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Animal Doctor: New Year's message: 20/20 vision for 2021

Animal Doctor: New Year's message: 20/20 vision for 2021


Dear Dr. Fox: I have a 7-year-old wheaten terrier, who had antirabies vaccinations in 2013 and 2014. Then she came down with what the dermatology vet diagnosed as an autoimmune disorder, leading us to reconsider future vaccinations. She lost coloring on her ears, nose and paws and still has inflammatory flare-ups. Her last vaccination was in 2014, and her rabies titer in 2017 indicated adequate immunity.

I am concerned with the state regulations that insist on regular antirabies vaccinations. My dog is always with me and never gets out to be at risk from any rabid animal. What do you suggest I do so I do not get into trouble with the authorities because I do not ever want to revaccinate my dog again? — K.T., Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Dear K.T.: The condition you describe in your dog would at least be aggravated by additional vaccinations, if not brought on in the first place as vaccinosis: an adverse reaction to the vaccines. As with other vaccines for animals and humans, those with allergies to substances in these vaccines are advised not to take them. This same principle applies to companion animals who have either acute or chronic autoimmune vaccinosis.

Your attending veterinarian should provide you with a letter stating that giving your dog a booster rabies vaccination is not needed because the dog has a good blood titer reading and that because the dog is immunocompromised, giving any future vaccines would jeopardize the animal’s health.

Let me know if the veterinarian refuses to do so. (If so, I recommend that he or she read my article at I hope this helps.


Nestle is launching a new line of Purina dog food in Switzerland based on unconventional protein sources, including black soldier fly larvae. Consumer preferences are trending toward protein sources with lower environmental impact, and the British Veterinary Association has endorsed insect protein as a livestock-free diet choice for pets. (Full story: Reuters, Nov. 5)

Send all mail to or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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