As a retired pharmacist, I have long sense been concerned that we were over
vaccinating our dogs.  Our children get many necessary vaccines,  but at least we
eventually stop after puberty. But with our pets, we continue vaccine boosters until
they are well into their senior years.  As adults, we don’t assault ourselves with
annual boosters, and we certainly wouldn’t do this to our elderly family members. So
why do we inflict this upon our pets, regardless of their immune status or age, when
common sense would tell us those vaccines should last longer than a year?  
Vaccines serve a vital purpose to prevent dyptheria, parvo, and rabies in our pets.  
However, new scientific research shows that after the  Dyptheria and Parvo
vaccines are administered at 1 year, immunities are lasting as long as 7 years, and
it is thought may even last a lifetime.  A panel of veterinarians when presented with
this new 7 year immunity data voted to "compromise", and give booster vaccines
every 3 years instead of every year.  Once your pet has had his/her annual 1 year
booster shot, I suggest you ask for an antibody titer test every 3 years to make sure
he still has adequate immunities.  They have recently developed "in home" antibody
titer tests that are convenient and less expensive.  

Additionally, there are no adjustments in dose for size or age of your dog. Your 10
pound Miniature Schnauzer receives the same size vaccine as your 150-pound
Rottweiler. Your 10-pound house cat gets the same amount as a 400-pound lion.
All of these vaccines are overwhelming your pet’s immune system, and vaccine
reactions are at an all-time high.  A study of more than 2,000 cats and dogs in the
United Kingdom by Canine Health Concern showed a 1 in 10 risk of adverse
reactions from vaccines. This contradicts what the vaccine manufacturers report for
rates of adverse reactions, which is “less than 15 adverse reactions in 100,000
animals vaccinated” (0.015 percent). Additionally, adverse reactions of small breeds
are 10 times higher than large breeds, suggesting standard vaccine doses are too
high for smaller animals.  

A study published by Purdue in 2005 found correlations between vaccine reactions
in dogs and variables such as age, size, and number of vaccines given. The study
•   Smaller dogs are more prone to vaccine reactions than larger dogs
•   Risk of reactions increased by 27 percent for each additional vaccine given per
office visit in dogs under 22 pounds, and by 12 percent in dogs over 22 pounds.      
•   Risk increased for dogs up to 2 years old, then declined with age
•   Risk increased for pregnant dogs and dogs in heat
•   More reactions were found in small dogs given Leptospirosis vaccine

As in humans, one of the reasons why dogs and cats need vaccine protection at all
is that they aren’t eating an ideal diet. The better your
pet’s nutrition is, the
healthier his immune system will be, and better able to fend off pathogens.
A few bold veterinarians have paved the way for ending over vaccination. Dr. Jean
Dodd is considered one of the foremost experts in pet health care.  Dr. Dodd’s
primary focus is vaccination protocols, in addition to thyroid issues and nutrition.  
She has posted a new 2014 vaccination schedule which many Veterinarian Schools
in the United States are now recommending.   Unfortunately, the word has not yet
reached many vets in Texas.  

We have always had it in our contract that you do not give the Corona Virus vaccine
or the Leptospirosis vaccine because of the potential health risks to teacup and
toys which we and other breeders have seen.  The new vaccine recommendation are
to NOT give the Corona or Lepto virus vaccine to any dog, and goes a step further to
recommend that the Lyme, Giardia, and Adenovirus vaccine also not be given for the
following reasons;   

1.  Corona Virus is only seen in pups that are 8 weeks or younger.
2.  Texas is not considered a high risk area for Leptovirus, even though many vets
 are seeing an increase in Lepto cases.  The leading authority on the Leptovirus
 vaccine is Dr. Ron Schultz who does practice in a high risk area for Leptovirus,
 and he does Not use the vaccine in his practice.   Both he and Dr. Dodd feel the
 health risks caused by these vaccines outweighs the benefits. Additionally, the
 Leptovirus is a bacterin vaccine that must be administered every year.   
3.  85% of the Lyme cases are in New England.
4.  The efficacy of the Giardia vaccine has not even been substantiated.  
5.  They now recommend the Boretella vaccine only be given 3 days prior to boarding
 your pet only when required, as it only protects against 2 of the 8 possible strains
 of kennel cough.  

