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Dog Vaccines: Are You Over-Vaccinating?

You have probably been over vaccinating your pet!

Are you still going once a year to your vet for vaccines? Are you getting the same vaccine the same DHLPP vaccine every year? If you are then you are WAY over-vaccinating your dog and it can have harmful effects.

Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus (the D, the H,  and one of the P’s in the DHLPP vaccine) are the three main core vaccines needed for your dog. The other diseases in the DHLPP vaccine may not be needed depending on what part of the country you live in. What current research has discovered is that after your dog has had its puppy vaccines for Parvo, Hepatitis (also known as Adenovirus) and Distemper and then a booster a year later the dog will have protective antibodies for 3 to 7 years and in some dogs even longer! In some dogs the antibodies produced by the last booster will last the rest of the dogs life!

There are commercially available blood tests that determine if your dog has protective antibodies called titer tests. Research done by Ronald Schultz, DVM and also Richard Ford, DVM  shows that for sure if a dog has a positive protective titer that dog will not contract the disease in which it was vaccinated.

What is even more interesting is that even if the dog does not have a positive titer which shows active antibodies in the bloodstream the dog may still be protected against the diseases, if it had proper puppy vaccination and the one year booster. What happens in this case is that the dogs immune system has the ability to produce the antibodies very quickly because it has made them before. So once exposed the dog would start producing antibodies that start fighting the disease, this usually happens within hours. The dog may exhibit a fever and mild symptoms but not develop full blown disease.

The current recommendation is to either vaccinate your dog every three years for the core vaccines of Distemper, Parvovirus, Adenovirus and, of course, Rabies. OR do titer testing and only receive vaccination when necessary and follow the law in regards to vaccination of Rabies. If you can do the three year Rabies then do it. There is no difference between the one year and the three year vaccine except for the legalities of administering it. IN fact Dr. Schultz currently has a study going which is showing that the rabies vaccine may last longer than 5 years! (http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/)

So now we know we don’t have to give vaccines every year is there any harm in doing so anyway? Simply – YES. Continuing to give vaccines every year over stimulates the immune system and can cause or make worse diseases such as auto-immune system disorders, allergies and even cancer.

For more info

Dr. Shawn Messonnier Do Vaccines Cause Cancer in Pets?

Dr. Bob Rogers http://www.critteradvocacy.org

Dr. Ron Schultz Dog vaccines may not be necessary

More info.

Why Vets Don’t Recognize Vaccine Reactions

Written by Jan on December 17, 2011 – 1:01 am

You take your perfectly healthy dog to the vet for “her shots.”  Early the next morning, she has a seizure — her first seizure ever.  You rush your dog back to the vet or an emergency clinic and ask if the seizure had something to do with the shot.  Odds are, the vet will tell you, No, it’s not the shot! She might a genetic disorder or possibly even a brain tumor. The timing is just a coincidence.  

Or … your dog is suddenly having trouble walking after rabies vaccination. Or he suddenly becomes aggressive.  You ask your vet if the condition could be tied to the rabies shot.  No, it’s not possible, the vet says. He says has never heard of such a thing. But something tells you the condition and vaccine are related.

Of course, not all veterinarians are reluctant or unable to recognize and deal with vaccine reactions. In fact, the practices of vets trained in homeopathy, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, etc. often revolve around treating reactions caused by vaccination.  And, happily, many conventional vets are becoming increasingly worried about over-vaccination and vaccine reactions. But these vets are not the norm.

Many people have written me that they have had to fight with their vet to even get a vaccine reaction considered and noted in their dog’s or cat’s file.  The vet doesn’t even want to call the vaccine maker to report or inquire about the reaction.  After you do extensive Internet research, your suspicions grow. You see another vet, or maybe post on this blog looking for answers or you e-mail me. You wonder: why are vets so reluctant to admit that a vaccine (or vaccine combo) caused a reaction?  Here are some potential reasons why. Read more »

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Posted under Uncategorized, Vaccination, Vaccine Reactions, Veterinarians | 26 Comments » | Email This Post

Lifelong Immunity – Why Vets Are Pushing Back

Written by Jan on December 14, 2011 – 1:02 am

Why do vets continue to vaccinate yearly or triennially when many vaccines have been shown to give immunity as long as the pet’s lifetime? Read this article from our friends at Dogs Naturally Magazine.

