May/June 2010 Issue
Perhaps most worryingly, the Purdue study found that the vaccinated dogs were developing autoantibodies to their own DNA, which indicates that we are injecting inheritable damage into animals. According to Cambridge Life Sciences, antibodies directed against native DNA were first detected in the serum of patients with SLE in the 1950s. The presence of anti-DNA autoantibodies is one of the four highly specific serological markers included in the 1982 American College of Rheumatology criteria for the classification of SLE. The more of these antibodies an individual has, the higher the disease activity. Long term risks include renal and central nervous system involvement.
SLE is an autoimmune disease characterised by inflammation and destruction of a variety of tissues. Clinical presentation is varied, but a common feature is the presence of a number of autoantibodies. Canine autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, which also occurs in isolation, can form part of the SLE syndrome. The other common manifestations of SLE are platelet deficiency and inflammation in blood vessels, joints, skin, peripheral nervous system, meninges (which protect the brain and spinal chord) and the thyroid.
A paper entitled ‘Vaccine Associated Immune Mediated Haemolytic Anaemia (IMHA) in the Dog’ (15) states, “This study provides the first clinical evidence for a temporal relationship of vaccine- associated IMHA in the dog.” However, the Merck Manual had made this association earlier.
The study remarked that there was a marked difference in frequency of IMHA between the first month after vaccination and subsequent months which was not seen in the control group. The authors concluded that, because not all cases are reported (none of the cases in their study had been reported), the prevalence of vaccine-associated IMHA is likely to be under estimated.
The seventh edition of the Merck Veterinary Manual states: “Bone marrow suppression with transient (21 day) or chronic/latent erythroid dysplasia, in the presence or absence of thrombocytopenia and neutropenia, Combs’ positive haemolytic anaemia, and immune-mediated thrombocytopenia have been associated with (i.e., may prove to be caused by) both retroviral and parvoviral infection in man and other species. Also, modified live parvovirus vaccines in dogs, and killed feline leukaemia virus vaccine are suspects as causes (in genetically susceptible animals) of such haematological diseases.”
Dr Jean W Dodds, writing in US Dog World, March, 1995, (16) states: “Immune–suppressant viruses of the retrovirus and parvovirus classes have recently been implicated as causes of bone marrow failure, immune-mediated blood diseases, haematologic malignancies (lymphoma and leukemia), dysregulation of humoral and cell-mediated immunity, organ failure (liver, kidney) and autoimmune endocrine disorders – especially of the thyroid gland (thyroiditis), adrenal gland (Addison’s disease) and pancreas (diabetes). Viral disease and recent vaccination with single or combination modified live virus vaccines, especially those containing distemper, adenovirus 1 or 2 and parvovirus, are increasingly recognised contributors to immune-mediated blood diseases, bone marrow failure and organ dysfunction.”
Dr Dodds also stated: “The T-cell leukaemias of human and animals are ex amples of those associated with retroviral infections. The same class of viruses has been associated with the production of autoimmunity and immuno-deficiency diseases. The recent isolation of a retrovirus from a German Shepherd with B-cell leukaemia exemplifies the role of these agents in producing leukaemia and lymphomas in the dog.”
Dr Patricia Jordan has uncovered a very recent scientific paper (Journal of Virology, April 2010, p. 3690-3694, Vol. 84, No. 7) which describes the testing of veterinary vaccines for dogs and cats from both the UK and Japan. Several routinely used vaccines were shown to contain retrovirus contaminants. This study shows that the methods currently employed to screen veterinary vaccines for retroviruses should be re-evaluated. From a pet owner’s perspective, it doesn’t go far enough to alert us to the potential consequences of manufacturing failures.
I believe that we should also concern ourselves with vaccine shedding. In the DVM round table discussion mentioned earlier, Dr Rude asked whether the shedding of modified live virus vaccine viruses from vaccinated animals have the potential to cause disease in non-vaccinated contact animals of the same species and/or different species. The conclusion was ‘yes’.
