The Elephant In The Room

heart murmur in dogs

According to family systems theory, it has been observed that dysfunctional families are able to retain their dysfunctionality by keeping secrets.  Family members are discouraged from telling anyone that daddy abuses them, or that mummy is a drunk.  In dysfunctional families, no-one is allowed to speak the unpalatable truth.  Everyone can see the ‘elephant in the room’ (mum’s alcoholism, for example), but no-one is allowed to acknowledge it or talk about it.The scientific/veterinary community has systemised its own elephant in the room.  This is the convention of not talking about the animals who experience vaccine adverse events.  Indeed, the convention within science is not to call an animal a ‘who’ but an ‘it’.  Our dogs are its and numbers.

Dog owners are not allowed to talk about it if their dog was vaccinated on Monday and had his first epileptic fit on Tuesday.  We are “punished, ignored, neglected or abandoned” by “mummy and daddy” – those in authority.  Unless a “proper” scientist examines what happened to our dog and writes it up in a peer reviewed journal, what we see in front of our eyes is called an anecdote and dismissed.   Even the adverse event reporting schemes looks at trends, and not individuals.

If we do talk about our dogs’ deaths and question the coincidence of what appears to be cause and effect, we are labelled  ill-educated and overly-emotional.  We are encouraged to maintain the secret of vaccine damage and we  are subjected to denial, dismissal, anger, and even contempt.

It is impossible to definitively verify, within accepted scientific methodology and available technology, that every dog who became epileptic shortly after a vaccine event was made epileptic by a vaccine.  Similarly, it is impossible to definitively state that every – or even most – dogs with cancer have been given that cancer by a vaccine. This is despite the fact that the detailed scientific evidence indicates that epilepsy and cancer are byproducts of the vaccine process. There is even scientific evidence to suggest that vaccine damage can be inherited, and that generational cancer is the result.

Although the history of vaccination is littered with journal accounts of inflammatory and immune-mediated diseases being positively associated with vaccination, we cannot definitively state that any individual dogs with these diseases are victims of a vaccine gone wrong.  Neither can we say with any real certainty that a dog who became aggressive shortly after his shot is suffering from inflammation and destruction of the brain as a result of a vaccine.

There simply aren’t the tests available with which to make a positive diagnosis that will link a vaccine to a vaccine-associated disease.  We know that vaccinated dogs develop autoantibodies to their own tissues and biochemicals, and we also know that these antibodies are markers for serious disease conditions – but we don’t test for these autoantibodies when our dogs develop cancer.  Even if we did conduct those tests, we couldn’t really say that a vaccine caused those autoantibodies in every particular case.

We know that vaccines can cause encephalitis, which involves lesions throughout the brain and central nervous system – but we also know that other factors can cause encephalitis.  We know that vaccines can stimulate IgE antibody production, cause T-cell immunodeficiencies, and stimulate autoimmunity – but when our dogs are beset with allergies and atopy, we can’t definitively point to a vaccine as their cause.

Not in every single case.

But we do know, scientifically, that there is no need to vaccinate dogs every year, and that by reducing vaccine frequency, we might be able to minimise the adverse effects.

The dogs described here are the elephants in the room.  We are not allowed to talk about them; they are derided as anecdotes if we do.  But their guardians believe that a vaccine may have made their dogs ill; and the science is available to support their hunches.


I am the owner of Ted, a 10 year old Labrador. He has enjoyed a great lifestyle and the companionship of Chaz, my chocolate lab. Walked daily in the woods, fed well.

I have been alarmed by information that I have learnt in the past few days around vaccinations, particularly so in respect of Ted’s recent struggles. He went to the vet for routine annual jabs and a check up on his front paw; he had been limping for couple of days; his chronic arthritis was referenced,  and he was diagnosed with an ear infection as well as an infection in his foot for which he was given antibiotics. He had his annual vaccinations also.

On his return home he ate his dinner as always. However he became lethargic and ‘off colour’ as the evening wore on. He refused his bedtime antibiotic and even the piece of meat in which it was disguised and took himself off to bed. In the morning he was surrounded by diarrhoea, vomit and pools of bile. He was very listless and so he was immediately taken to the vet. He was kept in and put on a fluid drip, was given steroids and antibiotics  and stayed at the hospital for five days in total. He continued to have blood in his diarrhoea, continued vomiting and we were told that he had got haemogenic gastroenteritis and that he was ‘very poorly’.

Gradually he began to  take small amounts of food and we were sent home with a ‘light’ diet and an array of antibiotics and probiotics.

Further test have identified campylobacter and a 415 enzyme level indicating pancreatitis, both of which combined the vet says caused his illness. My understanding is that indeed these are difficult diseases but it is the timing and severity that is confusing me. There is no doubt that the tests have indicated these issues but apart from his limp he had displayed no symptoms of either. Everything was normal as far as I knew. He has been fit and well with a good appetite, exercised daily and a normal weight. For all these things to manifest so quickly and in such a short space of time has left me very concerned that it was his vaccination that caused it all. But according to the vet the timing is pure coincidence.

This has led me to begin reading all the information that I can find around side effects of the vaccinations and this is how I have come across your writings.

I am very frustrated and annoyed at what I have been reading. What is more there is absolutely no acknowledgement from the vet that it was anything else but pure coincidence and misfortune.

I am now asking if he should have been given the jabs at his age, alongside his foot infection, his arthritis and indeed did he need them at all for ‘protection?’  Could the jabs have compromised his immunity so that the campylobacter became significant? (I understand that the dog could have been a carrier of this with no symptoms.) Could the steroids have altered the enzyme levels to give the pancreatitis?

I know that you will have lots of questions from concerned pet owners on this subject. I am looking for a steer as to whether to pursue this further with the practice. I have an appointment with the practice head next week and would welcome an indication from you as to whether you feel that this could be a direct link with Ted’s vaccinations.

