Dog Health & Care

Dangers of Rabies Shot in Dogs

Most people do not think of their dogs developing side effects from an up-to-date or booster rabies shot or even being in danger where the shot could cost them their life. It is something we do not hear about very often. But a simple thing like knowing what the symptoms are could save the dog’s life.

Dangers of rabies shot in dogs depend a lot on recognizing the symptoms in its earliest stages. Their lives depend on it—ignorance is not always blessed. It can be life threatening and dangerous to the family pet without a person ever knowing what the problem is.

If your dog is showing symptoms after getting their rabies shot, it could be having a reaction. These symptoms can be potentially life-threatening . Immediate attention and action should be given if any of the following symptoms occur.


These symptoms can develop immediately or up to 3 days after the shot has been given:

  • Vomiting
  • Facial swelling
  • Fever or lethargy
  • Circulatory shock
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Death

Days, weeks or months after the shot:

  • Fibrosarcoma (cancer) at the injection site
  • Seizures and Epilepsy
  • Allergies
  • Autoimmune diseases, including organ disease, allergies and skin problems
  • Chronic digestive problems
  • Muscle weakness, especially lack of hind end coordination
  • Chronic digestive disorders
  • Skin diseases like Ischemic Dermatopathy / Cutaneous vasculitis
  • Behavior problems: aggression, destructive behaviors, separation anxiety and odd obsessive behaviors (like tail chasing and paw licking)


Lots of excellent rabies information in this  Dogs4Dogs video!!



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Global Countries That Have Serious Rabies Problems


  1. Tracey
    October 20, 2017 at 10:30 pm — Reply

    I have a little dog that had a rabies shot back in the summer and I sure she’s having some kind of reaction to it. Today she she was barely breathing and when I picked her up she was limp as could be. She even quite breathing for a few minutes. I thought she was going to die. And then just when I thought she had passed it was like she came back to life. She ate and she can stand and sit but still seems a little weak from going through this ordeal. She’s done this twice on my family and I since getting the rabies shot. As my husband and I have a large family and rabies shots are a must have because of our journey in foster care so we don’t have thousands or even hundreds to spend in vet bills. What should we do? We have several other dogs and a cat one of the other dogs being the one having issues sister (which is a little smaller in build of a dog) and none of the others have had any issues. Suggestions please!!!

    • November 30, 2017 at 10:27 pm — Reply

      Do you have a vet in the area who specializes in natural methods. If not, contact Natural Wonder Pets
      and ask for Gary La Mon

  2. September 14, 2016 at 9:37 am — Reply

    Thank you!

  3. August 20, 2016 at 2:19 am — Reply

    […] Dangers of Rabies Shot in Dogs | – Most people do not think of their dogs developing side effects from an up-to-date or booster rabies shot or even being in danger where the shot could cost them their … […]

  4. Kathleen
    August 15, 2016 at 9:05 am — Reply

    Keep up the excellent work, I read few content on this web site and
    I conceive that your site is real interesting and contains circles of fantastic information.

  5. January 15, 2013 at 9:06 pm — Reply

    Every dog i’ve owned acts a bit ill right after the rabies shot. Lasts a few days.

  6. January 15, 2013 at 9:05 pm — Reply

    we adopted a dog preowned for one year. After we had the dog one year ourselves we took it for it’s due rabies shot. Two days after it started snarling at us like it wanted to attack us. I was certain it had to do with the rabies shot.

  7. seamus
    July 18, 2012 at 4:51 pm — Reply

    As a follow up to my comments, I have talked to a number of other vets about what happened to my Yorkie and all have said that it was possibly the leptospirosis shot in combination that killed my little guy.
    My old vet said that he would have never givin him the leptospirosis, that he only gives it to large country dogs and would never have given it to a small emmune compromised house dog like mine. So like many have said we all need to know more and be vigilant in out pets care in my case we moved and went to a new vet and trusted in her now i see that was wrong.
    Our vets have to be called on things, and we need to know more unfortunately we often learn at the expense of others and our pet’s.
    I will tell you all a story about my wee Macgregor, my wife was out walking with him and was confronted by a very aggressive rottweiller about 120 lbs with out hesitation Macgregor jumped between the rottweiller and my wife all 10 lbs of him the message was very clear not my momma not while iam here. The courage grace and love our animals often display humbles me. Iam a Viet Nam combat Vet and not to prone to taking much guff but i realize that i fall short when compared to the way my little dog lived his life.

  8. July 1, 2012 at 8:30 pm — Reply

    Well I have read some of the above and you never know what to believe until it happens to your dog. My 11 year old Yorkie – who was very healthy – had his shots last Sept and they gave him all of them at the same time. Then 3 weeks later he started having problems – he was back to the vet 5 times in three months and never got better. I took him to a speciality vet and they determined he had vasculities of his ears, hocks and pads, fluid in his lungs, an eye ulcer and now 5 months and $6,500 later we are still treating the vasculitis and eye issue. The vasculitis goes into remission and then starts all over again – he has had so many pills and used to weigh 8.5 and now weighs 6.5 and cannot gain weight. His one hock bothers him so much he can hardly put down the paw to walk. So there is never an ALWAYS do this and NEVER do that – just do your due diligence and have the blood test to make sure your dogs need the vaccinations when they are over two years old or so. They have determined since 2011 that the vaccinations can last anywhere from 3-7 years depending on different criteria. I’m no scientist just a person who loves my dog and I would not wish this on anyone else or their dog. You just feel like it will never go away and they will never get back to the way they were before the shot. Just putting information out there for you to decide – not saying who is right or wrong.

