A New Look at the Vaccine Question

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Where's the- Ball?! Throw- the ball!!!
Purred: Thu Jul 29, '10 5:18am PST 
We don't get all the yearly vaccines anymore.
Of course, we still get the 3 yr. rabies vaccine and Ma ain't ready yet to give up Lyme's vacs.
Please, educate yourself before making the decision not to vaccinate.

From the Whole Dog Journal, August 2010 issue:


Over-Vaccination - Dog Owners Beware
What you need to know and do when you get.
You check your mailbox and there it is: a reminder postcard from your dog’s veterinarian. If you’re like many of us dog owners, you groan and toss the card aside.

If you’ve not yet found an enlightened, up-to-date veterinarian, the postcard is likely to say, “It’s time for your dog’s annual vaccinations! Call us today for an appointment!”

We hope, however, that you’ve done your homework and found a veterinary practice whose postcards say something more like, “It’s time for your dog’s wellness examination! Call us today for an appointment!”

Educate yourself on canine vaccination practices using reputable sources so that you can have an intelligent conversation with your veterinarian on the pros and cons of vaccination for your dog; a good place to start are the AAHA Guidelines.

What’s the difference? In 2003, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) revised its vaccination guidelines, recommending that vets vaccinate adult dogs only every three years – not annually. Many enlightened veterinarians changed their canine healthcare protocols to reflect the guidelines, and now suggest annual wellness examinations with vaccinations only every three years.

In WDJ’s opinion (and that of the experts we consult), annual vaccination for most canine diseases is unnecessary and potentially harmful. Dog owners should avoid employing those old-fashioned veterinarians who recommend annual vaccines. Owners should also avoid those veterinary service providers who provide inexpensive vaccines and other routine care without the benefit of a relationship with you and your dog beyond a brief transaction in a parking lot or pet supply store. While the financial cost of vaccine clinics may be appealing, the fact is, your dog’s health may pay the price of unnecessary or inappropriate vaccines.

Be prepared
That said, don’t think for a minute that you need to take your dog to the vet only every three years. It’s imperative that you take your canine companions in for yearly checkups. Rather than throw that postcard in the trash, pick up the phone and call for an appointment. Yearly wellness examinations help our veterinarian develop a good baseline on our dog’s health, be better able to take notice of subtle changes in his health over time, and develop a relationship with our dog and us.

While these annual trips to the vet might now be called “wellness checks” rather than “vaccine visits,” the odds are good that the topic of vaccines will come up. And despite our good intentions, many of us head in with our dog for his annual exam and feel blindsided as the vet suggests an array of vaccines for our dogs. Often, we nod in agreement, get that “deer in the headlights” look and agree with her recommendations (she is the expert after all), then go home with regrets.

Remember the Scout motto and “Be prepared” as you get ready for your dog’s next veterinary appointment. Being prepared means more than remembering to take your dog’s leash, collar with ID, treats, and showing up on time, on the right day, with the right dog. How to best prepare for your dog’s annual veterinary visit and be ready for a discussion on the most appropriate vaccine strategy for him?

■Bring veterinary records and/or a list with you of your dog’s vaccination history; do not assume the veterinary clinic will have all the most recent information, especially if you’ve changed clinics. Other test dates and results to bring include most recent heartworm test, antibody titer test results, and blood and/or urinalysis test results. Ideally, you’ll collect all the data ahead of time and enter into a table so that you have a timeline of the pet’s life.
My dogs’ veterinarian, Susan Wynn, DVM, recommends creating a table with vaccines/yearly wellness test along the vertical axis, with dates along the top. If visiting a new clinic, chances are they’ll want proof that your summary is accurate, so request copies of any previous vet records for your dog’s new file.

■Have a clear idea in your mind whether you want/need your dog to receive any vaccinations (and for which diseases), an antibody titer test, or none of the above. If you are unsure, cultivate a good understanding of the vaccines available (see page 7 for a list of past WDJ articles on the topic). And ask your veterinarian if any particular vaccines are warranted due to conditions in the area in which you live.
■Educate yourself using reputable sources so that you can have an intelligent conversation with your veterinarian on the pros and cons of vaccination for your dog; a good place to start are the AAHA Guidelines. Writings and research by Ronald Schultz, PhD, DACVIM, and Jean Dodds, DVM, are also excellent references.
■Know the status of your dog’s health, and whether he has any health or behavioral issues that your veterinarian should be aware of.
■Bring a list of your dog’s current medications and supplements, including dose, strength, and frequency.
■Have an idea of what the visit will cost, including any tests, to avoid sticker shock or making hasty (bad) decisions based solely on price. Call ahead.
■Be prepared to take your dog and go home if you are uncomfortable with your veterinarian’s recommendations. There’s no need to get nasty or defensive. We suggest something along the lines of, “I’m not sure I’m comfortable with those recommendations. I’d like to go home and think about them.”
If you are going to see a veterinarian who is new to you and your dog, consider making an appointment with the veterinarian, without your dog, to discuss her philosophy toward vaccinations and antibody titer tests.

