Join Date: Dec 2012
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I personally think every dog should get a rabies vaccine unless there are extraordinary reasons why not (ie, the dog has had a previous anaphylactic reaction to the vaccine the year before, not the dog will have hives and thus be miserable for several days).
Many of the other vaccines we vaccinate pets against are not transmittable to people, so that vaccines for those should certainly be owner's choice. Rabies can go dog to person and can be deadly to a person if not treated within a crucial window. One country, India, has 1/3 of the entire world's rabies' deaths (20,000 people per year die from rabies there). They don't vaccinate their dogs and have a large stray dog population. Dog bites are the biggest transmitter of rabies there.
As another minor and much less convincing reason: To maintain herd immunity, (ie, non-vaccinated people can be protected from the disease because the disease is almost eradicated due to every one else's immunization status ) approximately 80% of the population needs to be vaccinated. When you think of all the strays, pets need to be vaccinated to maintain that 80% in America's dog population.
All this is just my opinion, but just something to think about before skipping a vaccine that could put others at risk.
edited to say: if an owner of a sensitive dog wants to do rabies titers every 3 years instead of the vaccine, and can thus know the vaccine is still good, I think that's fine as well. The whole point of requiring a vaccine is to ensure person safety, not make a dog suffer.
Last edited by Zarika; 02-07-2013 at 02:52 PM.