June 15, 2010

Dodds Rebuts Health Department Opposition to CA AB2000

Jean Dodds DVM, one of the world's foremost authorities on pet vaccines, strongly rebuts the California Department of Health opposition to AB2000 bill to exempt sick dogs and cats from mandatory rabies vaccinations.

The CDPH letter of June 8, 2010 makes specious claims regarding the safety of rabies vaccine including their understanding that “there is no scientific evidence that rabies vaccines are associated with severe or a high rate of vaccination reactions.” This statement is false. In addition, the state of California CDPH is mistaken in its other claims as Dr. Dodds clearly points out.

The overall adverse report rate for rabies vaccines was determined to be 8.3 reports/100,000 doses sold.  Adverse events considered possibly related to vaccination included acute hypersensitivity (59%); local reactions (27%); systemic reactions, which refers to short-term lethargy, fever, general pain, anorexia, or behavioral changes, with or without gastrointestinal disturbances starting within 3 days after vaccination (9%); autoimmune disorders (3%); and other (2%).  

While there may be no contraindications listed on the label for canine rabies vaccines, the labeling instructions on vaccine products clearly instruct veterinarians to only vaccinate healthy dogs.   I submit that the dogs for which medically justified exemptions from rabies boosters are sought are not healthy. 

The CDPH “believes that passage of AB 2000 could increase the risk to the public health by allowing dogs to be exempted from current rabies vaccination requirements.”  This statement lacks credibility, as the number of dogs eligible for exemptions statewide would be small and such exemptions require that a primary care veterinarian justify them on a case-by-case basis.  To deny these animals the opportunity to  avoid serious or even fatal adverse events from rabies vaccines just encourages pet owners to break the law to save their pets from harm. They would then join the approximate 50% of pet owners in our State  that fail to vaccinate their dogs at all.  It is those that flaunt the law and never comply that we should seek out, rather than penalizing the few unfortunate pets and owners whose dogs cannot tolerate rabies boosters.  

Read the entire letter

H/T: Jan Rasmusen  Truth4Dogs

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