Senior Dogs and Rabies Shots

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Rabies vaccine is a mandatory vaccine for dogs in almost all countries of the world. This is because at one point of time in human-dog history, the canine was the biggest contributor to this disease to humans. Thanks to continued inoculation, common rabies vectors nowadays constitute skunks, bats, and raccoons. States like California require dog owners to give their first shot when the puppy is four months of age. The second would be given after a year, and any other rabies injection every three years from then on. The question is whether a senior should be given rabies vaccination?

Sick dogs

All vaccinations have some elements of risk involved. These must be weighed against the potential benefits. As rabies is considered a fatal disease, it is essential that you should get your canine immunized against rabies. A few dogs, however, may suffer from adverse reactions from the rabies vaccine.

Many senior dog owners claim that their dogs became sick after the rabies vaccinations were given to them. This is particularly true of dogs which have suffered from many dietary and environmental allergies their whole lives. Most of these problems can be kept under control by judicious use of medicines. Careful control of the dog’s diet is also essential in such regard. It is not uncommon for people to say that their senior dogs were perfectly alright until the time their vaccinations were administered to them. This is a false observation as a dog which has been vaccinated from the same disease from its puppy age will not fall sick when yet another round of rabies vaccination was injected into it.

Rabies Challenge Fund

There have been efforts by some organizations like Rabies Challenge Find to extend the legally needed interval needed for rabies vaccinations. They want the vaccine to be administered every five years, or ideally seven years. If this effort turns out to be successful, then the number of unnecessary vaccinations would get reduced. No wonder, many people have contributed to Rabies Challenge Fund or other similar charities. The fund has already announced that the five-year vaccination is already legally permitted. The seven-year vaccination period is presently undergoing research studies. It means that the existing vaccines inside the body will work much longer than what their manufacturers have suggested. It means dog owners do not need to vaccinate their dogs within a short period of time. It will, however, take time to change state laws to mirror the new development.

You can apply to the local animal control units to get a completely legal exemption from the duty of administering vaccines. Do remember that every state follows a different process, like the veterinarian must submit every year a yearly exemption.