Alabama is the last state in the union with a law requiring annual rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats. I was delighted to learn that this is about to change – plans are in the works for the state to amend its requirements from once a year to once every three years. Why am I so pleased about this? If you’ve read Speaking for Spot you know that I am a proponent of vaccinations, but I am adamantly opposed to overvaccinating (giving unnecessary vaccinations and giving necessary vaccinations more frequently than necessary). Giving a rabies vaccination once a year is definitely too much of a good thing.
Vaccines are not without potential adverse side effects. As with any other medical procedure, all of the risks and benefits of a particular vaccine should be weighed before a pet is inoculated. A once a year rabies vaccination offers all the risks with no benefits (protective immunity lasts a minimum of three years). Kudos to the Alabama state legislature for waking up from their “vaccine slumber.” I’m delighted they’ve chosen to do what is in the best interest of our pets.
Wishing you and your four-legged family members good health,
Dr. Nancy Kay
Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller.
Look for us on Twitter – http://twitter.com/speakingforspot
Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross –