Back problems, hind end weakness, and rear-end paralysis are becoming an alarmingly common problem in older dogs – and in younger dogs as well.   These symptoms are commonly attributed to stress or wear and tear (in working or sport dogs for example) or to an accident the owner must have just not seen happen.  Certainly this may be so in some or even many cases.  But there is research that indicates a much more serious potential cause behind all of this and that is what I wish to discuss here.

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a friend telling me she had to put one of her dogs to sleep.  He had been going down hill for a while (he was around 12) and was showing lameness and rear-end paralysis that would come and go.  There was no obvious reason for this and his symptoms were attributed to old age.  When he finally went down and couldn’t get up for 2 days, they decided it was time to say good-bye.

Two months ago I received a phone call from a different friend with the same story.  Her 12 year-old dog had lost the use of her hind end suddenly about 1.5 years ago, but recovered for a while.  They said good-bye to her just before Christmas.  Again, they had no idea why – she just suddenly went down and couldn’t get up.  When the dog first developed the problem – which came on very suddenly – she was given Metacam for a week (a non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drug that vets give out like candy as it suppresses pain and inflammation and as such is perceived as a quick fix miracle drug for mystery illnesses, despite the multitude of adverse reactions the FDA has compiled on this drug (AKA Meloxicam), but I digress…) and she was more or less back to her old self, only wobblier.

At that point, I was contacted for ideas about why this might be happening.  I was just getting into my vaccine research at the time, and so had a hunch that that was a good place to start.  Sure enough I came across article after article discussing the correlation between rabies vaccines and hind-end paralysis.  The Canine Health Census for example – an on-going health survey of thousands of dogs in the UK – discovered that 69% of those who developed rear-end paralysis did so within 3 months of being vaccinated.  Of course correlation does not equate causation and that must always be kept in mind, but this is a very significant number in statistical terms and certainly indicates that the possibility should be taken seriously.

Earlier today someone I know mentioned that her dog was being treated for a sore back.  When I provided the above information, she said that in fact her dog had first developed the problem after being given a rabies booster last spring.  That got me to thinking about my old Jake.  I always say he died of kidney failure because that was the disease he was fighting when I put him down.  But I actually euthanized him because of rear-end paralysis.

I first noticed Jake’s hind end becoming weaker when he was around 8 years old, which forced me to retire him from most rigorous activity.  That was also when his other health problems first started to be apparent as well.  I knew nothing about the dangers of vaccines at the time, but my gut told me to not to repeat them after that and thankfully I didn’t.  Jake had had an acute attack of rear-end paralysis (not long after his yearly vaccines) and could barely move for weeks.  I spent thousands on tests and diagnostics, with no results.  He did recover and since I never revaccinated, he never had another acute episode.  But he did go steadily down hill and eventually become paralyzed 4 years later.  I never put two and two together until tonight.

The dog who died before Christmas also recovered from her initial acute episode, but then deteriorated gradually over the next 18 months.  She was 11 when the problem started and her owner opted out of revaccinating after that, prompted by the information I came up with.  Most likely that gave the dog an extra year of life, as yet another friend of mine had the same situation with her dog, only she revaccinated.  He had regained much of his mobility between rounds of shots, but his back end went out permanently almost immediately after receiving the ‘booster,’ and had to be euthanized.  I felt horrible telling her about this information when it was too late.

I have been mulling this over this evening and am increasingly disturbed by the number of dogs I know personally – now at least 5 – who have been impacted by this life threatening condition most likely caused by the rabies vaccine.  The World Health Organization considers a reaction of one in 10,000 unacceptable in humans.  I don’t know 10 000 dogs, yet I know 5 at least (most likely many more) who have had this reaction.  This effect is not rare by any stretch of the imagination.  What’s going on here?!

The rabies vaccine causes demyelination – the self-destruction of the insulation around the nerves – of the central nervous system.  This disrupts the signals being passed by the nerves and leads many of the  physical and mental problems we see in dogs today: reactiveness, fear, aggression, obsessions, paralysis, epilepsy, phobias and so on and so forth.  If you Google “rear end paralysis rabies” or “demyelination rabies vaccine” you will come up with a plethora of information.  If you Google “rabies vaccinosis” you will come up with even more.

There is no shortage of research on humans that directly links the rabies vaccine to the de-myelination of the central nervous system.  Much of this comes from India, where rabies is common and large numbers of people are vaccinated after being bitten by animals.  Many subsequently develop a plethora of neurological and autoimmune problems ranging from acute de-myelination disorders to Multiple Sclerosis type symptoms and so on.

Some reports conclude that the incidence rate of de-myelination related paralysis in humans receiving rabies vaccines may be has high as 1 in 300.  Certainly it’s not a stretch to argue that a similar rate may be true for animals.  And if that incidence rate after a single vaccine is correct, it is no wonder so many dogs I know are suffering.  By age 10 the average dog would have received 10 rabies shots, leading to a 1 in 30 chance of developing this condition.  This is much more in keeping with what I have sadly observed.

Thank goodness the Rabies Challenge has started and will hopefully lead to a change in our laws.  Rabies is the only vaccine required by law, yet it is the most damaging and dangerous to our pets.  Much more research is needed, and in the meantime, this mindless and completely unnecessary yearly re-vaccinating must STOP.  If you are trying to decide whether or not to give your dog his or her yearly rabies vaccine (or even 3-year update), please consider getting a titer instead.  Yet another friend of mine did a titer on her 9 year old dog – who had been vaccinated for rabies 9 times over the course of her life – and the test results showed antibodies at 2700 times the required level to be considered “immune.”  TWENTY SEVEN HUNDRED TIMES.  Poor dog.  No wonder she acts all but rabid.

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I always recommend homeopathic approaches to healing first and foremost.  However, if you don’t have access to a skilled, professional, classical homeopath, here is a study that offers a method of conventional medical treatment that may be worth discussing with your vet.

For more information, here are additional articles I’ve written – which include links to even more info –  expanding this very important topic:

Treating Rear-End Paralysis with Homeopathy – A Case in Progress
How and Why Vaccines Can Lead to De-myelination
Symptoms of Rabies Vaccinosis
Rear-End Paralysis Revisited