A New Look at the Vaccine Question

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Purred: Fri Mar 6, '09 8:32am PST 
Hiya pups !!!

I know it is long but make your pawrents
read IT !!!!!!!!!! Yes it is from 1993 , but that just tells you how long the info has been out there !!!

Love ,



For more info

First let me tell you who this vet is !

How I Became Interested in Alternative Medicine

by Dr. Pitcairn

I graduated from veterinary school in 1965, from the University of California at Davis, California. My idea was to be a practitioner and that is what I did for the first few years. Starting in a mixed practice (small animals, farm animals, horses, circus animals) I saw a wide variety of health problems and also learned much more about the conditions of veterinary practice. I did not see the results that I expected to have using the treatments learned in veterinary school and this, to me, was a disappointment.

My assumption was that I was not that skilled, that I needed more education. This led me to Washington State University and eventually into a graduate school program. There I worked on a Ph.D. degree emphasizing the study of viruses, immunology and biochemistry. During that time I worked intensively with cell cultures and inbred mice, trying to understand how the different tissues in the body were able to recognize each other. I also helped teach the classes in virology, running the laboratory section with another graduate student. This training finished in 1972 and I graduated with a degree in Veterinary Microbiology. Staying on for a while at the university, I did research in muscles diseases and taught public health in the veterinary school.

After a few years I left the academic world and returned to practice. During my training I had learned a great deal about how the body worked, especially the immune system, but did not know any better how to cure disease. This led me to study nutrition having realized its importance in maintaining a healthy body. Finding out about the pet food industry and what sources were used to make the food led me to recommend fresh foods for animals, prepared at home. This was very satisfying and many animals were greatly helped by making this change.

However, there are animals that are not helped by nutrition. These are the ones that are too ill to eat or have injuries or illness that is so severe that there is not time for nutrition to have an effect. I continued to look for some other means of restoring health in a true sense, not just covering symptoms with drugs or removing diseased tissues with surgery. Looking into many approaches I settled on homeopathy as the most practical and effective that I could find. For example, much is known about using herbs in healing but most animals simply will not take these herbs in sufficient quantity or for long enough to make this approach practical. If we compare this to giving one or a few doses of pleasantly tasting pellets as done in homeopathy we can see the practical advantage of this method. I also find that homeopathy is much more specific in how the medicines can be used with extraordinary detail on how even herbs can be used as medicines.

I found homeopathy to be intellectually complete and satisfying. As a 200 year old system of medicine it has been very well developed and an incredible amount of experience and information have given us the tools we need to work with almost any kind of health problem. The difficulty for me was to learn how to use the books, the repertories and materia medicas that were developed for human beings, to help animals. This has taken some years as you might expect, actually some 20 plus years, but has been very successful.

I have been fortunate that I have been able to teach other veterinarians how to do this work. Since 1992 there has been a yearly course, the Professional Course in Veterinary Homeopathy, and to date we have over 300 animal doctors trained in using this method.

This brief introduction may satisfy your curiosity about how I came to this work. If you want more detail on my professional career, look at my detailed biography.

A New Look at the Vaccine Question

Presented by Richard H. Pitcairn, D.V.M., Ph.D., at Minneapolis, 1993.

What we are going to do, in this presentation, is look at the question of vaccinations in four aspects. First, I want to tell you how my clinical experience led me to understand that vaccination was important, in a causative sense, in many of my cases. Second, we will look at the homeopathic perspective on chronic vaccine disease, or vaccinosis. Third, I wish to present some ideas on how vaccinosis may manifest in the dog and cat. Fourth, we will consider the question of the efficacy of vaccinations — do they really do what they are purported to do?

We are looking at this question, also, from my perspective as a practitioner of homeopathic medicine, not from the allopathic model that assumes vaccines to be useful and safe with occasional aberrations. Most of us are aware that vaccine-caused diseases — such as immune disorders, bleeding problems, tumor formation — are recently receiving attention from the allopathic community. However, the premise that these are exceptions to a basically safe procedure is not the same viewpoint as that which I am presenting to you today.

My understanding of the importance of vaccination in animal diseases gradually developed over several years. I began homeopathic practice without considering vaccination as a factor of special importance. So, what I did was to consider the totality of symptoms in the case and choose the remedy which seemed to be the similimum based on that picture. This is classical homeopathic procedure and, ordinarily, one which would be effective. However, there were a significant number of cases that would not react curatively. Though there was improvement in some respects, nonetheless, a cure was not forthcoming. Eventually, through following the case over a period of time, the image of the remedy Thuya would emerge — which when administered would resolve the case which had been so difficult.

What, then, is the significance of Thuya as a remedy? Thuya is the most important remedy to be used for that state induced by vaccination. Other remedies noted to have this correspondence are Sulphur, Mezereum, Malandrinum, Sarsaparilla, Carcinosin, and Silicea among others. Malandrinum and Carcinosin are interesting remedies because both are nosodes — the former from horses with “grease heel” and the latter from a cancerous discharge from a human being. Thuya, Mezereum, and Sarsaparilla are vegetable remedies — Thuya from the Arbor vitae tree, Mezereum is known as Spurge olive, and Sarsaparilla an herbal medicine. Sulphur, the element and Silicea, which is silicon dioxide or quartz are mineral remedies. Thus we have representations from all the major remedy classes.

It gradually dawned on me that the underlying problem in some of my difficult cases was a state of illness that had been induced by vaccination. So, rather than simply use a totality of symptoms to choose my prescription, I found it more effective to emphasize the rubric “Vaccination, effects of” almost to the exclusion of other remedies. In this way, I was able to make progress in some very frustrating clinical situations.

Let me give you a few recent cases that demonstrate the usefulness of Thuya.

Case 1: Jack: (Stanford) ten month old DSH, male cat. Ill since first obtained as a stray kitten about 12 weeks old. Symptoms primarily fever, diarrhea and vomiting. Associated symptoms were red gums, retained baby teeth, offensive breath, thirst, swollen cervical lymph nodes, craving for strange foods (cinnamon rolls, persimmons), blood at end of penis, licking genitals, dragging bottom on floor, and very strong-smelling urine. When neutered at age seven months, he developed fever, fear of noise, trembling, warm head, dilated pupils, pale gums with red line along the teeth, loss of appetite, craving for plastic, cardboard boxes and house plants, extraordinary hysterical fear on being allowed outside, dry stools with constipation, prolapsed third eyelids, crying in pain before passing a fluid stool, and vomiting any water drunk. Several homeopathic remedies were given during this illness with sometimes definite improvement, almost to normal. However, the condition always recurred and the previous remedy would then not be effective. Based on the symptoms of chronic diarrhea of offensive stools, with lots of gas causing sputtering sounding stool, and crying in pain before urinating — this cat was given Thuya 30C. Client reported almost immediate improvement with return to “97% himself” within a few hours. He has continued to be free of most of these symptoms since this one treatment with Thuya.

Case 2: Jerri, (Hall) 3 and 1/2 year old mixed chow dog. Afflicted with sarcoptic mange and recurrent ear infections for 2 and 1/2 years. Treated allopathically without resolution of the problem (Mitaban and Paramine dips, immune system stimulants, bacterial extracts, etc.). Skin condition characterized by itching, hair loss, thickened dark skin, red irritated skin involving primarily the feet, lower legs, around the eyes, abdomen, top of the head, inside both ears. Patient has also become timid & cautious with the other dogs. Condition markedly ameliorated by a dose of Thuya 1M with regrowth of hair, normalization of appearance of the skin, reduction of ear inflammation, and return of normal personality and behavior. Condition recurred, in milder form, one year later (after use of homeopathic nosodes for disease protection) and was resolved by one dose of Thuya 10M.

Case 3: Monster, (Hilliard) 7 year old DSH, tiger stripe. Chronic diarrhea for 1 and 1/2 years with 1-3 bowel movements a day. Very offensive diarrhea with a lot of gas being passed. Thuya 200C, one dose, resulted in marked improvement, with a perfectly formed stool within three weeks.

Case 4: Mei-Ling: (Coffin)six months old, female charpei dog imported to Brazil from Kansas. Never well since first obtained, now is diagnosed with a seborrhea (biopsy) and skin fungal infection. The skin is dark, itchy, with red, scaly spots. These lesions spread rapidly over most of the body. Client says the puppy was normal until receiving “puppy shots”. She began to lose hair all over, especially from flanks and front legs and on the back near the tail. Treated with oral anti-fungal drug and two ointments without improvement. No effect from treatment with Sulfur 6X; temporary improvement with Rhus toxicodendron 200; rapid recovery after Thuya 200. Change for the better was very rapid with hair growing in faster than ever seen before with this dog. Another dose of Thuya 200 needed three months later, after exposure to plaster and chemicals used in refinishing a room. Other remedies were needed, months later, for some lingering minor symptoms, but Thuya clearly turned this case around.

