FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: W. Jean Dodds, DVM, firstname.lastname@example.org
October 6, 2015
The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA) became the first national veterinary organization to support efforts by Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (KSVDL) to improve rabies testing with a modified screening test to determine if veterinary patients need to receive rabies booster vaccinations to maintain protective immunity. The AHVMA and its members have long expressed concern over animal vaccination practices. While vaccinations provide important protection against a wide number of serious diseases, they can also cause adverse effects ranging from minor discomfort, autoimmune disorders and even death on rare occasions.
Veterinarians can offer serum antibody titers, a form of blood testing which is helpful in predicting the need for revaccination. This practice is helpful to reduce the potential dangers to pets from receiving unneeded vaccinations. Currently, laws regulating rabies vaccination are set locally and statewide and may not allow for the use of blood antibody testing to avoid mandatory rabies revaccination. To comply with the law, veterinarians and pet owners vaccinate at prescribed intervals regardless of existing immunity. This practice was developed to protect public health in a time when vaccine titers were not offered by veterinarians, but it increases the risk of vaccine adverse-events for our dog and cat patients.