Rabies Vaccine Reactions in Dogs

rabies vaccine reactions in dogs

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It’s disheartening to read reports of perfectly healthy dogs being taken to the vet. Then, they are vaccinated. Hours later, they have a serious reaction and die. Although this is unlikely, statistics mean nothing if something bad happens to your pet.

It’s a horrible thing for any pet owner to experience. We tend to trust our vets and the treatments they dispense. We visit these professionals in order to solve and prevent health problems.

The reality, though, is that dogs and cats can suffer from what’s known as “vaccinosis.” This is something widely reported in veterinary journals, and it’s something you should be able to discuss. If your vet dismisses your concerns, you may want to consider finding another practitioner, preferably one open to alternative medicine.

If your vet is tells you bad reactions “never” happen, you’re not hearing the entire story.

Holistic animal care experts have a much different mindset. They are well aware that vaccines can cause serious and even life-threatening problems. If you want the other side of the story, here is an excellent resource book on natural remedies for pets.


Dog Reaction to Rabies Vaccine


Part of your discussion with your vet is what shots your dog actually needs. In some states, rabies vaccination is mandatory. But even in these states, exemptions may exist.

Other shots are not mandatory. If you elect to have them, most holistic pet experts will tell you to spread them out over time, and not overwhelm your dog’s system with too many at once. Other advice may include never vaccinating a sick animal or one who is having surgery. An alternative vet might suggest a different approach, which emphasizes building up your pet’s immune system naturally, along with a greatly reduce vaccine schedule. (Please bear in mind I’m not a medical professional, just a dog owner who’s passionate about holistic health. So everything written here is for information and discussion purposes only.)


Rabies Vaccine Reactions in Dogs


Commonly reported rabies vaccine reactions include localized swelling or a more extensive body-wide anaphylactic reaction. Dogs can also experience “shock/collapse” syndrome, something parents of newborns are told to watch for as well. Emergency medical treatment may be required, so be alert for anything unusual.

Death may also be a consequence of a rabies vaccine, and it’s something you should be aware of. Although, in your state, you are legally required to vaccinate your dog against rabies (a sickly dog may be able to receive a medical exemption), there are some things you can do to make this a safer experience.

First and foremost, make sure your dog is in good health before the shot. If you’ve just adopted him, talk to your vet about waiting until he’s adjusted to your home. Stress has a negative effect on the immune system.

If you don’t already have one, now is a great time to look for a canine homeopath. There is a specific remedy that can be given immediately after a vaccine. Although there’s no scientific proof, it’s believed (by the some on the homeopathic community) to offer protection against injury. We’ve used homeopathy on our now 14-year-old dog, ever since we brought him home from the shelter. For our dog, it works amazingly well.

However, I have to stress that dogs are individual, just like people. So I can’t claim that homeopathy will work as well with any other dog.

The book shown here, A Healer in Every Home, covers veterinary homeopathy. One of the co-authors, Begibati Lennihan, is a well-known human homeopath. I highly recommend it if you’d like to learn more about natural healing, as well as the animal vaccine debate.

A Healer in Every Home Dog BookA Healer in Every Home Dog Book


Rabies Vaccine and Dogs Cancer


There is growing concern that pet vaccination can cause cancer. I’m not sure how well established this link may be, but some mainstream sources are openly discussing whether the rabies vaccine has the potential to cause canine cancer. The authority site PetMD noted that “some dogs may develop a site specific sarcoma following rabies vaccination.”

It is known that vaccines do cause cancer in cats. Kitten shots used to be given in the area of the shoulders. Now they are given on a leg, which can be amputated in the event of malignancy.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of anecdotal reports of dogs developing tumors, in the exact spot of the injection. So, lacking definitive “proof” that this is happening, on a wider basis, pet owners need to do their own research.

I also can’t stress enough how important it is to find the right vet to treat your pet. Even if it costs more to see a holistic animal expert, you will recoup the costs if chronic health problems can be avoided. More importantly, this can also help your dog live a longer, happier life.


For Additional Reading


Holistic Vet Vaccine Recommendations

Do Dogs Need Annual Vaccinations?