January 29, 2009

Wichita KS Ponders 3 Year Rabies Vaccine Interval

I am wary of cheering too soon when government officials debate the wisdom to align rabies vaccine intervals with current vaccine science; however signs are encouraging for dog and cat owners in Wichita, KS.

The Wichita Eagle reports that area veterinarians were asked for input because the veterinarians, public health officials and other animal care experts on the task force, which met in July, could not reach a consensus on the issue.

A questionnaire prepared with the help of Wichita State University was e-mailed to 124 area veterinarians in November. The results from that survey were "again, all over the place," Johnson said, with veterinarians disagreeing as to whether switching to a three-year rabies vaccine would affect human or canine health.

But 65 percent of responding veterinarians said they would vaccinate on a multi-year basis if permitted to do so.

And 75 percent wanted to be allowed individual discretion as to how often to vaccinate -- while adhering to a rabies compendium established by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians.

The high percentage of veterinarians who are willing to change their practice protocol in the interests of dog and cat health is significant. A similar poll taken in Houston,Texas in 2003 found that only seven percent of veterinarians were willing to align with current knowledge of vaccinology.

Still, one wonders why this is such a difficult decision for veterinarians, public health officials and other animal care experts in Wichita, KS. They are not breaking new ground.

In 2002, all but five states extended the interval for rabies vaccination to three years. Seven of those states offer a medical waiver for sick and senior pets.

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Anonymous said...

the law requires dog owners to take there dog to the vet every year to get a certification that they had their rabies shot is current.

the vets wrote this law, not the city, most certainly not the pet owners.

Bernice said...

My dog a 25lb Jack Russel Terrier was vaccinated on June 03, 2009 on August 08, 2009 we put her to sleep. Every year Nala-our Jack Russel would get her annual vaccination shots. In 2009 I decided to get her the three-year Rabies Vaccines. This was a bad decision. Shortly there after Nala was not her usual energetic self. She became lethargic and groogy. On runs she would breathe heavily. When we took her to the Vet today, they could not find out what was wrong with Nala. Her vitals were poor. Nala was leaking fluids from her anus and has vomiting. The Doctor said Nala’s body was burning up inside as she dehydrated, her heart was racing. We laid Nala to rest at 6:15 p.m. on August 08, 2009

Pamela said...

@Bernice, I am so sorry for your loss. I know you are too distressed to hear this right now, but please don't blame the extended protocol. The 3 year rabies vaccine is the same formula as the 1 year. The only difference is that the 3 year vaccine has been proved by challenge to have a minimum duration of 3 years. The pity of it is that your precious JRT was required to get rabies vaccine again after the initial series.