    • seamus
      July 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm — Reply

      Well I do not know what to believe, pro or con. But here is my experience I had a 13 year old Yorkie. He was diabetic and had cushings I have been treating him for 3 years with insulin two shots a day and with anipril for the cushings and he had done quite well it is hard to regulate the blood sugar level due to the cushings often making them somewhat insulin resistant.
      Anyway he had a reaction to the rabies vaccine and had to have a tumor removed since then my vet gave him only the rabies without the preservative and in multiple locations and we have had no real problems. I moved and used a new vet and relayed this info to the vet who for the most part ignored my wifes concerns and gave him a shot in the left hip and said it had to be givin all in one location.
      When we got home later from the vet our Yorkie would not eat and was vomiting up his water, he would have bouts of this from time to time with gastric distress but always within a day or so he was better so we did not think it was unusual at first. This happend over a weekend by sunday night he could not walk and not having thousands of dollars for emergency treatment and seeing on line that most dogs seemed to be better in a couple of days I thought that I would take him to the vet in the morning.
      Well he died that night, and the vet accused us of everything under the sun and was very defensive, we still dont have a dog.
      So I guess you will hear all kinds of things but I know my dog died after a rabies shot and he did not appear to be ill other than his usual issues, he was gone in two days and the vet of course says we did it, we must have not givin him his insulin some how we were mistreating him. Well I had him for going on 14 yrs and had spent thousands on his care my son was suprized that I did not bath him in Perrie water so I will say to you all believe what you want I will believe what I know.

  9. Michael (Vet Student)
    April 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm — Reply

    This is forever one who would like to know about how Rabies is handled and the United States. This is copied from the PDF, If am able to upload a document please let me know, it would be easier to read. Thank you.

    May 31, 2011
    TO: State Public Health Veterinarians
    State Epidemiologists
    State Veterinarians
    Other Parties Interested in Rabies Prevention and Control
    FROM: Catherine M. Brown, DVM, MSc, MPH, Chair
    Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control Committee
    SUBJECT: Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control, 2011
    The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) is pleased to provide
    the 2011 revision of the Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control for your use and
    for distribution to practicing veterinarians, wildlife rehabilitators, animal welfare organizations,
    and officials in animal control, public health, wildlife management, and agriculture in your state.
    This document is reviewed and revised as necessary, and the most current version replaces all
    previous versions. This cover memo summarizes the most notable changes that were made to the
    document and provides updates on other rabies issues.

    Part I A.1. The national case definition for animal rabies was added for clarification of how
    rabies cases are defined for public health surveillance purposes.
    Part I A.9. was expanded to: clarify that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC)
    rabies laboratory is available for confirmatory testing and on an emergency basis to expedite
    exposure management decisions; include information on testing methodology appropriate for
    field testing of surveillance specimens; and to clarify that there are no reliable ante mortem
    rabies tests available for use in animals.
    Part I A.11. was expanded to include additional research topics that warrant further study.
    Part III: The table of rabies vaccines licensed and marketed in the U.S. was updated for 2011.
    Additional references have been added to provide scientific support for information provided in
    the document.
    The fifth World Rabies Day will be on September 28, 2011. More information is available at:
    The 22nd annual international conference on Rabies in the Americas (RITA) is scheduled for
    October 16-21, 2011 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. More information is available at:

  10. Student
    April 10, 2012 at 10:33 pm — Reply

    First let me say how horrible of an experience it is to go through something like this. May I suggest planting rosses or a small tree in her remembrance. I planted a lime tree for my “Franco” and I swear it was the best fruit.

    As for the vaccine, I would also like to suggest that you call the animal shelter and ask what the brand of rabies they use. Then called the manufacturer to report your case. The company will have a person to talk to you. Feedback very important for the betterment of their products. Many times when there have been issues with vaccines, as in the feline vaccine that gave fibrosarcomas, it was usually the adjuvant that is mixed with the killed virus.
    Also, next time your animal needs an injection of any kind and the tech reaches for the hind leg, stop them. First ask if they know what the semi-membranous is. If they do not, then ask if the veterinarian is available to give the injection. The semi-membranous is the ideal muscle for Intramuscular injections. Missing this muscle could mean a direct stick to the sciatic nerve that works the muscles of the leg. If the damage to your dog was unilateral then I would bet that they hit the nerve.

    Again I am sorry for your lost. Please don’t let this experience deter you from vets

  11. Kathy
    April 9, 2012 at 11:33 am — Reply

    I just had my 17 years old dog put to sleep. On Sunday, she had the rabies shot in her hind leg. Sunday evening, she could not walk in the grass area to release herself; she went on the sidewalk. Monday morning, she could not bearily walk to go outside to release herself. Monday evening, she could not walk at all. I called SPCA who gave her the rabies shot. They stated that she had a reaction and it will probably wear off in a couple of days. She got worse and she would not eat at all. I could not afford to take her to the vets. She had never been sick in 17 years.

  12. ragini
    July 4, 2011 at 6:59 pm — Reply

    hi guys.need some help.i have got my 2 yr old daschund a rabies vaccine shot following a stray dog bite.from the second day he z not zble to walk on his hind legs .he z nt evne letting me touch it temporary or permanant and whtz the remedy

    • July 4, 2011 at 7:24 pm — Reply

      Not being able to walk or allow you to touch him may be because of the bite or shot hitting a muscle or something. Does your dog have a fever and is he drinking water? Did you take him to the vet for the rabies shot…if so, I would call the vet and describe his behavior.

      • Student
        July 4, 2011 at 8:10 pm — Reply

        What it sounds like is that the technician or Vet (who ever gave the injection) hit the sciatic nerve. This is actually a commonly thing, usually more common if the Vet Tech gave the vaccine. I agree that the pain is problem from the bite or sciatic nerve.

    • Sunita Pawar
      October 10, 2011 at 4:30 pm — Reply

      Hi Ragini, Just wanted to ask u is ur dog fine now …??As even I have a 5 months pup who was given rabies vaccination and within 2 days he cannot walk now with his hind legs …I am very worried ..wanted to know if its temporary or permanent? ..Both his hind legs are functioning ,he is able to move them,sterch them, but he cannot carry his weight on the hind legs so he cannot stand or walk ?? please help me dear ??waiting for ur reply ??or email me on

    • Sunita Pawar
      November 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm — Reply

      Hi Ragini , Just felt like sharing dis good news with u dat my dog who was temporarily paralyzed for 3 weeks after d rabies vaccine is fine now … he recovered on his own …we use to give him warm oil massage by very gently massaging without pressure — every three days or so …now by gods grace he is fine, running ,etc ..all back to normal …..hows u dog ya .hope he is fine too …tc….god bless …. from ur net friend….

  13. Judy
    June 29, 2011 at 10:52 am — Reply

    My dogs–I have had 6 out of my 7 dogs die way too young. I am sure it is from the rabies vaccine and too many other vaccines given together or too often.

    a. young?–Sept., 1979 to May, 1984 (5)
    b. heart disease–Nov.,1981 to July, 1988 (6 1/2) daughter to above
    c. double heart disease–May, 1988 to October, 1996 (8 1/2)
    d. anemic disease (red blood cells fighting each other-3 blood transfusions in just one week-still not good enough)–July, 2002 to May, 2008 (5 3/4)
    e. aggressive behavior (bit me badly on my hand)–April, 2008 to February, 2010
    (21 months) BECAUSE OF TWO RABIES SHOTS (4 1/2 months and again at 19 months)
    f. spinal disease/ruptured disk–after just 3 months after rabies shot (surgery*paralized for 8 1/2 months*new vet*walked with a wobble)—glaucoma*one eye removed (both eyes)–incontinence-low thyroid (fat*meds*lost weight)*second eye (pressure 80 vs. normal 10-12) Put down–
    April, 2000 to March, 2010 (9 3/4)
    g. knee bones rubbing together (both knees-a month apart of each other-surgery on both knees) August 13th, 1996 to present (14 1/2)

    I now have two rescue Springer Spaniels (3 yr.(rescued Jan., 15, 2010—birth-Sept. 14, 2007) and 2 yr.(rescued March 16, 2010—birth-Jan. 5, 2009) and I am NOT getting yearly vaccines (shots) that are not necessary (titer tested).

    My boys WILL get titer tested.

    I DO NOT want to get the rabies vaccine (shot) at all anymore. This vaccine has hurt all my dogs in different ways. I have heard the rabies vaccine is good for 5 to 7 years
    (Dr. Dodds).

    My 3 year old Springer is due for his Rabies shot next January, 2012. I want him to be Rabies tested (titer tested) so I do not have to get him the Rabies shot ever again. It really makes me sick to have read/researched all about the Rabies vaccine and other vaccines side effects. It has made me cry for my other dogs that have gotten sick/died.

    My beautiful 3 year old Springer is a very happy therapy dog. People just love him. I do not want him or our other rescue Springer dying young.

    **vet students** I do not have much trust in my vets anymore. They have pushed me to get vaccines every year. As seen above–looked what happened to my dogs. It is not by coincident either.
    Too many vaccines kills.
    Too many rabies shots kills (2 is too many).

    • June 29, 2011 at 11:06 am — Reply

      Judy, I am extremely happy you sent this information with adequate data to back it up. Wonderful…..and if they do this to dogs, what do they do to children?

    • Student
      June 29, 2011 at 6:24 pm — Reply

      I would be curious to know the breeds of your dogs, also there last weights and level of activity before there problems started. Many of the conditions you have listed sound like common genetics. Also, were they all rescues or pure bred, or both. Please list each animal that correspond with the letters you wrote and include, breed/weight (before problems)/rescue or not/age acquired and age passed away. Sorry to stir up old feelings, but I am very curious
      Another thing is why do you feel the rabies vaccine itself is too blame, as a dog is growing he is exposed to several other vaccines, Distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvo, Parainfluenza, bordetella, lyme, corona, giardia (all of which are given more often than rabies) and other meds like pyrantel, cestex, penicillin, dexamethosone, isoflourine (neuter anesthesia), ketmine, telazol, atropine, xylazine, or antibiotics like cephalexin and clavamox.
      As for the comment about what they do to children, it is not normally given to children on a regular basis. The rabies vaccine that is given to dogs is created different than for humans; either with chicken embryos, or from the generous people who donate plasma. These processes are more expensive than the production for canines/felines. The vaccines will be given to humans on an as need basis, either when exposed, going to be exposed or going to be working with animals on a more personal basis, as in wildlife or veterinary medicine. As of yet there have been no research proving the rabies vaccine to be dangerous. It is very easy for us to assume that the reasons for our dogs are due to someone else’s actions. The fact is that 4 of 5 household dogs are overweight (joint/heart/lung/kidney/thyroid problems) and believe it or not, dental health (joint/heart/liver/kidney/lung) and genetics (the more pure bred, the worst). All of which have been accepted in the animal science community and in the human world as well.

  14. bud baker
    April 23, 2011 at 5:41 pm — Reply

    My dog came in contact with a rabid raccon , she got her first rabies shot 2 an 1/2 weeks prior to the confrontation, she is now in quarentine, my boxer killed the coon in my fenced in back yard, he has had three rabies shots. your comments please p.s. I rescued the 6 mo. old lab pup from the spca.

    • April 23, 2011 at 5:51 pm — Reply

      She is in quarantine for observation, I assume? The 2 1/2 weeks rabies shot prior to the attack should be protection enough. Otherwise the vets would have used different measures than quarantine, I think. She should also have been given all shots (including rabies) at the spca before you brought her home…plus her yearly rabies shot at the vet in between.

  15. September 20, 2010 at 4:11 am — Reply

    I rescue wolves & wolf dogs. I reside in a state that it is illegal to own or have a wolfdog as a pet. 1 reason because there are no proven rabies vaccination. I know this is BS because I work on a wolf sanctuary in California and they vaccinate there wolves as well. I have placed many wolfdogs in loving homes as well and again no problem with the rabies vaccine.
    Now I heard that the vaccine only works in 1 breed of dog(or proven to work). Is this is true what breed of dog would that be? 2nd part of question would be if your dog is an indoor dog and gets his or her shots every year and this dog bites someone, why would they have to kill and test the animal for rabies.
    Thank you for your time.
    Sincerely yours,
    Denise Kinsey

    • Michael (Vet Student)
      September 22, 2010 at 6:33 am — Reply

      I have not personally heard of the rabies not being effective in wolves. I worked at a clinic where we had several wolf clients and we vaccinated them for rabies every 3 years just like poodles, I would be interested as well to know where/who mentioned that the rabies vaccine only works in one breed of dog. I would love to hear the reason since the differences the canine immune system between breeds is almost nonexistent.

      To your second question, it does not matter if it’s an outside dog or inside dog or even any other mammal that you may house. If the animal bites/attacks someone and it is reported you must show proof of vaccination of the rabies vaccine. If the animal is not up to date then its quarantined from 14 days to up to 6 months which the owners is responsible to pay for its boarding. If it’s a reoccurring problem where the animal is attacking people/other animals then the pet will be put down due to aggression. At least this is how it’s been in Florida for the most part. Other people may have different experiences with animal control due to a lot of it being a case-by-case basis. Also, another thing about the rabies virus is that in order to test a dead animal for rabies, the head will be severed and sent to a lab so that a piece of the brain tissue can be analyzed. So to prevent this from happening to you, lets keep them vaccinated and in your case hidden from authorities so that these wolves and live long lives and if you find a veterinarian that will neuter them on the side I would advise it so that more wolves don’t have to worry about being placed in good homes.

      • April 25, 2011 at 7:40 pm — Reply

        Thank you for your response. I am aware of how they test a dog for rabbies after a dog is euthinzed. I know the rabbies shot works on wolves and wolfdogs. I know a friend who’s German Shepherd was put to sleep after a bite and it was not the dogs fault. I was wondering why they would even have to test a dog if shots are caught up. Not sure of the breed of the dog the shot only works on(still researching my records). My thoughts were on the law in the state I live in that says the rabbies shot is not proven to be affected in wolves and wolfdogs. Trying to pass a law in my state that grand-fathers people who already have a wolfdog ( not everyone should have them only an exsperienced person should). The law on these things can be quite tricky.
        Thank you for responding.

  16. Aurora Vinhais
    August 3, 2010 at 9:36 pm — Reply

    I did research on vaccines for a speech class, for a persuasive speech. I will cut and paste some interesting facts soon. Right now I am exhausted! But I can tell you that the body is already designed to fight off infections and virus’ naturallly. I know that the vaccines are made from live viruses, called tenuated technology- but you will know it as gene splicing. I know that they add aduvants that unnaturallly turbo-charge the body, and those are posiions too.

    I know that drug companies list % of how many bodies became illl or died from these vaccines. I know that alot of viruses are kept live to make money off of the vaccines. I know that dr.’s pay 60 to 90 cents per shot and charge $15 to $25.00 per shot. I know that they like to charge another $50.+ to listen to the beat and look in the ears instead of offering a blood test to look for things.

    I can write more later. Be aware and know the facts.

    • August 3, 2010 at 10:41 pm — Reply

      Thank you, Aurora. This is interesting, and we will be waiting.

    • Michael (Vet Student)
      August 4, 2010 at 6:53 am — Reply

      Yes the body is designed to fight off infections and viruses off naturally but you are missing the point of vaccines. They are introduced into our body early so when we get the viruses or infection and we are not prepared, we can better fight them off. Vaccines are do not give us a magically cloak that will prevent the virus altogether, it just gets our bodies, canine and feline also, to develop IgG memory antigens so it doesn’t take as long to fight it off.
      As for the percentages, I know it sounds awful but when you are testing a vaccine or any other drug, you must record everything. What you are not reading though is if those people who became ill had a rare reaction to the drug or may have already been sick and not told the drug administration. When researching a drug, if a person feels that they have sneezed more than normal then the drug company MUST list it as a side effect.
      As for the price mark up, I understand that when you see the percentage of profit you may get upset. But doctors go to med school and I go to Vet school because we love to help. Of course you can’t help if people if you run a “At cost” clinic. I will spend close to $200,000 when I am done and yes I don’t want to be a martyr and carry that debt because I feel bad about charging people money for the time I spent busting my rear till 4 am before a test to make sure I knew about the parasympathetic nervous system. Some people take pride in the education and hard work that they have gone through to feel that their opinion is appreciated. In whatever profession you are in, I am sure that you up charge for a task that people could do for much less. Plus if you don’t want to go to the Vet for vaccines, you can also use the vaccines at the feed store that are out dated and not kept in the fridge which will cause even more mutations and cancerous tumors.

  17. July 20, 2010 at 2:04 pm — Reply

    Vets are increasingly agreeing with the fact that more vaccination is not a good thing. I hope the veterinarian student has looked at the information on the Rabies Challenge Fund which is led ny a world renown vet. The goal is to stop over-vaccination of animals for Rabies precisely because of the problems it is known to have caused including behavioral problems and cancer. Dr. Dodds is well known amonmg other things for her thyroid research with Greyhounds.

    Also, until now, vets have gotten little nutritional training other than from the pet food companies who are owned largely by pharmaceutical companies.

    Just because consumers are becoming more educated doesn’t mean they are extremist nuts. Of course we can’t do without veterinarians. But we can and should do the research (not on the Internet alone) to become aware of the options that exist.

