Rabies Vaccination

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Rabies vaccination of dogs is the only companion animal vaccine required by law in most (but not all) states. In Canada, rabies vaccination of dogs and cats is only required in the province of Ontario. Veterinarians are obligated to adhere to state/local/provincial statutes when administering rabies vaccines to dogs. For questions or concerns regarding rabies and rabies immunization, it is recommended that veterinarians contact local public health authorities (or animal control office) or the office of the State/Provincial Public Health Veterinarian.

A list of contacts is available here:
United States
Canada

The following website, developed in conjunction with the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, Inc., provides veterinarians practicing in the United States with rapid access to answers for Frequently Asked Questions on rabies immunization and law at the state level. www.rabiesaware.org.

Among states and provinces that do NOT have rabies vaccination requirements for dogs, the Canine Vaccination Task Force recommends rabies vaccine be administered as a core vaccine in a manner consistent with the most current version of the Compendium on Animal Rabies Prevention & Control.

Rabies vaccines pose a unique set of considerations for the veterinarian in that their distribution and use is largely regulated by each individual state or jurisdictions within a state, and foregoing vaccination due to the age or health of the dog may not be prudent or permissible by law. Veterinarians are urged to review the specific state and local legal requirements dealing with rabies vaccinations in their state. www.rabiesaware.org.

SUMMARY OF RABIES VACCINATION RECOMMENDED BY THE 2016 Compendium on Animal Rabies Prevention & Control

Vaccine

Rabies (killed)

1-Yr & 3-Yr vaccines are available.

(NOTE: Some states do not recognize dogs vaccinated with a 1-Yr labeled rabies vaccine. All doses administered must be a 3-Yr product.)

Administration

A single dose of rabies vaccine NOT EARLIER THAN 3 MO OF AGE

(These recommendations may be superseded by local statutes.)

Booster Recommendations

Schedule a second dose to be administered not later than 1 yr following administration of the first dose, regardless of the dog’s age at the time the initial dose is given.

Then every 3 yr thereafter.

(These recommendations may be superseded by local statutes.)

NOTE: Some states specify a defined time during which the second dose of rabies vaccine must be administered