Vaccinating Small Dogs: Risks Vets Aren’t Revealing

Written by Jan on September 30, 2009 – 12:01 am

At last, a smoking gun … discovered pointing directly at Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, Maltese, Yorkies and other small dogs … in fact, pointed at all dogs receiving multiple vaccines during one clinic visit.

Many scientific studies and taskforce reports have altered my view of vaccination over the years, but none have stunned me as much as “Adverse events diagnosed within three days of vaccine administration in dogs” by Drs. Moore, Guptill, Ward, et al.   This two-year study of vaccine reactions (from data gathered at 360 Banfield clinics in 2002 and 2003) concluded: “Young adult small-breed neutered dogs that received multiple vaccines per office visit were at greatest risk of a VAAE [Vaccine Associated Adverse Event] within 72 hours after vaccination.” And that’s not all the report revealed.

In the study (published in JAVMA, the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association in October, 2005), 1.2 million dogs received almost 3.5 million vaccine doses.  Reactions reported within 3 days (as designated by computer codes) included nonspecific vaccine reactions, allergic reactions, urticaria (hives), anaphylaxis (severe, whole-body allergic reaction), cardiac arrest, cardiovascular shock and sudden death. For each 10,000 dogs vaccinating, 38 adverse reactions were reported.

You’re probably thinking: just 38 reactions per 10,000 dogs?  That’s not too bad.  But bear in mind that this study did NOT include:

  • Reactions reported more than 72 hours after vaccination (thus eliminating reactions taking longer to develop or be discovered, such as injection site cancers, autoimmune diseases, skin diseases and other major conditions).
  • Reactions that occurred but were never reported by clients.
  • Conditions not recognized by the vet as vaccine reactions.
  • Conditions not selected for this study. (Seizures weren’t on the list, nor were countless other common reactions.)
  • Conditions not recorded by the vet.  The 2007 World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Vaccine Guidelines reports “gross under-reporting of vaccine-associated adverse events ….”
  • Reactions in dogs also getting a heartworm shot, presumably because of the increased risk of reaction. (Currently,vets are warned not to give Proheart 6 with a vaccination.)

The study’s researchers (6 of 7 were vets) recommended that veterinarians should communicate the increased risk of multiple vaccines to clients before obtaining their consent to vaccinate. At this writing, a full 4 years after the study’s publication, I suspect few clients have actually been warned about the risk of multiples vaccines at one visit, or about special risks to smaller dogs. Were you ever warned?

Factors Increasing The Risk of the Vaccine Adverse Reaction

Body Weight. The reaction rate increased significantly as body weight decreased. That is, small dogs were at greatest risk for a reaction. Risk for dogs weighing 11 pounds or less was 4 times greater than the risk for dogs weighing 99+ pounds. Medium-sized dogs also had increased risk over larger dogs.

For all vaccines and for the rabies vaccine given alone, the reaction rate for dogs weighing 22.2 to 99 lbs. was approximately half the rate of dogs weighing less than 22.0 lbs. Little dogs had 32+ reactions per 10,000; medium-sized dogs, 15+; large dogs, none.

Neutering/Spaying. Neutered dogs had a 27% to 38% greater risk versus sexually intact dogs.

Age. Dogs 1.5 to 2.5 years of age had a 35% to 64% greater risk of reactions (with rates increasing up to 2 years and declining thereafter) than puppies 2 to 9 months old. The risk was least for dogs 6 years of age and older.

Number of vaccines per office visit.The risk significantly increased as the number of vaccines given at each visit increased. In little dogs (under 10 lbs.) each dose increased risks by 27%; in dogs weighing more, each dose increased risk by 12%.

Taking all dogs into consideration, each additional vaccine given at each office visit increased the rate of vaccine reaction by 24.2%. All 3 dogs in the study with recorded deaths had each received 4 or more vaccines at their last office visit.

3 or more vaccines given at once increase the risk of a vaccine reaction 50% over the risk of a single shot.  Giving 5 simultaneous vaccines doubles the risk!

