Combination Shots for Dogs: Weapons of Over-Vaccination

Written by Jan on September 9, 2009 – 11:04 am

comboshotWhombo combos, mumbo jumbos: that’s what veterinarians who understand immunology call combination shots. Unlike a vaccine such as rabies, which contains a single virus, combination vaccines contain multiple “modified live” viruses mixed with various bacteria. Think of them as toxic soups, biochemical wolves in sheep’s clothing. When your vet sends out reminders to bring your dog “up to date on shots,” expect the whombo combo. Beware the wolf.

You’ve probably seen combo shots listed on your vet bill as DHLPP, DHLPPC, DA2LPPC, 5-Way, 6-Way, 7-Way, 7 in 1 or the like.  After you learn more about them, you won’t want to see them on a bill again.

Why would your vet use combination shots?

Profit and convenience are the big selling points. Vets in large corporate practices, even those who don’t like combo shots, may be under orders to use them.

I suspect some vets don’t realize (or want to believe) how dangerous these weapons of over-vaccination can be.  Pharmaceutical reps, frequent visitors to veterinary clinics, promote the shot’s many benefits for the vets while minimizing potential risks for pets.  Adverse reaction reporting is voluntary and rare. The 2007 World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Vaccine Guidelines reports (regarding all vaccines) there is: gross under-reporting of vaccine-associated adverse events which impedes knowledge of the ongoing safety of these products.”  Unless a vet is an avid veterinary journal reader, he/she may be stuck in the mindset of believing shots are safe and that if shots are good, more shots are better.

Proponents say that the combo saves Spot multiple needle pricks, and saves you and your vet time and money.  True — but only if vaccinating against multiple diseases is really necessary … and only if expensive adverse reactions don’t occur.

Why should you avoid combination shots?

  • Immunity given by some vaccine components can last for years, even a lifetime, but other components may give immunity for less a year, yet they’re packaged together.

This is the pharmaceutical equivalent of packaging beef jerky and ice cream together. To keep immunity strong with short-duration vaccines, the long-duration vaccines have to be given again and again needlessly. This exposes your dog repeatedly, for no good reason, to adverse reactions which may include  skin diseases, autoimmune disease, allergies and even death. Vets who still, for monetary reasons or ignorance, vaccinate annually find this practice quite convenient. Jab away. But vets who’ve switched to vaccinating every three years — which is still a misunderstanding of current guidelines recommending vaccinating “no more often” than every three years — aren’t using the short-duration vaccines often enough.  Either they don’t believe the short-duration shots are really necessary (which is usually true) or they are being negligent and putting your dog at risk.

  • Some combo components are made from viruses, some are from bacteria, all delivered at once with a dangerous punch.

Dr. Patricia Jordan, author of Mark of the Beast, writes about one manufacturer’s combo shot: “… the absolutely worse adverse vaccine reactions have been noted with … the “mumbo jumbo” polyvalent with several modified live viruses, killed whole bacterins of Leptospirosis, killed corona virus (the vaccine looking for a disease), lots of adjuvant, mercury, aluminum, antibacterial like gentocin, antifungal and fungi stats, proprietary ingredients of whose true identity makes me shudder to even speculate.”

Author Catherine J.M. Diodati wrote about combination shots in her Vaccine Guide for Dogs & Cats: “The number of pathogens plus toxic and carcinogenic chemicals that the animals are exposed to all at once generate an enormous toll on the immune system. The results can be devastating.”

  • Small dogs and puppies suffer more adverse reactions when receiving multiple antigens at once.

Melissa Kennedy, DVM, PhD, DACVIM wrote in DVM360 on-line magazine: “The likelihood of adverse reactions in dogs has been found to correlate with the size of the dog and the number of inoculations given, with higher risk associated with small size and multiple inoculations.”

Renowned pet vaccination expert Dr. Jean Dodds has written about combo shots (she calls them combo whombos) that they: “can overwhelm the immunocompromised or even a healthy host….  The recently weaned young puppy or kitten being placed in a new environment may be at particular risk.”

This means: no combo shots for small dogs — or any other dog for that matter.  And NEVER EVER GIVE ANY OTHER SHOT — ESPECIALLY A RABIES SHOT — WITHIN 3 WEEKS OF A COMBO. This also means no Bordetella given nasally.  Giving rabies and Bordetella with a combo could mean as many as 9 shots in one day. Some dogs don’t survive this.

  • If your dog experiences a reaction to the combo shot, there is no way to determine which antigen caused the reaction and must be avoided in the future.

Determining which antigen caused the reaction is like trying to determine which ingredient is causing an allergic reaction to kibble. It can’t be done.

If all this isn’t bad enough, the components are unnecessary for most adult dogs, the great majority of which have lifetime immunity to the important shots or have no need for other ingredients.

So, exactly what’s in these combination shots?

The ingredients differ, but here are some in the most common combos.

Give me a D!  Give me a P!

The D is for distemper and one P is for parvovirus. Your dog very likely has lifetime immunity to both if he has had even one shot for these diseases after 4 months of age. These are important shots, but they needn’t be given again and again. In fact, adult dogs rarely need revaccination for parvovirus and distemper and there is a simple blood test called a titer test that your vet can run to prove immunity.

H stands for hepatitis, a disease virtually nonexistent in North America. Sometimes this is expressed as A2, or adenovirus 2, which gives cross protection to hepatitis.  According to the 2006 American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Task Force Report, it gives immunity for 7 or more years. To protect against the disease reemerging, renowned pet vaccination expert Dr. Ron Schultz recommends giving adenovirus-2 just once after a dog is 16 weeks old.

L is for leptospirosis, a highly-reactive “non-core” shot (says the AVMA, AAHA, AHVMA, and all North American vet schools). Non-core vaccines are to be given only in special cases, not to every dog who trots into the clinic.  It often doesn’t even protect against the specific disease strains in your area.  Jeffers Pet veterinary supply, a vaccine seller, warns: “Many vets do not recommend vaccinating small dogs or young pups with Lepto. The vaccine is not normally needed and can cause harsh and sometimes fatal reactions. House dogs do not need to be vaccinated for Lepto; adult outside dogs need to be vaccinated for Lepto only if there is a possibility of traveling in the same area as feral animals.”

The other P is for parainfluenza (giving immunity for at least 3 years). It is also a non-core shot and does not protect against the canine flu.

C is for coronavirus, a vaccine specifically “not recommended” by any major vet organization or school.  Extremely rare, it’s called “a vaccine looking for a disease.”  Diodati reports that the reactions from the shot are more dangerous than the disease itself.

Combination shots are part of the unethical practice of over-vaccination of pets. They should have no place in your dog’s health care regimen.  And vets who use them should have no place in your dog’s life.

Did your vet inform you fully about this shot before giving it?

If your dog was given a combo shot, and your vet didn’t explain exactly what was in it, why your dog needed it, why your dog may not have needed certain components, and what adverse reactions they may cause, change vets (and tell him/her why) and report that vet to your state veterinary board for using products not backed by science and not informing you properly.  This is the only way things will change.  Veterinarians have a legal obligation to obtain your informed consent before vaccinating by fully disclosing benefits and risks of the suggested shot — and alternatives. Of course, had they told you the truth about these shots, you’d probably wouldn’t have consented.

Alternatives to Combo Shots

To avoid the combination shot, you have to take action and be willing to stand up to your vet (or switch vets). Most are reluctant to give up their cash cow. Here’s what to do:

1. Test titers for parvovirus and distemper.  If titers are strong, don’t revaccinate.  (If weak, read my article.) Forgo lepto, coronavirus, hepatitis and everything else unless your dog has an urgent, proven need because of the special circumstances of his lifestyle.

2. Avoid clinics that subscribe to “one size fits all” vaccination even though all vet schools and organizations recommend otherwise.

3. If you’re vaccinating a puppy, or a young dog with low antibody titers, ask your vet to use a monovalent vaccine (meaning the vial contains only one vaccine).  Also, use vials with only one dose  to avoid the extra chemicals preventing contamination in multi-dose vials.  Three readily available vaccines include: Galaxy Pv (a shot containing only parvovirus, offering 7+ years of immunity) and Galaxy D (a shot containing only distemper, giving 5 or more years of immunity).  If those aren’t available, use Intervet Progard Puppy DPV containing both parvovirus and distemper but nothing else.

4. If your vet won’t purchase monovalent shots (protesting that his distributor doesn’t carry them), purchase them yourself and have your vet give them. Refrigerate until use. Better yet, have them sent to your vet by the reseller. You may not be able to purchase just one vial, but the extra cost is worth the savings from potential adverse reactions.

5.  Better still, find a holistic vet who’ll know how to vaccinate, or not vaccinate, without harming your dog and already use monovalent vaccines.

I asked holistic vet Tamara Hebbler what she thought about combo shots. She responded: “I won’t give them. Ever! You couldn’t pay me enough to use them. It’s like playing Russian Roulette with your dog’s health. The risks are just too great.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Other posts you might like:

If you have a small or medium-sized dog: 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?

Find links to vaccination recommendations by the American Animal Hospital Association and WSAVA, plus more information on vaccinating, Vaccinating Dogs: What Your Vet Hasn’t Told You

And please, bookmark this article and forward it to friends. Just one combo shot can destroy a dog’s health forever.

Sign up for notification of  future articles and our free dog care e-newsletter (delivered quarterly). Follow K9Author at Twitter.

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Tags: combination, combo shots, DHLPPC, DHPP, distemper, dog, Leptospirosis, parvovirus, puppy shot schedules, reactions, shots, vaccinating a puppy, Vaccination, vaccines
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55 Comments to “Combination Shots for Dogs: Weapons of Over-Vaccination”


  1. kat mushkat Says:

    OK, Jan, so what is the absolute minimum vac.to give our little dogs? Wally has not received anything since his neurological event following the rabies shot/Pets Mart flea bath poisoning from which he has mostly recovered after homeopathy and acupuncture. (When he does get out of line I always say it is because he is a special needs dog now due to the poisoning.) He turned 1 yr. in June and the October deadline is looming. I don’t even like to give him heartworm – sometimes I do, sometimes I can’t bring myself to give it to him. He is healthy, healthy, healthy on our home everything regimen. He does visit with the other dogs on the street on occasion and goes to a home babysitting situation with a woman who has a Maltese and a Standard Poodle a few times a year. I want to keep him around until he is 17! What do you give your dogs

  2. Jan Says:

    Hi Kat. Given that your dog has already had a problem with the rabies vaccine, I’d try for an exemption. I just wrote a long reply about it at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2008/06/18/20/ See answer #94.

    Re other shots, I’d do a titer test for parvovirus and distemper. If titers are strong, I’d do what Dr. Ron Schultz recommends: presume lifetime immunity. Read more here: http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/category/titertesting/

    I’m not a vet, but I wouldn’t vaccinate for Bordetella or canine flu or anything else absent a local epidemic and proven vaccine effectiveness (good luck with that!). And never give a combination shot. There are two articles at truth4dogs.com that I’d suggest: Dog Flu Vaccine: Do You Really Need a Shot for the H3N8 Canine Virus? and Combination Shots for Dogs: Weapons of Over-Vaccination. There’s a good passage about Bordetella (kennel cough) at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/shots

    As Fall is upon us, if the weather is cool in your area, you might be able to stop the heartworm meds. You can read about how cool temperatures keep heartworm microfilariae (babies) from maturing at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/05/13/heartworm-medication-safety/

    Okay, that’s it. Just make sure you’re feeding your dog good, wholesome food. You can read more about that at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/food. Thanks for posting your comment.

