Annual Vaccinations – Are They Necessary?

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Annual Vaccinations – Are They Necessary?

Annual VaccinationsAre annual vaccinations for your dog really necessary?

You probably receive an annual reminder from your vet that your dog is due for his/her annual checkup and vaccinations. I do.

But annual vaccinations are NOT a necessity. In fact, all current veterinary protocols indicate that annual vaccinations are not required, and can in fact be harmful.

I don’t have my dogs vaccinated any more.

For years I believed that vaccinations were essential to my dogs’ health. Why else would my vet tell me my dogs needed an annual booster vaccination shot year after year after year?

Why indeed.

I learned the answer to this conundrum when, after careful research, I decided not to expose my dogs to what I believe is unnecessary, and potentially dangerous, toxins, any more.

I received the letter from my vet as usual, advising that my dogs’ annual checkup and vaccinations were due.

I made an appointment and arrived ready to do battle. I advised the vet that I had decided not to have my dogs vaccinated any more. She said “Fine.”

That’s right – after years of leading me to believe that these vaccinations were essential to my dogs’ wellbeing, the vet agreed that they were not in fact necessary at all!

She went on to stress the importance of still bringing the dogs in for their annual physical checkup (which was exactly what I was doing, and certainly intended to continue to do).

What do you make of that?Annual Vaccinations

I’m not naturally a cynical person, and I like to believe that there is no less ethical reason that vets continue to insist on annual vaccinations, but there are many who believe that a large proportion of vets continue to insist on something that’s not only unnecessary but can actually harm your dog, just so they don’t lose out on the (considerable) income they receive from the practise of vaccinating all pets every year.

But even giving vets the benefit of the doubt, there’s still, at best, some deception going on here. We’re all told that our dogs need annual vaccinations as a ploy to get us in so our dogs can be given a physical. Why not just tell us how important these annual checkups are instead of slowly but surely poisoning our dogs with these vaccines?

I don’t have the answer to that, but I can tell you I was speechless when I heard my vet’s response.

Some of the protocols I mentioned above do not recommend any vaccinations for dogs beyond 1 year of age! Some recommend vaccinations for adult dogs every 5 years or every 3 years, but these recommendations seem to be based on a “better safe than sorry” approach rather than any hard evidence that dogs need booster vaccinations past the age of 1 year.

So make sure you ask your vet next time a vaccination has been recommended for your dog – it this really necessary? And if you’re not satisfied with the answer, consider getting a second opinion from another vet.

Side effects of this appalling over-vaccination which has been going on for years can be significant and severe. See Bailey’s Story for an example of just what damage vaccinations can do.

You can clear your dog’s system from all toxins by Removing Toxins NaturallyClick Here.]

Annual Vaccinations

And if you’re not quite ready to give annual vaccinations the flick, and/or if you’re interested in homeopathic remedies instead of vaccinations, there are some wonderful ones available:

Parvovirus homeopathic vaccination.

Distemper homeopathic vaccination.

Kennel Cough homeopathic vaccination.

The great thing is that these are natural pet vaccination alternatives. They can’t harm your dog, and they can give you peace of mind!

Please note, however, that I personally would not use these homeopathic remedies for puppies instead of vaccinations. Although some people do believe these remedies can be substituted for vaccinations from birth, I am not convinced that they are a viable alternative to puppy vaccinations. The diseases that are vaccinated against are very serious diseases, and for this reason, I would never advocate doing away with vaccinations altogether. Puppy vaccinations are considered essential by most experts, including those who propound the view that adult dogs do not need to be vaccinated.

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35 thoughts on “Annual Vaccinations – Are They Necessary?

  1. Madeleine

    Hi Brigitte! Happy Thanksgiving. I’m sure you’re busy, but if you have any time, I would love a response. I have a 5 1/2 mo. puppy who (from the breeder) got over vaccinated (series plus Hep B and Lepto!) at 6 and 10 wks. Her vet informed me they did this b/c they weaned early due to mom having low calcium levels.

    I am confused that my vet told me to come for 3rd series, but when I brought her in, he said she didn’t need them this time of year! Would those 2 series she received early be enough?

    I also brought my 1 yr. old in (both are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels) for a check up, and he didn’t think he needed anything either! I’m glad he doesn’t over-vaccinate (although he keeps pushing Lepto b/c his dog died of it)– but I don’t want a vet that under-vaccinates either.

    Should the puppy get another series and should the older dog get his first and only booster? We live in Long Island, NY. Thanks so much for your time, Madeline.

  2. Brigitte Smith

    Hi Madeleine,

    Wow, I don’t often hear from someone who is concerned their vet might be undervaccinating!! In fact, you’re the first!

    I’m not an expert at all in whether and when puppies should receive vaccinations and what type, etc.

    I can only speak in very general terms about the subject. In general terms, it appears to be scientifically established that annual vaccinations are NOT necessary.

    But beyond that, there are a number of different schools of thought. Some experts believe that adult dogs should be vaccinated every three years. Some every five years. Some believe adult dogs never need to be vaccinated.

    As for puppy vaccinations, most experts favor them, but then there’s some disagreement on how many vaccinations puppies should have, and also the types, and whether the different types should all be given together or separately, etc.

    Another issue with puppies is whether they associate with other dogs. If they don’t then less vaccinating may be sufficient as well.

    And lastly, there are those who favor homeopathic “vaccinations” (see my post above for details of those), from birth, and never give actual vaccinations. I imagine these experts would only include purely homeopathic / holistic vets.

    Taking all of the information that I have gathered, I personally have concluded that what’s best for me and my dogs (and any future dogs I may have), is that I will opt for the minimum possible vaccinations my vet will agree with for puppies. And once they’re twelve months old, I don’t intend to vaccinate any of my dogs again. I’ll use the homeopathic remedies, and I’ll have the dogs titer tested every five years.

    But I stress that this is just me.

    Everyone should make their own decisions on this, and those decisions should be made in consultation with a vet you trust.

    Madeleine, personally I’d be very happy to have a vet like yours, and would be more than happy to forego puppy vaccinations if my vet said this was fine.

    But that’s me!

    Regards,
    Brigitte

  3. Dion

    Hi,
    I just want to comment that it seems a little dangerous that you are advocating people to not vaccinate their dogs in your first post and preaching the evils of it, then making the comment;

    “I’m not an expert at all in whether and when dogs should receive vaccinations and what type, etc”

    upon response to a comment, then giving the disclaimer that you conclude that this is only what is best for me and for everyione to make up their own minds. The herbal suppliment that you seem to be advocating seems an expensive option. The testimonials are worthless. A case study proves nothing. Rigorous testing gives knowledge about viruses and vaccinations. There is a reason that dogs with homeopathic vaccinations are not allowed in to kennels, training yards or puppy classes. I am infuriated that you make the point that people should avoid vaccinating their dogs yearly, leave links to expensive herbal suppliments, and clarify later that you dont know about vaccinations. Your motives seem highly questionable and your comments are very dangerous. I dont believe that yearly vaccinations are required either, but I would rather have peace of mind when my dog is playing with unfamiliar dogs at the park, who might be carrying pathogens. I dearly hope your titer test is favourable.

    What people should be taking is a pinch of salt with your story. Next time I would suggest you open your advertisement with your follow up disclamer, and then sell your herbal “meds”.

  4. Brigitte Smith

    Hello Dion,

    First post? This isn’t my first post. – ? – I started this site in July 2007 and posted fairly regularly since then, this post being made in November 2007.
    Anyway, not to quibble with things that aren’t important, I’ll go on to the rest of what you say.

    My reply to Madeleine was specifically in relation to vaccinations for puppies, as Madeleine was asking me for advice on vaccinating her puppy that I am not qualified to give. My understanding is that puppy vaccinations ARE required. Annual vaccinations thereafter are not.

    I may not be an expert on puppy vaccinations, Dion, but the evidence is very clear – dogs do NOT need to be vaccinated annually. There is some debate about whether vaccinations are needed once every three years or once every five years, or never in adult dogs. But annual vaccinating is over-vaccinating. It’s not necessary, and there seems to be considerable evidence that it can cause all sorts of harm.

    And all vets should be well aware of the protocols that clearly state that annual vaccinations are not required. For whatever reason, the majority of them choose to ignore those protocols. I like to think that most of them do it in order to ensure that pet owners bring their pets in every year for an annual checkup (which IS important). But there are many people who are adamant that the main motivation is profit.

    As for my “advertisement” – I clearly state that annual vaccinations are not required. As an alternative to pet owners, I mention the homeopathic alternatives to vaccinations. My suggestion in this regard is two-fold:

    1. Peace of mind – a natural alternative to the potentially damaging vaccines that pet owners might otherwise be persuaded to keep giving their pets.
    2. There are some boarding kennels who will accept pets who have had the homeopathic vaccinations (many don’t, but there some that do).

    Finally:

    My comments are not “very dangerous” as you assert – the evidence is clear – annual vaccinations are not necessary.

    And I am unable to see why you feel that my “motives seem highly questionable” – I do not advocate that people purchase “expensive herbal meds” as you assert. I simply provide an alternative to vaccinations for people to consider as an option should they so choose.

    Hope this clarifies things.

    Regards,
    Brigitte Smith

  5. May

    Hi Brigitte,

    I took my little dog to a new vet to get her nails clipped and, while I was there, thought I’d sound him out for his views on vaccinations. He accepted my views that annual shots were not necessary, though he clearly disagreed and told me he’d seen more harm done from ‘preventable illnesses’ than he had through bad vaccine reactions. I didn’t ask if he meant dogs that had *never* been vaccinated – I wish I had.

    Anyway, to my suggestion that I would like Marley done every 3 years he offered me a dose that was 3 times as strong! Arggghhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We just settled for the nail clipping and thanked him and came home, but he was a very nice man so I will go to him again for checkups.

    In regards to the post above this – thank you for all your research and for sharing what you have found out. I have always found you to be very clear that you are passing on information, not claiming supremacy for yourself.

    All the best,
    May

  6. Brigitte Smith

    Hi May,

    Er, yes, … I agree with your comment on your vet offering a dose three times as strong – Arggghhhh!!!!!!!! indeed! That’s unbelievable.

    If you have confidence in this vet for other types of advice, that’s great – it’s always important to have a good rapport with your vet. But continue to ask lots of questions – particularly when he’s suggesting drug treatments and the like.

    Regards,
    Brigitte

  7. Mary Anne

    I moved to Georgia two years ago. My part lhasa apso and poodle had a 3 year rabies shot in 2006. He has been healthy, I need Heartgard, This vet refuses to give it to me if my dog doesn’t have all the “necessary” shots. He has had them for 7 years, and I don’t want him to have more. I don’t know if I can find a vet who won’t insist on those shots. I think Heartgard affects him. He seems to feel a little ill the next day after he takes it. He also acts a little confused after he takes Heartgard. Do you think that causes it?

  8. Pat

    I think Dion needs to do some serious research! My dog almost died from over-vaccination! She was vaccinated in response to our vet’s notice stating that annual boosters are essential to ensure dogs don’t catch the deadly diseases being vaccinated against. The vaccinating veterinarian hadn’t a clue as to what was wrong with the dog after the vaccination and suggested she needed a CT scan of her brain. I declined, as a general anesthetic would have been very risky with the neurological signs exhibited by my dog at that time. I instead took the dog to a holistic veterinarian who told me she sees “about 20 dogs a week” that have suffered to varying degrees from over-vaccination. My dog eventually recovered after several months of homeopathic treatment during which time I started doing my own research. My researching led to the development of this website Moreover, a friend, who is a research scientist (Viral Immunologist/Vaccinologist) was absolutely horrified that dogs are given modified live virus vaccines every 12 months, and she made the distinction between ‘scientists’ and ‘clinicians’. The former is educated and the latter is trained i.e. subject to being programed by commercial vested interests. With unnecessary over vaccinating, there is not only the health of the dog to consider but the concern over effects on the environment of virus shedding following the procedure. There are many reports of ‘new’ viruses that are believed to have mutated from ‘known’ viruses and each successive mutation poses a risk. My dog has not been vaccinated since 2003. She no longer suffers from allergic dermatitis – a growing problem with dogs and which no doubt stems at least in part from this routine veterinary procedure. We’ve traveled across the continent from Perth to Tasmania and back and she’s remained healthy. She’s also my Assistance Dog, so is not an animal that has her health neglected or in whom a problem will go unnoticed. Brigitte, I commend you in trying to help raise public awareness of this issue.

  9. Kaz

    Ok, I dont know how you do things over in the US but here in Australia i have NEVER EVER heard of a dog being “overvaccinated”. I recently bought a Kelpie Puppy That If he was vaccinated when we got him he may not have cost us well over a thousand dollars, Vaccinatins are ESSENTIAL in preventing diseases such as PARVOVIRUS which other than a vaccination to protect your dog from it the dog has to get the virus and actually be one of the 0.01% that actually survive to develop an immunity. My kelpie puppy got PARVOVIRUS due to not being vaccinated and TRUST me you do not want to watch a dog of any age go through parvovirus my dog managed to survive by the skin of his teeth and was one of the first puppies that my vets had seen actually pull through out of 19 dogs 2 survived the rest had to be put down. I believe that IMO puppies need to have the 3 vaccinations then after that a vaccination every 2-5 yrs depending on what vaccination it is. As i said i have never ever heard of an “overvaccination” i have however heard of dogs having side effects of vaccinations and the RARE few that have had an allergic reaction. If you choose not to vaccinate your dog the only way to prevent the dog from getting something like parvo is to never let it outside not even for a walk.

  10. Julie

    I am about to take my three year old Japanese Shiba Inu for her annual jabs – I can’t get health insurance for her here in the UK unless she is vaccinated annually. Having had a Whippet with auti immune disease I am very unhappy about these annual jabs.
    You mentioned a “protocol” about not vaccinating every year – where can I find this as I would like to discuss it with my vet. If my vet said the dog didn’t need the booster then I think that the insuramce company would accept it.

  11. Laura Cornwell

    Hi Brigitte and others,
    This vaccination thing has me a little frightened. I don’t think animals need all these shots, but we travel full time in an RV and there are times when ‘authorities’ such as at the borders of the US and Canada or Mexico, ask to see vaccination papers. I do plan to get a rabies shot for my one year old pup, but haven’t vaccinated her for anything else since the four shot series she had as a little puppy. I’m hoping if I keep her rabies shots ‘up to date’ I’ll be able to travel freely with her and not have to worry about her being put in doggie jail for vaccine violations. It just doesn’t make sense that dogs have to have these shots each and every year but our kids don’t. I’ll have the titres done every five years and let it go.
    Thanks for the information and keep the conversation going. In spite of what the Doubters of the world think, the only way good change comes around is when people question the status quo and don’t allow junk science to rule the day. While I’m also not sold on the ‘holistic’ alternatives to vaccines, keeping an open mind is necessary to change and I’ll keep my eyes open for new studies done by real scientists on these matters.
    I have taken my dog’s diet very seriously as well and find it much easier than I had first thought to feed her healthily. AND I don’t have to haul around stinky kibble in my motor home. It’s sites like this one that helps people make change and gives confidence and support to people who can see a change is needed.
    While I’m at it, what do you think about all the suppliment crazes lately? Seems to me they are closely mimicing the human suppliment industry here in the States, and it kind of amuses me that people are convinced that what is good for them just must be good for their animals, too.
    Take care and happy days,
    Laura

  12. Arne

    Hello Brigitte !

    Can you please answer a very urgent question for me? I am in a dilemma. I received a notification in the mail from my local county animal control office stating that I had 15 days to send in proof that my Cocker Spaniel has been immunized against Rabies. She was last immunized in Oct. 2005 and I still have the certificate that was issued at that time, but I never applied for a license because I feared that once she was in their records they would require me to have her vaccinated against Rabies on a yearly basis, which I do not approve of because I fear annual vaccinations would harm my pet. Our local government is requiring me to have her licensed and I will have to pay penalties for the delay. What can I do to prevent my dog from having to be vaccinated for Rabies EVERY SINGLE YEAR?? It’s the law that it must be done, but I don’t want my pet subjected to this unnecessary health hazard and I fear for her safety. Is there any way to get around this madness? Please help. Thank you.

    Arne

  13. Brigitte Smith

    Hello Arne,

    Unfortunately there are places where it is law that animals be vaccinated against Rabies. I did hear that if the dog has any health issues it’s possible for a vet to certify that because of the health issues (whatever they may be), the dog should not be vaccinated, and that exemptions can be made on this basis. I’m not sure whether this is the case in all locations, and it’s only of use if your dog does have any kind of medical condition that could be relied upon to gain the exemption.

    Otherwise, all you can do is lobby your local government representatives, and encourage all your friends, relatives and neighbours to do the same.

    There is ample evidence, as you’re probably aware, that these vaccinations are NOT essential (and can in fact cause harm). The problem is getting these government agencies to read the evidence and legislate to remove the requirement for annual shots.

    Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

    Regards,
    Brigitte

  14. Brigitte Smith

    Hello Laura,

    Thanks for your kind comments. I really appreciate it.

    I do think that supplements can be very helpful for dogs (and humans). I hear what you say about the “supplement crazes” – it is sometimes difficult to know what’s useful and what is people just jumping on the bandwagon to make a quick buck.

    As for the homeopathic alternatives to vaccinations, I personally don’t use them, but they can be useful to provide greater peace of mind for pet owners who are reluctant to give their dogs nothing.

    Regards,
    Brigitte

  15. Anne Blanchette

    Brigitte,

    I have stopped vaccinations in my dogs since 2006 and I am feeding raw since then as well.

    I breed golden retrievers and none of my pups get vaccinated. I give options on vaccinations to my new puppy owners but most agree they don’t want to vaccinated or minimal vaccinations. We titer all are dogs and all are doing very well!

    I do not vaccinate the puppies at all and I let the owners decide which protocol to take.

    One is to have the puppies first shot at 14 weeks and then titer.
    Two is to not vaccinate at all and then titer at 4-5 months. (Pups show coverage)

    I then titer once a year to keep the vets happy.

    So far I have found that all my pups who have not been vaccinated are healthy and happy. They all have been titered and have coverage.

    I have more and more people searching for breeders like me who don’t vaccinated and who feed raw. I had a family from PA and NY drive 8-10 hours to meet me and they both wanted a chemical free puppy. My NY family are on my list again for my next litter.

    I have many breeder friends and customers who have lost pups and or their beloved dogs to vaccination and or who have life long health issues because of vaccinating. I am one of them.

    Many of my customers are fed up with all the toxic things are dogs have to endure and want an alternative way to raise their pets.

    Less chemicals around and in the house and of course in and on our pets is best.

    Anne Blanchette

  16. Sharon

    Hi Brigitte

    Hope you are well.I need some advice on vaccinations.I am against yearly boosters.Dr Andrew Jones says that one should give the puppy shots,booster at 1yr and then every 3 years.What is your advice.My dilemma is that my 7 month old pup had to have half of his lower left jaw bone removed due to squamous cell carcinoma.He is now due for his annual booster.Do I vaccinate him?I have read that vaccinations can cause cancer.What would you do if he was your dog?

    Kind regards
    Sharon
    South Africa

  17. Brigitte Smith

    Hi Sharon,

    Quite a dilemma.

    The protocols do recommend that puppies be vaccinated. They differ on vaccinations for adult dogs. Some experts recommend vaccinating once every 3 years, some once every 5 years, and some say they are never required for adult dogs.

    And yes, my understanding is that vaccinations have been implicated in a multitude of problems, including cancer. Certainly it is possible for cancer to develop (more in cats, but it is known in dogs) at any site of trauma, including injection trauma – so this is not even the vaccination itself – just the fact that a needle delivers it.

    All complications must be weighed against the possibility that your dog may contract one of the diseases that vaccinations are designed to protect, and these diseases certainly are serious, and often fatal.

    Please see Anne Blanchette’s comment just above your query. Anne is a breeder who no longer vaccinates her dogs OR her puppies, although she gives the people who purchase her puppies options in relation to vaccinating those puppies.

