had it. Please explain because after reading the above info, I am confused. Thank you

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 18, 2022 at 12:12 am

      This is beyond a comment section to answer, Paula. A good place to start is my Rabies Short Course and from there, keep an eye out for the larger, deeper course called Rabies: Knowledge is Power. It’s there where you’ll have a chance to get more individualized answers and lose any confusion that’s currently bugging you.

  2. Bryan on October 3, 2021 at 11:33 am

    Will,

    Can you comment on the first paragraph of the “Human Keeps Her Head, Keeps Her Papers in Order” section where you advise (in some cases) a rabies vaccine at 4 months and 1 year?

    • Will Falconer, DVM on October 4, 2021 at 9:06 pm

      I think the next few paragraphs explain it pretty well. Do individual exceptions occur? Sure, and that’s where my Rabies: Knowledge is Power students get personal help from me and fellow students to help them make the wisest decisions possible for their circumstances.

  3. Lauren Scott on May 26, 2021 at 6:28 pm

    I visited a hoistic vet today and was given lyssin to give to my cat after the rabies vaccine… I’m now reading its diliuted rabid dog saliva??

    Is this safe? lol..

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 26, 2021 at 9:56 pm

      You have to understand what “diluted” means in homeopathy, Lauren: it’s ultra diluted, as are all remedies from homeopathic pharmacies. Net result: nothing physical remains in a typical 30C potency. You’re safe.

      • Lauren Scott on May 27, 2021 at 11:20 am

        Great .Thanks!

  4. Barbara on November 1, 2020 at 1:16 am

    Do you have a preference on which rabies vaccine to use? I have heard stories for and against the Thimerasol free vaccine.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on November 1, 2020 at 3:51 am

      No one is better or less risky than any other. There’s still mercury present in the “excipients” portion (top secret, not ever revealed on the label) of the supposedly thimerasol-free version.

  5. Autumn Schafer on February 8, 2020 at 11:02 am

    My 16 year old Mainecoon is having issues with his mouth/teeth. He was given rabies vaccine when he was a kitten and again when he was 6 as we were moving to Dallas from Canada. The vet is saying if he needs dental work/surgery he will have to get rabies vaccine again. Is there any way around this? What options do I have? He’s an indoor cat, 16 years old, completely raw fed. He’s been healthy until last summer when he had an episode (we believe a stroke). We watched and waited and he did a complete recovery as far as we can tell. Thank you for any advice you can give.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on February 8, 2020 at 6:17 pm

      Yes, Autumn, the short sweet answer is: if your vet isn’t on board with this 16 year old indoor cat having no need for another rabies shot, he’s FIRED. And you tell him why, in no uncertain terms. Then, proceed to find a more knowledgeable and sympathetic vet who will provide this service without putting your old guy at risk.

      This may also be all he needs. If you see betterment in a month of this, carry on, you may not need dental work at all, though some cats really do need to get teeth extracted, as they’ve got an autoimmune issue going on in their mouths. All the best to you both.

      • Autumn Schafer on February 9, 2020 at 12:07 pm

        Thank you so very much! This is exactly what I needed to hear to confirm we are doing the right thing. I’ve located a holistic minded vet in Bedford and will be taking him for a checkup early tomorrow morning. We will also be serving these precious guys some raw chicken wings. They are going to be in heaven! Thanks again 🙏

        • Marie on September 14, 2020 at 2:26 pm

          I know this was 7 months ago, but who is the holistically minded vet. We live in Lubbock and cannot find a holistically minded vet in the local area, and arw willing to travel if need be.

          Our current vet when I mentioned titers for parvo and distemper says she will do them for those, but claimed in Texas the law states if you are one day late on your rabies they make you go back to every year. Crazy!

          • Jana on November 25, 2022 at 10:30 am

            I’m in Lubbock as well and I’m so frustrated with not having a vet around that can think outside the stupid mainstream box. The closest real vets are 5 hours away in any direction.



  6. Marcy on February 22, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    If a pet owner decides to give a rabies vaccine, do you recommend to give a vaccine reaction homeopathic remedy before the rabies vaccine and after? If yes, what products do you recommend to purchase? Are there companies in the United States who offer a vaccine reaction product? There is a company called homeoanimal.com based out of Canada. They have a vaccine reaction remedy, do you recommend this product as well? Thank you for any information you can offer.

