2008 REPORT ON RABIES VACCINE ADVERSE REACTIONS IN DOGS
The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association published a report in its April 1, 2008 issue, Vol. 232, No. 7, entitled: Postmarketing Surveillance of Rabies Vaccines for Dogs to Evaluate Safety and Efficacy.
Despite the extreme under-reporting of vaccinal adverse reactions, this report states on the second page that between April 1, 2004 and March 31, 2007, the Center for Veterinary Biologics, "nearly 10,000 adverse event reports (all animal species) were received by manufacturers of rabies vaccines..........Approximately 65% of the manufacturer's reports involved dogs."
The report further states on the second page that: "Rabies vaccines are the most common group of biological products identified in adverse event reports received by the CVB," and they give the following description of the adverse reaction followed by the % of dogs affected: Vomiting-28.1%, Facial Swelling-26.3%, Injection Site Swelling or Lump-19.4%, Lethargy-12%, Urticaria-10.1%, Circulatory shock-8.3%, Injection site pain-7.4%, Pruritus-7.4%, Injection site alopecia or hair loss-6.9%, Death-5.5%, Lack of Consciousness-5.5, Diarrhea-4.6%, Hypersensitivity (not specified)-4.6%, Fever-4.1%, Anaphylaxis-2.8%, Ataxia-2.8%, Lameness-2.8%, General signs of pain-2.3%, Hyperactivity-2.3%, Injection site scab or crust-2.3%, Muscle tremor-2.3%, Tachycardia-2.3%, and Thrombocytopenia-2.3%.
Veterinarians are not required by law to report adverse reactions to vaccines, to which the World Small Animal Veterinary Association stated in their 2007 Vaccine Guidelines that there is: "gross under-reporting of vaccine-associated adverse events which impedes knowledge of the ongoing safety of these products," and in an article entitled, A New Approach to Reporting Medication and Device Adverse Effects and Product Problems, (JAMA - June 2, 1993. Vol.269, No.21. p.2785) Dr. David Kessler, former head of the Food & Drug Administration, reported that "only about 1% of serious events are reported to the FDA."
In light of the 10,000 adverse reactions to the rabies vaccine in the JAVMA report, 65% of which were in dogs, the estimated 1% reporting of "serious" events by the former head of the FDA means that the actual number of dogs that had adverse reactions to the vaccine would be more like 650,000 --applying the 5.5% figure given by the CVB resulting in death indicates that 3,750 died over the same 3 year period (1,250 a year or 6,250 over the course of 5 years, or 8,750 over the course of 7 years).
For the number of dogs adversely reacting to the rabies vaccine, Dr. Ronald Schultz of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine states:"A rabies vaccine and vaccination schedule with a seven year DOI will reduce the number of animals that develop adverse reactions following immunization, which is currently estimated to be 1-3% of the population." Time Out: Rabies Researchers Assess New, Long-lasting Vaccine NEWStat, American Animal Hospital Association June 25, 2008 http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/...-25/index.html Based on the estimate of "...more than 72 million pet dogs in the U.S." from the American Veterinary Medical Association U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook (2007 Edition) http://www.avma.org/reference/market...sourcebook.asp, the currently estimate 1-3% of the population adversely reacting to vaccination translates into between 720,000 and 2,160,000 dogs.
Vaccinal adverse reactions are becoming more recognized and acknowledged in the veterinary community -- in an August 1, 2008 article in DVM360 entitled Vaccination: An Overview, http://veterinarycalendar.dvm360.com....jsp?id=568351 Dr. Melissa Kennedy states that of the two types of vaccinal adverse reactions:
Adverse reactions have also become a major concern in small animal medicine. .... These fall into two general categories. The first is immediate hypersensitivity. This may be a local or systemic response, and is due to pre-existing antibody to the agent. This is the classic "allergic reaction" to the vaccine and can be life-threatening. The second is a delayed response, requiring days of longer to develop. The vaccine, seen as foreign, elicits a significant inflammatory response and is especially true for adjuvanted vaccines. This response can manifest as a granuloma, or more seriously, a fibrosarcoma .
Further, she reports that The likelihood of adverse reactions in dogs has been found to correlate with the size of the dog and the number of inoculations given, with higher risk associated with small size and multiple inoculations.
Duration of Immunity: The Rabies Vaccine Challenge - Show #185 Animal Talk Radio Show 7/30/08 http://www.blogtalkradio.com/animalt...lenge-Show-186
Duration of Immunity to Canine Vaccines: What We Know and Don't Know, Dr. Ronald Schultz http://www.cedarbayvet.com/duration_of_immunity.htm
What Everyone Needs to Know about Canine Vaccines, Dr. Ronald Schultz
Vaccination: An Overview Dr. Melissa Kennedy, DVM360 http://veterinarycalendar.dvm360.com....jsp?id=568351
World Small Animal Veterinary Association 2007 Vaccine Guidelines http://www.wsava.org/SAC.htm Scroll down to Vaccine Guidelines 2007 (PDF)
The 2003 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines are accessible online at http://www.leerburg.com/special_report.htm .
The 2006 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines are downloadable in PDF format at http://www.aahanet.org/PublicDocumen...s06Revised.pdf .
Veterinarian, Dr. Robert Rogers,has an excellent presentation on veterinary vaccines at http://www.newvaccinationprotocols.com/
October 1, 2002 DVM Newsletter article entitled, AVMA, AAHA to Release Vaccine Positions, http://www.dvmnewsmagazine.com/dvm/a...l.jsp?id=35171
July 1, 2003 DVM Newsletter article entitled, What Do We Tell Our Clients?, Developing thorough plan to educate staff on changing vaccine protocols essential for maintaining solid relationships with clients and ensuring quality care http://www.dvmnewsmagazine.com/dvm/a...l.jsp?id=61696
July 1, 2003, DVM Newsletter article, Developing Common Sense Strategies for Fiscal Responsibility: Using an interactive template to plan service protocol changes http://www.dvmnewsmagazine.com/dvm/a...l.jsp?id=61694
Animal Wellness Magazine Article Vol. 8 Issue 6, How Often Does he REALLY Need A Rabies Shot
The Rabies Challenge Animal Wise Radio Interview
Listen to Animal Wise (scroll down to The Rabies Challenge 12/9/07)
The Vaccine Challenge Animal Talk Naturally Online Radio Show » The Vaccine Challenge - Show #91
Rabies Shot Killed my Poodle May 28, 2008 Channel 5 News WCVB http://www.thebostonchannel.com:80/n...ss=bos&taf=bos
US Declared Canine-Rabies Free -- CDC Announces at Inaugural World Rabies Day Symposium CDC Press Release - September 7, 2007
Rabies Prevention -- United States, 1991 Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP), Center for Disease Control's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly March 22, 1991 / 40(RR03);1-19 http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00041987.htm "A fully vaccinated dog or cat is unlikely to become infected with rabies, although rare cases have been reported (48). In a nationwide study of rabies among dogs and cats in 1988, only one dog and two cats that were vaccinated contracted rabies (49). All three of these animals had received only single doses of vaccine; no documented vaccine failures occurred among dogs or cats that had received two vaccinations. "
Kris L. Christine
The Rabies Challenge Fund