  3. kat mushkat Says:

    Oh, he is eating a wholesome diet. My mother has been critically ill and is finally home and living with us. When I asked her what she wanted to eat, she said, “puppy food.” That means she wanted to eat the same organic meat and vegetable mix that Wally eats twice a day.

  4. Beth Says:

    Jan,
    My family will be moving to Ecuador soon and I’m working on a plan for getting our dog and cats’ vaccinated with as little damage to them as possible. I spoke with Jean Dodds and we went with the rabies vaccines she recommended as least toxic, but now I have to tackle the problem of the remaining vaccines, and I would love to know what you would advise in regards to how best to do this. Our pets have been raised on the BARF diet and we only use holistic treatments for them, so these will be their first experiences with vaccines. I’m an herbalist and we never use vets or doctors, so I don’t have a savvy vet in my back pocket to figure this out for me.

    The vaccines Ecuador requires are: (for dogs) Lepto, parainfluenza, parvo, corona, hepatitis, and distemper, and (for cats) calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, panleukopenia. I’m not willing to risk the combo shots for either species. So, I’ll do the Galaxy for the parvo and distemper, but what about the rest…got any brilliant ideas?

    Thank a million. Great articles, BTW.

  5. Jean Brudd, The Pet Guardian Says:

    Jan, thank you for this EXCELLENT article. How I wish I would have known about you and your blog seven years ago. If I had, I wouldn’t have lost my dogs, Tasha and Niki, to an unnecessary shot (one of them in combination with vaccines — and this particular dog would have been 11 years old, with an expected life span of 20 years!)

    Jan is SO right: a shot can destroy a dog’s (and cat’s) life forever, if it doesn’t kill him!

  6. Bethany Says:

    I sure wish I would have found this site & others like it years ago. After a 6-month-long bout with treating the IMHA (auto-immune) disease in our 10-year-old labrador, we finally had to say goodbye to him. No cause was ever determined, although I always wondered if all those darn vaccines may have triggered it. Being the ‘good’ pet owner that I was, my animals got every ‘recommended’ vaccine imaginable – except for brand new ones, which scared me too much to try them.

    The labrador came down first with lyme disease, inspite of his regular lyme vaccines. Now they say our german shepard has lyme disease too. Curious why or how these dogs could get a disease they’ve been vaccinated for, I started doing my own vaccination research online. Almost wish I never did!

    My surviving dog just recently received her ‘annual’ DHLPP vacc, along with bordetella AND a coronavirus vacc too. YIKES! After reading up on what I just (unknowingly) exposed my beloved dog to, I can’t help but wonder if I’m not setting her up for the same nightmare I just went through with the labrador. I so wish I could go back and un-do these vaccines!

    I now feel like I directly contributed to the demise of my labrador…. that is sad enough in & of itself, but to make matters worse, I may have just subjected my other dog to the same needless & potentially harmful vaccines. :-(

  7. Jan Says:

    Bethany, I’m so sorry for your loss. I have a several of suggestions. First, find a new vet. It’s not your fault you over-vaccinated your dog. It’s your vet’s fault. Make sure your vet knows that you’re leaving and why. An annual shot for DHLPP means your vet was greedy or hopelessly behind the times. There is not a veterinary organization or school that would recommends annual shots anymore — and they haven’t for years.

    Second, you might want to read my blog post “Is Your Vet a Vaccination Expert?” http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/07/23/does-your-dogs-vet-vaccinate-safely/

    Third, if I were you, I’d find a vet trained in homeopathy. You dog needs to detox from all those shots. At the very least, you need the homeopathic remedy Lyssin to detox from rabies, and thuja for the other shots. You can get them at naturalrearing.com. They’ll help you with dosing, but I really urge you to see a homeopathic vet. It’s not like taking an aspirin for a headache. You need to undo the damage your vet did as soon as possible.

    Fourth, at dogs4dogs.com/vet you can find a homeopathic vet referral list and can also learn how to report your vet to your state veterinary board. No vet should ever vaccinate without explaining possible adverse reactions. (Here’s a letter by an attorney/vet about Informed Consent. http://www.dogs4dogs.com/vaccination-informed-consent )

    Regarding the connection to IMHA, this is from Dr. Dodd’s article on Adverse Reactions to Vaccination: The clinical signs associated with vaccine reactions typically include fever, stiffness, sore joints and abdominal tenderness, susceptibility to infections, neurological disorders and encephalitis, collapse with autoagglutinated red blood cells and icterus (autoimmune hemolytic anemia, AIHA, also called immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, IMHA), or generalized petechiae and ecchymotic hemorrhages (immune-mediated thrombocytopenia , ITP). http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/08/06/treating-adverse-vaccine-reactions-by-jean-dodds-dvm/

    I hope you’ll tell your friends what you’ve learned and urge them to learn more about vaccinating before it’s too late. An article I can recommend is Vaccinating Dogs: 10 Steps to Eliminating Unnecessary Shots at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/04/22/no-unnecessary-dog-shots/

    I hope this helps.

  8. Barbara Stoker Says:

    Please let me know your thoughts on the right age and necessary shots for an 8 week old puppy. I almost lost a cat over giving her shots too early and I don’t want to make that mistake again.

    Thank you.

