Rabies Challenge Fund To Test Long-Term Immunity In Rabies Vaccine For Pets

Cat at Vet

Rabies is the only vaccine that is mandated by law for dogs and cats. Many states like New York require revaccinations at three-year intervals which is the longest. A few states like Alabama still mandate that pets have annual rabies vaccinations.

Some veterinary immunologists believe that the immunity of rabies vaccines actually exceeds three years and that the duration of the vaccination could be 5 years or 7 years. Except, there have been no clinical trials done to prove their hypothesis. The vaccine companies, which normally provide the clinical trials, have no strong economic incentive to prove that the vaccination immunity does last longer than 3 years.

One woman, Kris Christine, teamed up with two veterinarians to find help. Christine found Jean Dodds of Hemopet in Garden Grove, Calif., and Ronald Schultz at University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in Madison. The two vets incidentally helped formulate the American Animal Hospital Association’s guidelines. In fact, Christine was quite influential in forcing the state of Maine to change its annual rabies revaccination requirement from annually to every three years.

Dodds has lectured on the adverse reactions with the rabies vaccine. It includes autoimmune diseases of the thyroid, joints, blood, eyes, skin, kidney, liver, bowel and central nervous system; anaphylactic shock; aggression; seizures; epilepsy; and fibrosarcomas at injection sites, especially in cats.

This team wanted to “formally prove the rabies vaccine’s long-term duration of immunity, so state-mandated intervals for boosters could be extended”.

Two years ago, Christine teamed up with Dodds to create the Rabies Challenge Fund which needed $177,000 to fund the studies’ first-year budget.

More on the Rabies Challenge Fund after the jump.

From Newsday.com:

Thanks to the contributions of many dog clubs, veterinarians and concerned owners, they now have the money to start.

The concurrent 5- and 7-year challenge studies trials will begin next month under the supervision of Schultz, who is volunteering his time as principal investigator. The University of Wisconsin will donate all the overhead costs.

“I’ve been an activist for a long time,” Dodds says, “and this is the first time I’ve seen the public mount a grass-roots effort because the veterinary profession and the vaccine industry haven’t done anything.”

Five years from now, Schultz will likely have the proof of what he has known all along: That the rabies vaccine provides long-term immunity. In the face of that, the government can lengthen the mandated revaccination intervals.

(Thanks Jeff6542)

10 Responses to “Rabies Challenge Fund To Test Long-Term Immunity In Rabies Vaccine For Pets”

  1. Pukanuba says:

    Finally…..somebody is actually doing some testing on the rabies vaccine. My vet believes that rabies is good for at least five yrs but the law here is every three yrs.

    My last dog (an 80-lb Lab) used to get sick every yr when she got her “yearly” shots so I swore I wouldn’t do that again to any dog. When I brought my present Lab in for her rabies shot (her first adult shot), I said I didn’t want any other “yearly” shots. I was very surprised when I was told that they are beginning to realize that every yr may be too much. When they do a titer test (I think that’s what it’s called), they find that most vaccines last at least three yrs, rabies even longer. I’d rather pay for bloodwork than watch my dog get sick every yr. Can’t help but think all these shots could also cause health problems.

  2. Elizabeth Brown says:

    I also believe that there are bad effects from over vaccinating. I have my dogs titers done and they are all fine and are at a therapeutic level. I’d rather pay for blood work than blindly vaccinate. My rescue poodle has Cushing’s Disease which I believe she got because a vet vaccinated her 6 months after I had gotten her from a shelter where they had given me proof of her vaccinations but this vet just ignored me and had the vet tech inject her. I never went back there. I am a strong advocate of Dr. Dodds work. Elizabeth

  3. Donna says:

    When money is the motive, pets and people are “viewed” as expendable . It’s up to “We the people ” to demand change. It has NEVER been about “health care” it is the dollar. Can you can get pet care with out money ? Rabies vaccine costs in a ten doses vial around $10.00.Have you EVER paid $2.00 for a rabies vaccine ? More like $10.00 or more plus “office visit”. Gotcha……………… it’s not about about preventing rabies. It’s the dollar. Not to mention the “profit” if the pet becomes ill from the vaccine.Vets know this. It’s a win -win situation for them. Money.

