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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?
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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.

I agree with you on pet vaccines, to be honest with you, I don't necessarily agree with human vaccines either...I've never had a vaccine in my life and I am 100% healthy and always have been so...yet, Doctors would've have liked to have given me two dozen plus vaccines by now and would had my Mother not been so set against it when I was a child. To a point I understand the "theory" behind vaccines...it's just the lack of evidence to back the theory's up that concerns me.

I mainly do titer testing just to have an idea as to where their levels are at and it makes my vet feel more comfortable about not giving them the "regular" vaccines if I do that. I do agree with you though, titer testing alone, cannot always be a reliable source as it can show that they "need" a vaccine, when in fact, they probably don't.

At the clinic I work at we tailor our vaccine regimen to each dog/cat. If they have reactions we either don't vaccinate, do them every 3 years and always use allergy prevention first. I think it depends on the dog and it's exposure too.

Bridgette gets bordetella every 6 months, DHPPC every year and RV every three years. We only do all three because she comes to work with me often and I could easily bring things home with me.

My cats are indoor only and are fully vaccinated for the same reason.
ETA: My male kitten will actually be getting his vaccines spaced apart and every three years (if at all) because he has had a mild reaction.

Depends on the dog though I think. Although I pretty much recommend at least DHPPC (and obviously Rabies), but I know a lot of people on here do not vaccinate at all.
That's nice that your clinic tailors vaccines to your client. I absolutely love my vet, very intelligent guy and he's been a Doctor for 30+ years, he has so much knowledge to share but, concerning vaccines he is pretty much set in his ways of what he was taught and I think I'm about the only person at the clinic that doesn't comply with "normal" vaccines so he sort of gives me a hard time about it. He does feel better about my not vaccinating them if I give them a titer test every year, which I do...I do wish he was more open minded concerning vaccines though...I love every single thing about that place with the exception of that... :(

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'.
Well, I think there's a time and place for vaccines, I think a completely un-vaccinated dog is not a good thing...I just think over all, vets make you feel like you NEED to vaccinate your pet all the time and I really don't think they need all those things in their body..."you are right though, too much medicine is as bad as no medicine at all" it's finding that middle ground that can, sometimes be a difficult thing to do...

I give my cats their kitten series and a booster in a year. That's it for life---although if I can find a vet that will sign off on 3- or 4-year rabies vaccine, I would like to do that for legal reasons. But, like Trainer said, either the animal is immune from the first adult vaccine or it isn't, and extra vaccines aren't going to do any good.

The main thing that changed my mind about vaccines is that the 1-year and even the 3-year recommended intervals are NOT based on ANY scientific data! NONE! They just said, "well, lets vaccinate the dog and see if he's immune in a year", and of course the dog was still immune in a year so they decided to sell it as a yearly vaccine. Once health problems started popping up from yearly vaccines, they tried 3 years, and of course the dog was still immune, so they went with that. But nobody has ever done a study to see exactly how long the vaccine DOES last. Although I think there's a rabies challenge study going on, and it started in 2000, and, last I heard, the test dogs were still immune in 2008. Hopefully that study will make a difference.

Unfortunately, I do have to vaccinate my dogs according to the vet's schedule because I have to board them occasionally. My vet's vaccine schedule for dogs is every other year for the core vaccines. Since the boarding kennel requires Bordatella vaccine, I get them the intranasal vaccine, since I feel that's somewhat safer than the injectables. I wish I didn't have to, though :mad: .
There's a lot of things about vaccines that just don't add up...the fact that my 2-5 pound dogs get the same amount of a vaccine as someone's 100 pound great dane, has NEVER made any sense to me at all....

I am really hoping the rabies challenge fund will start to change some things very soon!
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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...
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