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2008 REPORT ON RABIES VACCINE ADVERSE REACTIONS IN DOGS

The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association published a report in its April 1, 2008 issue, Vol. 232, No. 7, entitled: Postmarketing Surveillance of Rabies Vaccines for Dogs to Evaluate Safety and Efficacy.

Despite the extreme under-reporting of vaccinal adverse reactions, this report states on the second page that between April 1, 2004 and March 31, 2007, the Center for Veterinary Biologics, "nearly 10,000 adverse event reports (all animal species) were received by manufacturers of rabies vaccines..........Approximately 65% of the manufacturer's reports involved dogs."

The report further states on the second page that: "Rabies vaccines are the most common group of biological products identified in adverse event reports received by the CVB," and they give the following description of the adverse reaction followed by the % of dogs affected: Vomiting-28.1%, Facial Swelling-26.3%, Injection Site Swelling or Lump-19.4%, Lethargy-12%, Urticaria-10.1%, Circulatory shock-8.3%, Injection site pain-7.4%, Pruritus-7.4%, Injection site alopecia or hair loss-6.9%, Death-5.5%, Lack of Consciousness-5.5, Diarrhea-4.6%, Hypersensitivity (not specified)-4.6%, Fever-4.1%, Anaphylaxis-2.8%, Ataxia-2.8%, Lameness-2.8%, General signs of pain-2.3%, Hyperactivity-2.3%, Injection site scab or crust-2.3%, Muscle tremor-2.3%, Tachycardia-2.3%, and Thrombocytopenia-2.3%.

Veterinarians are not required by law to report adverse reactions to vaccines, to which the World Small Animal Veterinary Association stated in their 2007 Vaccine Guidelines that there is: "gross under-reporting of vaccine-associated adverse events which impedes knowledge of the ongoing safety of these products," and in an article entitled, A New Approach to Reporting Medication and Device Adverse Effects and Product Problems, (JAMA - June 2, 1993. Vol.269, No.21. p.2785) Dr. David Kessler, former head of the Food & Drug Administration, reported that "only about 1% of serious events are reported to the FDA."

In light of the 10,000 adverse reactions to the rabies vaccine in the JAVMA report, 65% of which were in dogs, the estimated 1% reporting of "serious" events by the former head of the FDA means that the actual number of dogs that had adverse reactions to the vaccine would be more like 650,000 --applying the 5.5% figure given by the CVB resulting in death indicates that 3,750 died over the same 3 year period (1,250 a year or 6,250 over the course of 5 years, or 8,750 over the course of 7 years).

"A rabies vaccine and vaccination schedule with a seven year DOI will reduce the number of animals that develop adverse reactions following immunization, which is currently estimated to be 1-3% of the population." Time Out: rabies researchers assess new, long-lasting vaccine NEWStat, American Animal Hospital Association http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/aaha2/issues/2008-06-25/index.html Based on the estimate of "...more than 72 million pet dogs in the U.S." from the American Veterinary Medical Association U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook (2007 Edition) Market research statistics - U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook, the currently estimate 1-3% of the population adversely reacting to vaccination translates into between 720,000 and 2,160,000 dogs.
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Vaccinal adverse reactions are becoming more recognized and acknowledged in the veterinary community -- in an August 1, 2008 article in DVM360 entitled Vaccination: An Overview, Vaccination: An overview (Proceedings) - Veterinary Healthcare Dr. Melissa Kennedy states that of the two types of vaccinal adverse reactions:

Adverse reactions have also become a major concern in small animal medicine. .... These fall into two general categories. The first is immediate hypersensitivity. This may be a local or systemic response, and is due to pre-existing antibody to the agent. This is the classic "allergic reaction" to the vaccine and can be life-threatening. The second is a delayed response, requiring days of longer to develop. The vaccine, seen as foreign, elicits a significant inflammatory response and is especially true for adjuvanted vaccines. This response can manifest as a granuloma, or more seriously, a fibrosarcoma .

Further, she reports that The likelihood of adverse reactions in dogs has been found to correlate with the size of the dog and the number of inoculations given, with higher risk associated with small size and multiple inoculations.

