January 29, 2023 -- Tyre Nichols death at the hands of a specialized "Scorpion" unit of the Memphis, TN, police department has brought deep sadness to many. How can we deal with this and other events in our country and the world that cause us to feel not only sad, but anxious, afraid, or threatened? Many of us turn to our dogs -- and for good reason. "Therapy dogs" have been shown in scientific studies to help.
"To dog lovers, the use of therapy dogs is a no brainer. Studies have shown that simply petting a furry friend can raise levels of serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin, which helps reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and depression – emotions many people experience when a loved one dies. " -- from an article in Therapy Dogs Bring Comfort in Times of Mourning,:
Your dog might not be designated officially as a "therapy dog," but we guarantee that there's lots of comfort ready to be accessed, right there at your side.
Kudos to Carie Broecker --
Carie Broecker, founder and director of Peace of Mind Dog Rescue in Pacific Grove, CA, was recognized as one of the ten CNN Heroes of 2022!!! She spoke eloquently at the December 2022 awards ceremony about the mission of Peace of Mind Dog Rescue. Here's a photo of her making her acceptance speech -- and here's the speech!
November 2022 was "Adopt a Senior Pet Month" -- but you can adopt a senior dog anytime of the year!
Rabies Challenge Fund Results Are In
Is it really necessary to re-vaccinate for rabies every three years, as is required by many states? Veterinarians and dog guardians began to question these state laws because they observed the unwanted side-effects, including various cancers that appeared to be directly correlated to adminstration of the vaccinations.
When it comes to senior dogs, in many cases they have been re-vaccinated many times over the years. Veterinarians and dog guardians began to ask, was it really necessary to revaccinate? Or could it be possible that the dogs were still protected, even after more than three years? And could that level of protection be determined by a test known as a "titer"? The Rabies Challenge Fund, organized and funded by veterinarians and dog lovers, was formed to investigate.
Results of the research on rabies vaccinations are finally in. They are reported in Dogs Naturally magazine.
In sum, the results are:
- Rabies vaccine may induce a duration of immunity well beyond 3 years in dogs
- Antibody is the most important protective factor against rabies virus
- Anamnestic responses to virulent challenge can be seen even without protective titers in previously vaccinated dogs
- Protection persists without annual or triennial re-vaccination
- Antibody testing of individual pets can be an excellent indicator of protection or lack thereof … although further studies are needed to determine a protective antibody threshold for vaccinated dogs.
The magazine reports: "Clearly the results were not what we’d all hoped. The rabies vaccination laws won’t be changing anytime soon."
You can get a medical exemption from state-required revaccination laws if your dog's health could be compromised by administering the vaccination. Information from the American Veterinary Medical Association here.
Since laws change, you should check with your veterinarian about the most current regulations in your state.