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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15358
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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My dog is 9 years old and I don't want to give her a rabies

Customer Question

My dog is 9 years old and I don't want to give her a rabies shot. I have lost a cat and a dog right after they received their rabies shot. Different years and different vets. So I am trying to protect my dog. She is a house dog and walked on a leash.
Are there any mild rabies shots. My wife says we cannot get our dog's heart worm/flea medication without seeing the vet.
Would appreciate any suggestions.
Joplin, Mo
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I am sorry to hear you are worried about your dog. I am a veterinarian, and will do my best to help. There is no "mild" rabies vaccination. For a vaccine to stimulate a dog to make antibodies against a disease (rabies, distemper, kennel cough, etc.), a vaccine has to present a minimum amount of "antigen" to the immune system. Antigen can be a killed version of the virus, or a piece of the virus, or a modified form of the virus, to get the immune system to make antibodies against the actual live virus. A lot of science, research, testing, and regulation goes into making a vaccine, whether it is for people or dogs. Any vaccine, regardless of the manufacturer, has to have that minimum amount of antigen to work, so giving half doses, or diluted vaccine will not get the immune system to protect the dog against the disease.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
You can decline any vaccination for your dog. However, rabies is the only disease that most states require by law, and the law is there to protect people from getting rabies, a fatal disease. So, in most states, you can't board your dog, take your dog across state lines, get a license, etc. without a rabies certificate.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Some vets will prescribe heartworm medication (with a current heartworm blood test) and flea and tick medication even if you don't get the rabies vaccination, but that is up to the individual veterinarian.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Let me know what else I can answer for you.