Even a little education goes a long way
Michelle Kitzrow, of Sugar Hill, Georgia, had a change in thinking regarding vaccine protocols after hearing immunology expert Dr. Schultz speak on the topic (see “Vaccinations 101,” WDJ August 2008). Armed with a new understanding of vaccine protocols, Kitzrow took her then-four-year-old Bouvier, Casey, in to see her longtime veterinarian for Casey’s annual exam.

She admits that it “wasn’t very easy” to convince her veterinarian that, in lieu of vaccinations, Casey should receive an antibody titer test to determine whether she had what vaccination experts regard as a “protective level” of circulating antibodies from past vaccinations. But in the end, Kitzrow’s veterinarian relented, and agreed to take and send a blood sample off to a lab for the titer test.

Kitzrow believes that it was the relationship she already had established with Casey’s veterinarian, along with a new and accurate understanding of vaccines, that helped her veterinarian to support her decision. “He knows that I bring in my dogs regularly for veterinary care, and he trusts me to do the right thing. He also appreciated that I had taken the time to educate myself about vaccine protocols and titers.”

An acquaintance of mine, Diane (name changed at her request), had a bit harder time at the annual exam convincing her veterinarian to check her dog’s antibody titers instead of reflexively vaccinating – despite an 18-year relationship with her dogs’ veterinary clinic and the fact that she takes in her dogs twice a year for checkups. Diane’s 16-month-old Bouvier had received a puppy vaccine series, with the final boosters given after she was 16 weeks of age. The series included distemper, hepatitis (adenovirus), parvovirus, parainfluenza (shorthand for this combination of four vaccinations is DHPP), rabies, Leptospirosis, and Bordetella.

“At my dog’s most recent vet checkup, I requested that only the rabies vaccine be given. I asked that titers be checked for distemper and parvovirus, and I requested a SNAP® 4Dx® test, which checks for heartworm disease, as well as the most prevalent tick-borne diseases: ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, and anaplasmosis.

“I declined the combo, ‘all-in-one’ vaccine for distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza, as well as the Leptospirosis and Bordetella vaccines. I did not want all of those vaccines given at the same time and hoped that the titer results would show adequate immunity. I was adamant that my dog receive only the rabies vaccine at that time. The vet marked ‘refused’ on my dog’s chart next to the other vaccines she wanted my dog to receive that day.”

Diane understands that Lepto and Bordetella need to be given at least yearly to be effective, but has made the decision not to re-vaccinate her dog for those diseases at this time and understands the risk. Dr. Wynn notes that while we as clients might consider a notation of “refused” on our dog’s chart to be judgmental on the veterinarian’s part, the reason that the vet must note in the file that the client declined vaccination is to limit liability in case the animal is infected with that disease and subsequently blames the vet. (Dr. Wynn assures me that this has happened.)

“In this particular situation, it turns out that my decision to decline all of the ‘recommended’ vaccines, except for the rabies booster, was a good choice as the SNAP 4Dx (checked in-house afterward) indicated that my dog has Lyme disease. A follow-up Lyme Quantitative C6 Antibody Test confirmed an active Lyme disease infection, which means that her immune system was already compromised at the time of the exam. The distemper and parvo vaccine titers showed adequate immunologic response, indicating that my dog was still protected against these diseases, most likely from her previous round of vaccinations.”

In fact, vaccinating a dog who has an active Lyme infection might have been harmful. “It is never wise to vaccinate a dog whose immune system is preoccupied with something else,” asserts internal medicine specialist Nancy Kay, DVM, DACVIM, author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life. “The vaccine might ‘distract’ the immune system from the more important task at hand. Also, in theory and for the same reason, the vaccine might not be as likely to create protective immunity.”

Similar to Kitzrow, Diane finds that “Although my dogs’ veterinarian gets exasperated by the decisions I make that are counter to her recommendations, she knows that I appreciate and respect her knowledge and experience. I always ask for her advice regarding my pets’ well-being and do not hesitate to bring my pets to the hospital whenever I have concerns about their health, above and beyond checkups twice a year. She is also aware that I obtain information from a variety of other sources and that I become concerned and wary when there is a real discrepancy or controversy.

“Although she stresses the importance of following her recommendations, she has come to understand that I feel a strong sense of personal responsibility in the decisions made and their effect on the long-term well-being of my pets. If I have serious doubts about a stand that she takes, I will seek a second opinion, elsewhere. On this day, I guess you could say that we agreed to disagree.”

Antibody titer test results showing that no, Otto does NOT need to be vaccinated yet!

Diane is a little saddened that she and the veterinarian were unable to reach common ground, or at least have a more comfortable dialogue, noting, “It’s important for me to have a good rapport with the vets who care for my beloved pets. It’s important to me that they consider themselves an essential part of a team working for the well-being of the animals. Open communication and teamwork between pet owners and their veterinarians is essential.”