    • Gia on February 27, 2019 at 12:45 am

      Marcy – I just ordered Thuja and Lyssin from: http://www.naturalrearing.com/coda/index.html

      Dr. Dodd’s references this company on her Hemopet blog re: vaccinosis. I just gave my 7 mos puppy the rabies vaccine today; however, my vet (who is trained in homeopathy, aware of Pitcairn, even has lyssin and thuja in her practice) said only give him the homeopathic if he shows symptoms. She said it could bring on a reaction if anything.

      So I haven’t given him any of it as no symptoms. Now what I can’t tell is what goes on internally, the load on the liver and if the effects won’t be more in the long-term vs now.

      It appears to be a divided community of DVMs. My head is spinning in all directions and I’m hesitant to give him anything at this point. What I will do is the gentler detox like make sure he has his probiotics, garlic etc. And he’ll never have another rabies shot ever again as I only did this for export purposes otherwise I wouldn’t have done it and just gone under the radar like many folks I know.

    • Gia on February 27, 2019 at 12:52 am

      You would treat only if there is a reaction (after).

      https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/homeopathic-treatment-vaccine-reactions/

  7. Stephen Johnson on December 1, 2017 at 8:16 am

    I too had received advice about giving rabies nosodes, in my case, monthly for ongoing protection against rabies. Just found this cautionary article concerning this practice:
    https://www.thewholedog.org/id63.html
    So, I suppose the heartworm nosode on a monthly basis is different than the other nosodes?
    Thanks for this article. My pup from a stray is maybe 1.5 years old now. I had him titer tested for rabies about a year ago, with nothing showing. So, I believe it is time for me to pray over him, have him rabies vaccinated, and trust for the best.

  8. Dru Philippou on February 26, 2017 at 9:10 am

    How does one go against the law and not vaccinate? How can we stop shelter animals from being vaccinated. How do we know if vets don’t vaccinate behind our backs? Is there a guide on which remedy to give for vaccinosis? I know that it’s all based on the symptoms and behaviour an animal presents.

  9. sarah guidicelli on September 30, 2016 at 1:36 am

    Practical ideas ! I Appreciate the details , Does someone know where my assistant would be able to find a template CDC NASPHV Form 51 form to type on ?

  10. Rebecca on December 23, 2013 at 5:57 am

    Thank you for posting this in your “oldies but goodies” (although it’s not THAT old!). I have been agonizing over whether to get my new dog, a lab mix (now 5 months old) vaccinated for rabies. We live out in the country where there are plenty of wild animals which might be infected. When I got the pup at around age 10 weeks, she had already received a combination puppy vaccine plus coronavirus vaccine at about 8 weeks. From the time I brought her home, she became increasingly itchy and lost fur. I did not have her vaccinated any more as I did not feel she was healthy, although other than the itching (which is a BIG issue), she seems healthy, runs and plays and eats well (combo cooked and raw). Through trial and error (as I cannot afford to visit a homeopathic vet) with some homeo remedies, her itching has lessened and the fur is growing back. So based on this article, I do feel somewhat more confident about allowing the rabies vaccine for her. Thank you.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on December 23, 2013 at 8:04 am

      Hi Rebecca,
      Yes, “oldies” probably not an appropriate word here. Truth be known, most of what I write is pretty timeless. Rabies and vaccinosis is, certainly.
      You are thinking along correct lines. Before the “insult” of a vaccination, you want the animal to be in top, vital health. I’ve kept some of my young patients without it for a year, while I’ve worked on their health with homeopathic prescribing.
      Keep an eye on the news and the local public health service website. They’ll report cases of rabies, and you can assess the risk of exposure while you work on this pup’s health. Most often, time is on your side, especially if she’s not running free.
      All the best with her.
      p.s. you can also write me through my Contact page if you’d like to get some rabies vaccine tautodes. These are not expensive, and are what I give every one of my patients before and after their vaccination, as a means of minimizing the damage potential.

      • Rebecca on December 24, 2013 at 2:21 pm

        Looking for rabies statistics for my area (Coryell County, TX), I came across an article describing a rabid racoon killed by a dog. The story (from June 2013) says: “The dog had been vaccinated in 2012 but was euthanized “just to be safe,” said David Wellington, senior animal control officer in Copperas Cove.”
        So sad… so much ignorance.
        And in another example of dogs with a dead skunk in the yard: ” two dogs in the yard where the dead skunk was found had current vaccinations and are being confined by the owner for 45 days, the state’s mandatory quarantine period.” So, the “current” vaccination actually means nothing to the authorities, and even if my dog IS current, she would have to be confined just in case the vaccination didn’t work. Well, Mr. Official, do vaccines work or don’t they? So frustrating.
        As we do live out in the country, I will probably take Lena in for a rabies shot if I can get her better with her itching problem. And yes, I’ll contact you about those tautodes. Thank you.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on December 24, 2013 at 3:12 pm

          “Just to be safe??” Good Lord. In the end, we just have to do the best we can and hope we don’t cross paths with ignorant officials with the power to do damage in our lives.
          The quarantine was probably a home quarantine, FWIW, but you can see there may not always be cool heads prevailing in dealing with a potentially fatal human disease.

