Apparently, there are at least 65 ways that the rabies vaccine can harm your dog.
According to Patricia Jordan, DVM, there are countless ways for the rabies vaccination to hurt your dog and leave permanent damage. Most states require an initial rabies vaccine followed by a booster every 3 years.
These guidelines are antiquated and absolutely do not account for the fact that the rabies vaccine is designed to last in the body for 7 years as described in studies written by Ronald Schultz PhD (Read more on those here). Even more disturbing, Dr. Jordan states that "the one year rabies vaccine is identical to the three year rabies vaccine, just labeled differently" and "every (rabies) vaccination increases the risk of an adverse vaccine reaction happening to your dog" (Source: Dogs Naturally)
Vaccines are also prescribed on a one-dose-fits-all basis and not by body-weight. All dogs whether we’re talking about a "two-pound Terrier or two hundred-pound Mastiff –– get the same volume of vaccine (usually one cc)" (Read more here).
Unfortunately, "vaccine manufacturers only need to prove their vaccine is safe and effective in the species for which the vaccine is intended. They aren’t required to prove it’s as safe and effective in Great Danes as it is in Dachshunds" (More on that here).
Regardless of breed size, the more boosters your dog receives, the more likely it is that they will become ill. And, despite the vaccine requirements varying from state-to-state, it is most likely that your dog will receive a rabies vaccine, unless you advocate differently. Read on...
After the vaccinations, problems can happen acutely, right away, or develop into chronic issues weeks, months or even years later. Acute problems include:
- Facial swelling
- Injection site swelling or lump
- Urticaria (hives)
- Circulatory shock
- Injection site pain
- Pruritus (itching)
- Injection site alopecia (hair loss)
- Loss of consciousness
- Anaphylaxis (which can kill your dog in minutes)
- Ataxia (loss of balance/coordination)
- General signs of pain
- Injection site scab or crust
- Muscle tremor
- Seizures (these can be immediate upon vaccination but can also occur in 7 to 9 days which is when the rabies antibodies develop)
- Tumor at the injection site (this can happen within as little as 72 hours)
- Sudden behavior changes such as aggression, fear or anxiety can also happen acutely, within hours or days of rabies vaccination
- Immune mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA). This disease can also become chronic
(Source: Dogs Naturally)
According to Dr. Jordan, these chronic conditions "can be triggered by the rabies vaccine’s damaging effect on your dog’s immune system and neurological system. The rabies virus itself is a carcinogen. The toxic ingredients in vaccines such as aluminum and mercury can also contribute to cancer and other chronic disease (Source: Dogs Naturally)." Examples of these chronic conditions include:
- Digestive Issues like inflammatory bowel disease
- Seizures and epilepsy
- Food, environment and inhalant allergies
- Skin issues
- Muscle weakness
- Autoimmune diseases (examples include but are not limited to rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, autoimmune thyroiditis
- Metabolic diseases (examples include but are not limited to diabetes, Cushing's disease, Addison's disease, pancreatitis)
Source: Dogs Naturally)
If you were like me, super type A that never missed a vaccine and did whatever my former vet said no matter what, and learning about this for the first time, you are probably very upset and also unfortunately have a sick dog that your vet made sicker.
So What Can you Do?
First, you can get educated like you are doing right now. Always ask questions and make sure you understand why your vet is recommending something and definitely don't accept what they say, because they say so.
Second, since most states require proof of rabies vaccination, you can work with your vet to obtain a rabies vaccination exemption letter. If your vet determine that the vaccine will cause an adverse reaction, then they should provide you with an exemption letter. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, "Some states are also beginning to provide exemptions for vaccination requirements if medically necessary as determined by a veterinarian," which is a big win.
Third, always, always, always request a titer test before giving any vaccine. A titer test is a simple blood test that will measure antibody levels present in your dog and will determine if they are still protected from the disease. I would bet that if they received one vaccine, they are probably set for a very long time, if not their entire lives.