A recent article entitled Bordatella Vaccination for Dogs: Fraud and Fallacy, by Patricia Jordan, DVM, and widely distributed across the Net, brought up the why/when/which vaccine questions on a list for canine professionals. It never ceases to amaze me how reluctant a sizable portion of the veterinary clinicians are to adopt 3 year vaccine schedules for core vaccines, at the very least. What follows is my response to that thread.
To my knowledge, most academic and other reputable veterinary medical authorities today follow the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) 2003 study that recommended the following:
“Make sure that your dog completes the initial series of core vaccines administered at the puppy stage, as well as booster shots at one year of age. Following these one-year boosters, the AAHA Canine Vaccine Guidelines recommend that the distemper, adenovirus and parvovirus core vaccines be administered once every three years.”
Here’s a link to the article: http://tinyurl.com/49fsac6
It went on to say: “There is a history of yearly vaccination boosters, and some veterinarians do not feel it is prudent to change that recommendation just yet. However, the AAHA Canine Vaccine Guidelines reflect that there is growing support for extended duration of protection. Thus more veterinarians are vaccinating less frequently and more selectively.”
Of equal importance to the 3 year booster recommendations, this same study recommended AGAINST the following vaccines, EVER:
Giardia. Reason: no test is available for the disease; vaccine has not been proven to prevent infection, only reduces shedding.
Canine adenovirus-1. Studies found that the vaccine can cause visual impairment in dogs.
Coronavirus. “We’re not recommending it because the disease isn’t significant. The vaccine is safe, there just isn’t a disease to go with it.”
In the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA), the following was published in 2004: “(The 2003 study) wasn’t the first time that veterinarians saw “every three years” in vaccination guidelines. In 1998 and again in 2000, the American Association of Feline Practitioners published a report recommending vaccinating adult cats against panleukopenia virus, feline herpesvirus-1, and feline calicivirus, every three years, rather than annually.”
Even more interesting to me, this same article says “Many veterinarians have responded to the three-year guidelines with resistance. ‘It was truly a bitter pill, and we did not take this well… At issue here is that the bitterness of the pill prevails. Despite growing acceptance of the guidelines, there is still considerable resistance.
“Veterinarians are resistant because, when one examines the services that veterinarians provide in the United States, Europe, and the United Kingdom, vaccination is at the top of the list for both cats and dogs. Our paradigm has been challenged, and it is gradually shifting as we look at alternative ways to select and use vaccines…”
Here’s a link to this article: http://tinyurl.com/4mejuwr
Again, that was published in 2004. We’ve had 6 years of day-to-day experience that continues to support these recommendations. Experience is not equivalent to “challenge studies,” however. Vaccine manufacturers (Bayer, Pfizer, et al), aren’t required to perform them for animals, and it isn’t in their financial interest to perform expensive tests that could negatively impact their bottom line. Quite simply, if a study demonstrated that these “3 year” vaccines were good for the life of a dog (like most human vaccines are), they would sell a lot less of them, and so would veterinarians, their largest customer base.
The lack of data regarding the duration of protection for canine vaccines means manufacturer recommendations are based on a LACK of science. They recommend a year because they have no proof it lasts longer. They have no proof how long it lasts because they do not perform the tests necessary to establish a scientific basis for same. The 1 year recommendations reflect the period the manufacturer will guarantee duration, and nothing more. Overwhelming anecdotal evidence in 2011 suggests that dogs do not become ill when you eliminate annual booster vaccines, they get LESS ill.
Dr. Jean Dodds is a leading authority on the subject of vaccinosis in dogs. Her website is a good place to start: http://tinyurl.com/6hr36qv
Dr. Dodds’ vaccine protocols are here: http://tinyurl.com/38c7sa
An article by Dr. Dodds about the diseases unnecessary vaccines can cause in dogs can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/4r4yhwv
I have trouble seeing this as a matter of “opinion,” but rather ethics. Vets and vet chains valuing their bottom line over the long-term health risks of unnecessary medicine. No doubt those same vets would be happy to “cure” the many ills unnecessary vaccinations cause. For a fee.