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Rabies vaccinations
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Tom A    Posted 02-05-2002 at 06:16:00       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hey all, story in our local paper this morning got me wondering about rabies vaccinations. A nearby horse just died from rabies. They're recommending everybody with horses, sheep, cattle etc get all their animals vaccinated. All my dogs and cats are up to date, but not my hoofed critters.

So, my question is: why is it required that a vet give rabies vaccinations? Seems like rabies is the only vaccine an owner can't give yourself--how come? Or am I wrong, and it is possible to get rabies vaccine?


Ole Cuss    Posted 02-05-2002 at 15:35:33       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Some rabies shots are effective only if delivered into the muscle, while others can be given into the muscle or under the skin. Not all rabies shots are created equal; different manufacturing processes account for biological differences between brands, although all brands will protect. Also, a vaccine manufacturer must test to satisfy the govt. that its vaccine is effective when given by a particular mode (muscle or under skin) as well as which species it has been shown to protect; the use directions on the label must thus be limited to what they can prove by testing. For instance, some brands of rabies vaccine protect only dog and cats, and shold not be given to horses; you can't always rely on a laymen to pay attention to such details. People are notorious for not reading directions, and any improperly administered vaccine may not result in the animal's developing a protective immune response. Laymen are not always reliable in handling a vaccine properly (keeping it refrigerated, shaking the vial before sucking out the dose, paying attention to expiration dates, sucking out the correct dose), and a failure in correct handling can decrease vaccine potency and lead to poor or failed immune response. I know of many clients who are intelligent and excellent at administering injections, but when there is a disease like rabies is involved, the conventional wisdom is to leave it to Dr. Dolittle who is trained in all these details and caveats regarding vaccine use. I feel that in the state of Maryland, where rabies continues to be an ongoing endemic problem, it is very important to vaccinate dogs, cats, and horses. Cows and sheep are important to protect as well, but with large herds, many farmers consider it not cost-effective and don't do it. Horses and cattle should be revaccinated yearly. At present, there are rabies vaccines available to protect humans, dogs, cats, ferrets, cattle, sheep, and horses. A rabies vaccine should never be given to a species on which it was not tested and found effective, and NEVER given to a wild animal; in either case, it can actually cause the disease to develop instead of protecting against it. Sorry for the length: it's a complex topic and I don't like giving half-a$$ed answers. Email me for more info or with questions.

bob    Posted 02-05-2002 at 17:20:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
also talked with my vet today like old cuss said horses and cattle require different vacine INGRAM I THINK the reason in Iowa they have to do vacine is because they have to sign certifcate and turn in to state horses and cattle not so he said i could but vacine for them and shoot them myself . he also said they work if done right like old cuss mentioned

PCC-AL    Posted 02-05-2002 at 10:05:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi Tom,
My guess is for a more accurate record of the animals that have been vacinated. Since rabies is fatal to humans with no cure once contacted, it is extremely important to know vacination history of an animal in case of exposure to humans. BTW, I work next door to a self-styled Batman. He is in the business of ridding houses of bats. Very weird guy who takes rabies shots and rides around in cars with Batman printed on them.

Dave M    Posted 02-05-2002 at 07:41:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have dogs in New York State. Rabies is the only vaccine for dogs that is required and regulated by state law, probably because it can cause a fatal disease in humans. And the lawmakers, for good or ill, decided that a veterinarian had to be responsible for administering the vaccine. This is all supposed to benefit the public health.

Several organizations in my area sponsor free rabies vaccine clinics every year. A veterinarian must oversee and sign for each animal vaccinated.

LazyHorse    Posted 02-05-2002 at 07:06:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
You might see if you get a response from Old Cuss, he is a vet in Maryland. It's my understanding that none of the rabies Vaccines approved for use on horses are effective.

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