Dog's death has Dracut owner question...

Dog's death has Dracut owner questioning safety of rabies vaccine

There are 107 comments on the Lowell Sun story from May 27, 2008, titled Dog's death has Dracut owner questioning safety of rabies vaccine. In it, Lowell Sun reports that:

Massachusetts requires all dogs to be vaccinated for rabies on a yearly basis, but Joann Camilli is not sure she'll ever do it again.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Lowell Sun.

Angie Totten

Arlington, VA

#63 Jun 3, 2008
Good for her! The immunological system is too complex for vets or any medical specialists to be able to assert that any medical intervention, including a vaccine, is "safe." Furthermore, rabies itself is rare and mostly in wildlife, not in pets. The chances of your pet getting rabies without the vaccine is still miniscule. The vet who said that an unvaccinated pet puts her staff's health and the public's health at risk is overreacting. People forget that rabies was avoided in the the pre-vaccine era through simple precautionary measures. Now that we have a vaccine for it, rabies (and other diseases vaccinated against) have become these huge monsters that we should dread and fear. The absence of them in our environment has actually made them much scarier to us.

Many states, including my own (Virginia) only mandate a vaccine every 3 years. So the vets in this article are mistaken that a vaccine is NEEDED every year and that the reasoning behind this vaccination schedule is pure science and sound public health policy.

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#64 Jun 3, 2008
My Chihuahua, Bruzer, died a horrible death three weeks after his rabie shot.

When he got the shot it hurt him so baddly that he cried; it was the only time I ever heard him cry. His health deteriorated every day after that. I'm told he had chronic Rockie Mountain Tick Fever and the shot triggered it's flare-up. First he was terrible tired, then spots all over his soft spots, then hemoraging from his mouth and other areas and into his brain. It was horrible and I couldn't stop it even $3,500 later which I'd pay again in a heart beat, and I'm not rich. It took the vet a week to get the diagnoses back from his tests, but by then Bruzer was a living-dead dog.

His plaitlets were almost gone. He had a transfusion. You could see him struggle to live because he loved his new home. We had just adopted him from the streets and he loved it here in his new life. He struggled so hard to stay.

He was so brave but looked so pained, and finanlly he just laid down and died one night alone in a cage at the vets. We put his head down in our yard where I promised him he would always call home from the time we first brought him home from the streets. He died a horrible miserable death because of a Rabie shot.

Bruzer's sad mom.
Ruff Ruff

United States

#65 Jun 3, 2008
All I have to say is, have you ever seen an animal die from Rabies? Once you have seen it, I am sure you will vaccinate your animal every year. It is not a law for a reason! I also find it odd that this dog has been getting the rabies vaccine for 12 years with no issues, it sounds as though the dog had health issues. I think this article was poorly researched.

Taunton, MA

#66 Jun 3, 2008
Nicolas wrote:
It is amazing how much ignorance there is regarding vaccinations and the over-vaccination of pets ( as well as the true reasons why vets are pushing for far more vacs than they used to -$$).
Do your homework people before spouting off on a subject you know nothing about. The chance that so0meone's pet contracts rabies is extremely low. There is a far greater chance for your pet to be harmed by all these vaccination boosters than by contracting any disease naturally. Pets are suffering and dying prematurely at epidemic rates! A big cause of this due to over-vaccination. Do a little reading to find out why - many
good vets have realized this and much research has been done already. This is all about $$$$'s - that's all. In fact injecting frequent live diseases into pets makes them shed these diseases and be contagious to others - talk about diseased pets running around!
I have been very concerned at the young ages that I see dogs dying as I posted earlier. In addition to vaccines, how "good" can a flea and tick product be that is absorbed through the skin and remains in the system for months? What is really in the food? There are so many reasons that could be the cause to these early deaths. I see so much cancer...why? Nicolas, I think you are on to something. Joann, Oprah did a show on puppy mills...maybe she will do something about this. Atleast we know Harley and Louie are together!
Marilyn - Woburn MA

United States

#67 Jun 3, 2008
joann wrote:
<quoted text>just wanted to let you know when my dog louie died from his rabies vaccine he was having a difficult time breathing grasping for air and also had blood coming out of his anal area and it was not looking nice and we had to watch him suffer and it had a very bad odor. I want to thank everyone for there great comments and being there for me. hopefully we can get the law amended i do have someone who is helping me on this. infact this would be a great story for oprah to do on her show i have tried several emails maybe some of you guys out there can email her she would be the one to get the story out and have a great show on it.
Who do you use as a vet?? Sounds like incompetence on their part if you ask me!

United States

#68 Jun 3, 2008
exact same thing happened with my dog. had a condition not know about and when he got the rabies shot, it caused his immune system to crash and he spent a week fighting in the ER but didn't make it. no way i'll get another rabies shot for my dogs. horrible experience. it boggles your mind that this is acceptalbe??? you don't realize it until it happens to you and then you research to find it's not uncommon.
Julie in Maine

Andes, NY

#69 Jun 4, 2008
Joanne, first I want to say how sorry I am you had to go thru that and that Louie died. BTDT also.
Our beautiful Malamute also died from the rabies vaccine. She was just two yrs old when the vet gave her a 6 shot cocktail against our wishes. She was in for a checkup after injuring her back. They were told not to vax. They did it while she was in the back getting x-rayed. She got very sick that day. Diarrhea, vomiting, shaking and running a high temp. A week later she lost the use of her hind legs. After a year of being treated and much $$$ she developed cancer at the injection site in her back. She died of cancer 18 months after those shots that were NOT necessary. You must NEVER vaccinate an ill or injured animal. It will blow their immune system. Our poor girl died after an 18 month struggle to live. She lived with no use of her hing legs, had to use a handicapped cart to get out and get exercise.
When I complained to the vet they said if we didn't like their treatments then I should find another vet! I would love to sue them but in Maine it's impossible to find a lawyer who will take on the vet system or the vaccine companies.
There are thousands of pets each year who have complications from vaccines. They do not publish these findings naturally because that would make owners aware of the danger of vaccinating their pets and the vets and the pharma companies would lose their cash cow.

Do the research and really think before you let them vax your pet. You have no idea whether your pet will end up like our Mal or Louie.

Hug for you Joanne. I am so sorry about your Louie.
Ronna Kabler DVM

United States

#70 Jun 4, 2008
There is no question that we need to have our dogs
and outdoor cats protected against rabies,
BUT, is there a need to administer this vaccine
repeatedly? The answer is NO. One or two initial vaccinations are probably protective for the life of the animal. The current recommendations are based on the studies the vaccine companies do which are only for three years. There are studies going on now to show that the duration of immunity of the rabies vaccine is AT LEAST seven years. Vets. are obliged to comply with the law, BUT ethically, a vaccine should ONLY be administered to a HEALTHY animal. In our holistic practice,
we see 100's of animals that have fallen ill to
Ronna Kabler DVM

United States

#71 Jun 4, 2008
To take it one step further, what are we doing to our children? We are injecting them repeatedly with these vaccines, many of which we have NO idea of what the long term affects are. For example,
The HPV vaccine for cervical cancer has 1000's of
serious adverse affects reported, including deaths!!
HPV is a sexually transmitted disease preventable
by abstinence or condoms, yet this dangerous vaccine
is mandated in some states and aggressively marketed
to be injected into young girls!!!!!!!

Reading, PA

#72 Jun 5, 2008
A necessary risk? Just how risky is rabies? Or should I say, what are the chances your dog is going to get bit by a rabid animal? That's the only way they can get rabies. And putting people at risk? By being around a dog or cat who has NOT had a rabies shot? When was the last time YOU had a rabies shot? Would people stay away from you if they knew YOU hadn't been innoculated with a rabies vaccine? How about the flu? If your co-worker or signifgant other didn't get the flu vaccine this year, and you did, would you be afraid to be around them? This seems to be the logic some people have regarding their pets, and for that matter, their children.
Joe - Chelmsford wrote:
Cats and dogs must be vaccinated for rabies by law. If they are not current on this vaccine, they are susceptible to rabies and are putting anyone who comes in contact with them at risk. It is very sad about dog and as someone who has multiple pets I feel her pain, but deaths from the rabies vaccine are uncommon and it is a necessary risk.