You can see from these cases that progress was dependent on use of Thuya, the anti-vaccine remedy. Though this was not necessarily the final remedy for these patients, it seemed to be a necessary prescription. It is as if vaccinations have the ability to block response to a constitutional remedy, an obstacle that must be dealt with before cure can be underway.
Homeopathic Discovery of Vaccinosis

Of course, this “discovery”, which was actually more the re-invention of the wheel, prompted me to search the homeopathic literature for information about the relation of vaccination to disease. The most important source on this phenomenon is the book Vaccinosis and Its Cure by Thuja with Remarks on Homeoprophylaxis by J. Compton Burnett, M.D. The first edition of this book appeared in London in March 1884.

It is here that vaccination is first clearly described as a chronic disease. The effect of vaccination, besides the physical effects of stimulating an antibody response, is to establish a chronic disease — one that is long-lasting, indeed, in some cases a life-long, condition. Burnett refers to the chronic disease that results from vaccination by the name Vaccinosis. So, we will adhere, in this discussion, to the same convention. Vaccinosis is to be understood as the disturbance of the vital force by vaccination that results in mental, emotional, and physical changes that can, in some cases, be a permanent condition.

Burnett gives several cases that demonstrate this. Several of them are in infants and children, showing the profound effects of vaccination on the growing organism. However, I wish to emphasize the long-standing effects of vaccination so will mention a couple of example cases to you.

Case 1: A woman, of about age 50, suffered greatly for 20 years from a condition of terrible pain in the eyes. The attacks of pain were so severe, that she would be confined to bed for days at a time and for some periods as long as six weeks. In spite of many examinations and treatments by allopathic doctors, no relief was forthcoming. The patient was confined to a darkened room, her head bound, and crying from the pain. These attacks were always preceded by what seemed to be “flu” and the frequency of these episodes was such that she was confined to her room about half of every year.

As this patient had been extensively vaccinated, the use of Thuya as a remedy was used by Burnett. Thuya, has a type of cephalgia similar to that described by the patient and, indeed, use of Thuya 30C successfully resolved the condition in six weeks. A follow-up in one year showed that the cure held.

Case 2: A young woman, 19 years of age, suffered from severe headaches for nine years. The attacks were characterized by a pain in the back of the head as if it were being squeezed in a vice with throbbing of the head as if it would burst. These attacks occurred once or twice a week. Associated symptoms were habitual constipation, poor appetite, a tendency towards styes, eruption of boils, cold feet, easily made motion-sick, tendency to faint, skin sensitive to wind which become rough with cracks forming in the lips. The patient had been vaccinated against smallpox at three months of age, seven years of age, and again at fourteen years. In spite of this vaccination, she had actually come down with smallpox at age 10!

She was treated with Thuya, in low potency, over a period of several months and was eventually cured of her symptoms. A two year follow-up confirmed the stability of the cure.

Many other cases are described in Burnett’s little book. Lest you think that only head pain is the outcome of vaccinosis, let me hasten to give brief descriptions of some of the others.

* Wasting away (marasmus) of an infant being nursed by a recently vaccinated mother.
* Several cases of skin eruptions, pimples, ringworm.
* Enlarged cervical lymphatic glands and unhealthy lungs tending towards tuberculosis.
* Loss of hair, in patches, on the face of men.
* Unusual susceptibility to influenza and general ill-health.
* Facial acne and nasal dermatitis.
* Diseased finger-nails.
* Chronic vertigo.
* Paralysis and muscular weakness.
* Very painful spine, with weakness, inflammation, twitchings, etc.
* Hand cramps and enlargement of the spleen.
* Insufficient growth in children with paralysis on one-half of the face.

These cases and others, in subsequent books, began to present to the homeopathic community the nature of vaccinosis. Indeed, it was possible, from these cases for Burnett to declare vaccinosis a variant of the sycosis miasm. As you will already know, sycosis is characterized by affections of the skin, the lymphatics, the immune system, susceptibility to fungal infections, susceptibility to cold, damp weather, arthritis, affections of the blood, and many other symptoms of this sort. Most importantly, it is typical of the sycotic miasm, and therefore of vaccinosis, to develop growths of all types — cysts, polyps, warts, tumors and cancers.

Some of Burnett’s other books, especially Tumors of the Breast and their Treatment and Cure by Medicines, Curability of Tumors by Medicines, and Delicate, Backward, Puny and Stunted Children especially bring out some of the variety inherent in vaccinosis and the tremendous damage it can do once established.

One more thing I will mention before leaving the subject of Burnett’s work. This is his interesting observation that the person that is most susceptible to contracting the disease being vaccinated against is more likely to die when they do come in contact with it. In other words, rather than protecting some individuals as planned, it actually makes them more susceptible. The vaccination having created a chronic disease ahead of time, can predispose the patient to a more serious natural illness which combines with the established vaccinosis. As we shall see later in this presentation, there is evidence that this is what has happened in vaccinated populations.

Does this extend our understanding of vaccinosis? We can expand our definition to say that vaccinosis is the establishment of, instead of the acute natural disease, a chronic condition which now has the time to develop a multitude of manifestations not ordinarily seen. Another way of saying this is that the process of laboratory modification of a viral disease to make a vaccination strain is the conversion of the disease from acute to chronic. The virus has been changed so that its natural tendency to arouse a strong response it gone. Instead it can be introduced into the body in a form that does not elicit much of a reaction. The result is the establishment of a chronic disease that has never been seen before in clinical practice.

To illustrate what I mean by this, I would like to briefly discuss aspects of three of these vaccine diseases — chronic canine distemper, chronic rabies, and chronic feline panleukopenia.
Chronic Canine Distemper

Canine distemper, a very old disease of dogs, is well known in its clinical manifestation. According to The Infectious Diseases of Domestic Animals,[1] the major symptoms are:

* Watery discharge from eyes and nose.
* Conjunctivitis, with discharge (eventually purulent).
* Vomiting and diarrhea, loss of appetite.
* Watery feces, mixed with mucous, offensive and often bloody feces; intense malaise, loss of weight, and death.
* Severe, fetid diarrhea.
* Spasms, fits, epileptiform seizures.
* Paralysis.
* Eruption around the mouth where hair meets the naked skin of the lips.
* Swelling of the feet, red footpads.
* Pneumonia.
* Eruptions on the skin of pustules, on the abdomen, inside the thighs, and elsewhere.
* Emaciation.

What I am suggesting to you is that, because of repeated vaccination, the acute disease of canine distemper has changed form to appear as a variety of chronic diseases. In the table below, the acute form of the disease (on the left) has become the chronic (or new acute) disease on the right:


discharge of eyes and nose.

Tendency for watery fluid to drip from the nose.


Chronic conjunctivitis, eye discharge. Entropion.

Vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite.

Chronic gastritis, hepatitis, pancreatitis, appetite disorders.

Watery feces, mixed with mucous, offensive and often bloody feces; intense malaise, loss of weight, and death.

Severe, fetid diarrhea.


Recurrent diarrhea.

Sensitivity to foods with resultant diarrhea.

Spasms, fits, epileptiform seizures.


Epilepsy; rear leg paralysis.


Eruption around the mouth where hair meets the naked skin of the lips.

Lip fold dermatitis.


Swelling of the feet, red footpads.

Habit of licking the feet; eruptions between the toes, inflammation and swelling of the toes & bottoms of the feet; interdigital dermatitis.



Kennel cough.

Chronic bronchitis.

Eruptions on the skin of pustules — on the abdomen, inside the thighs, and elsewhere.

Chronic skin eruptions involving abdomen, inside thighs, and generally lower half of the body.



Failure to thrive; abnormally thin condition.

What I am suggesting here is that the original disease, Distemper, has been, for the most part, replaced by Distemper Vaccinosis, a chronic disease of great variety. This chronic disease also creates a susceptibility to new acute forms of distemper like parvovirus. Because by its nature, chronic disease is more developed than an acute disease, the many ramifications of this condition have been given new names from the mistaken idea that they are different and distinct diseases.
Chronic Rabies

Let’s now consider Rabies in the same way. Some of the symptoms of rabies are known to be (similar for dogs and cats)[2],[3]:

* Restlessness, uneasiness, apprehensiveness and a developing viciousness. This is most apt to be manifested toward strangers.
* Dogs normally affectionate may hide away and shun company.
* Dogs normally independent may become unusually attentive and affectionate (an expression of anxiety).
* Desire to travel away from home for long distances.
* If restrained, it will chew viciously on metal chains or anything that is used to restrain or confine it.
* The dog may inflict severe bite wounds on itself.
* Strange cries and hoarse howls (partial paralysis of the vocal cords).
* No interest in food.
* Unable to swallow because of paralysis of muscles of deglutition.
* Eyes staring with dilation of the pupils.
* Unable to close the eyes; cornea becomes dry and dull.
* Hanging down of the lower jaw.
* Swallows pieces of wood, stones, its own fecal material and other foreign bodies.
* Destruction of blankets, towels, clothing.
* Convulsive seizures.
* Muscular incoordination.
* Agonizing pain and constriction in the throat; spasms of the throat.
* Increased sexual desire; satyriasis, nymphomania; attempted rape.
* Inflammation of the heart muscle; disturbed heart function, irregular rhythm, heart rate too slow or too fast; heart failure.
* Periods of excitement and jerky breathing; cluster breathing.

