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Thread: Rabies Vaccination

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post
    And none of us would want to be in the horrible position of having our dog put down after say an accidental bite if we weren't up to date on rabies vaccines.
    Everyone should download a copy of their local municipality rabies/animal control ordinances. I'd venture to bet that nowhere in the U.S. is the above scenario possible.

    My jurisdiction is Cobb County, GA. Interestingly, the EXACT same thing happens to a dog who bites a person whether they are current on rabies vaccination or NOT current. The dog is quarantined for TEN DAYS, and the owner may select from quarantine at the county animal control facility, the owner's veterinary office, or the owner's HOME. If the owner doesn't want to pay for quarantine with their vet, the county will take the dog to their facility. If the animal is small, elderly, or has a medical condition, the person's vet can request that the dog be quarantined at the owner's home, and animal control will likely comply with the request.

    The more serious situation is what happens when a wild animal bites a dog. If you report this to the county, there is a six month quarantine which can also be at the animal control facility, a vet's office, or at home, depending on the situation. "Animals with expired vaccinations are evaluated on a case by case basis." Remember, though, that someone must REPORT this incident to animal control. An owner could report an incident and request that his/her pet be put down, but this is not a requirement if the owner does not agree to euthanizing the pet. The important thing is to know your rights before an incident happens and be prepared to cooperate and stand firm for what you want to do.

    I am quite familiar with all of this because my neighbor's dog (wire fox terrier) bit a person (and bit the person's dog too) so I saw all of this in action. My neighbor immediately took the dog to her vet's office, but the dog was allowed to return home for the quarantine. My neighbor also paid for the bills for treatment for human and dog, and she installed a double fence system in her yard. She was not sued by the bitten person, who was another neighbor.

    My 10, 12 and 15 year old dogs are not current on rabies vacs, and they never will be again. My 4 year old is current, and I MIGHT get one more rabies vac for her when it is due. My 8 year old indoor only cat had two rabies vacs in his life, and he will never be vaccinated again. I feel confident that they are protected for life. (google Dr. Ron Schultz and his duration of immunity studies) Bad reactions are not super common, but they do happen (more for cats than dogs) and vets know this. When my 13 year old (in 2007) was rushed to the ER with IMHA (immune-mediated hemolytic anemia), the first question asked by the admitting vet was "did she have a recent rabies vaccination?"

    Pat

    http://portal.cobbcountyga.gov/index...155&Itemid=490 and you can also google and download a copy of rabies laws for the state of Georgia
    Pat B
    Atlanta, GA

  2. #12
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    And, here is info on CURRENT post-exposure treatment. Don't be fearful to seek this; the "horrible" injections in the abdomen are not the current treatment. Info below is copied from source.

    http://www.sonoma-county.org/shelter/rabies.htm

    How is rabies treated?

    Some people are afraid to seek treatment for exposure to rabies because they have heard about a long series of painful shots in the stomach. Thankfully, that is ancient history!

    "Post-exposure" treatment is administered after a bite or lick from a suspected rabid animal. In the United States, it consists of a series of only five injections in the arm. An injection of anti rabies globulin is also administered at the time of the first treatment. This anti rabies treatment with vaccine and globulin has proven 100% effective if administered within 14 days of exposure. Doctors don't want you to wait that long. Treatment should start as soon as possible.

    Most people do not react adversely to the rabies vaccine, but there may be some swelling, redness or soreness.

    In addition to post exposure treatment, effective "pre-exposure vaccinations" are available to those people who may be at high risk of exposure to rabies. This group includes veterinarians, animal control workers and zoo workers who are frequently exposed to strange animals. Cave explorers (spelunkers) and taxidermists may also be in higher risk situations and wish to consider the benefits of immunization.

    Human pre-exposure immunization against rabies requires only three, relatively painless shots in the arm. Individuals who have undergone pre-exposure immunization require only two additional injections if they are later exposed to rabies.

    You may want to discuss your own risk factors with your doctor or health department to determine whether preventative vaccination makes sense for you.

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/rab...ents-and-drugs
    Pat B
    Atlanta, GA

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinekisses View Post
    I disagree, if you check with your vet office you can find out what diseases are common in your area
    Oops! I should have specified, I live in Canada...where even the urban areas have wildlife
    And I agree 100% with parvo! That's a very scary one to risk.
    Courtney
    Lady (1.5 year old tricolour) & Gracie (4 year old blenheim)
    "Happiness is a warm puppy" - Charles M. Schulz

  4. #14
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    And, finally, when you read on the subject, remember that there is a difference between "unvaccinated animals" (those who have NEVER been vaccinated) and animals who are "not current on vaccinations."

    Years ago when I did exhaustive research on the topic, I clearly recall reading that the statistics show that dogs and cats that had contracted rabies all had NEVER been vaccinated and that no animal has ever contracted rabies if it had been vaccinated at least once as an adult (according to recorded stats). I'm not going to take the time now to try to find that reference, but I think it's very likely that it came from Dr. Ronald Schultz who has done the most research on duration of immunity studies. That made a powerful impression on me.

    Pat
    Pat B
    Atlanta, GA

  5. #15
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    I think there's such huge variation in how any authority deals with a case that it's hard to say what would happen. On reporting a bite -- I think it is unlikely owners report a bite by a wild animal, to a dog, say; but far more likely an owner seeks vet help and the vet reports the bite and the dog could go into 6 month quarantine. I think there's a lot of variation as well in what happens if a dog bites a person depending on the local authority. Over here, a dog can be euthenised due to a bite.

    I agree that there's a big difference between never having a rabies vaccination and having had at least one. I think the current project will show a single vax or possible two over a lifetime is adequate.

