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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, it's been a while since I've been on here, but it's nice to see some familiar dogs again :)

Since Covid started, my vet's office is not allowing any humans inside. They come out to the vehicle and get your dog, then bring them back out to you when they're done. Kane is fearful of strangers and has bad separation anxiety so this is not really an option for him. However, he was due for his rabies vaccine in November. I keep hoping the vet will change their rules, but they haven't. He's never worn a muzzle, but in general does not like things touching his face so I think putting one on him would freak him out even more. I could go to a different vet, but he's grown to trust our current vet and no others.

I haven't really been able to find much information on what the risks are if we postpone the vaccine. He's gotten all of his shots as needed until now (he's 6) so surely he can wait a bit?

The rabies vaccine is not required by law here.

Thoughts?
 

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Does he get the vaccine yearly or every three years?
 

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A lot of studies have shown vaccine efficacy to be fairly long-lasting, up to several years past typical revaccination schedules. I'd say that, since you aren't legally required to vaccinate for it, as long as his exposure risk is low and he's not around people, I would work on counter-conditioning him to wear a muzzle while waiting for rules to change.
 

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The worse that can happen is the dog has insufficient immunity if exposed to a rabid animal. If rabies is common in your area that would be a concern. If the dog is exposed to a symptomatic animal and has insufficient immunity the dog could develop rabies and will die once symptomatic. I am not sure if a dog that is exposed to rabies and immediately given a shot prior to being symptomatic would then be protected. There are probably variations on that answer.

Here is something for you to read.
 

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I agree, I wouldn't be worried at all if he's overdue for a one-year booster, and honestly still wouldn't be too worried if it's a three-year (they're actually the same vaccine, just labelled differently). Might be a little more cautious in the latter case, but the evidence points to the vaccine being effective well past it's date.

HOWEVER it won't be seen that way legally if he, god forbid, bites someone. If he's not up-to-date on his rabies vaccine in this scenario, the police are well within their rights to treat him like they would a wild or unvaccinated dog and seize him for testing. Now in practice I don't think I've personally ever heard of an otherwise healthy, rabies-vaccine lapsed dog being euthanized for rabies testing in modern times, at worst kept in quarantine at animal control for some time to assess whether they develop symptoms, but it's worth mentioning. I know you're responsible and there's very little chance Kane will be put in that position @Jen2010, but I wanted to call it out in case someone in a similar situation comes across this thread, to cover all the bases.

I agree that working on muzzle acceptance might be beneficial - have you checked out the Muzzle Up! Project? They have some great information on how to do a really slow, super positive, dog-driven muzzle introduction.
 

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Have you asked your vet if they will vaccinate him at your car ?

I agree with DaySleepers about the risks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the comments and information! I don't remember if it's a yearly rabies vaccine or a 3-year, I'd have to check with the vet.
Have you asked your vet if they will vaccinate him at your car ?
This is a really good idea! They didn't mention that option, but I'll see if they'll do that.
 

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If your vet won't do the vax at your car, are there any vets in your area that do home visits?

I grew up on a farm and the large animal vet routinely did all our pets' vaccinations as well, to save a trip in to the clinic. Do you know anyone who has livestock or horses? Might be able to get in on upcoming vet visit to their stable or farm.
 
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