A good customer that
frequents our store e-mailed me telling me his concerns about Rabies Vasculitis.
There are growing concerns about how much a person should vaccinate their
pet-with good reason. Often misdiagnosed, Rabies Vasculitis is a reaction to
the vaccination which causes inflammation of the blood vessels resulting in
compromise of blood supply to affected areas. It is thought that the
inflammation is due to the over stimulation of the immune system. This is more
common in dogs and less so in cats.
So what does that mean for your pet? Your pet may exhibit lumps at the vaccine
site, hair loss, ulcers, scabs, darkening of the skin, and scarring with loss of
hair. In addition to the vaccination site, lesions / ulcers can develop on the
ear flaps, on the elbows and hocks, in the center of the footpads, lips, mouth,
and scrotum. Scarring may be permanent. Some animals show other symptoms such
as lethargy, decreased appetite, fever, muscle disease, joint inflammation, and
swelling of extremities. Symptoms can show up within weeks of the vaccination or
they can take several months to develop.
The prognosis of your pet depends on the severity of the symptoms and the extent
of damage done to the organs. Treatment from your vet my include medications to
suppress blood vessel inflammation. Because your Vet may use drugs like
steroids, pentoxifylline (the combination of tetracycline and niacinamide),
dapsone, sulfasalazine, cyclosporin, or azathioprine, I would seek out a
Holistic Vet and see if there would be a safer alternative way to treat my pet.
Because the immune system has now been compromised, there is a good chance, your
holistic vet will focus on building your pet's immune system back up again. In
some cases medication may eventually be discontinued, however some animals will
require lifelong medication for control.
For pets who have developed a reaction to their Rabies Vaccination (or any
vaccination for that matter) should review the vaccination protocol with their
veterinarian and try to reduce future vaccinations to the extent medically and
legally possible. At the very least, vaccines from the same manufacturer should
be avoided. I have also read that giving the vaccine in another location and
given in the muscle rather then under the skin is an option, but I would
personally be hesitant to do this if my pet had a reaction from a previous
I know there are a lot of controversy over the topic of giving vaccinations.
Even when we got Beau and Baxter, I had to decide what vaccines they should get
- not knowing their history and weigh it against the exposure of the disease
they could get.
Instead of getting regular vaccinations, another option you can talk to your vet
about is the Titer test. A Titer test is
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