How antibody titer tests may affect your decisions
Antigens are any substance that the immune system identifies as an invader and responds to by producing a chemical defense: antibodies. When everything is working as it should, your dog’s immune system will recognize disease antigens that were introduced to his system via a vaccine (weakened or killed) or by natural exposure to the antigen that causes the disease (viral or bacterial).

A “titer” is a measurement of how much antibody to a certain antigen is circulating in the blood at that moment. The result is usually expressed in a ratio. A positive titer test result is strongly correlated with a good antibody response to either a recent infection or vaccination. A dog who has received “core” vaccines and who displays a positive antibody titer test result should be considered protected from the diseases for which he was vaccinated (meaning, he doesn’t need vaccines at that time).

Your dog must undergo a blood draw in order to have an antibody titer test. Labs such as Antech, IDEXX, and most veterinary college laboratories offer these tests. Antibody titer testing is typically run for parvovirus and distemper, since the dog’s antibody response to these two antigens is highly predictive as to the dog’s immunologic competence in dealing with any other antigen to which he has been exposed.

Rarely, there are exceptions. When an antibody titer test is negative, the owner and veterinarian should consider revaccinating and then testing the titers again. It may turn out that the animal simply needed another exposure to the antigen in order to stimulate a stronger immune response. Or, it may develop that the dog 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.

Dr. Kay comments, “There are several reasons I can think of why a vet might be loathe to run titers, but of these, I consider only a couple of them to be ‘honorable.’” Two examples she gives are:

■Some veterinarians question the accuracy of titers in terms of accurately assessing immunity.
■If a dog is truly at a high risk of infectious disease, revaccination might be a safer bet than relying on the results of an antibody titer test. She adds, “Very few dogs are truly in this situation, such as those who live in the midst of lots of completely unvaccinated dogs and in a lower socioeconomic setting.”
When I pressed Dr. Kay on the first point, asking what information “Dr. Doe” would have that trumps information provided by someone such as Dr. Schultz, she replied, “You will get no argument from me on this. I suppose that if Dr. Doe professes that titer tests are not accurate, one could ask to see the data that leads him (or her) to this conclusion.”

Although Dr. Wynn adds, “If a distemper or parvo titer is positive, we know that the dog is protected. If it is negative, the dog might be protected, but we have no practical further test to know whether or not it is. Hence, some veterinarians have said the titer isn’t accurate to point out that we don’t know what a negative titer means.” In the case of negative titers, Dr. Schultz recommends revaccination, even though the dog could already be protected.

If you choose to vaccinate
If you determine that your dog is in need of vaccination, consider the following:

■Ask the veterinarian to perform the health exam and other tests first; you might even wait to vaccinate until those results are in, and schedule a follow-up vaccine visit once you know your dog is in the clear, health-wise.
■Avoid a combination vaccine (five-in-one-type vaccinations) that offers multiple vaccines in only one shot. Note: some veterinary clinics only carry this type of vaccine. We recommend that you look elsewhere for care.
■Do not vaccinate your adult dog more frequently than every three years (unless local conditions suggest a heightened need for Lepto, Bordetella, or Lyme vaccines; these each last a year or less).
■At a minimum, try to schedule the rabies vaccine for a different visit than the other vaccines, if your dog needs them. The rabies vaccine should be administered by itself at a later date, apart from the other three “core” vaccines (distemper, parvo-virus, and adenovirus), and in another part of the dog’s body.
If you’re considering vaccinating simply for financial reasons (because vaccines cost less than running a titer test) a well-planned vaccine/titer strategy might have you coming out ahead in the long run if you scale back on vaccines and run titers on a strategically planned schedule.

Veterinary medicine today has advanced to the point of acknowledging that there is no single “perfect” vaccine program; vaccine programs must be tailored to the specific needs of each animal. Although there is a tendency to want to treat all dogs the same, the program should be designed for the individual, not the masses. The dog’s health, age, environment, activities, lifestyle, and whether he has previously had any adverse vaccine reactions all need to figure in to the equation.

If you encounter a veterinarian who continues to advocate yearly vaccination, schedule a sit-down talk with her, or take your business elsewhere. In Dr. Kay’s book, she notes that a “deal breaker” when choosing a veterinarian is when the clinician “vaccinates dogs for everything, every year.”

It’s up to you
Don’t expect your veterinarian to ask you broadly what you want to do when you take your dog in for an annual exam. Most veterinarians, unless prompted by the client, will assume that you’re there for “the usual” and will go ahead and recommend annual vaccinations. It is up to you to educate yourself and advocate for your dog and know what vaccines and tests might benefit him, and to know the laws concerning how frequently the rabies vaccine must be administered.