Breed. Among breeds with 5,000 or more dogs vaccinated during the study period, the most vaccine reactions per 10,000 dogs were found, in order, in Dachshunds, Pugs, Boston Terriers, Miniature Pinschers and Chihuahuas.  Next came Maltese, Miniature Schnausers, Jack Russells, Toy Poodles and Yorkshire Terriers.  Mid-size dogs (like Lhasa Apsos, Bichons and Beagles) followed.  At the bottom of the list was Chow Chows, German Shepherds and Rottweilers.

Purebred Status. The vaccination reaction rate for mixed-breed dogs was in the bottom fifth of all rates.  The researchers state: “safety trials that use such dogs may underestimate the reaction rates that would occur in purebred dogs.”

Why Does a Dog’s Weight Have Such a Big Impact?

The researchers report: “Vaccines, in contrast to virtually all veterinary pharmaceuticals, are prescribed on a 1-dose-fits-all basis, rather than by body weight.”

I have always been shocked that a Chihuahua puppy and an adult Great Dane are given the same dose shot: 1 mL. They get the same volume of virus or bacteria plus the same volume of adjuvants (boosting agents like aluminum), preservatives (like mercury), antibiotics, stabilizers and foreign tissue cultures (like fetal calf serum).  All these ingredients are known to cause vaccine reactions. (Learn more about vaccine ingredients at the CDC.)

The study’s researchers go on to say that during a vaccine’s pre-licensing trial, manufacturers investigate the safety of excessive doses of vaccines “but only in a limited number of dogs. The results of this study suggest that trials in dogs that weigh [22 lbs.] underestimate the expected VAAE rate in smaller dogs.”

The risk of a vaccine reaction in this study population was inversely related to a dog’s weight. This weight/response relationship was also suggested by a study in which toy breeds had significantly more reactions than other dogs, although body weight was not evaluated.

How Do You Avoid Reactions to Vaccines?

The study detailed here reports the problems, but not the remedy.  They only recommend that veterinarians advise clients of the risks.

Regrettably, I have been unable to find you a link to the study on-line. Your vet may have on-line access if he/she subscribes to JAVMA ( J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2005 Oct 1;227(7):1102-8).  You can read a short summary or have your non-subscribing vet request the article for a small fee at or Note: A smaller study for cats entitled “Adverse events after vaccine administration in cats” turned up similar results to the dog study.

If your vet gives multiple shots in a visit, you should insist that he/she read this study.  If your vet has already read it, he/she should explain to you why you weren’t informed of the risks to your dog of multiple shots, especially if your dog was small or medium sized.

Please read my article on Protecting Dogs From Vaccine Reactions for my recommendations for avoiding adverse reactions in all size dogs. Sign up for notification of  future articles and our free dog care e-newsletter (delivered quarterly). Follow K9Author at Twitter.

This is an important study. Please bookmark this article and send it to friends.

Related articles:

Visit our new website just on vaccination:

Watch our new video on pet vaccine reactions:


Combination Shots for Dogs: Weapons of Over-Vaccination
Titer Test: Don’t Vaccinate Your Dog Unnecessarily
Vaccinating Dogs: 10 Steps to Eliminating Unnecessary Shots
Vaccinating Unhealthy Pets: Beware Reactions & Vaccine Failure

Tags: dog, dog shots, dog vaccinations, puppy shots, puppy vaccination schedule, puppy vaccinations, rabies, rabies shot, reactions, small dog vaccination risk, toy dogs, Vaccination, vaccine, vaccine reactions
Posted under Small Dogs, Uncategorized, Vaccination | 215 Comments » Email This Post

215 Comments to “Vaccinating Small Dogs: Risks Vets Aren’t Revealing”

  1. Judie G Says:

    I have a Yorkshire Terrier that almost died from her first Parvo shot. Now they give her benadryl before her shot and do it by itself not a combination of shots. At 6lbs. I’m very concerned about all the shots today.
    We also had a Min Schnauser 20years ago that actually died from a Parvo reaction, after costly hospitalization.

