Why Are Rabies Vaccines Necessary?

18 Jan

My cat never goes outside. . .

This is a very common question from pet owners.  And aside from saying it’s a federally regulated vaccine, and it helps protect people from rabies, I never have much to say.

And the big vaccine controversy doesn’t help.  (Uneducated) people automatically hate vaccines and implicate them for causing autism, cancer, and other horrible and (untrue and/or uncommon) reactions.

I guess we should be thankful.  Thankful that vaccines have worked so well, that nobody in the last 2-3 generations has been sick with measles, mumps, rubella, polio, or even chicken pox.  Because we have not experienced the ill-effects of these diseases which we have been routinly vaccinated for, we take the vaccine itself for granted.  But that leaves us at risk again to get the diseases themselves.

When these nay-sayers won’t even innoculate their children, I feel there’s little I can tell them to make them vaccinate their pet.  Mostly I just offer expensive titers ($250 after mark up from IDEXX) as a compromise.  And you’d be surprised how many people (especially from Seattle) are willing to pay it.

I suggest watching the Frontline documentary “Vaccine Wars” to get a true idea of the whole vaccine debacle.  It delves into the situation much better than I could in one blog post.  Here’s some stats on the rabies disease:

Animals identified with rabies in 2010: 2,246 raccoons (36.5%), 1,448 skunks (23.5%), 1,430 bats (23.2%), 429 foxes (6.9%), 303 cats (4.9%), 71 cattle (1.1 %), and 69 dogs (1.1 %). Compared with 2009, number of reported rabid animals decreased across all animal types with the exception of a 1 % increase in the number of reported rabid cats.  Per JAVMA Sept 2011

After that–well, it’s just the lawful thing to do.  And not that expensive.

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