Session III is underway. In response to news of a brand new CANINE VIRUS/FLU that began in FL & GA 6 weeks ago, ADTC Members are in touch with contacts all over the southeastern states, doing our best to keep abreast of potential spreading. There have been no outbreaks locally and we have not heard of any outbreaks anywhere close to us. However, we are being very cautious in order to protect the dogs currenty training at our facility. We posted informational signs at our facility and messages expressing our concern about the spread of this dangerous disease. If caught early, it can be treated successfully, but dogs have been lost to this virus w/ owners thinking the intestinal upset is caused by something their pet ate. If your dog displays any unusual symptoms, please do not wait, have them checked by their Vet asap. In response to this very real threat, a group of our Members have done a preventative cleaning of our facility, using products that should kill any germs. We have cleaned the entire building, including floor, crates, chairs and any other surface that might contain any germs. We are still holding classes, but please use your own good judgement as to whether your dog should attend during this possible crisis. Please check back here on our website, where we will do our best to report any incidences of this disease. Upcoming Events (that may or may not be canceled) : Nosework Seminars 6/17/17, Session IV begins 7/31/17, & Show 'n' Go planned for August. Interested? Please visit the link for each activity and contact us with any questions.

Rabies – 13 ways to vaccinate more safely

Truth4Dogs

 

Rabies Vaccination: 13 Ways to Vaccinate More Safely

Peaches Displaying Her Rabies Vaccine Reaction 

Note: this is an expanded version of an article by Jan Rasmusen previously published by DogsNaturallyMagazine.com

Animal Control sends a notice stating that your dog’s rabies vaccination is due. Some of us will vaccinate readily. Because it’s legally mandated, it must be safe, right? Besides, what choice do we have?

Others of us panic, desperate to avoid the shot at any cost. We remember what happened the last time our dog had a rabies vaccination. We wonder, will our dog survive another? 

World-renowned pet vaccination scientist, Dr. Jean Dodds, wrote recently: “Rabies vaccines are the most common group of biological products identified in adverse event reports received by the USDA’s Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB).”   

An adverse reaction to a rabies vaccine may exact a high price – to your dog’s health and your wallet. Here’s what you need to know to make vaccinating your dog safer:   

1. Learn to recognize adverse reactions. Short-term reactions include vomiting, facial swelling, fever, lethargy, circulatory shock, loss of consciousness and even death. (If your pet appears distressed, contact your vet immediately.) Reactions occurring days or months after vaccination can be difficult to recognize. They include:

• Fibrocarcinomas (cancer) at the injection site
• Seizures and epilepsy
• Autoimmune disease
• Chronic digestive problems
• Allergies
• Skin diseases
• Muscle weakness or atrophy
• Pica (eating inappropriate materials, including feces)
• Behavioral changes (aggression, separation anxiety, compulsive behaviors and more)  

If you suspect a health or behavior problem may be connected to a vaccine, you may have to convince your vet. It’s common to hear “it couldn’t be the shot” or “a reaction like that is impossible.” Even the drug’s manufacturer (to whom you should immediately report the reaction — giving them the brand and lot# — may deny the connection. Insist on seeing the product’s package insert,  viewable on-line or from your vet. Also know that long-term reactions aren’t usually documented or even studied. Note: a vaccine reaction, especially one supported by your vet, may entitle you to compensation for medical expenses from the drug manufacturer.

2. Vaccinate healthy dogs only. Vaccinating an unhealthy animal can exacerbate illness and do irreparable harm. Also, immunity may not develop after vaccination because of the dog’s compromised immune system. This is especially dangerous as you may presume immunity that does not exist. Pets with autoimmune disease or cancer are obviously “not healthy,” but neither are pets suffering from stress from a move or surgery, a virus or infection, or allergies or skin problems or any other condition compromising health. (Never allow your pet to be vaccinated during surgery.)

3. Ask for a rabies vaccination exemption.  If your dog has documented health problems, ask your vet to apply for a rabies vaccination extension or exemption. Many localities permit them even if state law doesn’t specifically allow them. If your vet won’t apply for an exemption, go elsewhere. You may want to contact a holistic vet who may better understand the dangers of vaccinating an unhealthy animal. If local law forbids exemptions, change the law. Numerous states are in the process of adding exemptions to their laws. Click this link to check your state’s rabies law and pending exemptions.  

