Rabies, according to the CDC, is an infectious viral disease that attacks the central nervous system and causes acute encephalitis in mammals. A zoonotic disease, rabies can be spread between species, such as from infected animals to human beings. The animals most frequently infected with rabies are bats, raccoons, foxes, and skunks. Only rarely are dogs are infected, as a result of widespread and mandatory vaccination protocols. Rabies is almost always fatal unless PEP (postexposure prophylaxis) aka post-exposure prophylaxis, an anti-retroviral treatment designed to halt the disease's progression, is administered shortly after exposure.
While no sane person wishes to become afflicted with the rabies virus, hundreds upon thousands of dog owners are (rightfully) concerned about the adverse affects of the rabies vaccine when given unnecessarily. Which just might be more often than the average dog owner suspects.
The rabies vaccine is without question the one vaccine most likely to cause adverse affects in the dogs who are its recipients. Just ask Dr. Jean Dodds. This is a huge concern for dog owners, particularly those whose dogs have shown such adverse reactions. Adverse reactions vary from dog to dog, but may include such behaviors as unexplained behavioral changes such as aggression, sudden onset of allergies (particularly skin allergies), seizures, digestive disorders, cancers at the site of injection, muscle weakness, autoimmune disease(s). Anaphylactic shock, occasionally occurs when an animal's immune system becomes sensitized to an antigen. Symptoms include respiratory difficulty, urination, defecation. vomiting.
Enter the Rabies Challenge Fund. The Rabies Challenge fund is an immunity study designed to investigate the immunity duration of the rabies vaccine. The Rabies Challenge Fund study is currently in its sixth year (of seven). This is a study that has been funded in its entirely by the general (dog loving) public. It is believed that the efficacy of the rabies vaccine, boostered once, is a minimum of five years, (and most likely seven). To date, no vaccine manufacturer has been willing to absorb the cost of a rabies challenge study, probably because mandatory vaccines are a vaccine manufacturer's "bread and butter," so the general public, aka, you and me, has volunteered to absorb the cost of this study by donating the necessary funds each year to fund the study. (The link to donate to the Rabies Challenge Fund is here.)
The results of the Rabies Challenge should be a cause at the heart of every dog loving owner in America. It is widely believed that a dog only need be vaccinated once (at around or shortly after the age of four months) for rabies, and then boostered again, once, a year later. If a repeat booster is required at all, (debatable), it would not be until the dog was five to seven years (aka middle aged). Depending upon the state in which one lives, "booster" vaccines for rabies are required every one to three years (depending upon the state in which one lives). Obeying the law can become a terrible burden upon those owners whose dogs have reactions to the vaccine.
By educating one's self and becoming aware of the issues involved with the one mandatory vaccine for dogs (rabies), one has a much greater chance of creating the results desired. No one wishes to have a dog contract Rabies. However, no one wishes to have their dog react unnecessarily to the vaccine, either. Consider donating your unused change to the Rabies Challenge Fund. It's a one of a kind, not to be denied, totally worthwhile purpose, and your dog just might thank you for doing so!