Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Cookie's Rabies Booster

Time goes by too quickly. Especially when it comes to vaccination boosters. Apparently, it's been three years already since Cookie's last one for rabies.


I hate having to booster.


And generally, I don't. Except for rabies. Cookie would have also been due for parvo and distemper, but with those, we can just titer. And of course, I'd never give multiple vaccines in one go no matter what. I like to put at least a month between if I do have to give more than one.

Rabies boosters are still legislated.


I'm glad that at least here we have the option of the three-year vaccines. If I had to booster annually, I'd probably lose my mind. So there is that. Something to be thankful for, I guess.

Rabies is deadly.


Not vaccinating against rabies, of course, would be insane. There is no cure, and it is a deadly disease. Vaccination is the only line of defense. That, or keeping one's dog locked up in some kind of a protective bubble and never let them out and never let anything in. Which I don't think any dog would appreciate.

I did, however, have high hopes in the Rabies Challenge study to prove that vaccinated dogs retain immunity for 5 to 7 years, rather than only three. The goal then would be to extend the legally required interval for rabies boosters to 5 and then 7 years. Which would be fantastic.

If my memory serves me right, though, they should have had the needed data already. But there doesn't seem to be much news on that front. Perhaps they need more help with funding.

And then, of course, there is the legislative part - have you ever seen a government do things quickly? I haven't yet.

There is always the potential for an adverse reaction.


"Immunologically, the rabies vaccine is the most potent of the veterinary vaccines and associated with significant adverse reactions such as polyneuropathy resulting in muscular atrophy, inhibition or interruption of neuronal control of tissue and organ function, incoordination, and weakness, auto-immune hemolytic anemia, autoimmune diseases affecting the thyroid, joints, blood, eyes, skin, kidney, liver, bowel and central nervous system; anaphylactic shock; aggression; seizures; epilepsy; and fibrosarcomas at injection sites are all linked to the rabies vaccine." ~Rabies Challenge Fund

Bad things don't always happen, but I have seen some terrible things. Some severe reactions, such as anaphylaxis, can occur quickly, some can take a while to crop up. Most common side-effects are mild, such as local discomfort or swelling, low fever and stuff like that related to normal immune response.

But some dogs can experience life-threatening reactions which can be immediate or delayed.


Taking all precautions.


The main precaution I decided to take, though it might come across as overly paranoid, was that I wanted to make sure we'll be vaccinating a healthy dog.

The hospital already includes a physical exam with the appointment, which is great, but I wanted to take a step further and asked to run at least a pre-op blood panel. Not because Cookie seemed ill but because a lot of things might not be readily visible. For example, we had some challenges with her ALT levels in the past. I would not want to vaccinate a dog with an unhappy liver whatever the reason for that might be.

Only after Cookie's exam and bloodwork checked out, we did the vaccine.

After that, I always insist on hanging near the hospital for at least an hour should an acute reaction crop up. And I keep a keen eye on Cookie for the rest of the day.

After the vaccination, I gave her a round of extra milk thistle.

Cookie made it through the booster mostly unscathed.


She had no reaction I could see on the day of the vaccination and some minor local pain the next day. After that, everything seems fine.

I will still be watching for a couple of weeks, but it seems we're out of the woods.

After that, I can relax for another three years. Unless the legislation changes by then.



