Friday, September 29, 2023

What Is Rabies Vaccine For Dogs

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Rabies

Bill provides rabies vaccine exemptions for dogs

There is no premortem test or effective treatment for rabies in dogs. Dogs that have sustained a bite from an unknown or unvaccinated animal should be immediately vaccinated and quarantined or euthanized, as recommended .3 Elimination of feral animals or wildlife populations that harbor rabies is not economically feasible, nor is it socially or ecologically acceptable. As such, control through immunization is paramount to protecting dogs.

Bordetella And Canine Parainfluenza

Bordetella and canine parainfluenza virus are two agents associated with a highly contagious cough commonly known as kennel cough, or canine infectious respiratory disease complex .

Diseases from these agents typically resolve on their own but sometimes can lead to pneumonia or more severe respiratory disease. Because Bordetella is so contagious, boarding and doggy day care facilities across the U.S. require your pet to have this vaccine.

Parainfluenza may or may not be included in a combination vaccine with Bordetella or the DAP.

Does My Dog Need A Rabies Vaccine Every Year

I am so glad you asked. Why? Because rabies is a viral disease that is almost always fatal once symptoms appear, and proper vaccination is the best and only way to keep you and your dog safe.

There is no test that can be done on a living person or an animal to tell if they are infected, and there is no treatment that can stop the virus once symptoms occur. As soon as you are able to tell if you or your pet is infected with the virus, it is too late.

Not to mention, if your dog is not up to date on her rabies vaccine and she bites, gets bitten or has a wound of unknown origin that could possibly be a bite, the state law may require that your pet be quarantined or even euthanized to keep other pets and people safe.

Keeping your pets current with their rabies vaccines is absolutely essential and even required by law. Here is what you should know about rabies vaccinations.

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Travel To The United States

If youre travelling to the United States with your dog, you need an up-to-date vaccination certificate signed by your veterinarian to enter the U.S. and return to Canada.

You must wait 30 days after your dog is vaccinated before you can cross the border.

If your dog is less than 4 months old, it wont be admitted into the United States.

In some parts of the U.S., the risk of your pet being exposed to rabies may be higher than in Ontario.

Other pets may have different requirements. Check your destinations requirements and/or speak with your veterinarian before traveling.

Learn more about the rules for bringing a dog into the United States.

What Are Some Other Side Effects Of Rabies Vaccine

Rabies Vaccine for Dogs

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Pain, redness, or swelling where the shot was given.
  • Flu-like signs. These include headache, weakness, fever, shakes, aches, pains, and sweating.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Muscle or joint pain.
  • Dizziness.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at

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Manufacturers Of The Rabies Vaccine For Dogs

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The following rabies vaccines are licensed for use in dogs in the United States:


The vaccines with the number one in the vaccine name means it provides immunity against rabies for one year. Those with the number three in the name provide protection for three years.

The letters TF in the vaccine name indicate that the vaccine is free of thimerosal. Thimerosal is a mercury compound included in vaccines as a preservative to prevent bacterial growth in the product. Studies to date do not show that thimerosal is harmful to dogs when included in vaccines.

Serologic And Cerebrospinal Fluid Testing

The Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory is the Canadian rabies reference laboratory. NML conducts testing on serum and cerebrospinal fluid samples from all provinces and territories in Canada with the exception of Ontario, where serological testing is performed by the Public Health Ontario Laboratory .

Following vaccination, neutralizing antibodies begin to develop within seven days and persist for at least two years. For testing vaccine response, NML uses a modified Fluorescent Antibody Virus Neutralization assay, while PHOL uses a modification of the Rapid Fluorescent-Focus Inhibition Test . Both institutions consider the antibody titre of at least 0.5 IU/mL as an acceptable correlate of protection. Protective antibodies are present immediately after passive vaccination with RabIg and have a half-life of approximately 21 days.

Healthy people

Because of the excellent immune response to rabies vaccine, healthy people immunized with an appropriate regimen do not require routine antibody determinations after either pre-exposure or post-exposure rabies vaccination, unless one of the following applies:

People with ongoing high risk of exposure

  • Continuous risk -serology should be checked every 6 months.
  • Frequent risk – serology should be checked every 2 years.

Others who have less frequent risk of exposure to potentially rabid animals or whose risk is likely to be from a recognized source do not require periodic serologic testing.

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Can I Catch Rabies

Yes, the disease is zoonotic . It is only transmitted by the bite of a rabid animal. The virus is present in the saliva of the infected animal only for a limited time.

“If any animal that may be suspicious for rabies bites you, immediately wash and flush the wound thoroughly with soap and water and seek immediate medical assistance”

In February of 2018 the World Health Organization issued a new rabies vaccination and post-exposure recommendation. Those who have been bitten and have not previously been vaccinated for rabies should receive immunoglobulin promptly, followed by a series of vaccines. Those previously vaccinated do not require immunoglobulin, but will still receive several vaccines again the virus.