Jackie Hurley

In a subsequent email:

We have just returned from visit to the vet regarding Ted. It was a positive meeting. He was very receptive to all the information and concerns expressed and did in fact acknowledge many of the issues I raised.  He accepted all the documents that you forwarded to me and said that he would read them. (It appears that Ted was last given parvo only two years ago and he admitted that he should not have been given it this time anyway.)

I felt very confident and informed and I was able to respond in a way that I felt was challenging and clear. It felt as though there was nothing he could contradict in what I was saying.

I think you may understand that this has affected me deeply and I hope that in some way I have encouraged this vet to begin to reshape some of his thinking.  I shall continue to talk to friends and colleagues about our experience with Ted and certainly encourage them to inform themselves of current info and concerns around the vaccination issue. At the very least it’s about making informed choices for our pets.


I have just stumbled upon the CHC website as a result of having a very sick German Shepherd.

Two weeks ago we took Xena for her booster, she is thirteen months old. Two days after her vaccine she was extremely distressed and then her back end collapsed. We were extremely worried for her, particularly with her breed. She was rushed to the vet who thought the problem may be with her spine. She was given a shot of Loxicam and we were told to take her back the following day.  During that night she collapsed completely and we really thought we were going to lose her.  She is a big bouncy pup who is so full of life to see her in such a state was horrendous.

The next day we took her back to the vets and she was kept in overnight for x-rays, the vets thought it could be her spine or her hips.  Whilst at the vets she was given morphine and Loxicam injections.  To cut a long story short her x-rays revealed a fantastic set of hips and solid spine.  The vet then thought the condition may be panosteitis, even though this did not show on the x-rays.

Anyway over the next few days she did not eat, we were supposed to give her Loxicam with food, which we couldn’t as she would not eat.  By the Thursday she had picked up a little bit but was still not eating much.  We took her back to the vets and were advised to give her the Loxicam so long as she was eating.  On the Friday morning she had deteriorated rapidly again, she could barely breathe and was in deep distress.  We took her back to the vets and her temperature was very high, her back leg had virtually given way again.  She was given a shot of morphine and some Tramadol tablets for us to give her.

Over the past two weeks she has suffered from extreme lethargy, total loss of appetite, lack of concentration and interest in everything, excessive runny nose, constipation then diarrhoea and generally what I can only describe as depression.  It is only over the last couple of days that she has started to come round and is now getting back to the dog that we know and love.  However we do not know what the long term damage is, if any.  When we took her back to the vets today the vet we saw kind of hinted, by mentioning Canine Distemper, that there could have been some link with the vaccine – obviously he would not want to drop himself in it!

It would be interesting to know if giving the booster injection and causing these problems in animals is another way of generating revenue for the vets and drug companies!

Melanie Bairstow


I sold a very healthy, bouncy mini smooth dachshund pup at 8 weeks, 2 weeks ago to a devoted, delighted new owner.  She took her baby to her vet to be vaccinated aged 9 weeks.  The vet who administered the injection was extremely rough and the pup screamed like no other and hasn’t been the same since.  Over the last few days he has gone from bad to worse, resulting in his being admitted to hospital this morning with some form of encephalitis/brain swelling.  He is now painfully thin, and in a great deal of pain at any contact with his head and to a lesser degree, his neck and shoulders.  One of the vets in the practice suspected that the injection had been put in too deep and in the wrong place – but overnight they have conferred and are now steering all conversation away from this.  I attended the consultation this morning with the owner and as soon as the vet (the one who had administered the jab) realised I was the breeder, his whole demeanour changed….  We are waiting to see if a local hospital with MRI facilities are available today – this is their next suggestion.  He even had the cheek to tell the new owner that he could not rule out Syringomyelia!!  They really are grasping at straws and trying to wriggle out of any responsibility.

I’m not sure what you can advise/suggest – I just felt I needed to contact someone with knowledge and experience.  Where do we go from here?  This poor little dog, who trusted us to do the right thing for him now has his life in the balance, all for trying to protect him from disease.

The next day:

Unfortunately things were taken out of our hands today and after the MRI scan and spinal tap the puppy was put to sleep.  The vet at the referral centre said in his opinion the puppy was probably born with encephalitis (congenital) and that he was a time bomb waiting to go off and that the vaccination must of accelerated it.  I don’t know how he can tell the difference between vaccine induced and congenital encephalitis and as lay people we are powerless to argue…  The fact that the actual injection was so badly administered seems to be irrelevant (to them).  As you can probably imagine I feel sick to my bones, as does his owner.

Sally Yard


Queenie was  born in January 1991 and diagnosed with diabetes in April of 1995.
She is a miniature American Eskimo and weighs 27 pounds.

Queenie received her annual vaccination shots right on time…I honestly thought she had to have yearly vaccinations. I am talking about distemper etc – the whole host of other shots that your vet will want to vaccinate against annually. Every year Queenie would receive a little card in the mail addressed to her … Queenie have your owner bring you in as your annual vaccinations are due. Protect your pet against all of the diseases. HA!

I would immediately go to the phone and make an appointment and race to the vet to receive her shots thinking it was a necessity.  Note: The first two years there were no problems. The problems started the third year of annual vaccinations and in my opinion she at this time became over vaccinated and should not of received booster shots.

Queenie would be healthy all year…take her into get her shots and immediately she would be ill within a week or so and we would be back at the vets for health problems. My husband said haven’t  you noticed every year you take her in for shots and she becomes sick?

Judy Dick

Puppy shot

On Wednesday afternoon March 17th my litter of Portuguese Water Dog pups received their first vaccine, MLV Canine Distemper/Parvovirus at 9 weeks of age. I have followed Jean Dodd’s recommendations for several generations, not vaccinating after the initial puppy shots.

On Friday morning I noticed one pup being a bit lethargic, but was not alarmed at that point. That evening the pup was still acting a bit lethargic and I took her temperature (normal) and checked her gums (slightly paler than her sibs). A few hours later she felt warm and her temp had risen to 103.2. I decided to take her to the emergency vet. Her CVT was down to 12%. She received a transfusion on Friday night which brought her CVT to 18% and started on a low dose of Prednisone. By 2:00 pm on Saturday she was back down to 13%, by 1:30 in the morning Sunday down to 11% so received a second transfusion taking her back up to 19%. By Monday morning she was up to 21%, Monday afternoon, 22%, unfortunately Tuesday down to 20% then 25% on Wednesday and 29% yesterday. The plan is assuming she is up to at least 30% on Monday we will start weaning her off the Pred. She is acting like a normal healthy 10 week old puppy now, and I have been advised to never vaccinate her again.

