Vaccinating Dogs: What Your Vet Hasn’t Told You — A Video

Written by Jan on September 27, 2008 – 10:03 am

Some things we know for sure, then we find out we were dead wrong. This describes my journey through the minefield of vaccination for dogs. Much of this applies to cats, too.

My journey began with, “Let’s vaccinate puppies and dogs against every disease possible — to keep them safe.” After one year of research (now grown to five) and interviews with top pet immunology experts, I evolved to, “Let’s vaccinate only against life-threatening diseases that a dog, as a unique individual, is likely to contract given the dog’s lifestyle, age and locale, and to which he or she does not already have immunity. This sounds like common sense, doesn’t it? It is the same journey taken by every vet school in North America, and by the major vet organizations: the American Animal Hospital Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association.

It is not, unfortunately, the journey taken by way too many veterinary practices, particularly the larger chain operations. Shots are big business, not just for the markup on the shots and administering them, but also for the profit from the “visit” and extra sales that result from coming in to “keep your dog’s shots up-to-date.” I wish vets would realize we’ll bring our dogs in for the all-important checkup without scaring us into it!

Then there’s also inertia: it’s easier for vets to continue doing what they’ve been taught to do and have always done, and which their businesses are set up to handle. There’s also the sad fact that, in general, experts have knowledge long (even decades) before medical practitioners and bureaucrats hear about, and assimilate, it. I remember that medical doctors were (and are) still recommending margarine (a trans fat) many years after scientists and nutritionists were saying that trans fats were unsafe.

In addition to all I learned about vaccination researching my book, Scared Poopless: The Straight Scoop on Dog Care, I got additional help with my new video, “Vaccinating Dogs.” Answering my many questions were veterinarians Margo Roman, Patricia Jordan and Sue Pollen. Dr. Jean Dodds was particularly helpful guiding me through the bureaucracies theoretically monitoring vaccine licensing and safety. I am indebted to them all. And my dogs are, too. Ultimately, though, the tone and point of view is my own.

Follow this link to learn more about dogs shots.  I’m adding new information all the time, so you might want to bookmark the page.  Click here to learn more about the dangers of the rabies vaccine. (Watch all our dog care videos here.)  I welcome all well-intentioned comments and hope you will pass the information along to your pet-loving friends.

Related Articles:

Vaccinating Small Dogs: Risks Vets Aren’t Revealing
Is Your Dog’s Vet a Vaccination Expert?
Vaccinating Unhealthy Pets: Beware Reactions & Vaccine Failure
Vaccinating Dogs: 10 Steps to Eliminating Unnecessary Shots
Titer Test: Don’t Vaccinate Your Dog Unnecessarily
Dog Flu Vaccine: Do You Really Need a Shot for the H3N8 Canine Virus?

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5 Comments to “Vaccinating Dogs: What Your Vet Hasn’t Told You — A Video”


  1. Carolyn Says:

    Thanks for getting the word out. My Maggie developed a huge lump not far from the vaccination site on her breastbone. It didn’t seem to hurt her but it looked awful. The vet did a needle biopsy and it evidently contained “foreign matter inclusion bodies.” Luckily it resolved after 6 mos. and she is fine today. Vet said she’d never seen anything like it. It popped up less than a month after all the vaccinations were given. You can bet I will do my best to get titer testing the next time around.

  2. judy lauer Says:

    thank god for people like yourselves my old cat sik=cat died =-from-combo-shot-i-miss-her-i-only-wish-i-could-vaccinate-the-vet-with-the-same-results

  3. Cheryl Says:

    I have a seven yr old min pin male and on 7/2012 he got his rabies vac. The first attempt to give the injection was between his shoulder blades and he flinched causing the needle to pop out (not sure if any vaccine was injected). My vet made a successful second attempt in hind leg gluteal area. He was also treated the same day for a bruised trachea (possibly caused by a collar around his neck at the groomer 🙁 he had an x-ray, was given torbugesic injectable 0.2 (for cough) and temaril-p tablets. Within a few weeks he developed a circular sore at the first injection site and scabs on the inside tips of his ears (which after som research I believe to be vasculitis). I took him back to the vet to check the sores. The vet did skin scrape on his ears and no parasites were found. The vet denied giving an injection between the shoulder blades but I witnessed both attempts to give the rabies vac. My vet said to be completely sure as to what the sore on his back is, we should do biopsy and the vets opinion on his ears was possible vasculitis. After reading your blog on rabies vaccine side effects I’m afraid he may have a cancer at the first injection site. Can this be cured if that’s what it is or could it possibly be something minor? It’s now November I’m still treating his ears with Otibiotic ointment but scabs still come back. My husband was putting some iodine on the sore on his back and it seems smaller. Anyone with answers…I’ll be very grateful.

  4. Jan Says:

    Cheryl, first, you need another vet. Your vet knows, but apparently forgot, that rabies should always be given in the leg/hip. This is a safety measure in case a tumor develops — which it seldom does.

    Is there a lump at the injection site, or a scabby sore? Read this: http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog4dogs/2009/07/01/rabies-vaccine-skin-reaction-ischemic-dermatopathy/ and see if it sounds familiar.

    I would highly recommend that you get a copy of your dog’s file and report the reaction to the vaccine maker. They should pay for a biopsy and maybe treatment. Your vet should have already done this but they often don’t. http://truth4pets.org/reporting-reactions/ Also read this: http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2010/12/02/what-to-do-when-your-dog-has-a-vaccine-reaction/

    I hope this helps. — Jan

  5. Cheryl Says:

    Thanks Jan. Looking through my dogs file I found the manufacturer of the rabies vaccine he received is Fort Dodge. Again with some Internet search I found they seem to have a less than stellar reputation. I’ll be getting him into a vet tomorrow 🙁

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