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Lifelong Immunity – Why Vets Are Pushing Back

vet vaccine reaction dogThe 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 for rabies and challenge studies for all others.

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:

Distemper- 7 years by challenge/15 years by serology
Parvovirus – 7 years by challenge/ 7 years by serology
Adenovirus – 7 years by challenge/ 9 years by serology
Canine rabies – 3 years by challenge/ 7 years by serology

Dr. Schultz concludes:  “Vaccines for diseases like distemper and canine parvovirus, once administered to adult animals, provide lifetime immunity.”  “Are we vaccinating too much?” JAVMA, No. 4, August 15, 1995, pg. 421.

Yet vets continue to vaccinate annually.  Dog owners feel that their vets are doing their dogs a great service by vaccinating every three years instead of annually – why do we allow it when these studies were done over thirty years ago and have been replicated time and again by other researchers?

Ian Tizard states:  “With modified live virus vaccines like canine parvovirus, canine distemper and feline panleukopenia, calicivirus, and rhinotracheitis the virus in the vaccine must replicate to stimulate the immune system. In a patient that has been previously immunized, antibodies from the previous vaccine will block the replication of the new vaccinal virus. Antibody titers are not significantly boosted. Memory cell populations are not expanded. The immune status of the patient is not enhanced.

After the second rabies vaccination, re-administration of rabies vaccine does not enhance the immune status of the patient at one or two year intervals.  We do not know the interval at which re-administration of vaccines will enhance the immunity of a significant percentage of the pet population, but it is certainly not at one or two year intervals. Tizard Ian, Yawei N, Use of serologic testing to assess immune status of companion animals, JAVMA, vol 213, No 1, July 1, 1998.

“The recommendation for annual re-vaccination is a practice that was officially started in 1978.”  says Dr. Schultz.  “This recommendation was made without any scientific validation of the need to booster immunity so frequently. In fact the presence of good humoral antibody levels blocks the anamnestic response to vaccine boosters just as maternal antibody blocks the response in some young animals.”

He adds:  “The patient receives no benefit and may be placed at serious risk when an unnecessary vaccine is given. Few or no scientific studies have demonstrated a need for cats or dogs to be revaccinated. Annual vaccination for diseases caused by CDV, CPV2, FPLP and FeLV has not been shown to provide a level of immunity any different from the immunity in an animal vaccinated and immunized at an early age and challenged years later. We have found that annual revaccination with the vaccines that provide long-term immunity provides no demonstrable benefit.”

Why then, have vets not embraced the concept of lifelong immunity in dogs?

“Profits are what vaccine critics believe is at the root of the profession’s resistance to update its protocols. Without the lure of vaccines, clients might be less inclined to make yearly veterinary visits. Vaccines add up to 14 percent of the average practice’s income, AAHA reports, and veterinarians stand to lose big.  I suspect some are ignoring my work,” says Schultz, who claims some distemper vaccines last as long as 15 years. “Tying vaccinations into the annual visit became prominent in the 1980s and a way of practicing in the 1990s. Now veterinarians don’t want to give it up.”

The report of the American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Taskforce in JAAHA (39 March/April 2003)3 includes the following information for vets:

Misunderstanding, misinformation and the conservative nature of our profession have largely slowed adoption of protocols advocating decreased frequency of vaccination’; ‘Immunological memory provides durations of immunity for core infectious diseases that far exceed the traditional recommendations for annual vaccination.

‘This is supported by a growing body of veterinary information  as well-developed epidemiological vigilance in human medicine that indicates immunity induced by vaccination is extremely long lasting and, in most cases, lifelong.’

Both the AAHA and the AVMA must do more to “step up to the plate” says noted immunologist, Dr. Richard Ford. But the reality is the vets do not have to listen to the AAHA or the AVMA and it appears the state veterinary medical boards are not interested in enforcing vaccine schedules, opting to leave it up to the individual vet.

Dr. Bob Rogers hired a Chicago based law firm and initiated a class action suit for pet owners who were not given informed consent and full disclosure prior to vaccination administration. His article entitled “The Courage to Embrace the Truth”, states “While attending conferences like WSVMA and NAVMC I have asked over 400 DVMs from various parts of the country if they attended the seminars on New Vaccination Protocols. I was told by all but one, “I don’t care what the data says, I am not changing.” One DVM here on VIN even said “I am not changing until the AVMA makes me change.”

It seems that pet owners are against the wall when it comes to vaccination. The obvious conclusion is that pet owners who are concerned about the long term health of their companion animals must take it upon themselves to research vaccines, duration of immunity and vaccine dangers. At the very least, question every vaccine that goes into your animal – but none of the above information indicates you will get an honest or well-informed answer.

Be your dog’s advocate – protect him with knowledge and by taking a stand against unnecessary vaccination. His life may depend on it!

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  • 184 Responses to Lifelong Immunity – Why Vets Are Pushing Back

    1. Have titers drawn if you are not sure your dog is covered by ts current vaccinations- Even pet insurance covers these

    2. mabel

      In my country, Philippines I have no choice but to vaccinate my dogs annually for the anti-rabies vaccine because of our law. I really feel worried about it, I don’t like to over-vaccinate my dogs…but I have to follow the law. It feels really bad!

    3. I am the editor of the Pacific Northwest Gordon Setter News. I enjoyed the above article and found it quite informative. Would you give me permission to reprint this in our newsletter? I will, of course, give you total credit.
      Thank you.

    4. Carol Minkus

      I have long been an advocate of Dr Schultz’s vaccination recommendations since I first heard about them back around 2000. I have tried to educate people when I can about these new protocols.
      I have printed out all the information on vaccinations and take it to my vet or boarding facility to show them that my dogs do not need any more vaccinations.

      BTW, titers are NOT accurate, Please read this: http://www.caberfeidh.com/Titers.htm

    5. Jaime

      I stopped re-vaccinating all my horses, dogs and cats except I am required to do the three year rabies to license my dogs (which upsets me).

      My question is that I need recommendations for homeopathic treatment for horses with heaves. Help please

      • Aj Shaw

        Is it the same for a horse then? I am very interested in this article and I was wondering if it was the same for my horse. he has annual flu/tet. is this necessary?

    6. Bev

      Very Interesting read!! I had a setter and refused to continue with yearly vaccinations and even asked my Vet to take a titer and the vaccinations were still in his system. I don’t understand except maybe they want the money!! SMH!

    7. Laura Smith

      I recently had my 16 month old dog tittered. I thought my vet was doing it in house, but she sent it out. Three weeks later I got a call that her titers were fine. Then two weeks after that I got another call that my vet felt that she should have a booster. I was a bit confused so I asked to get a copy of the lab reports and contacted Dr. Dodds who did (only) her rabies titer and she responded back that Ruby’s rabies titer was 8 times the level required by law and she did not need a booster. I live in a 3 year state, but it’s my understanding that the rabies vaccination she received at 6 months was the same that she’d get for her three year vaccination. So since she was vaccinated at months does that mean I have to do another at a year even though she has high titers since it was a “puppy” vaccination? Another lab did the core titers and that report summarized that all her titers were good and she did not need revcaccinated at this time. The only titer that was low was Lepto, which I don’t vaccinate for, yet she still had some immunity for Lepto. So I’m not sure what she is wanting to revaccinate for. I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on this?

      • Dogs Naturally Magazine

        Laura, you’re fine for the core vaccines as there’s no legal requirement for those. But as far as I know, no states accept titers in lieu of rabies and that is a legal requirement. You should check your state’s laws but I think most states require a second rabies shot one year after her first one, then you can go onto the three year timetable. Some people choose not to comply, but of course we can’t advise you to break the law and that’s your decision. Sounds like you may need to find a more holistically minded vet though! Try searching at ahvma.org.

        You may wish to read this article before even considering another Lepto shot. http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/leptospirosis-vaccine/ The vaccine is associated with high rates of adverse reactions, and low effectiveness.

        • kay

          It is all about money. Sad to say, but true. I had a veterinarian tell me “well, I have a new truck to pay for”. I have been fighting this issue for several years but it is difficult, partly because some places will NOT board your dog unless they have had vaccinations in the past year. We will continue to have to pay for these unnecessary vaccinations until we can somehow convince the vets and boarding facilities that they are not necessary. Pet owners need to somehow get together and refuse, refuse, refuse to revaccinate or to board until everyone gets the message.

          • Paul

            Kay…..they are my sentiments entirely. How do we get owners, boarding kennels and the vets to understand and accept the dangers of over-vaccination.
            Try this website…..they are campaigning by contacting the professionals to inform and educate, but need more people to get on board.

            http://www.petwelfarealliance.org

    8. Krystal

      I’m confused. You say in the comments that one year rabies vaccines do not exist anymore and they do..can you elaborate on that a bit more? Maybe I read it wrong?

      https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ6AwrysulTSqb718WnjbgVE7B0bT7DkYgFv9I3sIpyEPdIM_0lOam7lqzY

    9. May

      I’ve been looking into natural flea/tick and worming control and getting confused on what to do.

      I read about DE for intestinal worming, but I am not sure what to use for preventing heart worm. Is there a test that can be performed to make sure your dog does not have intestinal worms or heart worm?

      For flea/tick prevention, is spraying apple cider vinegar before a walk enough to keep the fleas or ticks coming near my dogs?

      • Dogs Naturally Magazine

        May, we have lots of articles on this site about these topics. The easiest way to find them is to google “Dogs Naturally Magazine + flea tick” or “Dogs Naturally Magazine + heartworm” (or whatever other topic you may be looking for.)

        Yes – there are blood tests for heartworm disease and fecal tests for other worms.

        We haven’t used ACV ourselves for prevention but perhaps other readers may have tried it and can comment.

      • Sharli

        May, in answer to your question about ACV for flea and tick prevention: I make my dog food and I add a couple of teaspoons to each batch of food 7-10 lbs of food. Sometimes I put some on a cotton ball and rub it on their hair a little. I haven’t seen a flea this year and my dogs go out in the woods daily. I have gotten three ticks off my dogs this year, but they’re usually not attached. I have three large breeds, all different, all rescues. In my opinion, ACV is the way to go; it’s much better than chemicals. If you have a natural food or health food store near you, that’s the best place to get it. It’s not watered down as much as the ACV you get st the grocery store.

        • Ann Quinn

          I use a Neem based ‘Pet Guard’ spray before I walk my dogs. Hand over their eyes and spray in the spots that ticks aim for not forgetting arm pits! Although we haven’t got the range of species that you have in the USA, here in the UK sheep ticks are bad this year as we had a mild winter. I avoid fields where sheep are / have been, including boundary hedges as ticks can jump on to a warm blooded animal from a distance especially cooler times early morning /evening. I also avoid long grass and areas that deer use locally as deer ticks carry Lyme of course which presents a greater risk to myself as well as my dogs.

    10. Lindsay

      where are the citations to all these “facts?”

      • Dogs Naturally Magazine

        There are in line references within the article.

      • Sharon A.

        Lindsay…why not research and get your own FACTS? Or would you just prefer thinking that whatever your vet tells you is gospel?

      • zara

        I agree Lindsey. Dr.Google will give you whatever you type in. Who would rely on a rabies titer when you have just been bit by an animal? The owner will feel the worst guilt when the puppy comes down with parvo. There are no true studies that say the amount of immunity in your pet is 100 percent effective. The amount for a “passing” titer May be there but completely ineffective. Taking AAHA out of context for this article does not prove titers save animals. Half the results are not reviewed by owners themselves but written on a graph and conveyed to the vet as “within Normal limits”. The cost associated with titers is three times more than the vaccine!!! So who is the true profiteer?—-wrote from an animal laboratory technician….but hey it’s safe because “they said it is”?

    11. Jan Ludvik

      My Australian Shepherd pup had his last puppy shots at 14 wks old. Does he still need to booster those shots?

    12. Beth J

      Personally I see this not only as there might not want to be change at the vet level, but if the vets do not change & educate the county/state requirements for vaccination to license ur pets then there in lies the problem. All agentcies involved have to finally agree with the proper info given to all.

    13. Karla

      What are the recs for Lyme disease vaccinations? We live in one of the areas with the highest rates

    14. Thank you for a great article. I have written about this subject myself on my own website The Canine Insight. We need to continue to help spread the word that vaccines are nearly doing as much damage to healthy dogs as good. I have stopped vaccinating 6 years ago and will only titre test now. If they need a boost only a blood test will tell me.

    15. Claudia

      I’ve read all the responses, but don’t see an answer to the question about heartworm medication alternatives. Also, we live in an endemic black legged tick infestated area, and I have been trying essential oils to repel them. Do you have specific recommendations for things that work best to repel ticks?
      I truly appreciate this information. As a person with Lyme disease who has had to learn to use alternative medicine, I have naturally gravitated to treating our pets more naturally. I appreciate the evidence based articles that show I’m on the right track.

      • Dogs Naturally Magazine

        Claudia, we have a number of articles on natural flea and tick prevention on our website.

        The best way to find them is to google “Dogs Naturally Magazine + flea and tick” We also have several heartworm articles, and you may also be interested in Dr Will Falconer’s excellent e-book Vital Animals Don’t Get Heartworm http://bit.ly/1ei1BWS

        Our May/June 2013 issue also had two articles about natural heartworm solutions. Individual digital back issues can be purchased for $3.95 – please email us at info@dogsnaturallymagazine.com if you would like to do that.

      • Debbie

        There is an essential oil from doterra called Terrashield-absolutely amazing and works on pets and people. The web site doterra.com

    16. Jody B

      Can you send me the case studies done that show the duration of vaccine effectiveness?? I have had a hard time finding the actual studies and only the articles quoting from them.

      • Dogs Naturally Magazine

        Google Schultz and vaccine and ready more of our vaccine articles and you’ll find many. They’re not hard to find!

        • Cap K

          But again you find no actual facts, just quote after quote after quote but no links to actual studies.

    17. Annette

      What are your thoughts on heartworm and flea/tick products? Is there a natural alternative to these products on the market/vet’s office? I stopped using them out of concern for my dogs’ health. But each time I take my dogs to the vet, the vet tech tries to push them on me. Please advise…thank you!

    18. Denise

      Just wondering about the Rattlesnake vaccine..We travel in the desert yearly and my dogs were given this vaccine..is this something I should forgo this year? I plan on taking the Ledum with us, but like the concept of giving us more time to find a vet if they are bitten..Any ideas???? Thanks..This is good info..

      • Darci Michaels

        There are great Homeopathic remedies for this and their effacey is outstanding. Get a hold of an experienced Classical Homeopathic vet/practicioner.

      • Jody B

        I read that toxin related vaccines do still need boosters like our tetanus.

        • Dogs Naturally Magazine

          Bacterin vaccines like lepto and Lyme do not confer the same immunity as the virus vaccines and need to be repeated. In the case of lepto, it can only last for a few weeks, making the efficacy dubious, given it’s poor track record when it comes to safety.

      • Lisa

        Living in Idaho, we started the rattlesnake vaccine series (there were to be two, maybe three, shots) with our Lab. The first shot caused a pronounced long-lasting welt at the injection site. The skin tissue died there, although did grow back afterwards. We did not continue with the vaccine series as our dog obviously reacted negatively to it.

    19. Catherine Thomas

      Great piece. I just took my 18 month old dog (aussieXtervuren) in for booster at the end of November. He recieved his Rabies booster and was titred for parvo and distemper. The readings for Parov came back very high but aparently his anti-bodies for distemper are not in the accatable range. Hmmm … Now I am unsure as to how to proceed. This is a very healthy dog with no history of reactions or issues with his immune system. Should I give him one more booster (apparently there isnt a single vacine for distemper so it would be the parvo/distemper combo shot) OR just leave things as they are and not vaccinate??
      I know that titres can sometimes be quite unreliable. I have a good but very conventional vet.
      Thank you for any advice/information,
      Catherine

      • Dogs Naturally Magazine

        Hi Catherine
        If there is any measurable amount of antibody present for distemper, your dog is protected. This is information taken directly from immunologist Dr Ronald Schultz.

      • Corinne Chapman

        Yes Catherine, I 100% agree with Dana! As a Vet, I have titred many animals and learned over the years that even a “weak positive” is enough. So ask your Vet what the official document says! If there is a Weak Positive result, you are fine. Some animals and people never show a “normal” result. We are all unique in our titre levels. It isn’t necessarily better to have a high positive vs a weak positive, just so long as it’s POSITIVE!!!

      • Our bodies retain a ‘memory’ of the vaccine. Our bodies aren’t filled to the brim with antibodies for everything we’ve ever been exposed to. But they kick in when we need them. It’s the same with our pets. A low titer count doesn’t mean anything, so don’t worry. :-)

    20. A.

      Unfortunately, our city requires all dog to be registered and to keep the dog license up to date. To renew the license, you must provide a proof of up-to-date vaccinations. Unfortunately, vaccine companies expiration date is always within a year .. which means to be legal, we must vaccine her every year.
      I wonder what I can do ..

      • Dogs Naturally Magazine

        First, the only vaccine required by law is rabies. This article discusses the core vaccine – there is no legal requirement for them.
        Second, the vaccine companies no longer have a one year duration of immunity on their products. They all moved to three years a long time ago.
        What you can do is take control of your dog’s health care and become an active partner along with your vet. If your vet insists in annual or triennial vaccinations, find another vet who has taken the time to really understand immunology – but beware, most don’t because the sum total of their education on that topic is taught by the vaccine manufacturers.

        • Dave

          What a bunch of hogwash. Our veterinarians frequent conferences on these matters all the time. Your article references a single DVM, in a single article published in 1995. 20 years ago! That’s an eternity in scientific terms.

          Current AVMA recommendations, from teams of scientists using the most up-to-date research, have concluded that the current guidelines (1-3 years) are appropriate.

          Veterinarians are the lowest paid of all professionals. Citing one or two alleged quotes by vets claiming they’re “doing it for the money” shows how biased this type of reporting is.

          If clients want to save ten bucks by not vaccinating their pets because of scare tactics exhibited here, that’s their choice. But the bill is a heck of a lot higher when you have to treat Parvo, distemper, kennel cough or leptospirosis afflictions. And while I’m sure you’ll find a way to blame the veterinarian for that consequence, it’s still not our fault you made the wrong decision.

          • Dogs Naturally Magazine

            Dave, over the last nearly forty years, this research has been replicated dozens of times, on thousands of dogs and on every major vaccine. And the current AVMA revaccination guidelines are actually at least 3 years, not 1 to 3 years.

          • Beth

            Dave this is not hogwash Vets in my area have said the same that this article has referenced. It has been a subject for many years that dogs have been over vaccinated. and cats get ill from vaccinating . I for one know that my cats when originally vaccinated annually would get sick I stopped the vaccinations and they been healthy as could be , For the record my dogs have lived much longer then most. be it a fluke or because I don’t have them vaccinated annually I don’t know , I just know I am not referencing 1 pet as.I have numerous and they are very healthy in the senior years and I do credit it in part to not over vaccinating them ,

          • amanda

            I’m afraid the biggest dose of ‘hogwash’ on this entire page is your claim that vets are the ‘lowest paid of all professionals’ do you really think we’re all that daft to believe such nonsense!

            More interestingly my vet agrees there is no need to keep vaccinating and after three or four doses will write a letter to anyone who requires it in place of the vaccination card stating the dog is adequately vaccinated…… I think that says it all!

          • Anne Fletcher

            Dave, I couldn’t agree with you more. One $5 vaccination through your local low cost clinic or spending $12 to $15 for vaccinations given by your private vet saves our companion animals’ lives! I see the animals who have been originally adopted from shelters, so, have had vaccinations that have not been kept current and who end up back in the same shelters later and fall victim to diseases that are easily and inexpensively preventable. We can tell by their animal ID numbers when they were previously adopted. What financial advantage is there to vets to volunteer their time with low cost facilities providing immunizations to those who could not otherwise afford them as so many do? I do think senior dogs are over vaccinated. I also question the wisdom of giving a dog who weighs 55 pounds, heartworm prevention that covers dogs who weighs 50 to 100 pounds. I go with the lower dose. If your dog is on monthly heartworm prevention, young and healthy, why do you have to repeat the blood test annually to get a prescription for a visibly young and healthy dog? Why not allow prescriptions to those unable to afford the annual testing who do not break dosing? Isn’t it preferable to there going unprotected? We know Heartgard Plus prevents new worms from developing as adult worm naturally die off, slow kill method. So, worse case scenario why not allow those with limited resources to protect their dogs?

    21. This post is absolutely fantastic. I’ve often sent those silent apologies myself – I really just didn’t know any better. I love the title of this post and the idea behind it. Well said!

    22. Jenny

      I’ve been concerned about annual vaccinations for both my dog and cat for a while now, but I live in the UK where pet insurance is very common, and usually rendered contractually invalid if ‘boosters’ aren’t kept up to date. It feels like being held to ransom a little bit…. Do I put my pets at risk through annual vaccinations or through no pet insurance? :/

      • Dogs Naturally Magazine

        That’s an easy answer! Take the money you put into pet insurance and put it into a bank account for pet emergencies. I bet you’d end up ahead of the game, especially if you stop damaging your pets’ health with unnecessary vaccinations.

        • Sarah Bell

          My insurance company, MoreThan, somply doesn’t pay out for any conditions that could have been vaccinated against. They are happy to insure my dogs despite the fact they are not vaccinated.

        • Trudy

          I agree; if regular vaccinations are required to maintain the insurance, take your insurance oney and RUN – not walk – away fast!! I’m wondering if that insurance would even cover HIGHLY expensive treatments, like say for IMHA, which sometimes is simply the result of years of over-vaccinations. Even if the insurance will pay out, it is very likely you will lose your beloved fu-baby to this terrible disease anyway. I myself learned so much the hard way, but the experience did teach me to JUST SAY NO to any and all unnecessary vaccinations.

          • karen Butt

            Hi trudy, i said no to doing annual leuk vaccines for my cat, she got her 1st three sets of vaccines as a kitten and then a year later she got her booster, sad thing was she caught leuk 3 years later and passed away, so from what i can see her vaccines did not stay in her system and because i failed to give her yearly vaccines she died. it was my fault as i could have prevented it …

            • Pw'eek

              Karen, I helped test and vaccinate a number of cats for feline leukemia when I was working in rescue. All tested negative and all were vaccinated. All died within the next coupke of years from….leukemia.
              In another situation, I had 15 cats at one point. I vaccinated 8 of them with the usual annual boosters and planned to vaccinate the other 7 a couple of months later. In the interim, I accidentally brought home a feline respiratory virus from the clinic I worked in. Despite having been vaccinated withing the last 6 weeks against those very illnesses, the 8 recently vaccinated cats all caught it, with two ending up hospitalized. The other 7, which included three elderly cats (16,17 & 18 years old), hadn’t been vaccinated in several years and never got sick.

    23. james

      hey, i am new to this ,,, NOT really,,, UNFORTUNATELY, my wife and I have had 3 of our BABIES poisoned to death by VERY disgusting people. They called themselves “vets”,, i call them Butchers. We should have been able to trust them,,, sadly,,,,, our BABIES died from them. I have been looking for Help with all of this for a long time now. I actually am a fan of Pitcairn. His book and Shirley’s wellness cafe REALLY opened our eyes. I do have a Question about the 3 year immunity for the Rabies. The research that i have seen,, is this…….. The research that THEY(agencies, etc.) use,,, it is ACTUALLY based upon HUMAN evidence,,,, it is NOT from Dogs. It was Also done back in the 1930s. So as i have discovered, at least for my question,,, where did the 3 year Immunity for dogs come from,, it is just kind of weird THEY have the same duration, as is stated here. Believe me,,,,, i know HOW dangerous Vaccines can be. You see,, i have Autistic tendencies, i am Disabled,,,, in fact i have suffered MOST of my life. You see, when i was a baby,, then one year later,,,, i ALMOST died. Anaphylatic shock, partial paralysis, you name it. Lets see, Baby shots AND the Booster. The culprit for me was the Polio vaccine. Last time i had the Flu-shot,,, almost all of my teeth fell out. Anyways, GOOD LUCK to everyone :) and MANY BLESSINGS for all of our Fur-BABIES

      • Dogs Naturally Magazine

        Thanks for your note James. Dr Ronald Schultz studied rabies vaccination in dogs and found that their titres remained for the duration of the study: seven years. There is also a study in France where they actually exposed vaccinated dogs to the rabies vaccine and it was shown to be protective for at least five years. And of course, the Rabies Challenge Study is working hard right now to show a 7 year duration.

        • james

          thanks for the reply. That has made more sense to me. I hope that Rabies Challenge Study comes up with the 7 year duration. :) Thank you again . Best Wishes for ALL of us .

          • Dear Dr. Schultz,
            I would like to know why the state of Texas is so adamant about dogs getting all of their shots on a yearly basis. I was threatened by a vet and told if I did not get their shots on a yearly basis she would report me to the sheriff. I told her she was full of bullshit and did not appreciate her threat and would contact the Texas Attorney General’s office. We went round and round. I will not go back to this vet or recommend this vet to anyone. Thank You.
            Deb

        • Janeen

          It is time for me to get my Shih Tzu her 1 year booster of Rabies and then she’ll be on the 3 year cycle. I am so concerned about this booster. Do I really need to get this booster or could she be ok for the 7 year duration. My holistic vet is not a fan of the vaccine but my regular vet sent me a card for all the vaccination’s that my dog needs now. What should I do? Thank You

      • Robert

        It is all about the MONEY. I never vaccinate after the first initial vaccinations. How often do we go
        for yearly shots. I only do the rabies every 3 years because without it my dog cant be licenced.
        Ridiculous considering we live on the 16th floor in a down town high-rise. Its all about the money !!!!!

    24. Michele Martinez

      My best friend and light of my life, Maximus Aurelius, had his rabies vaccination in November of 2012. It caused an auto immune disease that destroyed his red blood cells and platelets. He began bleeding in this intestinal tract on Christmas eve. Platelets are what allow blood to clot so because he had none, he could not stop bleeding. I worked with a specialty vet to attempt life saving treatments to stimulate his immune system but it did not work and I was forced to put him down before he bled to death. He died 13 days before his 12th birthday. Had I been aware that he could have gone the rest of this life without any more vaccinations, I would never have let him get any more. He was in “couch potato” stage in his life. He never went to dog parks anymore because he could not handle it physically – he was a 3 legger, he did not go to day care because he could not physically handle it, he was never groomed because I bathed and combed him, we went for walks every day but they were tailored to his energy and physical limits, he was never off leash so was chances of him being exposed to rabies or biting anyone was very slim to none. Had I not allowed him to get his rabies vaccination, he would still be here with me living the beautiful life he had. I am not anti vaccination, but I am a proponent of becoming more educated about what makes sense for your beloved animal at the stage of life they are in. His doctor advised that she has had to advise pets who have managed to survive this kind of immune disease never to have vaccinations again and when necessary has written letters for grooming or boarding. Knowing I had the option would have saved my Max’ life.

      • Anne M

        This happened too to my 3 1/2 year old baby “Sophie”, also the light of my life a year ago last May. Evan’s Syndrome is what the vet called it, Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia and Thrombocytopenia. She had received Bordetella (which they gave every year, injectable form) & the combo vaccine with Parvo & Distemper. She developed extensive bruising 4 weeks post vaccination, then profound anemia and low platelets. Treated with high dose steroids, blood transfusions, Imuran (Immunosuppresive drug). Died 2 weeks after diagnosis from aspiration pneumonia from steroids. Will never forget my beautiful pup or her tragic death. I had her sister titered this year and after 3 years her Rabies is still immune, Parvo and Distemper too. In violation of state law, but at least my other dog is alive and healthy. Very difficult to find a groomer, but I finally did. Had to find a holistic vet to even get someone to care for her and draw her titers but we did it. She’s worth it!

      • I agree with you but the article is intresting

    25. Hi I too had titers done on all my dogs afghan hounds so I would not over vaccinate ,rabies is req every three years , In mass .but I had a Shepard die two days after a rabies booster she never had a reaction before she was six years old and had a exam with tests a week before she was very healthy.sharon

      • karen Butt

        Did you have an autopsy done to see what she passed away from, was it the vaccine or something else wrong with her, some under lying problem you didn`t know about, it seems everyone has their stories and it`s so hard to know what or who to believe, I had a cat die fron Feline lek she recieved all her kitten vaccines then a booster a year later, but none for 3 years and then she got sick, i took her to the vet and she tested postive for leuk and she passed away, so i thought if i had vaccinated her for this every year she wouldn`t have caught it. but here they are saying the vaccines stay in the system for most of their life, but it never with my cat, so i guess i`m confussed about all this..

        • Angel

          Karen,

          I am so very sorry to read your post. But I wanted to reiterate her that getting your animal vaccinated DOES NOT GUARANTEE IMMUNITY. One vaccination does not guarantee immunity either. After vaccinating your pet, you really have to titer to determine if your dog or cat has immunity. Because we are striving to give only those vaccinations necessary to achieve immunity against a particular disease, and at the same time keep our animals safe and healthy from vaccine induced disease, we stay on top of this issue. It helps to have a veterinarian and/or laboratory that is reasonable in pricing for these services and on board with why it needs to be done. We titer our animals every year. Again, so very sorry to hear of your loss. So many variables with vaccines and efficacy including mutation of virus. Believe it or not, this excerpt from a Fosters and Smith publication is educational, accurate and extremely helpful in plain English on vaccinations. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+2143&aid=967

          START
          Should cats infected with FeLV or FIV be vaccinated differently?

          Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) can suppress the immune system in some cats. It is generally preferable to use a killed vaccine instead of a modified live vaccine in animals with immunosuppression. If the FeLV or FIV-infected cat appears healthy, the cat should be vaccinated according to the vaccination schedule for non-infected cats.

          Why do young animals need a series of vaccinations?

          Kittens receive antibodies from their mother through the placenta and after they are born, through the colostrum (the first milk). The age at which kittens can effectively be immunized is proportional to the amount of antibody protection the young animals received from their mother. Antibodies are small disease-fighting proteins produced by certain types of cells called ‘B cells.’ The proteins are made in response to ‘foreign’ particles such as bacteria or viruses. These antibodies bind with certain proteins (antigens) on foreign particles like bacteria, to help inactivate them.

          High levels of maternal antibodies present in a kitten’s bloodstream will block the effectiveness of a vaccine. When the maternal antibodies drop to a low enough level in the young animal, immunization by a commercial vaccine will work.

          The antibodies from the mother generally circulate in the newborn’s blood for a number of weeks. The complicating factor is that there is a period of time from several days to a couple of weeks in which the maternal antibodies are too low to provide protection against the disease, but too high to allow the vaccine to work and produce immunity. This period is called the ‘window of susceptibility’. This is the time when despite being vaccinated, a kitten can still contract the disease. This window of susceptibility can vary widely. The length and timing of the ‘window of susceptibility’ is different in every litter and between animals in the same litter. Since the length and timing of the window of susceptibility varies so widely, it is impossible for us to determine when is the best time to vaccinate each individual kitten. There are just too many variables. For this reason, young animals are given a series of vaccinations in hope that we can vaccinate the animal as soon as it leaves the ‘window of susceptibility.’ ..(more)
          END

    26. foreverdogz

      Furthermore, to push the profit, should one wish to have their pet responsibly spayed or neutered, the veterinarians obligate you to vaccinate 10 days before hand or will flat out refuse you. Does anyone out there have a copy of the Hippocratic Oath for a veterinarian. I would love to read it and really see the double standards in the practice. Are these people really in the biz for the love of animals or is it purely a cash grab????? Why is it that I have to shop around for a veterinarian with affordable pricing as well? How does one justify charging double and sometimes triple for the same procedure as a neighboring veterinarian? We all know how simple a feline castration is……. Why does one charge $80.00 and the other $160.00? Am I paying for the nice chairs in the waiting room???

      • Bea

        foreverdogz, you are paying for ski trips to Whistler. My vet told me the average vet clears 50k a year. Hmmm how does my old childhood chum, now a vet, afford to helicopter ski on that?

      • anniesthetic

        @foreverdogs, I can’t speak for all vets but in general the higher pricing for a “simple castration” is to make up for the clinic’s equipment and staff. That is why rescue or low-budget clinics are able to to do spay/neuters for much cheaper, because they don’t have an ultrasound, x-ray machine, and a bunch of other expensive equipment that they need to pay back for their investment (not to mention the vets’ years of schooling, debt, CE, licensing, etc), and it gets even MORE expensive if you go to an emergency hospital, specialty, or 24-hour operating hospital. Human medicine works the same as well. Staff need to get paid as well for all those hours, it’s the same as any late-open establishments. I know 24-hour Walgreens marks up. And yes, maybe you are paying for those nice chairs in the waiting area. It’s a business and the condition and quality of an establishment play a factor into potential clients. It’s up to the vet owner on how they think it is appropriate to charge for services, and to distribute their expenses. If they do a bad job, then they lose business and would eventually shut down. No matter what, you’re always shopping around as a consumer for the best price and quality appropriate products and services. If you feel all the vets perform the same quality of work, then by all means go to the cheapest one you can find.

        I’m a veterinary assistant working towards obtaining my certification as a vet technician, and at the hospital that I currently work at we will actually refer clients that can’t afford our spay/neuter costs to a nonprofit spay/neuter clinic. I believe we charge around $110, but may be more dependent on weight. I just looked on the non-profit’s website and they charge $20. Non-profits often times have newly graduated vets rotating for experience. Obviously, because from a non-profit you don’t really make much money. It’s true, they don’t really do much different in the procedure yet are much cheaper. Even so, some clients rather pay more for us to work on their pets because they trust us and our dedication to quality of services. And we work up a payment plan (no fees and interest-free) for clients we trust to honor their payment obligation. I believe the doctor that I work for is an honest man that wants pet health care accessible and affordable for people from all parts of the financial spectrum. He offers options to clients of the different treatments available as well as informs of each’s efficacy, the patients quality of life, and costs. As that is what I believe a good vet should do, and I truly believe he does a much better job than most of even human doctors.

        • NJ2toU

          I volunteer for a cat rescue group and our director works at a spay/neuter clinic. The difference in pricing, for the most part is this – low cost spay/neuter clinics are often worked “assembly line” style, so to speak. They do mostly feral and stray cats and need to work quickly and inexpensively. They rarely do pre-op bloodwork and use a less expensive anesthesia method. At a “full service” vet, they’ll do the blood work, use gas anesthesia, monitor the heart, etc. Several years ago I had one of my rescues done at a low cost clinic that almost died. She had a reaction to the anesthesia and her heart stopped. They sent back a cat that I didn’t know if she was going to be blind, neurological or both. I spend two nights sleeping on the bathroom floor with her (I have a very large bathroom) and within 48 hours she was thankfully back to normal. A couple of months later, I brought her to my regular vet who did all the above things to monitor her and she came through with flying colors – and cost me nearly $400. She was adopted in less than a week after we put her in the Petco adoption center (she was a gorgeous, sweetheart kitty) and the rescue head wouldn’t even give me the adoption fee to help me cover my costs. Needless to say, I no longer volunteer for that bitch. She took way too much advantage of me and other volunteers – we often paid for food, litter, etc. for the cats at the stores, had to cover spay/neuter costs for any cats we rescued, (she got her cats from the shelter already fixed and vaccinated, or dumped at Petco and they paid for it) I even paid a vet bill for a cat at one of our stores that needed vet care that she ignored, but I couldn’t, while she had her kitchen and floors redone, drove a Lexus SUV, etc. and took all the adoption fees and donations we got. But I digress… lol (the new group I volunteer with is wonderful, btw. :-) )

        • Ken Mathews

          Sounds like a decent man. One of the few! I’ve had the “other experience” way to many times in my forty years with dogs. Buyers, get educated and do what you believe is best for your dogs.

        • karen Butt

          Hi, so the vet clinic you work at, do they believe in vaccanations every year or do they believe once vaccinated the vaccines stay in the system and they never have to be vaccinated again, and what about a titers test if you have one done, is it good for the rest of their life like is mentioned here, or should it be done every year to make sure the vaccines are in the system.

      • karen Butt

        there are 3 vet clinics here in truro, 2 require they have to be vaccinated before a spay or neuter, 1 don`t.. so maybe there is one somewhere around where you live that will spay and neuter without vaccines ..

    27. Hello
      love this article and the one on bordetella.
      I have a borading kennel, its been open for 6 years now, and I never ask for bordetella, and dogs dont need to be vaccinated every year to come to my boarding.

      Adn I have a 11 years odl Jack russell and she as not been vaccincated fot 9 years.

      thanks and im going to share your articles on put them on my web site
      xx

      • I do not require Bordetella at my kennel. I do not require current Distemper combo. All I want to see is that the dog has been vaccinated at some time for Distemper/Parvo. I do require current Rabies vaccine.

        • Bea

          Jennifer, is there any reason, other than liability, that you require current rabies vaccine, given the data that immunity lasts 7 years and re-vaccination does not increase immunity?

        • Dave

          Your kennels should be shut down. Do you know how many kennel cough infections we see after dogs are boarded even at facilities requiring vaccination? A lot. How many times have you been faced with an unhappy clients wondering why their dog is now honking like a congested goose? My guess is: a lot.

          I suppose you take your young children only to daycare centers where toddlers are unvaccinated? Sounds like a risky proposition to me. But to each his own. Please just keep your kids (and dogs) away from mine.

    28. thwack, kaapow, King hit on the AAHA by Dogs Naturally, Love it, keep it up, and all the best ofr the festive season and new year.
      cheers Paul

    29. I raise Australian Shepherds and have had my 3rd generation raw — minimally/non-vaccinated litter (we don’t do anything other than rabies).
      I also own a boarding kennel and I can tell you that:
      A) I am not more expensive than a pet sitter unless the sitter only shows up one time and B) I am not the vaccine police. My policy is liberal and allows for non-vaccinated pets (and raw fed)-it is in my agreement which must be initialed as well as signed.
      We have a very nice set up that allows dogs the option for actual outside air all day long so that dogs are not locked inside all day (with only small breaks).
      I am also very pleased with the veterinarians in this area, and mine in particular, because they do not “force” vaccinations and are very open to minimal or non-vaccination.
      Thank you (as always) for a great article. … and the thought provoking it caused!

    30. Hello, my name is Jason Merrihew, PR manager for the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). We understand the concerns of pet owners regarding risks associated with vaccines. This is why AAHA first developed guidelines in 2003. With advancements in research and new vaccines, our canine vaccine guidelines were revised in 2006 and most recently, updated in October of 2011 (these guidelines are made public at https://www.aahanet.org/Library/CanineVaccine.aspx). The above article incorporates research and feelings from 1995-2003. The views of the veterinary profession have evolved since then due in part to the AAHA guidelines as well as advancement in research. Vaccines are very important to the health of our loved ones (both 4 and 2 legged). If they are administered properly and the individual lifestyle/location of each individual pets is taken into account, vaccines are very effective in protecting pets and humans from serious illness and sometimes death.
      Respectfully,
      Jason Merrihew
      AAHA PR Manager

      • Dogs Naturally
        Dogs Naturally

        Hi Jason

        You are very correct that the above article incorporates research from 1995-2003…some of the research is even earlier. This is exactly the point of the article.

        The duration of immunity for the core vaccines was demonstrated to be at least 7 years, as indicated by both serology and challenge studies and this was published by Dr. Ronald Schultz in 1999. (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, 22).

        Four years later, the AAHA Task Force evaluated the data from these challenge and serological studies and, while noting that the core vaccines had a minimum duration of immunity of at least seven years, they compromised with the statement that “revaccination every 3 years is considered protective.”

        In the 2006 update, this was changed to “revaccination every 3 years or more is considered protective.”

        Now, in 2011, the AAHA has changed it to: “every > or = 3 years” with the following comment: “Among healthy dogs, all commercially available [core] vaccines are expected to induce a sustained protective immune response lasting at least 5 yr. thereafter”.

        The duration of immunity hasn’t changed, it was a minimum of 7 years before the first AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines and it is still a minimum of 7 years, many years later. It’s been 8 years since the first Task Force and the revaccination recommendations have essentially changed from ““revaccination every 3 years is considered protective” to “every > or = 3 years”.

        I don’t see that the views of the veterinary profession have evolved all that much, based on the above guidelines and changes.

        • Jayne

          BUT – it’s great to see that the AAHA is listening and paying attention to the concerns that are out there. Maybe we can continue to learn/grow/and improve the recommendations for our loved ones!! Great dialogue!

        • nd

          I dont see it has either,if the study says that vaccines can protect up to 5 to 7 years ,then why jason hasnt the laws been changed to the 5th year Not every 3 yrs for rabies or other vaccines..funny thing about the rabie shot in my town,some vets still practice the one year and so does our shelters and then other vets down the street use the 3 years Rabiie shot after the first dose.Oh NOT to mention the 3yr is the same as the 1 yr,the darn lable is differant to please the law makers…So a very small dog gets the same shot as the very large dog,.I just dont get it,and am completly upset over this whole thing!!

      • Tom

        “If they are administered properly and the individual lifestyle/location of each individual pets is taken into account, vaccines are very effective in protecting pets and humans from serious illness and sometimes death.”

        That’s a very vague statement open to many levels of misinterpretation. Please don’t put a spin on a very controversial issue by making statements that are backed by research but won’t make any sense to the average dog-owner layperson. Using “unpublished studies” and the “experience of experts” to establish guidelines doesn’t sound like the profession has scientifically evolved.

    31. Deb

      My yellow lab had his first shots at about 6 weeks. 24 hrs later he had puppy strangles. A reaction to the vaccine- his immune system couldn’t fight it. Steroids, and more steroids. 6 vets later found an excellent inernal specialist who helped wean my dog after he got cushiness syndrome from too much steroids. I actually diagnosed it from a veterinary book that I only bought on a whim. An earlier post was correct- we each need to manage our pets care as we do our own. Question drugs, shots, etc. If you vet won’t discuss their care- find a new one. . The “rabies challenge fund” is a group of vets partnering with university Wisconsin in Madison researching and
      challenging 5 and 7 year minimum vaccines. They are trying to change the laws in th US. I think Europe has a 4 year limit in rabies vaccine. I have been told that the one year and three year rabies shot is the exact same – just different label. I only give my dog the required shots by law. No parvo or any extra shots. I question if vaccines are live, etc. All of your posts lead me to now try to find a vet to perform the titer test. My pup has never been the same since the steroid episode. I blindly gave my dog
      drugs that I never questioned side effects.

      • Jayne

        For what it’s worth, I had my first case of puppy strangles recently and it was not vaccine-related. The vet prescribed steroids, and I threw myself into research, and talked a few things over with her, and in the end, I gave the pup Waiora Natural Cell Defense to detox her and on day 2, the lymph nodes drained, day 3 the hole closed up, and she was fine ever since, although I continued the detox for a week, just in case. The vet was very supportive and explained that if I found something that worked, that’s great – it’s just that veterinary science doesn’t have any solution other than steroids at the current time.

      • karen Butt

        vaccines on a 6 week old puppy should never been done, they should be at least 8 weeks old

    32. Liz

      My old dog was a rescue and we vaccinated her when we got her (after she recovered from kennel cough) but didn’t bother after that as we had a big garden that she stayed in. She lived to 17 and had to be put to sleep as she could no longer walk. We now have a new dog and so far have had her vaccinated every year. Now I’m wondering if this is a good idea. What about all the worming products and flea treatments, are they harming our pets too? It seems manufacturers won’t tell us the truth behind their products, they are simply after the profits they generate. Would hope that the Vetinary Services would tell the truth not bow down the the companies.

      • Dogs Naturally
        Dogs Naturally

        Worming and flea medications are toxins and do cause illness and even cancer in pets. Yearly vaccination is never a good idea – especially in breeds such as Bernese as they already have a genetic susceptibility to certain forms of cancer.

        • Lee

          Where is your evidence that flea control and dewormers cause cancer? You are implicating a huge class of various products in one fell swoop, some of which have been shown to be very safe and effective. This is extremely irresponsible and slanderous. Also, not all “natural” products are safe. Garlic and some oils can be extremely toxic. Get your facts straight.

          • Dogs Naturally Magazine

            There is plenty of evidence and you only need to go to the EPA to find it. The pyrethroid spot-ons also accounted for more than half of the “major” pesticide pet reactions including brain damage, heart attacks and seizures. Non-pyrethroid spot-on treatments accounted for about 6 % of all major incidents. Bio Spot Flea and Tick Control, Defend EXspot Treatment and Zodiac FleaTrol Spot On all contain either or both of the active ingredients Permethrin and/or Pyriproxyfen.

            Permethrin has been implicated as a carcinogenic insecticide causing lung cancer and liver tumors in laboratory animals. There is also a suspicion that it disrupts endocrine function. It can act as a neurotoxin, causing tremors as well as increased aggressive behavior and learning problems. Vectra #D, the new guy on the block, contains 36.08% Permethrins.

            As a result of all this newly revealed information in the CPI’s report, the EPA in April 2009 announced it was taking a closer look at all spot-on flea and tick products. The EPA is also taking action to address uncertainties about the so-called ‘inert’ ingredients present in these products.

            Our facts are completely straight. What we’d like to see is the evidence that these products DON’T cause cancer. Shouldn’t that happen before they’re brought to market. Here is more information for those who care to educate themselves on the topic: http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/the-dangers-of-flea-and-tick-products/

          • And by the way and for the record, garlic is a very safe and effective immune booster and protector. It’s in almost every home-cooked recipe and a natural additive to homeopathic programs, especially involving cancer. It should not be given to dogs preparing for surgery or that are susceptible to anemia.

            Given to dogs on a bi-weekly regimen throughout the summer keeps parasites away like fleas and ticks. It should be fed raw, chopped finely, and dosed by weight of dog. It does have the same toxic property as onion, but not to such an extent. After all, garlic is recommended for human consumption to assist in cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol. Onions don’t have the same great immune system attributes.

            Please get YOUR facts straight prior to bashing everyone else. I would rather “chance” some garlic than apply pesticides to my animals unless absolutely necessary in an infestation. However, feeding them a raw diet also keeps the parasites away and I’ve seen that first hand.

            No need for fury, we’re all adults here. Here’s a place to start with a link to more information for those who are curious: http://www.examiner.com/dogs-in-national/dogs-and-garlic-friends-or-foe

      • Sharon

        I will never ever use a flea or tick product or heart worm pill again on my golden, she began having seizures and we had no idea why and when they started getting worse I stopped using those products and she has never had another seizure since. I am almost certain if I continued using these that I would no longer have her. All these products do is fill our pets full of poison. There are natural products out there that are much safer and cheaper to use on our beloved pets.

    33. nd

      Hello all,Im new to all this information,and have dogs and cats.It was just resently that our vet administerd the lyme vaccine without our concent..None of our animals have ever had it nor will they including the one dog that was givin the shot.Plus Ive been reading alot about Doctor Dodds and the study about vaccines and how they can protect an animal for many years after one dose..Here in my state we have to follow the Laws as for Rabies..It is funny though how our local shelter requires this shot every year and our Vet gives it every three after the booster..Then I checked another vet in a town close to ours and they two require the shot every year..I know this Rabie vaccine is the same 1 yr verses 3 yr except for the labling,Ive done my own reseach on this matter..Funny thing is when I brought this up to the manager at a local shelter for dogs/cats she said it was two differant shots..She either lied or was not aware of the truth..Vets are clearly making profit off all pet owners and will continue to do so until the laws are changed as for when the truth comes to light and they have no other choice but to stop over medicateing our animals..I havent Met a Vet yet that has an opened mind on this matter!!

      • Jayne

        They are out there, keep looking. I’m fortunate enough to not only have several vets in the area with some common sense, but there is also a holistic vet who does not do any standard/routine procedures including vaccines, yet she has two offices and a 6-week waiting list. I wish we had more like her!

      • Bea

        HI, nd,I tend to seek out and keep Dr.s that are more aware. Two of my vets don’t revaccinate, and one uses killed vaccines. I haven’t asked him about revaccination. You can google for holistic vets; they might be more aware. Also Dr. Pitcairn, natural pet care guru, teaches and might have a list of vets who have completed his trainings.

    34. Joe

      With the exception of less than a handful of states, humans are not the guardians over pets. Pets are the property of humans. Huge difference.

      There are a couple notable things not mentioned in this article. One, vaccines are labeled to be given at certain times by the pharmaceutical companies that make them. Vets have to give those drugs per label so they don’t get sued. Two, just because some dogs hold a viable immunity for that long does not mean that all of them do. That must be taken into account. Three, the bad reactions that you are talking about are on very rare occasion, in the single digit percentile, as in 1 or 2 percent. These said reactions are also most often very minor. Death is a rarity, and animals are vaccinated in the millions every year. This is just a start of the list.

      • Dogs Naturally
        Dogs Naturally

        Joe, we sure wish you were right. If you believe that vets must follow the vaccine inserts, then why is it that, time and time again, they vaccinate diseased dogs when it clearly states on the label that this is contraindicated? Every day, dogs with allergies, GI issues, diabetes, joint disease and even cancer are vaccinated.
        As far as bad reactions to the vaccines, this is simply a matter of perception. Most vets do not recognize vaccine reactions nor do they understand that they can take days, weeks, months or even years to manifest. There is PLENTY of harmful fallout from vaccines – the problem is, there are very few vets prepared to recognize it. Are you familiar with the Canine Health Concern survey? This will open your eyes to the dangers of vaccines. Research is showing that vaccinated dogs develop auto-immunity to their own collagen and even DNA. The real issue is, nobody is paying attention because they are trapped in the single-minded thought that vaccines are helpful and side effects are rare. Vets need to open their eyes – and when they do, it will be difficult because then they will learn how much harm they have been doing to our pets.

      • June dooley

        Joe, I doubt tne percentages of vaccine reactions are correct…thet are simply under reported. I walked in 3 weeks ago with an amazingly healthy active German Shepherd for an annual well check up. She walked with me 2 plus miles daily, jogged with my son nightly, biked on the weekends with me and was a major water dog. This has been her life for 5 yrs. Within 12 hours of receiving the parvo/distemper vaccine , and lyme, she became really sick. Vommiting, diaherrie, lethargic, would not get up to go for a walk. After 9 straight days, 4 vet visits, 7 phone calls to the vet, we statred her on steriods to hopefully calm down the reaction and get her to eat. That worked, but last friday, 2 weeks after the shots she started to favor her rear right leg. Walking funny, and seemed to be in pain. She now has Lyme Vaccine Disease, to what extent it has affected her leg we don’t know yet. Yes, dogs get lyme from the vaccine. No, not one vet ever told us this, but they sure pushed the vaccine down our throat. Funny thing is if a dog contacts lyme naturally tnrough a tick bite, 90 percent never develop the disease as they have built up a natural immunity. Those that do are easily treated with doxy. You can’t treat Lyme VACCINE disease. My dog my now suffer and her quality of life as she knew it could be gone forever. When i asked if this was reported, the vet looked at my like I had 10 heads. So many if not most go unreported so know one knows how many dogs/cats are truly affected. Thankfully I said no to Lepto, which they were also shoving down my throat..she may have died. I had every right to be informed that these side affects usually occur AFTER the third or fourth shot, and what could possibly happen. I was not! Puppies need shots and a booster but after that an adult healthy dog is immune and should be titer. I doubt you will ever hear that from your vet next visit. Rabies? She will be titered in May, and screw the law..she is not getting it if she is immune. She is now a vaccine free dog. I just hope it is not to late for her.

    35. The statements below are very telling, but not new.

      What is new?

      Pet guardians must finally take a stand to ensure that they are properly protecting their pets. Not only against disease, but against those in the “industry” who would practice unethical medicine — purely out of ignorance.

      The science is there – unfortunately, the old ways are too. This fight is not for the faint of heart, it is for the ones who have no voice.

      “I don’t care what the data says, I am not changing.” One DVM here on VIN even said “I am not changing until the AVMA makes me change.”

      Do your homework, become empowered – save your pet.

      With common interests,

      Gloria J. Cestero-Hurd
      Healthy Dog Project
      http://www.healthydogproject.org
      http://www.facebook/healthydogproject

    36. Joe

      You deleted my comment, or it was moderated at least. It had no profanity in it or anything that would be offensive to anyone, except the writer who might have gotten their feelings hurt because someone called them out. What, you can’t take any criticism? Only positive comments are allowed on here? That kind of proves my point.

      • karen Butt

        Joe, can you re post your comment so i can see it. I talked to my vet when i was in this morning for my 6 year old Golden to be vaccinated, I had a very long talk about this, and my vet told me the same, every animal is different, as the same as people, we all have different immune systems, she also told me that she vaccinated a dog for 2 years , the following year she never, then a year later the family was moving over seas and needed a paper stated vaccines in the dog, so they did a titers and it showed only rabies and the sitemper in the system, no others showed up, , so i asked my vet, how often should a titers be done, she said every year , my vet sais she has had her round of rabies vaccines done 20 years ago when she was in vet college, and one of the other vets had her#s done 2 years ago, both did a titers test on them and the vet from 20 years ago still had the rabies vaccine in the system but the one from 2 years ago never, she had to have it done again, so every animal and person are different, I had a cat die from feline Leuk 3 years after her last vaccines, so the vaccine never stayed in her system, maybe it was still in my other cats, who knows but not in this cat, why because they are all different..

    37. DB

      It is true that vaccinations are a big part of the income flow at veterinary clinics. It is also true that the vast majority of people would not bring their dogs in for regular physical exams if they did not have to come in for vaccinations. On regular physical exams many problems are identified including heart problems, severe dental disease and other problems that could be life threatening. It is important that everyone understand that the higher profit made on vaccination visits allows vets to take lower profits on other services. I am sure most vets would be thrilled to stop annual vaccination in favour of annual physical exams. Without annual physical exams (wellness visits) the costs of other veterinary services (fire engine medicine) will go up significantly. Expect hospitalization and surgery to go up significantly. I would also expect that hospital hours may be less convenient and maybe there will even be less clinics. I am not saying that over vaccination is the answer I just think that people should not use this information to think that they no longer should see their vet regularly.

      • Scully

        excellent, well balance and thoughful response

        • karen Butt

          What i am afraid of here is that because people are being told not to vaccinate anymore and more or less the vets are ripping you off, that in a few years from now you will see more sick animals because of not vaccinating or taking you pets in every year for check up. my cat died because i stopped vaccinating for Feline leuk 3 years before she caught it, so none of the vaccines stayed in her system for the last 3 years of her life..

      • Sandra

        I do not vaccinate annually. I vaccinate for Rabies every three years by law, but if the dog is over 9, I stop. Period. However I do take my dogs in at least annually for checkups, blood work and urinalysis. Why should it take the threat of vaccinations to make owners do an annual check up on their pets like they do on themselves? Maybe the industry should do as good a job explaining the risks of not having that checkup, as they do for vaccinations.

        • June dooley

          Sandra my dog goes in every year for a checkup, and bloodwork regardless if she is due for shots. Her health has always been important. She was so healtny 3 weeks ago, perfect weight, great teeth, excellent bloodwork, than she was revaccinated, and all has gone to hell

      • Emma

        Good point DB- one thing that my clinic has done to help with this is to give one part of a vaccination every three years, thus still ensuring clients bring their pets in for anual exams and reducing the number of vaccinations given at one time. For example a dog would receive a DHP vaccine one year, a Parvo the next and on the third year a Rabies and then a total of three years later another DHP. We try to educate our clients about the benefits and risks associated with each vaccination.

        Not all vets are of the every-vaccine-every-year-for-life model- like with everything in life there are the good and the bad. I would hope everyone who cares enough to read & comment on articles such as this one would take the time to find a vet that practices the best medice possible.

        The flip side to the anti-vaccination push (almost as harmful in my opinion) is the rise in devestating diseases making a come back such as parvo and distemper. I am not a scientist and I have not done any formal research- the following comment is simple an observation made from 10 years expierence working in a vet clinic. With all the articles about the risks of vaccinations it seems like more and more people are chosing to delay critical puppy vaccinations or even skip them all together. It is heartbreaking to see an owner lose a beloved puppy (or even 2 or 3 year old dog) to parvo virus because they were afraid of the risks of vaccinations. If the puppy manages to survive they will have a strong immunity but what of the countless other under- or even un- vaccinated puppies/young adult dogs out there? It’s good to remember that these vaccines were developed to help prevent some very devestating diseases.
        The vaccine debate will rage for years (already has) but the ones who it matters most to, our pets will ultimately be the ones to suffer. Hopefully owners can make timely informed decisions about the best way to help keep their pets safe andhealthy.

        • Jayne

          The flip side is that a holistically raised litter, with concentration on building the immune system, can breeze through parvo exposure with little or no symptoms. And for those who show symptoms, there are effective treatments that will aid their bodies through the process with just a vomit or two and maybe a loose stool. I would take a non-vaxed, holistically raised, raw fed puppy into my hands any day of the week over a dog that was given kibble and chemically wormed and vaccinated. I have seen for my own eyes how much stronger they are and how their bodies cope with the environment around them.

          • karen Butt

            I have seen and held puppies who died from Parvo when they have come into rescue, very heart breaking, wouldn#t have happened if the mom was vaccinated.

      • DJ

        Have to agree….saw a dog today with severe heart murmur that came in for just vaccinations. Owners noted clinical signs but did not have the knowledge to interput them for the signs of inpending heart failure.

      • Dave

        Vaccines are not a very “big part” of income flow. Our clinic receives about 9% (which may be a few percentage points less than average). That means we derive over 90% of our revenue from other services, mostly diagnosing and treating disease and injury and performing surgery.

        This is all a big to-do about nothing. If you don’t want to vaccinate your pet every three years, skip a cycle and do it every seven years. Our doctors think it’s far more risk than whatever reward you think you might be receiving, but in the grand scheme of things, who cares?

        Given that most vaccines are available at feed stores, you can do your own vaccinations or not. Just realize that you’re likely trusting a minimum wage worker to properly store and handle those vaccines you’ll be injecting (hopefully in the right place) into your pet. You surely also know how to treat vaccine reactions yourself, too, in the unlikely even one occurs…right?

        Why this has become such a big deal at web sites such as this is a mystery to me and my industry. You either trust your vet or you don’t.

        • Dogs Naturally Magazine

          Dave, this is a big deal because vets are pushing annual vaccination when there is no scientific precedent for doing so. I think you’re missing the point completely. This isn’t about saving money, it’s about saving lives. Half of all adult dogs will die of cancer. Clearly, the conventional veterinary model isn’t working.

          • Dave

            First, kudos to you for presenting my dissenting opinions. Many web sites will edit out posts that disagree with the premises they are offering.

            That said, I don’t really understand your point. Most posts here seem to be in line with the conspiracy theory that veterinarians are purposely overvaccinating in order to make money. I disagree with that assessment. Most informed vets are concerned with doing what’s medically right, not what’s going to get them rich (after all, if getting rich was a veterinarian’s first concern, they could have chosen ANY other profession in the medical field and made significantly more money). The “doing it for the money” rationale does not fly for the vast majority of veterinarians, and any honest person here knows that in their heart and mind.

            What’s left with the argument, then, is that veterinarians are not up on the research and that protocols change too slowly over time. Unfortunately, that is the nature of scientific progress. But most vets I know do go to conferences and do read industry journals and try to make informed judgments about when and how much to vaccinate. The evidence is NOT definitive on duration of immunity. Opinions vary across the board, as in most medical matters. Most vets err on the side of vaccinating more frequently than once per lifetime or per every seven years because they’ve seen the results of not vaccinating. Once you’ve seen one Parvo puppy, you never want to see another one again.

            I’m not sure what cancer has to do with anything in the discussion. The human medical industry has thrown countless billions at the disease and has made virtually no progress. Veterinarians have a fraction of that money at their disposal. Cancer surely has many causes, mostly environmental and dietary, but what does that have to do with vaccines?

            Suggesting that people do titers (at far higher cost and inconvenience than a tri-annual vaccine) in lieu of vaccination seems like total overkill. If you’re so compelled by the evidence that one vaccine is effective, why bother with checking immunity levels? Just one and done–never mind what your vet believes.

            • Dogs Naturally Magazine

              Actually, you are very right that one and done does apply to core vaccines given at or over 16 weeks of age. The reason one might want to check immunity levels is to make certain that seroconversion took place and, if so, then there is no need to vaccinate or titer again, based on DOI studies. Why do people repeat titers? Because their vets send those postcards in lieu of vaccine postcards. There’s no other reason. But at least this misconception by the veterinary field only hurts the pocketbook, whereas over-vaccination can have devastating consequences for the dog.

              Please explain how the evidence is not definitive on DOI. We get that all the time, yet no vet has produced any published data to prove this. And while there is not one scientific study showing a need to revaccinate, there are multiple studies showing an extended DOI of at least 7 years on every major biogal. This research has been repeated in many studies over the last four decades and is the impetus for the following statement on the AAHA revaccination guidelines of 5 years or greater: “This is supported by a growing body of veterinary information and well-developed epidemiological vigilance in human medicine that indicates immunity induced by vaccination is extremely long lasting and, in most cases, lifelong.”

              We’re really not concerned with why vets over-vaccinate. Whether it’s out of greed or ignorance doesn’t really matter. What is significant – and alarming – is that nearly 2/3 of vets today vaccinate on a completely unscientific and arbitrary vaccine schedule. In the interim, while the rate of infectious disease may be low, the cost is an alarming rise in preventable chronic disease, such as cancer, allergies, joint disease, hypothyroidism, diabetes, and many other disease that have been linked to vaccination.

              How is this practice defensible?

    38. meg

      My 9 year old, large breed dog went downhill after her 9th rabies shot (required yearly here) She went into shock and died 1 month later.

    39. JandM

      I found this article shared on my facebook by several people (one being a pet store, one being a raw food producer and a breeder) and i felt like i should post something myself. I actually never got my Labrador vaccinated since her puppy-hood vaccs (although this year, i did get all her boosters at age 6, reading this article makes me regret it deeply!) and my favourite story to share to PROVE that shots last for a long time and actually giving them the vaccines makes them sick, if not, sicker.

      So here’s the store. We had a Kennel Cough outbreak in my area after a dog in the neighborhood stayed at a PETsMART hotel (oh yes..). My Lab was about 5yrs old when this happened. All the dogs in the area get yearly shots and mine hadn’t gotten them for, well, about 4 yrs (which were her puppy vaccs.) My Lab was the only dog in the area who hadn’t gotten sick (despite sharing food, water and toys with the infected dogs several times), no coughing or sniffles or anything, yet all the other dogs who got their yearly shots all got sick, one of the dogs actually had his vaccine only the month before, one of them got seriously ill that he had to be on a couple medications just to get rid of it. Two of the dog owners who’s dogs got sick, i explained to them and sent them, non-forcefully, an article on vaccines which would explain why my dog was the only one who didn’t get sick. One owner responded with disgust, coming up with explanations how and why mine didn’t get sick, while others did. She also explained how i don’t care about my dog and that i don’t deserve my dog, all because i don’t give her yearly shots. But the other dog owner who responded was rather nice and apparently she has done the same with her dog (she got her dog Titre tested, but had to go to the US to get it done) but is now vaccinating her current dog yearly :/ .. strange change if you ask me.

      It’s the law here to have dogs vaccinated for rabies every 3yrs. I have been following those guide lines, but i think i will stop vaccinating her all together now after reading this. Despite doing a lot of research on vaccinations for pets, i never heard of this information before and i’m going to take this in stride. I myself have had several vets and none seem to like the idea that i raw feed my dog or don’t want to vaccinate her. I don’t think that my age really helps my situation either (i’m not even in my 20′s) and think i’m naive etc. etc. I have looked up where dogs can get TITRE tested in Canada, and the closest place to me is about 7hrs away!! Something i can’t do, since i don’t drive and i think my family would think i am out of my mind to bring my dog to the vets 7hrs away to take a blood sample LOL. This was an excellent article, thank you very much! :)

      • Jeanna

        can’t your vet just draw the blood and send it out to be tested? The dog owner who got a titer done then went back to yearly shots probably did so because the titer is more expensive than the vaccination is. I don’t get how more people don’t make the connection between human and animal vaccines. We get vaccinated when we’re kids, then we’re done, except for maybe tetanus. Our pets, however, for some reason must get vaccinated yearly until they die unless they get a titer ran. Have you ever had a titer test for your immunity? I don’t know anyone who has. Are they making the vaccines differently from the way human ones are? Doubtful, but if so, why?

      • Sandra

        I had the same experience. I had a small hobby kennel. Several dogs had the bordatella vaccine (those I showed actively) but many did not. One of my dogs brought the disease back from a show I presume. None of the dogs that had not been vaccinated got the disease. All of the dogs with the vaccine, did. Very strange don’t you think? In one case it led to very serious complications in one dog that took months to recover. I have not done bordatella since. Further I’ve had vets vaccinate sick animals (that’s why they were there in the first place for a check up) and tell me it should not be a problem. How stupid is that? They are supposed to the be the educated ones.

        • I also had the same experience when I owned a doggy daycare several years ago. I kept records of who had been given there bordetella and who had not and when the kennel cough ran through the daycare, any dog who had been given the spray or shot got kennel cough of varying degrees. My own dog did not develop any signs even though her mouth had been licked by many of the pups who deferred to her. After that I never required the kennel cough spray or shot.

      • Carline

        JandM,
        I’m not sure what part of Canada you live in. I live in Toronto and my “traditionally trained” vet recently sent my dog’s blood out for titer testing when I informed him that I was not comfortable with vaccinating when it was not necessary. He told me that about 50% of his patients are titered and recommended that we titer Murphy (my 5 year old rescue Maltese/Keeshund x that I’ve had for just over a year) every 2 years. He also told me that he titers his own dog. I didn’t ask why he just doesn’t suggest this to all of his clients because I know the answer. Murphy’s titer came back very strong for Parvo and Distemper and therefore, no revaccination is required. By law he has to have his rabies shot every 3 years and I will comply especially since I do driver across the border to the US with him a couple of times a year and a rabies certificate is required (they have never checked so far but I don’t want to take the chance). Because I love my dog very much, I will always take him for his annual check-up and blood work because other health issues can happen. I was made aware of the health risks of re-vaccinating pets by the small rescue organization that I got Murphy from. They also gave great recommendatiions on proper nutrition to keep his immunity strong. I feed him a freeze dried raw diet (ZiwiPeak) which is as easy as kibble to manage, plus a little hormone/antibiotic free meat, eggs, fish and a multi-vitamin and probiotic.

    40. Beth

      When my elderly dog was due for her rabies shot at 16 years old I profusely refused her to have it. Her vet agreed and noted my wishes in her chart! He felt it could killer her, his words. My husky who will be 14 in March will no longer get the rabies shot. Her vet has not given the other vaccines for many years. I did have titers ran for several years and he said we no longer need to run those…I love my vet!!!

      • shelby

        Wish I could say the same. I don’t mind traveling for a good vet but then there’s always that chance of an emergency. I live near Gettysburg Pa. are we anywhere near you?

        • Beth

          Shelby in live near Charlotte NC but my vet is in Winston-Salem NC about 1 hour from me. I have used a local vet for emergencies. But I always follow up with a trip to Winston-Salem. my Vet attended University of Georgia. Try to find one in your area that went to vet school there. I actually took my little dog to vet for acupuncture in Charlotte low and behold she went to Georgia with my vet in Winston so I reconnected the 2 who had been in touch since graduation and had been friends during the whole time at school. I loved her too. Good Luck finding a vet there

    41. Here is a link that explains titer testing:
      http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/titer_test.htm

    42. I own a pet care company in Vancouver, BC and have two dogs and two cats of my own. Ask your vet about titer testing. A simple yearly blood test can determine if your pet’s immune levels are at an appropriate level. Our dogs are 4 and 5 and have not had vaccinations since their initital “puppy” vaccinations. I’m not sure how it is in the US, but most boarding and daycare facilities here will accept titer tests rather than proof of vaccination.

      • karen Butt

        Her they are saying you only need to titer test once in their life time.

    43. Dogs Naturally
      Dogs Naturally

      Mickey, we are so sorry to hear this. Please do send us an email and let us know how this turns out for you, we would be very interested to follow this story.

    44. Heather

      Does anyone know of any “enlighted” boarding kennels near the Pittsburgh, PA area?

    45. Mickey de Rham

      I was following the law, Rabies every three years.
      It was a tragic mistake to give my 20 year old dog a Rabies shot.
      Within 2 days, she was in a neurological episode that could not
      be halted. She was euthanized within 12 days after receiving the shot.
      I was not warned that this could happen in an older dog. The age
      of my dog was on the paper that the Vet signed. I question his ethics.
      I have placed a complaint to the NH Veterinary Board concerning
      this situation. My dog was in perfect health until she received this injection.

      • D

        Your dog was 20 years old and most likely had an underlying health issue.

        • Which is why you are so sympathetic to Mickey’s comment?

          Please – condolences first, then rhetoric, D.

          Mickey, you are absolutely correct to assume that your vet used “poor judgement” when administering a Rabies vaccine to a 20 year old dog. And he alone should be responsible for his actions.

          This article only proves how many are experiencing the same situation as you are. And I am speaking personally from my own experiences.

          So, document the case. And if there is ever a class action suit (and there will be) you will give your beloved her day in court.

          The science is being done – it will change how we think about vaccines. In the meantime I am sorry for your loss.

          With common interests,

          Gloria J. Cestero-Hurd
          The Healthy Dog Project
          http://www.healthydogproject.com
          http://www.facebook.com/healthydogproject

        • nd

          Micky,Im sure it was due to that shot NOT a medical problem D listed

          • DJ

            Most states that require Rabies vaccination by law (Washington just started this year) do not allow a waver of the requirement based on the age (elderly vs too young) of the pet. The only waver I am aware of is if the pet has a serious vaccine reactions.

            If as a Veterinary Professional we advise against the Rabies Vaccine due to age we are open to liability. The Dept of Health can take your license in theory, certanly fine you, and if your un-vaccinated dog bites someone your Veterinarian can be sued by both you and the person bitten. In a society where people sue for the smallest thing it can be a difficult choice between what you believe and what you are required to do.

            As an aside to the article above, I went to a Continuing Education seminar recently (last 30 days) on the subject of Vaccination and the most current data provided there did not agree. The most current recomendations from one of the most independant researcher/DVM I have met was basically every 3 years on Rabies & Distemper combo for cats and dogs, every 2 years for Felv in cats, and Bord no more often the yearly unless they are boarded or groomed.

            • Dogs Naturally
              Dogs Naturally

              Thank you DJ
              Of course, we are talking about core vaccines here. I’m curious who the researcher is that you are referring to who recommends every three years for Distemper? Of course you know that the most recent AAHA vaccination recommendations even note that distemper is effective for at least five years and probably for the life of the animal so I’m curious what research would influence his statement because to the best of our knowledge, there is none to support it. In regard to Bordetella, immunologist Dr. Ronald Shultz states that Bordetella is not a vaccinatable disease.

            • foreverdogz

              Perhaps we need to contact one of the top researchers in the U.S.A. Dr. Linda Lord, Ohio State University and summon her to conduct another study….

            • Dogs Naturally
              Dogs Naturally

              I don’t think Dr. Lord has done any research on immunology. The bulk of her research is on microchips and shelter animal demographics. I find it interesting that so few veterinary researchers are studying vaccine efficacy.

            • foreverdogz

              Perhaps someone should approach her on the subject to see if she would be willing to give it a go…. You never know!!!

            • Dogs Naturally
              Dogs Naturally

              Why? Dr Schultz has been doing this research for years and nobody is listening to him. Schultz, Richard Ford, etc., are veterinary immunologists who have dedicated their entire careers to immunology and vaccinology. There is plenty of research done by them and by Jean Dodds and they are the respective leaders in their fields. We do not need more research, we need vets to listen to what is already there.

            • Ian

              Totally agree, use the studies that are there, a friend bought a puppy that was fully vaccinated and when they took the puppy to their vet for a health check the vet vaccinated it again stating that it was a new DEFRA regulation – puppy got quite ill, lucky they did not kill it, I am totally against over vaccination and agree the vets need to read and listen to what is already there.

      • I ask Dr Jean Dodds about vaccinating old dogs once, she gave me permission to share :)
        and here is her response

        ”Dear Lyne: We do not recommend vaccinating old dogs at all. They have accumulated immune memory cells from prior vaccines over the years, so don’t need boosters. Plus, vaccines can overly stress the immune system of older animals, increasing the risk of adverse reactions. Best wishes, Jean [W. Jean Dodds, DVM]‘
        http://www.hemopet.org/donate.html

        • Sandi Tickle

          I too have an older peek-a-poo dog, 17 years old. I have always given her the best food, care and she even drinks purified water. She does not even look 17 years old. This year she started having seizures, she has (2) in the last 3 months. I started her on a natural product for seizures with much promise. She acts more happier and relaxed. She is now due her rabies shot. I do not want her to have any more vaccinations. She is an inside dog and is never without her leash or me outside the house. How can I get around this?

          • Dogs Naturally Magazine

            First find out if there are exemptions in your state. Best of luck, this is not a good situation but hopefully you have exemptions and an understanding vet.

    46. Kat Becnel

      I hate getting my little ones vaccinated every year, but because I board them occasionally I have to have proof of vaccination each year. When I lived in North Carolina it was every three years, here in Mississippi it is every single year. So what do I do? How do I protect my little guys when boarding is a necessity?

      I do find it strange that humans get vaccinated as infants and that’s it.. with our pets it is every year. So, so sad that the people who seem to care the most for animals are more interested in the money that vaccinations generate than the overall health of the very animals we are entrusting their care to.

      • Dogs Naturally
        Dogs Naturally

        I would have somebody come into your home to watch your dogs. There are many bonded and reliable pet sitters who are willing to stay nights with your dogs. There are also enlightened boarding kennels but you just need to find them and be willing to travel to get to them.

        • Jean Conrad

          YOu’re forgetting that many options like that aren’t available to everyone. I for one can’t afford to hire someone to come in.

          I’m also seriously concerned with some of the data I’m reading above, so far not too impressed with the statistical significance being attached to some of these findings. We’ve got some sketchy science happening.

          • Ann

            As a researcher myself I am dumbfounded by your comment. The article, and let me state it again, THE ARTICLE above, not a scientific paper printed in a peer reviewed journal, has presented a summary of the facts. So, it baffles me how you are able to make the claim “….not too impressed with the statistical significance being attached to some of these findings. We’ve got some sketchy science happening.” There was no attempt to present the statistical analysis so how are you making this claim? In fact, the opposite is true. The article is actually pointing out that there was no scientific justification for pushing for annual vaccinations. This was clearly stated in the article, “This recommendation was made without any scientific validation of the need to booster immunity so frequently.”

            I wonder, why is it that some of us are so resistant to change despite all the signs pointing us in the right direction.

          • It is actually cheaper then boarding!! Go to sittercity.com then go under pets. You’ll type in your zip code and you’ll be amazed how many people that pet sits… Very reasonable….. En you won’t have to worry about injecting your furry family members needlessly (^_^)

            • Anne M

              Thank you! Found lots in my area. This is great.

      • Marta

        Kat that is very frustrating, but there are alternatives. Many business owners who are on top of recent vaccination protocols do not require annual shots, some don’t even require the Bordatella vaccine. It is usually large commercial facilities that stick to these outdated protocols like glue mostly due to fears of liability issues and a fake sense of security for all clients who expect to see “annual shots required” at the door as some sort of a quality reassurance. Look and you might find a business that will accept titers and will not require annual shots. Otherwise having some one come into your home and pet sit is also an option.

      • Jeanna

        Instead of boarding, have you considered a pet sitter? This would allow the pets to remain comfortable at home while you are away and most sitters don’t require proof of any vaccinations. Also, they can be cheaper than a boarding kennel as well, depending on the sitter and how many pets you have.

        • Jenna do you have a Pet sitting bussiness? Do you have insurance /or bonded? where do you get your info regarding Boarding Kennels? Just wondering ,cause, with your statement just don’t sound legit…

          • Carla Benoist

            If Barry’s comment was directed at “Jeanna”, rather than “Jenna” as he said, I don’t understand how he can see anything not legit with what she said. Most sitters don’t requite proof of vaccinations, they are generally cheaper than boarding kennels. What in the world sounded funny to you — many people won’t use boarding kennels.

            I don’t let my dogs get Lyme, Bordatella, or Lepto. vaccinations, stop getting distemper after the first 2 shots and get the rabies only because it’s required (fortunately spaced to 3 years now). I stop getting the rabies vaccine after 10 or 12 (depending on the individual dog’s health). I either get a pet sitter who will stay at the house or family members take turns staying with my greyhounds.

      • angie

        Kat,

        What about hiring a pet sitter instead of boarding them?

      • Anne

        Kat! Don’t board them. Find a professional pet sitter instead!
        http://www.petsitters.org/

      • All day long, every day, I get postings to my blog and e-mails from people whose dogs are experiencing horrible vaccine reactions. I wish vets would refuse to vaccinate so often, but they won’t, so you have to do the refusing. It is particularly devastating to give combination shots, the little darlings so preferred by vets who will vaccinate annually. Combination shots, which can contain up to 8 vaccines, are particularly dangerous for small and medium-sized dogs. Each vaccine increases the danger of a reaction by 24%. And reactions aren’t just a little fever and lethagy. They can be life-threatening. Learn more at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/09/30/vaccinating-small-dogs-risks-vets-arent-revealing/ Please find a better boarding facility, or better yet, a petsitter.

        • Anne M

          Yes, combo shot plus bordetella on killed my Sophie!

      • Corie

        I was told to have a titer test done for boarding purposes.

      • Lisa

        Some people have told me that some places will accept titer results. You might want to ask.

      • Jeanne

        Try looking for a private kennel,that offers boarding services. Ask if they require yearly vaccination. Many only require the recorded of 3 yr or 1st adult vaccinations.

      • Dave

        Humans are only vaccinated as infants? Do you actually *have* kids? I have a 7- and 11-year-old and they’ve had vaccines every year since birth.

        Actually, veterinarians make, on average, at least 85% of their revenue from non-vaccine services, though we do pull in a pretty penny from owners who decided not to vaccinate for kennel cough before going to a boarding facility. (Shoulda spent the $12 on a bordetella vaccine…those antibiotics are about a hundred bucks for your big, now honking, dog.)

        • Dogs Naturally Magazine

          Dave, kennel cough is a mild and self limiting disease in healthy dogs. Why would you prescribe $100 worth of antibiotics for this?

          • Dave

            Um, because the owner is freaked out and can’t sleep because of all the honking? Because it’s extremely contagious? Because it can lead to pneumonia if left untreated?

            Your tack seems to be to let everything run its course. When *do* you suggest a pet owner utilize the services of a veterinarian? Is there any reason to go running to the vet, in your opinion?

            Last year I had a persistent bronchial infection that was really slowing me down. I finally went to the doctor and he said, “Look, you have two choices. You can start antibiotics, which will clear you up in two days…or you can let it run its course and you’ll be back to normal in about four weeks.”

            Though I, like many others concerned about toxins and unnatural substances permeating our environment, hate the idea of antibiotic resistance, I went for the get-better-in-two-days treatment. Did I destroy my immune system and/or the world by making that choice? Don’t know. Maybe. But I know I felt a heck of a lot better right away.

            THAT’S why the veterinarian prescribes $100 worth of antibiotics (or $30, if you prefer an RX to take to Wal-Mart–talk about destroying the world!).

            • Dogs Naturally Magazine

              Letting the disease run its course is not the only alternative to antibiotics. Homeopathy and herbal remedies are just two examples of other treatment options.

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