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How Often Does Rabies Vaccine Need To Be Given

Recommended Rabies Vaccine Schedule For Your Dog

Rabies vaccine clinic in Bath

Each state has its own laws for the required rabies vaccine schedule for dogs.

In most states, the first rabies vaccination is generally given to puppies at or before 16 weeks of age. The second rabies vaccination is given one year after the first vaccine.

Then, your dog will be vaccinated every year or every three years depending on the state law and the vaccine used.

Your veterinarian is your best resource for your states rabies vaccination requirements. The AVMA also maintains a list of state rabies laws.

Efficacy Effectiveness And Immunogenicity

Efficacy and effectiveness

HDCV or PCECV administered at the same time as RabIg and local treatment are highly effective in preventing rabies in exposed individuals. Failures of post-exposure management have occurred, although almost always after deviation from the recommended post-exposure prophylaxis protocol. No post-exposure prophylaxis failures have occurred in Canada or the US.


Pre-exposure immunogenicity

The immunogenicity of PCECV and HDCV for pre-exposure vaccination has been demonstrated in clinical trials. When PCECV was administered according to the recommended immunization schedule, 100% of subjects attained an adequate antibody titre by Day 28 or earlier. Persistence of adequate antibody titres for up to 2 years after immunization with PCECV has been demonstrated. After a three-dose primary series of HDCV, all vaccinees reached an adequate antibody titre. A 10-year follow-up study of subjects who received three doses of HDCV, followed by a booster dose at 1 year, has shown the maintenance of protective antibody up to 5 years in 96.2%. A seroconversion rate of 95.1% was demonstrated in travellers who received three ID injections of HDCV or PCECV, with a booster after 12 months.

Post-exposure immunogenicity

How Should I Collect And Ship The Specimen

Humanely destroy the animal, avoiding damage to the skull and brain. This should be done by a professional such as a veterinarian. Only a veterinarian or other trained professional should remove the head and extract the brain leaving the brain stem intact. Contact the NDDoH Division of Microbiology or the NDSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for further instructions.

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Infiltrating Wounds With Hrig

HRIG must be infiltrated in and around all wounds using as much of the calculated dose as possible.

Any remaining HRIG that cannot safely be infiltrated in and around the wound should be given intramuscularly at a site away from the rabies vaccine injection site. Depending on the volume, this could be in the alternative deltoid, lateral thigh or gluteal muscle.

The HRIG dose should all be given intramuscularly if there is no obvious wound or site to infiltrate for example, for mucous membrane exposures.

If the wounds are severe and the calculated volume of HRIG is not enough to completely infiltrate all wounds , dilute the HRIG in saline to make up an adequate volume to carefully infiltrate all wounds.

Wounds to fingers and hands may be small, especially if the wounds are from bats. Infiltrating these wounds with HRIG is likely to be both technically difficult and painful for the recipient.45 However, because fingers and hands have extensive nerve supply,46-48 it is important to infiltrate as much of the calculated dose of HRIG as possible using either a 25 or 26 gauge needle.

To avoid compartment syndrome, infiltrate the HRIG very gently. It should not cause the adjacent finger tissue to go pale or white. It may be necessary to give a ring block using a local anaesthetic.45

What Is The Rabies Vaccine

Pet Vaccinations

The rabies vaccine is an injection given to help prevent infection from the virus that causes rabies. The rabies virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected animal. Dogs, bats, skunks, coyotes, raccoons, and foxes are examples of animals that can carry rabies. The rabies vaccine can protect you from being infected with the virus. The vaccine can also prevent you from developing rabies even if you get it after you were bitten by an infected animal.

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How Can I Learn More

  • Ask your doctor or other health care provider. They can give you the vaccine package insert or suggest other sources of information.
  • Contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention : call or visit the CDC’s rabies website at

Rabies Vaccine Information Statement. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 10/6/2009

How Long Does A Rabies Shot Last

This is the central question. When should kittens get shots? On average, a kitten can receive his first rabies shot as early as 8-12 weeks of age, although the standard is between 4 and 6 months, and will need a booster to insure immunity a year later. Since reputable cat shelters and animal rescues will vaccinate cats prior to adoption regardless of age, their initial vaccination is less of an issue than maintenance. Scientific understanding of vaccination continues to develop and become more sophisticated.

Even in just the last couple of decades, weve gone from a traditional wisdom that domestic pets should be vaccinated against rabies once a year to a more detailed understanding of the inoculations staying power. Dr. Barchas asserts that rabies boosters can reliably provide immunity for up to three years. Three-year rabies vaccines are common now, and their effectiveness gives owners of exclusively indoor cats a bit more leeway.

If you cat spends any amount of time outdoors, there is no doubt about the necessity of keeping their core vaccines up to date. If your cats motions are restricted to the interior dimensions of your apartment or house, and there are no state or local laws in your area mandating regular vaccination for cats, then the frequency of boosters should be a topic you discuss with your cats veterinarian.

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Transmission Of Rabies And Lyssaviruses

Humans can be exposed by:63

  • an animal scratch or bite that has broken the skin
  • direct contact of the virus with the mucosal surface of a person, such as nose, eye or mouth
  • tissue or organ transplantation from donors who died with undiagnosed rabies

It is rare for people to acquire rabies if:

  • an animal scratches them
  • an animal licks an open wound
  • animal saliva contacts intact mucous membranes

Aerosol transmission has never been well documented in the natural environment.64

Transmission of rabies virus to humans through unpasteurised milk may be possible. However, rare reports of transmission by this route have not been confirmed.65

How Is Rabies Transmitted

Microbiology 514 a Anti Rabies Vaccine Immuno Prophylaxis Dog bite Treatment Virus Non Neural Essen

Weve too long underestimated the threat that rabies poses to cats. There are more laws governing the need for rabies in dogs, the domestic animals most often associated with the virus. Cats seem more innocuous, perhaps due to their size, and are thus given freer reign in outdoor situations. Both of these are risk factors. A single bite from infected wildlife can transmit the disease.

The animals that pose the greatest threat for infecting a cat with rabies are bats, foxes, raccoons, and skunks. Rabies transmission is achieved when the saliva of an infected creature enters the bloodstream. This typically happens in altercations when a cat is bitten. Given the self-grooming habits of all animals, it is less likely but possible for rabies to be transmitted through a particularly violent scratch wound. The incubation period of a rabies infection whether it is furious or paralytic in nature is very fast.

Depending on the distance from the bite site to the brain, where it is free to wreak havoc on the nervous system, symptoms and signs of rabies in cats can take as little as a week to manifest. No matter how unlikely your cat is to encounter a woodland or urban carrier, a cat with an up-to-date rabies vaccination stands the best chance of survival.

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Exemptions To Rabies Vaccination

  • In locations that require dogs to be vaccinated against rabies, can a licensed veterinarian exempt the requirement to administer a rabies vaccine if the patient is sick or there is a risk that doing so may result in an adverse reaction or otherwise cause injury to the patient?
  • Point-of-care exemptions of the rabies vaccination requirement are NOT authorized in most states .

    Within states and jurisdictions that require rabies vaccination of dogs, unless rabies vaccination exemption authority is specifically defined by state statute or regulation, rabies vaccine must be administered at the appropriate interval regardless of the dogs age or state of health.

    Currently a small number of states do grant point-of-care rabies vaccination exemption authority to veterinarians. Some states/jurisdictions allow exemptions but only with the approval of a designated Public Health official . Exemptions may be allowed in the event an individual dog is determined to be sufciently ill or if rabies vaccination poses a potential threat to life. Physical examination and medical record documentation of the illness is likely to be required it is the responsibility of the owner and the veterinarian to ensure the dog is revaccinated when or if the underlying medical condition resolves.

    NOTE: Among cases in which a rabies vaccination exemption has been approved and is in effect, the exempted dog/cat will not be considered currently vaccinated if the rabies booster interval has been exceeded.

