What do you do when you get that little reminder card in the mail from your vet clinic saying your dog is due for his rabies vaccination?
Do you a) ignore it or b) dutifully bring your dog in for his shots? If your answer is b, you need to read on …
If you ask your conventional veterinarian about the safety of your dog’s rabies shot, she’ll probably tell you adverse reactions are rare. That’s because most conventional vets only recognize reactions that happen within a few hours or a day or two of vaccination – known as acute reactions.
These could include allergic or anaphylactic reactions like facial swelling, itching or difficulty breathing, or local reactions like swelling or abscesses at the vaccination site.But if you ask the vet if your dog’s seizures, goopy eyes, poop eating habit, destructive behavior or separation anxiety could be due to rabies vaccination, they’ll probably answer no. But they’d be wrong …
If you’re smart enough to have a homeopathic vet, you might get a different answer when you ask about the safety of the rabies vaccine. Homeopathic veterinarian Michael Dym DVM says rabies vaccinosis cases have really exploded in his practice in recent years.
What is rabies vaccinosis? It’s the mental, emotional and physical symptoms that result from rabies vaccination.
Many of Dr Dym’s patients are suffering from chronic conditions that started after they received their rabies vaccination. What’s even more alarming is that, in some cases, rabies vaccinosis can be inherited. This means puppies who haven’t been vaccinated are showing vaccinosis symptoms, which have been passed down from their parents.
Rabies vaccinosis cases can be very challenging, as the symptoms run very deep. Rabies vaccinosis symptoms can include chronic mental, emotional or neurological issues that are very hard to treat.
Why Does Rabies Vaccinosis Happen?
If your dog were to get rabies, it would attack his brain and cause the Old Yeller symptoms we know so well.
The rabies vaccine, because it contains a small amount of rabies virus, can cause the exact same symptoms … but on a smaller scale.
After rabies vaccination, your dog may suffer from low-grade brain inflammation. This is why many rabies vaccinosis symptoms are not just physical, but mental and emotional as well.
10 Symptoms Of Rabies Vaccinosis
A lot of rabies vaccinosis symptoms are things you might consider “normal” in your dog – or you think it’s just a behavior or training issue.
Does your dog have fear issues? Does he eat weird things like socks? Does he go crazy when you turn on the garden hose? Does he like to hang out in dark corners?
These subtle signs can all be rabies vaccinosis. Many of these are problems you wouldn’t think to associate with vaccination … but when you compare them to actual rabies symptoms, the link becomes very obvious.
1. Behavioral Changes
Some of the most common rabies vaccinosis symptoms are changes in behavior. Rabid animals may be aggressive or suspicious … so your dog may become aggressive, reactive or fearful after a rabies vaccine.
Rabid animals can develop fear of being alone and, in dogs with rabies vaccinosis, this can translate into separation anxiety, which is an increasingly common problem in dogs today. Animals with rabies often travel long distances and try to escape confinement. So if your dog’s an escape artist, think rabies vaccinosis.
2. Eating Inappropriate Objects
When dogs eat inappropriate things like sticks or stones or even their own stools, most people assume it’s a training issue – but it happens a lot after rabies vaccination. Destroying or shredding blankets or bedding is common in animals with rabies and dogs may start doing this after vaccination.
3. Self Mutilation
Rabid animals may bite at themselves. Dogs who chew their own tails or feet can also be suffering from rabies vaccinosis.
4. Heart Conditions
Inflammation of the heart muscle, disturbed heart function, irregular rhythm or heart failure are all rabies symptoms that can appear after vaccination.
You might not think vaccines play a role in heart disease, but common conditions like mitral valve insufficiency (known as leaky heart valve) or dilated cardiomyopathy can be caused by rabies vaccination.
As an example, most people think the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s predisposition to heart disease is just genetic … but Dr Larry Glickman at Purdue University found that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels developed antibodies against their own heart tissue after vaccination.
5. Eye Issues
Rabid animals often can’t close their eyes and the cornea becomes dry and dull.
It’s very common for dogs to develop eye issues like conjunctivitis, red eye, inflamed or gunky eyes after a rabies vaccination.
The chronic condition dry eye is an autoimmune disease of the tear ducts.
6. Reverse Sneezing
Rabid animals may have difficulty breathing, experiencing jerky breathing or throat spasms. In rabies vaccinosis this shows up as reverse sneezing – an extremely common symptom. Toy breeds often do it, but some larger dogs to too.
Reverse sneezing sounds like a choking noise, as if the airways are constricting. If you put your hand under your dog’s chin you can often feel his throat spasms.
