Once again, you are helping to bring about great changes for dogs with your active participation on rabies laws -- THANK YOU!!!
Wyoming update: The e-mail below, shared with permission from the recipient, from the President of the Cheyenne City Council, Don Pierson, was received 4/29/08 by the lead activist in Wyoming, Karon Volk:
"Hello Mrs. Volk Just a followup to let you know that the Mayor and I are working together and have instructed the city attorney to prepare an ordinance or a resolution to take care of the 1 year vs 3 year problem. All the research I have found says that to require our city residents to get the vaccination for their pets every year is unnecessary. I will let you know when it will be ready for introduction and would hope that you would like to attend our meetings and testify about the situation. Let me know if there is anything else I can do at this time about this situation. Thanks for all your info you provided and your concern."
ISDRA-International Sled Dog Racing Association: After Steve Goldman, a concerned ISDRA member, contacted the International Sled Dog Racing Association about ISDRA sanctioned races requiring annual rabies vaccinations for sled dogs and asked for assistance, I wrote the letter to the Executive Director Below. Mr. Steele responded immediately and will be publishing announcements in 2 issues of Dog and Driver before the proposal comes before the full ISDRA Board.
What You Can Do
If you are concerned about racing events that require sled dogs to receive redundant annual rabies boosters, please e-mail Dave Steele at firstname.lastname@example.org
PERMISSION GRANTED TO POST AND CROSS-POST THIS MESSAGE
March 18, 2008
Mr. Dave Steele, Executive Director
International Sled Dog Racing Association
22702 Rebel Road
Merrifield, MN 56465, USA
Greetings Mr. Steele:
One of the objectives listed in the International Sled Dog Racing Association’s (ISDRA) Constitution and By-Laws under Article II C is to: “Promote the welfare of sled dogs in all activities and endeavors.” Further on, under Article IX Section 2 A 4, it declares one of the duties of the Animal Welfare Committee shall be to: “Inform the membership of new advances in canine nutrition and all areas related to the physical and mental well-being of sled dogs.”
With those objectives and the physical and mental well-being of sled dogs in mind, I am writing to request that ISDRA’s Board of Directors seriously consider alerting its membership to the potential health hazards associated with redundant annual rabies vaccinations, which some U.S. and Canadian races require for team entrants.
Annual rabies vaccinations after the initial puppy series are medically unnecessary and contrary to the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Association of State Public Health Veterinarian's (NASPHV) Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control which declare that: "Vaccines used in state and local rabies control programs should have at least a 3-year duration of immunity,” and should be administered no more often than specified by the product label or package insert. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) endorses a 3 year protocol as does the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).
Many, if not most or all, annual rabies vaccines are the 3 year vaccine relabeled for annual use. According to Dr. Ronald Schultz of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, whose canine vaccine studies form a large part of the scientific base for the 2003 and 2007 AAHA Canine Vaccine Guidelines as well as the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (WSAVA) Vaccine Guidelines, “There is no benefit from annual rabies vaccination and most one year rabies products are similar or identical to the 3-year products with regard to duration of immunity and effectiveness.”
Because the rabies vaccine is the most potent of the veterinary vaccines and associated with significant adverse reactions, it should not be given more often than is necessary to maintain immunity. Adverse reactions such as 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 linked to rabies vaccinations.
Rabies is a “killed” vaccine, for which internationally accepted scientific data have demonstrated a minimum duration of immunity of 3 years by challenge and 7 years serologically. The rabies vaccine, and other killed vaccines such as Leptospira and Lyme, contains adjuvants such as aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, and aluminum potassium sulfate to enhance the immunological response. In 1999, the World Health Organization " classified veterinary vaccine adjuvants as Class III/IV carcinogens with Class IV being the highest risk," and the results of a study published in the August 2003 Journal of Veterinary Medicine documenting fibrosarcomas at the presumed injection sites of rabies vaccines stated, “In both dogs and cats, the development of necrotizing panniculitis at sites of rabies vaccine administration was first observed by Hendrick & Dunagan (1992).” According to the 2003 AAHA Canine Vaccine Guidelines, "...killed vaccines are much more likely to cause hypersensitivity reactions (e.g., immune-mediated disease)."
With the physical challenges of the trail to meet, sled dogs should not be exposed to the health hazards associated with medically unwarranted annual rabies boosters in order to enter racing events. I strongly urge you to inform your membership of the potential risks associated with unnecessary annual rabies vaccinations and request that ISDRA only sanction races that conform to the 3 year standard recommended by the Center for Disease Control’s National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Animal Hospital Association.
If you have any questions or would like copies of the material referenced above, please contact me at xxxxxx.
Kris L. Christine
The Rabies Challenge Fund
 Center for Disease Control’s National Association of State Public Health Veterinarian's Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control http://www.nasphv.org/Documents/RabiesCompendium.pdf
The American Veterinary Medical Association’s 2007 RABIES VACCINATION PROCEDURES www.avma.org/products/scientific/biologics.pdf
The 2006 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines are downloadable in PDF format at http://www.aahanet.org/PublicDocumen...s06Revised.pdf
 What Everyone Needs to Know about Canine Vaccines, Dr. Ronald Schultz http://www.puliclub.org/CHF/AKC2007Conf/What%20Everyone%20Needs%20to%20Know%20About%20Canine%20Vaccines.htm
Duration of Immunity to Canine Vaccines: What We Know and Don't Know, Dr. Ronald Schultz http://www.cedarbayvet.com/duration_of_immunity.htm
World Small Animal Veterinary Association 2007 Vaccine Guidelines http://www.wsava.org/SAC.htm Scroll down to Vaccine Guidelines 2007 (PDF)
 IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans: Volume 74, World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Feb. 23-Mar. 2, 1999, p. 24, 305, 310
 Fibrosarcomas at Presumed Sites of Injection in Dogs: Characteristics and Comparison with Non-vaccination Site Fibrosarcomas and Feline Post-vaccinal Fibrosarcomas; Journal of Veterinary Medicine, Series A August 2003, vol. 50, no. 6, pp. 286-291(6)
 The 2003 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines are accessible online at http://www.leerburg.com/special_report.htm
More information on the rabies vaccine can be found at the following links :
Animal Wellness Magazine Article Vol. 8 Issue 6, How Often Does he REALLY Need A Rabies Shot http://www.animalwellnessmagazine.com/m/m86/main.htm
The Rabies Challenge Animal Wise Radio Interview
http://www.animalarkshelter.org/animal/Animal+Wise+Segments.nsf/HighlightsListen?OpenForm&Segment=43AF377786A21CFC862573AC007EE99B" (scroll down to The Rabies Challenge 12/9/07)
The Vaccine Challenge http://www.animaltalknaturally.com/2007/05/01/the-vaccine-challenge-show-91
Animal Talk Naturally Online Radio Show » The Vaccine Challenge - Show #91
US Declared Canine-Rabies Free -- CDC Announces at Inaugural World Rabies Day Symposium http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/pressrel/2007/r070907.htm]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. "
More information and regular updates on The Rabies Challenge Fund and the concurrent 5 and 7 year challenge studies it is financing can be found at the fund’s website designed by volunteer Andrea Brin at:
The information contained on this site is in no way intended to replace that of proper veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment.
It is meant to provide resource, so that we can better understand canine health related issues.