While my eyes have been open regarding the issues with vaccines for many years now, your article certainly opened them even more.

I appreciate the research that places like Purdue are doing and the work you do in getting the information out, unfortunately it is scary not knowing all the damage these vaccines are doing to our pets.

Melinda Harvey


We have four mini dachshunds. Ages 16 months, two years, five years and seven years. This past Sunday I took the 16 month old and the seven year old in for shots. They both had Distemper/Parvo and Bordetella shots. We left and within two hours, the 16 month old started acting like he was licking the air…I called my vet and they said to bring him back in. We are 10 miles away and believe me, my husband and I were scared to death. His tongue was swelling up. He was breathing, but he was getting panicky and so were we. They gave him an IV injection that took care of the problem and then gave me prednisone to take home to give him for the next couple of days. The other doxie who is seven…he is a smooth coat, was fine. He has never, ever had any reactions, nor have the other two. But, about an hour and a half after we were home, the little guy’s face started swelling up. So, I called the vet and they had me give him one of the prednisone pills, along with a Benadryl tablet.

My vet called me back later to see how he was doing. She said that they also put an alert on the file for a vaccine reaction and said they would give him a shot of something, I forgot what she said, before he has shots again and then we are to give him Benadryl before we bring him in. It is now two days later and he seems to be back to his funny, perky crazy self. This happened when he had his first round of shots as a puppy. His face just swelled up. It is so, so scary. I am already nervous about taking any of them in for more shots, but I know it has to be done. Just be aware and be prepared the best you can and talk with your vet about your concerns before the vaccinations. Maybe that will help to eliminate some of the possibilities of an awful tragedy.



I have just been reading the article in the Daily Mail by Alison Smith-Squire regarding vaccines making our dogs sick.  I thought you may like to hear about my problems with Rehka my five year old Doberman after she had her vaccine.

In September 2009 I was getting a new puppy, so I had not had Rehka and Joe (Springer) vaccinated.  I thought I should get them done, as they had both not been boosted in three years.  The vet said as it had not been kept up to date that they would have to give the full vaccine again.  Thinking that I was doing the right thing I went ahead.  The vet did the usual checks taking temperature, listening to heart and lungs and carried on with the first vaccination.

All was fine, we went on holiday so they did not get their second vaccinations until 3-4 weeks later (again my vet checked her over and all seemed fine).

A couple of weeks later I was stroking her and noticed that her lymph glands under her throat were very large and took her to the vet the next day where she noticed her lymph glands on her back legs where also up.  She was in good form and was eating and running about fine.  My vet rang the vaccine company and they said they had never had or heard of any reactions like this but said that they would be willing to pay some costs towards the blood tests and fine needle biopsy that my vet took.  My vet also put her on a course of antibiotics to see if that would have any effect.  The test results came back and they could not see anything from the small needle biopsy.  I was so pleased.

Three weeks later they were even bigger. I took her back and said I needed to know what was causing this so my vet removed one of Rehka’s glands from under her throat and sent them off to have a biopsy carried out on it. All this time Rehka was doing just fine and looked perfectly healthy.  Approximately a week later my vet rang me with the news that Rehka had Lymphoma and that with chemo she may last as long as 9 months. I could not even talk to her. I had to ring her back, I just could not believe that this was possible, she looked and was behaving perfectly fine.

I went up and talked to my vet the next day, she had been speaking to the  veterinary research college and they suggested chemo or Prednisolone.  I decided I did not want to put her through chemo so we put Rehka on eight 5mg tablets a day to start of with and then brought her down to a dose of three and my vet also suggested I that I would try homeopathy and gave me the name of a vet who specialised in it.

Here we are six months later Rehka is still happy and healthy, and apart from always being hungry and drinking a lot, she is in great form. She is still on three Pred, two Cimitidine and Corioius (a type of mushroom that my homoepathic vet says they were having good results from), her Lymph glands are nearly back to normal, so I live in hope.

My personal opinion is that this is a reaction to the vaccine although the vaccine company says definitely not, that it was underlying and that it had nothing to do with the vaccine.  I will in future have all my dogs tested before having any vaccination.

Elaine Smyth


I wonder if you can help.   I have a seven year old Collie bitch called Sage with various mental problems that started when she was around two years old – not long after a booster.   It started with progressing fears with various household things – cameras, kettles, my husband’s laptop, mobile phones – to name a few.   Up till then she had been perfectly normal.   When she started to try and dig her way out of a  window, shaking with fear, we thought we had better see what was happening.  She also has what I call absences – where she won’t come near us and even seems frightened of us!

She had blood test which were all normal then we went to see a behaviourist who couldn’t tell us what was wrong – she saw Sage’s problem when she picked up a white board wiper and Sage freaked.  We then were referred to a vet in Bristol where Sage underwent an MRI scan on her brain and a spinal tap – the spinal tap results were fine but on the scan one part of her brain appeared “ragged” where it should be smooth – that was three years ago.

Since then we have “managed” her problems – although we do forget now and then.   Since her problems began I stopped her vaccinations but at the end of last year Sage had to have a booster to enable us to place her in kennels with the other dogs.  Since then she has become progressively aggressive with the other dogs – sometimes snarling but starting a fight at times.  She is fine when we are out walking etc…   I find it difficult because one minute she can be snarling, the next laying with her tummy exposed and being submissive.

I don’t know if this could be a vaccine problem and would be grateful for any advice.

Chris Kurzfeld


I recently lost my puppy (my baby) due to anaphylaxis caused from a vaccine.  Although she was rushed to the vet immediately for proper treatment she never recovered fully and eventually died a horrible, lengthy (ten hours) death.  She had several seizures, lost all peripheral blood flow and body temperatures as low as 96 degrees.  The vet tried everything in her ability to save her, but had never seen something so severe.

