Vaccines introduce viruses into the immune system of our dogs each
time they are injected. The purpose of injecting a virus into your dogs system is to expose the system to the
virus but avoid the illness that accompanies the virus when introduced naturally.
Both live and dead viruses are used in vaccines for dogs, with
live viruses offering a more naturally similar character to the actual disease.
Live vaccines seem to provide more protection against contracting
the dreaded disease but some veterinarians say that dead viruses are preferable to preclude contraction of
the disease as a result of the vaccination.
Regularvaccination of dogs has for years played a part in keeping our
dogs healthy and supporting the cause of public health.
the rabies vaccine as an example, studies have demonstrated that when dogs receive rabies vaccinations, there
is a corresponding decrease in the reported incidents of rabies in people.
Vaccines are generally classified as either core vaccines or
non-core vaccines chosen by recommendation.
Examples of core or required vaccines are canine distemper, canine, parvovirus, canine hepatitis,
Examples of non core vaccines are bordatella for kennel cough,
canine parainfluenza, Lyme disease, canine coronavirus, giardia vaccine and rattlesnake
Veterinarians are now considering a myriad of factors prior to
recommending a vaccine protocol. For example, if a dog is always at home, a vaccine to protect against kennel
cough is not necessary.
Lyme disease vaccinations are not needed for dogs that don’t live
in the regions of the country where this problem does not present itself.
A variety of opinions exist as to the efficacy and advantage of
frequent vaccinations. Some of the arguments against frequent, excessive andannual vaccination include
adverse consequences, suppressed immunology, and impairment of long term health resulting in a shorter life
span for dogs.
Can the Rabies Vaccine Be Dangerous to Your Dog's
Vaccine manufacturers have been reformulating their
vaccines to last for three years as opposed to the previous one year norm. This attempt by the manufacturers
is in response to calls by advocates and some veterinarians who have called for a three year vaccine life and
This on its face seems to have some merit. But vaccine experts are
not easily convinced. For example the American Animal Hospiatl Association ( AAHA,) reports
“…there is growing professional and public
awareness that vaccine products are not
as benign as first believed, and controversy exists as to duration of immunity and frequency of
administration. Vaccine administration is a medical procedure with which, as with any medical decision, there
are benefits as well as attendant risks”
Vaccines have beneficial qualities as acknowledged by the AAHA. A
good example of this would be the previously mentioned rabies vaccine. Some believe that when utilized
on a three year interval, the rabies vaccine has had a positive impact on dog and public
Others suggest that the rabies vaccine remains effective for
5- tem years or more... even for life. This is closer to my non veterinary "lay" view after years
of reading and personal study
The excessive and frequent vaccination of our dogs can be risky.
Dogs that are vaccinated needlessly are subject to more diseases and disorders than dogs that are not
excessively vaccinated. This is because the immune system of the dog has been
The approach of extending the duration of time for vaccine life
has been recently been extended by veterinary teaching hospitals and some private veterinarians. A gradual
awareness is emerging that when a dog is bombarded with vaccines, the attack on the dog’s system and her long
term health may outweigh any potential benefit from the vaccination protocol.
“Vaccinations are not always effective, and they may cause long-lasting health
disturbances.” p. 321
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Dr Pitcairn further states that vaccinations may “ cause an acute disease or a
chronic health problem.” p.322 Examples of conditions that may be attributed to the introduction
of vaccines in dogs include, but is not limited to, immune disorders, thyroid problems, allergies, and skin
As the debate continues there seems to be a gradual move in the
direction of fewer vaccinations. Many veterinarians now ascribe to the philosophy that a more natural, coomon
sense approach to vaccinations is in order, as opposed to blanket vaccinations for all dogs on a regular
Dogs that are not boarded probably don’t need a vaccination
against kennel cough. Lyme disease is prevalent only in a few areas of the U.S. Unless you live in one of
those regions, this vaccination is not necessary.
A typical visit to a veterinary office may result in
recommendations for up to sixteen vaccinations for your dog. Before giving your veterinarian consent to give
your dog ANY vaccines, ask him to explain the possible risks associated with each
With the right information, you can keep your dog healthy, extend
her life and save on veterinary bills. Learn how at