December 13, 2015

Holistic Veterinarians Endorse K-State Rabies Titer Test

Researchers emphasize that testing does not supersede local laws but could open the door to new policies.

A new test panel developed at Kansas State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has garnered the support of a national veterinary organization. The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association has endorsed the lab’s rabies titer test, an antibody test that can measure an animal’s immune response to the rabies virus.

In animals with a history of two or more rabies vaccinations, a titer test measuring 0.5 international units per milliliter or higher would indicate the animal may only need a booster if bitten or exposed to the rabies virus, protecting pets from receiving unnecessary vaccinations, K-State lab officials say.

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H/T: The Rabies Challenge Fund



April 17, 2015

Canine Influenza Outbreak: Keep Your Dogs Safe

Dr. Jean Dodds tells us that limiting exposure to other dogs in public venues is the best way to keep your dogs safe from the canine influenza outbreak.

Cornell University issued a press release on April 12, 2015 that states that the ongoing canine influenza in the Chicago area is due to the H3N2 subtype of canine influenza, not the H3N8 subtype that has been seen in the U.S. previously. This is the first identification of the H3N2 subtype outside of Asia. At this time, it is not known if the currently available H3N8 vaccines will provide any cross-immunity to dogs exposed to the H3N2 subtype. I do stand by my statement that dogs should be restricted from dog-friendly areas and activities until we know more about this outbreak.

March 31, 2015

Rabies Challenge Fund: Five-Year DOI Study Results

It seemed a long uphill climb for the Rabies Challenge Fund in 2005 when it formed a 501(c)3 organization to privately fund a rabies vaccine duration of immunity study.

Rabies vaccine manufacturers would not take on the challenge; a study longer than three years "cost too much." The USDA, the body that regulates animal drugs, would not accept serum-based immunological studies that have demonstrated that rabies vaccine has a much longer duration of immunity than three years.

Rabies vaccine has been demonstrated to have a minimum duration of immunity of
seven years by serology by Dr Ron Schultz, and 4 years for cats and 5 years for dogs
by challenge by Aubert. Aubert’s study shows that the chances of a dog or cat
developing rabies in the United States that has had one rabies vaccination is less than one in eight million, (1:8 million)
Refs: Schultz, Ronald D, Duration of Immunity to Canine Vaccines: What We Know and What We Don’t Know, Proceedings – Canine Infectious Diseases: From Clinics to Molecular Pathogenesis, Ithaca, NY, 1999, 22
Aubert Michel F, The practical significance of rabies antibodies in cats and dogs, Scientific and Technical Revue, 11(3) 735, 1992 Paris, France
For pet owners who had experienced the loss of beloved dogs and cats because of adverse reactions to repeat rabies inoculations, the only solution was to fund the study for ourselves.

And so we have.

Ten years downstream, results are beginning to emerge.
Our conclusion from studies with the initial rabies vaccine is that the immunity conferred by that product, and assessed by the in vitro RFFIT, was excellent for the first three years, then declined during the fourth year, and continued to drop during the fifth. Nevertheless, the dogs that completed the five-year study who were given a second rabies vaccine (even those with rabies antibody titers that dropped below the RFFIT positive level), demonstrated boosted rabies titers, indicating the presence of an active immune memory cell response. The second vaccine group, which is now three years from vaccination, will remain on study for at least two more years.

Read more here.