Vaccinations

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Vaccinations

Postby CoffeeCanuck » May 25th, 2011, 6:10 pm

I've just recently become aware that there is a controversy surrounding routine vaccinations for dogs. I often look through breeders web pages and I have been seeing a lot of different breeders saying they give limited vaccinations and will only sell a puppy to people who will agree to follow their lead. I was rather taken aback at first as I had always understood that when you get a puppy, you get a set of three shots and then a yearly booster for the rest of the dogs life. Seven years ago, my vet in Kelowna told me he had switched to a three year booster which made me happy and I went along with it. After moving here to NS, I found that the vets in my rural town do not offer the three year booster, only the combo one year. As I said in another thread, it wasn't until today that I was told by my new vet that the yearly will indeed easily last three years when I asked why the three year booster was not offered here. My old vet snapped at me when I questioned her about it and said that's just the way it was. Anyhow, after the info Imagination posted and a bit of digging around, I'm slowly educating myself on vaccinations and I would love to hear from everyone else in regards to this matter.

Here is a link I found on Canada's Guide to Dogs that I'm slowly going through. It has many informative links within it. http://www.canadasguidetodogs.com/health/vaccine.htm
In recent years, concerns have been raised about immune-mediated disease following vaccinations. However, there is still significant scientific controversy regarding the data available. While there is no doubt that annual vaccinations have helped eradicate the incidence of once common viral diseases such as canine distemper, hepatitis, and canine parvovirus, many dog owners and some veterinarians have begun to question both the need for annual re-vaccination as well as the long term consequences of vaccinations in general.

This section is provided as a means for learning about the issues surrounding vaccinations. Included here are links to various articles, documents and websites where indepth and significant information about vaccinations is available. Over-vaccination is fast becoming a very real concern within the veterinary community and for dog owners in general. It is important to learn about the issues; however, always consult with your veterinarian to discuss this further and DO NOT simply stop vaccinating your dogs.

I'll post more of my thoughts as I read through the links.

~D
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Re: Vaccinations

Postby Imagination » May 25th, 2011, 7:58 pm

To add to your reading...here is the info as per Dr. Dodds in the US (she seems to have some influence over the AVM there as they are adopting her recommendations). You can see how she does it at http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/DODDS-C ... TOCOLS.HTM

I can tell you that originally I was really on the fence after my last dog died (I never had any qualms about her getting her annual boosters at all as she never seemed to be bothered) and what I had learned going through her Cushing's and cancer. I had no choice about the initial shots with this dog as they were done before I got her and I did insist on single shots spread out for the rest of the puppy shots I could control. All the same she developed a thryoid issue at 2 years old and I have read some info that indicates in her breed that can be a side effect of those first combo shots at 6 weeks (who'd think it would show up 2 years later but apparently it's quite typical). It's results like those that are causing a lot of people to ask for pups with limited vaccines. With all the theories it seems they really don't need the 3 stage shots but are served just as well with the ones at 12 or 16 weeks old so the rest are just overkill and the problem is they are just about killing some dogs with auto-immune and other problems later in life.

I can tell you now that given my druthers, I would choose a pup who did not get any shots except maybe parvo and distemper and only if they were given at separate times. Rabies might be one I'd give much later than they often do now, probably close to a year or so. As it goes, I may even opt out of them unless I can find a really good reason not to because the more I see and hear, the more leery I am.

So far I know of 4 people who lost their dogs after a rabies booster (old and young, large and small, there seems to be no common element other than the shot). I now know one who after 6 years of being trouble free got convinced by the vet to give a booster and has been fighting infections and other immune problems ever since. It really makes you wonder why they give these things so freely when just one person can know of 5 dogs who have been negatively effected. Imagine how many there really are out there.

I now completely and totally believe that if you give your pet optimum nutrition, their bodies will take care of most of the things the shots prevent. Certainly this dog proved that both to me and my vet as he always complained he made no money off her and it was true. She hasn't had any of the goofy things my other dog had including ear infections or anything other than that thyroid thing.

Just like us, we have to start looking at what is causing/preventing illness (like foods) in our pets. This attitude that makes vet medicine reactive vs preventative is not going to work any better for our pets than it does for us.
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Re: Vaccinations

Postby astin-leigh » May 28th, 2011, 10:00 am

This is a great topic to bring up.

I have done alot of reading and researching and i agree with either limited or no vaccines.
My dane is 19 months and has received No vaccines. I waited until he was 11 months or so before we started going to the dog parks or areas where alot of dogs are around. This was to let his immune system develop as much as possible. We now go to the dog park everyday for 1-2 hours and he has never been sick.
He is raw fed and very healthy and happy. His line goes back four generations unvaccinated.

