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Old 01-29-2013, 07:11 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Yes, there is a genetic factor at play. A gene has been identifed in Pug dogs, and now Maltese as well. However much more research is needed to get the full perspective. They need DNA from more dogs with GME to study. What I understand is that any dog could have this genetic defect. Some may carry it, and never become sick. But for some with the genetic defect, something triggers the immune system to go into overdrive, and immune mediated brain inflamation is the response. What are the triggers? It could be vaccines, illness, or stressor. There is also a new study being funded by the AKC that is looking for a link between certain gut bacteria and the development of MUE (this is what Sophie has). This researcher is looking for poop samples from affected dogs. It's all very interesting. Here is a link:

Potential association between altered gut microbiota and development of meningoencephalomyelitis of unknown etiology (MUE) in dogs | AKC Canine Health Foundation

And they are also funding this one that is looking further for the gene mapping for NME (which is what Lola had):

Mapping Genes Associated with Necrotizing Meningoencephalitis in Dogs | AKC Canine Health Foundation

This one is actually the same researchers as the UGA study, Dr. Barber and Schatzberg.

I am happy to see that the AKC is funding these projects, and happy that the reseaerchers are delving into the cause of these monsterous diseases.
Thank you gain for keeping us updated on GME research, Pam!
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:22 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Bella is due for her vacs and I am just not comfortable with it at all. When we first got her we did a bunch of them together (not knowing any better) and the poor baby was completely out of it . She was not feeling well at all. I wonder if Virginia has a rabies waiver option?
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:18 AM   #23 (permalink)
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My Lily had an anaphylactic reaction to something in her distemper vaccine and we almost lost her... I was so scared..a few weeks after that, she developed IBD/colitis and began losing weight, developed allergies to certain foods(she was tested) and environmental allergies...I believe these issues are related to the vaccine reaction she had...it damaged her immune system..even though Lily has not had a reaction to rabies vaccine, she is not getting any more vaccines, ever... Eva is due March 1st for 3 yr rabies...and we do have TF, but as Sandi said, there is still a possibility of a reaction..I plan to do a blood panel on Eva first as she has elevated liver enzymes...if there is still an elevation, I will not vaccinate...all of mine are in the 4-5 pound range, so I think size makes a difference..the vaccine amount for rabies is 1 ml...all dogs get the same amount...whether 4 pounds or 45 pounds..
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:15 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Wow I am sure glad that I started this great discussion threads! Work is heating up for me so I've haven't had the opportunity to review over everyone's comments, feedback, and shared resources but I will do it this weekend.

Just an FYI...I did ask Ann when did Biscuit got his Rabies Vaccines and I think she said almost once per year, every year since we had him, so that would make 5... The last shot was less than 12months before Biscuit first seizure episode.

While it seem to be coincidental and that we don't really know for sure, I am still concern about a likely possibility that the Rabies Vaccines could somehow has a role in causing negative effect to the brains. I am going to pose this question to Dr. Sisson soon to see what he has to say about this.

Thank you everyone for the great source of knowlege!
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:52 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Bella is due for her vacs and I am just not comfortable with it at all. When we first got her we did a bunch of them together (not knowing any better) and the poor baby was completely out of it . She was not feeling well at all. I wonder if Virginia has a rabies waiver option?
Virginia does have a medical exemption:

D. The Board of Health shall, by regulation, provide an exemption to the requirements of subsection A if an animal suffers from an underlying medical condition that is likely to result in a life-threatening condition in response to vaccination and such exemption would not risk public health and safety. For the purposes of 3.2-6522, such exemption shall mean that the animal is considered not currently vaccinated for rabies.


RABIES LAWS IN THE UNITED STATES as of 6/16/10

I emphasized the last phrase because it is very important. An exemption only means that you are not in violation of the law if you don't get the rabies vaccine. Should Bella bite someone or be exposed to rabies (even saliva from an infected animal can spread rabies) she would be considered not current on her rabies vaccine. This can mean a quarantine of several months if she is exposed which can be stressful and expensive if she has to remain at your vet's the entire time. It can also mean euthanasia should she bite a child or even her groomer as the only definitive way to see if she has rabies is to examine the brain after death. You have to carefully weigh the risks if you request a medical exemption.