If you and your veterinarian are not on the same page, try having a rational, objective discussion. Put yourself in her position and try to understand her concerns. Take a step back to be sure that what you propose is reasonable. Keep in mind that taking your dog in regularly for annual checkups will help your veterinarian to develop further trust in you and your intentions. If you’ve got a good relationship and you’re armed with the facts, you just might be able to reach common ground.

Lisa Rodier is a frequent contributor to WDJ. She lives in Alpharetta, Georgia, with her husband and two Bouviers, and volunteers with the American Bouvier Rescue League.


Ready to go!
Purred: Thu Sep 2, '10 3:48am PST 
I just got the results from my titer test and this will be the second year in a row that I tested that I did not need Distemper/Parvo. I still have enough of it in my body to see me through next year....so that is two times that my sensitive body would have had that harsh shot when it was not needed!


Where's the- Ball?! Throw- the ball!!!
Purred: Mon Apr 9, '12 10:40am PST 
Ma hasn't had us vaccinated for Lepto in two year:


by DOGS NATURALLY on MAY 12, 2011

The Problem with the Leptospirosis Vaccine
by: Patricia Jordan DVM

March/April 2010 Issue

Over the years I have attended numerous lectures on vaccines, detailing the most current information from leading immunologists such as Dr. Ronald Schultz and experts on infectious disease such as Dr. Richard Ford. It is surprising to many that these researchers do not include Leptospirosis as a recommended vaccine. 1, 2 In fact, Dr. Schultz resides in a Leptospira endemic area of the country and not only does he not recommend the vaccine for others, he does not vacci- nate his own dogs for Leptospirosis. 3

Within 14 days of receiving the Leptospirosis vaccine, this dog developed multiple tumors at all lymphatic drainage points on his body. The disappearance of muscle mass and connective tissue in his rear legs took only 10 days post vaccination to evolve. This dog was euthanized 14 days after vaccination as he devel- oped numerous generalized mast cell tumors.
Intrigued with the concept of foregoing Leptospirosis vaccination, I began to focus on how best to create a prevention program for our veterinary clinic. I began with the CDC website on the disease of Leptospirosis as it stands here in the United States. The most current CDC fact sheet reveals that Leptospirosis in humans is not a reportable disease in the United States. The few cases that do occur are mostly traced to Hawaii which is not a part of the continental United States. The disease does occur more in tropical climates and is reported to have a human fatality rate world- wide of between 1 and 5%. With most of the cases in the US occurring in Hawaii or in travelers returning from tropical destinations, I began to put the exposure of Leptospirosis in the US into proper perspective.4

Shortly afterward, I travelled to Massachusetts for a lecture promoting Leptospirosis vaccination for dogs. While there, I requested the epidemiological information on Leptospiro- sis in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and found that Massachusetts had never had a single case of Leptospirosis reported in humans since they began reporting Leptospirosis .5 There were no confirmed documented reports of Leptospirosis in dogs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.I then decided to focus on the areas of the world which are trouble spots of Leptospira exposure, notably Okinawa, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, Cuba, Guatemala and Borneo. Most of the areas that suffer from this disease in a natural setting have a number of common environmental parameters. One is standing water or flood- ing including post hurricane flooding and tropical areas of increased water fall. In fact, US military personnel have seen infections with Leptospira when at duty in stations in such locations. Another factor associated with increased Leptospirosis exposure is the presence of rat infestations. Such infestations can be commonly found in areas such as the slums of Brazil, the crowded alleys of the NY Bronx, and the rat infested prisons of Malaysia. Not surprisingly, Chinese sewer workers are frequently exposed to Leptospirosis.

Exposure to Leptospirosis is also of greater threat in the autumn. Back here in the United States, Leptospirosis may infect ponds and smaller lakes: hunters and swimmers who use these selected reservoirs may be exposed to pathogenic serovars of Leptospira. People who work with animals, such as butchers and slaughterhouse workers, veterinarians and farmers are also at increased risk. Interestingly, a dairy maid in the UK lost a pregnancy at 23 weeks due to the first known case of human intrauterine exposure to Leptospiro- sis.6 A newly reported reservoir of Leptospira in bats is also a matter of study .6 California sea lions and harbor seals have been found to carry Leptospira and Japan has found Leptospira in flying squirrels imported from the United States as pets from Texas.7,8

In the United States, it is clear that exposure to a pathogenic serovar of this organism is not a considerable risk for the typical dog, especially as the risk of exposure is clearly de- fined and easily avoidable. Despite this, Leptospirosis has been labeled as the most rapidly growing zoonosis in the world.