He is my first dog as an adult and there were a few times after talking to a vet that i almost decided to vaccinate him, but then i phoned his breeder, or a few other breeders i know of who also dont vaccinate and they broke down the "vet speak" for me.

Initially we went to a holistic vet but they gave me a hard time when i chose not to vaccinate for Parvo/Distemper (the only one they recommended)... after talking to some people I found another vet who is amazing. Not only are they a zillion times cheaper, they have better hours, better equipment, specialists on staff etc. As well my new vet, although "traditional", fully respects my decisions with my dog (Raw diet, no vaccines, delayed neuter). Rather than trying to tell me the run of the mill info, he is straightforward with what hes seen, what to watch out for and most importantly what he doesnt know.
Theres nothing worse than someone telling me I am wrong yet having no reliable info to back it up.

For my next dog, I suppose it depends where it comes from. If i find a breeder who does not vaccinate (as a regular practice) great, if not oh well. Either way it wont be receiving any vaccines once ive got it.
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Re: Vaccinations

Postby Imagination » May 28th, 2011, 12:00 pm

You have one lucky dog there. Having a breeder who knows what they are doing, an owner who is going with nature as intended, and a vet who is on board has probably ensured he'll be the healthiest he can possibly be.

I know what really convinced me was seeing some dogs who had been raised that way to really convince me. The difference is often very visible. They just look so much stronger, shinier, have the whitest teeth going, and have the clearest eyes. It's like you think most dogs look pretty good until you see one of the others who just have something about them that tells you they are what optimum and thriving looks like.

When I was starting with mine as a pup, her vet didn't like the idea at all but I'd take her in every few weeks so he could see how she was developing and he really was impressed and always told me how stunning she was compared to other pups he saw. At about 6 mos old he asked me for the info and has been recommending raw ever since. It was the same exercise when it came to me refusing boosters etc. Time told the story as my dog never had the typical issues of others (especially compared to others in her breed) he saw at all.

Yup, it's sure nice to hear about dogs who are given the best chance right from their first days with knowledgeable breeders on board.
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Re: Vaccinations

Postby CoffeeCanuck » May 28th, 2011, 2:37 pm

I'm still reading bits of info here and there, so I'm nowhere near close to making a decision about the future of vaccinations with my pups. Well, my boxer is almost 10, so she will not be getting any more, but I have my 6 yr old pug to consider and of course any future dogs that will become part of the family.

While I can completely agree that dogs (and probably cats) are over vaccinated, I struggle with the thought of a dog not ever being vaccinated, even for just parvo and distemper. From the little I've read so far, if I were to get a puppy, I would likely insist on delayed vaccinations, but certainly vaccinate as parvo and distemper spread like wildfire and are often deadly. I like the idea of having a blood test every year or so to see if antibodies are present.

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Re: Vaccinations

Postby Imagination » May 29th, 2011, 12:29 am

I'm not sure about distemper, but with parvo it's only supposed to be really necessary (for those who consider vaccines necessary) in puppy stage. It's rarely caught by adults as they are big/mature enough to fight it off. Yet again, a titer tells whether the first shot is still holding so that can save worry.

As for the titers, usually vets who are into them tell you you only really to have them done every 3 years. That helps keep the cost reasonable and still keep on top of things.
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Re: Vaccinations

Postby Triple 6 » May 30th, 2011, 8:27 am

Both my monsters were vaccinated for Parvo/Distemper. If I was to get a puppy, I would not think twice about vacinating for the two. I should point out that Piper's addisons disease was not brought on by vaccination(s) but trauma.

I've seen a puppy suffer from Parvo and it is not a pretty sight.
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Re: Vaccinations

Postby Lore » May 30th, 2011, 8:55 am

I know someone who's puppy died of parvo.
It was so sad and so preventable.
IMO that is one very important vaccination to get
for your puppy.
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Re: Vaccinations

Postby redwine » May 30th, 2011, 9:01 am

You can also ask your vet to do a titer test to see where the immunity level is. I had my pup titer tested after initial puppy shots and he didn't need the next set.

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/titer_test.htm
perhaps the straight and narrow would be wider if more people used it
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Re: Vaccinations

Postby CoffeeCanuck » May 30th, 2011, 11:56 am

I'm with you Trip, if I were to ever get a puppy, I would definitely vaccinate for parvo and distemper. From the reading I've been doing on various ethical breeder's websites, the ones in favour of a limited vaccination protocol seem to favour single dose parvo and then single dose distemper. To not vaccinate at all seems very extreme to me as well as risky.

Now that I've been reading up on all this, it makes complete sense to have an antibody titer blood test before vaccinating again. Why vaccinate when the antibodies are still present?

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Re: Vaccinations

Postby Triple 6 » May 30th, 2011, 12:50 pm

I also would not take the word of a breeder on what is best for my dog. While a breeder may have "raised" the pup from birth until it is ready to go... they are not vet's and they do not know what is best for the dog, medically.

For some reason, a lot of people think that breeders have all the answers. It's rather scary.
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Re: Vaccinations

Postby CoffeeCanuck » May 30th, 2011, 1:27 pm

This is why I now research so that I can make an educated and informed decision. What is scary to me are all the people (I used to be one of them) who blindly follow everything their vet says without question. My old vet did not like to be questioned and snapped at me when I simply asked why a 3 year vaccination was not available here, yet my new vet openly told me the 'yearly' vaccine easily lasts 3 years. When I take my pups back, I plan on questioning her in regards to the titer testing.

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Re: Vaccinations

Postby Imagination » May 30th, 2011, 4:34 pm

Well before you question the integrity of all breeders, you need to know there are breeders and there are breeders. What distinguishes one from the other is their knowledge level and success with their dogs. The breeders who don't follow their pups through their lives or have their parents cleared for genetic issues or who aren't too picky about who gets their pups are not in the same league as those who really take it seriously and are the cream for being experts for their breeds. Those that are in that expert league are very good to listen to as they do know what they are talking about and often they have seen what does and doesn't benefit their dogs.
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Re: Vaccinations

Postby CameraShy » Jun 6th, 2011, 9:23 am

I am a local vet tech and it has been proven through diligent studies by the vaccine companies themselves, that the vaccines last AT LEAST 3yrs, if not longer. That does not count the vaccines done in very young puppies/kittens, because the maternal antibodies interfere with the vaccine, hence the reason for boosters. I get my animals their puppy/kitten set, then every 3yrs or so after that. If the vaccine makers themselves are reporting this, I would tend to believe it, because let's face it: it's in their best intrest money wise to have people vaccinate more often than less often. Any vet, in my opinion, who says you still must do yearly shots, is doing so only because of the money, and NOT for the best intrest of the animal. Education is so important...I have seen such corrupt vets giving out information that caters to their pocketbook, and not to the animal's well being....I have seen cats handled in an almost torturous way....left in their carriers instead of dirtying a clinic kennel only to soil themselves in fright. A kind hand is all that is needed for most of these "viscious" cats! I have seen animals that were brought into get euthanized because they were in such terrible pain, only to be forgotten about until the next morning. Someone stated in here that they look for a vet that is busy, as that indicates quality work....I can honestly say that sometimes that simply isn't true, and the reason for the business is that there is lack of staff to properly care for the animals and clients, because again, the pocketbook is benefited. Thank you for listening to my opinion! I am a true animal lover, and only want the best for every living creature out there....
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Re: Vaccinations

Postby Imagination » Jun 6th, 2011, 2:50 pm

CameraShy wrote:I am a local vet tech and it has been proven through diligent studies by the vaccine companies themselves, that the vaccines last AT LEAST 3yrs, if not longer. That does not count the vaccines done in very young puppies/kittens, because the maternal antibodies interfere with the vaccine, hence the reason for boosters. I get my animals their puppy/kitten set, then every 3yrs or so after that. If the vaccine makers themselves are reporting this, I would tend to believe it, because let's face it: it's in their best intrest money wise to have people vaccinate more often than less often. Any vet, in my opinion, who says you still must do yearly shots, is doing so only because of the money, and NOT for the best intrest of the animal. Education is so important...I have seen such corrupt vets giving out information that caters to their pocketbook, and not to the animal's well being....I have seen cats handled in an almost torturous way....left in their carriers instead of dirtying a clinic kennel only to soil themselves in fright. A kind hand is all that is needed for most of these "viscious" cats! I have seen animals that were brought into get euthanized because they were in such terrible pain, only to be forgotten about until the next morning. Someone stated in here that they look for a vet that is busy, as that indicates quality work....I can honestly say that sometimes that simply isn't true, and the reason for the business is that there is lack of staff to properly care for the animals and clients, because again, the pocketbook is benefited. Thank you for listening to my opinion! I am a true animal lover, and only want the best for every living creature out there....


Well you have sort of confused me since you state it's the vaccine makers themselves reporting things and are making the money from their statements yet you still trust them? They're in conflict of interest in most people's books (even though it's pretty much standard practice for the FDA and Health Canada to accept mfr research it doesn't mean it's in the best interest of the public at all and people are now very aware of the botch ups that have come out due to that practice). Imagine, the rabies shot has been around for over 40 years and we've been told it lasted a year until only recently because only now is it actually being studied independently...turns out the mfgs never did study it, they basically guessed how long it would last all this time. Diligent? Not by my definition.

It's the public's growing awareness of things like this combined with titers proving vaccines are holding much longer than we previously were told that is turning this ship around. It sure isn't the manufacturers doing it under their own steam, they needed some pressure being applied by the public. People are more educated now (thank you Internet) and it's finally starting to pay off by making these companies stand down on their arrogant and irresponsible assumptions. Word is out now and spreading like never before. Same goes for those sets of first shots and those too are now being questioned. We'll see what happens there.

The only reason they are changing their recommendations to 3 years (IMO) is since Dr. Jean Dodds made new vaccination recommendations the AVMA (and she's going slow knowing full well what she is up against so watch for things to change again when she gives it the next go). In other words, she made recommendations they adopted in just the past couple of years and suddenly the vaccine manufacturers adjusted their recommendations to suit. No diligent studies, just backpeddling.

Since it was me who mentioned the busy office I guess I better clarify. The type of busy I refer to is an office that almost always has people/pets in the waiting room during appointment times (not during surgery times in other words). There is no shortage of staff when there are 6 - 10 assistants on most of the time and only 1 vet in residence. The folks waiting are usually clients who have been with the vet for years and years or who have been referred from other vets for diagnosis, or have travelled quite a distance to see that particular vet because of their reputation. There is no worry of a pet being in for surgery and not getting attention during their stay. There is no question when they take your pet for weighing or cutting their nails or the many other things they do to take the load off the vet and give the best service possible.

Busy is from their name coming up whenever people are talking about great vets and so people are willing to try them. That vet has common sense/experience doing only what is in the best interest of the animal, treating people with respect and kindness, and never gouges or oversells. It's not about not having enough staff, it's having more clients willing to come in than other vets plain and simple. It's clients who feel free to bring their animals in even with the equivalent of the sniffles because they know they can have things checked out without putting their homes up for sale. That type of busy is for no other reason than people know they are getting the best of care at the most reasonable price by someone who is totally dedicated to the animals even if they could be making more money doing less work by checking wallets first.

After seeing an office that operates exactly like that I really do wonder when I walk into a vet's office and the chairs aren't at least partially full of people waiting. I wonder where their clients are. Surely if they had a full load of clients there'd be some folks there getting exams, shots, or a myriad of other reasons. Those chairs in the office I refer to are full of people who have appointments and people who knew they could walk in when an issue suddenly arose that worried them. They all are taken care of even if it means the vet is there later than he'd hoped every day. That vet's waiting room is usually full while the vet down the block and the one around the corner aren't, so it isn't for lack of pets needing attention because they are out there and will surface when people trust their vet that way.

It's chatting with other people in the office and finding that time and time again people are loving this vet and can't say enough about them. It's not uncommon to hear stories of people being told it would cost $$$$ to diagnose/treat their pet only to discover this vet did it for 10% of that and solved the problem in the first appointment. It's seeing people sitting there with envelopes of x-rays and test results in hand because they have heard this vet is worth the second opinion after which they are hooked.

I'll tell you the difference it makes to someone like me. With the vet I had like that (I moved which is the only reason I can't see him but believe me I have actually considered it might be worth the 7 hour drive to see him if something does need attention) anytime my dog had an issue, no second thoughts, an appointment was made or that dog was in the car and on the way to the vets as a walk in. Now I have to first consider if I have the $$$ it's probably going to cost me just to see what's up. Of the 3 vets I have tried here so far, 2 tried to up-sell me on this and that and charged me twice as much as I was used to being charged and these were just introduction type appointments. Imagine, I'm bringing in a pet just to check the vet out before I really need them, no medical issues, and they're trying to sell me something to treat something my other vet would never of dreamed was necessary. Never before have I had to think 'maybe I'll just wait a day or two to see if this gets worse or not' and it breaks my heart to have to do that as my pet isn't getting the same sort of care she used to get at all.

Oddly enough, in the 15 years I had that vet I never heard one horror story. Compared to some other vets in the same city, who were known to be wallet watchers, the stories were endless of terrible things happening in their offices. I was one of them too when it came to having to deal with one such place. So no relationship between horror stories and price IMO. Busy doesn't mean lack of care.

The kind of busy I mean is a place where people don't have to consider anything more than what's up with their pets. They go in comfortable in the fact they won't get soaked for something they may not need and that a diagnosis is going to probably be made right then and there because of the experience standing in that room. Their pets aren't overly stressed by unnecessary tests or bad treatment. Trust and confidence in being treated right is what fills those chairs. The shame is those types of offices are now the exceptions.

It really kind of gives me the willies to walk in and not see anyone else waiting when I've been to the offices I've tried here (and they were highly recommended too). There are enough pets here, I've seen them so why are those chairs empty? I want to find a busy office here.
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