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 distemper, parvo, and rabies in our pets. However, new scientific research shows that after the Distemper 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/she 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 found: • 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 lbs. • 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 the immune system will be, and the better it will be 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. One of Dr. Dodd’s primary focus is vaccination protocols, in addition to thyroid issues and nutrition. She has posted a new 2016 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 live in a high risk area for Leptovirus, and he does recommend the vaccine in even high risk areas. 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. Because is is NOT a virus, it is treatable with antibiotics like tetrcycline. 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. Dr. Jean Dodd who is a board certified immunologist and veterinarian has done a 2 year 1/2 dose study on dogs that were 12 pounds or under. Her study concluded that dogs given a 1/2 dose of vaccine will produce the necessary antibodies needed to produce immunity.
If a vet were going to give Distemper, Adenovirus, Hepatitis & 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. It is difficult to find, but the second best would be to give a 5&1.
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. The problem is, that at 16 weeks your puppy is getting their third Distemper Parvo shot. If a vet wants to give both the Rabies and Distemper Parvo, then simply tell the vet you will make an appointment to come back in 4 weeks for the rabies shot.
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. All pups should wait 4 weeks in between shots, to give the immune system 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). I have a list of other vets in various cities that carry only Distemper Parvo, as well.
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.
We recommend our new owners give FortiCal/Nutrical after every vaccination to prevent hypoglycemia. We give all new owners a tube of Nutrical/Fortical, 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. It is my hope that when vets figure out that they can make just as much money testing with the new Antibody Titer Tests, that they will stop over vaccinating dogs.
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.