Dog and Cat Vaccinations - Current Standard of Care
by Melissa T Benson
Are yearly vaccinations good for you dog or cat? The short answer is NO. Martin Goldstein, DVM: "I think that vaccines...are leading killers of dogs and cats in America today."
Pet vaccinations started back in the 1950's. There wasn't any formal testing done on how long a pet is immunized with specific vaccines. And - at the time - no one believed there was any risk with vaccines. So it became customary to do yearly "boosters" or re-vaccinations.
That practice was publicly challenged in the 1990's. Although there was (and is) no requirement to report adverse reactions, there was mounting evidence that vaccinations were creating a lot of problems for pets ranging from minor to death.
In 1992, Dr. Ronald Schultz, a veterinary immunologist and professor at University of Wisconsin published an article with co-author Dr. Phillips in Current Veterinary Therapy.
They said, "A practice that was started many years ago and that lacks scientific validity or verification is annual vaccinations. Almost without exception there is no immunologic requirement for annual re-vaccination. Immunity to viruses persists for years or for the life of the animal."
Dr. Schultz has been one of the leading thinkers on vaccine protocols.
Vaccines do have a place, but they are not without risk. While a Vet will likely only observe an immediate response, adverse reactions can occur up to 45 days after the vaccine is received. Often people don't associate the adverse reactions with the vaccination.
Adverse Reactions To Vaccines
There are many adverse reactions ranging from minor and short term to long term limiting illnesses, chronic diseases and even death. Allergies, chronic skin problems, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, pancreatitis, kidney failure, liver failure, arthritis, thyroid disease, epilepsy, seizures, paralysis, auto-immune disease, cancer.
Also, behavior problems such as aggression, suspiciousness, restlessness, aloofness, separation anxiety, excessive barking, destructive behavior, tail chewing.
In fact, vaccination site tumors have become so common in cats (between the shoulder blades), that it's now recommended to vaccinate them in the tail or hind leg so it can be amputated if it becomes cancerous.
Yearly vaccinations are NO LONGER the standard of care. All 27 Veterinary Schools in North America have updated their protocol as have:
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- American Animal Hospital Association
- World Small Animal Veterinary Association
- Australian Veterinary Association
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) vaccination guidelines advise that duration of immunity is 7 years or longer, based on challenge and blood studies.
Dr Ronald Schultz, expert in immunology and member of the WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group and American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Task Force, says that if a puppy is immunized for parvovirus, distemper virus and adenovirus "there is every reason to believe the vaccinated animal will have up to life-long immunity".
Vaccines aren't risk free. Just because yearly vaccination was common for years doesn't mean it's a good thing. Current science says otherwise.