It is my hope that my story can prevent the heartache for some other animal lover by letting people know of the dangers of vaccines.  As well as letting vets know the serious effects that can happen so they are better prepared.  I would hope that some test could be offered to see if the pet could possibly be allergic to the vaccine, thereby preventing any future loss.

The vet informed me that the severe anaphylaxis would have possibly resulted in neurological damage if she had survived.  But given the choice I would rather have my baby girl back.  Thank you for your time and hopefully a test could come soon if not already available.  If it is available it should be mandatory.


A form of epilepsy

I am writing to see if you have heard of this occurring before:

A friend has a 5-year old German Shepherd.  He was her competition dog, obedience, and doing very well.  After a rabies vaccination, his tail developed a curl like a monkey’s.  Not long after both these occurrences he started spinning in circles and chasing his tail.  Now the only way to keep him from spinning when he is stressed is to crate him.  He has been on acupuncture, herbs, raw diet, detox, and chiropractic.  Nothing has helped.

Are you aware of any other incidences of this and do you know of anything that has helped?



My beloved Rambo, a Yorkshire Terrier, was vaccinated on September 27, 2009 – Parvo/ distemper. He developed a large lump at the injection site. I was told by the vet to place cool compress and he should be fine. 21 days later my beloved companion passed away with AIHA/INHA (autoimmune haemolytic anaemia).

Rambo was 10 years old, very healthy and full of life.  We went for our mile long walks daily.  Never have I ever been informed of the danger and the possible reactions pets can have from vaccines.

At the time Rambo was vaccinated my two other Yorkies received the same vaccination.  Both Pets continued to chew profusely – one on front leg, and the other hind leg.

I did get in touch with the manufacturing company and was informed this is a very very rare incident.  After researching many many many hours on the Internet, I find this is not a rarity; it’s only a rarity because veterinarians and drug companies choose to not report reactions.

My heart is broken.  We think we’re doing the best for our pets with yearly vaccines only to find out that we are causing an untimely death. I have forwarded this article to every person in my address book. I pray another pet owner does not have to go through the sheer gut wrenching  agony that I had to go through watching my Rambo pass away.

Sharon Stanford


I have a beautiful Maltese puppy, Nelly, who is 14 months old, she had her first vaccinations at 10 weeks old, and 6 weeks ago I took her for her first annual booster.

She was given a shot that covered every vaccination necessary in one hit.  At no point was I informed by my vet of any hidden dangers that could occur from vaccinations and at no point was I advised it was at my own risk.  Like most vets they tell you it is necessary and you are not made aware of any hidden dangers.

Two weeks ago my beautiful lively Maltese pup started walking in circles.  This happened overnight. I booked her in the vets for the next morning and tried not to think the worst and if I am honest I assumed she had an ear infection as she has suffered with them in the past.

The next morning something wasn’t quiet right with her face.  It was almost like a stroke had occurred, on the right hand side of her face her vision had gone and also her hearing.  She had also lost the ability to bite down on the right hand side of her mouth. It really was a pitiful sight she looked like she had brain damage. I took her straight to the vets and he advised me that there was no temperature present so ruled out any virus but after observing her walk on the floor he made a diagnosis of GME.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, GME is an auto-immune disease that affects the brain, there is no cure and the prognosis is very poor.  Dogs often don’t live past a few days but at the very best a few months with this disease.  Your own body cells start killing the good cells.

He advised me to take the normal blood tests, i.e., glucose etc.  He never ran any toxic blood tests and he performed a spinal tap operation the next day. He took fluid from her spine to try and diagnose the condition and it seemed the fluid came back inconclusive.  After this he booked her in for an MRI scan the following week.

To my sadness the scan showed up an “area”. He confirmed GME (however you can never be 100% sure until autopsy on the dog). I asked for a second opinion on the scan so he sent it off to a friend of his that was a neurologist and Friday I got a diagnosis of NME (necrotizing meningoencephalitis).  This condition is more aggressive than the GME and it kills very quickly. Nelly is now on steroids which have helped her and her vision and hearing has returned but this is just a temporary fix that keeps the fluid off the brain. The illness is going to take over very soon and there won’t be much anyone can do.

I asked my vets how could this happen that my healthy dog who walked two miles the day before she fell ill, his answer was “no one knows”.  Well little did I know then but I linked this condition back to her having jabs six weeks ago.  My vet would not say that it was possible that Nelly received an immune system illness just after having jabs (vaccinations give doses of illness into the dogs so the immune system so the body can attack them).  Well  that has sent her immune system into overdrive and her body now doesn’t recognise bad cells from good cells so effectively her own good cells are attacking her brain.

The vets wont take any responsibility because the bottom line is it all comes back to money.  If you start scaring people with the dangers most people would not go ahead with them.  This would then make a massive decrease in their annual profits and perhaps not so many animals would fall sick. I have currently spent £1700 in one week at my vets so how many other hundreds of dog owners’ pets are falling sick and not linking it to the vaccination?

I feel very strongly that as pet owners we are not being warned about the dangers of vaccinations and at no point do our vets warn us of possible side effects when they really should advise us that we “do it at our own risk”.  Why are parents given that option when they vaccinate their children but we are hidden from the dangers yet we pump our pets with dangerous viruses unnecessarily? I have since found out from this website that the Distemper vaccine can last up to 15 years yet we are jabbing our pets every year… why?  Because of money for all these big companies.

Sadly I am going to have to put Nelly to sleep, I can’t begin to tell you how many tears I have shed over this. This illness is aggressive and because of this killer of a disease my poor little pup has had no chance of life. I pray that anyone who reads this will really investigate exactly what they are risking before going ahead with so called “vaccinations” I hope you never have to see what I have with what NME does to an animal.  It really is a wicked illness.



I sent you a letter a couple of weeks ago about my dog and issues around his illness and vaccination. I now have more information which I think will be of interest to you and for which I am also seeking advice.

