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Kris Christine June 13th, 2008 06:49 AM

FIBROSARCOMAS at Rabies Vaccine Injection Sites in Dogs
Below is the Journal of Veterinary Medicine abstract of an important documenting fibrosarcomas at presumed rabies vaccination sites. Some veterinarians deny that dogs develop cancerous tumors at vaccination sites --this study suggests otherwise! The researchers used the presumed injection sites of rabies vaccines in the study.

The following quote is from the full study text: [b][u][color=darkred]"In both dogs and cats, the development of necrotizing panniculitis at sites of rabies vaccine administration was first observed by Hendrick & Dunagan (1992)[/u]."[/b][/color]

[b]Fibrosarcomas at Presumed Sites of Injection in Dogs: Characteristics and Comparison with Non-vaccination Site Fibrosarcomas and Feline Post-vaccinal Fibrosarcomas[/b]

[b]Journal of Veterinary Medicine[/b], Series A August 2003, vol. 50, no. 6, pp. 286-291(6)

Vascellari M.[1]; Melchiotti E.[1]; Bozza M.A.[1]; Mutinelli F.[2]

[1] Address of authors: Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, Histopathology Department, Viale dell'UniversitÓ 10, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy; [2] Corresponding author:, Tel: +39 049 8084261, Fax: +39 049 8084258,


Fifteen fibrosarcomas, surgically excised from presumed sites of injection in dogs, and 10 canine fibrosarcomas excised from sites not used for injection were histologically and immunohistochemically compared with 20 feline post-vaccinal fibrosarcomas. Canine fibrosarcomas from presumed injection sites were of grade I (3), of grade II (4) and grade III (8). Two fibrosarcomas from non-injection sites were of grade I, four of grade II and four of grade III. Feline samples were classified as grade I (2), grade II (4) and grade III (14). All fibrosarcomas from presumed injection sites of both species showed lymphocytic inflammatory infiltration located at the tumour periphery, while two canine fibrosarcomas from non-injection sites showed perivascular inflammatory infiltration within the neoplasm. All samples were immunohistochemically examined for vimentin, smooth muscle actin, muscle specific actin and desmin expression. All tumours were positive for vimentin. Ten canine fibrosarcomas from presumed injection sites and all feline samples contained cells consistent with a myofibroblastic immunophenotype. Aluminium deposits were detected in eight canine fibrosarcomas from presumed injection sites and 11 feline post-vaccinal fibrosarcomas by the aurintricarboxylic acid method. The present study identifies distinct similarities between canine fibrosarcomas from presumed injection sites and feline post-vaccinal fibrosarcomas, suggesting the possibility of the development of post-injection sarcomas not only in cats, but also in dogs.

Document Type: Research article ISSN: 0931-184X

DOI (article): 10.1046/j.1439-0442.2003.00544.x
SICI (online): 0931-184X(20030801)50:6L.286;1-

Dr Lee June 13th, 2008 04:53 PM

Thanks for posting this Kris! You beat me to the punch:laughing:

On the VAS with cat post, this question was brought up and it is important for people to be aware the dogs can also have this horrible side effect to vaccines. It is important to note that at this time, it is believed that dogs acquire VAS at a much lower rate than cats. For the reason the understanding and theories with dogs are based off of our understanding of cats. Again adjuvants and non-core vaccines are under much controversy at this time.

As you mentioned that some veterinarians are denying this. Unfortunately this is true. This study is brought up with VAS questions to specialists and at vaccine lectures but if this information is not sought out, it is not something that is widely distributed. I do not think that a vaccine representative (outside of Merial which is fore fronting the technology to make vaccines safer) has ever mentioned this to me. For this reason again, I keep coming back to Merial as my vaccine source. There are a couple vaccine companies that I avoid due to their denial of VAS existence! I went to a 2007 vaccine lecture sponsored by one of the top vaccine companies (definitely NOT Merial) and the lecturer told us that there is no real truth to vaccine related tumors in cats or dogs and that we need to be increasing the amount and frequency of vaccines. Scary stuff.

Again, Thanks for bringing this topic up Kris.:highfive:

satchelp June 13th, 2008 06:15 PM

Dr Lee,

Do you know if these occur from repeated vaccinations at the same site, or has that aspect of things been studied. If so, is there any merit to alternating the site of the vaccine, so perhaps a hip, or is this even possible to do with rabies vaccines?

Thanks in advance for any further insight you may have on this.

Dr Lee June 13th, 2008 07:12 PM

To our best understanding at this time the cancer formation is secondary to chronic inflammation. In cats, and we think in dogs, is from the adjuvants. We do not know if one adjuvanted vaccine is worse than another in dogs. Rabies is provided only as a killed vaccine and as such is always adjuvanted. To my knowledge the only non-adjuvanted rabies vaccine available is the feline rabies by Merial.

As far as switching sites while this may have some benefit, if the inflammation resolves within 2 weeks, then re-administering a rabies vaccine in the exact same location three years later should have no impact. I think the problem is the chronic inflammation. If there is a low grade persistent inflammation at a site for months to years, then the risk of cancer is present. I use a smoking metaphor - if you smoke one cigarette, the inflammation and carcinogen exposure is gone fairly quickly. The risk of cancer comes from the daily exposure for years and years.

