I am so proud to introduce my dear friend, Catherine O’Driscoll and her wonderful newsletter,
Canine Health Concerns, to all my readers, family and clients around the world.
Take some time out of your busy day to make a difference in veterinary medicine as we know it today, by reading and sharing my friend Catherine O’Driscoll newsletter Canine Health Concerns and her website
with all you know and ask them to do the same. Dr. Louie and Dr. Blake call this paying it forward.
Dr. Stephen R. Blake and Dr. Louie :O)
CANINE HEALTH CONCERN
Canine Health Concern
Gardener’s Cottage, Kirklands, Ancrum, Jedburgh TD8 6UJ
Telephone 01835 830273 (9-5 Monday to Friday)
An Evolution of Need – The Pet Parents’ Union
by Catherine O’Driscoll
I recently received an email from a senior citizen who takes advantage of the PDSA scheme. This is a charity in the UK which offers subsidized veterinary care.
The lady received a letter from her vet telling her that unless she vaccinates annually, she will no longer be eligible for PDSA support. We contacted the PDSA to ask whether this was the charity’s policy and received the reply that although the PDSA does not demand annual vaccination, they leave it to participating vets to decide how often revaccination should occur. This, then, is a sanctioned tax on the poor, based upon something other than the science – for dogs and cats do not need annual shots to remain protected against viral disease. Apparently it is perfectly legal for a veterinarian to demand a procedure (vaccination) that is neither necessary, nor without potential harm.
According to British Small Animal Veterinary Association conference proceedings, nearly 50% of vets in the UK still vaccinate annually. In some ways this is good news, because it means that over 50% don’t!
I also received an email from a veterinarian whose story is harrowing and at the same time enlightening. She remains anonymous because her lawyer has advised this.
“My own daughter was a victim of the MMR vaccine five years ago,” she wrote. “She suffered from severe encephalitis and is permanently brain injured. She received compensation from the vaccine fund here in the USA.
“I am now out of typical veterinary practice and do only surgery, dentistry and in home hospice/euthanasia. I was never taught in school how much damage we were doing to animals…..I guess this was God’s way of opening my eyes.
“I have tried talking to veterinarians, but they have the mentality of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ as far as their businesses go. As far as their personal beliefs – many of them do not vaccinate their own dogs or cats after puppy hood. This seems hypocritical to me. I had such a moral issue with working for practices who felt this way, that I quit my job in typical practice. Most of my colleagues agreed with me that vaccines are over-used and can cause injury, but they would not change hospital protocol. When my boss went out of town for two weeks, I took it upon myself to start checking titers on those dogs whose family’s would listen – and every single one of them came back protective. I showed this to my boss when he got back, and he was extremely angry with me for going against protocol.
“I turned in my notice a few weeks later – walking away from close to $100K a year. I now make maybe $25K a year – all very part time. It’s all I can find. I need to make more money, but I refuse to go back to typical practice unless I am able to share what I know with the clients.
“Until we get the owners to question the veterinarians, nothing is going to change. It is so frustrating. And to live with the reality of the situation: screaming, crying, tantruming, in my face every day with my daughter and her permanent severe disability, I find myself in a constant state of sadness and anger and feel I need to do something to educate people – but many don’t want to listen. I have lost many friends who think I have gone over the edge.”
These two emails troubled me and I found myself wondering how we could help the animals, the pet parents, and also the vets. I consequently sent out a questionnaire to some of my veterinary friends, and they sent it on to other vets, and I ended up with a long article quoting vets on the vaccine issue. This article will be published in Dogs Naturally magazine in March. In the meantime, the message came through loud and clear that veterinarians are not educated adequately in college with regard to vaccination, and this needs to be remedied. Extracts of their comments appear on page 15.
There is something else that has troubled me for many years, and this is the fact that – although there are now many informed, educated pet guardians who are sharing information about vaccines, diet and complementary therapies, and there are thousands of us working to help animals live healthier lives – we are all working as individual separate entities and small groups, and we are not being as effective as we could be if we joined together and spoke with a strong, unified, voice.
This is why we believe that the Pet Parents’ Union is needed.
What is the Pet Parents’ Union?
The veterinary pharmaceutical industry and the pet food industry are each multi-billion international concerns. They spend many millions each year to promote their products. They also receive the backing of veterinary colleges, wealthy animal charities and even governments – because all of these groups benefit financially from these industries.
This leaves the pet products industry largely unregulated – despite the claims that it is subject to regulation.
We who expose the harm caused by some of the legally licensed products are ants waving angrily at elephants. Under-funded and under-resourced, it is difficult for us to make the truth known.
But if informed pet owners joined forces and worked with the same aim, we could achieve so much more. Therefore we are asking the dog world to join together and form a Union – a serious, heavyweight consumer watchdog for the dogs.
We know we are setting ourselves another hard task, but we feel it’s time to try. Please join us and add your voice.
This is a special edition of the CHC Update, and we are making it available free of charge to dog lovers. Please share your Update with others via email, or contact us for printed copies to hand out.
The main part of this Update outlines our new initiative, and the science behind vaccine frequency and vaccine adverse events. This is because the first task of the Pet Parents’ Union is to communicate to the veterinary profession about over-vaccination of companion animals. A smaller section towards the end of the Update includes a shortened version of our normal ‘members pages’.
- Please get behind this initiative and tell your friends, associates and people you come across throughout the dog world. Read, act, and then pass on a copy of this CHC Update.
- Take part in the veterinary vaccine survey – details at http://PetVaccine.Weebly.com (please contact us for printed forms if you don’t have access to the web). Your support with the survey will provide the first ever accurate picture of vaccine use by vets in the UK.
- Help us raise the funds to follow this campaign through and achieve its aims. You can:
- Become an active supporter of the new Pet Parents’ Union by adding your name to the List of Supporters on the website given below – and tell others about the initiative.
- If you can, please make a donation – either online on the campaign website http://PetVaccine.weebly.com, or by sending a cheque payable to CHC to the address on page 1. Please note: your moral and active support is every bit as important as any donation you can or cannot make.
- Use the Easy Fundraising scheme (details at http://PetVaccine.weebly.com) where you can make your normal online purchases, look for the best prices, and generate a donation to CHC without paying any extra for your purchase.
- Join Canine Health Concern, the organization behind the Pet Parents’ Union.
- If you have time and energy to spare, will you volunteer your services?
The Pet Parents’ Union:
- Brings together a community of people to act as a watchdog for the poorly legislated multi-billion pet products industry.
- Comprises pet owners and veterinarians who join together in strength to take practical, positive action to protect the well being of pets.
- Expands awareness and understanding of the multi-billion international pet products industry, and the harm that is being done to pets.
- Raises awareness within the pet owning community to effect positive change on behalf of our pets.
Did you know that the pet food industry is largely self-regulated, or that the wealthy veterinary pharmaceutical industry has revolving-door access to legislators worldwide? Are you aware that government legislators frequently rule in favor of big business – with committee members receiving research and consultancy money from the very industry it is allegedly protecting our animals from? This is why there are harmful products on the market for our pets.
Did you know that veterinary teaching establishments, wealthy animal charities, professional veterinary bodies, government advisors, and research organizations all take financial incentives from big business?
Do you appreciate that this leaves our pets largely unprotected from multi-nationals that wish to make money out of us, irrespective of the harm being done to the animals? No-one is truly being kept in check.
Consider this: For the past few years, Canine Health Concern has been corresponding with the British Veterinary Medicines Directorate which licenses veterinary drugs. We asked for the withdrawal of one-year vaccines against the core canine diseases, since it is known that there is no justification for vaccinating annually. This government licensing department consistently refused to do this. Its then chief executive – Steve Dean – insisted that dogs should be vaccinated at least every three years, which is in itself contrary to World Small Animal Veterinary Association guidelines.
But once Steve Dean retired, he wrote publicly in Dog World:
“Whatever you choose for your dog, the minimum immunization in the form of a course of puppy vaccines, offers protection that could prove life-long.”
What this indicates is that someone is pulling the strings behind the government’s official face. Someone, or some powerful lobby, is trying to protect vaccine industry income. Despite writing to our political representatives, no-one is prepared to legislate to prevent over-vaccination.
Veterinarians leave college largely unaware of the scientific studies relating to vaccine adverse effects – because the colleges rely upon vaccine industry funding. They continue to vaccinate annually because this is something the profession has ‘always done’. Neither are vets educated impartially with regard to diet. Most veterinary colleges allow commercial pet food companies to ‘teach’ this vital subject to trainee vets. And due to the financial power of the veterinary pharmaceutical industry, student vets are discouraged from investigating complementary therapies that might improve health without the side-effects of drugs.
Direct Practical Action
The first practical action the Pet Parents’ Union will undertake is to write to every veterinary practice in the UK to:
- Update vets on World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) guidelines on vaccine frequency.
- Update vets on the duration of immunity studies (the fact that vaccines against the core dog and cat diseases have been shown to protect for up to the lifetime of the animal).
- Update vets on the science of vaccine adverse effects.
- If we have support from overseas, we are also prepared to extend the campaign outside of the UK, so that the voices of animal lovers are heard loud and clear around the world.
- Having asked for quotes from mailing houses, this can be achieved in the UK for around £5,000. We will start the UK mailing, subject to funding, before March this year.
- We are prepared to do the work so that every pet owner can visit their vet, free from pressure to vaccinate more often than is scientifically necessary – on a worldwide basis.
- We will work as a cohesive whole to achieve our aims. We need dog and cat lovers to get behind this initiative and make it practically possible.
- Once the mailing to veterinarians has been successfully accomplished, we will extend the initiative and write to boarding kennels, animal charities, and other dog-related organizations, so that no-one can be unaware of the current science.
We believe that if vets truly knew the damage caused by over-vaccination, they wouldn’t do it.
If you are a dog or cat lover, and you are reading this newsletter for the first time, please bear in mind that the information within this Update is based upon current science.
A track record you can trust
Canine Health Concern was formed in 1994 to research the causes of ill health and early death in modern dogs. It soon became a campaigning group, speaking on behalf of the animals who have no voice.
Canine Health Concern:
- Researches how we can keep dogs healthy, and shares findings with dog lovers
- Keeps abreast of the latest science relating to canine health
- Educates dog lovers on vaccine science
- CHC was the first group to promote raw feeding for dogs, playing a leading role in popularizing the BARF diet and getting behind Dr Tom Lonsdale’s RMB diet
- Lobbies government and government bodies, calling for an end to unnecessary annual vaccination
- Has had dozens of articles published in the dog press and in the national press, both in the UK and overseas
- Appears on radio and TV – our work was featured in a prime-time TV documentary, which you can see on the CHC website, and we have appeared on countless radio shows
- Promotes complementary healthcare options such as homeopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, flower remedies, nutritional therapy, Emotional Freedom Technique, and so on
- Issues quarterly Updates to members
- Provides an informative web site and a friendly on-line discussion group
- Has a network of local groups who meet to share good health news with other dog lovers
- Prints information leaflets for members to hand out to dog lovers
- Puts on seminars and workshops around the UK and overseas on natural canine health
- Produced our own award-winning documentary, funded by CHC members, which is available on DVD – it’s called In Search of the Truth About Dogs
- Has a strong presence on the Internet to promote natural canine health. CHC hosted one of the first ever Internet discussion groups for dog lovers
- Published two seminal best-selling books on the vaccine issue – What Vets Don’t Tell You About Vaccines, and Shock to the System
As you may conclude from the above, Canine Health Concern’s aim is to give our beloved dogs the very best chance at health and long life. If it were the case that modern dogs were already healthy and long-lived, we wouldn’t be here doing what we are doing. Generations of processed food and over-vaccination means that some dogs are truly unlucky, and succumb to diseases that human beings create.
CHC exists because there is a problem: too many dogs are dying years before their time or suffering from debilitating disease. We owe it to our loyal companions to do better on their behalf. We also owe it to ourselves, because it can hit us very hard when our friends suffer and die due to something we have done to them.
Why over-vaccination is a problem
Despite spending years researching and communicating directly to dog lovers, and years lobbying government, veterinarians, and the pet industry itself, there are still too many vets vaccinating annually worldwide, and still too many dog lovers who are being misled into over-vaccinating their friends.
The result is that there are too many dogs suffering from vaccine-induced diseases. Here is the list of adverse events known to be induced by vaccines (Schultz, 2007):
- Hair Loss, hair color change at injection site
- Soreness, stiffness
- Refusal to eat
- Oral ulcers
- Behavioral changes
- Vitiligo (skin reactions)
- Weight loss (Cachexia)
- Reduced milk production
- Facial Edema (swelling)
- Atopy (hereditary allergies)
- Respiratory disease
- Allergic Uveitis (Blue Eye)
Severe Reactions triggered by Vaccines:
- Vaccine injection site sarcomas
- Anaphylaxis (rapidly progressing life-threatening allergic reaction)
- Arthritis, polyarthritis
- HOD hypertrophy osteodystrophy
- Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
- Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia (IMTP)
- Hemolytic disease of the newborn (Neonatal Isoerythrolysis)
- Disease or enhanced disease which the vaccine was designed to prevent
- Post vaccinal Encephalitis or polyneuritis
- Abortion, congenital anomalies, embryonic/fetal death, failure to conceive
A real problem, as stated earlier, is that vets are not educated about these possible adverse reactions in college. Many reactions happen days, months or even years after a vaccine is given. Vets are not told about this, and therefore they are largely unaware of the damage caused by over-vaccination.
The first direct action by the Pet Parents’ Union will be to send vets the scientific references so that they can satisfy themselves that vaccines can indeed create these diseases.
For example, a paper published last year showed that a number of canine and feline vaccine brands in the UK are contaminated with RD-114, a feline retrovirus. Retroviruses are associated with the development of autoimmunity, cancer and leukaemia, but it can take around five years for the cancer to show itself. Five years! No-one will connect the dots unless they are educated to do so.
The British Veterinary Medicines Directorate (the government licensing body) and its European counterparts voted recently to allow RD-114 to stay in pet vaccines, possibly for years. Removal is technically easy – but it would take years to re-license the clean products, which means years of lost revenue for the vaccine industry. As usual, government legislators vote in favor of big business to the detriment of our pets.
Vaccines are good for life!
During the 1970s – nearly forty years ago – a scientist called Dr Ronald D Schultz asked why we were vaccinating dogs annually when he wasn’t being told to vaccinate his children every year. Heading the pathology lab at Wisconsin University, Dr Schultz had the means to conduct duration of immunity studies. This is where puppies are vaccinated, and then challenged every year with the diseases they were vaccinated against to see how long immunity lasts from one vaccine.
He found that the puppies remained protected for many years. He also measured antibody levels and found that:
Once immune to viral disease, dogs remain immune for years and usually for life
There is no need to vaccinate annually, or even three-yearly. Puppy shots against parvovirus, distemper and Adenovirus/hepatitis are likely to provide lifelong protection.
Vaccines for other diseases, like kennel cough and Leptospirosis, are termed ‘non-core’ by the WSAVA, and many of the world’s top experts, including Dr Schultz and Dr Jean Dodds, do not recommend their use. Dr Schultz does not recommend the lepto vaccine at all due to its dangers, and says: “Kennel Cough is not a vaccinatable disease”.
The same holds true for cat vaccines: they do not need to be given every year, either.
At one time, it was thought that the vaccine process was a fairly harmless procedure, with only rare and minimal adverse events.
Scientists have known about anaphylactic shock for a long time, which is where an individual (whether human or animal) will have a rare but immediate and severe allergic reaction to the vaccine. Without adrenaline or similar drug, the individual will die. Because this reaction is so rare, and because the diseases we vaccinate are so serious, it was decided by the powers that be that vaccines were worth the risk.
It was also known that individual dogs and cats could have a mild and temporary reaction to their shots, involving lethargy, fever and diarrhea. More recently, scientists have shown that autoimmune hemolytic anemia (a severe and life-threatening blood disease) and vaccine site cancer, especially in cats but also in dogs, can be created by vaccines.
However, scientific understanding has moved on considerably in recent years. The problem is that the science – which is detailed and complex – has not been adequately shared with the veterinary profession and its clients.
The truth is that vaccines can, and do, provoke serious and life-threatening adverse reactions that are not easily connected to the vaccine itself, although scientific research does point towards the trends. The fact is, there is no test to show whether an individual dog or cat has had a vaccine reaction. To make a connection, vets must tie the onset of the disease in with a recent vaccine event, and understand the science: they need to know what vaccines have been scientifically shown to do. The fact is, mostly all of the illnesses experienced by dogs and cats have the potential to be vaccine-related.
Unless you know that vaccines can cause arthritis, for example, you may not connect a vaccine with arthritis arising months after an animal is vaccinated. You may not know that vaccines can trigger leukaemia or cancer months, or even years, down the line. You might not realize that your dog’s brain damage, involving sudden aggression, epilepsy, and/or fearfulness, can be vaccine-induced. Few people understand the science to say that skin and digestive problems can also be vaccine-induced, or that diabetes, thyroid disease, organ failure or genetic faults can be caused by vaccines.
Not knowing all this, vets continue to vaccinate annually as if it were a harmless procedure.
Importantly, no-one may have told you that you don’t actually need to vaccinate your dog or cat every year.
Although this has been known since the 1970s, the veterinary profession has not taken it on board, and the veterinary pharmaceutical industry still tries to convince pet owners that annual shots are needed. Most shamefully in the UK, dog and cat owners are still being persuaded to bring their friends in for boosters if they have ‘lapsed’ by 18 months under Intervet’s National Vaccination Month, also called ‘Vaccine Amnesty’.
Although Canine Health Concern has vigorously brought the annual vaccination travesty to the attention of legislators, they will not act. Why? Because, worldwide, licensing bodies appear to act as a wing of the pharmaceutical industry. This doesn’t just apply to the UK – the problem is international.
Expert Guidelines -
How often do we need to vaccinate?
Research conducted by Dr Ronald Schultz, in which dogs were exposed to distemper and parvovirus, showed that every single dog was protected when exposed to the viruses – up to 11 years after they were first vaccinated.
Based on this research, Dr Schultz recommended triennial revaccination instead of annual revaccination. (He now suggests that one puppy shot is all that is needed.)
These early recommendations prompted the American Animal Hospital Association to assemble a task force. In 2003, the AAHA Canine Vaccine Task Force evaluated the data from these challenge and serological studies and, while noting that the core vaccines had a minimum duration of immunity of at least seven years, they compromised with the statement that “revaccination every three years is considered protective”.
Task force member Dr. Richard Ford, Professor of Medicine, North Carolina State University, said that the decision to recommend a three year revaccination schedule for core vaccines was a compromise. “It’s completely arbitrary…,” he said. “I will say there is no science behind the three-year recommendation…”
After the 2003 task force, all of the major veterinary vaccine manufacturers completed their own studies showing a minimum three year duration of immunity (DOI) on the core vaccines – distemper, parvo and Adenovirus. Why didn’t they do this sooner? Because no-one had asked them to. The veterinary drug licensing bodies only asked for proof of efficacy for one year! This was their license to over-vaccinate.
Dr Schultz continued with his work and by 2006, had performed seven additional DOI studies on over 1,000 dogs and repeated the same results over and over again, effectively showing that dogs were protected for much longer than three years and most likely for the life of the dog.
In fact, so sure was Dr. Schultz of his work, that his own vaccination protocol for his dogs was one shot of distemper, parvo and Adenovirus – and none thereafter.
In 2003, the AAHA Task Force advised vets of the following in regard to their three year recommendation: “This is supported by a growing body of veterinary information and well-developed epidemiological vigilance in human medicine that indicates immunity induced by vaccination is extremely long lasting and, in most cases, lifelong.”
Sponsorship – a real problem
It must be noted that whilst these (and other) veterinary bodies say we should vaccinate against the core diseases ‘no more than every three years’, the experts (including Dr Schultz and Dr W Jean Dodds) make it clear that it is not necessary to vaccinate three-yearly. They tell us that once immune to viral disease, dogs and cats remain immune for years or life.
Why would veterinary bodies give us this three-yearly revaccination guidance, rather than state the plain fact that core vaccines provide lifelong protection? Apart from the fact that booster income represents a major part of the profitability of veterinary practices, could it be because the professional bodies receive funds from the veterinary vaccine industry?
The AAHA is sponsored by four vaccine manufacturers: Merck, Merial, Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim. The WSAVA Vaccine Guidelines Group is sponsored by Intervet Schering-Plough Animal Health. Scratch beneath the surface of any veterinary body, and industry sponsorship is there.
Sponsorship is a real and serious problem afflicting the pet world. Apart from the teaching establishments – which rely upon industry money for research, bursaries, academic salaries, new buildings, and so on – vets in practice receive their mandatory further education via industry dinners, seminars, and overseas trips.
Animal charities are also grateful to receive free food for their kennels and the odd few thousand pounds to help them achieve their aims.
The problem is that all of these organizations must avoid saying anything that will cause their sponsors to withhold funding.
So – according to the experts – most puppies will be protected against distemper, parvovirus and Adenovirus for life from their puppy shots.
What about the other vaccines?
Leptospirosis vaccine is used routinely by the veterinary profession, heavily influenced by the veterinary vaccine industry. However, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association deems this a non-core (optional) vaccine and cautions that it should be used only if there is a serious disease threat in the area.
Leptospirosis is a rare disease, and the vaccine is associated with severe adverse reactions, especially neurological (brain damage). Small dogs are at greatest risk from this vaccine. Further, there are hundreds of strains of Leptospirosis, and only two or three in a vaccine, so the vaccine isn’t terribly protective.
Please ask your vet how many dogs he or she has treated with confirmed Leptospirosis in the last six months. As this is a vaccine associated with extreme side-effects, his or her answer will help you to decide whether you wish to give your dogs this optional vaccine.
Kennel cough vaccine is also non-core (optional) but routinely given in the UK. Please note that the data sheets accompanying kennel cough vaccines state that humans with compromised immune systems must avoid contact with vaccinated dogs for up to seven weeks. The vaccine can cause kennel cough in dogs and infect humans and other dogs. This can give rise to epidemics in boarding kennels.
Kennel cough is rarely life-threatening to dogs, but the shed vaccine poses a serious risk to immunocompromised humans.
Enlightened veterinary opinion
As mentioned previously, we recently sent a questionnaire out to some of our veterinary friends, eliciting their views on the vaccine issue.
Here are some of the statements about veterinary training from the vets we questioned. You can see the full 16-page article via www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com:
Dr Arthur Freedman: “When I received my training, little was known about duration of immunity and vaccines. I was not informed about possible short term or long term adverse effects of vaccination. Once in practice, I observed immediate Type 1 hypersensitivity reactions (anaphylaxis, wheals, vomiting and diarrhea). I’ve also been able to correlate seizures and autoimmune hemolytic anemia with vaccination.”
Dr Stephen Blake: “I emphatically do not believe that I was taught adequately with regard to the vaccine issue. I was taught to believe vaccinations were synonymous with immunization. They are two separate entities.
“I was taught vaccines were safe and it was implied there had been safety studies done on them before they were used on the general public. They are not safe and there have not been any safety studies done on any of them.
“I was taught that if something adverse happens within a few hours after immunization it was related to the vaccines but, if it happened later than that period of time, it had nothing to do with the vaccines. The truth of the matter is vaccines can set up a latent condition that may show up within a few hours or years after immunization.
“I was taught you needed to vaccinate every year to boost animals’ immune systems. There are no studies to show that annual boosters are ever indicated or that there is any science to support annual vaccines to boost an animal’s immune system. I was never taught that mercury and aluminum hydroxide, which are in the vaccines, can cause cancer, are neurotoxin’s, and can trigger autoimmune disease.”
Dr Jeff Feinman: “My training in vet school was not complete with regard to the harmful effects that vaccines have on the immune system. The scientific evidence was not properly explored by the eighties. Vaccines were designed to help stimulate immunity. Current research is proving just the opposite however. Even my graduate school immunology course (attended mainly by MD students) was incomplete.”
Marcia DuBois Martin, DVM, CVA: “I have been out of school for over 20 years and don’t remember much about what we were taught on the vaccine issue, except that vaccines were very safe with the exception of some very rare vaccine reactions (anaphylaxis and urticaria) and that the diseases they protected against were very dangerous. Annual revaccination was safe and effective. I don’t remember hearing anything about duration of immunity or long term side effects.”
Mark Carpenter MRCVS says: “Vaccination in college was skimmed over with little discussion of potential risks involved. In practice I have seen what I believe to be vaccine related problems of skin disease (allergic); inflammatory bowel disease; and epilepsy which appear to have been triggered or coincided with vaccination.”
Dr Michael Dym: “Our training in veterinary school was not adequate with regards to immune system reactions in our animals. We were taught a one size fits all vaccination program. There was nothing taught about the chronic immune reactions that can occur weeks, months or years later after vaccination in certain susceptible animals. From personal conversation with Ron Schultz, renowned veterinary immunologist, I learned that these important concepts are not taught in modern veterinary schools.”
Dr Erin Zamzow: “The science on vaccination in dogs, cats and horses was not fully explored or taught at the time we were in school. I graduated in 1990. At that time, Dr. Ron Schulz had already done the research showing that there was no scientific basis for yearly vaccination in dogs and cats. Why was this not emphasized? For years I questioned this practice, knowing that there could not be any reason other than fear and financial gain for yearly or even every three year vaccines in dogs and cats. Part of my disillusionment with veterinary school is due to this obvious oversight in teaching about the science of vaccines and the immune system interactions and what is best for our patients.”
Dr Patricia Jordan, holistic veterinarian and vaccine researcher: “We had no training on vaccination – even those teaching us didn’t know. I wasn’t taught very much in immunology either. This is why Dr. Ron Schultz says, and I agree with him, that veterinary medical doctors have no business making vaccine recommendations as they do not have enough education in vaccinology or immunology. Unfortunately that also goes for those teaching the senior students! I would carry this over to the medical doctors and pediatricians. None of them should be making vaccine recommendations. I wouldn’t allow the vaccine companies to make the call either. Nor the regulatory agencies since they don’t even know what it is they are regulating/licensing. This is the inconvenient truth.”
Dr Ronna S Kabler: “My training on the vaccine issue was completely inadequate. We learned the science of immunology and how vaccines work, but no science as relates to the actual practice of vaccinating animals. As a new vet in private practice, it was like one was brainwashed or on autopilot. It was as if any immunology training was quickly forgotten. ‘All dogs and cats needed their immunizations in a timely manner.’ There was no thought that we were possibly doing any damage.”
Dr Liz Fernandez: “We weren’t taught adequately about vaccines in vet school. We were told that we could not over-vaccinate: ‘better safe than sorry’. We were given information on virology but not on how vaccines actually work or any studies or rigorous research data. We did get the information on hive like reactions in a very small subset of the population.
“In retrospect, vaccine reactions were staring right at me. However, I was very brainwashed into believing that they were safe (except for the obvious type 1 hypersensitivity reaction) so I did not connect the dots.”
Dr Ihor Basko: “We weren’t taught adequately on immunology; immunology is very difficult to understand. Vaccine companies influence how this is taught.”
Dr Christina Chambreau: “Our training was incomplete and confusing. We learned about long lasting immunity in immunology, but later in clinics were told to give yearly. We were not taught to learn and question – just to memorize. Since becoming an integrative veterinarian, I can say there is no disease that I have not connected to vaccines in certain animals.”
Dr Judy Jasek: “My training was different to what I have come to believe is appropriate in my own practice. We were trained in vaccination protocols per veterinary school and manufacturer recommendations. We were not, however, educated in the potential long-term effects of vaccinations.”
Dorothea Hofman BVSc (Hons) IVAS: “I don’t believe my training in vaccination was adequate at college. Other options and the side effects of vaccination were never mentioned – only the ‘benefits’ of vaccination were ever discussed.”
What is clear is that vets have been misled by their training, and by colleges which rely upon industry funding. The colleges themselves are being let down by governments which make it necessary for them to rely upon industry funding. It’s time we pet owners stood up for the animals.
Vaccines Save Lives
– so it’s hard to pay attention to the flip side
There are very few subjects that can cause so much controversy, anger and enmity than the vaccine issue. If you’ve seen a dog suffer from distemper or parvovirus, you’re unlikely to want to even hear from people who warn of the dangers of over-vaccination.
But the honest truth is that your dog could be suffering from a vaccine reaction now, or have died from a vaccine adverse effect, without you even knowing it.
Dr W Jean Dodds is one of the world’s foremost veterinary vaccine researchers, with a career spanning over 40 years. She is highly respected within the veterinary profession. Dr Dodds writes:
“Whilst I was always a clinical research scientist, veterinary colleagues and pet owners would tell me about malaise and illness that appeared shortly after pet animals were vaccinated. This was in addition to the rare case of anaphylaxis induced by vaccination. They spoke about irritability, low-grade or even high fever, anorexia, stiffness, occasional seizure-like episodes. These usually occurred from 2-10 days post-vaccination, sometimes longer (up to 45 days).
“The clinical signs associated with vaccine reactions typically include fever, stiffness, sore joints and abdominal tenderness, susceptibility to infections, neurological disorders and encephalitis, collapse with autoagglutinated red blood cells and icterus (autoimmune hemolytic anemia) (AIHA), or generalized petechiae and ecchymotic hemorrhages (immune-mediated thrombocytopenia) (ITP).1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 12, 13
“Hepatic enzymes may be markedly elevated, and liver or kidney failure may occur by itself or accompany bone marrow suppression. Furthermore, MLV vaccination has been associated with the development of transient seizures in puppies and adult dogs of breeds or cross-breeds susceptible to immune-mediated diseases especially those involving hematologic or endocrine tissues (e.g. AIHA, ITP, autoimmune thyroiditis). 1,7,10 Post-vaccinal polyneuropathy is a recognized entity associated occasionally with the use of distemper, parvovirus, rabies and presumably other vaccines. 2, 3, 7 This can result in various clinical signs including muscular atrophy, inhibition or interruption of neuronal control of tissue and organ function, muscular excitation, incoordination and weakness, as well as seizures. 7
“Certain breeds or families of dogs appear to be more susceptible to adverse vaccine reactions, particularly post-vaccinal seizures, high fevers, and painful episodes of hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD). 7,9 Vaccination of pet and research dogs with polyvalent vaccines containing rabies virus or rabies vaccine alone was recently shown to induce production of antithyroglobulin autoantibodies, a provocative and important finding with implications for the subsequent development of hypothyroidism. 10
“Furthermore,injection site fibrosarcoma’s have recently been documented in dogs as well as cats, and other cancers such as leukemia have been vaccine-associated.” 7,18
- Dodds WJ. Immune-mediated diseases of the blood. Adv Vet Sci Comp Med 1983; 27:163-196.
- Phillips TR, Jensen JL, Rubino MJ, Yang WC, Schultz RD. Effects on vaccines on the canine immune system. Can J Vet Res 1989; 53: 154-160.
- Tizard I. Risks associated with use of live vaccines. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1990; 196:1851-1858.
- Duval D, Giger U. Vaccine-associated immune-mediated hemolytic anemia in the dog. J Vet Int Med 1996;10: 290-295.
- Cohen AD, Shoenfeld Y. Vaccine-induced autoimmunity. J Autoimmunity 1996; 9: 699-703.
- Schultz R. Current and future canine and feline vaccination programs. Vet Med 1998; 93:233-254.
- Dodds WJ. More bumps on the vaccine road. Adv Vet Med 1999; 41: 715-732.
- HogenEsch H, Azcona-Olivera J, Scott-Moncrieff C, Snyder PW, Glickman LT. Vaccine-induced autoimmunity in the dog. Adv Vet Med 1999; 41:733-744.
- Dodds WJ. Vaccination protocols for dogs predisposed to vaccine reactions. J Am An Hosp Assoc 2001; 38: 1-4.
- Scott-Moncrieff JC, Azcona-Olivera J, Glickman NW, Glickman LT, HogenEsch H. Evaluation of antithyroglobulin antibodies after routine vaccination in pet and research dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002; 221: 515-521.
- Paul MA (chair) et al. Report of the AAHA Canine Vaccine Task Force: 2003 canine vaccine guidelines, recommendations, and supporting literature. AAHA, April 2003, 28 pp.
- May C, Hammill J, Bennett, D. Chinese shar pei fever syndrome: A preliminary report. Vet Rec 1992;131: 586-587.
- Scott-Moncrieff JC, Snyder PW, Glickman LT, Davis EL, Felsburg PJ. Systemic necrotizing vasculitis in nine young beagles. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1992; 201: 1553-1558.
- Dodds WJ. Estimating disease prevalence with health surveys and genetic screening. Adv Vet Sci Comp Med 1995; 39: 29-96.
- Wilbur LA, Evermann JF, Levings RL, Stoll LR, Starling DE, Spillers CA, Gustafson GA, McKeirnan AJ. Abortion and death in pregnant bitches associated with a canine vaccine contaminated with blue tongue virus. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1994; 204:1762-1765.
- Day MJ, Penhale WJ. Immune-mediated disease in the old English sheepdog. Res Vet Sci 1992; 53: 87-92.
- Dougherty SA, Center SA. Juvenile onset polyarthritis in Akitas. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1991; 198: 849-855.
- Vascellari M, Melchiotti E, Bozza MA et al. Fibrosarcomas at presumed sites of injection in dogs: characteristics and comparison with non-vaccination site fibrosarcomas and feline post-vaccinal firosarcomas. J Vet Med 50 (6): 286-291, 2003.
- Twark L, Dodds WJ. Clinical use of serum parvovirus and distemper virus antibody titers for determining revaccination strategies in healthy dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000; 217:1021-1024.
- Flemming DD, Scott JF. The informed consent doctrine: what veterinarians should tell their clients. J Am Vet Med Assoc 224: 1436-1439, 2004.
- Klingborg DJ, Hustead DR, Curry-Galvin E, et al. AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents’ report on cat and dog vaccines. J Am Vet Med Assoc 221: 1401-1407, 2002.