A brief history:

Last year my dog Monty was suspected by the university hospital in Glasgow of having disc disease. Since he was ok at the time, having been on steroids, no investigation was undertaken. I was advised to reduce the steroids and return for an MRI scan should symptoms return. Eventually, the symptoms reappeared and slowly worsened. My local vet claimed not to have received a letter regarding the outcome of the hospital consultation, did not follow this up, and did not act on the neurologist’s advice in his treatment of Monty. In addition, while Monty’s symptoms were worsening and a raised lymph node was found and the possibility of lymphoma suggested, my local vet proceeded with Monty’s annual vaccinations – a triple live vaccine plus one for Rabies.

Monty rapidly deteriorated and I had to get him back to the hospital myself. An MRI scan was undertaken and GME was diagnosed – (granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis) – Monty had inflammation in the spine, neck and brain. He was started on chemotherapy and steroids which continue to this day. He survived, but his health is seriously compromised.

In retrospect and in undertaking some research, I became unhappy with the treatment of Monty by my local vet – principally about the fact that I was initially referred to the hospital but that the outcome of the consultation was then ignored, as well as the fact that annual vaccinations were administered while symptoms of a possibly serious illness, including potentially of lymphoma, were present. As it turns out, lymphoma was not the problem but another very serious immune disorder, which I believe was dramatically worsened by the administration of the vaccine. I believe that Monty’s health would not be as seriously compromised as it now is were it not for these clinical ‘misjudgements’.

I wrote to the RCVS about these issues, to the department of professional conduct. Their very prompt reply was that the issues I raised were not matters relating to professional misconduct, or that they are not “serious enough” to be considered so. My complaint will be copied to the vet concerned, so at least my concerns will perhaps be reflected upon by him and future practice amended. I am, however, keen to take the matter further. I am finding it impossible to accept that the clinical judgement of the local vet was acceptable, either in Monty’s case or for any other animal. Could you offer me any advice as to how I could take the matter further? How, for example, could I highlight the case with regard to the issue of vaccination? Also, do you know of any solicitors who deal with veterinary negligence?

Any advice you could offer me would be very greatly appreciated. I have undertaken a lot of research in dog magazines and on the internet regarding nutritional support and holistic treatment for my dog, but any pointers you could give me in this would also be really welcome.

Thank you for your time and I look forward very much to hearing from you.

(In another email):

wrote to the RCVS but they assert that they do not deal with issues of “clinical judgement” unless they are “serious enough” to warrant the vet concerned being struck off – they do not consider this to apply in my case. However, a copy of my complaint will be sent to the vet concerned. It is wholly unacceptable that there is no ombudsman.

I could have spoken to my local vet directly but obviously it is a delicate issue and he was also extremely rude to me. (I have, of course, changed practice).

You may understand, from your own experience, how badly this whole experience has affected me, as well as my dog (he is only eight years old). I am struggling to cope practically and emotionally. In addition, I simply cannot let the issue go. I just cannot find it in myself to ‘accept’ what has happened. I find it totally unjust, not just for Monty but for any animal. Although I realise that it will take a lot out of me I definitely want to pursue the issue.

(And later):

You may remember our correspondence from way back last year and you also very kindly sent me your book. I am writing to you again because my beloved dog recently passed away from the illness that was induced from the vaccinations he had in 2007. I was wondering if you knew of any pet bereavement support groups or networks that I could contact, particularly ones which deal with pets taken due to negligence or incompetence.

My grief waxes and wanes but it is very difficult to bear and I feel that I could benefit from some support.

You may also be interested to know that I am reopening my complaint to the RCVS about what was done to my dog because I would like some acknowledgement that it was unacceptable as well as to perhaps safeguard other pets.


In July I took my two dogs to the vets to get a kennel cough vaccination. My nine year old dog ‘Yogi’ came down sick the following day and I called the vet. He was lethargic and very quiet, hiding out in his kennel and not wanting to come in the house which is very unusual for him.

He seemed better the next morning and I went out to do some shopping and when I got home that night he was making the strangest sound as he struggled to breathe.  I called the vet and put the phone close to the dog for her to hear and she said he has something stuck in his wind pipe and we needed to operate immediately and bring him in, which I did.

On the way to the vets he was struggling so much I had to reach over to him to calm him down whilst driving and smashed up my car. It was still drivable so I just kept going to the vets.

I stayed with him till 6am on the floor of the vets to help calm him. She took X rays and saw that his wind pipe had totally collapsed. She sedated him and we put cold water on him to cool him as his temp was very high.

The clacking sound was still there when he breathed hard or got excited so we really had to keep him sedated until the hospital opened at 9am and my husband,  who had to come back to Glastonbury from work in London to help me with this, to drive him to Langford Animal hospital near Bristol.

He was shaved to keep cool as he is a long haired dog, an American Eskimo, put into intensive care and treated and tested for congenital diseases, tropical diseases, Hawaiian diseases, snail bacteria and fox parasites, because our dogs had just come from Hawaii about eight months earlier. But they had both been tested and had a clean bill of health to be able to travel through quarantine.

Nothing could be found to be to be the cause, all the tests came back negative for the cause of his adverse reaction, so the vet said the vaccination was suspicious ……. But only after me prompting him by saying my dog has never been sick a day in his life he had a vaccination and almost died…. don’t you think its got something to do with the kennel cough vaccination?

The bills came to approx 2500 pounds. Some of which I still haven’t paid because I wanted the drug company to pay.

Today Intervet called me and offered us 1000 pounds towards the bill and take no responsibility for my dog almost dying.

Yogi has recovered but seems to get diarrhoea now out of the blue and had a cough two weeks ago but not a bad one. Generally he’s doing alright.

Our other dog Bodhi, a five yr old Siberian Husky, got a cold and was sneezing a lot and wanted to be by himself for a day but that was he extent of it.

I’d appreciate any help or suggestions as to where to go with this from here as I told Intervet not to insult me with their pittance of an offer.


