In much the same way as parents are questioning the necessity for so many multiple vaccination shots for their children (or whether they should vaccinate at all), so pet owners are starting to think along the same lines for their dogs and cats. And unlike children where vaccinations stop with childhood, pet owners are encouraged to vaccinate their pets for the duration of their lives.
Are we over vaccinating our pets?
In a recent article, preventdisease.com comments:
“Many veterinarians believe the practice of annual vaccinations is an unnecessary evil, responsible for such diseases as allergy, seizures, anemia, even cancer. They say vaccinations make our animals vulnerable to some of the top diseases plaguing our pets, and that rather than building up immunity we are overwhelming their immune systems. Others would rather stick to tradition and say that vaccinating has warded off the most deadly animal diseases over the past 30 years, so why question it now
They quote Dr. W. Jean Dodds, president of the non profit animal version of the Red Cross called Hemopet and one of the pioneers of the vaccine debate.
- Dr Dodds says that in her own practice, she only vaccinates when necessary. Rather than automatically giving boosters, Dodds gives annual titers, or tests, to check the level of antibodies (disease fighting cells) in the blood to determine if boosters are necessary.
- Although she expects that immunity would be conferred for life, she says that titers offer "an added measure of security."
- She adds that although many vets have in fact begun to change their vaccination habits, many continue to administer annual shots. She believes that such resistance is not so much a financial issue (since vets should still ask clients to come in for an annual check-up and titers) but rather, it's more about changing attitudes.
According to the American Animal Hospital Association: “The minimum DOI [duration of immunity] for killed rabies vaccine based on challenge studies is 3 years; based on antibody titers, it is considered to be up to 7 years.
Veterinary naturopaths perceive all vaccines to be toxins and toxic to the body - not protective
They feel that preventive care to control pests is nothing more than high-priced pesticides and poisons that over time will and do degrade the health of your pet. You can find out more about veterinary naturopaths at this site
. In the same way that many humans are choosing to go the natural route for their health's sake, so they can do so for the sake of their pets' health too.
Adverse reactions in pets
Remember that before choosing to vaccinate your own dog (or cat), any animal can have an adverse reaction to any vaccine. The worst case scenario is termed an anaphylactic reaction. These hypersensitivity reactions cause a number of physiologic disturbances within the body that result in low blood pressure, slow heart rate and depressed breathing rate. Because the brain is starved for oxygen due to the low blood pressure, unconsciousness can occur. If such a reaction occurs in the veterinarian's offices, they can be given immediate life-saving measures. But if reactions occur at home where no anti-shock medications and fluids are immediately available, the pets would not survive. Many more pets will have a lesser reaction but it can still be distressing and painful for the pet and upsetting for the owner.
The long term effects could be very damaging
The law in the USA is that only rabies shots are mandatory (every 3 years) and even then, if your dog had an adverse reaction to a rabies vaccination, it is possible in some states to obtain an exemption certificate.
So think seriously about whether your pets need multiple vaccines and how often. You are not obliged to vaccinate them (with the exception of rabies as above).
Lifestyle choices for pets
Our pets require the same sort of healthy lifestyles as we should ourselves be enjoying. Healthy, non-processed, nutritious food to eat, water to drink, a regular bath, plenty of exercise (preferably in the outdoors), a warm and comfortable bed as well as affection and companionship.
Such healthy lifestyles will help to boost their immune systems too.