Another consideration is that if you let the rabies vaccination lapse in in a three year state, you have to get a one year booster, not a three year booster. Since they are the same vaccine, just packaged differently, that would mean a full strength vaccine, then another full strength vaccine a year later. Since most groomers and vets require a current rabies vaccine for treatment, it is safer to space the vaccine at three year intervals rather than one year intervals.

One company, Pfizer Inc., decided to test its one-year rabies vaccine on live animals and discovered it lasted for at least three years. It sells the identical formula simply packaged under different labels -- Defensor 1 and Defensor 3 -- to satisfy different state vaccination requirements.

Some Vets Rethink the Need For Annual Pet Vaccinations - WSJ.com
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:15 AM   #26 (permalink)
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That's the part I didn't realize till I asked my Vet about not getting rabies vaccines. He couldnt give me a waiver bec I was afraid of the shot. He said if you decide to get one AGAIN for travel or groomer you have to go back to yearly shot to begin with..He was warning me, bec he knows me...lol..Plus we go places and the groomer requires it or exemption letter. Oh, the letter, whatch out, not all places except a waiver either. Its up to them. Just be careful if your dog is outside and stuff to catch rabies.


We just do one at a time now. So far they've done fine.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:47 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by vinhle68 View Post
Wow I am sure glad that I started this great discussion threads! Work is heating up for me so I've haven't had the opportunity to review over everyone's comments, feedback, and shared resources but I will do it this weekend.

Just an FYI...I did ask Ann when did Biscuit got his Rabies Vaccines and I think she said almost once per year, every year since we had him, so that would make 5... The last shot was less than 12months before Biscuit first seizure episode.

While it seem to be coincidental and that we don't really know for sure, I am still concern about a likely possibility that the Rabies Vaccines could somehow has a role in causing negative effect to the brains. I am going to pose this question to Dr. Sisson soon to see what he has to say about this.

Thank you everyone for the great source of knowlege!
Vinh, I would love to hear Dr. Sisson's opinion on rabies vaccine in regard to brain issues! Please post when you have heard from him!
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:45 AM   #28 (permalink)
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My Missy had had all her required rabies vaccines ( every 3 years), At nearly 10 yrs old she was due again. However she had developed, diabetes and dx with bladder cancer , both of which we had under control . Both her vet and I decided she simply could not have the rabies and did the waiver.
In NY, basically the waiver is a certification from the vet stating the vaccine would cause threat to health of the dog. This certification has to be renewed yearly. However... As Marj had stated, if there is an 'incident' the dog could be quarrantened etc.
For my own satisfaction, I did have a titer done on her to see just how well she was protected. Another pooch at the clinic ( a mid-sized dog) was having titer done same time.
I was told that 'good-protection' was a ratio of 1:5. Meaning it could be 'diluted' ( for want of bettter word) 5 X before loss of coverage.
I was told the other dog came back with a ratio of 1: 300-something.
Missy's came back 1:1000!!!!!!!!!!

This business of it only being good for 3 years drives me crazy! I'd 'bet the farm' that they are protected waaay longer... possibly/probably lifetime coverage! From what I understand, the FDA ( therefore the state regulations) go by what the manufacturers claim as the 'lifespan' of the vaccine. If manufacturer says 3 year.. that's what FDA goes by. It's already been shown that other vaccines are no longer required to be yearly because it's found they last much longer.... why not the rabies???!! ( look at Missy's results!)
Are the manufacturers going to have incentive to test and see the coverage lasts longer...of course not! That would mean loss of revenue! ( Though I certainly would be happy to pay more and do less!! ).

There really needs to be an independant study to prove that the repeated rabies I not needed. In this day and age I'm appalled that this hasn't been a done deal already!
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:13 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I read somewhere recently one reason for not extending vaccine protocol had to do with titer expense and most people won't titer, and all the strays and shelters it would be a nightmare to keep rabies (people) protected. Something like that. A bigger issue.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:39 AM   #30 (permalink)
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I read somewhere recently one reason for not extending vaccine protocol had to do with titer expense and most people won't titer, and all the strays and shelters it would be a nightmare to keep rabies (people) protected. Something like that. A bigger issue.
When we had titer done on Missy it wasn't all that costly... the vet charge was only about $35- but then there was a shipping charge of about the same ..think it was $38- or so as it had to be sent out and special handled, speedy etc. I realiy had expected it to be much much more. I will say our vet keeps charges at VERY fair levels so maybe that makes a difference and of course shipping is out of their control.
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