How Does It Work

Concern After Dogs Consume Rabies Vaccine Baits

Rabies vaccines contain inactivated pieces of the rabies virus, meaning the vaccine will not cause a dog to develop rabies. Once injected into the dog, the immune system reacts to the foreign rabies virus material by developing antibodies against the virus.

The antibodies will continue to circulate for a period of time and allow the body to remember how to fight off future infections. If a vaccinated dog is exposed to rabies, the immune system will contain the necessary antibodies to fight off the infection before it can cause the dog to become ill.

After a certain amount of time, the body may lose sufficient levels of the antibodies that help the body to battle a rabies infection. This is why it is necessary to re-vaccinate dogs against rabies every 1 to 3 years, depending on their age and the type of vaccine used.

Since rabies is such a deadly disease, if a vaccinated dog is exposed to a potentially rabid animal via a bite, scratch or exposure to nervous system tissue, it is usually recommended for the dog to receive an additional vaccination against rabies.

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Integrated Bite Case Management

If possible, the veterinary services should be alerted, the biting animal identified, removed from the community and either quarantined for observation or submitted for immediate laboratory examination . PEP must be continued during the 10-day observation period or while awaiting laboratory results. Treatment may be discontinued if the animal is proven to be free of rabies. If a suspect animal cannotbe captured and tested, then a full course of PEP should be completed. Joint contact tracing by veterinary and public health services is encouraged to identify additional suspected rabid animals and human bite victims, with the goal to apply preventivemeasures accordingly.

Rabies Vaccination Course For Cats And Dogs

The rabies vaccine protects dogs and cats from developing the disease if they have been exposed to the virus. It is a core vaccine and is mandatory in most countries globally to vaccinate your pets against rabies. Here is the schedule most commonly followed by vets around the world:

  • Dogs Puppies must be around 12 to 16 weeks old to receive the first dose of the rabies vaccine. This is called the primary dose, and the second dose of the vaccine is given within one year of the primary vaccination. Subsequent doses are known as booster doses, and they are given to the pet every year or every three years, depending on the vaccine.
  • Cats Kittens receive their first rabies vaccination when they are 8 to 12 weeks old. The second dose of the vaccine is given within a year of the first dose. Booster doses are then given yearly or once in three years, depending on the vaccine and the manufacturers instructions.

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Whats The Rabies Vaccine For Dogs

The rabies vaccine is an injection designed to keep your dog safe against the rabies virus.

The rabies vaccine will protect the pet by allowing the body to create antibodies against the virus, Dr. Bustamante said. The antibodies will prevent an infection and the disease.

Its legally required in the U.S. because rabies is incredibly fatal.

Each state has their own regulations as to what happens if your pet gets bitten or if your pet bites a person or another pet, Dr. Bustamante said. Most places require proof of vaccination, others require long quarantine, and some states will euthanize unvaccinated pets that bite people.

While that sounds pretty heavy, its worth noting that rabies is super preventable with the vaccine, which is why that shots so important.

Rabies vaccine is very safe and effective at preventing the virus, Dr. Bustamante said. The vaccine can save your pets life.

Administration Of Rabies Vaccination State Laws

Rabies Vaccination Clinic â Beattie Pet Hospital

The following is a compilation of state laws governing the administration of rabies vaccinations to domesticated animals.

Most states specifically regulate the administration of rabies vaccinations to domesticated animals including dogs, cats, and ferrets. Many states allow only licensed veterinarians to administer the vaccine, while others allow veterinary technicians and specifically trained individuals to inoculate these animals.

The required frequency of rabies vaccinations varies from state to state. Some states prescribe a specific interval, while others refer to the label of the vaccine used or the Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control. Some states are also beginning to provide exemptions for vaccination requirements if medically necessary as determined by a veterinarian.

Note that while some states have adopted statewide mandated vaccinations for dogs and cats against rabies, others delegate that decision to local governments such as counties. Some states only include rabies vaccination as a requirement for import into the state.

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Who Should Not Get The Rabies Vaccine Or Should Wait To Get It

  • Tell your healthcare provider if you had a severe allergic reaction to the rabies vaccine or to another vaccine. If you are getting the vaccine before exposure, do not get another dose. After exposure, you need to get all the doses even if you are at risk for an allergic reaction. Your healthcare provider may need to take extra precautions before you get another dose.
  • Tell your provider about all of your allergies. Also tell him or her if you have a disease that affects your immune system or you have cancer. Tell him or her if you are taking medicines that affect your immune system or any cancer treatment drug or radiation. Tell him or her if you are ill. You may need to wait to get the vaccine until you feel better.

Why Rabies Is Dangerous For Dogs And Humans

Rabies is a zoonotic disease, meaning its infectious and transmitted from animals to humans and vice versa. It has high fatality ratesonce symptoms become noticeable, there is almost a 100% chance its going to result in death.

If a dog is bitten by an infected animal, the chances of becoming infected are very high, says registered veterinarian Dr. Corinne Wigfall, BVM BVS, of SpiritDog Training. The infection period can vary, but is usually two to four weeks, and owners are sometimes not aware that their dog has been bitten, increasing the risk of other dogs and people becoming infected also. The main cause of human deaths from rabies is being bitten by dogs.

