Please Don’t Shoot Your Dog.
The next time you find that flashy postcard from your vet in your mailbox reminding you of all the shots your dog is due for…STOP. Do not pick up the phone to make that appointment. Instead, call to make an appointment for a thorough yearly physical examination. And be ready to have a serious chat with your vet about vaccines. Don’t worry about the challenge that awaits you. You will be ready to put the brakes on any vet sporting the virtues of annual vaccinations. Armed with updated vaccine guidelines provided in this consult, you will have the power of truth on your side, not opinion. I have outlined everything you, a devoted dog lover, needs to know before your dog bounces out of your car door and into the parking lot of your vet’s office.
Now, you finally have the knowledge to confidently choose the vaccinations your dog needs and discard those deemed unnecessary. Fear tactics won’t work any more. You are empowered to be your dog’s best defense against unwarranted vaccines and outdated protocols. Let us begin!
When the Bells Went Off…
My vaccine alarm went off in 1991 when an article appeared in the prestigious Journal of the American Veterinary Association, (JAVMA), sending this warning to veterinarians:
• Vaccination is a potent medical procedure with both benefits and risks.
• There is no proof that many of the yearly vaccinations are necessary.
• Immunity from vaccines in many instances can be lifelong.
In 200l, Dr. Ronald Schultz, a veterinary immunologist and professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, reported that dogs were indeed being vaccinated too often. Based on more than twenty-five years of vaccine research, Schultz provided the needed science to show that many vaccines provide lifelong immunity. From his research, he reported that additional vaccines given after a dog’s one-year birthday have doubtful value. And Schultz confirmed the earlier warning from 1991 that indiscriminate use of vaccines can and do trigger adverse reactions.
It is time to break out of the vaccine Stone Ages and spread the news: After your dog receives his “puppy shots,” additional vaccines given after his first celebrated one-year birthday have doubtful value. If you are like most dog owners, you too have been duped by the vaccine lure of needing to maintain annual updated protection.
Keep reading to find out why repeated annual vaccinations will not provide your dog with ongoing protection and, worse, why this practice is now considered to be the perfect game of Russian roulette.
Twelve Years later…The Canine Veterinary Task Force to the Rescue!
Experts like Dr Schultz along with another trailblazer Dr. Jean Dodds, a renowned hematologist and the founder of Hemopet, were two of the earliest vaccine whistle-blowers starting the heated vaccine debate in the veterinary community back in the mid-1980’s. From their early findings, growing bodies of scientific research have continued to point out the need for adopting new vaccine guidelines. But the dismal failure of these new medical findings to be embraced by the veterinary community motivated the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) to finally take action. To mitigate the growing concerns about reported vaccine reactions and related vaccine illnesses, the AAHA assembled the Canine Veterinary Task Force in 2003. Its findings follow next…
A Very Loud Twenty-Year-Old Echo…
It is astonishing to note that more than 20 years after vaccines were first reported to pose significant risks, a landside report by the American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Task Force was published in the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, JAAHA (vol. 39March/April 2003) that warned:
• Current knowledge supports a statement that no vaccine is always safe, no vaccine is always protective, and no vaccine is always indicated.
• Misunderstanding, misinformation, and the conservative nature of our profession have largely slowed the adoption of protocols calling for a decreased frequency of vaccination.
• Our findings are supported by a growing body of veterinary information, as well as developed epidemiological vigilance in human medicine, that indicates immunity induced by vaccination is extremely long-lasting and in most cases lifelong.
Opinions Do Not Outrank Facts!
It is a well-established fact that vaccines have halted the spread of several deadly diseases. And of course we all should be grateful. But we must temper our applause by accepting their potential to also cause adverse effects, and, in some cases, even death. Doctors must be willing to apply rational thinking and let go of their false assumptions if vaccines are to truly benefit their patients. They must, in fact, honor the wisdom of the sacred doctor’s oath: “First, do no harm.”
