I read your recent article about the unnecessary rabies shots for indoor-only cats. I am in complete agreement with you, but I'm at a loss as to what to do when the veterinarian we use insists that the cat (in my case, it's more than one) be given the shot. There is also the law, and he reminds me of that every time. Our kitties do not -- and never will -- go outside. They won't get out accidentally either, as neither of them shows any interest in going outdoors. Please advise on what you suggest I do. Changing vets is not an option, as we live quite far away, and they all seem to share the same rule regarding this vaccination.
S.A., Ocean View, Del Jul 03, 2012
Any government (local, state or federal) that mandates certain medical procedures is ostensibly doing so with the best intentions in service to the greater good. But such mandates must be based on sound science and guided by bioethics to allow for case-by-case exceptions; otherwise, there is neither transparency nor accountability -- and the absence of those qualities is the hallmark of totalitarianism. It is highly questionable, if not draconian, to mandate annual anti-rabies vaccinations for cats who never go outdoors (and annual vaccinations for dogs when three-year interval vaccines are available). There is also the question of the duration of immunity following vaccination. In many instances, booster shots are not needed. For more details, and to support research and future reforms as needed in this area, visit rabieschallengefund.org. The organization reports that the state of California passed legislation in October 2011 allowing veterinarians to write exceptions for animals whose health may be put at risk by vaccination. California is the 14th state to enact such legislation. Have your veterinarian run blood tests to determine antibody titers, which may show that your cats do not need additional rabies vaccinations. Your animals' doctor could write a note if that is the case, indicating that revaccination was not deemed necessary.
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