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Help with reaction to Rabies Vaccination

macie's mom
September 21st, 2008, 07:57 PM
After my mini schnauzer "Macie" received her rabies vaccination, a large lump (about an inch and a half in diameter) formed under her skin and her fur became ruffled. She is now losing her fur at the injection site (on her hindquarter on about a 2 inch diameter area). I took her to my vet with my concerns. He told me it was nothing to worry about and the next time she gets her rabies booster (in November) to have them inject it into the muscle. I am worried about her reaction and wondering if this sounds right or if I should seek another vet (I read a little about holistic vets that might be able to help reduce the chance of a reaction). I just don't know enough about dogs and medicine and would really appreciate any advice or referrals. Thanks!

September 21st, 2008, 08:09 PM
No it's fine don't worry about it. My one cat had jumped during his first rabies shot and he got one of those lumps as well. It's not a huge deal unless it gets bigger or doesn't go away after about 2 weeks. Our vet had us take a warm cloth and massage the area to get the swelling down. Holistic medicine is pretty cool and everything, but you should really never stray too far from regular veterinarian medicine, especially for something as simple and common as this.

However, my cat didn't loose any fur.

If a second opinion would ease your mind then go for it :) I would not get a second opinion from a holistic vet though. Of course they would say that's bad and injecting chemicals into your dog is crazy or something like that, so I'd get a second opinion from just a regular vet. No offense to holistic vets though but alot of holistic things for animals AND people should not substitute regular medical treatment, but should just be a second option or go along with regular medicine.

macie's mom
September 21st, 2008, 08:32 PM
Good to know. I might get a second opinion cause it has been there for months and is definitely not going away (the fur thing still worries me). And I agree about holistic medicine, I would look at it as something to supplement her regular care. Thanks so much for you help!

September 21st, 2008, 08:45 PM
A rabies booster so soon after her initial vaccine :confused:?? I've never heard of that. I would call the vet and ask for the name of the manufacturer of that particular vaccine. Please contact them and ask how long the vaccine is good for. Puppies here get their first rabies vaccination at 6 months and then they're good for a minimum of 3 years.

A slight bump for up to a couple of months is normal in some dogs but the hair loss would concern me too. Please look for a second opinion before having her vaccinated again.

September 21st, 2008, 09:24 PM
Can rabies vaccines cause vaccine associated sarcomas (VAS)? Anyone know?

Not to freak you out cause I'm not sure if rabies vaccines will cause it, but I'm planning on bringing VAS up with my vet this week when my cats go in for their vaccines. I know the FeLV vaccine can cause it.

September 21st, 2008, 09:55 PM
Can rabies vaccines cause vaccine associated sarcomas (VAS)?

Yup. The culprit is thought to be the adjuvant in the vaccine, which all rabies vax contain except for the Merial PureVax one. You might want to have your vet order that in if they don't have it in stock. This site has some good info:

September 22nd, 2008, 12:32 AM
I agree with Luckypenny. Why would you be giving a rabies boost so soon? I gave my dog his first rabies at six months and that was good for a year. The second one is now good for three years.

I would be very reluctant to give another vaccine so soon after a reaction, often the second reaction is much worse.

September 22nd, 2008, 05:21 AM
Regarding the booster, I don't know about dogs but for kittens under a certain age at my shelter, they are vaccinated but require a booster in a few weeks. could be the same situation for the dog??? :confused: Is he a pup and it's his first vaccine?

September 22nd, 2008, 06:18 AM
My foster kittens only get one rabies shot, no booster.

Sugarcatmom is correct about the sarcoma with rabies shots. I would be getting a second opinion and the lump biopsied.

September 22nd, 2008, 06:24 AM
I know this applies to cats, but there is some good info on vaccines: