Many pets suffer from reactions and side effects when multiple vaccinations are administered every year, and current scientific recommendations are to tailor vaccination schedules for each individual pet, according to their health, lifestyle and individual needs. Despite this, many pet owners have not been educated as to their options, and many pets continue to be vaccinated annually.
Have you ever noticed your pet seems a little lethargic or 'not himself' after receiving a vaccine? Has your pet ever become ill within 3 months of receiving a vaccine? Is your pet plagued with chronic problems or ill-health such as recurrent ear infections, itchy skin or feet, digestive issues, arthritis, allergies, or other disease? If so, it is possible that annual vaccinations will aggravate, or may have even caused, these problems. If your pet is not exuding perfect health, he/she should not be vaccinated.
When you order an Alternative Vaccination Schedule, our Holistic Veterinarian Dr Renee will provide you with the following information:
- How to safely minimise the number of vaccines your pet is receiving;
- How to safely reduce the frequency of vaccine administration;
- An outline of the immunisation process and current scientific recommendations;
- A discussion of antibody titre tests, that can help to ensure your pet is continually protected against life-threatening diseases like Parvovirus for their lifetime;
- A suggested timeline for necessary vaccines and antibody titre tests.
This is an online service, and so your regular Veterinarian will continue to perform all health checks, any necessary vaccinations, and antibody titre tests that ensure continuing protection, as per the timeline provided in the schedule.
WHY CHANGE FROM AN ANNUAL VACCINATION SCHEDULE?
Annual vaccinations can endanger the health of your pet.
Current scientific recommendation is to tailor a vaccine schedule for each individual pet.
There is no scientific basis for annual vaccination boosters.
The majority of Veterinarians in Australia are continuing to recommend annual booster vaccinations for most pets, despite mounting evidence that suggests annual vaccinations can endanger the life and health of many pets.
The validity of administering annual booster vaccinations to adult pets has been questioned for more than 15 years. In 1983, Dr Jean Dodds, a world-renowned vaccine research scientist, immunology specialist and qualified Veterinarian, identified a link between life-threatening autoimmune disease and over-vaccination. In 1992 concurring literature began to appear and the conclusion was drawn that annual vaccination was a widespread practice that had no scientific basis.
It has been shown by recent scientific studies that adult dogs properly vaccinated with most Distemper/Parvovirus/Infectious Hepatitis (C3) vaccines likely have immunity to these diseases for seven years or longer, possibly for their lifetime, in the absence of any repeat vaccination.
Studies done with recommended feline vaccines (Feline Panleukopaenia Virus, Calicivirus and Herpes Virus Type I, known as F3 vaccines), have shown a minimum duration of immunity of greater than three years. What’s more, it is known that vaccine ‘boosters’ in an adequately protected animal do not actually boost their immune status further, but can over-stimulate the immune system and increase the likelihood of side effects.
This means, if your adult pet dog or cat has had a vaccine administered in the last 3 years, it is extremely likely that he still retains adequate immunity from that vaccine and does not require a 'booster' shot.
WHY HAVE VETS BEEN RECOMMENDING ANNUAL VACCINATIONS?
A vaccination consultation includes a HEALTH CHECK.
For years the majority of Veterinarians in Australia have been recommending annual booster vaccinations in line with vaccine label guidelines. Most Vets do not perceive there to be a problem with administering annual booster vaccinations, as it means the pet is seen every year for a health check. There is concern amongst the veterinary industry that without the need for annual booster shots, pet owners may not visit their Vet for health checks, and that consequently pets may suffer from diseases or other problems that remain undiagnosed and untreated.
It is extremely important for pets to visit their Veterinarian at least once a year for a health check. One year in a pet's life is equivalent to roughly 5-7 human years, and many signs of ill-health in our pets are subtle and insidious. Astute pet owners will pick up on signs of ill-health, but many pets live amongst busy lives and households, and subtle signs of disease such as weight loss, increased drinking, tartar build-up, stiff joints, gastrointestinal upset, a new lump, and cognitive dysfunction may go unnoticed. By visiting your Veterinarian regularly, it is more likely that these symptoms will be picked up early and appropriate treatment or lifestyle changes implemented to address them.
ARE VACCINES SAFE?
The safety of multiple vaccine administration is in doubt.
Side effects from vaccination are common, and often go unrecognised as being related to a vaccine.
Side effects from vaccination range from local swelling and lump formation at the vaccination site, to localised or generalised itching, swelling or hives, to more severe side effects such as lethargy, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea, to life-threatening anaphylaxis, shock, collapse and death. Malignant cancers (feline sarcomas) have been proven to be related to vaccine administration. Dr Jean Dodds, a specialist in the field of vaccine research, also reports stiffness, sore joints, abdominal tenderness, susceptibility to infections, neurological disorders and encephalitis, behaviour changes, autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, immune-mediated thrombocytopaenia, liver and kidney failure, bone marrow suppression, transient seizures, autoimmune thyroiditis, polyneuropathy and hypertrophic osteodystrophy as possible vaccine reactions. Many of these post-vaccination syndromes are life-threatening. They may not be immediate, but can occur up to 45 days post-vaccination.
A significant increase in the number of reactions is seen when multiple vaccines are administered at the same time. If more than two vaccines are administered at the same time, the risk of reaction increases dramatically. It is standard practice in Australia to administer multiple vaccines to both dogs and cats, with many puppies and adult dogs routinely receiving vaccines containing 7 or more different disease antigens per dose, with little regard for the actual risk of infection for each disease in that particular pet. Some of the diseases that are commonly vaccinated against, including canine distemper, canine infectious hepatitis, and feline panleukopaenia, are so rare in Australia these days they are considered almost extinct. Vaccination for these diseases beyond the first adult booster shot is almost always unnecessary.
Certain breeds of dogs and cats appear to be more susceptible to adverse vaccine reactions. If an animal has a vaccine reaction, it is likely to be more severe the following year, and it is likely that relatives of that pet will also be prone to vaccine reactions. It is unknown what potentially damaging cumulative effects annual 'booster' vaccination may have over the lifetime of an animal. There is increasing evidence that over-vaccination hyper-stimulates the immune system, and can be conducive to or aggravate disease development, including autoimmune bleeding disorders, chronic allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, epilepsy and cancer.
Finally, it is clearly stated on every vaccine label that 'only healthy pets should be vaccinated'. Thus, if your pet is acutely unwell, has a fever, an ear infection, a skin condition, or has chronic illness of any kind such as epilepsy, cancer, allergies, kidney problems, pancreatitis, diabetes, Cushing's disease, or arthritis, he/she should not be vaccinated and could be at increased risk of vaccine reactions.
MY VET HAS NEVER WARNED ME ABOUT POSSIBLE VACCINE REACTIONS OR SIDE EFFECTS?
Please monitor your pet for vaccine reactions and side effects.
Many Vets believe they are doing the right thing by performing health checks annually and at the same time administering what they think is an innocuous vaccine 'booster'. Most vaccine consults are short and if your pet has not been seen or reported to have had a vaccine reaction in the past, they are considered low-risk. It is up to you to monitor your pet for 6 weeks following vaccine administration, and report to your Veterinarian any changes to their health or temperament. We include a list of possible side effects to watch for following vaccination when you purchase an individualised vaccination protocol for your pet.
WHY VACCINATE AT ALL?
Certain vaccinations administered at appropriate intervals are necessary to ensure the health and safety of your pet.
Vaccinations prime the immune system to recognise the disease and react quickly should the body come into contact with it. Because the immune system is primed, immunity is stimulated much more rapidly when a vaccinated animal comes into contact with that disease, and the body is able to mount a defence. Thus if a dog comes into contact with parvovirus and has been vaccinated appropriately (and responded to the vaccine), he/she will immediately mount an immune response which will prevent infection. In an unvaccinated animal, the disease is likely to manifest, particularly if the animal’s immune system is immature, or if the pet’s health is compromised by other factors such as poor diet or stressful living environment.
Parvovirus is the one remaining life-threatening disease frequently seen in dogs in Australia, and feline viral respiratory diseases are still very common. Our customised vaccination schedule ensures your pet is protected against any severe diseases they are likely to come into contact with.
A SHOUT (ROAR!) OUT TO THE VETERINARY COMMUNITY
Annual vaccination has long been standard practice in Australia, despite long-standing scientific evidence that immunity from a single vaccination in most adult pets is significantly longer than 12 months, and growing evidence that vaccine reactions and side effects are more common, and more insidious, than believed. Annual booster vaccinations may be endangering the life and health of our pets. Current vaccination protocols practiced around Australia must change, but regardless of this it is important that pet owners are educated as to their options, and vaccine protocols are individualised. Both risks and benefits must be determined for the individual animal, and the owner educated of the risks as well as the benefits. Informed owner consent is vital, and a blanket multivalent annual vaccination protocol is obsolete.