  2. Jan Says:

    Judie, giving Benadryl with a shot suppresses the immune system while you’re trying to stimulate it. I wouldn’t do it if there’s any other alternative. And I’d definitely give the homeopathic remedy Thuja (aka Thuya). I would never presume that Benadryl will do the job. In fact, if your dog almost died after a parvo shot, I would expect a worse reaction this time. Each time a shot is given, as the article pointed out, your chance of a reaction is greater.

    Please make sure that your dog actually needs more shots. First read my article about titer testing. Then read Vaccinating Dogs: 10 Steps to Eliminating Unnecessary Shots at

    Also, I’m posting an article this week about avoiding reactions from shots. Have you subscribed? If not, here’s a link to subscribe.

    If it were my dog, I’d consult a holistic vet before proceeding. Please, don’t get talked into thinking that Benadryl is the answer.

    If you decide to vaccinate, do it early in the morning and stay near the vet’s office as long as you can. I’m very worried about your dog.

  3. Amy Fleschert Says:

    My 10-week old Min PIn puppy was given 6 vaccines at the same time at Banfield. She was only 2 pounds. Thre of the vaccines were non-core and not even applicable for my puppy..They didn’t even consult with me about what they were doing..they just did it..

  4. Jan Says:

    Amy, I hope you’ll file a complaint with your state veterinary board. Your vet clearly didn’t inform you of why you needed to give the shots, why they were necessary, why they might not be necessary, what the alternatives were and what the adverse consequences might be. That’s a violation of the legal doctrine of informed consent. Read the bold print in this article to learn more about informed consent. Your vet also charged for products and services your dog didn’t need. Banfield surely knows about the 2005 report detailed in my article on the dangers of Vaccinating Small Dogs because they furnished the data. Min Pins are #4 out of 43 breeds of dogs when it comes to likelihood of reactions. Shame on them. Hold them accountable.

    You need the help your dog deal with the effects of the vaccine. I would suggest you see a homeopathy trained vet. Or at least a homeopath who deals with animals. The homeopath I use, who is not a vet but treats humans and animals and also teaches homeopathy, is Willow Tipton. She does phone consults for 45 minutes, and sends you the appropriate remedy, for $70. Her phone is 858 -793-1104. I also know vets who do phone consults. You can find a list of appropriate vets skilled in homeopathy at my web page

    If your dog develops any reactions to the vaccine — see for a list of reactions — make sure you report them to a vet and have them recorded in the file. And get a copy of the file. This will be important if you want to avoid shots in the future.

    Learn about avoiding unnecessary shots by reading this article.

    Good luck!

  5. Amy Fleschert Says:

    Thank you very much for the response. I have already filed complaints with the California Veterniary Board against the vet and Banfield. I also filed a complaint with the California Attorney General’s Office in regards to their deceiving wellness plans. I have contacted the Center for Veteniary Biologics under the USDA and reported the incident to them. I have also contacted several media outlets to get this story out. The sad part about this situation is that many people do not report situations like this and feel that they have no rights. I will do everything in my power to hold Banfield accountable for their incompetent staff and this incident. I currently go to a vet that practices both traditional and holistic medicine. She has my puppy on supplements that have improved some of her issues from the reaction. I really appreciate your site and the information that you have provided to me.
    Thank you,

  6. Glenda Bach Says:

    More than size, I think the dogs % of fat is important. My son had a greyhound who was given shots without his permission and she was dead in a week with organ shut down. I think our Schnauser got Cushings from being vaccinated annually. I now have two 11 year old Bichons who had puppy shots but only the 3 year Rabie vaccine. I have them titered every two to three years and only one of my pups had to have an additiional vaccine, and only one. I think this is a prudent proticol.

  7. Jan Says:

    Hi Glenda. It is weight, not size, that the study examined, so I’m sure fat %age is an element. I’m so sorry about your son’s dog.

