THE SECOND WIND GERMAN SHEPHERDS

Subtitle

IMPORTANT INFO ON VACCINES.....PLEASE READ BEFORE YOU GO TO YOUR VET

 

 

VACCINATION  INFORMATION LINKS AND FULL ARTICLES BELOW. There are several , please read.  

 

NEW LINK 1-16-10    INFO ON TITERS , WHY AND WHAT TO ASK FOR  http://www.caberfeidh.com/Titers.htm



The first fact:
Annual vaccination is fraud.

Strong stuff, eh? There is absolutely no scientific basis for annual vaccination. It was just a practice that was started many years ago, probably because the shots weren't working and someone had the bright idea to keep repeating it in case it helped. In fact, we have discovered that, far from helping, annual vaccination is destroying our animals' immune systems. This is widely known in scientific circles - but vets are reluctant to look at the evidence too closely due to potential lost booster income. I am sorry to say this but long years of campaigning allow me to develop no other conclusion. The vets who have read my book take it very seriously. However, most refuse to read it.

"Once immunity to a virus exists, it persists for years or life." - Dr Ronald D Schultz, head of pathobiology at Wisconsin University. My own six-year-old Golden Retriever - Gwinnie - gives a good example of this. Gwinnie was vaccinated ONLY as a puppy. We got her when she was five months old, already vaccinated. She was never vaccinated again. Last year, at the age of six, Gwinnie had a blood test and this revealed that she still has high antibody levels to distemper and parvo. The advice from Professor Hal Thomson at Glasgow University was "no need to revaccinate". After SIX years.

DR Jean Dodds in America has just completed a study that shows much the same thing. You don't NEED to keep vaccinating your dogs. There is one exception, and this is the leptospirosis component of the vaccine. Lepto is a bacterin, not a virus, and you can't get permanent immunity to a bacterin. However, the vaccine has been described as 'useless' and there have been many calls for it to be withdrawn from the market. There are hundreds of strains of leptospirosis, but only two in the vaccine, AND it provides immunity (if at all) for only between three and six months. This means that your dog is probably unprotected against the two strains for around nine months of the year, and against all the other hundreds of strains for ever. Australian research shows that the lepto component of vaccines can cause horrendous side-effects, so top veterinary immunologists, microbiologists and pathobiologists have advised we don't use it.


Fact two:
Vaccines can cause a whole range of diseases.

Skin problems:
Frick and Brooks, in 1983, showed that dogs who were genetically susceptible to develop atopic dermatitis ONLY contracted the condition IF they were vaccinated before being exposed to an allergen. So - vaccines trigger skin disease.

Arthritis:
There are many, many studies which show that vaccines can cause arthritis. Vaccine components have even been found in the bones of arthritis sufferers.

Cancer
Vaccine components have been found at the cancer sites of victims. Worse, they have been found at the cancer sites of the CHILDREN of the people who received the guilty vaccine. In other words, vaccines can cause inheritable cancer.

Leukemia:
DR Jean Dodds has linked leukemia to vaccines. Also, Merck, a vaccine manufacturer, has linked leukemia to a leukemia-like retrovirus found in birds. Merck were investigating the link between this retrovirus and the eggs they cultivated the measles vaccine on. Distemper and measles are virtually the same virus, and both vaccines are cultivated on chick embryos.

Aggression:
Vaccines are acknowledged to cause inflammation of the brain and, in severe cases, lesions in the brain and throughout the central nervous system. This condition, known as encephalitis, lies at the root of much aggressive and violent behaviour, autism, epilepsy, attention deficit disorder, and other neurological conditions (for example, CDRM, Ataxia, etc).

Autoimmune Disease:
It is widely acknowledged that vaccines can cause a whole range of autoimmune diseases, such as Cushings disease, Addisons disease, thyroid disease, autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, and many others. The scientific evidence is there for anyone who wants to look at it. DR Larry Glickman at Purdue University has found that routinely vaccinated dogs develop autoantibodies to a wide range of their own biochemicals. This means that vaccines cause dogs to attack their own bodies - which is what autoimmune disease is all about.


Fact three:
Some animals are genetically pre-disposed to suffer fatal reactions to vaccines, or to develop vaccine-induced disease.

The Merck Manual (the doctor's bible, published by a vaccine manufacturer) says that children with B and/or T cell immunodeficiencies should not receive live virus vaccines as the vaccine can stimulate a severe or FATAL infection. Not to put too fine a point on it, 'fatal' means death. Merck explains that features of B and T cell immunodeficiencies include eczema, dermatitis, heart disease, inhalant allergies, food allergies and neurological conditions. They say that humans suffering with any of these conditions, or from families with these conditions, should not receive live virus vaccines because the vaccine can kill them. Our dogs also have B and T cells, and B and T cell immunodeficiencies. So if your dog has allergies, or heart problems, or neurological problems . . . vaccines represent a life threatening risk.