  9. Jan Says:

    Hi Barbara, most vets say that under normal circumstances you shouldn’t vaccinate sooner than 8 weeks because of maternal immunity. Some vets vaccinate at 10 weeks and again at 16. It all depends on our dog’s lifestyle and your willingness to keep the dog away from possible sources of disease.

    The most important thing is what you vaccinate with. Please see my article Combination Shots for Dogs: Weapons of Over-Vaccination at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/09/09/combination-shot-for-dogs/ It will tell you what shots to give … and not give. Also, I’m writing an article about the special dangers of giving multiple shots to small dogs which should be posted here tomorrow.

  10. Jan Says:

    Barbara, I see I forgot to tell you which shots I recommend: parvovirus and distemper only, hopefully in single dose vials containing only one vaccine. You’ll find details at Combination Shots for Dogs: Weapons of Over-Vaccination. I’m not a vet and can only tell you what I’d do for my own dogs. Two weeks after a shot at 15 or 16 weeks, I’d do a titer test to see if you need to vaccinate more. Learn more about titer testing at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/category/titertesting/ And don’t forget to read my upcoming article on small dogs and puppies. If you sign up at http://www.truth4dogs.com, you’ll get the article automatically.

  11. Alanna Says:

    Hi Jan,

    I have a bear coat shar pei, just about 9 months old, the vet has wanted to give my dog a flouride and sealant treatment and now a dental vaccine. I have never heard of this and was hoping you have and could give me so insight as to whether the vaccine will do more harm than good?

    Alanna

  12. Jan Says:

    Alanna, it is my opinion that you should run, not walk, away from that vet. Puppies don’t have dental disease. Although most dogs have some degree of dental disease by age 3, at 9 months it would be rare and would indicate a major health problem. I don’t know one vet who recommends the “dental vaccine.” Have YOU ever had a dental vaccine? Of course, not. You need a vet who vaccinates as little as possible, not as much as possible.

    Read the recommendations of the Animal Animal Hospital Association or the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (see my page http://www.dogs4dogs.com/shots) for links. Try to find a recommendation for the dental vaccine. (You won’t.) In my opinion — and I’m not a vet — I would NEVER give my dog this vaccine nor would I treat my dogs, or myself, with flouride. Do an Internet search on flouride and you’ll see why.

    Good for you for being a good dog mom and doing your research!

    Stay tuned for my post tomorrow on the dangers of giving multiple vaccines in one clinic visit. Scary!

  13. Bethany Says:

    Thank you for replying to my (first) post dated 9/16. We currently have our first appointment set up with a holistic practice I found about 15 miles or so from us. I have checked them out, and they are quite reputable in various holistic treatments. I will be taking my german shepard and cat in to get evaluations, and hopefully I will come away being comfortable & confident with their suggestions. I didn’t mention before that this cat once had hypothyroidism – which I have since learned is another potential result of over-vaccinating for so many years. We’ve also had an orange tabby cat who eventually died from his diabeties. I am not at all certain that these issues were caused by combo shots and/or over-vaccinating, but if there is even a 5 % chance that they were, then that is 5% too high for me!
    As for the lack of vaccine-disclosure or informed consent, is that really required nationally, or is that done on a state-by-state basis? I can’t find anything showing that it is required here in Maryland. I’ve been with our ‘regular’ vet for many, many years and fully believed in her advise and knowledge. Yet now I’d be so very uncomfortable going back to her, especially since she knew of our 6-month bout with IMHA (costing over $20,000), our hypothyroid kitty, and our diabetic kitty, and still never even thought to warn me about all those darn annual shots she continues to jam into my pets. :-(

  14. Jan Says:

    Hi Bethany. I’m so happy you’ve found what seems to be a good new vet. Still, remember that the ultimate responsibility for deciding on medical care is yours.

    Re the requirement of a veterinarian to fully inform you of the risks and benefits of any medical procedure, it is a national requirement for vets and MDs. In fact, it’s an international requirement. Here’s a great article by a vet who is also an attorney. It’s called Liability Related to Vaccination. http://www.dogs4dogs.com/vaccination-informed-consent

    Vaccinating annually when every vet school or veterinary medical association in North America recommends AGAINST it, also violates the veterinary oath: “Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge. I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics. I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/jun04/040601t.asp

    If you go to my web page Vaccinating Dogs: What Your Vet Hasn’t Told You at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/shots, you’ll find links near the page bottom to the AAHA and WSAVA vaccination studies. I also hope you read my blog article, quoting numerous vets, on vaccinating sick animals.

    You wrote: “Yet now I’d be so very uncomfortable going back to her.” Vaccinating sick animals also violates the recommendations of all vaccine manufacturers. I hope you report that vet to your local veterinary association so she’ll stop these dangerous practices. I’d also consider taking her to court. To vaccinate sick animals annually and then charge for the additional health problems that develop is unconscionable.

    Re hypothyroidism, Dr. Jean Dodds at hemopet.com is the authority. You might want to have her do your next thyroid test. Her prices are excellent.

    Re diabetes, cats often become diabetic (and have kidney problems) if they eat dry food, especially if it contains corn. I did three interviews (available on CDs at http://www.dogs4dogs.com) with a top nutrition expert who’s also a big cat lover. She’s adamant about not giving kibble to cats. It’s not so great for dogs, either. She has great cat articles at http://www.littlebigcat.com.