  18. pat
    June 12, 2010 at 1:31 pm — Reply

    i have 2 cavalier King Charles spaniels father and son who normally are close and loving to each other.However 12 days after their rabies vaccine they have suddenly turned on each other and now we cant have them in the same room. this has now been going on 3 weeks and we are desperate for a solution they are like devil dogs if they see each other
    i am sure it is the rabies vaccine

  19. Heidi
    April 26, 2010 at 6:05 pm — Reply

    Four days after I had my dog vaccinated against rabies she started showing symptoms of being paralyzed on her left side mostly the hind left leg. I took her to the emergency veterinarian, he diagnosed her with a herniated disc, and treated her with steroids. My dog is already 14 years old, and never showed signs after having her rabies vaccination done. After I read and researched the side effects I am thinking it might have been caused by the vaccine.

    • Jen
      June 4, 2010 at 11:31 am — Reply

      my dog just had this happen, my vet told me the same excuse, put my dog on steroids, my dog is in so much pain right now and I feel horrible…is your dog doing any better?

      • Michael (Vet Student)
        July 19, 2010 at 2:07 pm — Reply

        How are both your dogs doing? Have they improved at all. I would ask my vet if they had a system for the location of the vaccines. If a tech or Vet gave the vaccine incorrectly they could have cause irriation under the skin. Also…jen, how old is your dog too and what breed. Many animals as they get older show signs of back problems, even if you don’t believe in steriods please do not stop them with out a DVM advice. The steriods (most likely prednisone) will reduce the inflammtion that might be causing the disc to move, let you dogs take it easy for a while. Also the addition of glucosamine and chondroitin is an easy and inexpensive remedy for joint pain. And if you need something stronger your can ask about adequan injections which have proven to increase the amount of “joint juice” which then can repair cartilage. Although if x-rays have been done and their is ossification around the body vertebrate then it would be more likely its due to either genetics or age.

        • July 19, 2010 at 2:24 pm — Reply

          Thanks for all your help, Michael. I am sure everyone appreciates all the help they can get. That is interesting about where the location of the rabies shot should be.

      • bud baker
        April 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm — Reply

        I was told by a vet. that steroid shot given to dogs will harden their liver, I stopped the shots

  20. March 23, 2010 at 4:13 pm — Reply

    Hi Beth,
    Thanks for your recommendations. I’ll take a look at Dr. Feinman’s site – thanks for the resource.
    Don’t worry about poor typing, my blackberry has that auto spell-correct which makes me look like a goof when I press send to quickly.
    After going back on google I was able to use a few different key words and found a national site that does non-anesthesia dog teeth cleaning and referred to FL clinics – only downside is the one that is closest to me requires an initial office visit of $49, then IF the vet recommends to the procedure the dogs need to have current rabies, bordetella, and distemper – which they didn’t get – and then it costs $185 per dog.
    I looked at your site and inspired for additional topics to write on as I just started a blog for my dogs where I’ll be posting pictures – and stories for children – starring my pets. 
    Take care, monica

    • March 24, 2010 at 4:20 am — Reply

      Monica…it is a good idea to write about your dogs to help other people. You just never know, do you? Anyway, it is a good idea. If you want to do a guest post here at wcd, I can put it on and link to your website for more exposure to your site. Good luck on everything. If you can, get on Amazon and there are used books for almost nothing for natural health for dogs. They provide alternative answers to some of your problems.

      • Aurora Vinhais
        April 21, 2013 at 6:52 am — Reply

        Also, may have some answers for you.

  21. March 23, 2010 at 2:48 pm — Reply

    I recommend foregoing the flea and tick preventives like Frontline. There are natural alternatives that can help prevent fleas and ticks from latching on in the first place. Also every dog I know who has contracted Lyme’s (prevalent here in NJ) has had either gotten the vaccine and/or used frontline, it’s simply not effective.

    As for heartworrm. it’s been recommended to me that if you get a heartworm test 2x a year you can forego the heartguard. Often in early stages treatment for heartworm is heartguard so the twice a year check up should catch it. My dogs have a bvery stressful time with the vet so even though they are at the age when 2x a year vet visits are recommended, I don’t do it. My homeopathicvet (dr. Feinman at recommends using heartuard but less frequently than the box advises – only every 6 weeks, and not when mosquitoes are not present (much different here in Nj than FL)

    Also please forgive poor typing – I hate to present a sloppy appearance but my PC crashed with an automatic Windows Update and I am working on a new keyboard – which they don’t make like they used to! Tried to catch/correct ensuing typos!

    p.s. – again – no real way of knowing if bordetella vaccine contributed to the effects – if you don’t need it – DON’T GET IT!! All vaccines have potential for damaging side effects.

    Good Luck!

  22. monica b
    March 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm — Reply

    Thanks Beth and Nancy for your comments. I asked a vet and he said it’s most likely a side effect from the rabies and not the bordetella. That said, since she is slowly improving he suggested I monitor her food and water intake (he says, basic nursing care) and if she gets a fever or gets worse, ie. seizures, can’t walk at all, stop eating/drinking – I should take her to emergency vet care.

    He stated that she should get better in 4-5 days. Today, she is walking more, without the “dragging” of her back legs; she ate this morning and pooped, which she didn’t do yesterday, and has had food and water without much coaxing. IF it were not a required shot – I would not have had her take the rabies shot. The first one she had in Hawaii was only good for one year, so according to FL law, I had to get another one – little did I know, as she has never had any problems with her shots – that this would occur.

    I spent a considerable time reading on the side effects of rabies also. It’s interesting that they (vets) don’t tell owners of the side effects and it could take up to 45 days AFTER shots that these behaviors can occur. That’s shocking! Thank God for the internet, it was my error in not looking up these side effects in the past.

    What are your thougths on heartguard prevention pills or liquids? If there’s no fleas and ticks should I just skip that preventive pill and do the heart prevention? There are mosquitos in Orlando – so I feel I need to protect the dogs from that. I just don’t see an alternative to protecting them.