The vaccine now recommended for all dogs only contains Distemper and Parvovirus.  
They recommend that it be not be given before 8 weeks, as the mother’s antibodies
will neutralize the vaccine, and the puppy will be unprotected. We vaccinate our
pups at 8 weeks or prior to their leaving for new homes.  And, we vaccinate even
later if they are the teacup size. Prior to the new schedule, many of us were dosing
our smaller puppies by weight.  However, no studies have shown that splitting the
vaccine is reliable, as it results in uneven levels of antigens in each syringe.  They
now recommend a full vial of vaccine with fewer antigens (Called Puppy Vaccine by
most manufacturers), which only contains Distemper and Parvo.

If a vet were going to give Distemper Adenovirus and Parvo, it would be called a 5
way or a 5&1.  If they were going to give Corona Virus, as well, it would be called
5&1 CV.  If they were going to give Lepto Virus, then it would be called a 5&1 L.  If
they were going to give all of them in the same vaccine, it would be called a 7 way
or a 7&1.  None of these are now recommended. The recommended vaccine for all
dogs is the Puppy Vaccine, which contains only Distemper and Parvo.

Additionally, they are recommending that the rabies vaccine be given at least 3-4
weeks separate from any other vaccinations, and that it be given no earlier than 24
weeks of age or older.  Unfortunately, many counties require a rabies shot be given
at 16 weeks.  Even more counties require it be given annually when it is proven that
the 1 year rabies vaccine is good for 3 years.  

We are now suggesting to our new owners that they remember to ask for the Puppy
Vaccine, and take our medical form with them so the vet can see the label from the
vaccine that we gave, which is proof to the vet that the vaccination was actually
administered.   If you cannot find a vet that administers the Puppy Vaccine, then
please be sure your vet only administers the 5&1 PLAIN.  If your puppy is a Teacup,
you should wait 4 weeks in between shots, to give the immune system more time to
recover.   You may want to google “Holistic Veterinarian” in your area, as most of
them are familiar with the new vaccine protocol.  There is a vet in San Antonio, Dr.
Maria Williams, (210-641-4447) 8607 Wurzbach, who has Puppy Vaccine (DPv).

Because a dog’s immune system is mature at 6 months, they now say the one year
booster shot produces immunity for the life of the pet.  If another vaccine is given
the second year, the antibodies from the first booster are neutralized by the
antigens of the second vaccine, and there is little or no affect.  So not only are
annual boosters for parvo and distemper unnecessary, they subject the pet to
potential risks of allergic reactions and anemia.  If you think about it, once you
receive childhood immunizations, they are good for life.  Why would it be any
different for your pet?  They now suspect that many diseases such as thyroid,
epilepsy, liver failure, diabetes, arthritis, allergies, autoimmune diseases, & cancers
are linked to over vaccinating.  

 Dr. Jean Dodds Canine Vaccination Protocol

       Age of Pups                                                     Vaccine

9 - 10 weeks                                                   Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV
                                (e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy DPV)

14 weeks                                                                  Same as above

16 -18 weeks                                                            Same as above

20 week (or older, if allowed by law)                           Rabies              

1 year                                                             Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV

1 year                                                          Rabies, killed 3-year (3-4 weeks after
                                                             the Distemper/Parvo booster)

We recommend our new owners give FortiCal/Nutrical after every vaccination to
prevent hypoglycemia.  We give all new owners a tube of Nutrical, which you can
find in most all pet stores.  Also, never let your puppy run around on the floor at your
vet’s office or let any other patrons pet or play with your puppy.  The #1 place to get
parvo is at the vet’s office. Remember that most of the dogs are there because they
are sick. When we go to our vet, we sign in at the desk, and then wait in the car until
they call us on our cell phone.  So please do not even let your puppy eliminate on
the grass outside of the office.

Unfortunately, vaccines are very big business for the vets, but even bigger business
for the 6 pharmaceutical companies that share the $935 million dollar US market.  
According to James Schwartz, author of Trust Me, I’m Not a Veterinarian, 63 percent
of canine and 70 percent of feline vet office visits are for vaccinations.  Sadly, the
Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company (one of the larger vaccine manufacturers) is
responsible for some of the continuing vaccine education of Texas veterinarians.  
So, I don’t hold out much hope that this situation will change.  Without some driving
force for change, there is no motivation for the industry to change the most
lucrative part of its practice.

The decision by some vets to come forward with the truth about pet vaccines is a
positive step toward changing our animal health care system. Veterinary vaccines
are one more unfortunate example of the corporate greed that permeates the
pharmaceutical industry.
The Truth about
Canine Vaccines
Nurse  Ratchet