Q&A with Dr. Dodds: I had a dog who had a bad reaction to the Rabies Vaccine and now I am concerned about giving it to my other dogs. What should I do?

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imageQuestion:  I have come to highly respect your opinion and protocol on vaccinations. My problem is I have a 16 month old standard poodle who is due for her one year rabies booster in a few weeks I have decided I don’t want to give it. My 9 year old standard came down with immune-mediated thrombocytopenia at age five. He’s a walking miracle He reacted from a rabies vaccine At that time I was ignorant and listened to the vets. Now I am knowledgeable and educated and can’t make any more mistakes. I am petrified of giving the booster. I can’t let anything happen to her. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Dr Dodds Says:  I understand your concern about the rabies vaccination now due for your 16 month old standard poodle, but the law requires you to give it. There is currently no state that routinely accepts a titer in lieu of the rabies vaccine. The fact that your other standard poodle experienced an adverse reaction to a rabies vaccine (not that uncommon in the breed to have immune-mediated blood disorders that can be triggered by vaccinations) does not provide sufficient justification to obtain a waiver/exemption from your puppy’s second rabies vaccine. Sorry!  If she’s intact, please be sure to give the second rabies booster when she’s not due in estrus or is in estrus.  You could also pre-treat her with the oral homeopathics, Thuja and Lyssin, to help blunt any adverse effects of the rabies vaccine. Telephone the folks at www.naturalrearing.com to obtain these homeopathics.

The only other alternatives you have is to “fly under the radar”, but if you’re caught, she could be quarantined at your expense for up to 6 months, depending upon local ordinances.

Follow Up:  Dear Dr. Dodds, I wanted you to know that after deep soul searching and reading more research on the subject I decided to titer my precious Snowy. My vet was very supportive and deeply respected my opinion. The results won’t be in for a few weeks but I am deeply confident of the fact that they will be fine. The decision is a weight lifted off me and one that I am happy with. Thank you for taking the time to discuss the issue with me.

After the titer test:  Dear Dr.Dodds, I am sorry to bother you…I had inboxed you a while ago regarding rabies booster. I ended up titering my 17 month poodle. Her titer came back .7 anything above .5 is considered protected. My question is I have decided to fly under the radar regarding this but will this number dip below .5 in the future. I fear vaccinating her due to the adverse reactions rabies vaccine can cause and having a white poodle from the same kennel that came down with thrombocytopenia …Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Dr. Dodds Says:  Hello again! Actually, that interpretation is incorrect unless you live overseas or in Hawaii. The titer level considered adequate to protect a person from rabies is 0.1 IU/mL, for all locations except overseas and Hawaii, which require 0.5 IU/mL.

So, your dog’s rabies titer at 0.7 IU/mL is very good.

If you want to re-titer for rabies, I suggest every three years.

W. Jean Dodds, DVM
Hemopet / NutriScan
11561 Salinaz Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92843

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