Too much to bear

We exported a beautiful Rottweiler puppy bitch, pick of litter, to good friends in the US in 2005. She was extremely fit and healthy, fed on a mostly raw diet. She had her first jab at 6 weeks, rabies jab at 7 weeks and the 2nd puppy jab at 8 weeks, then she was shipped over to the US will no ill-effects. Sadly, at the age of 7½   months old, she simply laid down, went to sleep, and never woke up again. Her owner was heartbroken. When my friend rang me, I answered the phone, and she just couldn’t speak.  Somehow, I immediately knew it was Deb, and something was terribly wrong. She eventually pulled round and told me what had happened.

As you can imagine, we were devastated also. I could not believe such a healthy puppy had just laid down and died. A post mortem was carried out and all we gleaned from that was they could see no reason why she died, it was simply a case of heart failure. We panicked and had our Bitch heart-tested over here, in the UK and she came back 100% healthy and our vet saw no reason why we shouldn’t breed from her again.

After much deliberation between ourselves and Deb, we thought this terrible tragedy was a ‘one off’ and we decided to send her another puppy from the next litter. Same routine ensued, puppy jabs and rabies jab given and this time, I actually flew out to the US with the puppy. Now, this was the same Dam but a different Sire. Can you believe the same thing happened again???

At the age of 7½ months old, this puppy bitch, again, laid down and went to sleep and never woke up again. We were even more shocked than the first time. I cried buckets on the phone to Deb and in private, in fact, I still do have tears when I think of those two beautiful puppies having their lives cut short so tragically, it has deeply affected me and my friend in the US.

This time, Deb sent the puppy away to have every test imaginable done on her to try and find the cause of her death. As before, they simply stated it was heart failure.

Deb spoke to the Professor on the phone and he said off the record, it was probably a reaction to the rabies jab but he wouldn’t be prepared to make this statement publicly. Deb did so want an Import from the UK so then took one from a friend of mine with close lines to my own breeding and she sought special dispensation to be able to bring the puppy into the US without a rabies jab. The puppy is now 2 years old and the picture of good health, and has never had a rabies jab yet, she is too frightened to give one.

Well, this was enough to set me on my research of vaccines. I know enough now that I will NEVER EVER have any of my dogs vaccinated again.

Deb did bring over the paperwork from the testing she had done on the second puppy for me and I have it here at home. I was wondering, would you be interested in reading the report and perhaps you could make better sense of it than I can. I did show my vet who simply said the puppy had died of heart failure and was nothing to do with anything else. I now believe differently, and truly believe that the Rabies jab or the combination of all 3 jabs sent the puppy’s immune systems over the edge. I now recommend to my puppy buyers if they are going to vaccinate the puppy, to at least wait until the puppy is 12 weeks old. Some buyers followed this but many didn’t and, many of them have the problems you and others talk about as being vaccinosis, like immune problems and skin and allergy problems. I know what I blame for this!! One poor puppy even had a tumour growing on the site of his puppy vaccinations which had to be removed. Thankfully he has been okay since.

We bred the last litter from our Bitch late last year and we kept a male, he is now nearly 8 months old, unvaccinated, fed raw and he is simply the healthiest dog we have ever owned!



Rhett, died at age 14½  due to kidney damage from a vaccination at age 13 (the old Booster Update game). He had fever, was treated for anaphylactic shock; passed out twice (10 second intervals) within two weeks on daily walks and experienced a spiralling down of health until euthanasia was the only alternative due to kidney failure.

Fred Fulcher


We would like to inform you of the recent experience we have had with our six year old Doberman dog following his Booster. Tommy was in excellent condition and was a Champion show dog who was Top Doberman in the UK 2000.

In May 2002 we took Tommy to the Vet for blood tests to see whether he needed his Booster and the Vet advised we should give the Leptospirosis vaccine as this was safe and would definitely be needed. On his return home, Tommy was very quiet and went and lay upstairs on his own. When we tried to get him to come downstairs, he had problems getting up off the bed and was uncoordinated. He then tried to get on the bed in the other bedroom and when we tried to help him, he fell back screaming in pain and could not move.

We immediately took him to the vets who kept him in for the day on a drip saying he had inflammation of his entire body and this was a known reaction to the vaccine. He seemed much better by the evening so they said we could bring him home but he deteriorated again, collapsed on his back end, wedged under the furniture and was screaming in pain. We rang the emergency vets who said to rest him and give him Metacam. We sat with Tommy throughout the night and we got the vet out first thing Saturday (the next morning) and he was given morphine and carried out in a blanket to be returned to the vets.

Over the next few days a myleogram was done and the pictures sent to a specialist and surgery was performed on the following Tuesday. One of Tommy’s discs in the pelvic region had completely blown apart and there was massive haemorrhaging. The surgeon said he had never seen anything like it. Over the weeks and with physiotherapy, acupuncture and swimming Tommy had improved and was standing and sitting and seemed to be making a slow but constant recovery.

Tommy stayed at a specialist vets in Fleet, where he was swum every day and the treatment could not have been better. We then started to bring him home weekends and had him home for the last week with his daughter Leila, taking him back for swims every day. Throughout this time, Tommy was always in high spirits and was getting up onto his feet and attempting to move.

Unfortunately, over the last week, he started to deteriorate and was becoming less able to get around. We arranged for a consult with the surgeon on 1st August (unfortunately his 7th Birthday) and it became apparent after various tests that his nerve damage on the left side was too extensive and he would never be able to progress any further. We then had to make the terrible decision to let him go and not prolong the situation. Tommy had been a wonderful patient, endearing himself to all who met him and his willpower had been phenomenal. He will be sadly missed. The vets have reported the reaction to the Veterinary Drug Board who are looking into the matter, which we hope will stop another animal having to go through the same trauma.