Now let’s consider how this acute disease has, through vaccination, become a variety of “new” ailments:

Restlessness, uneasiness, apprehensiveness and a developing viciousness. This is most apt to be manifested toward strangers.

Restless nature; suspicious of others, unfriendly to other dogs, vicious to other animals, desire to kill.

Aggression and mistrust of strangers, esp. people in uniforms.

Dogs normally affectionate may hide away and shun company.

Change of behavior to aloofness; from affectionate to unaffectionate.

Dogs normally independent may become unusually attentive and affectionate.

Clingy behavior, fear to be left alone.

Follows owner from room to room.

Wants physical contact.

Desire to travel away from home for long distances.

Tendency to escape confinement and to roam.

If restrained, it will chew viciously on metal chains or anything that is used to restrain or confine it.

Attempt at restraint results in hysterical, violent behavior. Resistance can be so extreme as to cause self-injury.

The dog may inflict severe bite wounds on itself.

Self-mutilation; tail-chewing, chewing off toes or a foot (seen in severe allergic or nervous diseases).

Strange cries and hoarse howls (partial paralysis of the vocal cords).

Changed voice; hoarseness.

Excessive tendency to bark or be vocal.

No interest in food.

Chronic poor appetite; very particular about food; finicky.

Unable to swallow because of paralysis of muscles of deglutition. Hanging down of the lower jaw.

Paralysis (or partial paralysis) of mouth, tongue or throat; sloppy eaters or drinkers; tendency to drool or lose saliva.

Eyes staring with dilation of the pupils.

Loss of sight, cataract formation, visual defects.

Unable to close the eyes; cornea becomes dry and dull.

Keratitis sicca, “dry eye”.

Swallows pieces of wood, stones, its own fecal material and other foreign bodies.

Habit of eating wood, stones, sticks, earth.

Excessive desire to eat stool (their own or other animals).

Destruction of blankets, towels, clothing.

Destructive behavior and shredding of blankets or bedding.

Convulsive seizures.

Muscular incoordination.

Seizures, epilepsy, chorea, twitches, etc.


Agonizing pain and constriction in the throat; spasms of the throat.

Psychomotor seizure syndrome.

Increased sexual desire; satyriasis, nymphomania; attempted rape.

Increased sexual desire, even in neutered males; humping; sexual aggression.

Inflammation of the heart muscle; disturbed heart function, irregular rhythm, heart rate too slow or too fast; heart failure.

Irregular pulse; heart failure.

Periods of excitement and jerky breathing; cluster breathing.

“Reverse” sneezing attacks.

These symptoms of rabies vaccinosis are not familiar to us because, until vaccines were widely employed, we never saw rabies in a chronic form in our patients. Even now, these effects of rabies’ vaccination are generally unrecognized even though follow-up of changes in dog temperaments and physical condition after rabies’ vaccination will readily confirm this.
Chronic Feline Panleukopenia

The third, and final, disease we are to consider is Feline Panleukopenia. The symptoms of this dread disease are:[4]

* Lassitude.
* Inappetance.
* Fever.
* Rough, unkempt coat.
* Indifference to owner or surroundings.
* Rapid weight loss.
* Dehydration.
* Vomiting.
* Profuse, watery, diarrhea (often blood-tinged).
* Mucopurulent discharges from the eyes and nose.

The changes to a chronic disease condition are shown in this table:

Lassitude; indifference to owner or surroundings.

Lazy cats, not active, lie around most of the time.


Appetite problems, finicky, not wanting to eat well.


Chronic fever, for weeks, with few symptoms except for cervical gland enlargements.

Rough, unkempt coat.

Poor groomers (or cats that never groom).


Chronic dehydration leading to cystitis and bladder calculus formation; chronic interstitial nephritis.

Rapid weight loss.

Emaciation; thin, “skeletal” cats.


Vomiting; profuse, watery, diarrhea (often blood-tinged).

Inflammatory bowel disease.

Mucopurulent discharges from the eyes and nose.

Chronic upper respiratory infections; sinusitis.

Feline leukemia, in the primary stage, is characterized by fever, malaise, anorexia, lymphadenopathy, leukopenia, anemia, and thrombocytopenia.[5] Thus, in many ways, chronic panleukopenia looks like feline leukemia. It is like the acute syndrome of panleukopenia stretched out in time to so that it becomes chronic.

Probably, by this point, many of you are wondering what I can mean about panleukopenia (or any of these diseases) becoming a chronic disease like feline leukemia. I am speaking from the homeopathic perspective that understands that every being, including viruses, have a vital force. This vital force, which is the life force or chi, is what is the energetic pattern that develops and maintains the physical form. It is a downstream flow of information from the energetic to the physical. When this physical aspect is changed or blocked, as happens when the chronic vaccine disease is established, then the life force behind the disease manifests itself in a different way. These new forms, we give new names. We haven’t really eliminated anything by vaccination, we have just changed its shape.

I picked these three diseases for discussion because of their importance to dogs and cats who have suffered from them for thousands of years. They would seem to have a susceptibility to these diseases that has never been satisfied. Now, with the extension of these diseases into a chronic form with vaccination, the influence of these diseases on the dog and cat species has never been so great as today.
Are Vaccines Effective?

The last thing I want to consider in this discussion is the larger question — are vaccines really effective? To answer this question is more difficult than it would seem at first. We don’t really have a system for tabulating the incidence of the common diseases of dogs and cats, for example. There are figures for some of the reportable diseases of livestock, but the rapid turnover of these animals makes long term studies almost impossible. However, what we can do is kind of a reverse process of what we usually find ourselves doing as veterinarians. Instead of using animals to study human disease, let’s use human disease to answer our question. There are statistics for the common human diseases and we can use these to answer our question about the efficacy of vaccinations.

Let’s start our evaluation with smallpox which was the disease for which Jenner developed his method of vaccination in 1796.[6]

There are two things of interest around this time of Jenner’s early work. First is that James Phipps, the eight-year-old boy initially vaccinated by Jenner in 1796, was re-vaccinated 20 times, and died at the age of twenty. Second, Jenner’s own son, who was also vaccinated more than once, died at the age of twenty-one. Both succumbed to tuberculosis, a condition that some researchers have linked to the smallpox vaccine. It is apparent that from the beginning, doctors were confused about the question of vaccine protection. They thought that because the specific syndrome of smallpox did not appear that the vaccine was effective. They did not see that the overall level of health of the boys receiving the vaccine was equally an indicator of vaccine effectiveness.

Another thing of importance to understand in evaluating the significance of smallpox vaccination is that smallpox and other communicable diseases were declining before vaccination programs were enforced. This may be attributed to the sanitation reforms and nutritional teachings instituted around the mid-1800’s as much as to the vaccination programs as these other communicable diseases, for which there was no vaccination, were also declining at the same rate.

The interesting thing, however, is that the incidence of smallpox actually increased once vaccination programs were instituted. In Jenner’s time, there were only a few hundred cases of smallpox in England. After more than fifteen years of mandatory vaccinations, in 1870 and 1871 alone more than 23,000 people died from the disease. Later, in Japan, nearly 29,000 people died in just seven years under a stringent compulsory vaccination and re-vaccination program.

This increase in smallpox deaths was associated with a noticeable lack of protection — not the best combination of events. For example, in Germany, over 124,000 people died of smallpox during the same epidemic. All had been vaccinated. Additionally, (unaltered) hospital records consistently show that about 90 percent of all smallpox cases occurred after the individual was vaccinated.

This lack of efficacy and increase in disease incidence, while other communicable diseases were declining, led to the refusal of smallpox vaccination by some countries. This resulted in a drop of the incidence of the disease that is quite remarkable. In Australia, when two children died from their smallpox shots, the government terminated compulsory vaccinations. As a result, smallpox virtually disappeared in that country (three cases in fifteen years). When England began to reject vaccination, then the incidence of smallpox deaths decreased accordingly.[7] (slide 1) Note: The slides are not yet posted here—a future project.

This is another disease for which people assume that vaccination has made a great difference in incidence. However, let’s look more closely at the facts.[8] From 1923 to 1953, before the Salk killed-virus vaccine was introduced, the polio death rate in the United States and England had already declined on its own by 47% and 55% respectively. Statistics show a similar decline in other European countries as well.[9] (slide 2)

When the vaccine became available, many European countries questioned its effectiveness and refused to systematically inoculate their citizens. Yet, polio epidemics also ended in these countries as well.