With the exception of a few weak references of sewer workers and agricultural workers in Asia, people who are at a higher risk for Leptospira infection are simply not vacci- nated against Leptospirosis. The reasons are:

1. the disease is treatable

2. the vaccine is ineffective

3. the vaccine is associated with adverse events9,10


Leptospirosis is easily treated. Doxycycline is the antibiotic of choice and has the ability, even in renal compromise, to effectively rid the urinary tract of Leptospira infection. Doxycycline can be safely administered to dogs with renal insufficiency and will clear the organism from the kidneys, making it effective in both the infection of the blood and urine.11,12

This dog presented 24 hours after Leptospirosis vaccination. Note the poster in the background.
Last year, the predictable season of post hurricane flooding and Leptospira exposure in Cuba was readily handled with the use of homeopathy. The success of this public health program is well documented with over 2.4 million people in Cuba administered two doses of homeoprophylaxis in 2007 by the Ministry of Health in Cuba. The doses of Leptospira nosode had been prepared at the Finlay Institute, a center dedicated to development and production of vaccines.

Finlay Institute is a WHO qualified facility dedicated to research, production and development, which produces high quality homeopathic products in addition to vaccines.13 Understanding that there are much safer ways to address exposure to Leptospira in the example of a chemoprophylaxis is important to note when the record of adverse events from Leptospira vaccines are discussed.14,15


There are over 230 serovars of Leptospirosis, only a few which are pathogenic.16 Leptospirosis vaccines are serovar specific and several factors are impacted by this information.17 Any vaccine administered for specific serovars will only create agglutinating antibody to those specific serovars.18

What is important to note is that once vaccinated, the patient’s serum can no longer be a useful record for diagnostic tests. The reason is the serum antibody titer from the vaccine cannot be distinguished from antibody caused by natural infection. This leads to interpretation problems when trying to diagnose the presence of infection or disease.19

Multivalent vaccines lead to test results of antibody generation against serovars that were not even included in the vaccine to begin with.20 This leads to problems using the MAT titer test to determine which serovar is the serovar of infectivity, if any.21 Due to molecular mimicry with antigens, the unsettling factor for disease presence is complicated by cross reactivity of the antigens with many different disease organisms such as Syphilis, Lyme, Legionaries, HIV and autoimmune disease.22 Put simply, this means that it is difficult to distinguish between antibodies within this range of diseases. Testing for Leptospirosis is currently performed with the PCR DNA test for the actual organism retrieved from either blood or urine. Oregon State Veterinary Diagnostic laboratory and IDEXX now both advertise this PCR testing on the DNA of the actual organism.23, 24

Picture 1: The Leptospirosis vaccine reactions seen here include gooey otitis and tumors in the inguinal and anal areas: all of those areas are sites of increased immune cell depositions. The Islets of Langerhans are concentrated in these areas, around the eyes and above all four feet and the pancreas which is why so many vacci- nated dogs and cats suffer from pancreatitis. The fight occurs in this part of the immune system as they drain via the lymphatic system toward the kidney and many animals suffer kidney disease as the hallmark of serum sickness or vaccinosis. This case was particularly dramatic in that the dog literally disappeared, losing muscle and weight rapidly within 10 days. (see Picture 2)
Another major problem with the test is that any treatment prior to obtaining test samples will skew the test results: even one dose of antibiotics is able to turn a positive case to negative on the PCR test.25 Treatment of any sort will also render a test taken at a later date as negative.

Vaccination with Leptospira is fraught with problems. Of major concern is the fact that Leptospira vaccines do not protect the dog from infection with Leptospira or of renal colonization. Leptospira vaccines have little effect on the maintenance and transmission of the disease in the animal populations in which they are applied.26 The ineffective- ness of the vaccine is due in part to the many Leptospirosis serovars and variability of pathogenic strains which are not addressed with vaccines.

Alarmingly, Leptospira can become a source of infection for the humans in contact with any dog vaccinated for Lepto- spirosis.27 There are several cases of which I am personally aware where I could say beyond any doubt that a Lepto- spira vaccine administered to the dog was the cause of subclinical infection and therefore transmitted to a human. Leptospira can and will shed in a vaccinated dog and in turn, infect any humans living in the same household! Leptospira vaccines and the overuse of vaccines in our dogs is a direct obstacle to public health.28 There is a reported case of a duck hunter contracting a case of Leptospirosis in California: the resulting epidemiological field study undertaken by the state resulted in an inability to recover any Leptospira from the bodies of water he frequented. The question that needs to be answered is whether the man became in- fected through transmission of the Leptospira from his vaccinated dog.29

There is great cost associated with monitoring the environment to continue to assess the extent of any purported Leptospirosis serovars causing disease in a given population.

To date there are no such programs in existence because the scarcity of the disease economically does not make Leptospira a “priority” disease. Note that this also means there is currently no need for human vaccination epidemiological investigation. 30

The crux of the problem is, veterinary doctors do not typically know that the Leptospirosis vaccine does not confer immunity. Challenge studies are rarely done and most studies are ineffective in measuring immunity in vivo31,32 Production of Leptospira vaccines is expensive and labor intensive for the drug companies and the vaccines are already on the market: why would they spend precious monies on further testing?

