Vaccines are intended to be administered to HEALTHY dogs -- it is an advisory issued on vaccine labels, in veterinary literature and guidelines, as a dog's health status can have an impact on a vaccine's effectiveness and fail to elicit an immune response. Startlingly, the AAHA task force indicates (see quote below) that vaccination in a "severely immunosuppressed" dog can result in the dog acquiring the disease it is being vaccinated to prevent!

On Page 24 of the 2006 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines, its states under the "Sick Dogs" heading that: "As with pregnant dogs, veterinary medicine has advised against vaccination during illness, due to concerns about suboptimal seroconversion, or worse, conversion of vaccine to disease." In other words, if you vaccinate a pregnant or sick dog, not only do you run the risk of a less-than-desirable immunological response, but you run the risk of your dog contracting the disease it is being vaccinated against!

Under the "Immunological Factors Determining Vaccine Safety" column on page 16 of the American Animal Hospital Association's 2003 Canine Vaccine Guidelines it is written that: " attenuated pathogen in a host which is severely immunosuppressed, or genetically more susceptible, may result in the vaccine causing the disease for which it was designed to prevent." Further on that page, under "The Immune System and Frequency of Revaccination," it cautions that: "When vaccinating an animal, the age of the animal, the animal's immune status, and interference by maternal antibodies in the development of immunity must be considered. Research has demonstrated that the presence of passively acquired maternal antibodies significantly interferes with the immune response to many canine vaccines, including CPV [parvo], CDV [distemper], CAV-2 [hepatitis] and rabies vaccines."

The Merial Imrab 3 vaccine label for dogs and cats, click here: and then click on IMRAB 3, then on "label": "INDICATIONS: IMRAB® 3 is recommended for the vaccination of healthy cats, dogs, sheep, cattle, horses, and ferrets 12 weeks of age and older for prevention of disease due to rabies virus."

For Rabvac 3 click on "label" "Rabvac 3 is a killed virus vaccine for the vaccination of healthy dogs, cats and horses against rabies."

This link will take you to an article by Dr. Moira Drosdovech entitled Pet Vaccinations - A Time for Change, in which she states what all the veterinary medical schools and vaccine companies declare, that: "Although I have stated this in previous articles, I cannot emphasize enough that any pet receiving a vaccination should be 100% healthy. This excludes vaccinating pets with any health problems whatsoever, including diseases in "remission" such as skin diseases, cancer, thyroid problems, to name a few, and especially not those with a history of autoimmune disease. Please understand that you are not benefiting your pet at all by vaccinating while unhealthy."

Also, be aware that giving combo vaccines (multi-valent) and/or several shots at once increases the risk of adverse reactions as well as the risk that the vaccines will interfere with each other, resulting in neutralization or negation.

Combination Vaccines, Multiple Shots--on Page 16 of the 2003 AAHA Guidelines under Immunological Factors Determining Vaccine Safety, it states that: "Although increasing the number of components in a vaccine may be more convenient for the practitioner or owner, the likelihood for adverse effects may increase. Also, interference can occur among the components. Care must be taken not to administer a product containing too many vaccines simultaneously if adverse events are to be avoided and optimal immune responses are sought. "

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,Dr. Melissa Kennedy states that of the two types of vaccinal adverse reactions: "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. "

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Duration of Immunity: The Rabies Vaccine Challenge - Show #185 Animal Talk Radio Show 7/30/08

Duration of Immunity to Canine Vaccines: What We Know and Don't Know, Dr. Ronald Schultz

What Everyone Needs to Know about Canine Vaccines, Dr. Ronald Schultz

Vaccination: An Overview Dr. Melissa Kennedy, DVM360

World Small Animal Veterinary Association 2007 Vaccine Guidelines Scroll down to Vaccine Guidelines 2007 (PDF)

The 2003 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines are accessible online at .

The 2006 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines are downloadable in PDF format at .

Veterinarian, Dr. Robert Rogers,has an excellent presentation on veterinary vaccines at

October 1, 2002 DVM Newsletter article entitled, AVMA, AAHA to Release Vaccine Positions,

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

July 1, 2003, DVM Newsletter article, Developing Common Sense Strategies for Fiscal Responsibility: Using an interactive template to plan service protocol changes

Animal Wellness Magazine Article Vol. 8 Issue 6, How Often Does he REALLY Need A Rabies Shot Animal Wellness Magazine - devoted to natural health in animals

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

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 "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. "