2008 JAVMA Report on Adverse Reactions to Rabies Vaccination in Dogs
The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association has published a report in its April 1, 2008 issue, Vol. 232, No. 7, entitled: Postmarketing Surveillance of Rabies Vaccines for Dogs to Evaluate Safety and Efficacy."
Despite the extreme under-reporting of vaccinal adverse reactions, this report states on the second page that between April 1, 2004 and March 31, 2007, the Center for Veterinary Biologics, "nearly 10,000 adverse event reports (all animal species) were received by manufacturers of rabies vaccines..........Approximately 65% of the manufacturer's reports involved dogs."
The report further states on the second page that: "Rabies vaccines are the most common group of biological products identified in adverse event reports received by the CVB," and they give the following description of the adverse reaction followed by the % of dogs affected: Vomiting-28.1%, Facial Swelling-26.3%, Injection Site Swelling or Lump-19.4%, Lethargy-12%, Urticaria-10.1%, Circulatory shock-8.3%, Injection site pain-7.4%, Pruritus-7.4%, Injection site alopecia or hair loss-6.9%, Death-5.5%, Lack of Consciousness-5.5, Diarrhea-4.6%, Hypersensitivity (not specified)-4.6%, Fever-4.1%, Anaphylaxis-2.8%, Ataxia-2.8%, Lameness-2.8%, General signs of pain-2.3%, Hyperactivity-2.3%, Injection site scab or crust-2.3%, Muscle tremor-2.3%, Tachycardia-2.3%, and Thrombocytopenia-2.3%.
Veterinarians are not required by law to report adverse reactions to vaccines, to which the World Small Animal Veterinary Association stated in their 2007 Vaccine Guidelines that there is: "gross under-reporting of vaccine-associated adverse events which impedes knowledge of the ongoing safety of these products," and in an article entitled, A New Approach to Reporting Medication and Device Adverse Effects and Product Problems, (JAMA - June 2, 1993. Vol.269, No.21. p.2785) Dr. David Kessler, former head of the Food & Drug Administration, reported that "only about 1% of serious events are reported to the FDA."
In light of the 10,000 adverse reactions to the rabies vaccine in the JAVMA report, 65% of which were in dogs, the estimated 1% reporting of "serious" events by the former head of the FDA means that the actual number of dogs that had adverse reactions to the vaccine would be more like 650,000.
World Small Animal Veterinary Association 2007 Vaccine Guidelines http://www.wsava.org/SAC.htm
Scroll down to Vaccine Guidelines 2007 (PDF)
A New Approach to Reporting Medication and Device Adverse Effects and Product Problems http://www.vaccinationnews.com/Adverse_Reactions/VAERS/credible_estimates.htm
Scroll down to David Kessler statement in JAMA - June 2, 1993,vol.269, No.21, p.2785