Additionally, as with smallpox vaccine, the number of reported cases of polio following mass inoculations with the killed-virus vaccine was significantly greater than before mass inoculations.[10] (slide 3) Though these facts are readily available, the mass vaccination against polio has continued with the result that most of the cases of this dread disease are now attributed to the vaccine.

In 1976, Dr. Jonas Salk testified that the live-virus vaccine, used almost exclusively in the United States since the early 1960’s, was “the principle if not the sole cause” of all reported polio cases in the United States since 1961.

The Federal Centers for Disease Control recently (Feb. 1992) admitted that the live-virus vaccine has become the dominant cause of polio in the United States today. According to CDC figures, 87% of all cases of polio between 1973 and 1983 were caused by the vaccine. More recently, from 1980 through 1989, every case of polio in the U.S. was caused by the vaccine. During this same time period, three of the five people that caught polio during foreign travel were previously vaccinated against the disease.

Measles is an especially interesting disease for us to look at because of its close similarity to canine distemper.

The measles vaccine was introduced in 1963, yet in the United States and England, from 1915 to 1958, a greater than 95 percent decline in the measles death rate had already occurred.[12] (slide 4) In addition, the death rate from measles in the mid-1970’s (which was several years post-vaccine) remained exactly the same as in the early 1960’s (pre-vaccine), e.g., .03 deaths per 100,000.

Once again, the efficacy of vaccination in prevention of this disease has not been established. According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization, chances are 14 times greater that measles will be contracted by those vaccinated against the disease than those who are left alone. According to Dr. Atkinson of the CDC, “measles transmission has been clearly documented among vaccinated persons. In some large outbreaks.... over 95 percent of cases have a history of vaccination...”

In addition, of all reported cases of measles in the U.S. in 1984, more than 58 percent of the school age children were “adequately” vaccinated.[13] (slide 5)

In 1985, the federal government reported 1,984 non-preventable cases of measles. But 80 percent of these so-called “non-preventable” cases occurred in people who had been properly vaccinated. More recent outbreaks continue to occur throughout the country, sometimes among 100 percent vaccinated populations.

In spite of the evidence for lack of efficacy of this vaccine it is still strongly promoted. This continued use of a useless vaccine, however, is not without its price. It has been determined that the measles vaccine may cause ataxia, learning disability, retardation, aseptic meningitis, seizure disorders, paralysis and death. It has also been investigated as a possible cause of or cofactor for multiple sclerosis, Reye’s syndrome, Guillain-Barre syndrome, blood clotting disorders, and juvenile-onset diabetes.

Another additional harmful effect is that the disease has changed form, and now affects primarily a different age group. The peak incidence of measles no longer occurs in children, but in adolescents and young adults. The risk of complications of pneumonia (3%) and liver abnormality (20%) have increased as a result.

Also, before the vaccine was introduced, it was extremely rare for an infant to contract measles. However by 1993 more than 25 percent of all measles cases were occurring in babies under a year of age. CDC anticipates a worsening of this situation and attributes it to the growing number of mothers who were vaccinated during the last 30 years and therefore have no natural immunity to pass on to their children.

The implications for our having changed the natural disease into this new form are immense.
Whooping Cough (Pertussis)[14]

Just as we have seen with the other diseases already discussed, the incidence and severity of whooping cough had begun to decline long before the pertussis vaccine was introduced in the 1940’s. From 1900 to 1935, in the United States and England, before the pertussis vaccine was introduced, the death rate from pertussis had already declined by 79 percent and 82 percent, respectively.[15] (Slide 6)

However, once again, the usefulness of this vaccine is in doubt. Some studies indicate that the effectiveness of the pertussis vaccine may be as low as 40-45 percent. Further evidence indicates that immunity is not sustained. During an epidemic in 1978, of 85 fully vaccinated children, 46 (54%) developed whooping cough.

During a ten month period in 1984, the state of Washington reported 162 cases. Of the cases aged 3 months to 6 years, 49% had been fully vaccinated against the disease. In the same year, of the 560 cases reported to CDC in the age bracket of seven months to six years with known vaccination status, 46 percent had received vaccine protection.[16] (Slide 7)

In 1986, in Kansas, 1300 cases of pertussis were reported. Of the patients whose vaccination status was known, 90 percent were “adequately” vaccinated.

As with measles vaccine, there are several known or suspected harmful effects from this vaccine. These included SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome — research shows that children die at a rate eight times greater than normal within three days after getting a DPT shot), encephalitis (the pertussis vaccine is used in animal experiments to help produce anaphylactic shock, and to cause an acute auto immune encephalomyelitis), retardation and learning disorders, fever as high as 106 degrees — with pain, swelling, diarrhea, projectile vomiting, excessive sleepiness, high-pitched screaming, inconsolable crying bouts, seizures, convulsions, collapse, and shock. In studies, approximately 1 in 200 children who received the full DPT series suffered severe reactions.

In the 20 months prior to July 31, 1992 — 250 deaths and 7,200 adverse reactions linked to whooping cough vaccinations had been reported to CDC. In addition, the US Public Health Service announced that as of Nov. 16, 1992, some 3,200 pertussis vaccine claims against the US government had been filed.

We have considered the vaccination question from several aspects. We have looked at the way in which I think that routine vaccinations can result in the production of chronic disease in animals and I have made some specific suggestions of the symptoms that result.

Also, we have considered the question of vaccine effectiveness with the surprising evidence that vaccines do not actually protect populations from disease — though they do seem to modify the pattern in which the acute disease manifests.

I realize that this topic is a controversial one and that many will disagree with my conclusions. However, what I have observed is that if one can look at this question with an open mind, one will be surprised at the amount of evidence that is actually there. If you look at the larger perspective of disease incidence (of any type) in the weeks and months following vaccination, you will soon see confirmations of what I am presenting to you today. And once this is seen, the way is open for you to question the whole edifice.applauseapplauseapplause

Edited by author Fri Mar 6, '09 8:36am PST

sara- Feb1993-July- 2009

Purred: Fri Mar 6, '09 8:46am PST 

Who is Jean Dodds ??


Dr. Dodds received the D.V.M. degree with honors in 1964 from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Toronto. In 1965 she accepted a position with the New York State Health Department in Albany and began comparative studies of animals with inherited and acquired bleeding diseases. Her position there began as a Research Scientist and culminated as Chief, Laboratory of Hematology, Wadsworth Center. In 1980 she also became Executive Director, New York State Council on Human Blood and Transfusion Services. This work continued full-time until 1986 when she moved to Southern California to establish Hemopet, the first nonprofit national blood bank program for animals.

From 1965-1986, she was a member of many national and international committees on hematology, animal models of human disease, veterinary medicine, and laboratory animal science. Dr. Dodds was a grantee of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH) and has over 150 research publications. She was formerly President of the Scientist's Center for Animal Welfare; and Chairman of the Committee on Veterinary Medical Sciences and Vice-Chairman of the Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources, National Academy of Sciences. In 1974 Dr. Dodds was selected as Outstanding Woman Veterinarian of the Year, AVMA Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado; in 1977 received the Region I Award for Outstanding Service to the Veterinary Profession from the American Animal Hospital Association, Cherry Hill, New Jersey; in 1978 and 1990 received the Gaines Fido Award as Dogdom's Woman of the Year; and the Award of Merit in 1978 in Recognition of Special Contributions to the Veterinary Profession from the American Animal Hospital Association, Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1984 she was awarded the Centennial Medal from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. In 1987 she was elected a distinguished Practitioner of the National Academy of Practice in Veterinary Medicine. In 1994 she was given the Holistic Veterinarian of the Year Award from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. She is an active member of numerous professional societies.

Today, Dr. Dodds is actively expanding Hemopet's range of nonprofit services and educational activities. The animal blood bank program provides canine blood components, blood bank supplies, and related services throughout North America. Hemopet's retired Greyhound blood donors are adopted as pets through the Pet Life-Line arm of the project. On behalf of Hemopet, she consults in clinical pathology nationally and internationally, and regularly travels to teach animal health care professionals, companion animal fanciers, and pet owners on hematology and blood banking, immunology, endocrinology, nutrition and holistic medicine. She was also the Editor of Advances in Veterinary Science and Comparative Medicine for Academic Press.


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To follow is Dr. Jean Dodds' latest vaccination protocol

About Vaccination Protocols

It's great to share helpful information that might benefit our animal companions. However, sometimes the information may not be accurate and can create problems later on. That turns out to be the case with the "New Vaccination Protocols" post which continues to be widely circulated.

From experience, I find it best to verify important information prior to sending it on to others.

FYI, regarding that ‘vaccine protocol’ which is excerpted below– please be advised that it is NOT Dr. Jean Dodds’

" ... I would like to make you aware that all 27 veterinary schools in North America are in the process of changing their protocols for Vaccinating dogs and cats. Some of this information will present an ethical & economic challenge to Vets, and there will be skeptics. Some organizations have come up with a political compromise suggesting vaccinations every 3 years to appease those who fear loss of income vs. those concerned about potential side effects. Politics, traditions, or the doctors economic well-being should not be a factor in a medical decision..."

To follow is her reply to me regarding what is being circulated via the internet (again). She has since asked me to assist with this unfortunate situation and that's why I'm asking that this post be forwarded -- to let everyone know that the other post contains false information:

“Dear Helen: No , … This is the broadcast message sent around the world, or so it seems, LAST YEAR. It is not from me. I even got an e-mail from the AVMA last year asking where I got my information and data from ! Jean”


Dr. Jean Doddss' Recommended Vaccination Schedule

W. Jean Dodds, DVM
938 Stanford Street
Santa Monica, CA 90403
310/ 828-4804
fax: 310/ 828-8251

Note: This schedule is the one I recommend and should not be interpreted to mean that other protocols recommended by a veterinarian would be less satisfactory. It's a matter of professional judgment and choice. For breeds or families of dogs susceptible to or affected with immune dysfunction, immune-mediated disease, immune-reactions associated with vaccinations, or autoimmune endocrine disease (e.g., thyroiditis, Addison's or Cushing's disease, diabetes, etc.) the following protocol is recommended:

For breeds or families of dogs susceptible to or effected with immune dysfunction, immune-mediated disease, immune-reactions associated with vaccinations, or autoimmune endocrine disease (e.g., thyroiditis, Addison's or Cushing's disease, diabetes, etc.), the following protocol is recommended:

Total of 3 doses ONLY
Age of Pups - Vaccine - Type
9 weeks MLV Distemper/Parvovirus only (e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy)
12 weeks MLV Distemper/Parvovirus only (e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy)
16-20 weeks MLV Distemper/Parvovirus only (e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy)
24 weeks or older, if allowable by law Killed Rabies Vaccine
1 year MLV Distemper/Parvovirus only booster
1 year ( give 3-4 weeks apart from Dist/Parvo booster) Killed 3 year rabies vaccine
MLV=modified-live virus

After 1 year, annually measure serum antibody titers against specific canine infectious agents such as distemper and parvovirus. This is especially recommended for animals previously experiencing adverse vaccine reactions or breeds at higher risk for such reactions (e.g., Weimaraner, Akita, American Eskimo, Great Dane).

nother alternative to booster vaccinations is homeopathic nosodes. This option is considered an unconventional treatment that has not been scientifically proven to be efficacious. One controlled parvovirus nosode study did not adequately protect puppies under challenged conditions. However, data from Europe and clinical experience in North America support its use. If veterinarians choose to use homeopathic nosodes, their clients should be provided with an appropriate disclaimer and written informed consent should be obtained.

I use only killed 3 year rabies vaccine for adults and give it separated from other vaccines by 3-4 weeks. In some states, they may be able to give titer test result in lieu of booster.

I do NOT use Bordetella, corona virus, leptospirosis or Lyme vaccines unless these diseases are endemic in the local area pr specific kennel. Futhermore, the currently licensed leptospira bacterins do not contain the serovars causing the majority of clinical leptospirosis today.

I do NOT recommend vaccinating bitches during estrus, pregnancy or lactation.

W. Jean Dodds, DVM


W. Jean Dodds, DVM

938 Stanford Street

Santa Monica, CA 90403

(310) 828-4804; FAX (310) 828-8251

The challenge to produce effective and safe vaccines for the prevalent infectious diseases of humans and animals has become increasingly difficult. In veterinary medicine, evidence implicating vaccines in triggering immune-mediated and other chronic disorders (vaccinosis) is compelling. While some of these problems have been traced to contaminated or poorly attenuated batches of vaccine that revert to virulence, others apparently reflect the host’s genetic predisposition to react adversely upon receiving the single (monovalent) or multiple antigen “combo” (polyvalent) products given routinely to animals. Animals of certain susceptible breeds or families appear to be at increased risk for severe and lingering adverse reactions to vaccines.

The onset of adverse reactions to conventional vaccinations (or other inciting drugs, chemicals, or infectious agents) can be an immediate hypersensitivity or anaphylactic reaction, or can occur acutely (24-48 hours afterwards), or later on (10-45 days) in a delayed type immune response often caused by immune-complex formation. Typical signs of adverse immune reactions include fever, stiffness, sore joints and abdominal tenderness, susceptibility to infections, central and peripheral nervous system disorders or inflammation, collapse with autoagglutinated red blood cells and jaundice, or generalized pinpoint hemorrhages or bruises. Liver enzymes may be markedly elevated, and liver or kidney failure may accompany bone marrow suppression. Furthermore, recent vaccination of genetically susceptible breeds has been associated with transient seizures in puppies and adult dogs, as well as a variety of autoimmune diseases including those affecting the blood, endocrine organs, joints, skin and mucosa, central nervous system, eyes, muscles, liver, kidneys, and bowel. It is postulated that an underlying genetic predisposition to these conditions places other littermates and close relatives at increased risk. 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 (Scott-Moncrieff et al, 2002).

Vaccination also can overwhelm the immunocompromised or even healthy host that is repeatedly challenged with other environmental stimuli and is genetically predisposed to react adversely upon viral exposure. The recently weaned young puppy or kitten entering a new environment is at greater risk here, as its relatively immature immune system can be temporarily or more permanently harmed. Consequences in later life may be the increased susceptibility to chronic debilitating diseases.

As combination vaccines contain antigens other than those of the clinically important infectious disease agents, some may be unnecessary; and their use may increase the risk of adverse reactions. With the exception of a recently introduced mutivalent Leptospira spp. vaccine, the other leptospirosis vaccines afford little protection against the clinically important fields strains of leptospirosis, and the antibodies they elicit typically last only a few months. Other vaccines, such as for Lyme disease, may not be needed, because the disease is limited to certain geographical areas. Annual revaccination for rabies is required by some states even though there are USDA licensed rabies vaccine with a 3-year duration. Thus, the overall risk-benefit ratio of using certain vaccines or multiple antigen vaccines given simultaneously and repeatedly should be reexamined. It must be recognized, however, that we have the luxury of asking such questions today only because the risk of disease has been effectively reduced by the widespread use of vaccination programs.

Given this troublesome situation, what are the experts saying about these issues? In 1995, a landmark review commentary focused the attention of the veterinary profession on the advisability of current vaccine practices. Are we overvaccinating companion animals, and if so, what is the appropriate periodicity of booster vaccines ? Discussion of this provocative topic has generally lead to other questions about the duration of immunity conferred by the currently licensed vaccine components.

In response to questions posed in the first part of this article, veterinary vaccinologists have recommended new protocols for dogs and cats. These include: 1) giving the puppy or kitten vaccine series followed by a booster at one year of age; 2) administering further boosters in a combination vaccine every three years or as split components alternating every other year until; 3) the pet reaches geriatric age, at which time booster vaccination is likely to be unnecessary and may be unadvisable for those with aging or immunologic disorders. In the intervening years between booster vaccinations, and in the case of geriatric pets, circulating humoral immunity can be evaluated by measuring serum vaccine antibody titers as an indication of the presence of immune memory. Titers do not distinguish between immunity generated by vaccination and/or exposure to the disease, although the magnitude of immunity produced just by vaccination is usually lower (see Tables).

Except where vaccination is required by law, all animals, but especially those dogs or close relatives that previously experienced an adverse reaction to vaccination can have serum antibody titers measured annually instead of revaccination. If adequate titers are found, the animal should not need revaccination until some future date. Rechecking antibody titers can be performed annually, thereafter, or can be offered as an alternative to pet owners who prefer not to follow the conventional practice of annual boosters. Reliable serologic vaccine titering is available from several university and commercial laboratories and the cost is reasonable (Twark and Dodds, 2000; Lappin et al, 2002; Paul et al, 2003; Moore and Glickman, 2004).

Relatively little has been published about the duration of immunity following vaccination, although new data are beginning to appear for both dogs and cats.

Our recent study (Twark and Dodds, 2000), evaluated 1441 dogs for CPV antibody titer and 1379 dogs for CDV antibody titer. Of these, 95.1 % were judged to have adequate CPV titers, and nearly all (97.6 %) had adequate CDV titers. Vaccine histories were available for 444 dogs (CPV) and 433 dogs (CDV). Only 43 dogs had been vaccinated within the previous year, with the majority of dogs (268 or 60%) having received a booster vaccination 1-2 years beforehand. On the basis of our data, we concluded that annual revaccination is unnecessary. Similar findings and conclusions have been published recently for dogs in New Zealand (Kyle et al, 2002), and cats (Scott and Geissinger, 1999; Lappin et al, 2002). Comprehensive studies of the duration of serologic response to five viral vaccine antigens in dogs and three viral vaccine antigens in cats were recently published by researchers at Pfizer Animal Health ( Mouzin et al, 2004).

