Canine Rabies Vaccine

The canine rabies vaccine is administered to dogs to prevent them from susceptibility to rabies. Dogs contract rabies if they're bitten by infected pets such as foxes, bats and coyotes. In order to prevent animal to human transmission of rabies, all dogs should be vaccinated. The regulations for administration of the rabies vaccine vary in individual states. Although pet owners may administer the injection to pets at home, it's best to vaccinate pets at a licensed vet clinic to avoid complications.

Vaccinating Dogs

Although vaccines are highly recommended for pets of all breeds, several pet owners choose not to vaccinate pets due to risks such as vaccine associated sarcomas and side effects. It's important to understand that the risks of the side effects are far smaller than the risk of contracting the disease itself. Due to this, pet owners should administer core vaccines to all dogs.

Core Vaccines for Dogs Include:

  • Distemper vaccine
  • Parvovirus vaccine
  • Adenovirus 2 vaccine
  • Rabies vaccine

Rabies Vaccine Administration

Vaccines are generally initiated at an early age. The rabies vaccine is given to puppies between the ages of 3 to 4 months. Pet owners should talk with their vet about laws specific to the state regarding the canine rabies vaccine. Most states require that the pet is given an annual booster shot. Some pets may also be administered 3 year booster shots. Vaccines are available as modified live vaccines or killed vaccines. Rabies vaccine is generally administered as a killed vaccine. However, since killed vaccines contain adjuvants that increase the risk of developing VAS, it's important to monitor pets post-vaccination. The injection will be administered either subcutaneously or as an intra-dermal shot to ensure it meets the vaccine administration standards.

Adverse Reactions to Rabies Vaccine

Pets may exhibit some symptoms a few days after the vaccine is administered. The symptoms include vomiting, fever and lethargy. If the pet develops unusual symptoms such as facial hives or loss of consciousness, it's best to seek prompt medical care. Pet owners have also reported incidences of behavioral problems, neurological concerns and skin problems. If the symptoms are persistent or worrisome it's best to take the pet for a vet check. If the pet develops a lump or swelling at the injection site for a prolonged period of time, it's necessary to conduct other diagnostic tests to determine the nature of swelling. Since several pet owners come across various adverse reactions associated with vaccination, it's best to discuss with the vet the advantages and disadvantages of administering any specific vaccine to pets. New research is also establishing vaccines that lower the risk of developing sarcomas and side effects.

Tips for Pet Owners

Since rabies isn't a curable condition and leads to death, it's important to take precautions to avoid contracting the disease from animals. Some states require that both cats and dogs be vaccinated to reduce the risk of the disease for dogs and pet owners. The vet may also recommend additional vaccines for pets highly susceptible to other illnesses.

Apart from vaccinations, pet owners should ensure that dogs are kept in hygienic surroundings and away from sick pets. In addition, since respiratory infections are highly contagious in nature, dogs housed at boarding facilities should be vaccinated routinely to ensure strong immunity.