Reading, PA

#73 Jun 5, 2008
Reading through these 71+ comments, I think it's YOU who need to do some research!
Rabies is a horrible virus, leading to almost inevitable death. The real question is, what are the chances your pet is going to get bitten by a rabid animal? And then there's the issue of only getting vaccines when they're needed. I'm glad to see a vet on here as a proponant of a 7 year space between rabies shots. And then I believe it should only be given to animals who do not have a compromised immune system.
Just my 2c
Ruff Ruff wrote:
<snip> I think this article was poorly researched.
Growl Growl

Dracut, MA

#74 Jun 5, 2008
you obviously must be a vet and making the money on the vaccine. Rabies can be a horrible death but seriously most wild animals get rabies and most people that love there pets dont put there dogs in that situation, and yes the dog was sick but if you read the paper on the back of the rabies it says do not give to unhealthy or sick dog. unfortunetly he was givin the shot because of the law he did not need the shot he was an indore dog who went out in a kennel to relieve himself with me watching to make sure he was o.k. outside. they have the rabies challenge fund that is trying to prove that rabies vaccine is good for 5 to 7 years. also when a dog reaches a certain age just like people they do have health issues who do you know that is in there 70's that doesnt have some health issue or is on some kind of pill.
Growl Growl

Dracut, MA

#75 Jun 5, 2008
Marilyn - Woburn MA wrote:
<quoted text>
Who do you use as a vet?? Sounds like incompetence on their part if you ask me!
unfortunetly my vet was doing his job. I have gone to him all of louie's life and he was great to him infact he saved his life because when he was around 7 he got bloat. he has always been a wonderful vet and i dont blame him for what happened to the dog i blame the law and the rabies vaccine.

New Albany, IN

#76 Jun 10, 2008
I encourage everyone to look on the internet for The Rabies Challenge Fund and also look up Dr.Jean Dood.There are several yahoo groups on this as well.TruthAboutVacinnes and BeyondVaccines just to mention a few.I believe, as with our own health care, we need to be informed and pro-active with our pets healthcare. After all we are the consumers. And how many times have we seen consumers beware in our lifetimes.The Goverment included.How many drugs have been put on the market then pulled because they found out bad stuff after the fact.Think About It. No different in Animal Medicine Folks. All comes down to one big word. PROFIT!!!!

Fall River, MA

#77 Jun 15, 2008
I am pleased to read some MA vets are stepping up to the plate to acknowledge the old protocol is not the " right " protocol when it comes to wellness and longevity in our domestic pets "mandated" by law to receive the dreaded rabies shots. The odds are the side affects will injure the pet long before any threat of rabies disease. And we call this preventative medicine? EEK!

I would hope there is a movement among vet practices to collectively organize and present data to the Commonwealth dispelling the myth of an annual and/or 3 year vaccine. Wouldn't it be more fruitful to present the cases of domestic pet death "from" the vaccine itself, rather than the scare tactic of unvaccinated pets at large infecting the general public?

Fort Dodge, Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies really need to stop politicizing the "need" for vaccination. Perhaps it is the pharmaceutical companies that need to be vaccinated, not our pets!


The current recommendations are based on the studies the vaccine companies do which are only for three years. There are studies going on now to show that the duration of immunity of the rabies vaccine is AT LEAST seven years.

Vets. are obliged to comply with the law, BUT ethically, a vaccine should ONLY be administered to a HEALTHY animal. In our holistic practice,
we see 100's of animals that have fallen ill to over-vaccination.

Rochester, NH

#78 Jun 15, 2008
Remember this folks - some people died after receiving the Salk Polio Vaccine. Think we should ban it? Some people die after receiving the flu vaccine. Think we should ban it? Sure, vaccines are not 100 percent safe and not 100 percent effective. But what's the alternative?
Matvey Lukashev PhD