When an adequate immune memory has already been established, there is little reason to introduce unnecessary antigen, adjuvant, and preservatives by administering booster vaccines. By titering annually, one can assess whether a given animal’s humoral immune response has fallen below levels of adequate immune memory. In that event, an appropriate vaccine booster can be administered.


Purred: Fri Mar 6, '09 8:51am PST 
For more info

UW-Madison > News > Schultz: Dog vaccines may n...
Schultz: Dog vaccines may not be necessary

March 14, 2003

Photo of vaccination needle

A veterinarian prepares to administer a canine vaccine to a dog at the School of Veterinary Medicine Clinic. Research by Ronald Schultz, professor and chair of pathological sciences in the School of Veterinary Medicine, questions whether current vaccination guidelines are causing our pets to be unnecessarily over-vaccinated. (

Once a year, Ronald Schultz checks the antibody levels in his dogs' blood. Why? He says for proof that most annual vaccines are unnecessary.

Schultz, professor and chair of pathobiological sciences at School of Veterinary Medicine, has been studying the effectiveness of canine vaccines since the 1970s; he's learned that immunity can last as long as a dog's lifetime, which suggests that our "best friends" are being over-vaccinated.

Based on his findings, a community of canine vaccine experts has developed new veterinary recommendations that could eliminate a dog's need for annual shots. The guidelines appear in the March/April issue of Trends, the journal of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).

Every year, when we take our dogs to the veterinarian's office, they could receive up to 16 different vaccines, many of which are combined into a single shot. Four of these products protect against life-threatening diseases, including rabies, canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2), canine distemper virus (CDV) and canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2); the rest protect against milder diseases to which only some dogs are exposed, including Lyme disease.

But, as many veterinarians are realizing, over-vaccination can actually jeopardize a dog's health and even life. Side effects can cause skin problems, allergic reactions and autoimmune disease. Though the case in cats, not dogs, tumors have been reported at the site of vaccine injections.

"These adverse reactions have caused many veterinarians to rethink the issue of vaccination," says Schultz. "The idea that unnecessary vaccines can cause serious side effects is in direct conflict with sound medical practices."

For 30 years, Schultz has been examining the need to vaccinate animals so often and for so many diseases. "In the 1970s, I started thinking about our immune response to pathogens and how similar it is in other animals," says Schultz. "That's when I started to question veterinary vaccination practices."

Just like ours, a canine's immune system fires up when a pathogen, like a virus, enters the body. The pathogen releases a protein called an antigen, which calls into action the immune system's special disease-fighting cells. Called B and T lymphocytes, these cells not only destroy the virus, but they remember what it looked like so they can fend it off in the future.

It's this immunological memory that enables vaccines, which purposely contain live, weakened or dead pathogens, to protect against future disease.

But, as Schultz points out, vaccines can keep people immune for a lifetime: we're usually inoculated for measles, mumps and rubella as children but never as adults. So, can dogs be vaccinated as pups and then never again?

While evidence from Schultz's studies on both his own dogs and many other dogs from controlled studies suggests the answer is yes, Schultz recommends a more conservative plan based on duration of immunity and individual risk.

Schultz says that core vaccines, or the ones that protect against life-threatening disease, are essential for all dogs, yet he does not recommend dogs receive these shots yearly. "With the exception of rabies, the vaccines for CDV, CPV-2 and CAV trigger an immunological memory of at least seven years," he explains. (Studies testing the duration of immunity for rabies shots show it lasts about three years.)

For these reasons, Schultz suggests that dogs receive rabies shots every three years (as is required by law in most states) and the other core vaccines no more frequently than every three years.

Some non-core vaccines, on the other hand, have a much shorter duration of immunity, lasting around one year. But, as Schultz points out, not every dog should get these types of vaccines, because not every dog is at risk for exposure.

Today, many vaccinated dogs receive a shot for Lyme disease. However, Schultz says that the ticks carrying the Lyme disease pathogen can be found in only a few regions of the United States. More importantly, Schultz adds, "The vaccine can cause adverse effects such as mild arthritis, allergy or other immune diseases. Like all vaccines, it should only be used when the animal is at significant risk." He notes that the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine rarely administers the Lyme disease vaccine.

Another common vaccine that Schultz says is unnecessary protects against "kennel cough," an often mild and transient disease contracted during boarding or dog shows. "Most pet dogs that do not live in breeding kennels, are not boarded, do not go to dog shows and have only occasional contact with dogs outside their immediate family," Schultz recommends, "rarely need to be vaccinated or re-vaccinated for kennel cough."

Schultz says that it's important for veterinarians to recognize an individual dog's risk for developing a particular disease when considering the benefits of a vaccine. "Vaccines have many exceptional benefits, but, like any drug, they also have the potential to cause significant harm." Giving a vaccine that's not needed, he explains, creates an unnecessary risk to the animal.

Recommending that dogs receive fewer vaccines, Schultz admits, may spark controversy, especially when veterinarians rely on annual vaccines to bring in clients, along with income.

But, as he mentions, annual visits are important for many reasons other than shots.

"Checking for heartworm, tumors, dermatological problems and tooth decay should be done on a yearly basis," he says. "Plus, some dogs, depending on their risk, may need certain vaccines annually." Rather than vaccinating on each visit, veterinarians can use a recently developed test which checks dogs' immunity against certain diseases.

Schultz adds that veterinarians who have switched to the three-year, instead of annual, vaccination program have found no increase in the number of dogs with vaccine-preventable diseases.

"Everyday, more and more people in the profession are embracing the change," notes Schultz. And, that the new vaccination guidelines supported by the AAHA, along with the task force members representing the American Colleges of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Veterinary Microbiology and the American Association of Veterinary Immunologists, is evidence of just that.


Purred: Fri Mar 6, '09 8:57am PST 
This is a great site


******************* ***********
Letter to government

February 27, 2005

TO: The Agriculture, Conservation and Forest Committee

RE: LD 429, An Act to Require Veterinarians to Provide Vaccine Disclosure Forms

My name is Kris Christine and I live with my family in Alna, Maine. Before I begin my testimony, I’d like to advise the committee that one of the world’s leading veterinary research scientists, Dr. W. Jean Dodds, wanted to be here today to testify in support of LD429, but could not do so because of prior commitments. With her permission, in the attachments to my testimony, I have included her letter to Representative Peter Rines dated February 17, 2005 (Attachment 5) resolutely endorsing this first-in-the-nation veterinary vaccine disclosure legislation.

I am here today to respectfully urge this committee to recommend passage of LD429 – An Act to Require Veterinarians to Provide Vaccine Disclosure Forms because pet owners need the scientifically proven durations of immunity (how long vaccines are effective for) in order to make informed medical choices for their animals.

Many Maine veterinarians have failed to inform clients that most core veterinary vaccines protect for seven or more years, and pet owners, unaware that their animals don’t need booster vaccinations more often, have unwittingly given their companions useless booster shots – taking an unnecessary toll on their finances and animals’ health. The human equivalent would be physicians vaccinating patients against tetanus once every year, two years, or three years and not disclosing that the vaccines are known to be protective for 10 years.

For years veterinarians have sent pet owners annual, biennial and triennial reminders for redundant booster shots and justified it with vaccine manufacturers’ labeled recommendations. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Principles of Vaccination (Attachment 6), “..revaccination frequency recommendations found on many vaccine labels is based on historical precedent, not on scientific data … [and] does not resolve the question about average or maximum duration of immunity [Page 2] and..may fail to adequately inform practitioners about optimal use of the product…[Page 4] .” As the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital states it: “…booster vaccine recommendations for vaccines other than rabies virus have been determined arbitrarily by manufacturers.”

Dr. Ronald Schultz, Chairman of Pathobiological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, is at the forefront of vaccine research and is one of the world’s leading authorities on veterinary vaccines. His challenge study results form the scientific base of the American Animal Hospital Association’s (AAHA) 2003 Canine Vaccine Guidelines, Recommendations, and Supporting Literature (Attachment 7). These studies are based on science – they are not arbitrary. The public, however, cannot access this data. The American Animal Hospital Association only makes this report available to veterinarians, not private citizens, and Maine’s pet owners are unaware that the AAHA Guidelines state on Page 18 that: “We now know that booster injections are of no value in dogs already immune, and immunity from distemper infection and vaccination lasts for a minimum of 7 years based on challenge studies and up to 15 years (a lifetime) based on antibody titer.” They further state that hepatitis and parvovirus vaccines have been proven to protect for a minimum of 7 years by challenge and up to 9 and 10 years based on antibody count. So, unless the Legislature passes LD429 requiring veterinarians to provide vaccine disclosure forms, dog owners who receive an annual, biennial, or triennial reminders for booster shots will not know that nationally-accepted scientific studies have demonstrated that animals are protected a minimum of 7 years after vaccination with the distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus-2 vaccines (see Page 12 AAHA 2003 Guidelines attached, and Table 1, Pages 3 and 4).

