Rabies Vaccinations Policy

The City of Otsego ordinances require dogs and cats to be currently vaccinated against rabies.  If a dog or cat is picked up by Animal Control, proof of current rabies vaccination will be required in order to have your pet released from impound.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) Rabies guidelines are as follows:

  • An animal can be considered immunized within 28 days after initial vaccination, when a peak rabies virus antibody titer is reached. Because a rapid anamnestic response is expected, an animal is considered currently vaccinated immediately after a booster vaccination.
  • Vaccination of dogs, ferrets, and livestock can be started at no sooner than three months of age. Regardless of the age of the animal at initial vaccination, a booster vaccination should be administered one year later.
  • All dogs, cats, and ferrets should be vaccinated and revaccinated against rabies according to product label directions. If a previously vaccinated animal is overdue for a booster, it should be revaccinated. Immediately following the booster, the animal is considered currently vaccinated and should be placed on a vaccination schedule according to the labeled duration of the vaccine used.
  • Titers do not directly correlate with protection because other immunologic factors also play a role in preventing rabies, and the ability to measure and interpret those other factors are not well developed. Therefore, evidence of circulating rabies virus antibodies should not be used as a substitute for current vaccination in managing rabies exposures or determining the need for booster vaccinations in animals.

We, at Sirius Veterinary Care, believe that our job is to provide education and options and assist you (the pet owner) in making the decision that best suits your lifestyle and beliefs as well as your pet’s health and wellbeing.  Therefore, if you prefer not to vaccinate against rabies, despite the city legal requirements and recommendations of the CDC, we offer the following alternative: annual serological rabies titer testing.  The stipulations to this alternative health decision are as follows:

  • If your pet’s titers are insufficient, we will advise (and document in your pet’s medical records) a booster rabies vaccination.
  • Rabies is a potentially fatal viral disease spread through saliva and bite wounds. Therefore, if your pet is aggressive in the clinic setting in any way (i.e. fear aggression, territorial aggression, idiopathic aggression, predatory aggression, control aggression, or possession aggression), due to the potential health threat to our staff, we will require your pet to be vaccinated against rabies.