Vaccine Might Do More than Prevent Rabies

A new study finds that rabies vaccines might have many more health benefits than just preventing rabies.

Dog holding a vaccine or shot with a First Aid hat on.
Dog holding a vaccine or shot with a First Aid hat on. Photography ©onetouchspark | Getty Images.

Research published in the July 2017 issue of the journal Vaccine found that dogs who receive rabies vaccines experience better health overall. The study, which reviewed four years of data on owned dogs living in a low-income community in South Africa, found that the risk of death (from any cause, not just from rabies) was lowered by 56 percent in young puppies (0 to 3 months old), 44 percent in older puppies (4 to 11 months old) and 16 percent in adult dogs (12 months and older).

The researchers hypothesize that the rabies vaccine might boost the immune system, giving dogs non-specific protective effects above and beyond immunity against the rabies virus.

Thumbnail: Photography ©onetouchspark | Getty Images.

Jackie Brown is a freelance writer from Southern California who specializes in the pet industry. Reach her at

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you!

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2 thoughts on “Vaccine Might Do More than Prevent Rabies”

    1. Hi there-
      We suggest calling your vet but these articles might help provide some insight:

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