4. Don’t vaccinate against rabies within three weeks of other vaccinations or medication for parasites. Multiple vaccines given at once greatly increase the chance of reactions.  Multiple vaccines are especially risky for small dogs.

5. Make sure your dog gets the correct vaccine. If you’re vaccinating a puppy, make sure your vet administers a one-year vaccine initially (as late as legally possible) and a three-year vaccine (or whatever is required in your area) thereafter. The one-year and three-year vaccines are virtually identical medically – but not under the law.  A one-year shot must be followed by re-vaccination a year later. Note: the one-year shot is not safer than the three-year (except that it may contain fewer adjuvants).  

6. Vaccinate at the safest time. Vaccinate in the morning, early in the week, and don’t leave the area for at least an hour if possible. Watch for reactions for at least the next 48 hours. Reactions occurring when the closest vet’s office is closed can prove disastrous, even fatal.

7. Tell your vet you want a Thimerosol-free vaccine. Thimerosol (mercury) in vaccines has been linked to adverse reactions. Merial, for one, makes one- and three-year thimersol-free rabies vaccines: IMRAB® 1 TF and IMRAB® 3 TF. Make sure you see “TF” on the label. (If your vet doesn’t carry the vaccine, you may have to vet shop to find the vaccine you want.  You might also ask why the vet why he/she doesn’t carry it.)

8. Find a vet trained in homeopathy to vaccinate your dog.  Certain homeopathic remedies given before, during and after vaccinating can lessen the chance of ill effects from vaccination. Click the link to find vet referral lists.   

9. Report all vaccine reactions to your vet and make sure they’re recorded in your pet’s file. Have the vet sign relevant pages, get copies and put them in a safe place. (Vets lose records, retire and move away.) Also report the reaction to the drug’s manufacturer. (You’ll need the vaccine lot number.) Vets are notoriously bad at reporting reactions, but exemptions to rabies vaccination and drug safety require documentation.

10. Don’t vaccinate within a week of travel. Pets experiencing reactions on route can die for lack of immediate medical assistance.  (Find a list of emergency clinics by area at http://www.vetsnearyou.com/ml2/?v=352875029&u=0880F1AAC5EF9BA40210818080F807184B&gclid=CKOmmcXvm6QCFQY-bAodawLaEg  (I cannot guarantee the clinics’ expertise, but at least this is a place to start.)

11. Keep copies of vaccination records and titer tests in your car(s) and license tags on your dog’s collar or harness. Otherwise, you may be forced to re-vaccinate if your pet bites someone, runs away and is taken to a shelter or if you have to board your pet unexpectedly.

12. Do not administer a rabies vaccine yourself. It will not satisfy legal requirements and you’ll have to have a vet vaccinate again. You will also be unprepared to deal with a potentially life-threatening reaction.  Similarly, a vet’s office may likely be a safer place to get the vaccine than a mobile clinic.

13. Support the Rabies Challenge Fund.  World-renowned scientists, W. Jean Dodds, DVM, and Ronald D. Schultz, PhD, are working as volunteers to increase the interval between rabies boosters by proving that the vaccine gives immunity, first, for five years, and then for seven years. (The study is in year four now.) They’re also working to establish a blood “titer standard” to provide a scientific basis to avoid unnecessary boosters with a simple blood test. This nonprofit group is supported solely by dog lovers and dog groups. 

Before the next notice from Animal Control arrives, do your homework. A little time spent learning about the rabies vaccine can mean the difference between your dog’s wellness and serious illness.
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Get Our DVD: W. Jean Dodds, DVM and Ronald D. Schultz, PhD spoke at our Safer Pet Vaccination Benefit Seminar in March. A DVD of the event will be available shortly. Sign up for more information at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/saferpet. Learn more about rabies vaccination at www.truth4dogs.org and about vaccination in general at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/shots and at http://www.truth4dogs.com.  

Read more about Peaches and her skin disease caused by rabies vaccine reaction (called Ischemic Dermatopathy).