If you do want to have the vaccine administered in a different site, there is no change in efficacy. The site of injection on the pet for vaccines has absolutely nothing to do with how the vaccine works.

Unfortunately there is NOT enough studies on this and it is difficult to obtain funding. Testing how a medication or vaccine works is easy to fund - the company that hopes to sell the medication or vaccine covers the costs. Testing that vaccines cause cancer which might entail a loss of profit for vaccine companies is NOT funded by the big drug companies.

Furthermore VAS is difficult to track. It can take months to years for VAS to form, often pets have been given different vaccines from different companies over the course of time that the VAS forms, etc...

:sorry:, I wish I had better news for you...

Kris Christine June 14th, 2008 05:04 AM

Dr. Lee,

Thank you -- you are a very open-minded, progressive veterinarian, do your clients realize how fortunate they are? I am sure the forum members do!

You probably were already aware that [B]"The World Health Organization (WHO) in 1999 classified veterinary vaccine adjuvants as Class III/IV carcinogens with Class IV being the highest risk,[/B]" IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans: Volume 74, World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Feb. 23-Mar. 2, 1999, p. 24, 305, 310.)

Regarding the vaccine associated sarcomas in cats,
the American Veterinary Medical Association actually established a Vaccine-Associated Feline Sarcoma Task Force in 1996[COLOR="DarkRed"] "in response to the increased incidence of soft tissue sarcomas occurring at vaccination sites."[/COLOR] This link will take you to the AVMA website [url][/url].

This link [url][/url] will take you to the 2001
Report of the Vaccine-Associated Feline Sarcoma Task Force, which states that: [COLOR="DarkRed"]"Most killed-virus vaccines contain adjuvants to enhance the immune response, and injection of some killed-virus vaccines has been shown to result in inflammatory granulomas in cats.2 Some of these inflammatory granulomas to progress to sarcomas.3"[/COLOR]

According to the 2003 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines [url][/url] (Page 16), "...killed vaccines are much more likely to cause hypersensitivity reactions (e.g., immune-mediated disease)." Could this be due to the combination of mercury (thimersol) and aluminum additives in the same vaccine?

For the benefit of others you may not know, rabies vaccines are killed, adjuvanted vaccines.

Kris Christine June 14th, 2008 05:05 AM

Links to Excellent Information on Canine Vaccines
Oh, it looks like I can now post links, so here are some to excellent information on canine vaccines.

[b]Rabies Shot Killed my Poodle[/b] May 28, 2008 Channel 5 News WCVB [url][/url]

[b]Duration of Immunity to Canine Vaccines: What We Know and Don't Know[/b], Dr. Ronald Schultz [url][/url]

[b]What Everyone Needs to Know about Canine Vaccines,[/b] Dr. Ronald Schultz [url][/url]

[b]World Small Animal Veterinary Association 2007 Vaccine Guidelines[/b] [url][/url] Scroll down to Vaccine Guidelines 2007 (PDF)

The [b]2003 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines [/b]are accessible online at [url][/url] .

The [b]2006 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines [/b]are downloadable in PDF format at [url][/url] .

Veterinarian, Dr. Robert Rogers,has an excellent presentation on veterinary vaccines at [url][/url]

October 1, 2002 [i]DVM Newsletter[/i] article entitled,[b] AVMA, AAHA to Release Vaccine Positions[/b], [url][/url]

July 1, 2003 [i]DVM Newsletter [/i]article entitled, [b]What Do We Tell Our Clients?[/b], Developing thorough plan to educate staff on changing vaccine protocols essential for maintaining solid relationships with clients and ensuring quality care [url][/url]

July 1, 2003, [i]DVM Newsletter [/i] article, [b]Developing Common Sense Strategies for Fiscal Responsibility: Using an interactive template to plan service protocol changes [/b][url][/url]

[i]Animal Wellness Magazine[/i] Article Vol. 8 Issue 6, [b]How Often Does he REALLY Need A Rabies Shot[/b] [url=]Animal Wellness Magazine - devoted to natural health in animals[/url]

[b]The Rabies Challenge[/b] Animal Wise Radio Interview
[url=]Listen to Animal Wise[/url] (scroll down to The Rabies Challenge 12/9/07)

[b]The Vaccine Challenge [/b] [url=]Animal Talk Naturally Online Radio Show ╗ The Vaccine Challenge - Show #91[/url]

[b]US Declared Canine-Rabies Free -- CDC Announces at Inaugural World Rabies Day Symposium [/b] [url=]CDC Press Release - September 7, 2007[/url]

Rabies Prevention -- United States, 1991 Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP), [b]Center for Disease Control's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly[/b] March 22, 1991 / 40(RR03);1-19 [url][/url] [b][color=darkred]"A fully vaccinated dog or cat is unlikely to become infected with rabies, [/color]although rare cases have been reported (48). In a nationwide study of rabies among dogs and cats in 1988, only one dog and two cats that were vaccinated contracted rabies (49). All three of these animals had received only single doses of vaccine; [color=darkred]no documented vaccine failures occurred among dogs or cats that had received two vaccinations. "[/color][/b]

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