To Vaccinate Dogs or Not

Times have changed since I first wrote this page and a lot of the comments below were a direct result of the state of play at the time.  I purposely never voiced my own opinion as I am not vet but have since read some interesting changes that have taken place probably as a result of the comments below.

So many of us dog owners ponder and worry over this issue of  just whether to vaccinate dogs or not.

to vaccinate or notIn June, 2010, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association came out with a document  called the ‘Guidelines for the Vaccination of Dogs and Cats’.

It detailed  the latest research and recommendations from some of the world’s top immunologists. They stated that ‘the guidelines are based on current scientific knowledge and thinking.

The  document  promotes Titre Testing (taking blood to check antibody levels) rather than providing the vaccination and hoping for the best, which is the norm in Europe and the U.S. It also states that the core vaccines (Distemper, Parvo and Hepatitis for dogs and Flu and Enteritis in cats) last ‘for three years, if not longer’.  A considerable change in thinking from the yearly booster vaccines

These two guidelines, alone allow vets to legitimately reduce the number of vaccines given to cats and dogs over their lifetime, something that holistic  vets have been suggesting  for decades.

The experts opinions.

Catherine O’Driscoll – “55% of all illnesses reported by participants occurred within the first three months of vaccination. Arthritis – Diarrhoea – Allergies – Dry eye/conjunctivitis – Epilepsy – Loss of appetite – Nervous/worrying disposition – Skin problems – Nasal discharges – Vomiting – Weight loss – Behavioural problems – tumour or growth.”

Martin Goldstein, DVM has this to say about vaccines – “I think that vaccines, justly credited as the tamers of disease epidemics, are nevertheless the leading killers of dogs and cats in America today.”

Jean Dodds, DVM – “We have the luxury to be concerned with the adverse effects of vaccines more than we did before, because we have reduced diseases that were killing animals and people. ……. So vaccines were necessary to save the population in the face of epidemics. But it doesn’t matter what was. The fact is that now we have too many adverse reactions.”

Don Hamilton, DVM -Yearly “boosters” are unnecessary, and provide no benefit if given (will not increase immunity). Thus boosters are either a legal issue (Rabies) or a manipulation issue (inducing clients to come in for examination rather than directly suggesting an examination).”

Richard H. Pitcairn, D.V.M., Ph.D – “For some readers the very idea that vaccines are anything but wonderful and life-saving may come as a surprise, and it’s not a very pleasant one. After all, the general population pictures vaccines as one of modern medicine’s best and brightest moments, saving literally millions from the scourge of diseases like poliomyelitis and smallpox.”

Charles E Loops DVM – “Homeopathic veterinarians and other holistic practitioners have maintained for some time that vaccinations do more harm than they provide benefits. Vaccinations represent a major assault on the body’s immune system…. Vaccine induced chronic diseases range from life-threatening conditions such as auto-immune crises to conditions destroying the quality of life of an animal as in chronic skin allergies.”

Charles E Loops DVM – “Vaccinations represent a major assault on the body’s immune system. Attenuated organisms or chemical killed viruses or bacteria are injected directly into the blood stream, an unnatural route of infection. This profound insult, avoiding the body’s first line of defences, and flooding the system with millions of organisms or viral particles, stresses the immune system in a way not of natures design. This insult causes irregularities and abnormalities in the immune system which then manifests as chronic diseases in animals.”

Dee Blanco
, DVM – “You take healthy animals and often very quickly after you vaccinate, you can see simple things like itching of the skin or excessive licking of the paws, sometimes even with no eruptions. We see a lot of epilepsy/seizure, often after a rabies vaccination. Or dogs or cats can become aggressive for several days. Frequently, you’ll see urinary tract infections in cats, often within three months after their [annual] vaccination. If you step back, open your mind and heart, you’ll start to see patterns of illness post-vaccination.”

Helen L. McKinnon – “Many people are very concerned about vaccinating their animals and the adverse reactions are often referred to as vaccinosis and miasms which is said to be difficult or impossible to cure.

Most wonder why “annual boosters” are given to our animals when vaccinations for humans last for our lifetime. Also asked is why isn’t the dose adjusted for the size of the animal? The many serious adverse reactions may be grossly under-reported to the vet (insist on telling the vet), to the manufacturer, and to the USDA Biologics Hotline (report the reaction, manufacturer, and lot number ) at 800/ 752-6255.

The experts are now addressing these concerns and the First International Veterinary Vaccines and Diagnostic Conference was held in July 1997 regarding this important health issue.”

Dr. Dennis Macy – “We should not allow politics and tradition or greed to enter the decision (on frequency of vaccination). Changing vaccination schedules doesn’t have to mean less profit, but that you have more income from some clients and less from others. Veterinarians and the industry need to have guts to be honest with ourselves and assess the risk and not be trapped in tradition.” (in “Are We Vaccinating Too Much?” AVMA Journal, 1995)

Donna Starita Mehan DVM – “”Routine” vaccination, as it is practiced today, is not always effective (especially in the case of the feline leukaemia vaccine), and frequently has adverse side-effects, either short or long term. With the use of multivalent (combination: 4 in 1, 6 in 1, etc.) vaccines that are repeated year after year, the frequency and severity of these side-effects in our pets has increased dramatically.”

Not surprisingly, most of the problems involve the immune system.

After all, the immune system is what vaccines are designed to stimulate. But they do so in a very unnatural way that can overwhelm and confuse the immune system.

The body may overreact to normally harmless substances (allergies, especially flea allergies and other skin problems), or even produce antibodies to itself (autoimmune disease).

At the same time, the body may be sluggish in responding to those things that it should reject, such as common viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites.

This can result in increased susceptibility to acute infections (such as ear infections in dogs, bladder infections in cats), chronic tapeworm problems, or in more degenerative cases, cancer.

This statement provides us with a simplistic approach to the concept of vaccines – keep them to a bare minimum or if you feel comfortable, use homeopathic nosodes.

(DVM – Doctor of Veterinary Medicine)