  11. Lynne Parker on August 29, 2013 at 6:41 am

    We have 5 dogs, all raw fed and raised without chemicals/pharmaceuticals. Three came from rescues so have been vaccinated. Two were strays and I know one of them has had a rabies shot. I did get a rabies shot for our youngest. Thought about it for a long time and finally got her one when she was 2 years old. I don’t plan on getting any more for anyone. We live in a rural county in South Carolina and so far they county officials aren’t interested in licensing dogs. They would have a redneck revolt if they tried, I’m sure. So I’m lucky in that regard.

  12. Esther on August 21, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    You are correct, it does not makes any sense and it does not accomplished anything. If an animal bites a person, what would be accomplished waiting 6 months? By that time the person would be dead of rabies if the dog or cat was rabid.

  13. Will Falconer, DVM on August 21, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Extremely cock-eyed approach, and one at odds with the rabies experts at the national level. I would question the legality of this, if in fact they enforce it at all.

  14. Esther Stalker on August 20, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    “This immediately puts your animal in the class of “vaccinates” instead of non-vaccinates, and even if a bite happens years later, and you can show this proof of rabies vaccination, the worst case scenario is quarantine and observation for ten days.”
    I just had my consultation with a homeopathic veterinarian here in Maryland, while talking about rabies vaccines she said that the Law here in Howard County, Maryland was if the dog bites somebody and was in the “vaccinates” but not current according to the authorities the quarantine was for six months, having the dog in a cage, and the authorities coming to your house to check every week. How about this for PAID. She also said they have gotten stricter in the last few years. It seems that instead of going the right way, they are taking the opposite side of the road. How about this for INSANITY!!!.
    Esther

    • Alison Tapp on August 26, 2013 at 6:43 am

      Hi Esther
      I’m in the UK and we’ve had the 6 month quarantine laws forever until recently when they relaxed it to 3 weeks! One heluver jump. (This is for import/export, no legal requirement for any vax in this country although you’d be lucky to board your dog without basics).
      I’ve not vaccinated at all for 3 years now and hope to continue this way, no more taking the dogs to France but I’ve decided its no big deal, the wine’s getting more expensive over there anyway…………
      I use 4 different vets. I’m now a Kennel Club Accredited breeder so I need to use a specialist vet for annual eye tests, another to get my pups docked and microchipped, I have a homeopathic one that I see for annual health checks, homeopathic vaccination certificates and anything that I am worried about, and the local one for absolute emergencies.
      These are the guys that send me postcards and leaflets sponsored by Phizer to tell me the kids vaccinations are due, I post them in the bin and they never ask me when I go, so I still use them for blood tests and cheek swabs that have to be signed off by a vet.
      So, keep your head down, no questions require no answers and don’t divulge information that they don’t need ie I raw feed as well…..
      Hope this helps
      Alison

      • Esther on August 27, 2013 at 1:51 pm

        Alison: Thank you for your input. It is really appreciated.
        I think there is a big advantage in the U.K. regarding homeopathic veterinarians and even for humans, I mean you have more of them there.
        Thank you,
        Esther

  15. Shawn on August 19, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    “This immediately puts your animal in the class of “vaccinates” instead of non-vaccinates, and even if a bite happens years later, and you can show this proof of rabies vaccination, the worst case scenario is quarantine and observation for ten days.”
    But this would only be helpful if a bite, animal control, vet requirement, etc happened during that 1st yr since Rabies vax say initial vax is only “good” for duration of 1 yr, then “booster” w/the “3 yr” Rabies vax”. I think the 1 yr/3 yr vax is a bunch of hooey but that is what animal control, state veterinarians, & most vets recognize.
    Dr. Falconer, any suggestions of how to extend this legal recognition beyond the 1st yr w/out needless re-vaccination? Neither my state nor any of my holistic vets recognize Rabies titers as “legal”.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 21, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      Hi Shawn,
      Legality is one matter, your animals’ health quite another. What I’m suggesting is that you, and you alone, have to safeguard your animals’ health by being educated and choosy about what you let happen to them, regardless of legality. Different people navigate this course in different ways, but the bottom line is, it’s in your hands.
      Once you’ve established immunity, further vaccinations are not a. effective or b. safe.
      Laws will be very slow to change, even when the Rabies Challenge Study proves 7 year duration of immunity in the future.

