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 However, the vaccine has been described as 'useless' and there have been many calls for it to be withdrawn from the market.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.
Vaccines can cause a whole range of diseases.
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.
There are many, many studies which show that vaccines can cause arthritis. Vaccine components have even been found in the bones of arthritis sufferers.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
TAKE THE TITER TEST
Testing a dog’s serum antibody titers can prevent overvaccinating
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.
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