    BTW, Dr. Ronald Schultz, THE expert, says to get strong titers once and then presume lifetime immunity for parvo and distemper. Even if titers weaken over the years, most experts believe that the body has cellular memory.

    Thanks so much for your comment. Please tell your friends about the problems with vaccination.

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

    […] read Vaccinating Small Dogs now to determine if and when your dog is at risk, which reactions were reported and more. Really. […]

  9. Study of Vaccination Risk for Small Dogs JVMAM - Forums - Yorkshire Terrier Community Says:

    […] […]

  10. gini johnson Says:

    Our darling 8-year-old Shih Tzu died suddenly of Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia after receiving multiple vaccinations several weeks prior. Research indicated that it was an accumulation of annual, required vaccines that weakened her immune system. One morning, I noticed that her tongue was a grayish white; she was hospitalized that day and died despite interventions 3 days later. We also had a Westie whose neck swelled up on the way home from the clinic after his battery of vaccinations as a pup. They were able to save him. And, we had a wonderful mixed-breed dog who developed cancer at the site of her vaccinations. I’m a great believer in more research AND in the common-sense approach that not all dogs need the same dosages…AND that rabies shots do NOT have to be given every year. Thank goodness many vets are now recognizing that!

  11. Annette Says:

    My little dog, a Maltese/Chihuahua mix had a horrible reaction to the rabies shot at three years old. He initially seemed fine, then that evening had a seisure that lasted a few moments. He could not walk for days and was very sensitive to the touch, in fact trying to bite me when I touched him anywhere on his body, not just the shot site. He is normally a very happy friendly guy. He since has had seisures about once every other month and recently they have increased to about once a month…the incident was a year and a half ago. I took him to the vet again, and they said the seisures where not bad enough to medicate him…and they were not sure what was causing them. They seemed to be triggered by eating animal fat…so I have put him on a special diet and that has seemed to help a bit. I believe in my heart though that they started from the damage done to him with the rabies vaccine. I since have had my chihuahua tested and she will not be getting any vaccines…for her life. I don’t want to risk her health too. As for “Spike” he too will not be vacinated in the future. They are inside and only around each other dogs or wildlife…I think we are safe.

  12. Jan Says:

    Annette, I suspect your intuition is correct, that the seizures were set off by a rabies shot. It’s a not uncommon occurrence. I would encourage you to seek homeopathic treatment, either from a vet who’s trained in homeopathy ( or from a homeopath trained in treating animals. Homeopathy often helps in cases of vaccinosis.

  13. Jan Says:

    Gini, I’m so sorry for your losses. Re rabies, every state now requires a rabies shot only every 3 years, although some localities still require it more often. This is usually for financial reasons — yearly licensing is a money maker. Also, ignorant people, who really know nothing about rabies or immunology, think more shots mean more protection. They don’t. They just mean more illness. Also, if your dog is immune to rabies, he’s also immune to the virus in the shot. What sad irony.

  14. arlene kuba Says:

    we also have small chiuauawa about 8 pounds.we dont believe on the heart worm shot as shes 9 yrs old&there is no mosquitoes where we live is it necessary at all.thank you.arlene

  15. Eliza Wingate Says:

    I am so so glad that I came across your blog.
    Besides NOT giving my small Doxie a booster he did not need,
    I took in a 4 1/2 Chihuahua, all 5.5lbs of her. I had already given the vet your articles so when I took her in, she only received part of the usual dose of dhpp. They were not available separately and she had had no vaccines previously. Even with part of a dose, I noticed her drooling about an hour after the vaccination, treated her just once with Thuja and she has seemed fine since. She was subdued and did not eat much the night of the vaccine but has been her crazy puppy self since then.

    And I have been telling everyone about your articles and even posted your links on my Facebook page–look for Eliza Wingate.
    I am a reference librarian by trade so getting out infomation is my calling.