- Schultz RD, Ford RB, Olsen J, Scott F. Titer testing and vaccination: a new look at traditional practices. Vet Med, 97: 1-13, 2002 (insert).
- Moore et al, Adverse events diagnosed within three days of vaccine administration in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 227:1102–1108, 2005.
Dr Dodds continues: “If I was in private practice today, I would only use a conservative puppy or kitten series (2-3 doses only) of vaccines: one before 12 weeks in puppies and 10 weeks in kittens; and a second between 14-16 weeks in puppies and 12-14 weeks in kittens. All vaccines should be 3-4 weeks apart. I would not vaccinate beyond the puppy and kitten series, and I would not worry about income impact, regardless, as our veterinary oath requires that we “do no harm”. Judicious use of vaccines is paramount.
“I totally embrace my profession and always have, but the pharmaceutical industry has considerable influence on it; there is a huge marketing effort here – that’s their job. We are the ones that need to ‘sift’ this information appropriately. We, the consumer professionals, have allowed this influence to go unchecked. It’s time for senior members of our profession to step up and place controls on the commercial influence upon relatively naive veterinary students and new graduates. This influence is even stronger in the pet food and supplements industry. The government also needs to be more proactive and keep up to date.”
A Vaccine Alternative – Titer Tests
Many pet owners are choosing to titer test their pets rather than automatically revaccinate. This isn’t something that veterinarians have routinely done, but pet owners can ask for this and suggest an inexpensive way of doing it.
In the past, vets would draw blood from the dog and send it to a pathology lab, and the results would come back a week or so later. The test was quite expensive. More recently, an in-practice titer testing kit has become available.
The VacciCheck from Biogal is a diagnostic tool to evaluate the antibody response to the core vaccines for, or infection from, hepatitis (adenovirus), parvovirus and distemper. A test kit for leptospirosis is also available.
A high antibody level is associated with immunity to infection (in healthy dogs) and can also diagnose a dog that is sick with one of these diseases. A kit for feline coronavirus is also available, and for panleukopenia, feline herpes virus and calcivirus.
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association states that vaccines should not be given needlessly, as they may cause adverse reactions – so a titer test if you are in doubt represents a safer security blanket.
“We at Biogal sincerely hope that this tool will assist in reducing over vaccination” said Amos Gershony, Biogal’s General Manager.
The VacciCheck is especially useful to determine if a dog or cat requires additional vaccination, and may save the animal from unnecessary vaccination. It is can also help determine the vaccination status of an animal with unknown vaccination history or help determine if puppies or kittens have received immunity from vaccination.
This can all be done in one test in the vet’s clinic, with an answer received within 20 minutes.
We believe that the VacciCheck offers veterinarians a way of being sure that, if they advocate fewer vaccines, they will not be criticized if animals subsequently succumb to disease. A titer test also replaces income lost from automatic boosters.
Unfortunately, if an animal has high circulating antibodies, but is otherwise unhealthy, a vaccine will not necessarily guarantee immunity. Neither does the presence of circulating antibodies guarantee protection. However, high antibody counts do indicate that, if the dog is healthy, he will not be affected if he comes into contact with viral disease.
What is the best way to keep a dog healthy? DIET. Contact us if you would like to know more about the optimum canine diet. We’ll be happy to help.
Suffice to say that many of the commercially available pet foods are made from industrial waste, and are not the optimum food for dogs.
Uniting the Pet World
Sadly, the vast majority of pet owners rely upon their vets’ advice, but their vets’ advice on boosters is frequently outdated. Most vets believe that they rarely see vaccine reactions – but this belief is only possible because veterinarians haven’t been educated to correlate specific vaccine-associated illnesses with previous vaccine events. Vets need to be made aware of the science.
We are therefore asking the knowledgeable dog-owning public to join the Pet Parents Union and be part of a future that boasts healthy long-lived dogs.
When you join the Pet Parents Union, you’ll receive email updates to keep you abreast of PPU initiatives, and you’ll be at the cutting edge of canine healthcare research. You’ll also be actively supporting the aim to disseminate information that will help dogs to live longer, healthier lives. If you have the resources to help financially and make a donation, we will be grateful for it – you could make all the difference.
- The Pet Parents Union is a banner under which we can all unite.
- We are releasing this CHC Update to the general public, and not just to CHC members. Please feel free to forward it to your dog-loving friends via email, or ask us for further printed copies to hand out. We will find a way to send printed newsletters to you for free or, if you can, please consider a donation towards costs. We are hoping that this will rally dog owners to unite and support the initiative.
- We are also appealing on the Internet for dog lovers to support the initiative. If you are a member of any Internet discussion groups, or are on any of the networking sites such as Facebook and twitter, please help us to spread the word.
- We also need people to share information – by completing an on-line questionnaire. The questionnaire carries details of veterinary practices and their stance on the vaccine issue. Dog lovers will then be able to choose the vets they visit, based upon the practice’s vaccine policy. The questionnaire is to be completed by clients.
- Pet Parents’ Union news will be carried on the website.
- If we have your email address, we will email you detail of the initiative so you can share it with other dog lovers on the Internet. If we don’t have your email address but you’d like details, please email us at Rob@canine-health-concern.org.uk.
- Importantly, we will be offering Good Vet Awards to those practices which adhere to current science and do not promote over-vaccination. We will be congratulating and supporting those vets who vaccinate no more frequently than absolutely necessary, and who opt for titer tests rather than blind shots.
- We will support the veterinary profession, and help the profession to move away from over-vaccination.
- We are not asking you for a fee to join the Pet Parents’ Union – we wish to remove any barriers that might prevent you from adding your voice to this pet owners’ lobby. But we do need funds to complete the work – to print letters and information sheets, to pay telephone bills and associated costs. If you are able to donate, please go to our website and press the donate button, or send us a cheque. Every small amount will help – and thank you!
- If we are to extend the initiative outside of the UK, we need the support of dog lovers overseas. Mailing lists of veterinary practices must be purchased. Letters must be printed and mailed. If you want to end over-vaccination now, your support will make this possible.
- We are up against multi-billion, international, businesses. It’s time to move forward, together, in strength. Will you join us?
- You might also like to join CHC as well to support the Pet Parents’ Union. You will receive, as a CHC member, a quarterly newsletter on animal health matters. Membership is £16 per year, and you can join via the CHC website (www.canine-health-concern.org.uk) or by sending us a cheque to the address given on page 1. Canine Health Concern has a members-only Internet support group, and we have several branches in the UK where you can attend friendly meetings and lectures on canine health. We also put on seminars, and supply members with printed material to share with fellow dog lovers.