We hope this information will help with your fight and should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sue and Zoe Lewsley

Proceed with caution

Two weeks ago we euthanized two beautiful, healthy German Shepherd pups. After discussion vaccination pros and cons with two holistic vets we decided on an alternate schedule of parvo and distemper and delayed the first parvo shot until they were 9 weeks old. After the second distemper shot two pups developed high fever within 12 and 24 hours and suffered from failing health for two weeks with a variety of symptoms  like diarrhoea, lack of appetite, depression, weight loss. It all culminated in cluster seizures and after the most horrifying 24 hours of our lives we had both pups euthanized. Of course the vaccine manufacturer denies any connection with the vaccine.

The third pup got sick as well but not as severe and recovered.

Even though we don’t have children, it is not too hard to imagine the horrible pain a parent must go through to lose a healthy, happy child because of a mandatory vaccine.

Gitta Vaughn


I already feed my dogs BARF/ Raw diet and have now got a GSD that doesn’t throw up every day or have diarrhoea every day because she just couldn’t eat the commercial diets and also she can’t eat the ‘sensitive / allergen free diet’ either.

I have had dogs react to vaccines where they get a massive lump on their neck that stays for about 2 weeks post vaccine. So have decided no more vaccines for my canine friends. My cats are not vaccinated either. Salem had his when he was a baby but not had any since. Luna has not had a vaccine ever and is a very healthy little cat. I once had a cat who had been vaccinated that went on to get cat flu anyhow.

I studied pharmacology for a module whilst at university – so when vets say vaccines are only effective according to manufacturers for 12 months I know it simply isn’t true.  When you have antibodies they simply don’t vanish after a 12 month period never to be seen again… this applies to both human and animal – it’s the way mammal’s immune system works… hence why it is important for mammals to get colostrum from their mums and get some antibodies that way.

The only trouble with not having vaccines done is that the animals can’t go into kennels if needed … however I do have a nice friend who will come and pet sit !



I have a 5 year 6 month old Chihuahua male dog named Mickey. On 16th February of this year I had his annual inoculations at my local vets. I was informed by the vet that he was due his rabies inoculation so as to stay in the pet passport program, as it was two years since his last rabies vaccination. I have since found out that I could have waited another year to have the vaccine.

Nine days after the vaccines, my dog became very ill with severe gastroenteritis in which his faeces was full of blood. I took him to the vets who prescribed him antibiotics and the condition cleared up after five days. Mickey never fully recovered after this and seemed to be tired and a lot quieter than usual.

Two weeks ago Mickey had contracted traumatic conjunctivitis which cleared after the vet prescribed eye drops. The morning of Thursday 2nd March, I noticed a huge change in Mickey, he started to cough and seemed like he was choking. I also noticed a drop in his energy and he laid down and did not want to get up.

Over the next few days his condition seemed to worsen and by Sunday 5th March, he did not want to walk and his jaw was hanging and his tongue was constantly hanging out of his mouth. He could not close his mouth and he could not chew anything. I took him back to the vets who diagnosed an intestinal problem. She prescribed antibiotics and gave him a shot of anti-inflammatory and antibiotic. The next day his condition had worsened and first thing Wednesday 8th March, I took him back to the vets and told them it had to be something affecting his brain. They did x-rays and blood tests and then I got a referral to a neurosurgeon.

Mickey had an MRI and a CSF, on Thursday 9th March, which showed that he most probably has inflammation on the brain. There was no sign of tumours. I noticed when talking to the neurosurgeon that she kept asking me specifics of Mickey’s inoculations and she informed me that if he is to survive that he can never have another inoculation as this could send him into relapse.

I questioned if the inoculations that he had at the vets could have triggered this illness which he now has and she said it is a probability. I have researched topics on the connection of inoculations and serious problems occurring from them and have tied in dates and symptoms to the inoculations.

Mickey is currently at the RVC where they are awaiting to see if he responds to steroids to suppress the inflammation to the brain. I do not want him to be dependent on the steroids as I know that this can cause long term effects. Would you advise me to what I can do to rid the toxins of the inoculations out of Mickey’s system and also how I can support his immune system and how I can pair homeopathic treatments with the steroids so that I can get him off the steroids quicker.



I just finished reading your article regarding pet vaccinations. I am searching for answers for our family; we recently lost our five year old companion Bene to lymphosarcoma after receiving his vaccinations. He was healthy as far as we knew at the time.

His brother Buster is somewhat lost without his sidekick. It happened so fast and now he is gone. We so want his life to stand for something. He was such a great dog, very intuitive, very consoling during a stress-filled time of our lives. We miss him so much.

I realise that we, as you, are one of many. What can we do? Thanks for listening and doing this important work.



My 12 year old male Bichon Frise has AIHA. He has had four bouts of this over the past six years of his life. He has survived each episode with transfusion, prednisone, and now cyclosporine. He contracted this shortly after a booster vaccine and now even his vet acknowledges that this probably is what caused his disease.

Max seems to be doing well now. My question to you is: Is there anything I can do to mitigate the effects of the vaccine… any substance that will wipe out any vestiges of it or erase the memory of it in his immune system? He hasn’t been vaccinated now in six years (thank God!) and his titer is quite high.


Have you heard of similar reactions?

A friend has approached me as she knows my interests in all things dog and their wellbeing.  She has had her seven year old Dalmatian boostered. A week to ten days later the previously hitherto healthy dog is a wreck. He is urinating, has diarrhoea and the vet told her he thought the dog had got hold of cocaine! The dog is now on a course of steroids to try and stabilise his condition.

Have you heard of similar reactions? The desperate owner is trying to find more out about it and how to help the dog but is not finding any information that is of any help. Just wondered if you could point me in the right direction so I can pass on something that may be of help


Just not himself

Last October my five year old German Shepherd had a reaction to his yearly booster vaccination, resulting in the formation of a golf ball-size lump over the site. This took about 2-3 weeks to eventually recede. Since that time, he has not been himself at all, with skin allergies, de-pigmentation of his lips, and generally appearing depressed compared to his previous temperament.

I am now very seriously considering no more vaccinations for this dog, as I feel they will be extremely detrimental to his health. I would so much appreciate your opinion if you would be good enough please.