  16. Esther Stalker on August 19, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Ugh! Rabies nosodes, Lyssin? I did not know this was a rabies nosode until recently. A year ago one of my dogs was vaccinated for rabies, and this “holistic, homeopathic” veterinarian trained under Dr. Pitcairn, here in the state of Maryland insisted this was what you were supposed to give after the rabbies vaccination to counteract the effects of the rabies vaccine. Doctor Pitcairn had told her that. Really? Your client was sold the rabies nosode by a homeopathic supplier not a veterinarian, I thought you needed a prescription for nosodes.
    Your topic on Sunday was very interesting, as usually, you are a very honest and brave man, and I admire that a lot. There is a part in there which confused me, and I got lost a little, you said you advised the customer who were using nosodes to continue with the rabies vaccines because if any bites would occurred the result would likely be euthanasia and brain testing. Why was this case different, did I missed something? was it because they were moving to another country? In most cases you advise like in your patient Buddy.
    In the subject of nosodes, would a Lyme nosode be effective during time of exposure on Tick season? Lyme is very prevalent here in the East coast. Deers are everywhere here, and we have very wet weather. There are a lot of people with Lyme disease here, I am not suggesting nosodes for people just pets if possible. I also would like to know where Maria, the person who posted above in the blog, and who said she started 3 Dog’s tail lives. Maryland do not have many holistic veterinarians given that recommendation which is extraordinary good.
    Esther

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 19, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      Hi Esther,
      The key in this case was two wholly unvaccinated dogs: no rabies vaccine ever. That’s a dicey situation, should they ever bite someone.
      Not sure about Lymes disease and nosode use, as it doesn’t seem to follow the usual rules of infectious disease.

  17. Maria on August 19, 2013 at 5:40 am

    Dr. Falconer,
    I find it very refreshing to read your blogs because you always say it like it is.
    I personally vaccinated my dogs against rabies when they we’re small so they could display there “tag” around their neck, and was told by my holistic veterinarian to never do it again, and instead opt for titers .
    I am aware of the “new” vaccination protocol from Dr. Schultz and WSABA but not many veterinarians choose to follow it, why ?? money???
    The mission of my company 3 Dog’s Tail is to divulge as many information as I can to pet owners so they can make a wiser choice.
    Just recently I saw on of my neighbours dogs limping when I asked what was wrong they told me that at age 16 he had jut gotten his vaccination shots. Needless to say, I explained that yearly vaccinations were unnecessary and in most cases harmful.
    It is unfortunate that many pet owners blindly trust their Dr. White Coat veterinarians.
    This blog has been shared on my facebook page !
    And Cindy, may I ask where you live ?
    Maria

    • Esther Stalker on August 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Maria: You have a terrific veterinarian, where do you live? Here in Maryland I have gone to several. None have had the bravery to go out of the box like Dr. Falconer. It is really hard to find a good holistic veterinarian let alone a good homeopathic one.
      Esther

      • Maria on August 21, 2013 at 7:33 am

        Hi Esther,
        I am located in Ottawa, Canada but I have a few referenced in Maryland, if you want fell free to send me an email at 3dogstail@gmail.com and I will send you a list of Holistic Veterinarians where you are.

      • Sharyn on August 31, 2013 at 8:25 am

        Esther, I don’t know where you are in Maryland, but Dr. Shelley Epstein at the Wilmington Animal Hospital in Wilmington, DE, is a wonderful homeopathic vet. She’d be worth driving for.

        • Esther on September 9, 2013 at 7:24 pm

          Sharyn: Thank you for your information. I live 2 hours away from Wilmington, DE. But it is always good to know.
          Thanks,
          Esther

    • Cindy on August 19, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      I’m in Arizona. No exemptions here.

  18. Sherri Cleek on August 18, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    I’d love to find a like minded vet in the Oklahoma City area. I’ve tried googling it, but no joy. Any suggestions? We camp with our dogs a lot. We have never been asked to produce papers, yet, but I’m worried it will happen.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 19, 2013 at 6:19 am

      Hi Sherri,
      Both holistic vets and homeopathic vets are listed geographically on my Resources page. And there are those who work quite effectively by telephone if no one is local to you.
      Best of luck. And “act like you own the place” is always good advice on “papers” and vaccine status.