Related articles:
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
And So It Begins Again(?) Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie 
I Didn't Know I Could Fly: Why Cookie Wears A Harness Instead Of A Collar
C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews For Dogs CAN Be A Choking Hazzard 
Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie: The Knee Or The Foot?
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Too Young For Pot: Cookie's Snack With A Side Of Hydrogen Peroxide  
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization  
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed  
Putting The Easy Back Into Walking
Cookie's Ears Are Still Not Happy 
The Threat Of The Bulge Is Always Lurking 
Today Is Cookie's Three-Months Adoptoversary  
Cookie Meets The Electric Horse Fence And Her First Chiropractic Adjustment  
Why Examine Your Dog's Vomit? 
Why Is That Leg Still Not Happy? Cookie's Leg Keeps Getting Sore 
Cookie Too Is Insured With Trupanion
Does Being Insured Mean Being Covered? Our First Claim With Trupanion
Is Cookie's Leg Finally Getting Better?
Is Cookie Going To Be Another Medical Challenge Or Are We Looking Too Closely? 
The Project That Is Cookie: Pancreatitis Up Close And Personal  
Pancreatitis: Cookie’s Blood Work   
Another Belly Upset: Pancreatitis Again Or Not?  
Happy Birthday, Cookie 
Incontinence? Cookie's Mysterious Leaks 
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat 
Don't Just Stand There, Do Something? Cookie's Mysterious Bumps 
Cookie's Mysterious Bumps Update
One Vomit, No Vomit 
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
Cookie's Leaks Are Back: Garden Variety Incontinence Or Not?
Cookie's Leaks Update 
Don't Panic, Don't Panic: Know What Your Job Is 
The Continuing Saga Of Cookie's Leeks: Trying Chiropractic Approach 
Cookie's Minor Eye Irritation
Regular Wellness Exam: Cookie's ALT Was Elevated 
Cookie's Plantar Paw Pad Injury 
How Far To Take It When The Dog Isn't Sick?
Cookie Has Tapeworm Infection 
Cookie's Elevated ALT: The Ultrasound and Cytology  
Cookie's ALT Update
The Importance of Observation: Cookie's Chiropractic Adjustment
Sometimes You Don't Even Know What You're Looking at: Cookie's Scary "We Have No Idea What that Was" 
Living with an Incontinent Dog 
Summer Dangers: Cookie Gets Stung by a Bald-faced Hornet 
To Breathe or Not To Breathe: Cookie's Hind Legs Transiently Fail to Work (Again)
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Process 
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Diagnosis 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Trazodone  
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Other Medications 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Laser, Hydrotherapy, and Chiropractic 
Cookie's Recovery from Iliopsoas Injury: ToeGrips 
It Never Rains ... Cookie's New Injury 
Mixed Emotions: When What You Should Do Might Not Be What You Should Do for Your Dog 
Cookie's New Injury Update 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: The Symptoms 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: Battling the Zoomies 
Cookie's Muscle Injuries: What Else Is Going On?
Theory and Actual Decisions for an Actual Dog Aren't the Same Thing: Cookie's Knee Injury
Does Your Vet Listen to You? Cookie's Post-Sedation Complications
Would I Ever Treat a Symptom Directly? 
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment for Cookie's Bad Knee(s)
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) for Cookie's Bad Cruciate Update 
Injury or Surgery Recovery: Mishaps versus Setbacks 
See Something, Do Something: Cookie's Lumpectomy 
Cookie's Lumpectomy Update 
Using Pressure Pads to Evaluate Lameness in Dogs: My Observations
Cookie's Musculoskeletal Challenges: What Supplements Am I Using?
Cookie's Musculoskeletal Challenges: Restricted Activity and Weight Management
Cookie's PRP Treatment for Partial Cruciate Tear: Update
Has Your Dog's Physical Therapist Taken Dog Training Classes? 
Cookie's PRP Treatment for Partial Cruciate Tear Update and Considering the Future
Cookie's PRP Treatment for Partial Cruciate (CCL/ACL) Tear and Leg Circumference
Cookie's Wellness Exam
Ticked Off at the Tick Situation: What Do You Use for Tick Prevention?
Ticked Off at the Tick Situation: The Verdict Is In (for Now)
Cookie's Annual Heartworm and Tick-Borne Diseases Test
One Yelp, No Yelp. But Two?
One Yelp, No Yelp - Update



Do you have a story to share?

Your story can help others, maybe even save a life!


What were the first signs you noticed? How did your dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?

Email me, I'll be happy to hear from you.




Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog now available in paperback and Kindle. Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency.

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