Are You Over Vaccinationg Your Pets?

By Julie Anne Lee DCH RscHom & David Ruish DVM
As published in Pet Connection Paper

“The patient receives no benefit and may be placed at serious risk when an unnecessary vaccine is given….” (Schultz, Ronald D., “The Vaccine Controversy: What vaccines do cats and dogs really need and how often do they need to be vaccinated?” Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison.)

Educate yourself and be the judge, your companion’s health depends on the choices YOU make!

What does it mean to ask if your pets vaccines are up to date?
Many veterinarian practices still recommend vaccinations yearly. Yet the recommendation for annual vaccination is a practice that was officially started in 1978. The recommendation was made without any scientific validation of the need to booster immunity so frequently. In fact the presence of good hormoral antibody levels block the anamnestic response to vaccine boosters just as maternal antibody blocks the response in some young animals. In other words, if a body has been given its initial vaccine and first year booster, giving another vaccine does not create a stronger immunity yet the danger of over vaccinating is a very real risk. (Schultz, Ronald D,
“Current and future canine and feline vaccination programs”, Veterinary Medicine, March 1998, pg 243). In studies Dr. Ron Schultz performed at the University of Wisconsin, 106 dogs vaccinated within the previous 1 to 4 years, were each given a canine parvovirus booster vaccine. Only one of the 106 dogs showed significant increase in serum antibody titer following the booster. These results show that revaccination does not enhance antibody levels or improve immunity because the vaccine virus is neutralized before it can reach the memory T and B cells. The immunity provided by previous vaccination not only protects against the virulent disease but
also prevents response to revaccination. (Wolf Alice, Vaccines of the Present and Future, Proceedings of the World Animal Veterinary Congress, Vancouver 2001). The term “up to date” is only valid if you go by the vaccine manufacturers protocols, which are reflective of the amount of animal testing the vaccine company has 1actually done with a particular vaccine.

Our holistic perspective on vaccines being up to date is reflective of two things:
1. Whether your pet has protection against the disease in question. We do this by taking a small amount f blood and sending it to the lab to test if your animal has an adequate amount of antibodies to protect them, this is called a titer.

2. We look at the risk of contracting the disease compared to the risks associated with the vaccination. One of the leading independent researchers and proponents of vaccinating animals less of ten is Dr. Ronald D Schultz, Veterinary immunologist and professor and Chair of the Department of Pathobiological Sciences at eh University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. He is the most prominent Veterinary immunologist in Veterinary Medicine.Schultz began researching vaccines ,pre tan 25 years ago, when he first wondered why humans were first vaccinated as children and then not again, but animals were vaccinated annually. His research confirms that most animal vaccines, like human ones, create long term immunity. Schultz stresses that while it’s critical to stimulate initial immunity in animals while they are young, his work has revealed that many vaccines provide lifelong immunity, making repeated vaccinations after the first year of doubtful value. To compound the situation, he has found that indiscriminate vaccination of adult animals can trigger averse reactions.