    Hope all of this is helpful.
    Jan

  15. Jan Says:

    One more thing. I hope you’ll read my newest article about a 2005 study showing the additional problems of giving multiple shots at one sitting and also the dangers of giving the same vaccine repeatedly. It’s worse for small dogs, but still bad for all dogs and cats. http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/09/30/vaccinating-small-dogs-risks-vets-arent-revealing/

  16. How to Avoid Vaccination Reactions in Dogs | Truth4Dogs Says:

    […] multiple vaccines during one visit – especially to your small or medium-sized dogs. Important: a combination shot (like DHLPP)  goes in with just one needle prick but contains multiple vaccines – sometimes as […]

  17. Bethany Says:

    Just a follow-up to my post dated October 2nd. First, thank you for all your information & recommendations, Jan – MUCH appreciated! The holistic vet we visited was interested in seeing blood-test results done on our cat a few months earlier by our ‘regular’ vet, so I had them faxed to her. A day or two later, the ‘new’ vet called to tell me my cat has ‘chronic liver disease’. HUH?? Needless to say, this left me feeling quite skeptical, since our other vet interpreted those results as indicative of a simple urinary infection which was treated by a month-long antibiotic. I called our ‘regular’ vet to verify that she never diagnosed or suspected chronic liver disease, and she reassured me that the levels were most likely very high due solely to the infection, and would/should return to ‘normal’ about 6 months after the antibiotic treatment.
    So – with two vets ( one holistic & one ‘regular’) , giving two very different interpretations of the cat’s blood work, I was totally baffled as to who, or what, to believe! I wound up talking via phone to the (wonderful) vet from the emergency/referral clinic that we saw quite often during my labrador’s 6-month bout with IMHA . He heard my dilemna and kindly offered to look at the blood-work results (for free!) if I wanted him to, and since I place TOTAL confidence in him, I eagerly took him up on his offer, and had the results faxed to him.
    He soon called back to confirm precisely what the holistic vet was diagnosing. Looking at the enzyme numbers , he too was convinced that my cat indeed has chronic liver disease – AND – if we wait as long as our ‘regular’ vet suggested before retesting, the cat’s liver could be totally destroyed by then. Wow.
    The cat went on holistic feline renal support tablets (notably inexpensive!) and will be going back to the holistic clinic next month for a recheck. I don’t know for sure what the future will bring – but I do know that I am now TOTALLY content with my decision to get (and keep) both my surviving pets on the holistic treatment road, while saying ‘adios’ to the ‘regular’ veternary practices we’ve trusted for far too many years.
    Better late than never, right?! :-)

  18. Canine Flu Shots: Are They Necessary? | Truth4Dogs Says:

    […] Protecting Dogs From Vaccine Reactions Vaccinating Small Dogs: Risks Vets Aren’t Revealing Combination Shots for Dogs: Weapons of Over-Vaccination Is Your Dog’s Vet a Vaccination Expert? Vaccinating Unhealthy Pets: Beware Reactions & […]

  19. Lori Prostebby Says:

    Three readily available vaccines include: Galaxy Pv (a shot containing only parvovirus, offering 7+ years of immunity) and Galaxy D (a shot containing only distemper, giving 5 or more years of immunity). If those aren’t available, use Intervet Progard Puppy DPV containing both parvovirus and distemper but nothing else

    I looked at the site for these vaccines and they say re administer yearly?????

    I have for gone vaccines for 12 years now with my own dogs. I breed show pugs and have found them to be healtier.

    Lori Prostebby
    Saskatoon, SK Canada

  20. Jan Says:

    Lori, world-renowned pet vax expert recently told a big audience that she recommends vaccinating puppies with Intervet Progard Puppy DPV containing both parvovirus and distemper, rather than giving the vaccines separated. Why? Because you get fewer adjuvants like aluminum, foreign tissue, etc. Dr. Ron Schultz, also present, agreed.

  21. Gracie Parker Says:

    Hepatitis can also lead to liver cirrhosis if it has not been taken care of.~”~

  22. Margo Mateas Says:

    THANK you for this informative and intelligent site. I lost my beloved lab two months after his vaccine — which turned out to be a “jumbo” or “combo” shot from a PetSmart Banfield vet. He had an allergic reaction in his leg that night, which I reported the next day, but he was never the same. Within two months he had widespread pancreatic and liver cancer and was DEAD. He was perfectly healthy in every way until the day he got that vaccine. I lost another lab a few years before to liver cancer, who probably received that same damn vaccine, except he didn’t have an external reaction. On top of all this, my pit bull developed mast cell tumors and I had two of them removed. Now she is on a low dose of steroids to keep the tumor down, and is healhy. know the vaccine killed my best friend, and I refuse to give it my dogs now. I am hoping that without another “dose” of these toxic vaccines, my pit bull can continue to recover and live a longer life than the five years each of my wonderful labs had. And, like everyone else, I thought I was being a loving and responsible pet owner by giving them their shots. My heart goes out to everyone who has experienced the tragedy of this over-vaccination epidemic. We all need to speak out and let our vets know when these things happen so they can become more educated. Thanks again for validating what I knew to be true.

  23. Jan Says:

    Margo, what a sad story you’ve told. Do you know about homeopathy therapy for vaccinosis? You can find a referral list for vets trained in homeopathy at http://www.dogs4dogs.com/vet

    Also, I hope you reported all your dogs’ illnesses to the manufacturers of the vaccine. You may be able to recoup on-going expenses. At the very least, they’ll know about the damage they are doing and the USDA will have to be notified.

    I’m so sorry for your losses.