Fact four:
Vaccines cause more diseases than they prevent.

This is the one the scientists are currently arguing about. You can probably guess which way I've fallen on the debate. In my humble opinion, vaccination is probably the worst thing we can do for someone we love. Obviously, this is a scary statement.
Let me tell you a little about why I'm here saying this to you. Oliver, a beautiful Golden Retriever, lost the use of his back legs one day when he was four years old. We rushed him to the vet but he was dead by four that afternoon. For two years, I asked every vet I met 'why?' No one could tell me until I met a homoeopathic vet called Chris Day, and he asked me when Ollie had last been vaccinated. He told me it was a classic vaccine reaction, falling within three months of the shot. Since then I have met many people whose dogs died in exactly the same way. Prudence, another Golden Retriever, died of leukemia when she was six. The last time I vaccinated her, her eyes rolled in her sockets, and she climbed up on my back, begging me not to have it done. But we carried on because I thought it was good for her. Distemper and parvo are horrible diseases, of course - but so is leukemia. You don't want to see a dog die this way. Samson's back legs were paralysed the day after his second puppy shot. I thought maybe someone had put poison down because I didn't know vaccines could do this. The next year he was boosted, and his head swelled up like a football and he ran around screaming - I now know that this was a massive allergic reaction to the vaccine. At the age of two we had a blood test done, and it came back autoimmune disease. He died of cancer at the age of five. Having studied the scientific evidence, I know that Sammie was killed the day a vaccine destroyed his immune system.

Edward and Daniel are three-year-old Golden Retrievers. Neither has ever been vaccinated. Not once. They are the healthiest two Goldens I have ever had the privilege to share my life with. No sickness, no diarrhea, no allergies, no illness. The vet doesn't know who they are - they have only ever visited to have their blood tested (both have antibodies to distemper and parvo . . . which means they've met the diseases but not succumbed). They also went to the vets a few weeks ago to have ticks removed. The vet remarked on how fit and healthy they were. But that's it - their entire veterinary history at the age of three.

Compare this with Samson's veterinary history! I was literally at the vet every two weeks with Sammie. Edward and Daniel are fed real food - raw meaty bones, vegetables, etc. This means that they have optimal immune systems, so they are in a good position to fight any viruses or bacterins that come along. They also receive the homeopathic vaccine alternative. When they were nine months old, my older vaccinated dogs contracted kennel cough. My two homoeopathically protected pups didn't cough once. reported meeting two 17 year old Golden Retrievers on the beach. Both ran and jumped around like young ones. The owner told her that they had never been vaccinated and, as he was a butcher, he had fed them raw meat. Seven years into the campaign, we are beginning to see the results of not vaccinating and feeding real food. Canine Health & Training Concern members are now constantly reporting that their dogs are incredibly healthy, and those who show are winning at all the shows.

Don't blame the 'irresponsible breeders' - blame vaccines. Without vaccines, you too can hope for long-lived friends who get through their lives without the crippling debilitating diseases that have become common in the dog population.


One last fact:
Vaccines don't offer GUARANTEED immunity.

Nearly all of the dogs in the CHC vaccine survey - which involved over 4,000 dogs and is still ongoing - contracted distemper, parvo, lepto, hepatitis, etc, within three months of being vaccinated.

My motivation is that you don't have to sit and watch your beloved friends die years before their time, or suffer from any of the many vaccine-induced diseases. We are making a terrible mistake on behalf of our animal friends. What we think is best for them is in fact the worst thing we can do. I am not alone in saying this - the very top veterinary specialists agree. We just need to get the other vets up to date. I promise you this - annual vaccination is coming to an end. We will look back in horror at what we used to do.

Catherine O'Driscoll

 

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VACCINE  ARTICLE  VERY  INTERESTING,  PLEASE  READ.

an interesting article

This article is taken from a PDF
vaxscience in dogs.pdf and can be dowloaded at:
http://www.vaclib. org/pdf/vaxscien ce-in-dogs. pdf


Science of Vaccine Damage

by Catherine O’Driscoll

A      team at Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine conducted several studies (1,2) to determine if vaccines can cause changes in the immune system of dogs that might lead to life-threat- ening immune-mediated diseases. They obviously,conducted this research because concern already,existed. It was sponsored by the Haywood Foundation which itself was looking for evidence that suchchanges in the human immune system might also be vaccine induced. It found the evidence.

The vaccinated, but not the non-vaccinated, dogs in the Purdue studies developed autoantibodies to many of their own biochemicals, including fibronectin, laminin, DNA, albumin, cytochrome C, cardiolipin and collagen.

This means that the vaccinated dogs -- ”but not the non-vaccinated dogs”-- were attacking their own fibronectin, which is involved in tissue repair, cell multiplication and growth, and differentiation between tissues and organs in a living organism.

The vaccinated Purdue dogs also developed autoantibodies
to laminin, which is involved in many cellular activities including the adhesion, spreading, differentiation,
proliferation and movement of cells. Vaccines thus appear to be capable of removing the natural intelligence of cells.

