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Rabies Vaccine and Titer

Rabies Virus

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system, causing fever, drooling, aggression, staggering, or seizures. Because it can be transmitted from animals to humans and due to the severity of symptoms, it is extremely important to prevent exposure and the spread of rabies virus. The state of Hawaii is rabies-free and all government regulations are in place to ensure it stays that way. Rabies is prevalent on the mainland US and most states require pets to be vaccinated for import and throughout their life.

Rabies Vaccine

The rabies vaccine teaches your pet’s immune system to fight the rabies virus.

  • 1 vaccine booster is effective for 1 year.

  • 2 vaccine boosters (31 days apart) is effective for 3 years.

Rabies Titer (FAVN)

The rabies titer (FAVN) is a measurement of your pet’s immune response to the rabies vaccine. This determines if your pet is sufficiently vaccinated and if it would have an appropriate response to the rabies virus. A blood sample in taken in clinic and sent to a lab on the mainland for testing.

All pet’s immune responses are different. The following recommendations are to give your pet the best chance of a passing rabies titer:

  • If your pet has never been vaccinated for rabies: 2 vaccine boosters (31 days apart) and then testing 2 weeks later.

  • If your pet has been vaccinated but has lapsed: 1 vaccine booster and testing 2 weeks after.

  • If your pet has been vaccinated at least 2 times, and is up to date: the rabies titer can be done at any time.

Please be aware, results can take up to 2-3 months.

If you are planning to leave and return to Hawaii, it's is recommended that you complete and get titer results prior to leaving the island.

This is to avoid possibly failing and your pet not being barred from re-entering the state of Hawaii.

A passing Rabies FAVN is valid for 3 years.

A failing rabies titer requires a vaccine booster and re-testing. 

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