      • Cindy on August 20, 2013 at 8:49 pm

        I can’t find a list of these vets on your site. Can you give me the link?
        I took my dog in to his “holsitic” vet today. The vet gave me a long scary lecture on what the lump might be and how I needed to have it removed by him with a special surgical technique. He does not do needle biopsies. Then he picked up the rabies shot and prepared to inject it. I asked him how he could give that if my dog had such a worrisome lump. He said vaccines don’t cause any problems except maybe a temporary blood thinning! I was stunned into silence during which he injected the rabies vac. into my dog. As if that weren’t enough, when I left they gave me a visist summary indicating my dog was not up to date on other shots. None of my dogs get parvo or distemper after a year old.
        So I am ready to work with an out of town holistic/homeopathic vet, but who do I use here for things like blood draws, or maybe the needle biopsy, that require hands on? How do people resolve this issue?

        • Will Falconer, DVM on August 21, 2013 at 12:41 pm

          Hi Cindy,
          Here’s the page with the listings. You’ll see one for holistic vets (AHVMA) and one for homeopathic vets (AVH).

  19. Cindy on August 18, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    I have been told by a holistic vet that they will not take care of my dog if he is not current on rabies, meaning having it every three years.
    In January, this vet vaccinated my elderly dog. Six weeks later she had to be PTS with osteosarcoma, which had not been evident or symptomatic before the shot.
    Now my 10 year old is due for a rabies shot this week, and he has a lump we’ve been watching. What to do? There are not great choices in holistic vets here. They all claim to be integrative rather than alternative, and will insist on giving allopathic treatments too. No one will stand up to Animal Control on the rabies requirements.
    I tried working with an out of town homeopath, but felt it wasn’t as good as a hands on local person.
    So what to do?

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 19, 2013 at 6:17 am

      The key word is “due,” Cindy. No one who’s been vaccinated earlier in life is “due” for any further vaccinations at age 10. Period.
      You must be the one to either have a “come to Jesus” meeting with your current vet or find a new one who will follow your wishes on this. It’s just too important to ignore any longer.

      • Charlie Wolz on August 28, 2013 at 12:11 pm

        I ran into the same situation with my 14 year old Jack Russell.. She was given a rabies shot right on the same day we found out of figured she was loosing weight to diabetes.. Her sugar was over 400 and the vet say she needed to be vaccinated for rabies in order to stay overnight at an emergency clinic. To me that was like throwing gas on a fire… Now 5 years later my dog has had lime, a breast cancer removed and has a heart mummer. My vet said she needs a rabies shot or they are not going to right a script for any more insulin needles.. I thought that was the rudest thing ever thrown at me… I’ve now found a local holistic vet thank God! I am going to let them know that my dog was given a waiver if that happens with the Holistic vet we go to.. Their answer was that they vaccinated plenty of dogs with diabetes that she wouldn’t get a waiver.. So glad I’m doing my home work to save my dogs… After all we have fed our dogs a home made diet for over 25 years.. and then to just let these vets destroy all the good you do with so many shots! Shame on them!

        • Lizzy Meyer on December 22, 2013 at 7:19 pm

          Charlie, This is incredible, what that vet made you and your dog go through-in an emergency clinic, nonetheless! “HEALTHY” animals are the only kinds that are labeled to be vaccinated! The vaccine companies make the vaccines for those elusive, HEALTHY animals….I am amazed they vaccinated your dog to stay overnight. I can totally empathize with you on this, I see it all the time and it makes me crazy….vaccinating dogs who are sick with something or another…..I had a wonderful holistic vet in CO who wrote a waiver for my dog who had a seizure history. It worked for a dog daycare place but if push came to shove and he bit someone, I cannot say that I’d be protected. It’s really stupid, this rabies law-it needs to change ASAP.

  20. Evelyn on August 18, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    I am all for not revaccinating for rabies, but it seems like the groomer isn’t going to take my word for it that my dog is current. They want her papers or to speak to her vet.
    Do you have any clients or friends who do grooming (and boarding) for your drug-free patients?
    Evelyn

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      Heavens, yes, Evelyn. At least, most will take a signed letter from me (or another vet who’d be willing to write you one). If you’re in Austin, write me through my Contact page and I’ll help you.
      Ultimately, most groomers and kennel owners need to learn this simple fact: early life vaccinations confer lifetime immunity in almost every case. You might want to send them to read more on this site and others, and if that’s not of interest to them, tell them you are leaving for more enlightened folks to spend your money on.
      It’s time to vote with your wallet, and tell them why you’re getting ready to go elsewhere.

Leave a Comment