Autoantibodies to cardiolipin are frequently found in patients with the serious disease systemic lupus erythematosus and also in individuals with other autoimmune diseases. The presence of elevated anti-cardiolipin antibodies is significantly associated with clots within the heart or blood vessels, in poor blood clotting, haemorrhage, bleeding into the skin, foetal loss and neurological conditions.

The Purdue studies also found that vaccinated dogs were developing autoantibodies to their own collagen. About one quarter of all the protein in the body is collagen. Collagen provides structure to our bodies, protecting and supporting the softer tissues and connecting them with the skeleton. It is no wonder that Canine Health Concern’s 1997 study of
4,000 dogs showed a high number of dogs developing mobility problems shortly after they were vaccinated
(noted in my 1997 book, What Vets Don’t Tell You About Vaccines).

Perhaps most worryingly, the Purdue studies found that the vaccinated dogs had developed autoantibodies to their own DNA. Did the alarm bells sound? Did the scientific community call a halt to the vaccination program? No. Instead, they stuck their fingers in the air, saying more research is needed to ascertain whether vaccines can cause genetic damage. Meanwhile, the study dogs were found good homes, but no long-term follow-up has been conducted. At around the same time, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Vaccine-Associated Feline Sarcoma Task Force initiated several studies to find out why 160,000 cats each year in the USA develop terminal cancer at their vaccine injection sites.(3) The fact that cats can get vaccine-induced cancer has been acknowledged by veterinary bodies around the world, and even the British Government acknowledged it through its Working Group charged with the task of looking into canine and feline vaccines(4) following pressure from Canine Health Concern. What do you imagine was the advice of the AVMA Task Force, veterinary bodies and governments? “Carry on vaccinating until we find out why vaccines are killing cats, and which cats are most likely to die.”

In America, in an attempt to mitigate the problem,
they’re vaccinating cats in the tail or leg so they can amputate when cancer appears. Great advice if it’s not your cat amongst the hundreds of thousands on the “oops” list.
But other species are okay - right? Wrong. In August 2003, the Journal of Veterinary Medicine carried an Italian study which showed that dogs also develop vaccine-induced cancers at their injection sites.(5) We already know that vaccine-site cancer is a possible sequel to human vaccines, too, since the Salk polio vaccine was said to carry a monkey retrovirus (from cultivating the vaccine on monkey organs) that produces inheritable cancer. The monkey retrovirus SV40 keeps turning up in human cancer sites.

It is also widely acknowledged that vaccines can cause a fast-acting, usually fatal, disease called autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA). Without treatment, and frequently with treatment, individuals
can die in agony within a matter of days. Merck, itself a multinational vaccine manufacturer, states in The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy that autoimmune haemolytic anaemia may be caused by modified live-virus vaccines, as do Tizard’s Veterinary Immunology (4th edition) and the Journal of Veterinary
Internal Medicine. (6) The British Government’s Working Group, despite being staffed by vaccine-industry consultants who say they are independent, also acknowledged this fact. However, no one warns the pet owners before their animals are subjected to an unnecessary booster, and very few owners are told why after their pets die of AIHA.

A Wide Range of Vaccine-induced Diseases
We also found some worrying correlations between vaccine events and the onset of arthritis in our 1997 survey. Our concerns were compounded by research in the human field.

The New England Journal of Medicine, for example, reported that it is possible to isolate the rubella virus from affected joints in children vaccinated against rubella. It also told of the isolation of viruses from the peripheral blood of women with prolonged arthritis following vaccination. (7)

Then, in 2000, CHC’s findings were confirmed by research which showed that polyarthritis and other diseases like amyloidosis, which affects organs in dogs, were linked to the combined vaccine given to dogs.(8) There is a huge body of research, despite the paucity of funding from the vaccine industry, to confirm that vaccines can cause a wide range of brain and central nervous system damage. Merck itself states in its Manual that vaccines (i.e., its own products) can cause encephalitis: brain inflammation/ damage. In some cases, encephalitis involves lesions in the brain and throughout the central nervous system. Merck states that “examples are the encephalitides following measles, chickenpox, rubella, smallpox vaccination, vaccinia, and many other less well defined viral infections”.

When the dog owners who took part in the CHC survey reported that their dogs developed short attention spans, 73.1% of the dogs did so within three months of a vaccine event. The same percentage
of dogs was diagnosed with epilepsy within three months of a shot (but usually within days). We also found that 72.5% of dogs that were considered by their owners to be nervous and of a worrying disposition, first exhibited these traits within the three-month post-vaccination period.

I would like to add for the sake of Oliver, my friend who suffered from paralysed rear legs and death shortly after a vaccine shot, that “paresis” is listed in Merck’s Manual as a symptom of encephalitis. This is defined as muscular weakness of a neural (brain) origin which involves partial or incomplete paralysis, resulting
from lesions at any level of the descending pathway from the brain. Hind limb paralysis is one of the potential
consequences. Encephalitis, incidentally, is a disease that can manifest across the scale from mild to severe and can also cause sudden death.

