Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

What are your feelings on vaccines?

3211 Views 37 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  suzette
I was wondering what the general consensus is on here concerning vaccines? Up until about two years ago I'd never given them much thought really...I always just went with what my vet recommended and assumed they knew what was best. I eventually started doing some research into vaccines and can't say that I really liked what I found...

My dogs are a small breed and indoors the majority of the time, I never board them, and I groom them myself. I am now of the feeling that once that have had all of their puppy shots and the first year adult boosters that I only have them vaccinated once every three years (as it's required by law here) for their rabies vaccination and have titer testing done yearly for the rest of their vaccinations. So far, their titer testing has not shown any of their other vaccination levels being low enough that requires "re-vaccination"

I've never had any horribly reverse reactions with any of my dogs concerning vaccines, I just, personally, don't feel good about giving them booster vaccines every year after the research I've done and I'm wondering if I'm in the minority here?

I'm not saying those of you who do vaccinate your dogs yearly are wrong by any means, I think it's a personal decision that you have to make for your own pet...I'm just wondering if there are any other people out there who feel pets are largely being over-vaccinated and have chosen not to vaccinate their pets yearly but to have titer testing done instead?
Not open for further replies.
1 - 9 of 38 Posts
I'm a firm believer in minimal vaccines. WAVA and vets like Jean Dodds and Dee Blanco have done great work in trying to educate vets and owners with the newest scientific data.

I think the best way to sum it up is: the immune system of mammals works the same across species. HUMANS do not need yearly boosters for the entirety of their lives, and neither do dogs. Once you find out that the entire tradition of 'yearly shots' was started on ZERO scientific evidence, and that many vets use that just to get people to come in every year for their checkups, things start falling into place.

That, plus all these scary auto-immune vaccinosis diseases I've been reading about. Very disturbing. Overmedicating our pets is as unhealthy as neglecting them -- there has to be balance. Cancer rates and autoimmune diseases in dogs have skyrocked in the past 25 years or so... that alone makes me very wary of putting chemicals into my dog unless they really need it. Most people do not know that things like mercury and formaldehyde are in vaccines. I know certain vaccines have been proven to cause injection-site cancer in cats.

Titer testing is not always properly understood either, though. They actually mean the most only after a puppy has finished their initial round of shots, to see if they had a proper immune response to the vaccines. The're also good for diagnosing certain things like Lepto.
See less See more
See, I'm not anti-vaccine myself. I understand that because of vaccines, dogs have safer lives now than in the past. But as they say, 'too much medicine is as bad as no medicine at all'.
My personal opinion (how I visualize this issue) is to compare it to animal testing.

You know how they take a rabbit's skin and eye, and put chemicals or ingredients into them, over and over, in high doses, until the rabbit develops a health problem? Even though the chemical or ingredient, in smaller doses, doesn't do harm by itself? It seems the same to me with vaccines.

Our pets have been like lab animals, getting repeated vaccines over and over (which humans do not get) to the point where they are showing health problems because of it. Only getting a few vaccines would not generally have such an effect (though some individuals are allergic, etc). It's because of that constant overdose that an otherwise helpful thing is causing so many problems now. Also, because for many years vaccines were seen as harmless and only able to do good, so they were never examined or questioned, but I think that belief is being shown wrong in recent years.

People need to be more thoughtful and careful about vaccines, instead of just assuming that nothing bad can happen from them.
See less See more

There are some interesting articles here concerning basic immunology in pets and also an interesting article on titer testing...thought some of you might enjoy reading these as well...
Great article, thanks! =)
Well, once the Rabies Challenge gets over, most states will probably move to every 5-7 years eventually. Something to look forward to.
Should I have a titer test done on her just in case, or just not do anything? After reading some of the articles posted, is a titer test worth it?
Titers are good after the initial round of puppy shots. A high titer after those would show that her immune system had a strong response to the vaccines (i.e, they worked). A good distemper/parvo titer is considered a general baseline to determine her overall immunity.
I linked to WAVA's recommended protocol on the previous page. It can be hard to read unless you print it out, though, because it's posted sideways.
Critter Advocacy has an easier-to-read write up of a minimal vaccine protocol too.
Who would think of not vaccinating their children? Most people would never think about not doing that. I think that all dogs should keep up on their vaccines, and when something devastating happens because someone has not, their mind might just change.
I don't think anyone here is against vaccinating their dogs. The issue here is that there is no evidence that lifelong boosters every year are necessary or even healthy. You don't vaccinate a child every year from their baby boosters for the rest of their life either, do you? Do you wonder why that is? Many vets have been questioning the annual vaccination tradition since the 80s, because there is no scientific basis for it.

Read some of the other links posted in this thread, because there's lots of evidence that not only are annual vaccinations unnecessary, they can create health problems when they are overdone. You should make health care decisions for you pets based on facts, not fear.
Sorry, I just want to make sure I am understanding the Titers test. When this test is done it shows if the levels of vaccines in the dogs system is getting too low? Does the vet administer this test? I get Marley vaccinated yearly as he is always playing with other dogs that I may not know, goes to the groomers semi-regularly and is often let off leash in dog parks and open fields around my house. Ive never really looked into this vaccination debate before.
Titer testing measures the antibody response to a vaccine. A high antibody response means the body has fully responded to the virus, and therefore has developed a proper immunity to the disease. Rabies titers are expensive (because they have to be shipped to a special lab), but most vets can do a Distemper/Parvo Titer on their own, and a high Titer for those two is considered a good benchmark for a dog's overall immunity.

Here's a good article talking about Titers, as there is a lot of misconceptions about them and what they do.
1 - 9 of 38 Posts
Not open for further replies.