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Name: Nitin
Status: other
Grade: other
Location: Outside U.S.
Country: India
Date: N/A 
 

Question:
my dog aged around 3 months died suddenely after fever around 106 degree farenheit. was anorectic for one day but could swallow water. few days before he was found eating upon a dead lizard. i get the necropsy done for my dog and it was diagnosed that it died of Rabies. Can it be possible for a 3 months pup to be infected with Rabies as Rabies vaccination is to be done after the age of 3 months. Then how it can be possible?



Replies:
Hello Nitin,

It is possible for a 3 month old puppy to get rabies. The reason that the first vaccination isn't given until 3 months has to do with maternal antibodies to rabies. The mother dog will pass along protection from rabies to her pups, and this protection can last up to 3 months. If the mother has strong protection against rabies, the pup will be protected until it is 3 or so months of age. If, however, the mother dog does not have a strong immune defense against rabies, that protection may only last for, say, 5 or 6 weeks. The reason puppy's are not vaccinated against rabies prior to 3 months is that the vaccine will be completely useless if the puppy still has maternal protection, and then you'll have a dog that you think is vaccinated but actually isn't. Although it can be determined if a puppy is protected prior to 3 months, it would be expensive to try to figure out when the protection passed on from the puppy's mother goes away - so the 3 month vaccination time was determined so that the vast majority of vaccinations given will be effective.

Sorry to hear about your puppy.

Susannah Sample DVM
University of Wisconsin
Click here to return to the Veterinary Topics Archive

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