Organ failure must also be suspected when it occurs shortly after a vaccine event. Dr Larry Glickman,
who spearheaded the Purdue research into post-vaccination biochemical changes in dogs, wrote in a letter to Cavalier Spaniel breeder Bet Hargreaves:

“Our ongoing studies of dogs show that following routine vaccination, there is a significant rise in the level of antibodies dogs produce against their own tissues. Some of these antibodies have been shown to target the thyroid gland, connective tissue such as that found in the valves of the heart, red blood cells, DNA, etc. I do believe that the heart conditions in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels could be the end result of repeated immunisations by vaccines containing tissue culture contaminants that cause a progressive immune response directed at connective tissue in the heart valves. The clinical manifestations would be more pronounced in dogs that have a genetic predisposition
[although] the findings should be generally applicable to all dogs regardless of their breed.”

I must mention here that Dr Glickman believes that vaccines are a necessary evil, but that safer vaccines
need to be developed.

Meanwhile, please join the queue to place your dog, cat, horse and child on the Russian roulette wheel because a scientist says you should.

Vaccines Stimulate an Inflammatory Response

The word “allergy” is synonymous with “sensitivity” and “inflammation”. It should, by rights, also be synonymous
with the word “vaccination”. This is what vaccines do: they sensitise (render allergic)an individual in the process of forcing them to develop antibodies to fight a disease threat. In other words, as is acknowledged and accepted, as part of the vaccine process the body will respond with inflammation. This may be apparently temporary or it may be longstanding.

Holistic doctors and veterinarians have known this for at least 100 years.

They talk about a wide range of inflammatory or “-itis” diseases which arise shortly after a vaccine event. Vaccines, in fact, plunge many individuals into an allergic state. Again, this is a disorder that ranges from mild all the way through to the suddenly fatal. Anaphylactic shock is the culmination: it’s where an individual has a massive allergic reaction to a vaccine
and will die within minutes if adrenaline or its equivalent is not administered.

There are some individuals who are genetically not well placed to withstand the vaccine challenge. These are the people (and animals are “people”, too) who have inherited faulty B and T cell function. B and T cells are components within the immune system which identify foreign invaders and destroy them, and hold the invader in memory so that they cannot cause future harm. However, where inflammatory responses are concerned, the immune system overreacts and causes unwanted effects such as allergies
and other inflammatory conditions.

Merck warns in its Manual that patients with, or from families with, B and/or T cell immunodeficiencies
should not receive live-virus vaccines due to the risk of severe or fatal infection. Elsewhere, it lists features of B and T cell immunodeficiencies as food allergies, inhalant allergies, eczema, dermatitis,
neurological deterioration and heart disease. To translate, people with these conditions can die if they receive live-virus vaccines. Their immune systems are simply not competent enough to guarantee a healthy reaction to the viral assault from modified live-virus vaccines.

Modified live-virus (MLV) vaccines replicate in the patient until an immune response is provoked. If a defence isn’t stimulated, then the vaccine continues to replicate until it gives the patient the very disease it was intending to prevent.

Alternatively, a deranged immune response will lead to inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, pancreatitis, colitis, encephalitis and any number of autoimmune diseases such as cancer and leukaemia, where the body attacks its own cells.

A new theory, stumbled upon by Open University student Gary Smith, explains what holistic practitioners
have been saying for a very long time. Here is what a few of the holistic vets have said in relation to their patients:

Dr. Jean Dodds: “Many veterinarians trace the present problems with allergic and immunologic diseases to the introduction of MLV vaccines...” (9)

Christina Chambreau, DVM: “Routine vaccinations are probably the worst thing that we do for our animals. They cause all types of illnesses, but not directly to where we would relate them definitely to be caused by the vaccine.” (10)

Martin Goldstein, DVM: “I think that vaccines...are leading killers of dogs and cats in America today.”

Dr Charles E. Loops, DVM: “Homoeopathic veterinarians and other holistic practitioners have maintained for some time that vaccinations do more harm than they provide benefits.” (12)

Mike Kohn, DVM: “In response to this [vaccine] violation, there have been increased autoimmune diseases (allergies being one component), epilepsy, neoplasia [tumours], as well as behavioural problems in small animals.” (13)

A Theory on Inflammation
Gary Smith explains what observant healthcare practitioners have been saying for a very long time, but perhaps
they’ve not understood why their observations led them to say it. His theory, incidentally, is causing a huge stir within the inner scientific sanctum. Some believe that his theory could lead to a cure for many diseases including cancer. For me, it explains why the vaccine process is inherently questionable.

Gary was learning about inflammation as part of his studies when he struck upon a theory so extraordinary that it could have implications for the treatment of almost every inflammatory disease -- including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, rheumatoid arthritis and even HIV and AIDS.