    I know you mentioned a different homeopathic treatment for rabies vaccine and that that is the most toxic vax. I cannot find it again and want to be prepared since she reacted once.

    Thanks so much

  16. Jan Says:

    Hi Eliza. I’m so glad my articles have helped save your dog unnecessary shots.

    I think it’s interesting your vet gave “part of the usual dose of dhpp.” She may not have had individual doses available, you she could have ordered them — unless she works in a huge corporation. Still, she was brave to give a partial dose. Many vets won’t even consider it.

    Because of the partial dose and because we hope that just this one shot will do, I suggest you get a titer test in a few weeks and verify that your dog has immunity. If she does, she’s done with everything but rabies, which is legally required. Ugh. Here’s the link to read about titer testing. The best place to have the blood tested is at Their prices are great and the great Dr. Jean Dodds reads the test.

    The homeopathic remedy for the rabies vaccine is Lyssin. You can get it, and instructions for use, at

    Thanks for posting our links on your Facebook page. It’s so gratifying when my articles help then get passed on. — Jan

  17. Eliza Wingate Says:

    Thanks for your quick response. My information on vaccinations after 4 months of age came from the vet in charge of shelter management at U C Davis (cannot think of her name at the moment) Her explanation of why puppies are given a series of vaccinations is that at this time one cannot tell the point at which the mother’s given immunity wears off and when the vaccines can then confer immunity (puppy being healthy and all that)

    If we could all keep puppies safe from parvo or distemper before the ages of four months and still expose them to the 100 people they need to meet, we would not have to have so many vaccinations. I will get her a titer test though.

    I do know about Dr Dodd, I always go to the Holistic Vet Symposium at U C Davis every spring. I hear a lot, but need
    re-inforcement not being a vet and not using the information daily.

    Thanks again.

  18. Jan Says:

    Eliza, world renowned pet vaccination expert Ron Schultz believes that dogs should get one shot for distemper, parvo and adenovirus-2 at 15 or 16 weeks, then you should titer test, get a positive result, then you’re done. (I suspect his work influenced the work at UC Davis.) The puppy series is given younger dogs, as the vet said, because you never know when maternal immunity is gone.

    Re socializing, you can invite other dogs (vaccinated but not recently) to come play. People aren’t the issue, although the viruses on their shoes may be.

    With my next pup, I’ll do the play-at-home route. Dr. Blake suggests using frankincense on doggy paws when going for a walk. No sniffing at other dogs pee and poop or touching noses. I’ll do anything to vaccinate as little as possible.

    Do you know that I’ve invited Dr. Dodds and Schultz to speak at an all-day event in San Diego March 28, 2010? Come if you can.

  19. Pat Smith Says:

    My 3 pd chihuahua developed hives 3 days after his rabies shot. He has been miserable and now on Prednisone. I did not want to give him even the rabies shot but it is required by law and I can’t get a groomer to groom him without a rabies shot certificate. I know instinctively that this is dangerous for him, but if it is required by law, I must immunize. I wish that there was some sort of legal exemption we could get for these tiny dogs so that they aren’t put at risk time and time again.

  20. Jan Says:

    Pat, in most areas, you can get an exemption if your dog has a documented history of health problems or vaccine reactions. You will likely still have to pay license fees, but your dog may avoid the shot either for the licensing period or the life of the dog, depending on the situation. Your veterinarian will have to apply for exemption giving reasons and providing documentation. Some vets don’t like doing this, I’m told, but if at first you don’t succeed … find another, better-informed vet. Note: some locales do not allow exemptions. Find a vet referral list at

  21. Tammy Says:

    Hello I have you book and truly enjoy it. My three little chihuahua’s sit on my lap as I read it every night. Thank You for all the information and for the cute pictures of your dogs. I just added a new addition to the family she is the third chihuahua her name is Serenity she is 2 1/2 pounds and I have been brain storming in what to do for her shots. The other two I have not done this much research when they we were pups I wish I had they are 3 and 1 1/2.

