If you own a dog, it is a part of your family. There are countless ways rabies vaccination can harm your dog – often permanently.
This is not okay!
[Reposted with written permission of Patricia Jordan, DVM, because we want your pet to thrive].
As a holistic veterinarian, our outdated rabies vaccination laws are one of the things that upset me the most. All over the US and in most of Canada, the law requires you to vaccinate your dog against rabies every three years. In most US states, your dog’s first rabies vaccine must be a one year shot, with revaccination every three years after that.
None of these laws acknowledge that the real duration of immunity of rabies vaccines protect for a minimum of 7 years – and probably for the life of the animal.
And neither do many veterinarians in the US who are still vaccinating annually for rabies. This is despite the fact that annual vaccination is NOT recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Guidelines or required by law.
Damage Can Be Immediate Or Months Later
Most conventional vets don’t recognize rabies vaccine damage unless your dog has an instant reaction while he’s still in the clinic.
But the fact is, one little vaccine can cause not only immediate illness, but long term, dangerous, chronic disease that can change your dog’s life forever.
Vaccine reactions are more likely to happen when:
- your dog gets multiple vaccines at once
- small dogs are more likely to suffer from ill effects, because they receive the same dose as big dogs (like humans)
Every Vaccination Increases The Risk
Dog owners often accept the one-year rabies vaccine because it’s cheaper, and because they don’t know two important things:
- The one year rabies vaccine is identical to the three year rabies vaccine, just labeled differently.
- The rabies vaccine can harm your dog in many different ways. Every vaccination increases the risk of an adverse vaccine reaction happening to your dog.
And that’s what I want to tell you about.
In my years of practice I’ve witnessed all of the rabies vaccine reactions I’ve listed below.
Rabies Vaccination Is Not Safe
Most conventional vets will tell you that rabies vaccination is very safe and unlikely to cause any side effects. Holistic vets, myself included, will tell you a very different story. We’ve learned to recognize the shocking damage that rabies vaccination causes in so many pets.
I’ve divided common rabies vaccine reactions into three different categories.
Acute (Early) Problems
Acute reactions can happen immediately or within a few days. Conventional vets are more likely to recognize acute (vs chronic) reactions as being linked to the rabies vaccine.
These acute reactions aren’t limited to the rabies vaccine but can happen with any shots.
- 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 (can be immediate upon vaccination – 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
Chronic Problems from the Rabies Vaccine
Chronic diseases are triggered by the vaccine’s damaging effect on your pet’s immune system and neurological system.
The rabies virus itself is a carcinogen, but the toxic ingredients in vaccines such as aluminum and mercury can contribute to cancer and other chronic disease.
- Fibrocarcinoma at the injection site. A lot of people know about this problem in cats (that’s why vets often vaccinate cats in the tail, so it can easily be amputated) but it’s just as common in dogs. Fibrocarcinoma can appear in places other than the injection site.
- Other cancers, such as spindle cell cancers, mast cell cancers, hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma, lymphoma. Even benign tumors like lipomas, warts and other growths can grow larger or become malignant after vaccination, especially if your dog is taking steroid drugs.
- Chronic digestive issues such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, colitis or chronic diarrhea. Inflammation anywhere in the body, including in the digestive tract, is aggravated by the rabies vaccine.
- Seizures, epilepsy and meningoencephalitis (GME).
- Food, environmental and inhalant allergies. These extremely common allergies are improper immune responses and vaccination can damage your dog’s immune system. The aluminum in vaccines also causes an up-regulation of IgE, which is the allergy immunoglobulin.
- Skin issues. (dermatitis, yeast, alopecia (hair loss), hives, rashes, itchy wrists and ankles (where a lot of dogs chew themselves), abscesses, ear and eye infections and anal gland problems. Skin conditions are never “just skin issues” but a manifestation of deeper underlying disease. (Vaccination can cause allergic reactions because cells in the body called Langerhan cells are constantly scouting for antigen (which the rabies virus is full of). When Langerhan cells detect these foreign invaders (like bacteria or viruses), the body then sends out inflammatory cells to fight off the attacker by creating an allergic reaction).
- Muscle weakness including wasting diseases like degenerative myelopathy and Guillain Barré The rabies vaccine causes a neuro-inflammatory reaction, resulting in degeneration of the tissues.
- Demyelination (common in German Shepherds) – an autoimmune disease.
- Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, autoimmune thyroiditis.
- Metabolic diseases like diabetes, Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease or pancreatitis
Chronic reactions that mimic actual rabies
Often, rabies vaccination can cause the body to mimic the disease it was intended to prevent. Homeopaths call this rabies miasm. Rabies miasm is deep-rooted disease often caused by rabies vaccination but it can also be passed down through generations and cause illness even in unvaccinated dogs (like vaccinations in human mothers and fathers).
Rabies miasm symptoms are very common in dogs. But most veterinarians and dog owners don’t recognize the connection between rabies vaccination and some of these symptoms. You may think it’s cute or funny when your dog chases flies around the house or chases water from the hose. But it’s not really … it’s a common symptom of rabies vaccine damage.
Many of these problems are behavioral because the rabies virus travels to the amygdala of the brain, and so does the virus in the vaccines, causing neurological damage.
- Hypersensitivity of all senses – sensitivity to sound, movement, touch
- Rage, agitation, violence, ferocity, sudden, unprovoked attacks, desire to kill … behaviors you might expect to see in a dog infected with rabies
- Irrational fears, timidity, separation anxiety, suspicious behavior
- Inappropriate responses to water – either extreme fear or great desire. This is known as hydrophobia, which is another term for rabies
- Obsessive/compulsive behaviors – tail chasing, fly biting, chasing light reflected off a window or mirror
- Excessive focal licking or licking of genitalia
- Excessive sexual drive. Chronic humping is seen as a dominance behavior, but more likely a rabies vaccination response
- Unwarranted erections, even in neutered males
- Frequent or spasmodic sneezing, spasms in the jaws, choking, gagging, or coughing when swallowing liquids
- Involuntary urination
- Sensation of flea bites, violent itching with no obvious causation
- Convulsions, especially from the sight of running water or shiny objects
- Aimless wandering and vocalization
- Restlessness, uneasiness, and developing aggressive behavior, especially toward strangers
- Desire to roam away from home for long distances
- Resistance to being restrained, chewing viciously on leashes or anything that confines him (even breaking through glass or bending the bars of a crate)
- Self biting … inflicting severe bite wounds on himself
- Strange cries and hoarse howls (due to partial paralysis of the vocal cords)
- No interest in food or ravenous hunger
- Paralysis of swallowing muscles
- Eyes staring with dilated pupils
- Unable to close the eyes; cornea becomes dry and dull
- Pica – eating inappropriate objects such as wood, stones or his own feces
- Destruction of blankets, towels, clothing
- Convulsive seizures, tied to lunar patterns
- Muscular incoordination
- Inflammation of the heart muscle: irregular rhythm, heart rate too slow or too fast, heart failure
When I became a veterinarian I took an Veterinarian’s Oath to “use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering […] and the advancement of medical knowledge.”
I find the outdated rabies laws to be a breach of the Oath I took and not in keeping with protection of animal health or promotion of public health. I personally see these outdated, unscientific rabies laws as a clear defiance of scientific knowledge and skills. They endanger society by causing derangement of the immune systems of the animals we share our lives with.
All photo credits: Patricia Jordan DVM. Hop on over to her original post.