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Duration of Immunity: The Rabies Vaccine Challenge - Show #185 Animal Talk Radio Show 7/30/08 http://www.blogtalkradio.com/animal...mmunity-The-Rabies-Vaccine-Challenge-Show-186

Duration of Immunity to Canine Vaccines: What We Know and Don't Know, Dr. Ronald Schultz Duration of Immunity

What Everyone Needs to Know about Canine Vaccines, Dr. Ronald Schultz
What Everyone Needs to Know About Canine Vaccines

Vaccination: An Overview Dr. Melissa Kennedy, DVM360 Vaccination: An overview (Proceedings) - Veterinary Healthcare

World Small Animal Veterinary Association 2007 Vaccine Guidelines - WSAVA - Scientific Advisory Committee Scroll down to Vaccine Guidelines 2007 (PDF)

The 2003 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines are accessible online at Special Report .

The 2006 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines are downloadable in PDF format at About AAHA .

Veterinarian, Dr. Robert Rogers,has an excellent presentation on veterinary vaccines at Home

October 1, 2002 DVM Newsletter article entitled, AVMA, AAHA to Release Vaccine Positions, AVMA, AAHA to release vaccine positions - DVM

July 1, 2003 DVM Newsletter article entitled, What Do We Tell Our Clients?, Developing thorough plan to educate staff on changing vaccine protocols essential for maintaining solid relationships with clients and ensuring quality care 'What do we tell our clients?' - DVM

July 1, 2003, DVM Newsletter article, Developing Common Sense Strategies for Fiscal Responsibility: Using an interactive template to plan service protocol changes Developing common sense strategies for fiscal responsibility - DVM

Animal Wellness Magazine Article Vol. 8 Issue 6, How Often Does he REALLY Need A Rabies Shot Animal Wellness Magazine - devoted to natural health in animals

The Rabies Challenge Animal Wise Radio Interview
Listen to Animal Wise (scroll down to The Rabies Challenge 12/9/07)

The Vaccine Challenge Animal Talk Naturally Online Radio Show » The Vaccine Challenge - Show #91

Rabies Shot Killed my Poodle May 28, 2008 Channel 5 News WCVB Woman: Rabies Shot Killed My Poodle - Boston News Story - WCVB Boston

US Declared Canine-Rabies Free -- CDC Announces at Inaugural World Rabies Day Symposium CDC Press Release - September 7, 2007

Rabies Prevention -- United States, 1991 Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP), Center for Disease Control's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly March 22, 1991 / 40(RR03);1-19 Rabies Prevention -- United States, 1991 Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP) "A fully vaccinated dog or cat is unlikely to become infected with rabies, although rare cases have been reported (48). In a nationwide study of rabies among dogs and cats in 1988, only one dog and two cats that were vaccinated contracted rabies (49). All three of these animals had received only single doses of vaccine; no documented vaccine failures occurred among dogs or cats that had received two vaccinations. "
 

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Peaches' Story

Judy Schor's agility champion, Peaches, suffered a significant adverse reaction to a rabies booster. Judy has posted photos of Peaches and a letter from the vaccine manufacturer, Fort Dodge, offering a settlement to pay for medical treatment if they not disclose information about the claim. You can read the letter and see photos of Peaches at this link: Login | Facebook .
 

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I'm one of those rare homosapions who will call and chat with the manufacturer for detailed information.

Last year I called and spoke with one large company and was intrigued from the Q&A session which took place.

I do not recommend speaking with them, for the FDA & USDA is a better source for factual information.

The female I spoke with either had a firewall on internet searches or flat out miss-lead with her response to one of the items on the list I had.
The other thing that really stuck-out, apparently masses at injection sites are a good thing, (according to this person at the company).:rolleyes:
 

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The other thing that really stuck-out, apparently masses at injection sites are a good thing, (according to this person at the company).:rolleyes:
That does depend on what kind of injection they are getting. If it a subcutanious injection (sub-q injection), then its ok as long as it is equal to the amount of fluid that was injected because the meds will absorbe thru. BUT, if the size of the mass is larger then the injection or lasts longer then 24 hours, then that is NOT good. Or if it is an intramuscular injection (IM injection) then you should NOT see any kind of mass.
However, I don't think I would ever say it was a 'good' thing. Only that its ok sometimes with certain kinds of injections. :)
 

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I think what they are saying is a mass of either fibrous tissue or benign tumor or malignant tumor. None of these are a good thing. I have absolutely noticed a lot of animals at work with masses around the typical spots for injecting vaccines.
 

