As an AAHA clinic we hold our standards at the highest level. This includes considerations for the safety of our staff, patients, clients, and community. As a result, we require that all patients have their rabies vaccine up to date prior to having any treatment(s) or procedure(s) performed. If their vaccine is due at the time of their visit or we do not have records to indicate their rabies vaccine is up to date, we will require that their vaccine be updated at the time of their visit.
As an alternative, clients may elect an annual rabies titer to be performed if they are uncomfortable re-vaccinating and the pet has been vaccinated for rabies previously. Patients that have been diagnosed with an auto-immune disease will have case by case discussion with clients about the individual risks regarding Rabies vaccine and if the titer is a more appropriate option. This is a blood test that evaluates the level of antibodies in the blood system. If results are low, a rabies vaccination will be required prior to receiving any further care.
It should be noted that the titer is not a substitution for a rabies vaccination from a legal perspective. If a pet were to bite another pet or person or if they were exposed to a potentially rabid animal such as a skunk or a bat, then the pet would be treated as unvaccinated. This could result in a significant fine, a strict quarantine of 4-6 months in an animal control facility, or even euthanasia.
It is our recommendation that all pets should be up to date on their rabies vaccine. This is the best practice from both a legal and public health standpoint. We appreciate the trust you have with the care we provide your pets, and we hope this policy serves to further build that trust. If you have any questions, please reach out to us.