Wigfall also says that the chance of survival for infected dogs is very low. While there were a few reported cases of dogs that have survived rabies, its hypothesized that its because the amount of rabies virus in the saliva when the dog was bitten was low, which reduced the load of virus transmitted.

In most cases, a dog will die as a result of rabies because there is currently no treatment, according to Dr. Jamie Richardson, BVetMed, who is medical chief of staff at Small Door Veterinary. If rabies is discovered, the dog will be euthanized.

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Preventing Rabies In Dogs

Thankfully, if you vaccinate your dog regularly against rabies, you can protect them. Richardson says to keep in mind that most states require dogs to get rabies vaccines. Your pup should be initially vaccinated between 12 to 16 weeks of age and given boosters at regular intervals. This usually happens every year or every three yearsthe frequency will depend on your state laws.

Additionally, Richardson suggests not allowing your dog to roam off the leash, especially in wooded areas with wild animals. Avoid contact with unknown animals that are alive or dead, especially animals that display unruly behavior or that seem unusually tame, unafraid of humans, or friendly. Feeding your dog indoors and animal-proofing your trash can also help prevent your dog from getting rabies.

When Is The Vaccine Given

FREE rabies vaccine for dogs

Your healthcare provider will tell you how many doses of the vaccine you need. He or she will give you an injection schedule. Plan to get all of the doses on the days they are scheduled, especially the first 2 doses. Do not put off getting the injections or try to schedule them all for the same day. Tell your provider if you think anything may keep you from getting all the doses as scheduled. He or she may be able to help you find ways to stay on schedule. The following is a common dosing schedule:

  • Booster doses may be needed over time if you stay at high risk for rabies. You are at increased risk for rabies if:
  • Your work involves handling animals that can carry rabies.
  • You work in a rabies laboratory.
  • You often go into caves where bats live.
  • You often travel to a country where rabies is common.
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    Why Is The Rabies Vaccination Important Before International Pet Travel

    Pet parents who have moved to a different country with their pet dogs and cats know that one of the first requirements of international pet travel is the rabies vaccination. Cats and dogs must have current and valid rabies vaccination before travelling. International pet import regulations usually differ from country to country, and these rules changes are almost always because of the rabies status of the country of origin.

    Some rabies-free countries such as Australia and New Zealand have strict biosecurity laws to prevent the introduction and spread of rabies in the country. It is therefore more challenging for pet cats and dogs from countries where rabies is prevalent to travel to rabies-free countries.

    Read on to understand all about rabies and why the vaccination is so important before international pet travel.

    Rabies Vaccine For Humans

    Rabies protection for humans is administered under 2 circumstances: before exposure and after exposure .1

    Pre-exposure Prophylaxis. Some veterinarians receive the rabies vaccine as pre-exposure prophylaxis while in veterinary school however, veterinary nurses are often vaccinated only if they work in a rabies-endemic area, in animal control, in wildlife rehabilitation/medicine, or with rabies virus in a laboratory.6 Also, if you are traveling to a country where rabies is widespread, you should consult your doctor about possibly receiving pre-exposure rabies vaccination.

    Postexposure Prophylaxis. Postexposure prophylaxis for those who have never been vaccinated consists of a dose of human rabies immune globulin and a rabies vaccine administered on the day of exposure, followed by vaccine doses on days 3, 7, and 14.7 Those who have been vaccinated or are currently receiving pre-exposure vaccine for rabies should receive only vaccine.6

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    What Is The Difference Between A One

    One-year rabies vaccines have undergone testing to demonstrate that they will produce immunity for a period of at least one year therefore, they are given a one-year label. Three-year rabies vaccines have been shown to produce immunity for at least three years, allowing the manufacturer to use a three-year label.

    In most cases, one-year and three-year rabies vaccines are nearly identical. They differ primarily in the extent of the clinical trials that the manufacturer performed, not the vaccine ingredients. In fact, many veterinary practices only stock three-year rabies vaccines for dogs. This three-year vaccine is valid for one year in dogs that are not vaccinated for rabies, or three years for dogs that are up-to-date on rabies vaccination.

    Learn To Recognize Adverse Reactions

    Nobivac 3 (Rabies Vaccination (50x1 Doses Tray)

    Short-term reactions include vomiting, facial swelling, fever, lethargy, circulatory shock, loss of consciousness and even death. Reactions occurring days or months after vaccination can be difficult to recognize. They include:

    • Fibrocarcinomas at the injection site
    • Pica
    • Behavioral changes

    If you suspect a health or behavior problem may be connected to a vaccine, you may have to convince your vet. Its common to hear it couldnt be the shot or a reaction like that is impossible. Even the drugs manufacturer (to whom you should immediately report the reaction giving them the brand and lot# may deny the connection.

    Insist on seeing the products package insert, viewable on-line or from your vet. Also know that long-term reactions arent usually documented or even studied.

    Note: a vaccine reaction, especially one supported by your vet, may entitle you to compensation for medical expenses from the drug manufacturer.

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