    Is titer testing available where you are? (I know it’s not available everywhere. In Australia it is available, but it has only been available at one location, so everywhere else has had to send the samples for testing often to the other side of the country – and Australia is of course huge!) Ask your vet if titer testing is available if you don’t already know this. And be aware that some vets RESIST this option. The fellow in Australia who set up the titer testing lab a few years back (who, incidentally, like you is from South Africa) received many threats from vets (believe it or not) especially when he first set up the lab – some vets just want the money from the vaccinations. I didn’t want to believe this and used to think it was a cynical view of a minority, but no longer. It unfortunately is a fact – although I’m sill sure that the vast majority of vets are not like this.

    I can’t answer for you what I would do in your position. If titering is not available, or if the result of the titer doesn’t establish immunity (it doesn’t always, even when the immunity is there), the question is even more difficult for you. Only you can decide, Sharon. But hopefully there’s sufficient food for thought and information here to assist you with your decision.

    Again, let me stress that I have no veterinary training or medical knowledge at all. I’m simply putting forward all of the options as I understand them.

    Regards,
    Brigitte

  18. Sharon

    Tx very much for the reply.

    I will ask my vet if he can do vaccine Antibody titre tests.

    What is your view if I were to give my dog Vi Pro plus and Parvo K from Pet Alive instead of vaccinating him?

    These products are available in South Africa. Will they give him immunity against Distemper and Parvo virus?

    Kind regards
    Sharon

  19. Brigitte Smith

    Hi again Sharon,

    I don’t have personal experience of these homeopathic remedies. I understand that they do work very well and I know people who swear by them, but I can’t give you any personal feedback on them. I do use other homeopathic remedies to great effect, but haven’t used the homeopathic vaccine alternatives. I haven’t needed to consider them because my dogs were, unfortunately, before I knew any better, vaccinated annually for the larger part of their lives. So they have probable lifelong immunity now.

    Regards,
    Brigitte

  20. leanne

    i also live in australia and i dont vaccinate my dogs. I got zeena when she was 6months old, NEVER been vaccinated and she is so healthy. She is now 3. Chewie i got at 4mths from the pound, i assume he had at least one of his shots and he is huge. He is now 18mths. Charlie i got at 8wks. being a spoodle i thought he might be more susceptible so he has had two of his shots and thats it. He is 14wks. The first two are outside dogs, eat very well, are active and for some reason do not have fleas. Zeena is, however, allergic to grass seeds when it gets too long. that is the only problem of my dogs. I dont agree with vaccinations nor do i disagree with them. I think it is a very personal thing. All you can do is research both sides and make a decision for yourself. i dont think this site advocates anything. it is very clear that this is just an opinion and what has worked for Brigitte.
    Parvo, i believe stays in the soil. so if you have had a problem with previous dogs getting it, you will have to vaccinate all future dogs who live on that property. That is what i have heard. i havent researched it because i have never had a problem with it.

  21. Brigitte Smith

    Mary Anne, Pat and Kaz,

    I’m really sorry I haven’t addressed your comments earlier.

    Mary Anne – I’m not entirely sure what your question is, but, yes, Heartgard tablets are basically chemicals that prevent heartworm by killing the microfilia before they grow into heartworms. Heartgard medication certainly can be toxic to dogs. There are natural heartworm prevention alternatives available if you’re interested. It’s what I use for my dogs.

    As for the vaccinations, you can read what everyone has said here. Rabies is compulsory by law in some places. If that’s the case where you are, then there’s not a lot you can do, although I believe it is possible to get an exemption by supplying a certificate from your vet if your dog suffers from any type of medical condition that would be compromised by vaccinating.

    Otherwise, if you’re unhappy with what your vet is telling you (and I would be), then find another vet who doesn’t hold you to randsome like this one is basically doing.

    Pat – well said! I love the distinction you make between scientists (who are educated) and clinicians (who are trained – including by those with a vested interest). That’s just so true. And it is the explanation as to why vets prescribe meds that are not good forour pets, and recommend food that is absolute rubbish.

    Kaz – what you say about puppies needing to be vaccinated, and dogs needing vaccinations every 2 to 5 years, is completely consistent with all the protocols. But most vets in Australia still advocate annual vaccinations (which is not consistent with those protocols and does, to my mind, amount to over-vaccinating).

    Regards,
    Brigitte

  22. Bill

    Dear Brigitte,

    I stopped giving booster injections some years ago. Prior to making this decision I lost three of my favourite boy cats to cancer and I am sure this was caused by these unnecessary and dangerous injections.

    Only recently did I realize that each vaccine should be given seperately so as to cause as little damage to the immune system as possible.l think the importance of this should be really stressed.(The practice of administering combi vaccines to humans is now causing all sorts of nasty health problems.)

    I do still think one should give the innitial shots for the most serious diseases, but ONCE is enough !!

    Hope all well down there.

    Kind regards, Bill.

  23. Brigitte Smith

    Hello Bill,

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the cancer in your cats was caused or contributed to by the vaccinations. Cats seem particularly susceptible to developing cancer at the site of injections (any type of injection – vaccinations included), quite apart from the risk of the vaccination itself.

    And yes, you’re absolutely right. Giving the vaccines separately is certainly an important precaution.

    Regards,
    Brigitte

  24. Wanda

    Thank you so much for your article on Bailey’s story.

    Our Maggie, a Welsh Corgie, developed the same problem with her second set of puppy shots. She is now 1 year old and has gone through 6 months of steroids.

    We did get her on 4Life transfer factor and she is doing fine. We are approaching the time for her Vet check-up and just know they will want to try the vaccinations again. I need to check into what is legally required and only allow that.

    Thank you for all your newsletters.

    May God Bless,
    Wanda

  25. Brigitte Smith

    Hi Wanda,

    That’s a great idea to find out what is compulsory by the law of your state, and only vaccinate if it is a legal requirement.

    Poor Maggie. At least she’s doing well now. The Transfer Factor products seem to be excellent for boosting immunity, and especially where steroids have been given over a prolonged period as they have with Maggie.

    Regards,
    Brigitte

  26. Patricia

    You just have to question all the vacinnes if every time ur pet goes to get it and gets sick…i would say this is a definate sign there is something wrong with the ethics which are established for our pets among people that do not have to worry about the care of this pet once illness prevails…
    it also seems many vets are very lacking in their knowledge on the care of pets ..they are only aware of the protocals set forth from the companies peddleing drugs and foods..
    MOST OF THE PET PRODUCTS TODAY DO NOT SEEM TO MEET ANY STANDARDS OR SHALL I SAY QUESTIONABLE STANDARDS…
    Many may not be aware that there were many old remedies which work today as well as they did then for our pets ..but many vets are not aware of these remedies as they do not make money on them..some are more effective than the new ones..
    in my view i see pets living longer that are not exposed to many of the poisons they give such as:
    VACCINES, ANTIBIOTICS ANTINFLAMITORIES AND PAIN MEDS WHICH CAUSE DEATH IN MANY PETS…
    and last but not least..
    THANK U BRIGETTE FOR ALL OF UR INSIGHTS THEY ARE VERY WELL APPRECIATED BY MANY OF US 🙂
    Patricia

  27. Mari

    When i register my dogs/black Labs 4 & 6 yrs old at the town Clerks office here in Town. I need to make sure they are up to date with their rabies shots… which is done every 3 yrs/same time.

    They do not roam, my yard is huge and fenced in, and they get a good workout. Nor do they mingle with other animals. When we do decide to go on Vaca our dogs get their Bordella shot.

    Money is tight lately, i can no longer continue their annual shots. Having both done at the same time cost us alot of money.

    Annual includes:

    Exam Wellness _$61.00

    Medical Waste Disposal Fee_$2.50

    Rabies Canine 3 Year_ $22.00

    Bordella/Para.(Kenn cough)_$22.00

    Lyme Disease Booster Vaccine_$40.00

    Lepto 4 Way Canine Booster_$21.00

    4DX H Worm/Lyme/Ehrlic/anap_$55.00

    Total___________________$425.00

    Are all these shot necessary

    I do make sure they get their Bordella when necessary, and their 3 yr Rabies Shot.

  28. tdcody

    Brigitte, and others:

    Anybody know what puts way more money into a vet’s pocket than vaccines?

    Treating parvo, kennel cough, heartworm, and distemper.

    If you’ve been through any of these with your pet, you probably don’t complain about the cost or risk of vaccination anymore.

    The linked article by Dr. Bertani is very well informed and accurate.

    While vaccines are not benign, and should not be overused, they are still critical to the health of our domestic animal population. Pet owners who don’t vaccinate at all are abusing the privilege of living in a society that is generally responsible about vaccinating – this means the individual risk to one animal is low, but only as long as everyone else keeps vaccinating. Disease control in a population is a community effort. That’s why animals in places without good vaccine compliance are absolutely overwhelmed with diseases that you and I will probably never have to suffer through with our pets. Vaccinating judiciously and minimally (core vaccines for everyone, at appropriate intervals, and non-core vaccines in high-risk situations) is not only intelligent and safe, but it is everyone’s responsibility as members of a community. Avoiding vaccines because you have irrational and uninformed fears about them is selfish and irresponsible. Spend some time volunteering at an animal clinic or shelter in a border town to get an idea of what kinds of horrific diseases run rampant in undervaccinated populations.

    Brigitte, it is fine to warn about unnecessary overvaccination, and you are mostly accurate in your statements about this. But you should refrain from suggesting “homeopathic alternatives” to vaccines. There is no such thing as a homeopathic alternative to a vaccine – these products may provide false peace of mind to the people who use them, but that is all they provide. We are not talking about supplements to keep coats shiny or breath fresh and other trivial things – the diseases we are talking about are miserable, horrific illnesses and the stakes are much, much higher. Until someone proves that pets treated with them can survive infection challenges with rabies, distemper, parvovirus, etc. then it is irresponsible to mention them in this context.

  29. Brigitte Smith

    Mari,

    Cost should never be a factor in determining whether to give your pets vaccinations or any type of treatment or preventive measure.

    As for your question about whether all those specific shots are required, you can see what I have said about vaccinations in the post above.

    There is information about heartworm preventionhere.

    Regards,
    Brigitte

  30. Brigitte Smith

    Hello “tdcody”,

    Thanks for your input.

    I provide the homeopathic remedies there as an alternative. There are many holistic practitioners who are adamant that they do in fact work.

    I have amended the post above to make it very clear that I do not advocate the homeopathic remedies for puppies. Although there is a school of thought that says that vaccinations are not required even for puppies, I certainly do not go that far. I am interested in research in that area, but at this stage I defer to the view of the vast majority of experts (including those who say that annual vaccinations for adult dogs are never required), that puppies should always be vaccinated.

    I believe that titer testing adult dogs every three years is the responsible thing to do.

    Hope that clears up any misconception you may have about what I said in the post.

    Regards,
    Brigitte

  31. Mr. "T"

    I was glad someone could give me a straight answer about rabies vaccinations. Do you have a way around mandatory state, and county laws? My dog enjoys the time outside, but she is an indoor dog. She had her parvo, and primary rabies shots when she was a pup. To make a long story short, I will be thrown in jail unless I get more rabies shots for my dog. I don’t believe a dog needs so many shots. Whatever I tell the judge, he will demand rabies shots every 3 years, and a license renewal every time. Can your comments help? Boy do I need it.

  32. Mr. "T"

    The state, and county “Laws” are nothing but public extortion at it’s best. I don’t agree with these laws, and neither do a lot of other dog owners. They’re just revenue builders, and they take advantage of people who love animals. It’s time for people to take back their judicial systems, and get rid of these corrupt politicians. Thanks for your help, everyone.

  33. Brigitte Smith

    Hi Mr “T”,

    Sorry, I missed your comment.

    Unfortunately there is not much you can do, unless your vet can certify that your dog’s health would be compromised if given the rabies shot. I know there is an exemption given in these circumstances at least in some states where the rabies shot is compulsory. I’m not 100% sure that this is the case in every state, but your vet should know the answer to this.

    Regards,
    Brigitte

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