    One more questions, if I should post this in a different thread please let me know. I was wondering if anyone knows how to find a Non-anesthetic dental cleaner for dogs. I found one in Hawaii – which was only $75 he was awesome. I didn’t think i would have a problem finding another one, since Orlando is so huge, but I can’t seem to find anyone but regular vets who put dogs under anesthesia and my dogs don’t do well after they wake up – especially with their age and size – so now I have two little chihuahuas who are in desperate need for dental care – but I’m concerned that the dental cleaning could kill them. In addition it’s about $300-$500 per dog! thanks for any direction you can give. I’m glad I found this site.


  23. March 23, 2010 at 12:41 pm — Reply

    I suggest talking to the vet, first and foremost. Vets are required by law to vaccinate for Rabies. I would recommend stopping Bordetella vaccinations and looking for facilities who require only titres if you board your dog or tae him to a groomer. If you do neither of these things, there is no need to use this vaccine.

    We do not have a Corona virus in our area. I researched and found that the 5 in 1 series is a group of vaccinations that protect against Corona and distempe. If your dog is 10, has had these vacines in the past, he’s had enough and you don’t need to continue to vaccinate.

    Many vets will respect your wishes without comment, others will argue for the vaccination. The choice is yours. You are not obligated to get these vaccines, and in my opinion, you should not get them, especially in light of the reaction your dog just had to the rabies vaccine.

    Feed your dog the best quality of food you can, and promote health naturally so that his immune systen can stay well and grow stronger. Vaccines damage the immune system, and should be given as sparingly as possible.

    Humans get one vaccine (for a particular condition) during our lifetimes – why are we pumping animals with smaller bodies and shorter lifetimes full of chemicals that far exceed what we would ever receive?

    My dogs will receive no vaccines, except as required by law, for the rest of their lives. I’m sorry I let my vet talk me into the last distemper shot they received. People need to read, educate themselves, and make the decsions they feel are best for their animals with confidence.

  24. March 23, 2010 at 6:09 am — Reply

    I don’t know what those shots that you mentioned are. I don’t believe that damage from the vacine can be undone – Iwork with a homeopathic vet to try to get my dog as close to her original state as possible. It is more expensive than going to the regular vet since we have several consultations a year. I think hat most states require rabies only every three years so there’s no reason she should get any now. To my knowledge there is no difference in shots as far as duration of effectiveness ( one year v three year) Please go to the rabies challenge website and look for more information there. I’m hoping things improve for your little dog!

  25. March 23, 2010 at 2:06 am — Reply

    Personally, if she had a reaction to the first one (which it looks as if she did), I would not give her any more until it gets figured out. Where did they give her a shot at…in the hind leg or in the neck? They may have hit a nerve or bone if given in the leg. Watch for a fever if you can…check her rectally to see if it is normal. If it hits the bone it may become seriously infected.

  26. March 23, 2010 at 2:03 am — Reply

    Monica….have you told your vet the dog was having a reaction to the original shot? and if so….what did he/she say?

  27. March 22, 2010 at 10:49 pm — Reply

    My ten-yr-old, four pound, long-haired chihuahua just had a 3-yr rabies shot and bordetella. She is supposed to go back in two weeks, to have the 5in1 and the Corona. The day after she had a shot, she seemed fine but yelped when I tried to pick her up. I checked her legs and she didn’t want to eat or walk. She did walk with a strange dragging motion with her back legs. I thought it was because of her nails being too long so I had them trimmed. She is still a bit lethargic, wanting to hide – very unusual – never did that before; she stays in her bed or crate almost all day. I’m not sure what to do as it seems unusual – but then I read this site that says a side effect could be, ‘lack of hind end coordination’. Can anything be done about this? Should she have the other two shots in two weeks? We moved from Hawaii to FL – so she only had a one-yr rabies shot a year ago, with no problems. this is only her second in her life. We went to a vet at PetCo & don’t have a regular vet. I don’t have the money to pay for extensive tests. Any suggestions?

    • June 12, 2013 at 1:16 pm — Reply

      I just found out my city opened a clinic to help people be able to afford the shots. Times are rough now, so check with your city or shelter. NEVER take your pet to a grooming salon, they have no doctor available. They only groom pets and sell supplies. I have two Chihuahus one is 5 and the other is 7, they have had their shots since they were born but now only the 5 year old is getting the Distemper & Rabies and the 7 year old is just getting a rabies shot. After age 7 that’s all they needs because they have it built up in their system. Good luck, stay away from grooming salons. Shelley

  28. January 1, 2010 at 12:47 pm — Reply

    Yes, Beth, uniformed pet owners feel that “if my pet doesn’t have it or gets it, nobody’s will”. This is what causes the death and illness of many pets in our world. Just because I have not gotten the Swine Flu, does it mean nobody else will? Or die from it? Facts show otherwise. It is a good thing that her dog has not had problems with rabie shots, but it could have. Always be aware and obtain knowledge about yourself and your pets. Part of becoming mature.

  29. January 1, 2010 at 12:32 pm — Reply

    This last post incensed me. The vast majority of the veterinary community is in agreementt repeated vaccines pose a serious health risk to not only dogs but cats. Check out the Rabies Challenge Fund website to educate ourself before making uninformed comments.

  30. Destiny
    December 31, 2009 at 8:30 am — Reply

    OK,this is a little rediculous.I gave my 3 year old dog the rabie vaccine by a vet of course and they gave him less ammount than the bigger dogs at the rabies program.My dog had gotten 3 rabie shots alltogether in his life and has never experienced any of these “after effects”.I had many dogs that got a rabie shot and never ever had any problems.

  31. […] is because of the extreme heat their pets will be in contact with while traveling. Heat stroke or rabies in hot countries becomes a serious matter for dogs who are in strange surroundings with every […]

  32. May 30, 2009 at 3:31 pm — Reply

    We have a history of over vaccinating dogs in this country. Vaccinating can cause many disorders in dogs (and other animals and humans, as well), including cancer. When I first read about that I thought how terrible it must be for those whose dogs became ill due to vaccines, and thanked my lucky stars it hadn’t happened to my dog.