    Just Get Them Vaccinated Its Not Worth The Risk

    Maybe youre hesitant about getting your dog vaccinated. If you arent going to do it to protect yourself or your dog, at least do it to protect others. Diseases among our pets and each other is a serious public health issue thats why rabies shots are state law!

    Rabies in particular can not only be transferred from animal to animal but from animal to human. Vaccinating your dog against rabies will protect you, your dog, and other creatures .

    If you arent sure if your dog has had any of these vaccines already, your veterinarian can perform a titer test to see if they need revaccination. This is an antibody blood test that can detect whether or not a vaccine is still protecting your dogs immune system.

    Pet owners who want to learn more about these vaccines and their pets wellness should contact their DVM with any questions. Dont forget to set reminders on your calendar to keep up-to-date with your pets vaccine schedule!

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    Interchangeability Of Rabies Vaccines

    It is preferable to use the same brand of vaccine for the entire course. However, a course of pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis can be completed with an alternative rabies cell culturederived vaccine if necessary, if the vaccine is endorsed by the World Health Organization .

    Various international vaccine advisory groups state that rabies cell culturederived vaccines are interchangeable. This is supported by similarities in:

    • tissue culture vaccine production methods
    • antibody responses
    • adverse reactions after vaccination

    A study specifically assessed the interchangeability of human diploid cell vaccine and purified chick embryo cell vaccine. 165 people were randomised to receive rabies pre-exposure prophylaxis using either human diploid cell vaccine or purified chick embryo cell vaccine.49 Each group received 1 or 2 booster doses of purified chick embryo cell vaccine 1 year after the pre-exposure prophylaxis doses. The booster dose resulted in an anamnestic response in all participants by day 7. This happened regardless of the vaccine that was used for the primary course. It is expected that this response would be similar with other rabies cell culturederived vaccines.

    There are no absolute contraindications to use of either rabies vaccine or human rabies immunoglobulin as post-exposure prophylaxis in people who have potentially been exposed to rabies virus or other lyssaviruses. This is because rabies is almost always lethal.

    How To Avoid Animal Bites

    Dog Word of the Day: Booster Shot

    Teach your child how to avoid animal bites. If approached by an animal that may attack:

    • Never scream and run.
    • Stand very still with hands at your sides. Avoid eye contact with the dog.
    • Once the animal loses interest in you, slowly back away until it is out of sight.
    • If the animal does attack, give it your jacket or put something between you and the animal, like a book bag.
    • If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and do not move. Play dead and try not to scream or move.
    • Never tease or chase an animal or pull its ears, tail or paws, even if you know the animal.
    • Always walk away if an animal is growling or starts to growl when approached. Never run!
    • Do not bother an animal while it is eating.
    • Do not eat or carry food when a strange animal is nearby.
    • Never try to pet or catch a wild animal.
    • Do not go near stray animals or animals you do not know.

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    The Big Scam: Rabies Vaccination

    I would like to give you, the reader, the truth about the so called required vaccinations, particularly rabies. There are two basic forms of law. One is the legal Constitutional and Common law that this country was founded on, and the other is colorable law passed by Administrative agencies/bureaucrats who have been given so called authority to pass laws. Blacks Law Dictionary 5th Edition defines colorable law as That which is in appearance only, and not in reality, what purports to be, hence counterfeit, feigned, having the appearance of truth. Yes, I study the law, am a paralegal, and have an extensive law library.

    So any and all mandatory rabies vaccination programs are colorable law, in that they have been passed and mandated upon the pet owning public by certain vested interest groups. Who are these groups? First and foremost are veterinarians, in general, and veterinarian medical organizations. Second are the local animal control personnel, bureaucrats and politicians. What are their reasons? GREED, POWER AND CONTROL. Both these large powerful interest groups stand to benefit greatly by having rabies mandated by colorable law.

    Well reader, it is your choice. I can only hope to stimulate you to look and go further. You dont have to take this suppression. Fight back. The only thing you have to lose is your freedom and you have already lost a great deal of it. I can fight with you but I cant do it alone.


