md11, you caught us. Veterinarians take an oath to not give out information so that we can support our "Bill Gates" incomes. What have you been smoking? For the record, my clients appreciate the extra information I give them and I allow them to assist in educated decisions. Others like yourself apparently, only have enough information to be dangerous. Claiming the internet as the great equilizer and claiming that veterinarians and phamaceutical companies are preventing information access are two examples of your ignorance.
Originally Posted by md11pilot
Although vaccine recommendations are individualized, in general I recommend rabies every three years, DA2PP every three years (on opposite years to lessen antigen numbers), and Lepto yearly as it has increased in prevalence in our area. No one can legitimately dispute the rabies and lepto intervals as both are potentially zoonotic, and if you fail to give those at FDA intervals, kiss your license goodbye if you have an outbreak and human exposure. I believe you will find these to be reasonable recommendations based on our current vaccine knowledge. I am not "hooking" anyone and will gladly run titers for any client trying to extend the DA2PP interval.
Lastly, as I had no clue about the Rabies Challenge Fund, I visited their website. I applaud their efforts in extending the duration of immunity studies for rabies. This is important and potentially beneficial research for sure which may reduce those occasional animals who have severe vaccine side effects. Unfortunately the "facts" are still out and anyone who claims otherwise is just voicing another opinion.
Just a question. Do you have yourself and children given "Booster shots" for all the childhood diseases annually? Of course you know there was an outbreak of Small Pox in Africa a couple of years ago.
After almost losing our Boykin Spaniel to Autoimmune hemophhilic anemia our veterinarian agreed that annual boosters would create more problems than they would solve. Since then I only have my dogs vaccinated for rabies, every three years in NC and bordatella if they are boarded.
Prior to that I was one of the "want to do the best for my dog people" and did the annual boosters, etc. Not anymore.
You do what you think is right and I will do the same. No argument here.:-)
MTGR, not directed at you, but a general comment:
Originally Posted by Moosetogooseranch
Under those circumstances you describe (vet has no records of your dog) is that a bad or good thing? Isn't it the responsibility of the owner to provide the proper medical records to a vet who is not familiar with their dog? If you can't supply any vaccination history on the animal, you give the vet no choice but to take a conservative approach.
I think one has to weigh the vaccination risk versus the risk and prevalence of the disease, and not take a blanket approach as some advocate. Is your dog a house pet that just sees the backyard and gets leash-walks down the street, or is it a field trial dog that goes south for 4 months on a winter trip, campaigns in 9 different states and is exposed to a lot of other dogs? Do you live in a Lepto or Lymes hot spot like we have here? (BTW, my dogs have been on the rabies 3 year schedule for years and years.)
Believe me, I'm not a pro-vaccine-no-matter-what fan. I used to own a mare that developed a severe vaccine reaction as an adult horse. Seemingly out of nowhere. We tried all kinds of different approaches (different manufacturers, single vac as opposed to '4-in-1, prophylactic treatment before the shot, etc) and couldn't isolate the issue to be virus/vac/strain/serovar or even drug manufacturer specific.
The first time she reacted, it was bad. The second time (to a completely different shot) it was worse, much worse. While she ended up ok, she was very sick and out of training for months. She was a very talented show horse, that got hauled around to different horseshow venues to compete, and therefore exposed to a lot of different animals and environments. The care treatment plan for her was going to be very different than the horse in the next stall who was a pet and used for local trail rides.
So I saw what a vac reaction can do, and I have an appreciation for what can go wrong. And I can't imagine how traumatic it would be to lose an animal to that. I came close. In my mare's case, she had been on the standard recommended vaccination schedule for the first 3 years of her life with no incident.