The duration of immunity for Rabies vaccine, Canine distemper vaccine, Canine Parvovirus vaccine, Feline Panleukopenia vaccine, Feline Rhinotracheitis, feline Calicivirus, have all been demonstrated to be a minimum of 7 years by serology [blood antibody testing] for rabies and challenge [exposure] studies for all others. [Note: bracketed explanations added by Jan Rasmusen.]

In the Duration of Immunity to Canine Vaccines: What We Know and What We Don’t Know, Proceedings – Canine Infectious Diseases: From Clinics to Molecular Pathogenesis, Ithaca, NY, 1999, Dr. Ronald Schultz, a veterinary immunologist at the forefront of vaccine research and chair of the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Pathobiological Sciences, outlines the DOI for the following vaccines:

Minimum Duration of Immunity for Canine Vaccines: Read more »

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What to Do When Your Dog Has a Vaccine Reaction

Written by Jan on December 2, 2010 – 1:32 pm

IS THIS AN EMERGENCY?  If your dog is breathing heavily, his face is swelling and eyes watering, and/or he’s vomiting, has hives or is having a seizure or collapsing, your dog is having a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. CALL YOUR VET IMMEDIATELY! and start for your vet’s office or an emergency facility while, preferably, someone else drives.  (You do know where the nearest emergency vet is, don’t you?)

Your vet may not recognize your dog’s symptoms as a vaccine reaction and probably won’t want to believe or admit that the shot he/she administered brought on this problem.  If you believe it’s a vaccine reaction, be strong. You know your dog better than your vet does. Above all, keep your wits about you. Don’t be pressured into doing anything that doesn’t feel right. For example, if your dog has her first seizure ever soon after vaccination, she is probably having a vaccine reaction; she probably does NOT suddenly have a brain tumor requiring a $800 MRI!  As they say, when you hear hoof beats, think horses not zebras!  Read more »

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Posted under Rabies Shots, Uncategorized, Vaccination, Vaccine Reactions, Veterinarians | 106 Comments » | Email This Post

Help with Vet Bills

Written by Jan on October 27, 2009 – 12:01 am

j0433118 Looking for a list of organizations that help people in need with their vet bills? Dr. Jean Hofve has allowed me to reprint it here. Please bookmark this page and send it to friends.  Also check out her other terrific articles, and sign up for her newsletter, at LittleBigCat.com(I interviewed Dr. Hofve for my book and for three wonderful recordings on pet nutrition called How NOT to Kill Your Dog or Cat. If you’d like to learn more about feeding your pet, we hope you’ll check them out.)

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Whether it’s the damage caused by recalled food, an accident or something else, vet bills can be quite a burden. Below are listed some of the programs that can help with financial needs. Read more »

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Posted under Uncategorized, Vet Bills | 42 Comments » | Email This Post

Is Your Dog’s Vet a Vaccination Expert?

Written by Jan on July 23, 2009 – 12:01 am

Eliz Hart dog alone cropped_edited-1
Some veterinarians are avid readers of veterinary journals and attend the seminars of top experts. They’re always up to date on the latest scientific findings regarding vaccination.

Others, not so much.

Would you know if your vet vaccinated appropriately, according to the latest suggested protocols? Would you know if your vet took every precaution to avoid unnecessary shots and adverse reactions?  Here’s how to find out.


Pictured: Sasha, whose death after over-vaccination prompted activism

Dangerous Vaccination Practices

Your dog’s health is at risk if your vet:

  • Has ever failed, prior to vaccinating, to evaluate your dog’s current health … or failed to ask if your dog has ever reacted badly to shots … or failed to determine your dog’s age and current lifestyle … or failed to check his or her file … or failed to ask if your dog has been vaccinated elsewhere in the past three years.
  • Even once vaccinated your dog without your express consent.
  • Even once vaccinated without fully explaining the risks, benefits and alternatives to vaccinating. (Learn your vet’s Liability Related to Vaccination.)
  • Vaccinates your adult dog yearly with combo shots or against parvovirus and distemper.
  • Argues if you question the need for a shot or ask about titer testing instead of vaccination.
  • Read more »

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Posted under Preventing Vaccine Reactions, Uncategorized, Vaccination, Veterinarians | 45 Comments » | Email This Post