CHC Members’ News
As always, CHC has many people to thank for their support. Some donate via a monthly standing order, others hand out leaflets to fellow dog lovers or organize talks or even dog shows, others make one-off donations. Special thanks go to new CHC member Sara Holman-Howes, a holistic practitioner who donated £200 to CHC on behalf of her clients in honor of the festive season. We are also grateful for those who make £5 monthly donations, and for the £20 raised on stamps (stamps sent by Linda Bland to Sally Cronk for auction). Thank you to:
Jeni Ager, Bev Alldritt, Julie and Dave Arnold, Christine Bailey/Dogs Today, Satu and Terry Bateman, Linda Bland, Karen Boyce, Anne Brett, Sally Brown, Vera Burnell, Ann Butler, Madeline Carritt, Maddy Casey, Eileen Clare, Brian Cleghorn, Rob Clement, Linda Coady, Pamela Collings, Beryl Cox, Sally Cronk, Sandra Dalmeijer, Monica Dixon, Jackie Drakeford, Elizabeth Elcoate-Gilbert, Gladys Ellis, Molly Franklin, Bev Golding, Pam Graham, Jannette & Eddie Hammer, Davina Hancock, Heather Harley, Debbie Hill, Jane Houston, Alison & Tony Hunt, Eileen James, Liz Jay, Tony Jeffreys, Mike Jones, Frederica Jordan, Leslie Kaufman, Becky Layphries, Liz Levelle, Hester Little, Myra Manns, Maggie Marshall, Julia Meads, Kim Miller, Joanne Moore, Pam Morris, Ann Ridyard, Tricia Robinson, Chris Salter, Trisha Scott, Doreen Simpkins, Jytte Smith, Colleen Stead, Mrs A Steel, Margaret Stirling, Barbara Storey, Andrew Street, Deb Sutherland, Val Thomson, Brenda Thorpe, Debbie White, Janet Whitmore, Judy Williams, Ted Wolfenden, Annette Woodward.
We also sincerely thank all those who silently carry on spreading the word without our knowing, for receiving newsletter by email/paying by standing order/PayPal, distributing leaflets, renewing your membership …. any we have missed on this list. If we do miss you off the list, then please know that we appreciate everything that everyone does. If you specifically want to have your name mentioned and we have not done so, then please let us know. Thanks to all who give their support to CHC and its aims.
If you are a CHC member and on email and currently do not receive our monthly bulletin, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be added to the list.
In Loving memory
Barbara and Mike Storey have said goodbye to their darling Rosie
Nigel Willetts has lost his beloved friend Stella
Anne Peter’s Murphy has passed to Rainbow Bridge
Our hearts and sympathy are with you, and we send our love.
New Book from Catherine O’Driscoll
The Animals’ Agenda
No – it’s not about pet vaccines, and it’s not about canine health. It’s about the amazing bond humans share with animals, and the fact that animals have been concerned with human growth since the beginning of time.
The Animals’ Agenda comes in three parts. Part One looks at the human brain – how it acts as a vast computer that stores everything that has happened to us, and places value judgments on those experiences. The brain then plays us like puppets.
Part Two explains how the animals, ruled by their hearts, free us from our minds and help us to live in peace with ourselves. Catherine, as an animal communicator, connects with animals at the soul level – and you may be surprised at what they have to say about us.
Part Three is for the healers – whether you’re a healer of people, a healer of animals, or a healer of yourself. It explains how energy therapies such as EFT can free us from pain and limitations and lead us to personal peace.
The Animals’ Agenda is available as an ebook from Amazon and can be purchased via http://theanimalsagenda.weebly.com/. Free Kindle software – for the PC, Mac, iPhone and Ipad – is available from Amazon.
“This is a brilliant book, so clear, so helpful, so caring. It covers so much to help so many people. It explains things so well – why we are like we are – and offers so many ways of helping ourselves – loving yourself being the core thing. Catherine is an amazing and caring person which shines through in this book. The input from the animals is awesome and so true. I know my animals are trying to help me and now I can see more clearly how they are trying to do it. There is a section on Emotional Freedom Technique for humans and animals. I believe we can all benefit from reading this book.” – Victoria Standen
Awakening To Animals – Bridging New Science and
Animal Spirituality Conference
17 and 18th March 2012, Lake District
Internationally renowned speakers bring together a community of people who share a vision of Equality for All Life. Visit the conference website: http://www.awakeningtoanimals.com/
New Grandma Amazon Bookstore – for books we recommend but don’t stock
If you are thinking of buying books, please think of doing so via the www.grandmalovesthedog.com bookstore. Every time you buy a book
you were going to buy anyway, you’ll be helping to keep Grandma going,
which helps to keep CHC going.
BOOK DISCOUNTS FROM CHC
We are discounting What Vets Don’t Tell You About Vaccines by Catherine O’Driscoll. It’s now available in the UK for only £5.99 including post and packing – just so we can get rid of stocks due to our downsizing. This is a great chance to get copies for your dog loving friends and to keep in stock for your puppy packs! (The book is still selling well worldwide, and is soon to be published in Korea.)
Real Food for Dogs and Cats by Dr Claire Middle is now for sale on Amazon for less than we can buy it for. So … we have five left in stock and we’re making them available to you for £5.99. This is an excellent book about natural feeding, so don’t be misled by the cheap price – it’s well worth having in your library.
GREAT NEW BOOK ON NATURAL FEEDING – REVIEW
In The Dog’s Dinner – Revisited, long-time dog lover and involved in the family grooming business, Ann Ridyard tells the passionate, generous, and comforting story of her journey into raw feeding for dogs.
The book is a godsend for all who are confused by conflicting feeding advice, or who are about to start on their own raw feeding journey. Ann’s story is one of trial and error, and she describes the many misunderstandings and pitfalls that can be encountered along the way. She also discusses the fact that different people hold differing views on raw feeding, and shares her conclusions based on experience.
Questions like: what to feed, how much to feed, how to achieve a balance, and how to start puppies and adults off on the diet, are all answered, and all the concerns you might have are addressed.
The Dog’s Dinner is by someone who has been there, done that, and written a book about it. What shines through, however, is Ann’s deep love for the dogs, and her commitment to helping our friends live long and healthy lives. Highly recommended. You can get your copy via: http://dogsdinner2.webs.com/index.htm
Somerset Group Has Been At It Again!
From Bev Golding and the Somerset local group regarding their recent talk:
“Thermal imaging can identify a problem area up to three weeks before clinical signs show. It is totally non-invasive and non-contact and can be done in your own home, so causing no stress to your dog. It can pinpoint a problem, search for underlying secondary issues, determine the extent of an injury, monitor the healing process and assess general health. The price is about £40 for a particular area to £60 for a full scan of a dog. The web is www.veterinary-thermal-imaging.com. I certainly would recommend a look.”
Rob says: “Thanks to all at the Somerset local group and especially for your £30 cheque from the talk proceeds!
If you’d like to help support CHC when you buy online, just go to: http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk. It is really easy – just register, select CHC as your cause then just remember to use it when you buy online, and then you’re automatically raising money for CHC.