  24. Jan Says:

    Margo, another thought. Banfield supplied data to a study of adverse reactions in small and medium-sized dogs, which also pertains to big dogs. Not only have experts told me, as I suspected, that the reactions were under-reported, Banfield continued to give combo shots to all dogs despite the known health risks. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/09/30/vaccinating-small-dogs-risks-vets-arent-revealing/

  25. Titers (in lieu of vaccinations) « Foto Danes Says:

    […] Note: Never give a rabies shot at the same time as other boosters – space them out by at least two weeks. Completely avoid 5- or 7-way combo shots (which many vets push).  The combo shots are risky for multiple reasons.  Read about the risk of combo shots. […]

  26. jackie Says:

    Hi, I took my 21/2 year old Wheaton to my vet.He said she was due for her shots Rabies, and 6 in 1 shot plus her paw had been hurting so he gave her an anti-inflamatory shot. I was talking to a client who breeds Ridgebacks and she said is that the 3 year Rabie shot I said no he does 1 year shots. She said switch vets. Katie doesn’t need alot of those shots he gave her. Especially the 6 in 1 shot. She said I do not let my dog get the Rabie shot at the same time other shots are given. This being my first dog I assume the vet knows what he is talking about. I read in your article and I can’t find it now if 6 in 1 shot and Rabie was given go to Naturalrearing.com and buy medicine to give to the dog to counteract the damage from the shots I can’t find it now though. Could you please tell me what they were. Jackie

  27. Jan Says:

    Jackie, your friend is more wise than your vet. Why would your adult dog need a 6 in 1 puppy shot? Please read this about titer testing: http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/category/titertesting/ And also read this about why adult dogs don’t need puppy shots: http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/04/22/no-unnecessary-dog-shots/ To get a remedy to help with the rabies shot, which should never be given with other shots, contact marina at naturalrearing.com (Just skip the space after marina for spam purposes.) Let me know if you need more help.

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  29. Tammie Mikoletic Says:

    My beagle/terrier mix received her vaccine’s Nov 2010 and at the same time the vet also somehow got confused and turned around and injected her with our lab/roth mix vaccine’s. Weigh was about 30 pounds difference. Therefore she received three times her dose. We lost her Dec 16, 2011. She was only 7 years old.

  30. Jan Says:

    Hi Tammie. I’m still confused. Vaccines probably should be given by weight, but are not. A Great Dane gets the same dose as a Chihuahua, although some wise vets give smaller doses to small dogs. It is illegal to give smaller doses of the rabies vaccine.

    I’d be interested in knowing which vaccines were given, especially how many vaccines (not injections) were given. It should be in your dog’s file.

    I’m very sorry for your loss.

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  32. Dog vaccinations – my approach for Spirit | spiritdogtalking.com Says:

    […] http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/09/09/combination-shot-for-dogs/  […]

  33. Martha Hamilton Snyder Says:

    I have found your web site in my search for information about vaccine reactions. i have known about this for years and share my concerns with everyone i know. i practice homeopathy (for 18 yrs as well) , feed raw, and am very anti vaccines, drugs etc.
    This past december i had two litters of Tibetan Mastiff pups and took them to get the Distemper Parvo shot at 10 weeks( the vet gave instead a DHPP shot and all of one litter broke out in Demedex 21 to 24 days out. it’s been a nightmare to say the least. We are working day and night to turn this around. I have at last moved all my dog files to my homeopathic vet, even though it’s a longer drive, over the mountains.. but no more. i feel so badly about these pups who were gloriously, radiantly healthy before this.
    is there a place i can report reactions? where is there a compiling of information to track these occurances?
    thanks so much! i will read on.

    Martha

  34. Jan Says:

    Hi Martha. Here’s an article that should help you report reactions, and more: http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2010/12/02/what-to-do-when-your-dog-has-a-vaccine-reaction/ The manufacturer and USDA, in theory, compile these reactions. Skin eruptions like this are opportunistic infections. They arise from an immune system malfunctioning, thanks to the vaccine.

    I’m battling the same problem. I think it’s from detoxing from cancer treatment my dog is getting. I’ve tried Chinese herbs, medicated shampoo (which helps the most), organic topical aloe, ozonated olive oil (which helps some) … Antibiotics helped in the past but I’m always relucatant to use them. I may give in.

    Jan

  35. Kayla Says:

    I just had my chihuahuas yearly rabies shot done yesterday. I had taken to her to a friend of mine that has a rescue center, she gave my chihuahua the 5 in 1 shot, and my dog had a bad reaction. Her snout was swollen, and she was also throwing up. I rushed her to the vet and he gave her children’s Benadryl and also a cortisone shot through iv. Her face was so swollen her nose was turning pink and cutting off air flow. Her ears were red, and her veins were poked up all around her body. When I finally got her home, she went crazy. She kept throwing her self onto the couch, she is crying so terrible. I felt bad, so I called her vet again and told him what she was doing now. He told me to give her half a tablet of baby aspirin and also 1 1/2 ccs of children’s Benadryl. An to also repeat the Benadryl every 3 to 4 hours as needed for swelling. The swelling is almost down completely, and she looks and is acting herself again. So I recommend nobody give their babies rabies shot and a combo shot ever!!!!!

  36. Jan Says:

    Kayla, I can’t believe your vet didn’t say to get your dog to emergency immediately. You are very lucky your dog survived. Many don’t. Please read all http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2010/12/02/what-to-do-when-your-dog-has-a-vaccine-reaction/ Make sure the reaction is recorded in your dog’s file, and get a copy of the file. And get a new vet.

    Also, please read http://truth4pets.org/question-before-vaccination/ before considering vaccinating again. The first rule is don’t let non-vets vaccinate your dog. It is far more expensive in the long run than going to a vet, as I’m sure you’ve learned the hard way. Also, please know that only puppies need puppy shots. Please read this: http://truth4pets.org/question-before-vaccination/ I hope this helps.