And responsible dog owners must understand this: The economic health of drug companies and the doctors they seduce have no place in your dog’s life!
Does your dog need to be vaccinated? Yes.
Which vaccines should be given? The actual need varies considerably from previous set standards!
How often should you vaccinate? With the exception of mandated rabies vaccination, perhaps never again!
Do Your Homework
Which vaccines and how often to vaccinate your dog are crucial questions requiring the acceptance of new medical findings, careful thought, and a departure from medical traditions. And don’t think that your veterinarian should be trusted to make all your dog’s healthcare decisions while you simply nod along. Your nodding is not the action of taking responsibility for your dog’s health, it is lazy delegation. You need to be prepared to challenge old-school thinking and those doctors who remain locked into their old habits. Not only can you ill afford the expense of following medical advice from stubborn doctors who dangerously resist change, your dog can ill afford the medical consequences!
Dr. Ronald Schultz, an expert on how the immune system works, reports:
“Dogs vaccinated with a modified live core vaccine just once again after their 12 week birthday are likely to be immune to these diseases for the rest of their life”
Dr. Schultz has gone on record telling dog owners that if their dog receives a DHP (Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvo) shot at 12 weeks and then again once more, he may not need another vaccine for the rest of his life!
New Vaccine Protocol in 2006 Finds Many Vaccines Not Necessary
In 2006, new guidelines were put in place and veterinarians have been strongly advised to follow them. After careful research and study, this task force separated vaccines into three different categories: the core vaccines; the non-core vaccines; and the not recommended vaccines.
Core = Recommended
Non-core = Unnecessary
Not recommended = Do Not Use
AAHA 2006 Vaccination Protocol
Vaccines that should be given to every dog:
* referred to as the DHP or 3 in 1 vaccine. Should replace the DHLPP or 5 in 1 vaccine– which includes two non-core vaccines: Leptospirosis and Parainfluenza..
Optional vaccines that should be considered only if an individual dog’s lifestyle or risk factors strongly warrant it:
• Bordetella (kennel cough)
*May be considered on a regional basis in areas where these diseases are known to be a true risk.
Vaccines not recommended under any circumstances:
• Crotalus atrox Toxoid (rattlesnake)
• Porphyromonas (periodontal disease)
It is important for you to discover that the majority of vaccines on the market today have been deemed unnecessary or not recommended at all!
Adapted from the American Animal Hospital Association’s 2006 Canine Vaccine Guidelines.
For more information on the AAHA 2006 Canine Vaccine Guidelines, please visit their website.
Simple Summary of AAHA Guidelines
• There is no scientific evidence to support the recommendation made by drug companies that label their vaccines to be given annually.
• There is overwhelming evidence that vaccinations given after the age of six months can provide adequate protection for up to seven years and possibly for life.
• A strong recommendation was made to vaccinate no more often than every three years.
Dr Schultz has boldly pointed out that; “no more often than” could also be interpreted to mean “never again.” He reminds us that multiple studies have shown that dogs properly immunized in puppyhood maintain lifetime immunity to hepatitis, distemper and parvovirus.
The recommendation made by the Canine Veterinary Task Force to repeat core vaccines every three years has been deemed too conservative by many notable vaccine critics. In fact, a three-year interval is considered by some critics to be an arbitrary number, perhaps chosen to appease the fear of lost vaccine revenues by worried veterinarians.
Realizing the struggle ahead to change habitual traditions, which also carry financial rewards, undoubtedly left dog owners with a watered-down three-year vaccine recommendation to revaccinate.
Article Courtesy of Dr. Paula Terifaj http://www.dogsparesort.com/blog/2007/12/08/sounding-the-vaccine-alarm-bell/
To get complete details on how to intelligently vaccinate your dog, also check out Dr. Terifaj’ E-book, “How to Protect Your Dog from a Vaccine Junkie” on her blog.