Further confusing the dog owner, most information available from self proclaimed “dog experts” on the internet is false. The marketing misinformation that recommends this vaccine is everywhere. Unfortunately, this includes most of the advice found in veterinary run websites on the internet as well as that found in veterinary office brochures. I found one very fair column on the subject of Leptospirosis written by a retired veterinarian in Oklahoma and a great article that actually listed the contraindications for the Leptospira vaccines in dogs by a veterinarian in Bali: an island with a serious Leptospirosis problem.33,34 Why is this information not better understood? The truth is that too many veterinarians are painfully inept at discussing Leptospirosis because the bulk of their information comes from the very drug companies that stand to profit or at least recoup the many monies this troubled vaccine has cost their corporations.

Picture 2
Of serious concern is that veterinarians are actively marketing for the drug companies. I have seen misinformation published not only in the local newspapers but also on the worldwide web. A Reidsville, NC veterinary facility which promoted the Leptospira vaccine in partnership with Pfizeris just one example.35 The advice of our professional medical experts is seriously compromised and devalued when they do not perform due diligence before advocating this marketing material. Where is truth in advertising?


There are many other important issues to consider when discussing the safety of vaccination in general. There is now a plethora of research implicating vaccines in the creation of immunopathology. The immune response to the chemical soup delivered through vaccines results in autoantibody production.36 Microbial antigens can also elicit autoantibody production.37 Indeed vaccines are now found to be responsible for autoantibody production, autoimmune disease, and cancer! The immunogenetics of autoantibody and autoimmune diseases are under genetic control; however the vaccine itself elicits genetic response in its wake.38 Vaccination leads to mutations of the genome: autoimmune disease in one generation will create genetic disease in the next. Thus, vaccines generate a genetic impact that not only determines the severity of the immune response in natural infections but also dictate the expression of autoimmune disease with repeated exposure to antigens with subsequent vaccine administration. The histocompatibility mark- ers on the tissues are also reactive to the vaccine. The genetic compromise that occurs to the genome has never been researched by the vaccine manufacturers that produce vaccines. This should be a requirement for vaccine safety and efficacy claims but has never been determined by govern- ment regulatory agencies that license and approve these products for the unsuspecting population.

Research shows that the histocompatibility sites of human and animal tissues are reacting with vaccine antigens which in turn are responsible for a plethora of adverse and poten- tially lethal disease pathology.39 In fact, there are docu- mented examples of the antigen for both Leptospira and Lyme disease vaccines producing the same pathology as the natural infection itself.40, 41, 42 Simply stated, these vaccines can cause the very disease that we are attempting to vacci- nate against. In some cases, viral vaccines can even result in the viral disease itself.

This is summarized in Judith A. DeCava’s book ‘Vaccination Examining the Record’ She states “a per- son not vaccinated has ONE RISK, catching the disease, where a vaccinated person has TWO RISKS; catching the disease and damage from the vaccine”.43

The exaggerated reactivity to vaccines is easily seen in the spectrum of adverse events and diseases which commonly follow vaccine administration. 44 Anaphylaxis, anorexia, fever, dehydration, autoimmune disease, digestive issues, limping, loud vocalization following vaccination, acute organ failure, renal failure, liver failure, pancreatitis, death, dermatitis, puritis, cancer, degeneration of soft tissue: all of these have been reported following administration of the Leptospira vaccine.

In dogs that present with Leptospriosis, the severity may be associated with vaccine history and less likely, previous natural exposure which can create an exaggerated humoral immune response.45 Every single vaccination will impact the genetic environment by overly sensitizing the T cells and immune complex against the Leptospirosis antigen, making future vaccination for Leptospirosis and even natural exposure of grave danger due to the creation of this “super antigen”46. Vaccinations prime the immune system for over- reaction which leads to dangerous cytokine cascade and tremendous immunopathology. In the rare case of exposure to Leptospirosis, this “super antigen” reaction has the potential for lethal consequences from renal failure. The same danger exists with each and every vaccination and the likelihood and severity of reaction increases exponentially with every shot given (which in the case of Leptospirosis, may be twice a year). In fact, some dogs who are vaccinated with Lepto- spirosis die of renal failure within 48 hours: the same type of pathology that the actual disease could create. Dr. Ronald Schultz recognizes this risk and advises that you better be sure of the reason you are injecting because any time you inject, you could kill the patient.

It appears that Microbiologist Antoine Bechamp was correct about disease and the theory of “terrain”. Terrain theorystates that it is the individual’s system that determines disease and the individual response to antigen within the patient’s immune cells. Multiple administrations of vaccines over sensitize the patient to a real crisis, and when antigen and immune cells collide, disease results.

Pfizer sponsored ”scientific” papers on Leptospira are spon- sored with “educational “grants in order to produce recom- mendations for vaccination of the dog without proof that the vaccine is safe or effective. They use words like “likely” and “appears’ to expotentialize the nonexistent benefit of vaccination. They are reaching in their efforts to provide a reason for vaccine use. They say these vaccines “appear” to be effective. They write off any adverse events from the vaccines stating “published data to validate these concerns are lacking because there is no independent mechanism to report vaccine reactions in the US”.47 The drug companies and the veterinarians can all hide behind this statement and adverse reactions to vaccines continue to go unreported.

