April 27, 2008

2008 Report on Rabies Vaccine Adverse Reactions in Dogs


The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association has just
published a report in its April 1, 2008 issue, Vol. 232, No. 7,

"Postmarketing Surveillance of Rabies Vaccines for Dogs to Evaluate
Safety and Efficacy."

Despite the extreme under-reporting of vaccinal adverse reactions,
this report states on the second page that between April 1, 2004 and
March 31, 2007, the Center for Veterinary Biologics, "nearly 10,000
adverse event reports (all animal species) were received by
manufacturers of rabies vaccines.... ......Approximat ely 65% of the
manufacturer' s reports, involved dogs."

The report further states on the second page that: "Rabies vaccines
are the most common group of biological products identified in
adverse event reports received by the CVB," and they give the
following description of the adverse reaction followed by the % of
dogs affected: Vomiting-28. 1%, Facial Swelling-26. 3%, Injection Site
Swelling or Lump-19.4%, Lethargy-12% , Urticaria-10. 1%, Circulatory
shock-8.3%, Injection site pain-7.4%, Pruritus-7.4% , Injection site
alopecia or hair loss-6.9%, Death-5.5%, Lack of Consciousness- 5.5,
Diarrhea-4.6% , Hypersensitivity (not specified)-4. 6%, Fever-4.1%,
Anaphylaxis- 2.8%, Ataxia-2.8%, Lameness-2.8% , General signs of pain-
2.3%, Hyperactivity- 2.3%, Injection site scab or crust-2.3%, Muscle
tremor-2.3%, Tachycardia- 2.3%, and Thrombocytopenia- 2.3%.

Veterinarians are not required by law to report adverse reactions to
vaccines, to which the World Small Animal Veterinary Association
stated in their 2007 Vaccine Guidelines that there is: "gross under-
reporting of vaccine-associated adverse events which impedes
knowledge of the ongoing safety of these products,"

And in an article entitled, A New Approach to Reporting Medication
and Device Adverse Effects and Product Problems, (JAMA - June 2,
1993. Vol.269, No.21. p.2785) Dr. David Kessler, former head of the
Food & Drug Administration, reported that "only about 1% of serious
events are reported to the FDA."

In light of the 10,000 adverse reactions to the rabies vaccine in the
JAVMA report, 65% of which were in dogs, the estimated 1% reporting
of "serious" events by the former head of the FDA means that the
actual number of dogs that had adverse reactions to the vaccine would
be more like 650,000!!!!!

World Small Animal Veterinary Association 2007 Vaccine Guidelines
http://www.wsava. org/SAC.htm Scroll down to Vaccine Guidelines 2007

A New Approach to Reporting Medication and Device Adverse Effects and
Product Problems
http://www.vaccinat ionnews.com/ Adverse_Reaction s/VAERS/credible _estima
tes.htm Scroll down to David Kessler statement in JAMA - June 2,
1993,vol.269, No.21, p.2785


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! I plan on getting a ferret & cat someday, and this concerns me as the rabies vaccine is required by law. I wonder how I could avoid getting any vaccines for them without getting in trouble.

Pamela said...

Rabies laws vary from village to city to county to state. So you must know the rabies ordinances in your area. Rabies vaccine is not always required on cats or ferrets.

Anonymous said...

All of my dogs have had vaccine reactions. Two go into shock when we do rabies/distemper. One almost died from Thrombocytopenia thanks to Rabies. She was 1 1/2 when that happened. This is ridiculous that the vets are not required to report reactions! It happens daily at every vet!

l's mom said...

just to let you people know it isn't a matter of getting around the law. Keeping up to date on rabies vaccine is critical for your pet's protection as well as yours. As a vet I have had to put to sleep unvaccinated animals that were attacked by raccoons or possums and the wild animal was unavailable for testing and there is no test that can be done to see if your dog contracted the disease except a brain sample. So the options were euthanize these pets and send of their head for testing or let the owners confine their animal or some areas pay for confinement and hope the dog doesn't come down with rabies or transmit it to the family. Rabies vacc reactions are very rare, but death from rabies once you have contracted it is 100% period.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I can understand a rabie shot once in a dogs life to protect everyone, but not to keep repeating the rabie shot. We love our dogs and they love us. I hate to see them get sick and die at a young age when they DO NOT need repeated vaccines of any kind.

Anonymous said...

My cat died from a tumor after her rabies shot!! She was only 5!! I spent $700 to have it removed, but it grew back :( I had to put her to sleep 6 months after the surgury. This was 6 years ago and I am still sad!

Lorraine said...

h my gosh this is horrible, one of my cats has been out for a few weeks,(never been out before) and I've been debating whether to give the shots to my remaining 2 but I've changed my my mind....I believe that all animals have souls, and I once read and have taken comfort in the following: Nothing will happen to you that is not meant to happen (this applies to all souls) I prefer leaving my cat's welfare to higher spiritual beings than to vets

Romilda Gareth said...


Julie Smith said...

As pet parents, it is very important for us to understand why vaccination is essential to keep our fur babies healthy and protected as much as possible. The veterinarian usually determines the supplementary vaccinations, but here is a good article worth checking out if you need valuable information about shot schedules: http://dogsaholic.com/puppies/puppy-shot-schedule.html