March 05, 2010

Virginia Approves Rabies Medical Exemption

The State of Virginia legislature has voted unanimously to include in its rabies law an exemption from rabies vaccination for family pets whose health is endangered by it.  A round of applause goes to Virginia Delegate Ken Plum of House District 36 for introducing the legislation.

While the legislation does not state so specifically, Virginia pet owners are advised to have a letter from a licensed veterinarian attesting to the underlying medical condition that precludes rabies vaccination or re-vaccination.

Read it

H/T: Kris Christine, The Rabies Challenge Fund


Pup Lover said...

This is wonderful. Does the law take effect immediately? My last dog passed away from cancer, and though he didn't live long enough with the cancer for it to be an issue, I was always worried the vet would give us a hard time for passing on his vaccinations. For many older pets with immune systems issues, the vaccinations can kill them or at least make them very ill. Most dogs who are over 5 have enough immunity from their previous vaccinations they actually don't need to ever be vaccinated again. Hopefully this is a step in eventually moving to a 5 or 7 year rabies law as well.

Team Crazy Jack Pack said...

They really need to get this passed every where. we also had a dog with cancer and thankfully when he was due to be vaccinated our vet gave us a letter stating that the he was under treatment and could not be vaccinated. We have another dog here who reacted poorly to rabies vaccination and he is due next year again.. I will be fighting for him not to be vaccinated.

Anonymous said...

I am very interested to know if this in fact law now. My geriatric cat who has kidney failure and is on sub q fluids was discharged from his veterinary practice today because the old vet left and the new vet insisted he have a rabies shot which the old vet said would be detremental to his health and I refused.

Pamela said...

Dear Anonymous, this law was passed unanimously in 2010. Here is a pdf file of the text. Perhaps you should fax it to the vet who insisted on giving a sick cat unnecessary vaccination. It's possible he was ignorant of the law. That said, I'd also ask if he has ever bothered to read the manufacturer's label warnings. This drug is to be administered to healthy animals only for efficacy reasons. Even a slight elevation in temperature can thwart its actions. Hope this helps

mary lee said...

This is great news; is the medical exemption form posted somewhere? I'd rather have it in hand when going to the vets because many are not aware of it.

Pamela Picard said...

Contact the sponsor of the law for details on that Mary. Someone in his office can point you in the right direction. Also tell them if you encounter any veterinarian who is unaware of the law.

Delegate Kenneth R. Plum (D) - House District 36

In-session address: Mailing address:
General Assembly Building, Room 401
Capitol Square
Richmond, Virginia 23219
(804) 698-1036


2073 Cobblestone Lane
Reston, Virginia 20191
(703) 758-9733