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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Rabies shots. Yearly or every three years?

A question came up at work today about rabies vaccines. They always used to be annually everywhere, as far as I know, but now they say its necessary only every three years. From what I understand, and I could be wrong (I was wrong once back in 1980)the every-three-year variety is actually the same dose as what is given annually.

Some people think that doing it every year is bad for animals, especially older ones. Adrienne, I think you mentioned this in a previous topic. Can you refresh my memory?

I know that the thinking on keeping in annually is that it's easier to remember and it's better for getting those fools who give ONLY that amount of care to their pets to make sure they do it.

Also, I thought Tennessee mandated that it be given annually, but someone here at work did several online searches, even on the state Web site and couldn't find a definitive answer. Does anyone know if you can choose to go every three years?

Skeeter and Adrienne, what are the rules in your states? Anyone know more about the truth in the belief that annual shots are not good for pets?

posted by Sandy at 7/10/2007 04:55:00 PM


Blogger Stacey said...

Okay, you asked for it. Here it is straight from the Tennessee Code Annotated:

68-8-103. Vaccination of animals — Certificate and tags — Frequency. —

(a) It is unlawful for any person to own, keep or harbor any dog or cat six (6) months of age or older that has not been vaccinated against rabies as required by this chapter, or the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter.

(b) Dogs and cats may be vaccinated as early as three (3) months of age or at an age as specified by the vaccine's United States department of agriculture (USDA) license, but will be considered as noncompliant with this section if over six (6) months of age.

(c) Ferrets, certain livestock, hybrid animals and other animals may be vaccinated for rabies if a vaccine is legally available for that species. Routine rabies vaccination of animals other than dogs or cats is not required unless deemed necessary by the commissioner or by emergency rules of the department.

(d) All rabies vaccinations of dogs and cats as required by this chapter shall be administered only by or under the supervision of a veterinarian.

(e) Evidence of such vaccination shall consist of a certificate that contains the owner's name and address, date of vaccination, date the dog or cat should be revaccinated, description and sex of the dog or cat vaccinated, number of the vaccination tag issued when applicable, manufacturer and lot number of vaccine administered, and the name and signature of the supervising veterinarian. If the vaccination is given at an animal control facility or shelter, then the certificate shall contain the name and signature of the person administering the vaccine as well as that of the supervising veterinarian.

(f) The vaccination certificate shall be prepared in one (1) of the following manners, unless otherwise provided for by rule:

(1) Paper forms in triplicate; the original shall be given to the owner, the first copy provided to and retained by the department, and the veterinarian administering or supervising the administration of the vaccine shall retain the second copy; or

(2) Computer printout or electronic format, such that the owner, the department and the veterinarian administering the vaccine obtain a copy of the information provided for in subsection (e).

(g) The rabies certificate form and rabies tags shall be provided by the department.

(h) A licensed veterinarian may provide and use an alternative tag and certificate providing that the requirements in subsections (e) and (f) are met.

***************(i) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require more frequent rabies vaccinations or a greater number of rabies vaccinations than are required by the rabies compendium.****

[Acts 2004, ch. 765, § 1.]

So, the state does not regulate other than what the "compendium" says. What the hell is the compendium, you ask??? Well, here it is:

“Compendium or rabies compendium” means the most recent issue of the national “Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control” published by the Association of State Public Health Veterinarians.

[Acts 2004, ch. 765, § 1.]

So, now I just need to find this document from the Association of whatever it says up there and we should have your answer. Let me go hunt some more. I'll be back.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007 7:01:00 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Here it is.

Basically, from what I can tell, it depends on the vaccine. There is a HUGE chart with all the different vaccines and the recommended boosters for them. They range from once a year to once every three years.

It seems to me based on what else I found in TN Code that it is really the law of the county that takes precedent. Read this:

68-8-105. Exempt programs. —

(a) Any county or municipality maintaining a program for the control of rabies shall be exempt from the operation of this chapter so long as such rabies program meets the minimum requirements of this chapter.

(b) This chapter shall not apply to any county that now has or hereafter may enact private laws governing the control of rabies in that county, that meet the minimum requirements of this chapter.