  37. Analil Says:

    Hi, I have two chihuahuas, one 11 and the other 8 years old. They got all their shots regularly up to some 4-5 years ago. And then I decided to stop. Whenever I took them for for one of those regular yearly vaccinations, they’d always suffer afterwards. Sometimes they were given combos, sometimes it’d be spread out. Nevertheless, they’d feel drowsy and weak for days after. The skin and tissue around the area where they’d receive shots would form a lump that would stay there for months and months. And they were both getting sick more, throwing up, feeling bad, diarrhea etc. Then in 2007 the smaller of the two, female, developed an ovarian cist. We had her spayed. I told the vet to be very honest with me and tell me which of those vaccinations she really needed, taken in count her lifestyle and place where she lived. The vet only mentioned one or two, the rest she said will not make a difference. Since I am a healer and a therapist, I decided to not give any. I’ve read so many articles on human vaccinations, from what is given to kids to flu shots, and I’ve decided not to give any to my dogs. And I am happy to report that they had never been healthier. I know there are risks, but I also believe in mother nature. But I don’t trust pharmaceutical companies.

  38. Jan Says:

    Analil, good for you. But stop feeling that you are taking risks. The two vaccines your vet were suggested were probably parvovirus and distemper. You can do an antibody titer test to make sure your dogs are protected, but even they were vaccinated even once at or after 16 weeks of age, there’s a 95% chance they have lifetime immunity.

    Please see my new 3-minute video on vaccine reactions to know you made the right choice: Please check out http://www.truth4pets.org/vaccine-reactions Here’s a link to just the video if you want to post it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nZ5m5uzzac

    Want to learn more? Check out my Questions to Ask Before Vaccinating Your Pet: http://truth4pets.org/question-before-vaccination/ You can learn more about titer testing there as well.

  39. nicole Says:

    i gave my puppy a 7 way shot i done everything the directions said i checked to see if i was in the blood stream but no blood then when i pushed the meds in there was blood what should i do will she be ok if its in the blood stream im really woried for my pup

  40. Jan Says:

    Nicole, I don’t quite understand your question. Are you afraid the drugs didn’t get injected or afraid they were?

    A seven-way shot is dangerous. Giving a shot yourself is dangerous. You need to see a vet.

  41. karla malcolm Says:

    Hi Jan, thank you so much for all the info- we have an 8wk cairn terrier baby. Her breeder gave her first shots and she is due in 2wks for her second round. My question is would it be smarter for me to do titer tests instead (what does that entail btw- is a blood draw tricky for a tiny pup?). I am a little unclear about if a mother dogs immunity, passed to the pup, pretty much knocks that first early set of vaccines out? I would rather wait until 12 weeks (or longer) to give any more vaccines. Also in our home, a five year old Frenchie and 13 and a half year old Bull terrier. All fed raw (Steve’s Real Food for Dogs) including the new pup. Also our new pup was biting and chewing her tail area- no fleas etc but itchy skin- I thought it might be the “Puppy Chow” they had started the pups on and transitioned her to raw, she is doing much much better now but I am wondering if it was the vaccines rather than the PC? thanks sooo much!

  42. Jan Says:

    Hi Karla. It’s too early to do titers. Experts recommend giving the final puppy shots at 15-16 weeks, waiting 2-3 weeks, then doing a titer. Read this: http://truth4pets.org/2012/06/titer-testing/ Here’s another article I hope you’ll read: Questions to Ask Before Vaccinating. http://truth4pets.org/question-before-vaccination/ Both are on my new not-for-profit website all about vaccination: Truth4Pets.org.

    Yes, shots given too young are endanger of doing nothing because of maternal immunity. That’s why many vets give multiple shots over time. Unnecessary boosters given to older dogs also do nothing. If an animal is immune, the immunity trumps the vaccine. Hope you’ll titer test your other dogs for parvo and distemper if you haven’t already.

    It’s hard to know what caused the itching. Could be food. Could be the vaccines. Or a combination of the two. Your pup is lucky to have such a conscientious mom.

  43. Puppy shots!! - Maltese Dogs Forum : Spoiled Maltese Forums Says:

    […] for small dogs, and provides a lot of great information about the dangers of over-vaccination. Combo Shots for Dogs: A Dangerous Convenience | Truth4Dogs __________________ Daisy and […]

  44. Colleen Says:

    My husband took my dog (7 yrs.) into our regular vet for x-rays of her back left leg, they noticed she was due for her rabies shot and vaccinated her for rabies and DHLPP. I had recently been to a homeopathic veterinarian 6 days prior where she had vaccinated her for rabies at that time. She has now been vaccinated for rabies twice in 6 days and DHLPP today. She seems very lethargic but no other symptoms of vaccination reaction. Please advise what we can do for her at this point to stave off any possible reaction. Thank you!!

  45. Jan Says:

    Colleen, I’m sorry that I didn’t see your post sooner. I hope you do is doing well.

    Never go back to the vet who gave all those vaccines at once. No 7 yr old dog should get all those vaccines at once. In fact, your dog probably only needed the rabies vaccine and nother else. Ask the homeopathic vet for help. Homeopathy is the best remedy for vaccinosis. Even if your dog shows no symptoms, those vaccines were a big assault on her system. I’m dextoxing two of my own dogs now — rescues who got unnecessary shots.

    For more information, please check out http://www.truth4pets.org and click the Questions to Ask tab.

  46. Trying to avoid over-vaccinating my baby - Maltese Dogs Forum : Spoiled Maltese Forums Says:

    […] 2 shot covers it and that dogs only need to get it once, but it could be diffeent where you are. Combo Shots for Dogs: A Dangerous Convenience | Truth4Dogs The dogs4dogs.com site is great for info about the dangers of too many vaccines. I find that […]

  47. Over vaccinating our dogs? Says:

    […] of pets – an unethical practice Why over-vaccinating is a problem – Pet Welfare Alliance Combo shots for dogs: A dangerous convenience This site has some breeder stories on it, even: Vaccinations: Are we doing too much too soon? The […]

  48. B.J. Says:

    Hello Jan, Your site is wonderful and so informative, keep up the good work for allof are pets.