    Recently, I sought help from a homeopathic vet to try to resolve some behavioral issues in my own dog, which despite training (positive, desensitization, counterconditioning, etc.) seemed to be worsening. These included fear aggression toward humans, especially in uniform, difficulty breathing, drooling, reverse sneezes, shredding of bedding, fear of water, noise sensitivity and eating of non-food items like rocks and dirt.

    My dog was diagnosed with vaccinosis rabies miasm, and when I was told this I looked up the symptoms and was shocked to find that all of these bizarre symptoms are listed. Yet, despite conclusive evidence ofthe effects of too many rabies vaccines, the medical community does not recognize this condition.

    My dog is due for rabies booster (they don’t need boosters once vaccinated) and I don’t know what I’m going to do. I can’t stand the thought of her world getting even worse – yet, it’s the law. Now I spread the word about the Rabies Challenge Fund, headed by Dr. Dodds, who is proving through research that our dogs don’t need to be vaccinated so heavily. Funding is needed so that Dr. Dodds (well known and respected for her work with canine thyroid issues) can getr the laws changed to extend the period between vaccines to 5 and then 7 years.

    Do your research and don’t vaccinate every year for distemper, (after a certain age they don’t need it at all anymore) don’t get bordetella vaccines unless you kennel your dog (or your groomer requires it) and don’t get the Lyme’s vaccine. It’s effective in less than half the cases, and it only “protects” against one of many many strains of Lyme’s disease.

    • Michael (Vet Student)
      July 18, 2010 at 2:10 pm — Reply

      This comment is for the people who think they are educated through the interent about vaccines…
      Okay through my many years of expeirence in Gainesville Fl where I worked close with UF and Oviedo Fl Orlando, I have never seem a reaction to a rabies vaccine. The ones I do see are the lyme and lepto vax and mainly they happen on small gentle breeds. When this occurs all you need is benadryl for most cases. Its not that serious.
      As for pets that are “downed” in the hind legs, its generally going to be from the way the vaccine was given. The tech or vet may have it a nerve. As for a 14 year old dog getting a herninated disc from the vaccine is ridiculous. That problem is from being 14 years old.
      Also, we vaccinate our animals once yearly for distemper, 2 yearly for bordetella, and the first time rabies is given its repeated in 1 year because of the dangers of spreading it to other mammals. After that first time it is only needed every 3 years.
      Why do we vaccine our animals so much and not humans?
      Well its because our animals are not humans. Their immune system does not work as efficiently as them. Why do you think humans don’t take heartworm medication…also the reason dogs and cats have higher body temperature is not because its by random chance but because temperature is a first line defense for the immune system. With a raised body temp they can fight off diseases with out even trying.
      And then we you do research information on the internet, which I highly recommend, please look at more than just one website. Whether the site agrees with my views or not its always better to be better informed on both sides of the debate. Looking at only one site that is radical will not help your pets health but most likely hurt it. Next someone will talk about about how they only feed raw meat to their animals or strictly just veggies. Please, the vet is your friend. We are schooled for a total of 7 years not to serve you or the pocket book, but to protect animals…you wouldn’t talk the same way about your pediatrician would you…

      • July 18, 2010 at 2:29 pm — Reply

        Yes, I would. If I thought a pediatrician was in the wrong or I had doubts about his work, whether he went to college or not … yes, I would. No schooling makes vets or any doctor 100% full proof against making any time of mistake or knowing everything all the time… even a vet student.

        • Michael (Vet Student)
          July 19, 2010 at 5:42 am — Reply

          So the only part of my comment that you choose to reply to was the part that I wasnt even serious about…What about the other 400 words where I explain why Vets do what they do…You don’t win a debate by just responding…you have to actually try

          • July 19, 2010 at 9:17 am

            I am sorry, Michael, but I run a dog rescue here and a blog which makes a small attempt to help people with their pets. Debating in my spare time is not a priority – responding and acknowledging your opinion is all I have the time to do. You need to read the letters from people who actually are having problems with their dogs after they have had rabies shots. Just because you are a vet student does not mean you should be blind-sided to the possibility of another situation that goes against what you are taught.

        • Michael (Vet Student)
          July 19, 2010 at 1:28 pm — Reply

          I apologize if I came on too strong…I read back and it looks like I did. I can sometimes get frustrated with the internet and the ideals that people on website put out. I have worked with many rescues in the past and what you do is a great service to our animal community. I can assure you that there will always be the rare instance of vaccine reactions with animals but that does not mean that they are not nesscesary. In order for the vaccine to be released they must be tested for atleast 8 years until they can be mass produced for animals as well as people. If there were any repeative traits that were caused by the vaccine they would not have been released. I am sure though that it doesn’t mean that symptoms can develop later in life as a pet ages, or if the vaccine was given incorrectly, but they are tested at great lengths to ensure that no to little complications have occured and if they do, its normally on the outside of the bell curve. Just as in people with penicillin, there are a few hand full of people who can not take it, but for a great many it can be life saving.

          So I guess what I am saying is that yes I am aware of the “other” situations that can occur, and what I can assure you of is that Veterinarians know of these risks and are prepared and skill to help their clients if the rare symptom occurs, by no means is this small percentage of patients reason to stop the rabies vaccine all together.

          Once again I do and many other people apprieciate rescues to pick up where animal shelters can not, to help animals when needed, but participating in blogs that describe the “dangers of rabies shots in dogs” is a tad extreme when you probably work very close to many vets and I am sure that they offer you a great deal of financial help with vaccines during this hard time so you can continue your work.

          I have read all the entries in the blog and that is why I felt comfortable to reply, all I ask is that you not act “blinded” to many of the possiblities that just because a Vet has a business and you work mainly non-profit that all vets are not out there to make money.