"My own pets are vaccinated once or twice as pups and kittens, then never again except for rabies,” Wall Street Journal reporter Rhonda L. Rundle quoted Dr. Ronald Schultz in a July 31, 2002 article entitled Annual Pet Vaccinations may be Unnecessary, Fatal (Attachment 2). Dr. Schultz knows something the pet-owning public doesn’t – he knows there’s no benefit in overvaccinating animals because immunity is not enhanced, but the risk of harmful adverse reactions is increased. He also knows that most core veterinary vaccines are protective for at least seven years, if not for the lifetime of the animal.

The first entry under Appendix 2 of the AAHA Guidelines (Attachment 7) “Important Vaccination ‘Do’s and Don’ts” is “Do Not Vaccinate Needlessly – Don’t revaccinate more often than is needed and only with the vaccines that prevent diseases for which that animal is at risk.” They also caution veterinarians: “Do Not Assume that Vaccines Cannot Harm a Patient – Vaccines are potent medically active agents and have the very real potential of producing adverse events.” Very few pet owners have had this disclosed to them.

The AVMA’s Principles of Vaccination (Attachment 6) states that “Unnecessary stimulation of the immune system does not result in enhanced disease resistance, and may increase the risk of adverse post-vaccination events.” (page 2) They elaborate by reporting that: “Possible adverse events include failure to immunize, anaphylaxis, immunosuppression, autoimmune disorders, transient infections, and/or long-term infected carrier states. In addition, a causal association in cats between injection sites and the subsequent development of a malignant tumor is the subject of ongoing research.”(Page 2)

Referring to adverse reactions from vaccines, the Wall Street Journal article cited above (Attachment 2) reports: “In cats there has been a large increase in hyperthyroidism and cancerous tumors between the shoulder blades where vaccines typically are injected.” With modified live virus vaccines (distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis), some animals can actually contract the same disease which they are being inoculated against. If the public knew an animal’s immunity to disease is not increased by overvaccination, they would certainly not consent to expose their pets to potential harm by giving them excessive booster shots

Veterinary vaccines are potent biologic drugs – most having proven durations of immunity much longer than the annual, biennial or triennial booster frequencies recommended by vaccine manufacturers and veterinarians. They also carry the very real risk of serious adverse side affects and should not be administered more often than necessary to maintain immunity.

The extended durations of immunity for vaccines is not “new” or “recent” science as some members of the Maine Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) have claimed. AAHA reveals on Page 2 of their Guidelines that ideal reduced vaccination protocols were recommended by vaccinology experts beginning in 1978. A Veterinary Practice News article entitled “Managing Vaccine Changes” (Attachment 3) by veterinarian Dennis M. McCurnin, reports that: “Change has been discussed for the past 15 years and now has started to move across the country."

According to a September 1, 2004 article in the DVM veterinary news magazine (Attachment 1), the 312 member Maine Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) “champions full disclosure of vaccine information to pet owners.” MVMA president, Dr. Bill Bryant, is quoted as stating: “Its time for something like this to come out … disclosure forms will be an important resource to have available, [and] if it goes before the Legislature, we’d likely support it.”

It is time. Pet owners have the right to know the scientifically proven durations of immunity for the veterinary vaccines given their animals, as well as the potential adverse side effects and benefits. LD 429 would make that standardized information available to all pet owners.

Respectfully submitted,

Kris L. Christine

Alna, ME 04535


Purred: Tue Mar 10, '09 2:27pm PST 
BUMP wavewavewave


Purred: Tue Mar 10, '09 2:29pm PST 
Testing a dog’s serum antibody titers can prevent overvaccinating
Lorie Long
Whole Dog Journal

Taking blood for an annual titer test, to check a dog’s level of immune defenses, should replace the habit of vaccinating dogs annually whether or not they need it.

Few issues in veterinary medicine are as controversial as the debate about administering annual vaccinations to our dogs. Long considered part of the standard of baseline, responsible veterinary healthcare, and credited with conquering some of the fiercest canine viral and other infectious diseases, vaccinations now are also suspected of creating vulnerability to illnesses and chronic conditions such as anemia, arthritis, seizures, allergies, gastrointestinal and thyroid disorders, and cancer. As we’ve previously discussed in numerous articles, few people advocate refraining from the use of vaccinations altogether, but increasing numbers of veterinary experts recommend administering fewer vaccines to our dogs than was suggested in recent years. The current wisdom is to vaccinate our animal companions enough, but not too much. Does this seem a little arbitrary? It could, especially since the veterinary profession lacks complete information about exactly how long the effects of canine vaccines last. (We bet you thought that most vaccines “last” about a year, which is why you are supposed to bring your dog to the vet for more shots every year, right? Well, you’re wrong, and we’ll explain why below.) Fortunately, there is a tool that veterinarians and dog owners can use to determine whether or not a dog really needs further vaccination at any given time. It’s called a “titer test,” and it’s readily available, not terribly expensive, and offers multiple advantages over the practices (intentional or not) of over-vaccination and under-vaccination. To understand what a titer test is and what it can do for you and your dog, you need a little background information about vaccinations and their use in this country.

History of “recommended vaccine schedules”
As lifesaving vaccines for various canine diseases have been developed over the last 50 years, veterinarians and dog owners gladly embraced them. Many diseases were prevented, and a new industry was born. Like any industry, it soon set about making itself indispensable. Increasingly, veterinarians were sold on the concept that if some vaccines are good, more are better – for their patients and their bottom line. So it came to pass that for decades, vets followed the label recommendations directing that canine vaccines be administered annually. In the late 1970s, a deadly parvovirus epidemic killed thousands of dogs and wiped out whole litters of puppies, eventually halted by the mass administration of the parvovirus vaccine. This episode emphasized the important role of vaccinations in canine healthcare and labeled veterinarians who challenged the annual administration of vaccines as mutinous. And there was, in fact, a small population of insurgent veterinarians who had doubts about the necessity of frequent vaccination. Many holistic practitioners – who often see patients with complex, mystifying symptoms of poor health, patients who have not been helped or even diagnosed by conventionally trained veterinarians – suspected a link between vaccines and immune disorders. In their minds, it was easy to surmise that there might be a connection between agents that are designed to provoke an immune response and their patients’ poor or inappropriate immune responses. But while drug companies are motivated to fund studies that can develop more vaccines they can sell for a profit, they are understandably disinclined to spend money on studies that may discover their products’ potential for harm, or how few vaccines our companion animals really need for disease protection. As a result, only anecdotal evidence provided by “vaccine rebels” – owners and veterinarians who either do not vaccinate or vaccinate on a reduced schedule – seemed to suggest that dogs and cats might be better off receiving fewer vaccines. But until recently there was little scientific evidence that supported this idea, perhaps none that was accepted in the conventional university veterinarian research community. Then, in the early 1990s, laboratory researchers at the University of Pennsylvania noticed a connection between the marked increase in the number of sarcomas, or cancerous tumors, under the skin at the site of rabies vaccine administration in cats. Later, researchers at the University of California at Davis noted that feline leukemia vaccines seemed to cause the same results. Taken aback by the inflammatory nature of the animals’ reaction to the vaccines, veterinary researchers began to suspect that immediate reactions to vaccinations, delayed reactions to vaccinations, or the combined effects of multiple vaccinations, could be risk factors for other ailments and chronic diseases in cats and dogs. As vaccines and their long-term effects became a (at least minor) topic of mainstream veterinary interest, one small but important fact came to light: there is no universally accepted “standard vaccination protocol” that has the approval of say, the American Veterinary Medical Association and/or the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. The prevailing vaccination recommendations and schedules that most veterinarians and veterinary colleges recommend have been based on the research and suggestions of the manufacturers – not on independent scientific research. This point had long been recognized by the vaccine rebels, but disregarded by most conventional veterinarians.

Why more is not better
Jean Dodds, DVM, a highly respected veterinary hematologist, and founder and president of the nonprofit Hemopet, a California-based animal blood bank, pioneered the vaccine debate decades ago and is now considered one of the leading authorities on canine vaccine protocols. According to Dr. Dodds, many recent studies confirm that the vast majority of dogs, in most cases at least 95 percent of the subjects, retain immunity after vaccination for many years after the administration of a vaccine. She states that the “evidence implicating vaccines in triggering immune-mediated and other chronic disorders (vaccinosis) is compelling.” Adverse reactions to conventional vaccines can be the same as reactions to any chemicals, drugs, or infectious agents. Immediate (or anaphylactic) reactions can occur in the 24-48 hours following exposure to the vaccine. Delayed reactions can occur 10-45 days after receiving vaccines. Symptoms include fever, stiffness, sore joints, abdominal tenderness, nervous system disorders, susceptibility to infections, and hemorrhages or bruising. Transient seizures can appear in puppies and adults. More long-term harmful effects can result in permanent damage to the dog’s immune system, which increases the dog’s susceptibility to chronic, debilitating diseases affecting the blood, endocrine organs, joints, skin, central nervous system, liver, kidneys, and bowel. In addition, vaccines can overwhelm a chronically ill dog, or a dog that has a genetic predisposition to react adversely to viral exposure, even from the modified live viral agents or killed virus in vaccines. So, given the possible health risks of administering too many vaccines, especially when a dog likely retains the immunologic protection supplied by previous vaccinations, how can a responsible dog owner decide on a safe and effective vaccine schedule for the life of their dog? As we suggested earlier, the answer is titer tests.

