Christine asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

3 year vs 1 year rabies vaccine for dogs...any real difference or more risk to the 3 year that anyone knows of?

My cousin works in a vet office and told me never to give my cats the 3 year rabies vaccine instead of the 1 year as it is showing to cause cancer a lot more than the one year one.

Well that was a few years ago and my cousin and I never speak anymore so I can't really call and ask her but does anyone know if this is also true for dogs?

I have never given any of my dogs the 3 year rabies shot. I always just take them every year for the 1 year one but it seems stupid to pay 60.00 for a shot that could cost 20.

I need to take my year old dog into the vet next month for her rabies booster and I know they will assume I want to do the 3 year one and I was just curious if there was any info out there that anyone is aware of on dogs.


12 Answers

  • Qatie
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Your cousin was probably referring to Merial's Purevax recombinant rabies vaccine. It's for cats only, and completely different from the killed rabies vaccine used for both dogs and cats. Since it doesn't contain any adjuvant (extra material to stimulate the immune system) like killed viruses do, it's generally considered safer. (Recombinant are generally considered safer in both cats and dogs, but cats seem to be much more sensitive to adjuvant than dogs. Nothing like the feline vaccine-associated cancer has been shown in dogs.)

    In dogs, only the killed vaccine is available. The 1-year and the 3-year are the same vaccine product. The first rabies vaccine your dog gets is always only good for one year. After the initial 12-month booster, how often your dog gets rabies vaccines is controlled by local law. So if your community requires rabies to be given every year, you can't request a 3 year schedule until you campaign and get your local government to change the requirement. Every 3 years is generally considered adequate in most communities and by AAHA and the AVMA.

    A recombinant vaccine takes the important bits of the virus that the immune system needs to recognize, and patches it into a different virus, leaving out all the disease-causing bits of the rabies virus (or whatever disease the vaccine targets). The carrier virus (Merial uses canarypox) will multiply in the host, but won't cause disease in any way. It's similar in concept to modified live viruses, but MLV vaccines cause a little tiny bit of disease - they just can't cause a full infection.

    Source(s): - you can link to AAHA's vaccine FAQ
  • 4 years ago

    3 Year Rabies Vaccine

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Because they are the same, the AVMA has stated for a few years actually that the 1 year is the 3 year. The only reason in regards to dogs that they offer two version is because of the states who REQUIRE dogs to be vaccinated every year. That's it. The majority of states have now changed that after the AVMA has come out and point blank said yearly vaccinations are not needed and that the yearly protocol is effectively over vaccinating dogs who still have immunity against the virus. I've looked on like and cannot a part by part ingredient list for either vaccine so I would talk to your vet about it.

  • 1 decade ago

    The above answer on the Purevax rabies explains how it works for cats perfectly, but I did want to add to this.

    In dogs, yes the one and three year rabies vaccines are the same vaccine. However, it is the STATE that regulates how often a rabies vaccine is required. For example, the state of Virginia requires that the dog recieve an initial rabies vaccine, booster it in one year, and then every three years after. However, the state of Florida requires yearly rabies vaccines. This doesn't mean that different vaccines are given to determine one or three year status, but that this is a states requirement based on rabies exposure levels and lawmakers.

    As to cats, the same applies on state requirements; however, the purevax rabies is the best vaccine but is only approved for one year use. This is a cat only issue (purevax vs. other killed vaccines). Merial, makers of the purevax rabies vaccine even state that they reccomend using this vaccine over the killed vaccine (Imrab) that Merial produces.

    If you have any additional questions to this, feel free to email me.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The 3 year is the safest and best for dogs. Dogs should NEVER be vaccinated yearly for rabies or distemper/parvo.

    As for cats..right now the only safe rabies vaccine for them is purevax which is a nonadjuvant vaccine. This vaccine is given yearly.

    Cats should not get a vaccine that has an adjuvant since it has a high rate of causing tumors.

    Source(s): vet tech for 36 years
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    My APBT just got her 3 year rabies vac. It is cheaper in the long run. It only cost me around $30 not including her tag. As far as I know there are no risks. As with all vaccines though there is always a risk or possibility of a dog having a reaction.

  • Jessie
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    In dogs, it's actually the same exact shot whether it's a 3 year or a 1 year. The difference is how long your state and town will recognize it as being effective. It shouldn't cost any more for the 3 year vaccine.

    Can't speak to the cat issue.

  • 6 years ago

    My 8 yo cat got the 1 year vaccine and within 4 months died of cancer. Days after getting the vaccine he began to lose his appetite and went own hill quickly it could have just been a coincidence but I'm inclined to believe it had something to do with the vaccine, my other cat always got the 3year and never had any problems he passed away at 19 years old.

  • 1 decade ago

    Okay, here's a news flash.

    It's the same vaccine.

    Some states require shots annually -- others will let you go for 3 years before a booster.

    There is absolutely *no* scientific evidence to show that annual vaccinations are less effective than those given every 3 years. In fact, many studies seem to show that most vaccines are good for the life of the pet.

  • 5 years ago

    It seems like a scam here in Florida. I moved from California where the 3 year shot was $15. Here it's $25 for a yearly shot. I have to pay so much more here and not fair.

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