When I pressed for the proof from Merial that their Leptospira vaccines did indeed provide an entire year of “immunity” they finally sent me an article that did not even test their vaccines. The company forwarded work from Intervet in the Netherlands. Intervet is the source of much conflict in the UK for mounting yearly marketing campaigns in order to advocate yearly vaccinations of pets, despite the fact this is not a recommendation from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association or our AVMA or AAHA, or in Australia. The paper that was supposed to prove the wor- thiness of the Leptospira vaccines failed to properly test vaccinates in a method that would prove immunity. Merial vaccines were not even used in their study, performed by the Dept. of Bacteriological R & D for Intervet International BV in the Netherlands.49 A Shot in the Dark accuses drug companies of conspiring to format a market for their product with only anecdotal evidence of the existence of any Leptospirosis problems.50

Vaccine induced vasculitis
Drug companies create a market for their product even though the risk for the disease is practically nonexistent and the vaccine is highly dangerous for animals. Human medicine is not exempt from this travesty with the Glaxo Smith Kline Hepatitis B vaccine, the Merck Gardasil vaccine, the Bird Flu and the Swine flu vaccines all resulting in calls for investigation and criminal charges to be brought against the WHO.51, 52 WHO Vaccine Advisor, Juhane Eskola made over 6 million Euros researching vaccines for the recent swine flu “pandemic”. Similarly, the CDC Childhood Vaccine Advisor, Dr. Paul Offit made so much money with Merck making a rotavirus vaccine that he said “it was like winning the lottery”. US courts ordered the recall of the Lymerix vaccine based on adverse events and subsequently stated that federal employees should never be allowed to consult in areas where they set federal policy. In veterinary medi- cine, many researchers are paid employees of the pharmaceutical companies. Despite being on faculties of our leading veterinary institutions, many have their research grants supplied to them from the pharmaceutical industry. Vac- cine adverse events will remain anecdotal so long as government and industry continue to protect vaccine use. Vaccine safety and efficacy continue to be determined by those who stand to profit from their sale and use.

In light of this, the vaccine manufacturers continue their marketing efforts for ‘better’ and ‘safer’ vaccines. Pfizer provides ‘immunization support guarantees” and this says, ‘buy ours, it is the best”. They temper this with talk about “serovar shifts” and the fact that “diagnostic assays are wrought with problems” and they cannot explain how high MAT titers are obtained against serovars not contained in the vaccines and that the vaccine itself can produce disease in dogs. Indeed, there are many ways to beat their‘immunization guarantee”.53

Cornell states they have a more effective Leptospira vaccine and they warn that the aluminum adjuvant used for five decades is now known to be ‘unreliable’. Aluminum is contained in all the Leptospira vaccines even now; despite the fact that it causes cancer. Cornell states aluminum “destroys the antigen’s structure” and “degrades amino acid sequence “.54 This is apparently the case as the WHO in 1999 declared these adjuvants (which are found in children’s vaccines), as “carcinogenic” in the IARC.54

Cornell wants to take a whack at putting yet another Leptospira vaccine out there. Cornell’s Baker Institute of Animal Vaccines will make yet another type of vaccine and this one will be better. This one is made with genetically engineered bacteria genes from E. coli and this one will be safer: try this one.55

Despite the vast amount of money spent of vaccine re- search, there is still no proof that vaccines create immunity. Vaccines are however, proven to create generations of immune reaction diseases that now plague highly vaccinated populations. As my colleague Dr. Stephen Blake has said over and over,” never before in the history of man has there ever been a greater medical assumption more responsible for the death and disease than the use of vaccines as we know them today”.

In summary, know the risks for natural Leptospirosis infec- tion and seek immediate treatment if your dog becomes ill. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of Leptospirosis and save your dog from the risk of vaccine induced renal failure or years of dermatitis and puritis.56 Antibiotic treatment is quickly effective for Leptospirosis, 57 as is the use of homeopathy.

You must realize however that the germ is not the problem: the individual’s immune system is the determinant. Optimal nutrition is the key to immune health and prior genetic damage from vaccines is also of consequence. In regard to the Leptospira vaccine, the new genetically engineered products will not be proven any safer than earlier products. They will unleash this vaccine without really knowing if the vaccine is safe or effective, just as they have for all the vaccines that have come before.Intervet Schering Plough is revving up for their annual vaccine marketing campaign in the UK, promoting their vaccines on the questionable need for the vaccine in the first place.58 The only protection from this marketing mania is to know the lack of science behind both the manufacturing and administration of these vaccines:. Although drug companies are responsible for vaccine safety, they are not held accountable and there will be no recourse against these marketing giants if your pet becomes ill: a practice which Dr. Ron Schultz calls indefensible.