Bottom line, get educated, know your dog's history and ask good questions of your vet. Hopefully you and he/she will have a collaborative relationship and come up with a plan that works for the geography, the lifestyle and the individual needs of the dog. If you're not satisfied with that, go elsewhere. But don't rely on internet boards as the sole source of 'truth'. Keep in mind that it's an open forum and a lot of extreme opinions can be presented as fact, with careful editing of 'soundbites' as quotes, including journal articles. And any vet that thinks of vaccines - or the limitation thereof - as a 'practice-buster'...well, c'mon. I think that falls under the "don't indict an entire population due to the conveniently quoted soundbite of one" doctrine.
Arkansas Veterinary Medical Association http://www.arkvetmed.org/new.html
Recommendations for maintaining adequate pre-exposure immunization status: A routine booster every two years is NOT recommended since the newer cell culture vaccines often confer adequate antibody levels for 5 to 8 years and risk of adverse reactions is increased by frequent boosters. The standard pre-exposure recommendation for veterinarians practicing in an area with enzootic rabies is serologic testing every two years with booster vaccination when the antibody titer falls below the acceptable level, i.e. 1:5 by RFFIT.
I'd rather take my chances with a possible rabies vaccine reaction, than my chances with a RABIES reaction. One causes inconvenient vet visits. One is 100% fatal once symptoms start. I make my money determining corporate risk, but even a non-expert should be able to figure out the risk-benefit analysis on this one.
CDC has been issuing frequent notices via ProMed and other outlets to public health professionals about the increase in human rabies. The biggest factor in this is over-urbanization of our society. Used to be, people knew and understood the risks of rabies, and vaccinated. Now, it is all theoretical, cerebral, an item for discussion on some chat board. How many peopl (outside the veterinary profession) have seen a rabid animal? I have, and it is not pleasant. It is an excruciatingly painful disease, that is (I am old, I get to repeat myself) 100% fatal once symptoms start.
Wildlife doesn't go away just because we pave over their habitat. There is considerable urban and suburban wildlife, so plenty of opportunity for rabies to jump from wildlife, to your dog, to YOU. When a rabid animal is discovered, ALL contacts with that animal, human and animal, are tracked down. The humans start post-exposure prophylaxis, and the animals' vaccination status is determined. Unvaccinated animals are euthanized, out-of-hand. This is not a negotiable point. It is a public health matter.
Personally, I do not want to be one of those people who wishes they woulda-coulda-shoulda vaccinated their dogs on the required schedule, but now that the raccoon they killed came back positive for rabies, it's too late to reconsider. Vaccinated pets are the buffer, the shield that stands between us and rabid wildlife. Without vaccinated pets, we stand to see an increase in human cases. Come to think of it, we already are seeing this increase.
I trust my Vet. We have been with the same group since the mid 70's and every animal I have ever owned has gone there. Until last year she did not choose to use the 3 year Rabies vacine because of reactions she had heard and read about. We also choose to do a yearly because of how and where my dogs are hunted. We will now do a 3 year because she is comfortable with it. We do Lymes, Lepto, Bordatella because of what my dogs are exposed to also.
I appreciate everything my Vet does for me and my dogs and believe she has their best interest at heart. I am more concerned of injury while training or hunting than of vacine reaction. Over vacinate...no. But do what will keep them safe and healthy.
Lisa 100% correct!! Let me illustrate an example that happened to me about
1 1/2 yrs ago. When living in Allentown, the apartment comlex was the only one that allowed dogs. There were over 500 dogs on the premises. About a third of these were not vaccinated for rabies & other factors. There was a severe outbreak/occurance of rabies - raccoons in area were affected. They
are bones & food scraps left by the dumpsters. These bones strewed about the ground were assesible to the dogs to chew on. (siliva from raccoons on bones). This was a great concern to the local health dept.
Within a week of the initial outbreak, I was attacked and bitten by a pitbull
a neighbor rescue from a 'fighting ring'. This dog had no vaccination history.