7. Excessive Sexual Desire
Rabid animals often experience excessive sexual desire and this also happens to dogs with rabies vaccinosis. This is more than just ‘‘humping” or mounting behavior … it’s intense hypersexuality and can even happen in neutered dogs.
8. Paralysis And Loss Of Muscle Control
Rabies can cause different kinds of paralysis. After vaccination, dogs can lose control over their legs or experience disc problems in the spine.
Dachshunds are prone to disc issues because of their long backs … but these problems are often triggered after a rabies vaccine.
Degenerative myelopathy and wobbler disease (common in Dobermans) can also develop after vaccination.
Rabid animals often lose control over the muscles in their face and can no longer chew or swallow food. The autoimmune condition MMM (masticatory muscle myositis) that prevents dogs from swallowing can appear after vaccination.
Dogs who are sloppy drinkers or eaters usually have a neurological weakness in the mouth stemming from vaccination.
Another neurological symptom of rabies, seizures can often appear after rabies vaccination.
10. Fear Of Water
Fear of water – or hydrophobia – is a symptom of rabies that can be a vaccinosis symptom. Dogs can also be afraid of walking over shiny surfaces or of bright lights.
Other dogs can be obsessed with water or shiny things and will chase a moving light or reflection.
Richard Pitcairn DVM PhD compiled the following chart comparing natural rabies symptoms to clinical conditions after rabies vaccination; this chart was part of a presentation by Dr Pitcairn in 1993.
Treatment Of Rabies Vaccinosis
Conventional veterinary treatment doesn’t have many ways to treat these chronic conditions. Fortunately homeopathy can help a lot of animals.
RELATED: Homeopathy for dogs …
If your homeopathic vet believes your dog is sick from a rabies vaccine, she’ll look at your dog’s symptoms and choose the remedy that best matches your dog’s symptoms. This can be a long process with different remedies used over time, as the different “layers” of disease are treated. Some of the remedies most often used to treat rabies vaccinosis are Lachesis, Belladonna. Hyoscyamus, Stramomium, Lyssin and Cantharis.
But many others may fit, including Aconitum, Apis mellifica, Hydrochromicum acidum, Nux vomica, Ruta graveolens, Crotalus horridus and Naja … and your dog’s symptoms may require something completely different!
Read this article by homeopathic veterinarian Ronna Kabler DVM if you’d like to know more about some of the more commonly used rabies vaccinosis remedies and the symptoms they address.
Homeopathic remedies come in different “potencies.” Usually, when your dog is ill from rabies vaccinosis, there’s a lot of mental or emotional imbalance, with disease running deep in the nervous system and the psyche. This means your homeopath will often prescribe high potency remedies such as 1M, 10M, 50M and even CM. The potency must match the strength of the disease.
Please Don’t Do This!
There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and most homeopathic veterinarians strongly advise against following one piece of advice that’s often given.
Many people, even some well known holistic minded practitioners, will recommend giving the remedy Lyssin after a rabies vaccination (or Thuja after a distemper or parvo shot) to protect against the effects of vaccination.
While it’s possible that one of these remedies may turn out to be the right one for your dog, Dr Dym says it’s a bad idea to give them with the goal of prevention. If the remedy doesn’t fit your dog, it could make him worse, causing secondary counteractions and symptom aggravations … and you can potentially cause more harm than good.
For rabies vaccinosis treatment, Lyssin is only one of 69 possible remedies listed in the homeopathic repertory that might be helpful!
Support Your Dog’s Health
Your dog’s recovery from rabies vaccinosis also depends on other important factors to support his overall health. Feed your dog a natural, whole foods, preferably raw meat based diet. Food is the foundation of a your dog’s wellbeing and helps build a healthy immune system.
Avoid using pharmaceutical drugs (especially any more vaccines) as well as pesticides such as flea, tick and heartworm medications; all these drugs contain toxic ingredients that can harm your dog’s organs, causing serious disease and even death.
Vaccinations also contain toxic metals like mercury and aluminum that can accumulate in the body and contribute to disease.
Your homeopath or holistic vet can help you detoxify your dog from these poisons, using supplements like spirulina or chlorella, as well as antioxidants to decrease inflammation, and milk thistle or Sam-e to protect the liver.
Finding A Homeopath
If you think your dog has symptoms of rabies vaccinosis, you can find a homeopathic vet at The Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy or The Pitcairn Institute of Veterinary Homeopathy.
Don’t worry if there isn’t one in your neighborhood. Most homeopathic vets will do phone consults and it’s really easy to work this way.