CHC at a GREAT DOG SHOW
CHC Member Ann Ridyard has again invited us to her Barks in the Park dog show this year, with all the proceeds going to CHC. We’re looking forward to attending, and we’re grateful for the incredible support for CHC. Barks in the Park will take place on May 27th on the Arbour Field at Arrowe Country Park, Wirral. Go to www.designerdogsrally.webs.com or Telephone Ann on 0151 638 6554 if you’d like to be part of the fun.
Ann has also said that they are setting up a sponsored sky dive (for her husband, daughter and friend) with the proceeds going to CHC. Not content with all that, but Ann has recently published a revised and updated version of her book ‘The Dogs’ Dinner’ (see review on page 27), with 5% of profits going to CHC.
I don’t vaccinate my dogs at all – the High Risk
Our dogs are in the midst of an epidemic. It’s not an epidemic of viral disease, but of chronic ill health. They’re besieged with itchy, pus-laden, scabby skin; vomit and diarrhoea are the norm. One in every hundred dogs suffers from epilepsy, and an even higher number lives with painful arthritis. Allergies are also reaching epidemic proportions: dogs are becoming allergic to life.
According to Dr Jean W Dodds, an eminent vet and researcher, both allergic and autoimmune diseases have been rising since the introduction of modified live virus vaccines. Autoimmune diseases are where the body attacks self; they include cancer, leukaemia, thyroid disease, Addisons, Grave’s disease, autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, lupus, thrombocytopenia, organ failure, skin inflammations, and more.
We also seem to have a tremendous number of dogs with behavioural problems, largely due to over-vaccination and processed pet food. Vaccines are known to cause inflammation of the brain, as well as lesions throughout the brain and central nervous system. The medical term for this is ‘encephalitis’, and vaccine’s role is acknowledged in the Merck Manual. Merck is a vaccine manufacturer.
Years ago, I was the typical ‘responsible’ dog owner. My four Golden Retrievers were vaccinated every year, and they were fed a ‘complete and balanced’ pet food, recommended by my vet. The red carpet was metaphorically rolled out once a fortnight, each time I visited with a dog suffering from chronic disease. Eventually the problems became more serious: my dogs started to die years before their time.
Over the years, I’ve collected research documents to help me make decisions about my dogs’ husbandry, and to share what I’ve learnt with other dog lovers. I also hoped that vets would take notice of the research, and stop over-vaccinating. All medical interventions come with a risk – even the humble aspirin can be deadly. So you have to do a risk/benefit analysis whenever you consider medications. What, then, are the risks of vaccines?
Research by Frick and Brookes shows us that vaccines can trigger atopy (skin allergies). (Am J Vet Res. 1983 Mar;44(3):440-5). Dr Jean W Dodds tells us that retroviral and parvoviral diseases, and MLV vaccines, are associated with lymphoma, leukaemia, organ failure, thyroid disease, adrenal disease, pancreatic disease, and bone marrow failure.
Vaccines cause cancer in cats at their injection site and, according to the Journal of Veterinary Medicine, August 2003, vaccines cause cancer in dogs at their injection sites. Vaccines cause autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (JVM, Vol 10, No. 5, September/ October 1996; Merck Veterinary Manual), and arthritis (BVJ, May 1995 and Am Coll Vet Intern Med, 2000; 14:381). Epilepsy is a symptom of encephalitis, which, as we already know, can be caused by vaccines.
According to Dr Larry Glickman and his team at Purdue University, serum and foreign proteins in vaccines can cause autoimmunity (i.e. cancer, leukaemia, organ failure, etc.). This research also indicates that genetic damage is possible, since vaccinated dogs developed autoantibodies to attack their own DNA. Research from the University of Geneva echoes this finding.
Over the years, many vets, particularly in America, have been saying that they think vaccines cause a diverse range of problems in animals. For example, Christine Chambreau DVM said, ‘Routine vaccinations are probably the worst thing we do for our animals. They cause all types of illnesses but not directly to where we would relate them definitely to be caused by the vaccine.’ She is not alone in this view.
So imagine my dilemma ten years ago, when Edward and Daniel came into my home. Having already seen my vaccinated dogs suffer with chronic illnesses, and dying from cancer and leukaemia – knowing that vaccines may have caused these illnesses – what was I to do?
I concluded that I would rather risk viral disease with my dogs, than have them suffer from the epidemic of chronic and fatal illness that is gripping the canine population. I appreciate that some will consider me irresponsible. But what actually are we running from when we vaccinate?
OK, so distemper is so rare that most vets haven’t seen it in at least ten years. Also, according to the top researchers, and stated by the American Veterinary Medical Association, once immune to viral disease, dogs are immune for years or life. So why are vets and vaccine manufacturers still trying to get us to vaccinate against viral disease every year, or even three-yearly – especially when you consider the risk?
According to the Intervet data sheet, dogs will develop permanent immunity to hepatitis over the age of 12 weeks. So why keep vaccinating against that? Kennel cough is easily treated in most cases, and the vaccine isn’t very effective. So what’s the point? Leptospirosis is rare (my vet tells me he hasn’t seen it in ten years, either), and the vaccine is associated with some of the worst adverse reactions. Isn’t this vaccine an unacceptable risk, then? And parvovirus is – according to the Concise Oxford Veterinary Dictionary – rarely a problem for the normal healthy adult dog.
The next question, of course, is how do you get yourself a normal healthy adult dog? Aha – catch 22. In my view, you get a healthy adult dog by not vaccinating at all! Vaccines destabilise the immune system, leading to all sorts of chronic illness. From all I’ve seen and read, vaccines do not set your dog up for good health. They have the potential to make your dogs itchy, scratchy, vomiting, diarrhoea-filled, sickly, sub-normal shadows of their former selves – ready and waiting for the more serious killers like cancer to arrive. Vaccines represent the perfect recipe for the chronic illness epidemic I’ve been describing.
Does this mean I’ve left Edward and Daniel open and unprotected against viral disease? No. When they were puppies they were given the homoeopathic nosode, a safer vaccine alternative. They have also been fed naturally all their lives, providing vital nutrients to boost their immune systems, and they are exercised well (which also boosts the immune system). Have they ever they suffered from recurrent hot spots, allergies, digestive upsets, eye and ear infections, or any other chronic illnesses? No. Did they die of cancer at the age of five, or leukaemia at the age of six, or paralysis at the age of four – as my vaccinated dogs did? No. In fact, they’re probably very well equipped, and healthy enough, to withstand the diseases I might otherwise have vaccinated against.
Is probably good enough? Well – it’s the best anyone is going to get. Because even vaccines cannot guarantee immunity.
So am I taking the high risk option? I don’t think so. It seems to me that good health is a God-given natural right. It’s only man who messes it up. The natural order is wiser than any of us, and those of us who don’t vaccinate our dogs are proving natural law to be right.
Take a leap of faith like Catherine and Dr. Blake and just say
TO DRUGS, CHEMICALS and VACCINES as KNOW them TODAY.
Be the change you wish to see in this world NOW.
JUST SAY NO NOW> DO IT!!!!
Dr Stephen Blake and Dr. Louie