[Acts 2004, ch. 765, § 1.]

The minimum requirements of this chapter goes back to that damn compendium. So, as long as they require vaccinations to the minimum of the compendium's guidelines, then they meet requirements. Yes?

In other words, Sandy, it doesn't really look like there is a state law as such, but it goes back to the vaccine recommendations and to the individual counties if they enact more strict regulations.

Please, someone correct me if you can make better sense of all this!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007 7:15:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

In Virginia you can give the 3 year rabies vaccine. But only after your pet has received a 1 year. They consider it a booster. However counties can say that your pet is required to have it yearly. In most cases you can get around it b/c state law can usually over rule county.

I give only the 3 year vaccine and when my pets get to a certain age I don't vacinate them at all. We have lost 2 pets to lymphoma and after doing a lot of research, we discovered that prolonged use of some vaccines can cause cancer. I would have to get the list from my mom to tell which ones. What we learned was that just like humans a pet that has been vacinated properly through out there life builds up an amunity. Our vet in CO was very active with natural remedies. She never gave us un-necessary meds or vaccines. Here every vet wants you to give your pets all kinds of things that I have never heard of and certain ones that I find un-necessary. One is Lipto. Which we found out the hard way that Stella is alergic to. Her nose swelled up and her ears too. We had to take her to the ER vet. She was almost not breathing when we got there. I now have to find the combo shot without it for her, but some vets still insist that she get it. AGGG!

This is the last year that Stella will be getting her shots. Mattie will only be getting hers for 2 more years as well. When you live in an area for a number of years and you have always vacinated your pets, you know they are not going to get parvo. So why would you continue to give it to them when it could make them sick in the long term? I also will not vaccinate against kennel cough unless I plan to board them. Since I will never do that, it's not something I will put in their bodies without cause.

In my county we have an ordience for improper confimement of animals which includes animals confined in a vehicle when it's hotter than 70 outside as well as tieing an animal. It falls under our abandoned, neglected or cruelly treated animals.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007 9:40:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Stacy, you're hired. Not only are you our event planner, I've also made you our official researcher. That is why I posed the question, because the person here who was researching couldn't find a definate answer. So I assume now that it's the county who says yearly.

Adrienne, what is Lipto? I have to check what exact vaccines I get on my annual visit, but I know we don't get kennel cough vaccine, because of the reasons you stated. I don't think we get Parvo either. Puppies need that early, but I don't think later.

I feel really ignorant and should be more aware, especially since Zoe is about 10 and Peanut 8. Scooter is only about 5, but since he's my cross to bear, he'll probably live to 20! My vet told me not to give him frontline or any of that stuff because of his seizures and to use mild, natural cleaning products, so I got some of Don Imus's Greening the Cleaning products.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007 10:53:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Sorry Sandy I spelled it wrong. It's Lepto.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease spread in the urine of wild and domestic animals and capable of causing illness in humans as well as dogs. Several species of the bacteria produce disease in dogs. Symptoms include lethargy, kidney inflammation, low-grade fever, vomiting, reddening of the mucous membranes and conjunctiva, and blood clotting abnormalities. A more generalized form of the disease can cause elevated liver enzymes, jaundice, pneumonia, and intestinal inflammation. Chronic kidney problems can result.

Antibiotic therapy is effective in fighting the bacterial invasion and supportive nursing (replenishment of fluids, administration of diuretics to flush the kidneys and prevent kidney failure, blood transfusions if necessary) is required.

Lepto vaccines, however, are not recommended unless there is a disease problem in the area. The vaccines help lessen the severity of the disease but do not prevent it and may not be effective for more than six months. Furthermore, puppies and small dogs can have adverse reactions to the vaccines. Therefore, many veterinarians do not recommend inoculation against leptospirosis. However, if a lepto outbreak occurs and veterinarians do recommend vaccination, dogs should be inoculated against all four strains of the disease unless the particular strain is identified.

Since typically it's puppies and small dogs that usually have adverse reactions, we didn't think Stella would be the one to have the reaction. Mattie and Oscar were fine thankfully. The vet in Alexandria was adiment that they receive it, but here in Leesburg it's not as much of a concern.