          A more problem in the world than vaccines are the “back-yard-breeders” that only care about money and continue to fill you rescue with an over-population of animals to the point where millions of pets are euthanized out of convienced every year.

          Once again I know I can out hard and strong and for that I apologized but I do believe that you will agree with some of my points or atleast you will research the scientific side of health care.
          Also be careful with homeopathic medcines, by definition the principals are:

          Like cures like

          For example, if the symptoms of your cold are similar to poisoning by mercury, then mercury would be your homeopathic remedy.

          Minimal Dose

          The remedy is taken in an extremely dilute form; normally one part of the remedy to around 1,000,000,000,000 parts of water.

          The Single Remedy

          No matter how many symptoms are experienced, only one remedy is taken, and that remedy will be aimed at all those symptoms.

          These are great ways to develop resistance to many viruses and bacteria. The pathogens are not fully destroyed and learn to develop genetic resistance to many drugs. Please becareful with our furry friends, they only have the best help that you give them.

          • July 19, 2010 at 1:37 pm

            Michael, I accept your apology and accept your viewpoints. I have no problems with vets due to the fact they make money and I do not. In fact, Mark … our neighborhood vet … has saved many of our rescue dogs over the years. That has never been an issue here and I feel there is room for homeopathic services, natural services, and the medical field of veterinary work. Everything depends on the condition and the “furry patient.” We have no personal agenda against rabies shots here, but we also are aware of things that can develop – keeping our eyes open and opening the eyes of our readers. Just because someone has a problem with a rabies show does not mean every dog will. However, this can be in reverse…people with no problems with rabies shots for their pets should not ridicule those who do. We are not a one-size-fits all society, nor are our animals. The only person who fits into that agenda may be the animal abusers.

      • Aurora Vinhais
        July 31, 2010 at 7:31 pm — Reply

        Before anyone makes any assumptions about whether or not vaccines are dangerous, I would strongly suggest finding out the names of the companies that make the vaccines, and looking at their web sites to find the inserts sheets from the drug companies- and then read the list of the ingredients. And then do research on those ingredents, and you will find that those ingredients are poisons. You can get your facts from the inserts sheets from the drug companies!!!! Abd they will list the side effects and the dangers these shots cause.

        • Michael
          August 3, 2010 at 10:06 am — Reply

          WOW…so this is the reason why people freak out. Do you realize that vaccines are generally modified viruses? They are meant to stimulate the immune system so yes they are going to be considered a poison. Of course you can be poisoned by anything in the right amount. How about oxygen-poisoning or even water poisoning? So yes these ingredients are listed as poisons but they stimulate a reaction in body so that the immune system can be better equipped when the body is later exposed to those poisons. If all people used that reasoning that you just exhibited then people wouldn’t take Tylenol or Advil or ibuprofen because of the later chance of liver failure. Vaccines are the body’s way of working out. Slowly building up strength in order to be better prepared for future battles.

          • August 3, 2010 at 10:12 am

            Michael….why don’t you submit a 300 – 500 word article on how vaccines work in a dog’s body and how they affect their immune system? I will post it for you to better inform our dog world “the other side of the story.”

          • Aurora Vinhais
            April 21, 2013 at 6:50 am


            It not the rabies virus that I refered to as a poision. A virus is a virus. The poisions are the adjuvants that ‘turbo charge’ the body’s immune system instead of letting the body do that natural. They break down the bodies natural response to any illness. *The rabies virus is a live tenuated virus which means it is produced by live rabies cells that are grown in MONKEY cells, and not all those monkey cell’s are removed, so what is left over is injected into dogs and cats and farm animals. This causes hyper tension and other illnesses in dogs, cats and farm animals. *The posions are the adjuvants. And no amount of poisions in the body is safe. Mercury and thermasol. Mercury stays in the body and over times builds up and causes cancer and other illnesses. Thermasol is a salt that is used in fertillizer. It also causes illnesses and even death. * I have never heard of a case of a dog or cat getting having rabies. It’s a money making issue.* I called a few of the drug companies and they don’t give out or post the insert sheets for anyone to see. There are no case studies done to have statistics on the harmfull effects of the rabies vaccines in animals.* I did however get the insert sheet from my vet. And the SAME vaccine that is given to a dog is given to a cat and a COW and other live stock, and live stock cannot be killed (for people to eat) until one month after the vaccine has been in the body.* The vaccine that is given to the animals stay’s in the body- active, for 7 years, and some say that one vaccine is good for a lifetime. Please, if you are going to make comments please have some facts in backing up your statements. List all the ingredients and then look them up and way the facts. Read what vet’s are writing, and see what they tell about the adverse reactions and even death or paralyized pets they have to ‘put down’ because of the dangers of the rabies vaccine.

    • Jill Singer
      September 13, 2012 at 12:08 pm — Reply

      I have been aware of the dangers of booster vaccines for years and just refused them from my vet who was going to give my dogs their boosters along with their Rabies vaccine. But I could not refuse that vaccine even though one of my dogs has been struggeling with liver vaccine by law. Don’t do it if your dog is sick,it might kill her. Find a way to avoid it at least until your dog is well again, really well.

  33. May 27, 2009 at 9:43 am — Reply

    Nancy Houser at 10:29am May 27 to William Greguras:
    (Answered through Facebook) The world is always better off with rabies shots (if your country can get them as there is a severe shortage right now other than in the U.S.) but we need to remain aware of the side-effects and dangers of them, affecting certain dogs. Rabies shots are no different than the necessary and law-abiding vaccines for children–even though it is now considered an extremely controversial issue. Many develop reactions to them. When I was supervisor at Bethphage Mission in Axtell, many of the “comatosed” people I cared for were that way because of their childhood vaccines and its side effects. Yet…still…our children are better off due to the massive numbers of children who do not develop life-threatening diseases they used to have. It is a win-win situation dependent on numbers.

  34. May 27, 2009 at 9:43 am — Reply

    William J. Greguras at 10:12am May 27

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