I accidentally stumbled upon this site and I have a horrible story to tell. I had been looking for a forum like this to tell my story back in July and August. In mid-July (2011) I took my 11 1/2 year old, very healthy lab/shepherd cross to get his annual rabies. The next morning, he went into a grand-mal seizure that lasted about 5 minutes. In the space of the next two hours, he had two more. We rushed him to our regular vet, where he seized in the waiting room. The vet gave him valium rectally and sent us to the emergency vet. They took him in immediately and the came back and reported that he seized yet again. They put him on IV valium, kept him one night and sent him home the next day. He was acting pretty drugged from the valium for the next two days, when I think the valium wore off and he started to seized yet again. The vet gave us some story about a brain tumor or some other cause and that it couldn't be the rabies vaccine. She put him on phenobarbitol, but he was never the same. I don't know if it was the PB or the vaccine, but he was lifeless, had ataxia (his legs would cross, he was uncoordinated and couldn't jump on our bed any longer). Two weeks into the PB, he died in the night. It looked like he had seized again.
After much research, I found that we Americans tremendously over-vaccinate our pets. There is evidence that the rabies vaccine lasts for seven years! But, of course you have drug companies fighting this evidence and municipalites that aren't going to bother with changing any laws. Since our dogs never go to boarding, dog parks, or anywhere else where proof of vaccination is needed, we have decided not to give our dogs annual vaccines anymore. The chance of getting rabies is so small for a dog that does not run in the wild, it is just not worth the risk. My boy is gone and I am devastated. We rescued another lab cross puppy. We are going through his puppy vaccines and he has had his first rabies shot. Perhaps at 6 years we will give him another, and that's it. Don't succumb to big brother and bad science.