Marlene, Australia

She was alright last year

My Golden Retriever who is 2½ years old had the Lepto booster yesterday and this morning she was shivering, did not eat her breakfast, and hardly moves. She is very stiff in the back end. She had the same booster last year and had no reaction. This morning at 9am the same vet has checked her over and has given her an anti-inflammatory injection, and I have to phone him at lunch time to see how she is.

I am so wary of the whole booster as we lost an 18 month old black lab as she had a fit two days after the injection and the vet calmed her down with an injection and she never recovered. They say she had eaten slug pellets, but we knew there was no way she had got hold of them.

We do use a kennel and they insist on this booster and she goes shooting.  What should I do? How long do the side effects lasts?



I have six poodles – five standards and a toy. In the 30 years or so that I have kept dogs, I have always had them vaccinated and had the annual boosters without problems, until two events in the last year.

Just over a year ago, the then four dogs went for their annual boosters. Two weeks later, after a day’s grooming and a day’s showing, I was stroking my dog’s face and suddenly felt a lump on the cheek bones that had not been there just a few hours earlier.

At first I thought he had been stung, but it didn’t go down and a trip to the vets the next day gave us antibiotics. Over the next 4-6 weeks the lump went up and down with three courses of pills. Eventually we had surgery, thinking a foreign body such as a seed was in the pea sized lump, but I was shocked to discover it was a lymph node.

We had our boy tested for lymphoma which thankfully showed no indicators. He has been well all year but I will get him tested again to be sure before I breed with him.

Then two weeks ago we did the year’s round of boosters. My big lad has been ok so far, but our younger boy who is 16 months went on to have a massive fit (I have seen fits in dogs before so I know it was a big one) almost two weeks to the day after the jabs. Thankfully he has been fine since, but it was scary. It may of course be coincidence but I am now planning to use the homeopathic route next year.  Do you have a view on this, and does this mirror other experiences?



Thanks for coming back to me. Albert had a further three massive fits last Wednesday – a week after the first one, and had to be sedated.

He is now on epiphen and we have had a seizure free week so far. So we seem now to have a definite diagnosis of epilepsy, but the vet will not acknowledge any possible links to vaccines and has suggested I continue to boost my dogs in future years as not to do so would be irresponsible. I get on really well with her, but this is advice I am likely to ignore.

Bran’s lump may have been a coincidence, but Hanna Painter at Poodle’s in Need Rescue lost her standard boy with a cancer at the vaccination site that came up soon after a booster.


(Once again):

You will remember us writing to you about Albert, our poodle boy who started fitting after his first booster. Sadly we had to have Albert put to sleep two weeks ago after he went into a chronic seizure cluster. He had 11 fits at home in spite of two tubes of rectal diazepam after their onset. He was still fitting on the way to the vets, continued in seizure on the table, and clearly had continued fitting in spite of IV Valium, etc through the night.

He was very flat the next morning and was still having mini fits, and I decided to do what I felt was best for him and let him drift away peacefully in my arms. He lasted just six months after the onset of his epilepsy, two weeks after his booster. It has broken my heart.

Thank you for your kindness and support along the way.


More seizures

I live in California, and my nine month old Welsh Pembroke Corgi had a reaction after her DHLP. She was 4½  months at the time and it was the last in her series. Her face swelled and so did her mouth so she was put on an antihistamine and was fine a few hours later.  Then she had her rabies at six months as required by the state here in the US. Two days after the shot I noticed her wobbling and acting drunk and then she fell down and was in a coma like state. I took her to an emergency vet and they said she had a seizure and it could be a possible porto systemic shunt.

Four days later another episode, so she was taken in for blood work and a bile acid test. Her bile acids were 44 so we suspected the liver. She started having episodes every 72 hours.

I took her to UC Davis Veterinary Hospital and they performed an ultrasound and scintigram and her liver was fine. The only find was her lymph nodes were all swollen. They referred me to neurology.

They performed an EEG, MRI and spinal tap and she passes with flying colours. I have suspected the vaccine all along but no one here seems to think so and it’s driving me crazy.

I now have her on a raw food diet and a holistic vaccine detox formula. She hasn’t had a seizure in five days but she has developed a large knot on the side of her face beside her eye and one on her nose. Is she detoxing the vaccine?  I’ve put her through so much to find a diagnosis and no one knows what the problem is. I even contacted a psychic and she said it was vaccine overdose. What should I do for my puppy?



I run a canine carrier business and have been involved with local people requiring transport to vets, kennels, holiday destinations and also picking up dogs coming from Ireland and put into rescue centres in the UK.

I took a German Shepherd, a three-year old, owned by an elderly couple in their eighties to the vets for her annual booster. I know this veterinary practice, we were seen by the senior vet.

It turns out this dog has been on prednisolone 25mg every three days for an abscess. When this vet asked why their dog was on a course of steroids, and they explained why, he then told them that it would not be suitable to administer a vaccine if the dog was not 100% in tip top health.

I was delighted to hear this, but blow me down, he then explains again that he would vaccinate Milly but be aware of his warning. Needle goes in and this poor retired couple didn’t understand what he was talking about. Makes me sick, but I have to bite my tongue, I did though on the way home tell them to think carefully about another jab in a year’s time, as she will not require any more.

The reason for me to tell you this story which happened recently is how still vets are ignorant as to the real effect of vaccine damage and do not wish to know.


A constant stream of anecdotes

Please note that Canine Health Concern has received hundreds of communications like those above over the years.  We are well placed to see the repetitive nature of these anecdotes.  It is clear that veterinarians are not adequately trained to recognise vaccine reactions, and that although the cause and effect is fairly clear if one understands the potential adverse effects of vaccines, the adverse event reporting schemes don’t pick up most of these cases.

Vets also seem to be largely unaware of the DOI studies, and therefore vaccinate animals when no vaccine is needed.  Similarly, the licensing requirement, viz., “only healthy animals should be vaccinated” is repetitively ignored.

If you would like to get organised and join the team of dog lovers who are working to end over-vaccination, please join and support Canine Health Concern.  We truly need help to overcome the influence of the veterinary pharmaceutical industry.  Go to

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