Auburn, MA

#79 Jun 17, 2008
I am sorry, you seem to be missing the point of this discussion, which is the harms of OVERvaccination, not the benefits of proper vaccination. Your example with the polio vaccine isn't to the point either because the problem being discussed here is one created by unnecessary repeat vaccinations and often compounded by the patient being immunocompromised as a result of stress, injury, or disease. The legitimate alternative to needless overvaccination would be vaccination protocols based on hard (evidence real immunology, appropriate peer-reviewed and sufficiently powered clinical research, etc.) instead of marketing pitches and paranoid legislations. There is plenty of current and rapidly mounting body of data showing that there is no legitimate evidence to support annual rabies boosters and more than enough data do illustrate grave consequences of repeated hyperstimulation of the immune system. Ask ourself, what you would do if a physician or your state tried to prescribe annual rabies (anthrax, plague, ebola, pick your favorite lethal contagion) boosters to yourself or to your child for the duration of your or his/her life. Would you just happily comply or take a moment to find out how really necessary and safe such boosters would be?

Pepperell, MA

#80 Jun 17, 2008
Anyone think about the people years ago who were have scars from being over vacinated before they were allowed to come off Ellis Island ? These people who immigrated here the legal way were over vacinated then. Now the immigrants are bringing all their disease here because they are no longer required to be treated like a diseased immigrant. Not to mention the ones who sneak in and bring whatever they want into this country. I know more people who have developed severe health problems due to over use of antibiotics, perscription medicine and maintenance drugs that are suffering every day. Their bodys are so over drugged that they will never be able fight off the common cold with out a pill never mind a major flu. I also know people who insist on getting the flu shot who still get the flu. Just because someone is a doctor or a vet doesnt mean they are always right. My vet tried to tell me my dog had lyme disease and after the second dose of antibiotics and the expensive blood tests I said look my dog has no symptoms of lyme disease I dont care what the test says he is healthy I researched the disease why should I bother giving him antibiotics for symptoms he doesnt have,I said if he gets the symptoms I will get him antibiotics, I said what would you do if it were your pet ? would you keep him on antibiotics or would you stop them until he shows signs of the disease ? He said I would wait until he shows signs of the disease. Had I not taken the time to research it and ask the questions he would of kept on making me use antibiotics and making me do the expensive blood tests. I dont care how much the Doctor or vet paid for their education they are not always right

Williamsburg, VA

#81 Jun 22, 2008
Better dog than me wrote:
Wow, all these stories are really compelling. Maybe there is something to this.
WAIT A MINUTE!!! Of course there isn't!!
Think about it you simpletons! How many animals get immunized? THAOUSANDS!! And a handful of stories is supposed to mean something? Does anyone here even understand statistics?
Heart wrenching anecdotes are MEANINGLESS in the face of OVERWHELMING evidence that rabies vaccines for domestic pets has a tremendous public health benefit. Screw the pets, I don't want kids to get rabies because they played with the neighbors dog.
And don't give me this "my pet NEVER goes outside" crap. That's like saying it's okay to keep a loaded gun in your nightstand because your children never look there.
Just because your opinion is shared by a good number of people, does not make it right.
Wow, first of all why are you even looking at this page if you have no regard for the potential damage vaccination do to animals that are forced to be immunuzed? Secondarily, I am sure that everyone that has posted something on this page is a rational human being unlike yourself and are fully capable of comprehending statistics. Animals have allergies just as well as humans do and maybe there are some of us out here with a heart for animals well being who are concerned about pummping crap into our animals when God charged us with their safe keeping. There is strong evidence now that vaccinations cause autism in children, who's to say it doesn't cause problems in our pets? I do think that there may be some benefit from the rabies shot, but also I find it very amusing that there are laws saying that even vaccinated animals can contract rabies regardless of how many times they have been immunized, so what good does it do if they can still contract the disease? An oh by the way, I do keep a gun in my bedside table and will continue to do so when I have children. I am licensed to carry and conceal and will continue to do so. Children should be taught what is for them and what isn't and a gun definately isn't. Wonder how bad your children act from being sheltered so much?

Williamsburg, VA

#82 Jun 22, 2008
joe - chelmsford wrote:
lowering the bar - so what happens if your "indoor" pet gets outside and comes in contact with a potential health hazard or you get a bat in your home? Have worked at vet hospitals and have seen it happen. Tough to lose your pet due to your stupidity. IT'S THE LAW!!!Not to mention you are putting you and your family at risk or rabies as well.
If your animal hasn't been registered then it doesn't have to have a rabies shot. ha ha can't do anything about that can you?

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