    The real difficulty for the dog owner remains that it is so hard and in some areas virtually impossible to find kennels etc that will take dogs not 'up to date' (eg annually!) on (general) vaccinations.

    There's some indication that pet owners in Ireland and the UK will have to start getting rabies vaccinations to travel with pets between these two no-rabies countries as well.

    Personally I would want some firm proof of the length of time a rabies vaccination lasts before I would choose to stop vaccinating every three years, if I were in the US still. I just cannot place rabies in the same basket as other vaccinations, where the decision not to vaccinate really only affects (or not) the health of the individual dog. With rabies, there's the intention to protect the human population as much as the dog, if not more so.

    On core vaccines, I won't vaccinate dogs or cats after age 7 (when they've had puppy series, 1 year booster, then boosters at age 4 and age 7).
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  6. #16
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    I think there's such huge variation in how any authority deals with a case that it's hard to say what would happen.

    ***Agree. This is why I recommended reading and understanding your governing authority's rules and regs on the subject so that you don't have to guess. Don't just assume that something terrible will happen to your pet, esp. if you are aware of the exact laws in your area, and you are not intimidated and are able to remain calm and in control. I am in the deep South with the "good old boys" but our regulations are quite reasonable as are our animal control officials. (I know many of them.) I specifically discussed what would happen to me in my location. Have a hard copy of the local laws in your files for quick reference. I've also had the "what if" discussion with my vet so that I know what support I would have in a worse case situation.

    On reporting a bite -- I think it is unlikely owners report a bite by a wild animal, to a dog, say; but far more likely an owner seeks vet help and the vet reports the bite and the dog could go into 6 month quarantine. I think there's a lot of variation as well in what happens if a dog bites a person depending on the local authority. Over here, a dog can be euthenised due to a bite.

    ***Correct, the vet would be the person to report a bite by a wild animal. Another reason I've had the "what if" discussion, and I've thought about what I'd do in that situation. And I also have procedures in place to minimize the risk. In the US, a dog can absolutely be put down for an attack on a human under the dangerous dog laws. But there is little chance of a dog (that has been vaccinated even if vaccination has "expired") being euthanized for a bite simply in order to test for rabies. And the ten day quarantine is fairly common in the case of a dog biting a human. In my area, a waiver from a vet saying the dog is ill, too old, etc. to risk vaccination is acceptable in lieu of vaccination. So every three years is not mandatory.

    The real difficulty for the dog owner remains that it is so hard and in some areas virtually impossible to find kennels etc that will take dogs not 'up to date' (eg annually!) on (general) vaccinations.

    ***I've personally not had any problems or difficulties in the 15 years since I've stopped annual vaccinations, but I'm in an area with lots of choices (large, metro area).

    Personally I would want some firm proof of the length of time a rabies vaccination lasts before I would choose to stop vaccinating every three years, if I were in the US still. I just cannot place rabies in the same basket as other vaccinations, where the decision not to vaccinate really only affects (or not) the health of the individual dog. With rabies, there's the intention to protect the human population as much as the dog, if not more so.

    ***Read Schultz's duration of immunity studies for firm proof. I am absolutely positive that my dogs are of no danger to any human.

    Pat
    Pat B
    Atlanta, GA

  7. #17
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    Thanks for the thought-provoking responses, Pat . Always of interest.

    You are so well prepared in case of a bite -- I am sure that will inspire some others to think about the issue. I sure never have.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  8. #18
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    I took Pat's advice and looked up the laws and regulations about rabies vaccinations in my area. Here is what I learned. All dogs in my county are required to be licensed and current vaccinated for rabies. They define current as within either the annual does or three year dose. We get a little rabies collar tag when our dog are given the shot and you are required to have it on your dog whenever your dog is out of the house. Personally, I could never image some official stopping people walking dogs the check but that is what the law states. I keep Fletcher's tag in my key ring....loosing it if something ever happened would be a problem.

    From reading these laws I also found out that a dog suspected of coming in contact with rabies can be confined anywhere from 45 days to 6 months. If a current vaccinated dog is suspected of coming in contact there is a confinement period of 45 days.......this confinement is which has some pretty tough requirements may be done in a home, provided the dog will not come in contact with any other animals even other household dogs. A dog would permitted to go in the owners back yard only if inspected and approved but a Health Dept. official If a dog who is NOT current on rabies vaccination is suspected of coming in contact with rabies (or I guess bites someone) they will be under strict confinement which is legally defined as caged in isolation with the only access being indirect feeding, watering and cleaning BY a trained person for a period of 6 months!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This too can be done in the house IF a owner can follow all requirements for building, and maintain a "confinement" cage there are about 7 regulations about double flooring, double wiring included mesh on the outside to prevent any contact....including having a system for feeding, watering and cleaning without moving or coming in direct contact with the dog....oh and you would have to get trained by the Health Dept. on how to do this (get certified). Also you could only do home strict confinement if you have no children, other animals in the home. I would venture to say the Health Dept. does not allow many owner to do home confinement, because the requirements are so strict and numerous.

    I think its always a wobbly line we as parents of dogs and children walk to vaccinate or not and when. Who wants their dog or child to be pumped with unnecessary chemicals....but for me when it comes to rabies vaccine its something my dog will be current on (as defined by my state)
    Melissa
    "If you don't own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life."
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpell009 View Post
    Oops! I should have specified, I live in Canada...where even the urban areas have wildlife
    And I agree 100% with parvo! That's a very scary one to risk.
    Oh-Canada, where the moose reside in your backyard. :P Beautiful country...I couldn't live there it gets too cold for me. I keep trying to convince my hubby we need to live in Arizona.

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