Understanding titer tests
The term “titer” refers to the strength or concentration of a substance in a solution. When testing vaccine titers in dogs, a veterinarian takes a blood sample from a dog and has the blood tested for the presence and strength of the dog’s immunological response to a viral disease. If the dog demonstrates satisfactory levels of vaccine titers, the dog is considered sufficiently immune to the disease, or possessing good “immunologic memory,” and not in need of further vaccination against the disease at that time.

Using the new TiterCHEKTM test kit, your veterinarian can now draw blood from your dog when you first arrive for his annual health exam, and within 15 minutes, be able to tell you whether or not he needs any vaccines.

Titer tests do not distinguish between the immunity generated by vaccination and that generated by natural exposure to disease agents. A dog may have developed immunity to a viral disease by receiving a vaccine against the disease, by being exposed to the disease in the natural environment and conquering it, sometimes without having demonstrated any symptoms of exposure to the disease, or by a combination of the two. Therefore, titer tests really measure both the “priming of the pump” that comes from vaccines, and the immunity resulting from natural exposure to disease during a dog’s lifetime. Only an indoor dog that has been totally sequestered from the natural environment is likely to have developed all of its immunity from vaccinations. Although the magnitude of immunity protection received by vaccination only is usually lower than by vaccination plus exposure, it doesn’t matter how your dog developed its strong immunity to specific viral diseases, as long as the immunity is present. By “titering” annually, a dog owner can assess whether her dog’s immune response has fallen below adequate levels. In that event, an appropriate vaccine booster can be administered.

Which titers tests?
Some dog owners, aware that there are dozens of vaccines available, are concerned that they would need to order titer tests for each vaccine. Actually, measuring the titers for just two vaccines, according to Dr. Dodds, can offer the dog owner a reliable “picture” of the dog’s immunological status. Good immunity to canine parvovirus (CPV) and canine distemper virus (CDV), she says, indicates proper “markers for the competence of the dog’s immune system.” Although the laboratories will also perform vaccine titer tests for other canine diseases, such as coronavirus and Lyme, Dr. Dodds deems these tests a waste of money. Protection from coronavirus, Dr. Dodds explains, depends on the current state of health of the dog’s gastrointestinal tract, not on what’s in the dog’s blood, so serum tests are not conclusive. Lyme is regionally based and not a significant threat to the general canine population, so only dogs in a high-risk environment need titer testing for Lyme. Dr. Dodds emphasizes that titer testing is not a “guess” at immunological response in a dog; when dealing with CDV and CDP, there is absolute correlation between certain high titer values and what is frequently referred to as “protection” from the diseases in question. In this case, the animal’s owner and veterinarian can feel quite confident that the animal possesses sufficient resources for fighting off a disease challenge. When the tests reveal that the animal has borderline or low titer values, the owner and veterinarian should consider revaccinating and then testing the titers again. It may turn out that the animal simply needed a booster to stimulate a stronger immune response. Or, maybe the people involved learn that the animal lacks the ability to respond normally to vaccines, that is, by mounting a proper immune response. In this case, the owner and veterinarian have gained very valuable information about the dog’s compromised immune status – information they never would have gained by simply vaccinating and assuming the dog was “protected” as is usually the case with healthy dogs. As you can see, in reality, simply administering vaccines to dogs every year is more of a guessing game than using titer tests to learn about the dog’s immune competence. Studies worldwide support titer test results as comprehensive information about a dog’s immunological response capabilities.

Now more affordable
Because the more widely recognized benefits of titer testing have caused an increase in the number of titer tests performed at veterinary laboratories, the price is coming down and the tests are available from a wide range of providers. Veterinary laboratories offer traditional vaccine titer testing by looking at a blood sample from a dog and identifying a specific level of actual immunity in the dog. Reputable laboratories use commonly accepted immunological techniques that have been validated against original test techniques and found to be accurate. Be certain your veterinarian sends blood samples to a major professional veterinary laboratory such as Antech Diagnostics (www.antechdiagnostics.com), Idexx Laboratories (www.idexx.com), Vita-Tech Laboratories (www.vita-tech.com), or one of the major university veterinary laboratories, including Cornell, Colorado State, Michigan State, Tufts, and Texas A&M. In early spring 2002, Synbiotics Corporation, a San Diego-based manufacturer of diagnostic materials and instrumentation for the veterinary market, rolled out an innovative tool that should make titer testing even more readily available and affordable. TiterCHEKTM is the first in-office titer test licensed by the USDA for use in veterinary clinics. TiterCHEKTM tests titers for canine parvovirus and canine distemper virus, registering the degree of strength of the immune response in varying color shades. If the test results denote a weak immune response level, blood samples can be sent to a veterinary laboratory for more comprehensive testing. Dr. Dodds estimates that more than 95 percent of in-office tests will indicate a satisfactory immune response present in a dog that has received its puppy vaccinations and one-year boosters, so follow-up is rarely required. Expect to pay your veterinarian from $40 to $100 for CDV and CPV titer testing from a laboratory, and slightly less for an in-office test, for which your veterinarian must purchase the TiterCHEKTM test kit.

Resisting vaccine titer testing
As practicing clinicians, veterinarians are hesitant to adjust any clinical regimen they have adopted until they see research study data that they judge to be functional and applicable in the real world. Many veterinarians resisted rethinking the annual canine vaccine regimen based upon the early findings of researchers. However, the increased evidence linking over-vaccination to acute and chronic diseases in dogs has finally caused a mainstream conviction that vaccination protocols are not a one-size-fits-all healthcare decision. Indeed, Dr. Dodds, once considered a rebel by the veterinary profession, now speaks to standing-room-only audiences at the most prestigious professional conferences in the country. The perceived need for annual vaccinations used to motivate many dog owners to make appointments with their veterinarians for their dog’s annual wellness checkup. Veterinarians now hope that annual titer tests will perform a similar function. Having your dog examined by a veterinarian at least once a year is critically important for detecting, preventing, and treating any diseases or other ailments as early as possible. Adding the ability to check your dog’s immunological health and custom-tailor his vaccine schedule to his actual needs will impressively augment this important task. It has been estimated that only about 60 percent of pet dogs receive the minimum disease prevention vaccination protocol. Ironically, in an attempt to provide their beloved animal companions with the best possible care, many highly motivated owners arrange for their dogs to receive several times the necessary dose of vaccinations, to the point of risking the adverse effects of over-vaccination on the health of the dog’s immune system. Consumers who do care about managing the effectiveness of their dog’s immune system against the most dangerous canine viral diseases now have the means to do so without risking their dog’s health in the process. When you and your dog visit your veterinarian for an annual checkup, take the titer test.


Lorie Long is a frequent contributor to WDJ. She lives in North Carolina with two Border Terriers, Dash (a three-year-old female and agility queen) and Chase (a five-month-old male with an agility future).

Copyright 2002 Whole Dog Journal. Reprinted with permission, Belvoir Publications, Inc. For subscription and other information, call (800) 424-7887. www.whole-dog-journal.com


Where's the- Ball?! Throw- the ball!!!
Purred: Thu Mar 19, '09 4:22am PST 
Ma is going to be calling the vet today to get us Lyme boosters, only. There are deer ticks around here. Wonder what the vet will say? May be changing vets.thinking


Where's the- Ball?! Throw- the ball!!!
Purred: Fri Mar 20, '09 10:40am PST 
Well, we have an appointment for Monday for just Lyme's Disease vaccinations. Last time, the vet talked us into the full array of shots. Hope this doesn't get too unpleasant. Ma needs to do some Googling, 'cause she just read that Corona and Lepto vaccines can be especially hard on Cairns!shock


Where's the- Ball?! Throw- the ball!!!
Purred: Mon Mar 23, '09 6:19pm PST 
All done! Just Lyme's vaccines for us. Nobody said anything that we weren't getting all our vaccines.thinking

Shadow NPC,- MDM

Ban the Deed - Not the Breed
Purred: Mon Mar 23, '09 6:24pm PST 
I still get both mine their Lymes every year too. I just get too nervous not to. I got them all their vaccines up until two years ago. Now they just get Rabies and Lymes. Abby had a bad reaction to her distemper a couple years ago, so she is not getting that one anymore! Abby can't be a practicing therapy dog anymore because of it, but I'd rather my pups be safeway to go

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