Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ECO DOG Tuesdays....... over vaccinating???

I thought today we should talk about vaccinations and whether or not we are over vaccinating our animals... and the effects it has on our pets.

Lets begin with this.... did you know in Orange County, the only vaccination your pet MUST have is the Rabies vaccine. All other vaccines are optional. Every County may have different rules and regulations regarding pet vaccinations, be sure to check with your local animal control office.

History of "recommended vaccine schedules"

Life saving vaccines have been developed for various canine diseases over the last half a century. Pet owners and veterinarians alike, have embraced them in an attempt to save and "prolong" the life of pets' but for veterinarians the effect providing (requiring) annual vaccination has on their bottom line has made it indispensable.

No one really knows the exact and full life span of the vaccinations our pets are required. Research shows they have been tested for a minimum of 10 years, but we don't really know if they last longer than that, because they have not been tested for it.

So how do vets determine the longevity of vaccinations? Why are pet owners told to vaccinate their pets annually?

1. Well here is my personal belief..... you must believe everything in life is a business first. A vile of a particular vaccine can be purchased for less than $6 dollars in some states... and in some states it is perfectly legal to vaccinate you own pets. So why is it that a round of vaccinations at your vet may cost no less than $70-90 for a Chihuahua? May it be because its a business first? A highly profitable one at that?

2. There is no universally accepted “standard vaccination protocol” that has the approval of say, the American Veterinary Medical Association and/or the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. The prevailing vaccination recommendations and schedules that most veterinarians and veterinary colleges recommend have been based on the research and suggestions of the manufacturers – not on independent scientific research.

Who is Jean Dodds, DVM?

Dr. Dodds is a highly respected hematologist, founder and president of the non-profit HEMOPET; and pioneer of the vaccine debate, now considered one of the leading authorities on the canine vaccine protocol.

According do Dr. Dodds, at least 95% of subjects retain immunity after vaccination years after the administration of the vaccine. She states that the “evidence implicating vaccines in triggering immune-mediated and other chronic disorders (vaccinosis) is compelling.” Now vaccinations also suspected of creating vulnerability to illnesses and chronic conditions such as anemia, arthritis, seizures, allergies, gastrointestinal and thyroid disorders, and cancer.

Given the possible health risks of administering too many vaccines, especially if a dog is likely to retain immutability, how can a responsible dog (pet) parent decide on a safe and effective vaccine schedule for their pets?

ANSWER: Its called the Titer Test

The term “titer” refers to the strength or concentration of a substance in a solution. When testing vaccine titers in dogs, a veterinarian takes a blood sample from a dog and has the blood tested for the presence and strength of the dog’s immunological response to a viral disease. If the dog demonstrates satisfactory levels of vaccine titers, the dog is considered sufficiently immune to the disease, or possessing good “immunologic memory,” and not in need of further vaccination against the disease at that time.

Which titers tests? From the Whole Dog Journal.

Some dog owners, aware that there are dozens of vaccines available, are concerned that they would need to order titer tests for each vaccine. Actually, measuring the titers for just two vaccines, according to Dr. Dodds, can offer the dog owner a reliable “picture” of the dog’s immunological status. Good immunity to canine parvovirus (CPV) and canine distemper virus (CDV), she says, indicates proper “markers for the competence of the dog’s immune system.” Although the laboratories will also perform vaccine titer tests for other canine diseases, such as coronavirus and Lyme, Dr. Dodds deems these tests a waste of money. Protection from coronavirus, Dr. Dodds explains, depends on the current state of health of the dog’s gastrointestinal tract, not on what’s in the dog’s blood, so serum tests are not conclusive. Lyme is regionally based and not a significant threat to the general canine population, so only dogs in a high-risk environment need titer testing for Lyme. Dr. Dodds emphasizes that titer testing is not a “guess” at immunological response in a dog; when dealing with CDV and CDP, there is absolute correlation between certain high titer values and what is frequently referred to as “protection” from the diseases in question. In this case, the animal’s owner and veterinarian can feel quite confident that the animal possesses sufficient resources for fighting off a disease challenge. When the tests reveal that the animal has borderline or low titer values, the owner and veterinarian should consider re vaccinating and then testing the titers again. It may turn out that the animal simply needed a booster to stimulate a stronger immune response. Or, maybe the people involved learn that the animal lacks the ability to respond normally to vaccines, that is, by mounting a proper immune response. In this case, the owner and veterinarian have gained very valuable information about the dog’s compromised immune status – information they never would have gained by simply vaccinating and assuming the dog was “protected” as is usually the case with healthy dogs. As you can see, in reality, simply administering vaccines to dogs every year is more of a guessing game than using titer tests to learn about the dog’s immune competence. Studies worldwide support titer test results as comprehensive information about a dog’s immunological response capabilities. (http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/titer_test.htm)

Dog Responsibly...... University of Doglando

1 comment:

Patti McQ said...

I hate vaccinating my dog every year for health and money reasons. But what choice do we have? Any place you want to board your dog requires up to date vaccines. (I understand this for liability and such) And recently a local dog park was closed for a distemper contamination.