The 1988 Concise Oxford Veterinary Dictionary postulates that parvovirus “originated from an attenuated feline enteritis vaccine strain”. (17) The question is whether this was from shed feline vaccine, or injected canine vaccine grown on cats’ kidneys.
It’s also possible that symptoms of viral disease, such as arthritis from parvovirus, might arise from the vaccine process, from shed vaccine, as well as from field infection. (18)
More On Inflammation
A review article in In Practice, Vol 20 No 2, Feb 1998, by Michael Day, senior lecturer in Veterinary Pathology at the University of Bristol (19) states that environmental influences are crucial to the expression of immune mediated disease and that the most important of these is likely to be exposure to microbial antigens following natural infection or vaccination. Mr. Day divides immune mediated disease into four main groups – hypersensitivity diseases, autoimmune diseases, immune system neoplasia (the formation of tumors) and immunodeficiency diseases.
In a letter to Veterinary Times during July 1999, veterinarian Lyn Thomson responded, “This would indicate that veterinarians must consider and report the whole range of immune mediated diseases post vaccination, including flea allergy, atopic dermatitis, dietary hypersensitivity, contact hypersensitivity, asthma, autoimmune diseases, lymphoma, lymphoid leukaemia, multiple myeloma, plasmcytoma, hisiiocytoma, thymoma, and immunodeficiency disease.”
A paper appearing in the British Veterinary Journal states that dogs with rheumatoid arthritis showed higher anti-heat shock protein antibody levels in their sera and synovial fluids compared to control dogs. There was a significant correlation between anti HSP65 and antibodies to canine distemper virus, and the paper discussed the relevance of the presence of canine distemper virus within the joints. Since vaccines inject modified live distemper virus into the dog, this research should be of concern. Shed attenuated live vaccine might also be considered in this regard. And it’s worth noting that the high antibody titers to distemper that we are so pleased with might also play a role in our dogs’ decreasing mobility. (20) Rheumatoid arthritis is, of course an autoimmune condition in which there is inflammation of joints and progressive erosion of cartilage and bone, which reflects the autoantibodies to collagen found in the Purdue study.
In 2000, research showed that poly-arthritis and other diseases like amyloidosis in dogs were linked to combined MLV vaccines. (21) Dr Ronald Schultz is quoted in Vet Med Today: “Immune-mediated disease has developed in human beings following vaccination, as was seen with cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome following swine flu vaccinations, and rheumatoid arthritis following influenza vaccination”. (22)
In the 1996 Canine Health Concern vaccine survey, we found that a high per centage of dogs with arthritis in the survey were diagnosed with the condition in a cluster nine months after a vaccine event.
Dermatitis, another inflammatory disease, has also been linked to vaccination. A study conducted by Frick and Brooks in 1983 showed that dogs predisposed to develop atopic dermatitis didn’t develop this hereditary condition when exposed to an allergen and later vaccinated. But a second group who were vaccinated before being exposed to the allergen did develop the condition, indicating that vaccines can play a role in skin disease. The trial group also developed conjunctivitis.
Merck also tells us that serum (which is used in vaccines) can cause Type III hypersensitivity reactions, including an inflammatory skin condition involving painful local lesions leading to tissue necrosis (tissue death), as well as wide- spread vascular injury.
Although rare, I have come across three cases of dogs whose skin began to split post-vaccination. One case involved a Golden Retriever called Spangler. Some of Spangler’s dead and dying skin was sent by his vet to an independent laboratory, which could neither confirm nor deny that his death was related to vaccination. Very early reports of vaccine adverse effects incidently, talk widely of leprosy developing in those who were vaccinated.[icegram messages=”19010″]
The Merck Manual describes encephalitis as “an acute inflammatory disease of the brain due to direct viral invasion or to hypersensitivity initiated by a virus or other foreign protein. Secondary encephalitis, usually a complication of viral infection, is considered to have an immunologic mechanism. Examples are the encephalitides following measles, chickenpox, rubella, smallpox vaccination, vaccinia, and many other less well defined viral infections.”
Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain which can include lesions throughout the brain and central nervous system) has been shown to appear in dogs after vaccination. (23) Another paper in Veterinary Record states: “Post-vaccinal encephalitis is a recognised complication of the administration of certain strains of live attenuated canine distemper vaccine. (24)
According to Braund’s Clinical Neurology in Small Animals: Localisation, Diagnosis and Treatment, “post vaccinal canine distemper encephalitis occurs in young animals, especially those less than six months of age. It has been recognised as a disease entity for a number of years, and is believed to be association with vaccination using live virus.” (25)
Merck states: “Symptoms of encephalitis may be associated with cerebral dysfunction (alteration in consciousness, personality change, seizures, paresis) and cranial nerve abnormalities.”
Think of all the epileptic dogs, and all of the dogs showing aggression, and start asking questions about the onset of these problems in relation to vaccine events. If you are going to vaccinate, keep detailed, dated, records of your dog – his mental and physical health, and veterinary interventions.
Epilepsy is listed by Merck as a symptom of encephalitis, and we know that encephalitis can be vaccine-induced. Merck states: “noninfectious causes of encephalitis include … vaccine reactions: many”. It adds that epilepsy can be caused by “CNS infections (meningitis, Aids, encephalitis) and also by a foreign serum or drug allergy, or by convulsive or toxic agents”. See also Ballerini, Rico B et al., Neurological Complications of Vaccination With Special Reference to Epileptic Syndrome (Review Neurol, Jul-Aug 1973; 43: 254-258).
According to the Society for Companion Animal Studies, “epilepsy is the commonest neurological disorder seen in dogs and constitutes a major health problem. (26) “It is probable that between 30,000 and 366,000 of the 6.1 million dogs in the UK suffer from epilepsy.”
Many dog owners have noted personality changes in their dogs shortly after vaccination, including nervous, worrying disposition; short attention span; and aggression. The Canine Health Concern survey found that high percentages of these conditions, where they existed in survey dogs, were reported to have started within three months of vaccination. The study is detailed in What Vets Don’t Tell You About Vaccines, Catherine O’Driscoll. (27)
Scientists other than the politically, but not morally or scientifically, discredited Dr Andrew Wakefield have discovered a vaccine-autism (neurological) link. For example, the Department of Paediatrics, Tokyo Medical University, Japan, found the measles virus in patients with inflammatory bowel disease and autism. (28) The sequences obtained from the patients with ulcerative colitis and children with autism were consistent with vaccine strains.
In another paper, researchers found a correlation between the Hepatitis B triple series vaccine and developmental disability in US children aged 1-9 years. (29) The myelin sheath may also be pertinent in relation to vaccine damage. Merck states: “Many congenital metabolic disorders affect the developing myelin sheath. Unless the innate biochemical defect can be corrected or compensated for, permanent, often widespread, neurological deficits results.”
But vaccines can also play their part. Merck adds: “In acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (post infectious encephalitis), demyelination can occur spontaneously, but usually follows a viral infection or inoculation (or very rarely a bacterial vaccine), suggesting an immunologic cause.”
I find it interesting that on the one hand, demyelination is deemed a congenital problem, but on the other it is clearly laid at the vaccine table. This makes me ask whether dog breeders are responsible for many so-called genetic problems in dogs, or whether it’s because we vaccinate puppies before their true personalities and health status can be assessed.
Paresis is another potential sequel to encephalitis; Merck describes paresis as: “Muscular weakness of neural origin. It is usually regarded as a state of partial or incomplete paralysis, resulting in a deficit of voluntary movement. Paresis may result from lesions at any level of the descending motor innervation pathway from the brain.” In addition to my own four-year-old Golden Retriever, Oliver, presenting with paresis of both hind limbs before dying suddenly, I have been presented with many other anecdotal reports of dogs suffering paresis shortly after vaccination where the vets suspected no link to their vaccines, and no adverse event reports were filed.
