Alabama reconsiders annual rabies vaccination

Alabama reconsiders annual rabies vaccination

Apr 23, 2009
By staff

Alabama may be the final state to accept rabies vaccinations licensed for three years if the Senate approves Senator Larry Dixon’s (R) bill. Alabama currently requires all dogs and cats to be vaccinated for rabies annually. The state’s hold-out status could be because the rabies capital of the world was once located in Jefferson County, Ala.

However, with state and national groups like the Rabies Challenge Fund championing for the extended-duration vaccines, Alabaman pet parents may soon have a choice between one- or three-year protocols. And that includes ferret owners. If the bill passes, Alabama, the first time, will require rabies vaccinations for pet ferrets too.

Advocates for the three-year vaccines, as reported in the Birmingham News, say rabies vaccinations are suspected of sometimes causing adverse effects like seizures, anaphylactic shock, autoimmune diseases affecting various organs, and feline cancer.

Neither the American Veterinary Medical Association nor the American Animal Hospital Association have taken a position on the three- versus one-year vaccination protocols. Their reasoning being that too many individual factors influence frequency and number of vaccinations to make a blanket requirement.

Do you think three-year vaccinations will help or hurt rabies vaccination compliance? What about overall frequency of wellness visits?