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    Why were the older types of rabies vaccinations required to be given via intraperitoneal injection, rather than other forms of injection (IV, IM)?

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    1. Why were the older types of rabies vaccinations required to be given via intraperitoneal injection, rather than other forms of injection (IV, IM)?
    Intraperitoneal means within or administered through the peritoneum. The peritoneum is a thin, transparent membrane that lines the walls of the abdominal (peritoneal) cavity and contains/encloses the abdominal organs such as the stomach and intestines. Intraperitoneal is often abbreviated I.P. or IP. The RTECS abbreviation is ipr
    Source: http://www.ilpi.com/msds/ref/intraperitoneal.html. However, intraperitoneal type of administration is considered less humane than are other methods, such as intravenous administration.

    Why have methods of administration changed? The use of words most "humane" method of administration is significant; mainly because it reflects the fairly recent change in the way we view animals. In fact, in the past few years, many countries in the world have slowly added animal welfare related laws to their federal statutes. There still are many countries that do not provide protections. However, globally there is a growing awareness and respect for the role animals that share the planet--their sensitivities, the remarkableness of their lives, and their unique abilities, are being appreciated. With such appreciation, come societal pressures to insure that animals are respected, cared for and properly treated. Source: http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/pubs/HumanAnimalBond/HumanAnimalBond.htm

    This, then, ties directly to your question, as the most humane and preferred method of administration, when at all possible, is intravenously. Intraperitoneal injections are acceptable for infant animals, companion animals other than cats and dogs and wild animals, or in any other case where IV injection is not possible. Intracardiac injections must never be performed on conscious animals. An intracardiac injection may only be used if the animal is completely anesthetized and an intravenous injection is not possible. However, the most ethical and humane means of administration is the method that keeps within the definition of humane treatment and best treatment, thus minimizing the suffering of the animals. Source:

    Secondly, there is a potential cost consideration as it takes more of the drug when administered by intraperitoneal injection than by intravenous. For example, when animals are given sodium pentobarbital by intraperitoneal injection the animal must be given 3 to 4 times the intravenous dose. In the case of lethal injection, this has added implications, as the animals takes much longer to die, than if given intravenous injections. However, this is not the case for animal's receiving a rabies vaccination. However, for the animal with rabies, intravenous method of administration is the preferred method because it relieves the symptoms and distress of the animal quicker than the intraperitoneal injection, and thus, more humane. Source:

    The Meaning of Animal Welfare
    The Interdependence of Humans and Animals
    The Role of Law
    Industry Education and Self-Regulation

    Final Comments I attached an excellent article below on the changing faces of animal treatment over time that you might find helpful. Good luck with your studies and take care.

    Information Resources on
    Human-Animal Relationships
    Past and Present
    AWIC Resource Series No. 30

    March 2005

    Compiled by:

    Judith Ho
    Animal Welfare Information Center
    National Agricultural Library
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Published by:
    U. S. Department of Agriculture
    Agricultural Research Service
    National Agricultural Library
    Animal Welfare Information Center
    Beltsville, Maryland 20705
    E-mail: awic@nal.usda.gov
    Web site: www.nal.usda.gov/awic



    Introduction | Bibliography
    Ancient Times

    The use of animals by humans goes back to dawn of human development. Certainly by the time Homo sapiens developed, there is evidence that humans were sophisticated in their use of animals for food, fiber, clothing, building materials, medicines, and host of other uses. During the Pleistocene era humans were accomplished hunters. It is most probable that the Aflight distance@ between human hunters and their potential prey in the pre-historic period was quite short, and humans were intimately associated with the activities and behavior of all the animals in the environment. Today we can see the evidence of such relationships in the European Paleolithic rock art that portrays the Ice Age mammals of Europe with such precision and empathy.

    As mammals, we have been predators on humans, and humans have been predators on other mammals. We humans share many diseases with our animal kin. In addition, we have placed our fellow mammals in useful categories, useless categories, sources of inspiration and beauty, miracles of life forces, etc. They have been deified in some cultures. There obviously existed a close association between the early hunter-gather societies and all other animals within their environment. They have been symbols for deities and bestowed with human characteristics. They have been parts of religious ceremonies. They have been used to predict the future, carry people and trade goods, etc. It is probably not incorrect to postulate that humans developed in concert with the animal life that surrounded them.

    The first surge in human population occurred when the emerging humans learned to make tools and manipulate fire. Effective tools and fire were two important cultural advancements which enabled humans to survive in the pre-glacial conditions of northern Europe and America during the last glaciations. It was probably during this period in Europe that man first began to associate with some members of the local wolves. Perhaps they even cooperated while hunting. This association gradually led to the closer dependent relationship between some wolves and humans that in turn led to the domestication of tractable canines that included the purposeful breeding of individuals that eventually developed incredible variety of domesticated dogs that exist today.

    About 10,000 years ago, man assumed the habit of living in more or less permanent settlements, and his relationships to the animal world began to undergo profound changes. At the same time, great climatic changes, and perhaps human activities, as well, had reduced many larger mammalian species, especially those used as food, to very small populations. Major extinction events began to occur. In response to dwindling and/or unreliable resources, human agricultural technology developed. Humans began to move from hunter/gather mode to a mode of actively domesticating plants and animals for food resources. The second great surge in human progress with its ensuing increase in population occurred when man learned how to cultivate plants and tame and domesticate animals at levels that allowed for the development of larger settlements. Human plant gathering activities had led to intimate knowledge of plant productivity cycles, and human hunters undoubtedly had often taken young canine animals into their camps as pets and companions. They would have become familiar with the animal growth and breeding cycles, diseases and behaviors of these young animals. The animals would have benefited from the availability of food and shelter. It seems safe to speculate that they would have bonded and grew to be hunting assistants to their human companions as they would have in the progenitor's pack. Other animals such as cattle and equines began to be managed in herds close to the human settlements. Eventually, oxen were developed for pulling heavy objects. The breeding of mules was understood in Roman times and they became an essential part of the Roman world. They were used for ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution explains why the older types of rabies vaccinations required to be given via intraperitoneal injection, rather than other forms of injection (IV, IM).