The owners refused to quarantine the dog and moved away in the middle of the night. Four days after being bitten, the doctor sad the 'window' for safety was passed and I needed the series of shots. Well, story short - I got about 1/2 of them. Found I had reactions in the series - breathing and the shots were affecting my heart (had severe MI in 1999). I had a dilemma, to risk the shot with my health on the line or risk death if the dog was rabid - no cure once rabies sets in. Doctors said continue & my personal doctor said no. I was given 1 week to decide. Day I was to start shots again, I received a phone call from the local health dept - the dog that bit me was reported alive and unaffected (14 days after bite). Said shot were optional now, but not sure if I should continue. Agonizing over the decision, I finally decined the further shots. Fortunately the dog was not a carrier of rabies. But the fact remains of the public health concerns. I was told that if ever I am bitten again, esp by wild animals, I will face a major problem. Since I never finished the series, revaccination (series) will pose a greater risk to my health but there will be no choice, I must get the shots.
As Lisa said, the risk to everyone's health & well being (human & dogs) is paramount. No excuses. A vaccinated dog (cat, etc) is the barrier to prevent a outbreak in the human population. Look at the population and death related to rabies before vaccinations were available. Non-vaccinated dogs (rabies & other) is not only jeopardizing humans but the dog population (breeds) as a whole. Charlie
This thread has nothing to do with not vaccinating your dog. It is about how often to vaccinate. If you do your research, you will see that most often there is no need to vaccinate for rabies every year. After doing my own research and asking questions, I completely agree with what this thread is about. I will not get my dog vaccinated every year for rabies, even if I had to in my state.
This is exactly where people go off the rails. If your dog is ever exposed to a rabid animal (and they don't have to be bitten, just in close proximity), and you have not vaccinated according to your state's requirements, your dog will be euthanized. Period.
Originally Posted by Polarsled
I think one other thing people need to be aware of, is that an "adverse reaction" covers a wide gamut of things, from "my dog was sleepy after the shot" to real complicated reactions. With the increased awareness of rabies vaccination on the internet, it's no surprise there are increased reports of vaccine reactions. Poeple are looking for a problem,a nd reporting every post-vaccination red bump as a "reaction".
I am not minimizing those cases where a dog really, truly had a severe reaction to a vaccination. These happen, but do so rarely. The problem with the approaches being advocated on the internet, is that they do not take into consideration the individuality of canine immune systems. This is why states, in deciding Public Health law, set time limits for vaccinations. Better to vaccinate frequently and be sure a majority of the canine population is covered, than to use "by guess and by golly" AKA statistical avearges. Statistical averages were used to develop the every-3-years protocol now common in many states. Some dogs do not maintain immunity beyond 3 years, ergo the 3-year cutoff. And it is irresponsible to draw parallels between human post-vaccination titer levels and canine. They are not even remotely the same, and immune systems work considerably differently between the two species.
People don't always understand what they read on the internet. And many do not run titers on their dogs. They just get the shot and think they are covered for life "because I read it on the internet". This has caused at least 3 rabies outbreaks that were triggered by a canine bridge between rabid wildlife and humans in the past couple of years. People think the "facts" say they don't have to vaccinate. Epidemiology is telling us otherwise. A vaccinated canine (and feline, and equine) population has been the wall protecting humans from rabies for over 40 years. Now, that wall is crumbling. I don't know about you, but I am not at all comfortable with the idea that someone I love may contract rabies and die because someone else did not wish to vaccinate their dogs.
To me, this is not, nor should ever be, relegated to an academic discussion.
Rabies is real.
Are you saying the states are wrong to go to a 3 year vaccination requirement on rabies. I for one am not for over vaccinating a dog just because a small few "may" not stay imune for the 3 years. Most of that reason is the vaccination never took properly in the first place. One reason being most people vaccinate at too early of an age. There is evidence many stay imune for much longer. I agree with my Vet, and my studies, most of this over vaccination comes from corporate greed. I will stay on the 3 year program and if the State allowed us to vaccinate according to Titer's, I would do that also. Without having to get into any type of argument, I think this is one of those subjects that many will not agree upon.