  4. Ruth Cooke says:

    Here in Albuquerque NM dogs are required to get a yearly rabies shot. I have had many dogs, raised them professionally for a while, and never worried about it before, because I believed, as many people do, that they are necessary.
    The Animal Control here in Albuquerque are facists thugs so you are afraid to go against them. You will simply lose your dog(s) if you do.
    But yesterday I took my four in for their routine rabies shots, and today they are all ouchy (above the normal ouchie) and two of them won’t eat, drink; they scream when you touch them and they feel cold.
    I feel like I should have done like some people here, who take their dogs to another county for treatment and keep them hidden, so that no record of them exists in the Bernallilo County records.
    If they are still alive tomorrow, I will take them to my special vet, who is in another county, simply because he is the best around.
    These little ones are like my children; I feel trapped and guilty over the laws and the possible severe illness. One of them, after her vaccination, had a red blood spot on her back leg where the vaccination was given. I have never given a puppy shot without pulling back on the syringe plunger to make sure I did not have the needle in a tiny vein, just like I did when giving my mother insulin. I wonder if in this one case the vaccine did go into a vein???
    I feel terrible because I went to a rabies clinic, but I could’t afford the money for my own vet, who is of course more expensive. But if anything happens to either of these loving children of mine who trusted me, I will never get over it.

  5. Debbie Ganncorti says:

    I began researching the need for rabies shot every three years in NJ, to get a license. I spoke to the NJ Health Dept doctor who stated that the titer test is not accepted. I will not over vaccinate my dog’s risking their health for a tag that hangs on their collar. I would like to find out if any state accepts the titer test, I will contact them to find out the protocol and pass this on to the proper parties to change this law. Vaccines is not a one size fits all program. Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated

  6. Anonymous says:

    what happens legally to a vet if he treats a cat for 8 years but dosn’T make the cat every get a rabies vaccine?

  7. wanda sanon says:

    what happens legally to a vet if he treats a cat for 8 years but does not make the cat ever get a rabies vaccine.

  8. Paul says:

    I am disturbed that you all would support this deceptive research project on your site!!

    These people have actively engaged in soliciting funds for a project that will be a beagle killing mission ultimately sacrificing 80+ dogs for what reason??? These means justify the endpoint? and yet Ms. Dodds and her research team refuse to describe on their website what exactly the word “challenge” in fact means as in what will be done to the animals used in the experiment (exposed to live rabies, suffer the symptoms and then be killed to examine….all of them whether they show signs of infection or not because they have now been exposed to the virus per USDA req)

    And you all support this, when the research team hasnt even 1st acquired a valid basline of adverse report events traceable to rabies compared to the millions of vaccines given each year??

    Shame on you.

    I will ask the same question I asked ms. Dodd and her team, would you offer your own pet-animal to be part of this experiment-study in order to save the lives of other animals? How about animals that noone owns or cares about as Ms. Dodd is doing here, yet shows happy smiling dogs on her site.

    Absolutely unreal and just sad.

    You all need to carefully evaluate what you are supporting.

  9. Arden says:

    I know this year we have been looking into and actually contacted the rabies challenge group and a vet who is researching this subject out of University of Wisconsin. We never knew how dangerous this vaccine could be until our 4 month old puppy in April, 2009 had this vaccine and went into seizures.

    Since then our puppy has had several test done and is now on phenobarbital trying to control the seizures. We were informed by several vets that we should make sure we keep her as an indoor dog (which we do) and get a waver for her to never have this vaccine again since she had such an adverse reaction.

    Our other dogs has never had any problems with this vaccine, but we have decided to support the Rabies Challenge Fund. We are hoping this research might keep other dogs from having even the minor problems this vaccine can cause. They hopefully can prove how long a rabies shot is good for. I know we do feel all pets should get their vaccines, but should pets be over medicated though? I have been doing a lot of reading on this subject the past couple of months, and found this is a very hot topic.

    I have found that some company vaccines have more reaction problems than others. I also read that many of the states that say your dog can go longer periods based on the titer test. This test has shown that if a puppy gets the initial rabies vaccine, and another one 1 year later than most titer results do not start to waver until about 7 years later. The average life expediency is 12.8 years for a dog. This means the average dog should only need 3 rabies vaccines in their life.

    Instead if you live in a state like New Jersey where you get the vaccine as a puppy, 1 year later and then followed by 3 years later they average dog would get an extra 2 shots of this vaccine.

    In some states it is mandatory to get the shot yearly. That dog would get 12 rabies vaccines in their life. That would mean they get 9 more than they might need.

    In the state of NJ you need to get a yearly license and show their shots are up to date. (Our puppy will be getting a waver next year because we were told her reactions were so severe that the next one could kill her.) They do this sort of research for humans to keep them safe, and I feel that MAN’S BEST FRIEND should also have the same courteous consideration. I see nothing wrong with having research done to prove or disprove how long immunizations are good for.

  10. Anonymous says:

    vaccinated dog biten a man , vaccinated a year back after a dog bite,exposed to dog bite after a year again
    is he requires anti rabies vaccine again,if so how man doses and freequitely the booster doses to be taken?

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