    I have a question that I can’t find an answer for. Dr. Dodds and Dr. Schultz does not recommend combo shots, and for good reason. The problem is almost every vet will automatically pull this vaccine out as the go to shot for all pups. I am not finding many manufacturers making a two way (distemper & parvo) or a three way, both difficult to find. If a person goes to the vet and wants the minimal amount of vaccine administered how can they get a two way or three way vaccine??

    Can you do a post on this issue as to how and where to get the two way or three way vaccine at the vets office, whether a client would have to order it in to the office or getting the vet to order it in for a client. Also can you recommend a company where a person can get just just what they need and not have to order in a multibox for a couple hundred dollars. Any help in this area would be appreciated, after all we can’t request this at the office if it’s not available to us. Thank you again. B.J.

  49. Nuvet Says:

    Need your help about my friend’s puppy. He is just 4 weeks old. What will be the good time to give him shots and what should be the quantity. I don’t want to take any risk on this. Please help

  50. Jan Says:

    Nuvet, I hope the puppy is still with his mother. Mother’s milk will keep him safe until he is old enough to vaccinate. Here are some guidelines: http://www.wsava.org/sites/default/files/New%20Puppy%20Owner%20Vaccination%20Guidelines%20May%202013_0.pdf

    If he is not getting mother’s milk, it’s a much bigger problem, one I am not equipped to give. I would suggest the pup get bovine colostrum. And keep him indoors and away from other dogs until he can be vaccinated. You need the advice of a good vet. Wish I could help more.

    Here are two other things to read: http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/safer-vaccine-guidelines-for-dogs/?inf_contact_key=f774b0a7957a0eb2bec8867de3520ab3518ed85fee7c2651e7f4563ba8f2961d

  51. Jessica Says:

    My 2 month old 14 oz yorkie got her 1st DHLP-PV-C shot and died in less than 14hrs. I need help and I don’t know what exactly to do, I stay in Oklahoma. I went to the vet and asked for an explanation and the Dr. Said that the vaccine wouldn’t kill no dog and that one shot fits for all dogs. She past away yesterday and I’m emotionally sad. She was so active and playful until I took her to the vet.

  52. Jan Says:

    Jessica, I’m so sorry. Your dog should have never gotten multiple vaccines at once. A study from a prominent vet school published in the American Veterinary Medical Assoc. Journal, and widely published since, proves it. I’m going to send it to you. Yorkies are one of the dogs most damaged by multiple vaccines. You can read about this study here: http://truth4pets.org/2012/06/vaccinating-small-pets/ Print out the actual study article, which I’m sending to you, and show it to your vet. And a judge in small claims court. And your local paper and TV station.

    Furthermore, the L in the shot, Leptospirosis, is known to be extremely dangerous for tiny dogs and is almost never useful. Death is a known reaction. The C, coronavirus, is not recommended by any national veterinary organization. It is for a disease that pretty much doesn’t exist.

    It is very important that you report your dog’s death to the vaccine maker. Here’s more about what to do and how to do it. http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2010/12/02/what-to-do-when-your-dog-has-a-vaccine-reaction/

    There’s a whole lot more information at http://www.truth4pets.org.

    Don’t just be sad. Get mad. This never should have happened.

  53. MangoDogMD: Keanu at the Vet for His Shots and Annual Exam. | Mango: Chihuahua Service Dog Says:

    […] Go to: Combo Shots for Dogs: A Dangerous Convenience. Go to: Info on what to do if your fur friend has a reaction to the vaccine. […]

  54. David Says:

    Dear Jan,

    My 2 year old Shih-Tzu Lilly Rose who’s 15 pounds (spayed) recently went to get the 7 in 1 vaccine as well as a nasal spray for what I believe is called Bordatella, a few hours after she came home she had an allergic reaction. Her eyes and muzzle area became very red and she was rubbing her face on the floor due to the itching and panting heavily. We took her to the vet clinic immediately and they administered a benadryl shot as well as a cortisone steroid. Before the reaction we noticed she kept shaking or shivering. She never does this but she seems to be in some type of pain especially in her hind legs (where she received the injection) We’re very worried, so we took her for a blood test and the vet said everything was ok. Her temperature was slightly elevated. Since we got Lilly at 4 months the vet has given her two 7 in 1 shots as well as others. It has been 7 days since the 7 in 1 vaccine and she’s still shaking and panting a lot and has not been her normal self. After reading your articles on over-vaccination, we’re worried that it may be the vaccines. Do you have any idea why she would still be shaking and panting like she is? We’re hoping she will be ok, at this point we’re very wary of the vet’s advice. We want to know if there’s anything else we should look out for. Any insight would be greatly appreciated, thank you very much.
    – David

  55. Jan Says:

    David, how’s your dog doing? You’re right to question your vet. Please read this: http://truth4pets.org/question-before-vaccination/ about what vaccines might actually be needed.

    Don’t just question that awful vet. Fire him/her. Giving 8 vaccines at once to a dog that likely didn’t need ANY is horrible. Each additional vaccine over one increases the chance of an adverse reaction by 24%. Make sure you read this: http://truth4pets.org/2012/06/vaccinating-small-pets/

    Your dog had a severe allergic reaction. I hope you can afford to see a holistic vet. http://www.truth4pets.org. Your conventional vet will have no clue about what to do to help your dog.

    Let me know how things are going.

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