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Because you never know who’ll turn up at your practice.

Now also licensed to help protect ferrets from rabies.


DEFENSOR® 1 helps protect dogs, cats and ferrets from rabies for 1 year; annual revaccination with a single dose.

DEFENSOR® 3 helps protect dogs, cats, cattle,* sheep* and ferrets from rabies. Revaccination is required every 3 years for dogs and cats, and annually for cattle, sheep and ferrets.

Vaccine Information

DEFENSOR vaccines contain inactivated rabies virus from an established cell line.

  • Contains a highly immunogenic fixed strain of rabies virus that originated from Louis Pasteur’s original 1882 isolate and has been extensively tested for freedom from contaminating agents.
  • In a field study with 2,647 doses of DEFENSOR 1 and 3 administered to canines:1
    • 96.2% were administered with no vocalization.
    • 99.9% were administered with no lameness, stiffness, hypersensitivity reactions or injection site reactions for 21 days after vaccination.
  • DEFENSOR vaccines produced for sale in California meet specific potency standards required in that state.
  • Field Safety and Efficacy data supporting the ferret claim was approved by the USDA.

The Risk of Rabies

  • Infection of any mammal with rabies virus is almost always deadly.
    • Immediate euthanasia is recommended for unvaccinated dogs, cats and ferrets exposed to a known rabid animal.
    • If the owner is unwilling to have this done, the animal should be placed in strict quarantine for six months and vaccinated one month before being released.2
  • Prevalence: Cats have remained the most frequently reported rabid domestic animal (followed by dogs) since 1992.2
  • Progression to death is rapid: There are currently no known antiviral drugs effective against rabies.4
400 to 500 Rabies Cases Per Year Among Domestic Animals

Clinical Signs

Clinical signs of rabies in domestic pets are variable and may initially be nonspecific, such as:

  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Anorexia

Progressive signs may include:

  • Inappetence
  • Dysphagia
  • Cranial nerve deficits
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Ataxia
  • Paralysis
  • Altered vocalization
  • Seizures


  1. Data on file, Study Report June 28, 1991, Zoetis LLC.
  2. Rabies: what is the risk for my pet? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/pets/. Accessed September 9, 2016.
  3. Rabies facts & prevention tips. American Humane Association. http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/adoption-pet-care/safety/rabies-facts-prevention.html. Accessed September 9, 2016.
  4. Compendium of animal rabies prevention and control, 2016. National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control Committee. http://nasphv.org/Documents/NASPHVRabiesCompendium.pdf. Accessed September 9, 2016.

*Requires 2 mL dose

This site is intended for U.S. Animal Healthcare Professionals.

The product information provided in this site is intended only for residents of the United States. The products discussed herein may not have marketing authorization or may have different product labeling in different countries. The animal health information contained herein is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace discussions with an animal healthcare professional. All decisions regarding the care of a veterinary patient must be made with an animal healthcare professional, considering the unique characteristics of the patient.

All trademarks are the property of Zoetis Services LLC or a related company or a licensor unless otherwise noted.
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