June 09, 2011

Veterinarians Warned About Off Label Use of Rabies Vaccine


It looks like some veterinarians are doubling down on the risk of adverse reaction from puppy and kitten shots or annual booster shots.

The Iowa VMA, acting on a member's concern, posted a precaution in its March 14 Communique regarding the off-label use of rabies vaccine as a diluent to reconstitute either canine or feline distemper combination vaccines. The state association warned that this is not an approved use of the rabies vaccine unless it is specifically directed by the manufacturer, and that practitioners should seek advice from the technical services department of their vaccine manufacturer before using rabies vaccine as a diluent for any other vaccine.
 Word of the notice reached the Center for Veterinary Biologics of the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which then issued its own statement in late April to further clarify the issue.
Groups issue warnings on improper vaccine use 
It is widely believed that combination shots should be avoided altogether because of their implication in adverse reactions after they are administered to family pets. The combination feline and distemper vaccine, CONTINUUM™ DAP-R is presented in a desiccated form with rabies diluent provided for reconstitution. This misuse can thwart the efficacy of the other vaccines in the mix. The net effect for your pet is higher risk of vaccine-related issues, less or no protection.

Insult meet injury..

Oversight by the federal government and leading professional associations on off-label use of rabies vaccine is heartening.

[dil′o̅o̅·ənt, dil′yo̅o̅·ənt]
Etymology: L, diluere, to wash
a substance, generally a fluid, that makes a solution or mixture less concentrated, less viscous, or more liquid

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