All About 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.

Canine Corona Virus 

    This is only a disease of puppies. It is rare, self limiting (dogs get well in 3 days without treatment). Cornell & Texas A&M have only diagnosed one case each in the last 7 years. Corona virus does not cause disease in adult dogs.

Leptospirosis Vaccine 

    This NON-CORE VACCINE is a common cause of adverse reactions in dogs. Leptospirosis is a bacterial spirochete disease that is endemic to some tropic and subtropic regions around the world. This vaccine has been associated with a higher rate of vaccine reactions, especially in acute anaphylaxis in toy breeds. This vaccine is recommended by AAHA to be "...restricted to use in areas where a reasonable risk of exposure has been established." Most of the clinical cases of Lepto Infection reported in dogs in the US are caused by serovaars (or types) grippotyphosa and bratsilvia. The vaccines contain different serovaars eanicola and ictohemorrhagica. Cross protection is not provided and protection is short lived . Lepto vaccine is immuno-supressive to puppies less than 16 weeks of age, and should not be given to puppies under 12 weeks of age.

    There is currently some controversy over this vaccine as the strains (called serovars) that are being clinically recognized are not always those that are being vaccinated for. There are new Leptospirosis Vaccines, including Recombinant Technology, coming out soon.

     Important Information on Leptospirosis: The vaccination of this disease can stop the clinical signs of Leptospirosis to the dog, HOWEVER IT WILL NOT STOP AN INFECTION. A vaccinated pet, if infected with Leprospirosis, can and will shed this bacteria in the urine. Thus vaccinating for this disease has the potential to create 'asymptomatic carriers'. This becomes very important when we remember that people can get Leptospirosis from their dog, as it is a zoonotic disease.

Initial Puppy Vaccination:

WARNING: AAHA states in it’s guidelines: Vaccine recommendations are difficult to make due to lack of information on prevalence of specific serovar infections in dogs in various geographical regoins. Anecdotal reports from veterinarians and breeders suggest that incidence of post-vaccination reactions, including acute anaphylaxis, in puppies under 12 weeks of age and small-breed dogs is HIGH. Reactions are MOST SEVERE IN PUPPIES. Therefore, routine use of the vaccine should be delayed until dog reach 12 weeks of age.

New Vaccine Protocol  

DHPP: Distemper, Parainfluenza, Hepatitis, & Parvovirus (MLV-Modified Live Virus):



This is the "Kennel Cough" immunization that is given intranasally.  It is recommended ONLY for those dogs boarded, groomed, taken to dog shows, or for any reason housed where exposed to a lot of dogs. The intranasal vaccine provides more complete and more rapid onset of immunity with less chance of reaction. Immunity requires 72 hours and does not protect from every cause of kennel cough. Immunity is of short duration, usually 4-6 months. This immunization should Only Be Given 3 days prior to boarding, grooming, etc..

RABIES: (Killed)

LYME Disease

Lyme disease is a tick born disease which can cause lameness, kidney failure and heart disease in dogs. Ticks can also transmit the disease to humans. The original Ft. Dodge (killed bacteria) has proven to be the most effective vaccine. Lyme disease prevention should emphasize early removal of ticks.

A large percentage of Canine Lyme Disease cases are actually caused by the vaccine.

High Risk Geographical areas would be considered wooded areas, areas where puddles sit stagnant for long periods, or areas where wildlife can frequently inhabit.

   Please use all of this information wisely and use your own judgement.

   Please do not feel pressured by veterinary professionals to give these vaccines to your dogs.


Drastic changes are happening in the veterinary industry. Finally, veterinarians are realizing that we are over-vaccinating our pets!


Extensive research into the true and real effects of the various vaccines that we give to our pets on an annual basis, has begun to show results since the studies began in 1998. Since many veterinarians, and some people in general, are resistant to change, this topic has sparked some very passionate debates among the professionals surrounding veterinary medicine.

     The research has delved into the debates over necessary vaccines and unnecessary vaccines, how often should pets be vaccinated and how old they should be before being vaccinated, and if those vaccines are actually harmful to our pets.

     Purdue University found that ALL vaccinated dogs develop “autoantibodies” from proteins used in some vaccinations. In order to protect against viruses and bacteria’s, the dog’s system must be introduced to either a Live Modified Virus Vaccine or a Killed Virus Vaccine. To produce a vaccine, these viruses and bacteria’s must be grown in laboratories with cell cultures. The cell cultures are nourished with calf (bovine) serum. When harvested, the organisms are filtered, however, even post-filterization, some of the bovine proteins are still prominent in these vaccines. When a dog is vaccinated with a (contaminated) product, their bodies develop autoantibodies and in turn, react against their own comparable proteins. Autoantibodies are associated with devastating diseases, such as Lupus, Hypothyroidism, and Cardiomyopathy.

     Vaccinosis is a new term that refers to vaccine reactions brought on by immune suppression. Richard Pitcairn, DVM recommends that vaccines are given less frequently. He also suggests that you never vaccinate a dog:

    Catherine Driscoll’s book, “Who Killed the Darling Buds of May? What Vets Don’t Tell You About Vaccines.” (Abbeywood Publishing) In this book, she reports that The Canine Health Census reported that 50% of dogs with a viral disease, contracted the viruses within 3 months of being vaccinated. They also report that 1 of 100 dogs will have adverse reactions to these vaccinations. Some vaccine manufacturers even state that their vaccines can cause Encephalitis, symptoms which appear as vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory distress, seizures, and paralysis.

    The Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital changed their Small Animal Vaccine Protocol (Program 1701), due to the lack of scientific evidence to support annual vaccinations. In addition, over-vaccinating is associated with Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia, which is often fatal.

     The Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association interviewed several veterinary immunologists, and wrote an article “Are We Vaccinating too Much?”, which explains that annual vaccination has no scientific basis or verification. Dr. Ronald Schultz reports that immunity from vaccines can last at least 5 years, and perhaps a lifetime. Based on his findings, new veterinary recommendations appear in The Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). He also states and I quote: “The idea that unnecessary vaccines can cause serious side effects is in direct conflict with sound medical practices”. As you may find this true if your vet is considered ‘old school’ and/or is NOT Board Certified (Boarded). Veterinarians that are NOT Boarded, do not have to give lectures on innovative topics to their peers, therefore, their desire for learning and thus updating their ‘practices’ may suffer significantly. Dr. Schultz explains that ‘core vaccines’, for Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus, are essential for all dogs. But, that they need only be administered every three years, after the initial puppy series of two or three at least 4 weeks apart. As for non-core vaccines, such as Lyme Disease, not every dog is at high risk for exposure to those viruses, and should therefore, not receive that vaccination as a regularly scheduled or routine vaccine.He also admits and I quote: “recommending that dogs receive fewer vaccines may spark controversy, especially when veterinarians rely on annual vaccines to bring in clients, along with income.”  He has a very valid and real point, as I’m sure most of you will encounter. The new vaccination guidelines have been adopted by AAHA, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM), AND Veterinary Microbiology (ACVM) and the American Association of Veterinary Immunologists (AAVI).

    Jean Dodds, DVM has been researching this topic since the 1980’s and has written her findings in a report “New Principles of Immunology”.  In her  most recent data, she reports the following:

  "Dogs and cats immune systems mature fully at 6 months. If a Modified Live Virus (MLV) vaccine is given after 6 months of age, it produces an immunity which is good for the life of the pet (i.e: canine distemper, parvovirus, feline distemper). If another MLV vaccine is given a year later, the antibodies from the first vaccine neutralize the antigens of the second vaccine and there is little or no effect. The titer is not "boosted" nor are more memory cells induced." Not only are annual boosters for parvovirus and distemper unnecessary, they subject the pet to potential risks of allergic reactions and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. "There is no scientific documentation to back up label claims for annual administration of MLV vaccines." Puppies receive antibodies through their mother's milk. This natural protection can last 8-14 weeks.

Puppies & kittens should NOT be vaccinated at LESS than 8 weeks. Maternal immunity will neutralize the vaccine and little protection (0-38%) will be produced. Vaccination at 6 weeks will, however, delay the timing of the first highly effective vaccine. Vaccinations given 2 weeks apart suppress rather than stimulate the immune system. A series of vaccinations is given starting at 8 weeks and given 3-4 weeks apart up to 16 weeks of age. Another vaccination given sometime after 6 months of age (usually at 1 year 4 months) will provide lifetime immunity.

"According to Dr. Schultz, AVMA, (American Veterinary Medical Association) 8-15-95, when a vaccinations series given at 2, 3 & 4 months and again at 1 year with MLV, puppies and kitten program memory cells that survive for life, providing lifelong immunity." Dr. Carmichael at Cornell and Dr. Schultz has studies showing immunity against challenge at 2-10 years for canine distemper & 4 years for parvovirus. Studies for longer duration are pending. "There are no new strains of parvovirus as one manufacturer would like to suggest. Parvovirus vaccination provides cross immunity for all types." Hepatitis (Adenovirus) is one of the agents known to be a cause of kennel cough. Only vaccines with CAV-2 should be used as CAV-1 vaccines carry the risk of "hepatitis blue-eye" reactions & kidney damage.     

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All About Vaccines