“There is a real concern that vaccines may predispose certain genetically susceptible individuals to immune-mediated disease,” says Dr. Ronald Schultz. “The more antigens we administer, the higher the potential for hypersensitiv- ity. Type I is IgE mediated; type 2, cy- totoxic antibody mediated; type 3, im- mune-complex mediated; and type 4 cellular mediated. All of these hyper- sensitivities are natural parts of the immune response, but they cause a certain amount of tissue damage. That damage may occur in the kidney, liver, or as was the case with canine adenovi- rus 1, in the eye. In many cases it is impossible to show a direct connection between the damage and a vaccine, since it is the accumulation of many antigens over many years that results in clinically evident disease.” (30)
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association Vaccination Guidelines Group states: “We should aim to vaccinate every animal, and to vaccinate each individual less frequently.” (31)
My own view is that we should take on board Dr Schultz’s statements made as a result of his duration of immunity studies, namely that, “Once an animal is immune to viral disease, he is immune for years or life”. Dr Schultz was motivated to conduct his studies when he reflected that children didn’t need vaccinating every year, so why do dogs? It is also worth noting that no science has ever been put forward to justify annual vaccination, or three-yearly vaccination for that matter.
With regard to the controversial leptospirosis vaccine and its known ability to stimulate anaphylaxis and encephalitis, its poor record of efficacy, and the fact that leptospirosis is a relatively rare disease, I go along with Dr Schultz’s own views that this vaccine comes with more risks than benefits, and that its use is questionable. In view of the risks of any vaccine, informed guardian consent would seem sensible.
And finally, I am happy to state publicly that I do not vaccinate any of the dogs in my care. My own researched belief is that vaccines cause more death and suffering than the diseases we vaccinate against. I do, however, hold firm to the principles of free choice and informed guardian consent. Without the information to base choices upon, no one is giving their informed consent. They are merely relying upon the knowledge, training, and financial needs of the person whose advice they follow.
- The Merck Manual of Diagnostics and Therapy, sixteenth edition.
- DVM vaccine roundtable, Safety, efficacy heart of vaccine use; experts discuss pros and cons. DVM magazine, December 1988.
- Marek’s disease vaccines cause temporary U- lymphocyte dysfunction and reduced resis- tance to infection in chicks” Avian Pathology, Vol 21, issue 4, Dec 1992, pages 621-631.)
- JAVMA Vol 214, No 1, January 1 1999. fatal outbreak of salmonellosis in a breeding cat- tery following the use of a high titre modified live panleucopaenia virus vaccine
- Cancer Research 30, October 1970, ‘Spontaneous Development of Mammary Adenocarcinoma following Prolonged Immu- nosuppression in the Dog’.
- (Cytokine profile after rubella vaccine inocula- tion: evidence of the immunosuppressive effect of vaccination, Mediators of Inflammation, 12(4), 203-207 (August 2003)).
- Effects of Vaccines on the Canine Immune System”, (Tom R. Phillips, Jean L. Jensen, Michael J. Rubino, Wen C. Yang and Ronald D. Schultz, Can J Vet Res 1989; 53: 154-160)
- JAVMA, Vol 207, No 4, August 15, 1995 – Current Concepts, are we vaccinating too much?
- JFM Series A, August 2003, vol 50, no 6, pp 286-291
- Negina IuP, Comparative study of auto- antibody formation following immunization with different types of vaccines. ZH Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol 1980 May; (5): 69-72.
- Romanov, UA et al, Role of auto-immune proc- esses in the pathogenesis of post vaccinal lesions of the nervous system. ZH Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol 1977 Oct; 10: 80-93.
- Mark of the Beast, Dr Patricia Monahan Jordan