Gary’s theory questions the received wisdom that when a person gets ill, the inflammation that occurs around the infected area helps it to heal. He claims that, in reality, inflammation prevents the body from recognizing a foreign substance and therefore serves as a hiding place for invaders. The inflammation occurs when at-risk cells produce receptors called All (known as angiotensin II type I receptors). He says that while At1 has a balancing receptor, At2, which is supposed to switch off the inflammation, in most diseases this does not happen.

“Cancer has been described as the wound that never heals,” he says. “All successful cancers are surrounded
by inflammation. Commonly this is thought to be the body’s reaction to try to fight the cancer, but this is not the case.

“The inflammation is not the body trying to fight the infection. It is actually the virus or bacteria deliberately causing inflammation in order to hide from the immune system [author’s emphasis].” (14)

If Gary is right, then the inflammatory process so commonly stimulated by vaccines is not, as hitherto
assumed, a necessarily acceptable sign. Instead, it could be a sign that the viral or bacterial component,
or the adjuvant (which, containing foreign protein, is seen as an invader by the immune system), in the vaccine is winning by stealth. If Gary is correct in believing that the inflammatory response is not protective but a sign that invasion is taking place under cover of darkness, vaccines are certainly not the friends we thought they were. They are undercover assassins working on behalf of the enemy, and vets and medical doctors are unwittingly
acting as collaborators. Worse, we animal guardians and parents are actually paying doctors and vets to unwittingly betray our loved ones.

Potentially, vaccines are the stealth bomb of the medical world. They are used to catapult invaders inside the castle walls where they can wreak havoc, with none of us any the wiser. So rather than experiencing frank viral diseases such as the ‘flu, measles, mumps and rubella (and, in the case of dogs, parvovirus and distemper), we are allowing the viruses to win anyway - but with cancer, leukaemia and other inflammatory or autoimmune (self-attacking) diseases
taking their place.

The Final Insult
All 27 veterinary schools in North America have changed their protocols for vaccinating dogs and cats along the following lines; (15) however, vets in practice are reluctant to listen to these changed protocols and official veterinary bodies in the UK and other countries are ignoring the following facts.

Dogs’ and cats’ immune systems mature fully at six months. If modified live-virus vaccine is given after six months of age, it produces immunity, which is good for the life of the pet. If another MLV vaccine is given a year later, the antibodies from the first vaccine neutralise the antigens of the second vaccine and there is little or no effect. The litre is not “boosted”, nor are more memory cells induced. Not only are annual boosters unnecessary, but they subject
the pet to potential risks such as allergic reactions and immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia.

In plain language, veterinary schools in America, plus the American Veterinary Medical Association, have looked at studies to show how long vaccines last and they have concluded and announced that annual vaccination is unnecessary. (16-19)

Further, they have acknowledged that vaccines are not without harm. Dr Ron Schultz, head of pathobiology
at Wisconsin University and a leading light in this field, has been saying this politely to his veterinary
colleagues since the 1980s. I’ve been saying it for the past 12 years. But change is so long in coming and, in the meantime, hundreds of thousands of animals are dying every year - unnecessarily.

The good news is that thousands of animal lovers (but not enough) have heard what we’ve been saying. Canine Health Concern members around the world use real food as Nature’s supreme disease preventative,
eschewing processed pet food, and minimize the vaccine risk. Some of us, myself included, have chosen not to vaccinate our pets at all. Our reward is healthy and long-lived dogs.

It has taken but one paragraph to tell you the good and simple news. The gratitude I feel each day, when I embrace my healthy dogs, stretches from the centre of the Earth to the Universe and beyond.


About the Author:
Catherine O’Driscoll runs Canine Health Concern which campaigns and also delivers an educational program, the Foundation in Canine Healthcare. She is author of Shock to the System (2005; see review this issue), the best-selling book What Vets Don’t Tell You About Vaccines (1997, 1998), and Who Killed the Darling Buds of May? (1997; reviewed in NEXUS 4/04). She lives in Scotland with her partner, Rob Ellis, and three Golden Retrievers, named Edward, Daniel and Gwinnie, and she lectures on canine health around the world.

For more information, contact Catherine O’Driscoll at Canine Health Concern, PO Box 7533, Perth PH2 1AD, Scotland, UK, email [email protected] .co.uk, website http://www.canine- health-concern. org.uk.

Shock to the System is available in the UK from CHC, and worldwide from Dogwise at http://www.dogwise. com.

Endnotes
1, “Effects of Vaccination on the Endocrine and Immune Systems of Dogs, Phase II”, Purdue University, November 1,1999, at
      http://www.homestea d.com/vonhapsbur g/haywardstudyon vaccines. html.

2. See www.vet.purdue. edu/epi/gdhstudy .htm.
3. See http://www.avma. org/vafstf/ default.asp.

4. Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) Working
    Group on Feline and Canine Vaccination, DEFRA, May 2001.

5. JVM Series A 50(6):286-291, August 2003.

6. Duval, D. and Giger,U. (1996). “Vaccine-Associated
    Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia in the Dog”, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
10:290-295.
7. New England Journal of Medicine, vol.313,1985. See also Clin Exp Rheumatol 20(6):767-71, Nov-Dec 2002.

8. Am Coll Vet Intern Med 14:381,2000.

9. Dodds, Jean W.,DVM, “Immune System and Disease Resistance”, at http://www.critterc hat.net/immune. htm.

10. Wolf Clan magazine, April/May 1995.
11. Goldstein, Martin, The Nature of Animal Healing,
      Borzoi/Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1999.
12. Wolf Clan magazine, op. cit.

13. ibid.

14. Journal of Inflammation 1:3,2004, at http://www.journal- inflammation. com content/1/1/ 3.

15. Klingborg, D.J., Hustead, D.R. and Curry-Galvin, E. et al., “AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic
Agents’ report on cat and dog vaccines”, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 221(10):1401- 1407, November 15,2002, http://www.avma. org/policies/ vaccination. htm.

16. ibid.

17. Schultz, R.D., “Current and future canine and feline vaccination programs”, Vet Med 93:233-254,1998.

18. Schultz, R.D., Ford, R.B., Olsen, J. and Scott, P., “Titer testing and vaccination: a new look at traditional practices”, Vet Med 97:1-13, 2002 (insert).

19. Twark, L. and Dodds, W.J., “Clinical application
of serum parvovirus and distemper virus antibody liters for determining revaccination strategies in healthy dogs”, J Am Vet Med Assoc 217:1021-1024, 2000.


Princess Healthy Canine Consulting
Carolann Hamilton
Canine Health and Nutrition Consultant

 

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TAKE THE TITER TEST
Testing a dog’s serum antibody titers can prevent overvaccinating
by
Lorie Long
from
Whole Dog Journal

 

 

   

   

Taking blood for an annual titer test, to check a dog’s level of immune defenses, should replace the habit of vaccinating dogs annually whether or not they need it.

Few issues in veterinary medicine are as controversial as the debate about administering annual vaccinations to our dogs. Long considered part of the standard of baseline, responsible veterinary healthcare, and credited with conquering some of the fiercest canine viral and other infectious diseases, vaccinations now are also suspected of creating vulnerability to illnesses and chronic conditions such as anemia, arthritis, seizures, allergies, gastrointestinal and thyroid disorders, and cancer. As we’ve previously discussed in numerous articles, few people advocate refraining from the use of vaccinations altogether, but increasing numbers of veterinary experts recommend administering fewer vaccines to our dogs than was suggested in recent years. The current wisdom is to vaccinate our animal companions enough, but not too much. Does this seem a little arbitrary? It could, especially since the veterinary profession lacks complete information about exactly how long the effects of canine vaccines last. (We bet you thought that most vaccines “last” about a year, which is why you are supposed to bring your dog to the vet for more shots every year, right? Well, you’re wrong, and we’ll explain why below.) Fortunately, there is a tool that veterinarians and dog owners can use to determine whether or not a dog really needs further vaccination at any given time. It’s called a “titer test,” and it’s readily available, not terribly expensive, and offers multiple advantages over the practices (intentional or not) of over-vaccination and under-vaccination. To understand what a titer test is and what it can do for you and your dog, you need a little background information about vaccinations and their use in this country.

History of “recommended vaccine schedules”
As lifesaving vaccines for various canine diseases have been developed over the last 50 years, veterinarians and dog owners gladly embraced them. Many diseases were prevented, and a new industry was born. Like any industry, it soon set about making itself indispensable. Increasingly, veterinarians were sold on the concept that if some vaccines are good, more are better – for their patients and their bottom line. So it came to pass that for decades, vets followed the label recommendations directing that canine vaccines be administered annually. In the late 1970s, a deadly parvovirus epidemic killed thousands of dogs and wiped out whole litters of puppies, eventually halted by the mass administration of the parvovirus vaccine. This episode emphasized the important role of vaccinations in canine healthcare and labeled veterinarians who challenged the annual administration of vaccines as mutinous. And there was, in fact, a small population of insurgent veterinarians who had doubts about the necessity of frequent vaccination. Many holistic practitioners – who often see patients with complex, mystifying symptoms of poor health, patients who have not been helped or even diagnosed by conventionally trained veterinarians – suspected a link between vaccines and immune disorders. In their minds, it was easy to surmise that there might be a connection between agents that are designed to provoke an immune response and their patients’ poor or inappropriate immune responses. But while drug companies are motivated to fund studies that can develop more vaccines they can sell for a profit, they are understandably disinclined to spend money on studies that may discover their products’ potential for harm, or how few vaccines our companion animals really need for disease protection. As a result, only anecdotal evidence provided by “vaccine rebels” – owners and veterinarians who either do not vaccinate or vaccinate on a reduced schedule – seemed to suggest that dogs and cats might be better off receiving fewer vaccines. But until recently there was little scientific evidence that supported this idea, perhaps none that was accepted in the conventional university veterinarian research community. Then, in the early 1990s, laboratory researchers at the University of Pennsylvania noticed a connection between the marked increase in the number of sarcomas, or cancerous tumors, under the skin at the site of rabies vaccine administration in cats. Later, researchers at the University of California at Davis noted that feline leukemia vaccines seemed to cause the same results. Taken aback by the inflammatory nature of the animals’ reaction to the vaccines, veterinary researchers began to suspect that immediate reactions to vaccinations, delayed reactions to vaccinations, or the combined effects of multiple vaccinations, could be risk factors for other ailments and chronic diseases in cats and dogs. As vaccines and their long-term effects became a (at least minor) topic of mainstream veterinary interest, one small but important fact came to light: there is no universally accepted “standard vaccination protocol” that has the approval of say, the American Veterinary Medical Association and/or the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. The prevailing vaccination recommendations and schedules that most veterinarians and veterinary colleges recommend have been based on the research and suggestions of the manufacturers – not on independent scientific research. This point had long been recognized by the vaccine rebels, but disregarded by most conventional veterinarians.

Why more is not better
Jean Dodds, DVM, a highly respected veterinary hematologist, and founder and president of the nonprofit Hemopet, a California-based animal blood bank, pioneered the vaccine debate decades ago and is now considered one of the leading authorities on canine vaccine protocols. According to Dr. Dodds, many recent studies confirm that the vast majority of dogs, in most cases at least 95 percent of the subjects, retain immunity after vaccination for many years after the administration of a vaccine. She states that the “evidence implicating vaccines in triggering immune-mediated and other chronic disorders (vaccinosis) is compelling.” Adverse reactions to conventional vaccines can be the same as reactions to any chemicals, drugs, or infectious agents. Immediate (or anaphylactic) reactions can occur in the 24-48 hours following exposure to the vaccine. Delayed reactions can occur 10-45 days after receiving vaccines. Symptoms include fever, stiffness, sore joints, abdominal tenderness, nervous system disorders, susceptibility to infections, and hemorrhages or bruising. Transient seizures can appear in puppies and adults. More long-term harmful effects can result in permanent damage to the dog’s immune system, which increases the dog’s susceptibility to chronic, debilitating diseases affecting the blood, endocrine organs, joints, skin, central nervous system, liver, kidneys, and bowel. In addition, vaccines can overwhelm a chronically ill dog, or a dog that has a genetic predisposition to react adversely to viral exposure, even from the modified live viral agents or killed virus in vaccines. So, given the possible health risks of administering too many vaccines, especially when a dog likely retains the immunologic protection supplied by previous vaccinations, how can a responsible dog owner decide on a safe and effective vaccine schedule for the life of their dog? As we suggested earlier, the answer is titer tests.

Understanding titer tests
The term “titer” refers to the strength or concentration of a substance in a solution. When testing vaccine titers in dogs, a veterinarian takes a blood sample from a dog and has the blood tested for the presence and strength of the dog’s immunological response to a viral disease. If the dog demonstrates satisfactory levels of vaccine titers, the dog is considered sufficiently immune to the disease, or possessing good “immunologic memory,” and not in need of further vaccination against the disease at that time.

Using the new TiterCHEKTM test kit, your veterinarian can now draw blood from your dog when you first arrive for his annual health exam, and within 15 minutes, be able to tell you whether or not he needs any vaccines.

Titer tests do not distinguish between the immunity generated by vaccination and that generated by natural exposure to disease agents. A dog may have developed immunity to a viral disease by receiving a vaccine against the disease, by being exposed to the disease in the natural environment and conquering it, sometimes without having demonstrated any symptoms of exposure to the disease, or by a combination of the two. Therefore, titer tests really measure both the “priming of the pump” that comes from vaccines, and the immunity resulting from natural exposure to disease during a dog’s lifetime. Only an indoor dog that has been totally sequestered from the natural environment is likely to have developed all of its immunity from vaccinations. Although the magnitude of immunity protection received by vaccination only is usually lower than by vaccination plus exposure, it doesn’t matter how your dog developed its strong immunity to specific viral diseases, as long as the immunity is present. By “titering” annually, a dog owner can assess whether her dog’s immune response has fallen below adequate levels. In that event, an appropriate vaccine booster can be administered. 

Which titers tests?
Some dog owners, aware that there are dozens of vaccines available, are concerned that they would need to order titer tests for each vaccine. Actually, measuring the titers for just two vaccines, according to Dr. Dodds, can offer the dog owner a reliable “picture” of the dog’s immunological status. Good immunity to canine parvovirus (CPV) and canine distemper virus (CDV), she says, indicates proper “markers for the competence of the dog’s immune system.” Although the laboratories will also perform vaccine titer tests for other canine diseases, such as coronavirus and Lyme, Dr. Dodds deems these tests a waste of money. Protection from coronavirus, Dr. Dodds explains, depends on the current state of health of the dog’s gastrointestinal tract, not on what’s in the dog’s blood, so serum tests are not conclusive. Lyme is regionally based and not a significant threat to the general canine population, so only dogs in a high-risk environment need titer testing for Lyme. Dr. Dodds emphasizes that titer testing is not a “guess” at immunological response in a dog; when dealing with CDV and CDP, there is absolute correlation between certain high titer values and what is frequently referred to as “protection” from the diseases in question. In this case, the animal’s owner and veterinarian can feel quite confident that the animal possesses sufficient resources for fighting off a disease challenge. When the tests reveal that the animal has borderline or low titer values, the owner and veterinarian should consider revaccinating and then testing the titers again. It may turn out that the animal simply needed a booster to stimulate a stronger immune response. Or, maybe the people involved learn that the animal 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. As you can see, in reality, simply administering vaccines to dogs every year is more of a guessing game than using titer tests to learn about the dog’s immune competence. Studies worldwide support titer test results as comprehensive information about a dog’s immunological response capabilities.

Now more affordable
Because the more widely recognized benefits of titer testing have caused an increase in the number of titer tests performed at veterinary laboratories, the price is coming down and the tests are available from a wide range of providers. Veterinary laboratories offer traditional vaccine titer testing by looking at a blood sample from a dog and identifying a specific level of actual immunity in the dog. Reputable laboratories use commonly accepted immunological techniques that have been validated against original test techniques and found to be accurate. Be certain your veterinarian sends blood samples to a major professional veterinary laboratory such as Antech Diagnostics (www.antechdiagnostics.com), Idexx Laboratories (www.idexx.com), Vita-Tech Laboratories (www.vita-tech.com), or one of the major university veterinary laboratories, including Cornell, Colorado State, Michigan State, Tufts, and Texas A&M. In early spring 2002, Synbiotics Corporation, a San Diego-based manufacturer of diagnostic materials and instrumentation for the veterinary market, rolled out an innovative tool that should make titer testing even more readily available and affordable. TiterCHEKTM is the first in-office titer test licensed by the USDA for use in veterinary clinics. TiterCHEKTM tests titers for canine parvovirus and canine distemper virus, registering the degree of strength of the immune response in varying color shades. If the test results denote a weak immune response level, blood samples can be sent to a veterinary laboratory for more comprehensive testing. Dr. Dodds estimates that more than 95 percent of in-office tests will indicate a satisfactory immune response present in a dog that has received its puppy vaccinations and one-year boosters, so follow-up is rarely required. Expect to pay your veterinarian from $40 to $100 for CDV and CPV titer testing from a laboratory, and slightly less for an in-office test, for which your veterinarian must purchase the TiterCHEKTM test kit.

Resisting vaccine titer testing
As practicing clinicians, veterinarians are hesitant to adjust any clinical regimen they have adopted until they see research study data that they judge to be functional and applicable in the real world. Many veterinarians resisted rethinking the annual canine vaccine regimen based upon the early findings of researchers. However, the increased evidence linking over-vaccination to acute and chronic diseases in dogs has finally caused a mainstream conviction that vaccination protocols are not a one-size-fits-all healthcare decision. Indeed, Dr. Dodds, once considered a rebel by the veterinary profession, now speaks to standing-room-only audiences at the most prestigious professional conferences in the country. The perceived need for annual vaccinations used to motivate many dog owners to make appointments with their veterinarians for their dog’s annual wellness checkup. Veterinarians now hope that annual titer tests will perform a similar function. Having your dog examined by a veterinarian at least once a year is critically important for detecting, preventing, and treating any diseases or other ailments as early as possible. Adding the ability to check your dog’s immunological health and custom-tailor his vaccine schedule to his actual needs will impressively augment this important task. It has been estimated that only about 60 percent of pet dogs receive the minimum disease prevention vaccination protocol. Ironically, in an attempt to provide their beloved animal companions with the best possible care, many highly motivated owners arrange for their dogs to receive several times the necessary dose of vaccinations, to the point of risking the adverse effects of over-vaccination on the health of the dog’s immune system. Consumers who do care about managing the effectiveness of their dog’s immune system against the most dangerous canine viral diseases now have the means to do so without risking their dog’s health in the process. When you and your dog visit your veterinarian for an annual checkup, take the titer test.

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Lorie Long is a frequent contributor to WDJ. She lives in North Carolina with two Border Terriers, Dash (a three-year-old female and agility queen) and Chase (a five-month-old male with an agility future). 

Copyright 2002 Whole Dog Journal. Reprinted with permission, Belvoir Publications, Inc. For subscription and other information, call (800) 424-7887. www.whole-dog-journal.com

 

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