Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Cat under Food and Water Stress
Name: Nitin
Status: other
Grade: other
Location: Outside U.S.
Country: India
Date: N/A 

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?

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

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory