Disclaimer: I advise you to do your own research. Read and study this subject, discuss your concerns with your veterinarian, weigh the pros and cons and make your own informed decisions. Because this is a canine related web page, I have not included specific feline information/articles. Feline information can be found at many of the same links listed on this page.
"For some readers the very idea that vaccines are anything but wonderful and life-saving may come as a surprise, and it's not a very pleasant one. After all, the general population pictures vaccines as one of modern medicine's best and brightest moments, saving literally millions from the scourge of diseases like poliomyelitis and smallpox." Dr. Richard Pitcairn D.V.M., Ph.D
It has been standard procedure to take dogs to the vet for "shots" every year. Your vet tells you to do this, your breeder most likely did too. So what's the problem?
The problem is over vaccination which may lead to vaccinosis; chronic disease caused by vaccines. (Dr. Richard Pitcairn) "Animals react adversely to vaccines in two main ways. The first is the more obvious immediate anaphylactic response, where the animal may develop swelling of the face or ears, as well as pain and inflammation at the site of injection," said Donna Starita Mehan, D.V.M., a veterinarian in Boring, Oregon. "But a larger number of animals develop an undercurrent, [a] subtle immune system shift that compounds every time they receive a vaccination. This may later manifest as any number of chronic degenerative illnesses such as arthritis, skin or ear problems, gum or throat inflammation, behavior problems, central nervous system disorders (i.e. epilepsy), or cancer."
Many vets don't recognize this link, however, many owners and breeders believe we've only begun to discover how many diseases or general malaise is directly attributed to over vaccination.
Over vaccination is three fold. The first is giving one multi combo vaccine (one shot that contains more than one vaccine) to cover a variety of diseases. The second is giving vaccinations to cover disease that the animal is unlikely to encounter or that the vaccine is not effective against. The third is giving vaccines too often.
What's wrong with multi-combo vaccines?
Multiple components in vaccines compete with each other for the immune system and result in lesser immunity for each individual disease as well as increasing the risk of a reaction.
Let's start with puppies. The result of multi combo vaccines is that puppies receive too much stimulus to the immune system at one time. In the real world, a puppy would not be exposed to distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, adenovirus, leptospira (lepto), pavro or corona viruses all at the same time.
Why do pharmaceutical companies make combo vaccines and why do vets give them?
The answer is that they are less expensive to make and easier (less time consuming) to give. Vets will say that most owners won't come in more than one time for shots. However, most people are not aware of the adverse reactions and long term disease that many dogs experience from multi combo vaccinations. Many vets themselves are not aware, partly because they only view a reaction as something that happens within 24 hours of vaccination.
The second aspect of over vaccination is vaccinating for diseases that are rare or not in the area the dog lives, are not life threatening or that the vaccine isn't effective for. This is where it can get tricky because many vets will state that all diseases should be vaccinated against. What they don't tell us is that some of these vaccinations may not be effective and can cause more harm than good.
LEPTO: 'This vaccine should not be given to puppies less than 16 weeks of age as it is very immunosuppressive. It can interfere with immunization against parvo & distemper. Reactions are common. The risk of side effects outweigh the benefits.'
CORONA: 'Canine corona virus is only a disease of puppies less than six weeks of age. It is a rare, self-limiting disease (i.e. dogs get well in 3 days without treatment). Corona virus does not cause disease in adult dogs.' Bob Rogers, D.V.M (http://www.newvaccinationprotocols.com/K9%20Recommendations.htm)
Because maternal antibodies can persist far longer then previously thought possible, Ronald D Schultz, Ph.D.strongly recommends that the last vaccination take place at 22 weeks for a puppy. There is new information that indicates that as many as 20% of dogs at 18 weeks have enough maternal antibodies to prevent successful parvo immunization. (Note: previously it was recommended that the last immunization in the series occur at 12 to 16 weeks of age). (Kirk's Current Veterinary Therapy XI)
Vaccine is a solution of inactivated virus, either live and weakened (“attenuated” or “modified”) or killed. This virus is injected into the puppy. If there is still adequate maternal antibody present, this vaccine virus will be destroyed just as if it were a real infection. There will be a period of about a week when there is not enough maternal antibody to protect the puppy but too much to allow a vaccine to work. (This period is called the “window of vulnerability.”) Then after this, vaccine can be effective.
After a puppy is born, maternal antibody levels drop by half approximately every 10 days. Puppies that were born first or were more aggressive at nursing on the first day, will get more maternal antibody than their littermates. Mother dogs vaccinated at approximately the time of breeding will have the highest antibody levels to pass on to their puppies.
*** REMEMBER, the more maternal antibody a
the less likely a vaccine is to work.***
The third aspect is yearly booster shots. I always wondered WHY dog's had to have yearly boosters, yet after initial baby shots, human's don't. Even tetanus vaccinations are good for 10 years! In my research, I discovered that there is NO clinical proof that dogs need annual boosters and many vets don't even know why this is a common practice.
"A BOOSTER SHOT"...what does that mean? When an animal or human is vaccinated they generally will develop a response to the vaccine by increasing their level of protective defense immunity. This level may be high, low, or none. Usually there is a measurable response indicating some protection. If a second vaccine for the same disease is given at a later time...this second vaccine will BOOST the protective levels of immunity that were induced by the first vaccine. So, whether the vaccine is for Rabies or Parvovirus or Feline Leukemia, it might be called a "BOOSTER SHOT" if it is given sometime after an original vaccination.
The one-year recommendation was not determined by any scientifically validated studies nor will one find in the literature publications that demonstrate a need for annual vaccination with many of the products in use. Furthermore, we do not know if there would be any difference in immunity between animals that are vaccinated annually or animals vaccinated only once every three years when challenged. (WHAT IS THE EFFICACY OF CURRENT VACCINES? by Ronald D. Schultz, Ph.D., Dipl. ACVM (honorary)
NEW VACCINATION PROTOCOLS: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
These websites by Bob Rogers, D.V.M. is chock full of great information and I recommend you add it to your bookmarks.
Excerpts from Vaccinations
in Veterinary Medicine: Dogs and Cats
by D.M. McCluggage, DVM
Yearly "boosters" are unnecessary, provide no benefit if given (will not increase immunity). Thus boosters are either a legal issue (Rabies) or a manipulation issue (inducing clients to come in for examination rather than directly suggesting an examination). First, remembering that booster vaccines are unnecessary, we can stop all vaccination after one year of age for virtually all diseases (cf. below; Rabies is required by law so we need to work to change the laws so that they are in accordance with the fact rather than fear.)
Secondly, all vaccines should be administered as single antigens. (An antigen is something that is capable of eliciting an immune response, in this case a viral or bacterial organism from which a vaccine is produced.) This means not using the polyvalent vaccines which have become so common these days. Natural exposure to diseases is usually one at a time, and the body is probably more successful at responding to only one antigen and producing immunity without adverse effects, rather than responding to a complex of antigens. Therefore, rather than giving a group of antigens together at three to four week intervals, individual components should be given using an alternating schedule with a minimum of repetition. (Cf. below)
Thirdly, only immunize for diseases which meet all of the following criteria:
Aside from the above considerations, vaccines commonly contain materials other than the organism to which immunity is desired. These materials may be added as preservatives, adjuvants (materials to stimulate immune response, usually added to non-infectious [killed] vaccines), or antibiotics. Preservatives and adjuvants include such toxins and carcinogens as aluminum (alum), mercury (thimersol), and formaldehyde.
The recommended schedules (age to vaccinate) are from Dr. Schultz, with a few changes as follows: He supports the use of combination vaccines and I strongly do not. He thus recommends in cats to combine Panleukopenia (FPL), Calicivrus (FC), and Rhinotracheitis (FVR) in one schedule; I have recommended to use FVR-FC intranasal vaccine only if needed, and separately from FPL. In dogs he would combine Distemper (CD), Parvo (CPV), and Hepatitis, and possibly Corona and Parainfluenza. I would recommend CD and CPV only, and not combined.
I generally support the use of killed (non-infectious) vaccines, as I feel they have less likelihood for long term damage, but Dr. Schultz presents a strong case for the use of modified live vaccines (MLV) as repetition can be necessary with non-infectious vaccines. With MLV, one dose can have high efficacy. This primarily applies to DC and CPV as non-infectious [killed] Rabies and FP are as effective as MLV. Dr. Schultz' one dose-95% (one dose of vaccine at a given age will successfully immunize 95% of animals) suggestions are as follows.
Canine Distemper (MLV) 10-12 weeks
Canine Parvovirus (MLV) 12-14 weeks
Advice emerging from the U.S. is to re-vaccinate three-yearly, but only if there is a disease risk in the area, or if titer tests show it to be necessary, not in geriatric/unhealthy animals. (Vaccines and Your Dog)
Delay vaccinating if your
dog is stressed or unwell, also avoid vaccinating bitches during heat cycle or
pregnancy. Do not start puppy vaccine till at least 8 weeks (unless using
nosodes) Vaccinate for one disease at a time, that is, avoid combination
vaccines and if possible, avoid modified live virus vaccines - use killed virus
vaccines if available. (Vaccines
and Your Dog)
"Homeopathic veterinarians and other holistic practitioners have maintained for some time that vaccinations do more harm than they provide benefits. Vaccinations represent a major assault on the body's immune system." Dr. Charles E Loops DVM
Danger of Pet Vaccination: Adverse Reactions
The Canine Health Concern vaccine survey shows that animals can react to vaccines at any age. They might be vaccinated for many years, without ill-effect, then suffer an adverse reaction. (Vaccines and Your Dog)
Vaccinations may even contribute to premature death in animals whose immune systems were already compromised, some veterinarians believe. "I had two situations where we had spent a long time building up two older, severely immunocompromised dogs, and then their owners had them vaccinated for just about everything known to man," recalled Dr. Carvel Tiekert, executive director and founder of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association headquartered in Bel Air, Maryland. "Both of those dogs died within about a month of vaccination. Can we prove a cause and effect? No. Do I think there was a cause and effect? Yes." (Vaccinations & your pets)
TO VACCINATE OR NOT TO VACCINATE
- CAN MY ANIMALS REALLY BE SAFE
- AND HEALTHY AND NOT VACCINATED?
YES! Wendy and Jack Volhard studied kennels in Germany, many with lines of German Shepherds that we have here in the States. These 200+ dogs are given a distemper vaccine and a Parvovirus vaccine only, at age 10 weeks and 1 year. No other vaccines are given except occasionally rabies, when needed. Their diet varies from home-prepared to commercial. These dogs are having litters and showing at 10 years of age, and live to 16 or so. (Christina Chambreau, DVM)
"The vaccines, particularly rabies, are a political and economic scam being forced upon pet owners because they do not know the truth. Rabies, nationwide, is nowhere near the problem the veterinarians, media, politicians and bureaucrats would like you to believe." THE BIG SCAM--RABIES VACCINATION By Dr. John Fudens, D.V.M. This article explains how rabies mandates are "colorable law", meaning they are passed by Administrative agencies/bureaucrats and not based on Constitutional or Common Law that this country was founded on.
JOIN THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
This vaccine research project to address the duration of immunity actually conveyed by rabies vaccine will be performed by Dr. Ronald Schultz, Chairman of Pathobiology at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.The second phase of the project will finance a study of the adjuvants used in veterinary vaccines, and establish a federal adverse reaction reporting system for rabies and other vaccines.
Antibody titers are a measure of how recently your dog has been exposed to a pathogen. A low titer does not necessarily mean that your dog could not mount an adequate response, but could mean that your dog has not been challenged recently. Dr. Susan Thorpe-Vargas PhD (Immunology)
W. Jean Dodds revised vaccination schedule:
CANINE VACCINATION PROTOCOL - 2008
MINIMAL VACCINE USE
W. Jean Dodds, DVM
938 Stanford Street
Santa Monica, CA 90403
310-828-4804; Fax 310-828-8251
Note: The following vaccine protocol is offered for those dogs where minimal vaccinations are advisable or desirable. The schedule is one I recommend and should not interpreted to mean that other protocols recommended by a veterinarian would be less satisfactory. It's a matter of professional judgment and choice.
Age of Pups
9 - 10 weeks
16 -18 weeks (optional)
20 weeks or older, if allowable by law
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV (e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy DPV)
Same as above
Same as above (optional)
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV
Rabies, killed 3-year product (give 3-4 weeks apart from distemper/parvovirus booster)
Perform vaccine antibody titers for distemper and parvovirus every three years thereafter, or more often, if desired. Vaccinate for rabies virus according to the law, except where circumstances indicate that a written waiver needs to be obtained from the primary care veterinarian. In that case, a rabies antibody titer can also be performed to accompany the waiver request. See Rabies Challenge Fund.org
This thought-provoking article by Dr.. Jean Dodds, provides valuable information regarding making informed decisions about vaccinating your animal companion and is reprinted here with her kind permission.
CHANGING VACCINE PROTOCOLS
W. Jean Dodds, DVM
938 Stanford Street
Santa Monica, CA 90403
(310) 828-4804; FAX (310) 828-8251
The challenge to produce effective and safe vaccines for the prevalent infectious diseases of humans and animals has become increasingly difficult. In veterinary medicine, evidence implicating vaccines in triggering immune-mediated and other chronic disorders (vaccinosis) is compelling. While some of these problems have been traced to contaminated or poorly attenuated batches of vaccine that revert to virulence, others apparently reflect the host’s genetic predisposition to react adversely upon receiving the single (monovalent) or multiple antigen “combo” (polyvalent) products given routinely to animals. Animals of certain susceptible breeds or families appear to be at increased risk for severe and lingering adverse reactions to vaccines.
The onset of adverse reactions to conventional vaccinations (or other inciting drugs, chemicals, or infectious agents) can be an immediate hypersensitivity or anaphylactic reaction, or can occur acutely (24-48 hours afterwards), or later on (10-45 days) in a delayed type immune response often caused by immune-complex formation. Typical signs of adverse immune reactions include fever, stiffness, sore joints and abdominal tenderness, susceptibility to infections, central and peripheral nervous system disorders or inflammation, collapse with autoagglutinated red blood cells and jaundice, or generalized pinpoint hemorrhages or bruises. Liver enzymes may be markedly elevated, and liver or kidney failure may accompany bone marrow suppression. Furthermore, recent vaccination of genetically susceptible breeds has been associated with transient seizures in puppies and adult dogs, as well as a variety of autoimmune diseases including those affecting the blood, endocrine organs, joints, skin and mucosa, central nervous system, eyes, muscles, liver, kidneys, and bowel. It is postulated that an underlying genetic predisposition to these conditions places other littermates and close relatives at increased risk. Vaccination of pet and research dogs with polyvalent vaccines containing rabies virus or rabies vaccine alone was recently shown to induce production of antithyroglobulin autoantibodies, a provocative and important finding with implications for the subsequent development of hypothyroidism (Scott-Moncrieff et al, 2002).
Vaccination also can overwhelm the immunocompromised or even healthy host that is repeatedly challenged with other environmental stimuli and is genetically predisposed to react adversely upon viral exposure. The recently weaned young puppy or kitten entering a new environment is at greater risk here, as its relatively immature immune system can be temporarily or more permanently harmed. Consequences in later life may be the increased susceptibility to chronic debilitating diseases.
As combination vaccines contain antigens other than those of the clinically important infectious disease agents, some may be unnecessary; and their use may increase the risk of adverse reactions. With the exception of a recently introduced mutivalent Leptospira spp. vaccine, the other leptospirosis vaccines afford little protection against the clinically important fields strains of leptospirosis, and the antibodies they elicit typically last only a few months. Other vaccines, such as for Lyme disease, may not be needed, because the disease is limited to certain geographical areas. Annual revaccination for rabies is required by some states even though there are USDA licensed rabies vaccine with a 3-year duration. Thus, the overall risk-benefit ratio of using certain vaccines or multiple antigen vaccines given simultaneously and repeatedly should be reexamined. It must be recognized, however, that we have the luxury of asking such questions today only because the risk of disease has been effectively reduced by the widespread use of vaccination programs.
Given this troublesome situation, what are the experts saying about these issues? In 1995, a landmark review commentary focused the attention of the veterinary profession on the advisability of current vaccine practices. Are we overvaccinating companion animals, and if so, what is the appropriate periodicity of booster vaccines ? Discussion of this provocative topic has generally lead to other questions about the duration of immunity conferred by the currently licensed vaccine components.
In response to questions posed in the first part of this article, veterinary vaccinologists have recommended new protocols for dogs and cats. These include: 1) giving the puppy or kitten vaccine series followed by a booster at one year of age; 2) administering further boosters in a combination vaccine every three years or as split components alternating every other year until; 3) the pet reaches geriatric age, at which time booster vaccination is likely to be unnecessary and may be unadvisable for those with aging or immunologic disorders. In the intervening years between booster vaccinations, and in the case of geriatric pets, circulating humoral immunity can be evaluated by measuring serum vaccine antibody titers as an indication of the presence of immune memory. Titers do not distinguish between immunity generated by vaccination and/or exposure to the disease, although the magnitude of immunity produced just by vaccination is usually lower (see Tables).
Except where vaccination is required by law, all animals, but especially those dogs or close relatives that previously experienced an adverse reaction to vaccination can have serum antibody titers measured annually instead of revaccination. If adequate titers are found, the animal should not need revaccination until some future date. Rechecking antibody titers can be performed annually, thereafter, or can be offered as an alternative to pet owners who prefer not to follow the conventional practice of annual boosters. Reliable serologic vaccine titering is available from several university and commercial laboratories and the cost is reasonable (Twark and Dodds, 2000; Lappin et al, 2002; Paul et al, 2003; Moore and Glickman, 2004).
Relatively little has been published about the duration of immunity following vaccination, although new data are beginning to appear for both dogs and cats.
Our recent study (Twark and Dodds, 2000), evaluated 1441 dogs for CPV antibody titer and 1379 dogs for CDV antibody titer. Of these, 95.1 % were judged to have adequate CPV titers, and nearly all (97.6 %) had adequate CDV titers. Vaccine histories were available for 444 dogs (CPV) and 433 dogs (CDV). Only 43 dogs had been vaccinated within the previous year, with the majority of dogs (268 or 60%) having received a booster vaccination 1-2 years beforehand. On the basis of our data, we concluded that annual revaccination is unnecessary. Similar findings and conclusions have been published recently for dogs in New Zealand (Kyle et al, 2002), and cats (Scott and Geissinger, 1999; Lappin et al, 2002). Comprehensive studies of the duration of serologic response to five viral vaccine antigens in dogs and three viral vaccine antigens in cats were recently published by researchers at Pfizer Animal Health ( Mouzin et al, 2004).
- When an adequate immune memory has already been established, there is little reason to introduce unnecessary antigen, adjuvant, and preservatives by administering booster vaccines. By titering annually, one can assess whether a given animal’s humoral immune response has fallen below levels of adequate immune memory. In that event, an appropriate vaccine booster can be administered.
Dodds WJ. More bumps on the vaccine road. Adv Vet Med 41:715-732, 1999.
Dodds WJ. Vaccination protocols for dogs predisposed to vaccine reactions. J Am An Hosp Assoc 38: 1-4, 2001.
Hogenesch H, Azcona-Olivera J, Scott-Moncreiff C, et al. Vaccine-induced autoimmunity in the dog. Adv Vet Med 41: 733-744, 1999.
Hustead DR, Carpenter T, Sawyer DC, et al. Vaccination issues of concern to practitioners. J Am Vet Med Assoc 214: 1000-1002, 1999.
Kyle AHM, Squires RA, Davies PR. Serologic status and response to vaccination against canine distemper (CDV) and canine parvovirus (CPV) of dogs vaccinated at different intervals. J Sm An Pract, June 2002.
Lappin MR, Andrews J, Simpson D, et al. Use of serologic tests to predict resistance to feline herpesvirus 1, feline calicivirus, and feline parvovirus infection in cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc 220: 38-42, 2002.
McGaw DL, Thompson M, Tate, D, et al. Serum distemper virus and parvovirus antibody titers among dogs brought to a veterinary hospital for revaccination. J Am Vet Med Assoc 213: 72-75, 1998.
Moore GE, Glickman LT. A perspective on vaccine guidelines and titer tests for dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 224: 200-203. 2004.
Mouzin DE, Lorenzen M J, Haworth, et al. Duration of serologic response to five viral antigens in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 224: 55-60, 2004.
Mouzin DE, Lorenzen M J, Haworth, et al. Duration of serologic response to three viral antigens in cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc 224: 61-66, 2004.
Paul MA. Credibility in the face of controversy. Am An Hosp Assoc Trends Magazine XIV(2):19-21, 1998.
Paul MA (chair) et al. Report of the AAHA Canine Vaccine Task Force: 2003 canine vaccine guidelines, recommendations, and supporting literature. AAHA, April 2003, 28 pp.
Schultz RD. Current and future canine and feline vaccination programs. Vet Med 93:233-254, 1998.
Schultz RD, Ford RB, Olsen J, Scott F. Titer testing and vaccination: a new look at traditional practices. Vet Med, 97: 1-13, 2002 (insert).
Scott FW, Geissinger CM. Long-term immunity in cats vaccinated with an inactivated trivalent vaccine. Am J Vet Res 60: 652-658, 1999.
Scott-Moncrieff JC, Azcona-Olivera J, Glickman NW, et al. Evaluation of antithyroglobulin antibodies after routine vaccination in pet and research dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 221: 515-521, 2002.
Smith CA. Are we vaccinating too much? J Am Vet Med Assoc 207:421-425, 1995.
Tizard I, Ni Y. Use of serologic testing to assess immune status of companion animals. J Am Vet Med Assoc 213: 54-60, 1998.
Twark L, Dodds WJ. Clinical application of serum parvovirus and distemper virus antibody titers for determining revaccination strategies in healthy dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 217:1021-1024, 2000.
After 1 year, annually measure serum antibody titers against specific canine infectious agents such as distemper and parvovirus. This is especially recommended for animals previously experiencing adverse vaccine reactions or breeds at higher risk for such reactions (e.g., Weimaraner, Akita, American Eskimo, Great Dane). Another alternative to booster vaccinations is homeopathic nosodes. This option is considered an unconventional treatment that has not been scientifically proven to be efficacious. One controlled parvovirus nosode study did not adequately protect puppies under challenged conditions. However, data from Europe and clinical experience in North America support its use. If veterinarians choose to use homeopathic nosodes, their clients should be provided with an appropriate disclaimer and written informed consent should be obtained.
For info on nosodes, see Alternatives To Vaccination links at bottom of page
Also see Colorado State University's Small Animal Vaccination Protocol
2. Kittens should only be vaccinated for Panleukopenia and not before three months of age.
3. Puppies and kittens can be given homeopathic nosodes beginning at three weeks of age
4. Booster vaccinations are completely unnecessary.
7. My personal recommendation is NOT to vaccinate at all
From If You Vaccinate by Dr. Donna Starita MehanAs a veterinary homeopath, I do not recommend routine vaccination for dogs or cats, except for rabies in healthy dogs. If, for whatever reason, you decide that you must vaccinate your pet, I would make the following recommendations:
Never vaccinate an animal with symptoms of acute or chronic health problems, or at the time of surgery or any other physical or emotional stress.
Vaccinate for one disease at a time that is, avoid multivalent (combination) vaccines. For cats, vaccinate for feline panleukopenia alone. The vaccines for the two upper respiratory viruses (calicivirus and rhinotracheitis) can be given together. For dogs, give parvo separately from distemper. Do not vaccinate for leptospirosis, hepatitis, or parainfluenza. Never give the rabies vaccine at the same time as any other vaccine.
Avoid modified live virus vaccines whenever possible. Get killed virus vaccines, especially for rabies, canine parvo virus, and feline panleukopenia. (The canine distemper/hepatitis vaccine is not available in a killed virus form).
For middle aged dogs and cats, vaccinate every 2-3 years, instead of yearly.
After vaccination, give a dose of Thuja 30c. Wait one week, then give a dose of Sulfur 6x once daily for 7 days.
Here is what the FIRST INTERNATIONAL VETERINARY VACCINES AND DIAGNOSTICS CONFERENCE, held in Madison, WI, in July, 1997 had to say:
*Vaccinate puppies and kittens against the
clinically important infectious agents such as distemper virus, parvovirus, panleukopenia and rabies.
*Avoid vaccinations before six weeks of age. Give two to four doses of vaccine spaced two to four weeks apart.
*Give annual booster vaccine at one year of age. Thereafter give boosters every three years, unless required more often by law.
*Monitor serum antibody levels annually between boosters. (tjd: This means that your dog or cat should have a blood test done to measure the level of "immune memory" to a disease.)
*Geriatric animals generally do not need booster vaccinations. Monitor serum antibody titers instead. (Vaccinations!)
Killed Versus Modified Live Vaccines
Most single and combination canine vaccines available today are of MLV origin. This is based primarily on economic reasons and the belief that they produce more sustained protection. A long-standing question remains, however, concerning the comparative safety and efficacy of MLV versus killed (inactivated) virus vaccines. A recent examination of the risks posed by MLV vaccines concluded that they are intrinsically more hazardous than inactivated products. The residual virulence and environmental contamination resulting from the shedding of vaccine virus is a serious concern. More importantly, the ability of new infective agents to develop and spread poses a threat to both wild and domestic animal populations. The controversy in weighing the risks and benefits of MLV versus killed vaccines is building. Vaccine manufacturers seek to achieve minimal virulence (infectivity) while retaining maximal immunogenicity (protection). This desired balance may be relatively easy to achieve in clinically normal, healthy animals but may be problematic for those with even minor immunologic deficit. The stress associated with weaning, transportation, surgery, subclinical illness, and a new home can also compromise immune function. Furthermore, the common viral infections of dogs cause significant immunosuppression. Dogs harboring latent viral infections may not be able to withstand the additional immunological challenge induced by MLV vaccines. The increase in vaccine-associated distemper and parvovirus diseases are but two examples of this potential. So -- why are we causing disease by weakening the immune system with frequent use of combination vaccine products? After all vaccines are intended to protect against disease. It is well-recognized by experts in the field that a properly constituted killed vaccine is always preferable to one of MLV origin. Killed vaccines do not replicate in the vaccinated animal, do not carry the risk of residual virulence and do not shed attenuated viruses into the environment. On the other hand, MLV vaccines are capable of stimulating a more sustained protective response. So what does the future hold here? Veterinarians, scientists, breeders and owners need to voice their concern and discontent with the present industrial vaccine practices. We need to urge manufacturers to seek alternatives. Even if killed vaccines are proven to be somewhat less efficacious (produce lower levels or less sustained protection) than MLV products, they are more safe. All killed vaccines on the market today have passed current efficacy and safety standards in order to be licensed for use by the USDA. The issue is to what extent being more effective elicits a benefit rather than a risk. The future will evolve new approaches to vaccination including sub-unit vaccines, recombinant vaccines using DNA technology, and killed products with new adjuvants to boost and prolong protection. These are not simple solutions to a problem, however, because early data from recombinant vaccines against some human and mouse viruses have shown potentially dangerous side-effects by damaging T-lymphocytes. Contributing factors were shown to be the genetic background of the host, the time or dose of infection, and the makeup of the vaccine. We are obviously still a long way from producing a new generation of improved and safe vaccines. In the meantime, we need to return to using killed products whenever they are available and should consider giving them more often (twice yearly rather than annually) for high-risk exposure situations. Vaccines, while necessary and generally safe and efficacious, can be harmful or ineffective in selected situations. (The Immune System and Disease Resistance)
FOR PUPPIES 3 WKS TO 6 WKS
[Begin or give nosodes on same day of each week]
A dose of nosode is 4-6 drops of the nosode on the tongue.
WEEK ONE - Give 30C Parvo Nosode once [twice] daily for 2 days
WEEK TWO - Give 30C Parvo Nosode once daily for 5 days
WEEK THREE - Give 200C Parvo Nosode once
WEEK FOUR - Give 30C Distemper Nosode [twice] daily for 2 days
WEEK FIVE - Give 30C Distemper Nosode once
WEEK SIX - Give 200C Distemper Nosode once
WEEK SEVEN - Wait
WEEK EIGHT - Give 200C Parvo Nosode once
WEEK NINE - Wait
WEEK TEN - Give 200C Distemper Nosode once
WEEK FOURTEEN - Give 1M Parvo Nosode
WEEK EIGHTEEN - Give 1M Distemper Nosode
REPEAT THE 1M DOSES EVERY 4 MONTHS WITH ONE MONTH IN BETWEEN THE PARVO AND DISTEMPER NOSODES. AFTER SEVERAL REPETITIONS THE SCHEDULE CAN BE STOPPED AT ONE TO TWO YEARS OF AGE DEPENDING ON THE POTENTIAL EXPOSURE.
For nosode kennel cough protection, give the 200C nosode once daily for two days, follow with one dose two weeks later. Wait until 6 months of age to begin. Repeat every 3-6 months depending on potential for exposure.
For nosode Heartworm protection, give the 200C nosode once daily for two days, follow with one dose two weeks later. Repeat once dose every 6 weeks.
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