Defensor Rabies Vaccine



Defensor contains chemically inactivated rabies virus prepared from cell culture. The seed virus is a highly immunogenic, fixed strain of rabies virus that originated from Louis Pasteur’s original 1882 isolate. The inactivated virus is formulated with a highly purified adjuvant and is packaged in liquid form.

Defensor is approved for vaccination of healthy dogs & cats 3 months of age or older as an aid in preventing rabies in states with an annual rabies revaccination requirement.

Defensor is exceptionally well-tolerated after injection, due to a purified adjuvant and a novel dual-buffering system that restricts pH to a narrow, safe range.

Defensor is AVCI’s vaccine of choice for rabies immunization.


Maker: Pfizer

Price: Php 195 per shot


18 thoughts on “Defensor Rabies Vaccine”

  1. Hi Doc! Thanks for the valuable advise. I’m happy to say that my baby’s lump has decreased to about half its size. Thank God it’s never been tender to the touch. Hopefully it’ll completely disappear soon. So is Biocan-R better than Defensor?

    1. That is good news, Joyee. We are hoping the lump may disappear soonest.
      Regarding rabies vaccines available in the Philippines, all of them are effective. But in terms of rabies antigen content that induces rabies immunity, I am listing here the concentrations of the available vaccine brands:
      1. Biocan R: 2-4 IU/mL
      2. Nobivac: 2 IU/mL
      3. Rabisin: 1 IU/mL
      4. Rabigen: 1 IU/mL
      5. Defensor: – i have no data –

      1. Thanks for the helpful info Doc! I’ll be sure to ask my dog’s vet about Biocan R on September when he returns for his leptospirosis shots.

  2. Hi Doc. My chihuahua had his rabies booster shot last March 4 and just two days ago I noticed a lump on the injection site. The vet gave him Defensor. I called the clinic and asked about what’s best to do with it and the vet said warm & cold compresses should do the trick but I didn’t follow that since my baby couldn’t tolerate cold compresses. I guess my question for you (that the vet didn’t answer satisfactorily)is why does this lump occur in some dogs and not in others?

    1. Hi Joyee. A lump forming under the skin after a vaccine shot is usually a “subcutaneous vaccine reaction.” You don’t have to worry much about it. Your pet’s immune system is just hyper-reactive, and your dog’s body is just containing the vaccine (with the virus) at the point of injection, thus forming a lump. Any form of compress will not help. This lump will just disappear by itself within 2-3 weeks.

      However, you will still have to observe the lump everyday. Some lumps become severely inflammed causing infection. There will be hair loss and the skin will become erythematous (reddish) and sensitive to the touch. This would need skin medications.

      I believe vaccinations nowadays are done aseptically (clean procedure). By the way, our current rabies vaccine is Biocan-R, not Defensor. We used to have Defensor, and it was and still is a very good rabies vaccine.

  3. hi dr_gerald i accidentally got bitten by my dog and it drew blood i got 1 punctured wound in my middle finger my dog has a defensor vaccine since 10-24-2012. do i need to worry?

    1. Hi Arwin. As long as you trust your vaccine source, there is not much to worry. You just have to observe your dog within 14 days from date of bite. And if your pet is alive and healthy after the observation period, then everything is OK. But you may consult a medical doctor, or go to a bite center (e.g. Sacred Heart Hospital). They will categorize the type of bite you had and will give the proper medical assistance per DOH decree (e.g. anti-rabies vaccine, tetanus, etc.).

  4. Thanks for the reply Dr. Gerald, our helper told me she washed it with soap and then as what she had learned from others to put on the garlic. about the vaccine my dog had the pfizer defensor rabies vaccine last august 2012..i also gave our house keeper the anti tetanus vaccine last saturday. so far my dog is at his usual attitude i know its too early to tell, but i still worry because im a first time dog owner and rabies is a serious matter and i really need a conviction that i need not to worry from someone like you a veterinarian.

  5. good day, i have a shih tzu dog, hes a year and half old..he bit one of our house helper after she stepped on his ears. she was bitten during the afternoon and she just told me about the incident 10 in the evening..the bite was on her toes, she washed it with garlic as what she told me. heres my dilemma should i inject my housekeeper with a vaccine? my dogs last vaccine was august of last year the next would be aug of this year? should i be worried? should i need to be this paranoid..please help i a, a first time dog owner.

    1. Hi AJ. I see that your helper got a “provoked” bite. If she hadn’t stepped on your dog’s ears, she wouldn’t have got bitten.
      I would not worry much as this is a provoked bite. There was a reason behind that bite. Dogs with rabies usually bite unprovoked, will bite everything within its reach, including their owners.
      I also would not worry either as your dog is vaccinated. Was the vaccinator and the vaccine reliable?
      Right thing she did over there … washing her wounds. But she should have used soap, not garlic.
      The best thing you can do right now is have your helper immunized against tetanus. If the wounds are big or infected, have it treated by a doctor. Your doctor will also analyze the nature of the bite based on the history of your dog. Show your doctor your vaccination record, and he/she will definitely know what to do.
      And lastly, observe your dog for 14 days from date of bite. If your dog is very much alive after the 14-day period, there is no rabies involved in the bite incident.

  6. Hi.

    My 5 month old shih tzu had been given this type of vaccine two weeks ago. Last Sunday, we noticed a small lump (about 1-2cm) between her shoulder blades where her vaccines were usually given. This had me worried since I read about Fibrocarcinomas following rabies vaccinations. She also seemed to develop a temper and began nipping at other people’s toes whenever they come near her. Other than that, she seems to be doing okay. Is this something I should be worried about?


    1. Hi Shim. What type of vaccine was given to your dog? Sometimes, a local reaction may occur at the vaccination site in the form of a lump. No need to worry about it. Cold or hot compressions will not reduce its size. It usually disappears within 3-4 weeks. Sarcomas from vaccinations usually develop years after.

  7. Doc, how effective is this defensor 1? My pup bit me and survived the 10 day quarantine period but bit me again today..

    1. Hi Kendra. I can see the trouble you have put yourself into.
      But first of all, may I ask what kind of bite did your pup give? Was it a playful bite? A territorial aggression bite? A “don’t-touch-my-food” bite? Or a crazy bite?
      Although there are many types of bites, of the 4 bites I just mentioned, it is the ‘crazy bite’ that you should look out for. This is not actually an accurate technical description of a rabid dog, but it may suffice to what we call bites done to owners, including inanimate objects.
      Rabid dogs bite anyone, including chairs, fences, posts, etc. for no reason at all. This happens because the rabies virus has just done enough damage to their brain, making them totally bonkers. Within 12 days after the brain has been damaged, paralysis ensues, then death.
      For answers to other inquiries regarding rabies, you may access our web site’s FAQs. You will also learn here when a rabies vaccine (e.g. Defensor or Biocan R) will become effective.

  8. dear doc,
    I got 2 dogs (Marco, a tibetan spaniel mix, 10 months and Calvin, an askal mix [hehehe], 5 months). both have not received rabies vaccination yet. Will they both need a double dose of anti-rabies? Calvin did not have any vaccination but Marco had the anti-parvo. They have both been dewormed.

    I hope to hear from you so I can prepare before I visit your clinic. Thanks!

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