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I think what they are saying is a mass of either fibrous tissue or benign tumor or malignant tumor. None of these are a good thing. I have absolutely noticed a lot of animals at work with masses around the typical spots for injecting vaccines.
As have I.

We actually lost a cat this year to an injection site sarcoma.

What is everyone's vet's vaccine protocol these days?
My vet pushes distemper once a year, our distemper is DHLPP-C (so that's lepto AND cornona, yearly), lymes as per needed, and rabies 3 year. We only do intra-nasal bordatella as needed as well. Yearly heartworm test is also mandated, and he pushes heargard and frontline on everyone.

Personally, Jack has had vaccines every year, but I'm stopping it.
Flip had his first round at the rescue, including a rabies, and he is done as well.

I am still on the fence with HG and Frontline, leaning towards skipping them.
 

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I am still on the fence with HG and Frontline, leaning towards skipping them.
I only use a flea prevenative when I see a flea. I only use heartworm prevenative during mosquito season. (Actually 45 days after mosquito season begins.)
 

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I only use a flea prevenative when I see a flea. I only use heartworm prevenative during mosquito season. (Actually 45 days after mosquito season begins.)
My issue is this: I work for a vet, I bring Flip to work with me every day.
He interacts with most of the patients, even the flea-ridden. :/

I hate giving ivomec if it's not needed, to be honest. A dog has to have a pretty crappy immune system to contract HW and not just take care of it w/ his or her own immune system. In my almost 10 year career I have seen heartworm in dogs twice. Once in a cat (fluke).
 

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I hate giving ivomec if it's not needed, to be honest.
I agree 100%

A dog has to have a pretty crappy immune system to contract HW and not just take care of it w/ his or her own immune system. In my almost 10 year career I have seen heartworm in dogs twice. Once in a cat (fluke).
You live in WI, I live in GA next to a large swamp. My vet tells me that 30% of the unprotected dogs he sees have heartworms. He may just be trying to sell the prevenative. I am just afraid to not protect my dogs at all.

The way my system works: ~6weeks after mosquitos appear, I take them for heartworm check. If all is negative(and so far it has been) then I wait 6 more weeks until the first dose of prevenative. That usually puts us at middle of June or so. Then its another dose every 6 weeks until Nov or Dec depending on weather. That means my dogs get 3 or 4 doses/year which is much better than 12.
 

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That sounds like a really good plan.

You're right, I would probably give it if I lived in a swampier area, but we do have a LOT of 'skeeters in the summer.


I guess we'll see...I have the advantage that I could test my dog monthly if I really wanted to. :)
 

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That sounds like a really good plan.

You're right, I would probably give it if I lived in a swampier area, but we do have a LOT of 'skeeters in the summer.


I guess we'll see...I have the advantage that I could test my dog monthly if I really wanted to. :)
If I decide not to use HW prevenatives at all, I will test every 6 months.
 

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Our schedule that we "push" here is annual DHPPL, 6 month Bordatella (either injectable or intranasal) for frequent boarding dogs, 3 year Rabies, annual HW test and annual routine physical. We don't really give Lyme or Giardia vaccines since lyme disease is not a huge threat here, and GV is not all that effective (it only lessens the symptoms of the disease...just like Bordatella). The boss is thinking of pushing the DHPPL vaccine to 3 year instead of annual.

We don't have a flea issue here either, so that isn't a item we try and "sell" on people.

We have treated 4 cases of HW disease this year, 3 the previous year. I personally don't want to risk the infection so I do the annual test and then the preventative during the warm season- April through November.

I have made the decision to not vaccinate any longer now that they are all adults. My boss doesn't really say anything about it and don't remind her LOL. Will your boss not let you skate by without doing any more vaccines? What about doing titers instead?
 

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Ive also been debating on not vacinating anymore, hearing to many things these days about vaccines causing way more harm then good. I might cycle heatguard from june-nov and run milk thistle with it but thats it.
 
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