Rabies Vaccines Cannot be Administered to Unhealthy Dogs

by Dr. Deva Khalsa on August 7, 2012

The  AVMA has come out with new guidelines for vaccines and it is heartening to see that they are changing somewhat in their approach..although in my estimation much more progressive change is needed.   I always get many questions on the Rabies vaccine which, when I had my practice in PA, I would never administer to sick patients.  I would consider a dog with a skin allergy or ear infection ‘not well’.  So I was heartened by this statement in the AVMA guidelines

Question:Vaccines are indicated for administration to healthy dogs only. In locations that require dogs to be vaccinated against rabies, is the veterinarian still required to administer vaccine to a dog that has a chronic or systemic illness?

Rabies vaccination requirements for dogs are generally de- fined by state or provincial law; however, local municipalities (JAAHA.ORG 29)(counties or cities) may impose rabies vaccination require- ments that are more restrictive, but never less restrictive, than those defined by the state or province. Some, but not all, government agencies grant rabies vac- cination waiver authority to veterinarians in the event an individual dog is determined by the veterinarian to be sufficiently ill that vaccination should be delayed. Physical examination and medical record documentation of the illness is generally required; it is the responsibility of the owner and the veterinarian to ensure the dog is revac- cinated when or if the underlying medical condition is resolved.

You can access the entire PDF by clicking  http://www.aahanet.org/PublicDocuments/CanineVaccineGuidelines.pdf

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