    My Pet May Have Rabies

    If you suspect your pet already has rabies:

    • put your pet in a quiet, dark area by itself
    • call your veterinarian right away.
    • keep your pet away from people or other animals
    • if your pet has bitten you or another person, call your local public health unit

    If you suspect your pethas come into contact with a rabid animal, call your local veterinarian.

    He or she will ask for information to help determine if your pet may have been exposed.

    Your veterinarian may vaccinate your pet within 7 days if:

    • he or she finds that your pet may have been exposed to rabies
    • the animal your pet was exposed to cant be found and tested for rabies
    • tests show the animal your pet was exposed to does have rabies

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    Vaccine And Immunoglobulin Information

    2 inactivated rabies cell culturederived vaccines are available in Australia.

    Rabies vaccine is effective when used for pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis for rabies.13,51 Although data on the effectiveness of rabies vaccine as prophylaxis against other lyssaviruses are limited, the available animal data and clinical experience support its use.37,39,82-86

    A 3-dose intramuscular pre-exposure prophylaxis regimen has superior performance to a 3-dose intradermal regimen with respect to the magnitude of primary antibody response.87-90 However, studies demonstrate that short-term and long-term anamnestic response following standard IDpre-exposure prophylaxis is similar to that following IM exposure, provided that the ID doses are delivered correctly. A booster dose administered up to 1 year following an accelerated pre-exposure schedule will also produce an effective anamnestic response by day 714.91

    The immunogenicity of the 2 rabies vaccines registered and marketed in Australia Rabipur and Mérieux has been assessed in individuals who have potentially been exposed to rabies and in healthy volunteers. In the majority of studies, 100% of study participants had geometric mean titres above 0.5 IU/mL by day 14. In all studies that assessed antibody response at day 30, after receiving 4 doses of the rabies vaccine, 100% of participants had GMTs > 0.5 IU/mL.19-21,25

    How Can I Protect Myself From Rabies

    Rabies Vaccine & Tag
    • Vaccinate your domestic dog, cat, or ferret . For more information on each state’s vaccination laws, please see the American Veterinary Medical Association website.

    • Avoid contact with wild or stray animals, and domestic/wild hybrid animals.

    • Do not touch dead animals.

    • Keep wild animals out of homes, workplaces and other dwellings.

    • Report stray, sick, and injured animals to local animal control authorities or law enforcement officials.

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    How Frequently Does My Pet Need To Be Vaccinated

    While some rabies vaccinations are licensed for one year, others are labeled for three years, but some states require annual vaccination regardless of labeling. Your veterinarian will know your states laws and keep your pet on the appropriate vaccination schedule.

    Whether your pet only needs a rabies vaccination every three years or not, you should still schedule annual wellness visits for your furry friend. Regular wellness exams are the most important preventive measure that you can provide for your pet, and vaccinations are just one component of a wellness visit. Since pets dont always show signs of early disease, annual or biannual exams are vital for keeping your pet in optimal health, regardless of how often vaccinations are administered.

    Vaccination Schedule For Horses

    Many combination vaccines are available, with protection against multiple diseases, to minimize the number of injections given.

    Potomac Horse Fever: semi-annually to annually Strangles: semi-annually to annually
    Strangles: 2-dose or 3-dose series
    Broodmare Booster Series West Nile Virus: annually, 4-6 weeks pre-partum Rabies: annually, pre-partum or pre-breeding Influenza: semi-annually, with one dose given 4-6 weeks pre-partum Potomac Horse Fever: semi-annually, with one dose given 4-6 weeks pre-partum Strangles: semi-annually, with one dose given 4-6 weeks pre-partum
    Broodmare Primary Vaccinations West Nile Virus: Not recommended unless high risk. Rabies: single dose, pre-partum or pre-breeding
    West Nile Virus: 2-dose or 3-dose series Rabies: single dose or 2-dose series

    Prepared using vaccination guidelines developed by the American Association of Equine Practioners Infectious Disease Committee, 2008.

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