For full references, please go to www.dr-jordan.com"

Tucker- Frannicola

I'm the boss,- that's why!
Purred: Fri Apr 13, '12 9:48am PST 
Guys, while I appreciate the ideas behind this issue, I've gotta tell you that here in NC there is a widespread Distemper outbreak, affecting almost every shelter in the State. Mommy does a lot of rescue work (we have between 15-20 rescue dogs living at the property at any given time) and she only pulls from high-kill shelters, so we all HAVE to have our yearly vaccinations. Two shelters in the area don't vaccinate on intake - they ended up euthanizing all of the dogs in both shelters!!! It's sad, but it's a nasty disease and we're happy we're protected!!!cry


Where's the- Ball?! Throw- the ball!!!
Purred: Mon Apr 16, '12 5:04am PST 
Yep, every situation is different! Who knows what the poor babies you deal with have been exposed to! Plus you are further (farther?) south. From other articles we've read the Lepto vaccine doesn't address what might occur in the Maryland area.


Where's the- Ball?! Throw- the ball!!!
Purred: Wed Feb 20, '13 6:13am PST 
shock DID YOU KNOW?!

Article in the online magazine 'Dogs Naturally'

"Veterinarian John Robb Challenges Banfield And Petsmart On Rabies Vaccination
Written by Dogs Naturally Magazine on February 20, 2013.

Dr John Robb Protests against large corporations influencing vaccination

The vaccination scandal has entered the veterinary world. Popular veterinarian Dr John Robb is facing loss of his license and legal action for using half doses of the rabies vaccine on his clients.

Dr Robb was a Banfield Pet Hospital franchise owner with a thriving practice is Stamford Connecticut. As an avid believer that vaccines carry a risk of adverse reactions, Dr Robb delivered half doses to his clients and advocated vaccinating every three years, the interval required by Connecticut state law. Dr Robb was also involved in the passing of a rabies exemption law in Connecticut.

While most states require veterinarians to give a full recommended dose of rabies vaccine, Dr Robb says that Connecticut law is murky on the matter, requiring only that a shot be given. Moreover, he said that a federal law called the federal Virus-Serum and Toxin Act of 1913 supersedes state law and allows the discretionary use of all vaccines.

“If you know that you are going to inject a vaccine into a pet that has the potential to kill him and you know the pet doesn’t even need it, then you can’t do it ethically and morally, no matter what the law is,” Robb said, adding that giving half doses of vaccine is an accepted practice of most veterinarians.

Vaccine researcher Dr Jean Dodds also asserts that vaccine doses can be safely reduced. She says she has been vaccinating toy breeds with half doses for years.

“Vaccinations are up to the discretion of the veterinarian. It is not required to follow the label direction as long as you have informed consent and discussed it with the owner,” said Dr Dodds.

When Banfield Pet Hospital, the corporation from which Dr Robb purchased his franchise, learned of is vaccine protocol, they sent letters to over 5,000 of his clients, telling them their pets had not been properly vaccinated and that they should be brought back to Banfield for boosters. They then officially took back ownership of Dr Robb’s practice, claiming he was not practicing veterinary medicine up to their standards.

So far, the company has revaccinated nearly 1,500 animals. “As I am directed by my CEO, we are going to do the right thing by our pets and our clients each and every time. We take that responsibility very seriously at Banfield Pet Hospitals. When that is not occurring, we are going to do something about it,” said Vincent Bradley, Banfield’s senior vice president of operations.

When Dr Robb heard of Banfield’s intention to revaccinate recently vaccinated animals, he showed up at the clinic and urged the pet owners to run a titer before revaccinating. Banfield had him arrested for trespassing and Dr Robb has now been banned from entering his former clinic and the Petsmart store that holds it. Petsmart owns 5% of Banfield Pet Hospitals.

Dr Robb says that the Banfield requirement to provide full doses of vaccines is hurting pets, and as someone who has taken an oath to do no harm it would not be ethical for him to continue with the practice. “They are practicing the old model. It has been proven now that vaccines are killing pets, over-vaccinations are killing pets at an unprecedented rate.”

Prior to having his clinic removed, Dr Robb created a Code of Ethics that was absent by the AHA, enrolling 42 veterinarians as charter members who agreed to Code of Ethics. See his website for more details: protectthepets.com/veterinary_professionals/ He made an effort to educate the community about “holes” in the industry, such as inadequate vet tech certification and vaccinations and to nurture a veterinary community that places pets over profits.

Dr Robb intends to fight back against Banfield and reclaim his practice. He will not take settlement as he feels that large corporations like Mars shouldn’t manage and dictate veterinary protocol.Banfield, owned by Mars Company, advocates yearly vaccination. “Banfield says they treat you like family: since when are you being treated like family when your pets are lined up and injected with toxins” said Dr Robb.

Dr Robb is currently organizing protests against Petsmart in the Connecticut area. You can get up to date news or become involved at his website, Protect The Pets."

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