Creating Vicious: Rabies Vaccines

Horse biting another horseThe state of Connecticut Supreme Court is hearing a case that could classify horses, the entire species, as “vicious.” This is the result of a two year old who was bitten in the face in 2006. He was just standing there, and after his dad stopped petting the horse, the horse reached his head over the fence and took a bite out of this boy’s cheek.

This is aberrant behavior, right? No amount of ‘splaining or excusing this behavior or blaming the parent or the kid for being near this horse’s head ultimately touches why this happened.

Spending every moment I could from age twelve to age twenty-something around a herd of horses with all kinds of personalities, I never once saw a horse take a chomp out of anybody. We had a trail riding program and took all ages of kids on trail rides, including those too young to be on a horse alone, and did this every day for the entire Summer, every year.

How many bites? 


Looking Behind The Scenes

I’d like you to consider another explanation, one that pretty much only homeopathic vets and those who’ve studied homeopathy will immediately think of to explain this behavior:

Rabies vaccinations. A lot of them.

Small animal guardians, take note: most horses are “boarded” somewhere every day of their lives, except for the percentage of the population whose guardians own enough land to keep their horses on their own property.

Barn owners and managers often demand vaccinations repeatedly throughout a horse’s stay at their barn. This is commonly a yearly vaccine repetition if not twice yearly, and rabies vaccine is more common in recent years as part of that requirement.

In fact, horses may surpass dogs and cats in the frequency of vaccinations in their lives. Why? Because rules are being set by people without the training to know that repeated vaccinations is a fool’s work.

It doesn’t work. And more importantly, it causes illness.

Rabies Vaccinosis Induced by Rabies Vaccine

In homeopathy, it’s long been recognized that disease often ensues after vaccination. And that disease often includes the nervous system, especially when we give a rabies vaccine.

In the wild, rabies virus attacks the brain, changes the behavior from sociable to aggressive, and breaks the social barriers against biting. That’s how this disease spreads. Dog meets rabid fox, rabid fox bites susceptible dog, virus from the fox’s saliva enters the bite wound on the dog and slowly but surely follows the nerves in the area to settle in the brain. When it reaches the brain, behavior changes to allow the dog to lose his bite inhibition, and he bites another animal or human, and rabies moves to the next host.

Is it really such a stretch to imagine attenuated or killed rabies virus in rabies vaccine might induce behavior changes in the vaccinated horse, dog, or cat? I’m confident we see this regularly. 

Here’s what one of my colleagues had to say, from her years of working with horses in New York:

In NY, owners are encouraged and in many barns required to vaccine yearly. Of course, I see only chronic and really sick horses, but all of my horse clients have over the top Rabies titers. There is a greatly increased rate of emotional instability, but even greater is a state of mind that while not a viciousness, but a lack of concern for people. Many seem indifferent to injuring people, a break in their “moral code”    — Cynthia Lankenau, DVM

 The good news? There’s no law to vaccinate a horse again rabies. They are not a species who is a great enough risk to spread the disease, being herbivorous, unlike the dog or cat.

So, we’ve got to get the word out to the barn managers, one at a time. Horses are no different than dogs, cats, or baby humans: if they had a vaccination after about 4 months of age, the likelihood of them remaining immune for life is very, very high. So say the immunologists who know about this oft-forgotten thing called DOI, or duration of immunity.

Horses are not naturally vicious. Horses vaccinated unnecessarily and repeatedly against a nervous system virus could easily lose their normal social behaviors. That’s what rabies does in the wild. Why would rabies vaccine be much different?

 Photo credit: Wendy

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  1. Will Falconer, DVM on February 11, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    Sure, I think there can be cranky animals without a rabies vaccine history. The best news is that they can be cured with careful homeopathic prescribing.
    I’ve written about the connection between laryngeal paralysis and rabies here. Not sure I’ve ever thought about collapsing trachea as on the same spectrum, but it certainly could be.
    Would lyssin cure each case? Unlikely. The most effective homeopathy is using remedies that best match the entire patient’s pattern of disease. Lyssin will match some, but far from all.
    Thanks for your thoughts, Gay. You’ve got me thinking…

  2. Gay on February 11, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    I’ve worked with horses my entire life and am old enough to have had them long before rabies shots were typically given to them. While horses in general are not vicious animals, you do run across the cantankerous ones now and then. I was nailed in the hip one time by a pregnant Belgium mare while leading another horse through the paddock she was in. This was no nip, but a fast and forceful bite. It shocked the heck out of me! This was many years ago in a rural area. I doubt she had ever gotten a rabies vaccine. She was always just a little cranky, but I chalked the actual bite up to hormones, since she was pregnant. It was just another reminded to never get too lax when working around such a large animal. I read a comment from another vet that he believes the rabies vaccine is what is causing such a high rate of collapsing trachea in small dogs and recommended Lyssin for it. What are your thoughts on this?

  3. Esther on October 29, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Dr. Falconer: it is amazing you found time to write a newsletter in your way to India!!!
    I really do not know much about horses, I have never owned one. They are beautiful animals, and I like them just as I like all animals. It is really sad that it is not even the law requiring rabies vaccines for them, and nevertheless they are being vaccinated for rabies because of owners of the stables were they are kept!!!
    You write in homeopathy, it’s long been recognized that disease often ensues after vaccination. And that disease often includes the nervous system, especially when we give a rabies vaccine. As we all know this vaccine is required by law for dogs in most states, and I think I have said this in another post not all homeopathic doctors agreed with the statement above, or maybe they do in theory. There is an article on vaccination written by a homeopathic doctor in my state in the last issue of DogsNaturally (November-December) and I am quoting “Rabies is required by law, and it would be wrong of any vet to urge someone to disobey the law. You should, however, educate yourself about the rabies vaccine, and support the Rabies Challenge Fund, which is working to prove that the duration of immunity for the rabies vaccine is longer than three years” if a doctor writes this kind of statement what can we expect from others in the community that are less educated in this subject, like groomers, boarding, day care, kennels etc. I also would like to ask is it right to give a vaccine to a dog with chronic disease, like allergies, incontinence, arthritis, etc.
    She also believes vaccines themselves do not cause autoimmune disease, but in genetically predisposed dogs, vaccination may induce immune-mediated disease.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on November 20, 2013 at 4:49 am

      Hi Ester,
      It takes a certain attitude to question laws, and those who are unwilling will just stick to the “safe road.” It’s okay, but animal owners who know the risks of following a law based on irrationality that can harm their animals have to navigate carefully.
      It’s clearly contraindicated to vaccinate any animal with chronic disease. Every vaccine is labeled for use in healthy animals only.
      But here again, Dr. WhiteCoat does this all the time, often giving a steroid injection first to those they’ve identified as being reactive to the vaccine from past experience.
      So, once more, it comes down to the guardian to be on alert and navigate their animal carefully through the maze of conventional medicine.
      I wish it were easier, and hopefully, enough of us withholding our money from the vets, groomers, kennels, etc, that aren’t sensible on this will have an impact.

      • Esther on November 24, 2013 at 8:59 pm

        Hi Dr. Falconer: Welcome back! Thank you for your answer.
        It is very easy for me to understand the attitude of Dr. Whitecoat but I cannot understand a holistic homeopathic doctor writing an article in DogsNaturally about vaccines in general and making the above mentioned statement.

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