Personally, I would no longer vaccinate Zoe any longer because of her age. But that is something for you and your vet to decide. I stop at age 9.

Another natural cleaning product that I like is Method. The sell it at Target and I think Walmart too.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

In addition:(From the Dog Owner's Guide: Vaccinations )

Research shows that vaccines have a longer term of effectiveness against disease than previously thought, and some veterinary colleges have published alternative vaccination protocols that suggest three-year intervals after the initial shots and a 12-month booster.

Some veterinarians go further; they divide vaccinations into two groups according to the prevalence of the disease in their area and recommend skipping vaccinations altogether for older animals that seldom leave home and for pets with already-compromised immune systems.

According to the AVMA policy statement approved in 2001, the annual revaccination recommendation found on many vaccine labels is based on historical precedent and US Department of Agriculture regulation, not on scientific data, and in cases where data has been provided, there are still questions about the duration of immunity provided by the injection.

Furthermore, there is evidence that some vaccines provide immunity for more than one year and that annual boosters may subject the dog to events such as suppression of the immune system, development of autoimmune disorders, or vaccine-site infections.

The AAHA recommendations approved in 2003 echo the same concerns about too-frequent vaccination and encourage owners to work with their veterinarians to devise a health program that takes into account the diseases that are a problem in the pet's environment.

Vaccines come in two types: killed virus or bacterin and modified live virus or bacterin. The killed vaccines are mixed with an adjuvant to boost the effectiveness, and various adjuvants are suspected of causing problems. Killed vaccines are more stable, but they require more injections to immunize the pet and are more likely to cause allergic reactions ranging from low-grade fever or muscle aches to hives, facial swelling, or even vomiting and diarrhea. In rare cases, a pet may collapse within a few minutes of the injection from a severe anaphylactic reaction, but most reactions take a day or more to manifest.

Modified live vaccines work more quickly and for longer periods, are less expensive, and require only a single dose to be effective. However, they should not be used in sick animals and may cause suppression of the immune system in susceptible animals or abortions in pregnant bitches.

If veterinarians follow new protocols for vaccination intervals or owners and their veterinarians decide that particular pets don't need or should not receive annual vaccinations, the veterinarian should provide a statement to show at grooming shops, boarding kennels, or training schools.

Homeopathic nosodes have been used as a vaccine substitute and credited with preventing these diseases, but there are no studies that support their use on a broad scale and no quality assurance in their production.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007 11:56:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

The info I found with a quick search here in GA is;

By: GA Rabies Control Management
Vaccines used in state and local rabies control programs should have a 3-year duration of immunity… They also recommend calling animal control to pick up any strays in the area because they could be infected with a disease…

Our girls get a Rabies shot once every three years.
They also get yearly shots for Feline Leukemia and Distemper

They are indoor only cats and are never around other animals (but neighbors dogs which come to visit) and probably don’t need those shots. But with us living in the country and with all the wildlife that comes into our yard, I fear that we may somehow infect our babies through our shoes or clothes or something. Don’t know if that is possible but I really do need to research this and make sure that my girls do indeed need the yearly Leukemia and Distemper shots. Now that I am finding out that over immunization can harm them, I think this is worth a bit of research…

Wednesday, July 11, 2007 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

Our girls were all spayed and vacinated when they were old enough but----we no longer give them the annual rabies shots. Our vet as well was two others said it was best not to when they got older. They are all total inside cats and have no interaction with any pets outside of our daughters dog and two cats. They also are spayed, total inside and have had all initial shots and vacines needed.
Skeeter, I have been told by reliable vets to NOT give healthy cats (aftter thie initial dose )a leukemia shots so we do not do that either. We just want to keep our girls safe.

Thursday, July 12, 2007 9:34:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Thanks Pam, I will research this one a bit....

Friday, July 13, 2007 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

I am glad that someone mentioned this in Letters to the Editor in today’s (July14) Leaf! Reading the comments tells me that some people are now getting an education on the 3-year rabies vaccine! Conversation is the first step to getting things updated in a slow moving but fast growing community like Clarksville…

Saturday, July 14, 2007 10:03:00 AM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.

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