    For them the 3 year old is up for rabies and I am real hesitant in giving that to her because she had such a bad reaction. So I am thinking about skipping it for all of my chihuahua’s. Even though it is law. But For the new one I do not know if I can get away with that since she will not have any immunity to the rabie shot right? Also for the new be I found a natural remedy called Pet alive for both Parvo and Distember and I wanted your opinion on what you thought of them instead of getting the shots.

    I have been doing so much research my head is spinning plus I am researching a lot about raw food diet I have already started but am looking into it more to make sure they are getting all the vitamins and supplements that they need. We have no homeopathy trained vet in my area so I have no one to ask. I did ask my vet about the single vaccines because I only wanted parvo and distemper but he said he would have to order it in a case of 25 and not to many people request that which is just as well because I did not want to use chemicals anyways.

    He already applied revolution on her before I realized it because she had tape worm. And I already figured she had that because of how thin she was when I received her and I already found a home remedy for it but it was too late he put that on her because tape word usually is caused by fleas and he also gave her a worm pill which now I have to bring her in for the other dose for it to be effective. When I have to bring her in this week and he is thinking she is also getting her shots. But this weekend I made up my mind if you are in agreement that I am going with the Pet Alive Treatment. (only if you think it is going to be just as effective) I Thank You for your time, your advise and your book! It is totally awesome. I have had to read the vaccine chapter a couple of times and I go back and read other things also it is going to be a good reference book. Also any brand of raw roods you recommend I think the patties would be the best bet it looks like it has everything in them the vegies and all but since my dogs are so small it looks real convinent I was looking at the Bravo brand but I have no Idea I am new at all this. Plus I ordered the New Plus Colostrum Plus for the Chihuahua’s thinking it would be good for all three anyway I’ll look forward in hearing from you. Tammy

  22. Jan Says:

    Tammy, I’d have to write another book to answer all your questions! Many are in Scared Poopless, so read the food and vaccination chapters carefully. Also read my blog articles. There’s a lot of info there. Go to the bottom of the article at and see a list of the articles there.

    If your dog previously had a bad reaction, try for an exemption. Even drug companies say you shouldn’t vaccinate a dog that has had a previous reaction. Re forgoing a shot, it is against the law. Also, determine your dog’s risk. It is my belief that if tiny dogs are bitten by a rabid animal (a coyote or raccoon probably), they are likely to be killed in the process. But the law doesn’t see it that way.

    I know nothing about Pet Alive. It’s basically a nosode. Some vets use nosodes, but there have been no real studies that I know of to prove their effectiveness. I’ve asked a vaccine expert friend about it and will respond when she does.

    Parvovirus is a serious disease. Read what a respected authority says about nosodes at I’d use his product before I’d use anyone else’s. If you want to go that route, get a phone consultation with him. He could also help you with the rabies vaccine decision.

    I’d definitely advise that you find another vet in any event. Vets must not do anything without telling you what they’re doing and why they recommend it and then getting your consent.

    You must not give worm meds and shots on the same day…or week. Wait several weeks.

    I hope this helps.

  23. Jan Says:

    Tammy, here’s what my vet friend wrote: “It is shot gun medicine with multiple remedies and apparently a nosode and all of that does NOT constitute homeopathy….so what is its purpose? Better to seek the skill and training of a classically trained Homeopath, and make sure they are licensed, referred….Dr. Pitcairn has a referral list and they should stick to that working directly with a properly trained homeopathic vet.” You can find referral lists from Pitcairn and other at

    I forgot to answer you question about food. Check out the brands sold at I think they carry the brands you’re looking for, then you can buy them locally.

  24. lacy Says:

    my 3 yr old chi has been having the same problem. symptoms started about a day or two after and now i cant even pick him up with out him yelping and nipping at me. is this something that will go away?

  25. Jan Says:

    Hi Lacy. I’m not sure what you mean by your statement that your “chi has been having the same problem,” and I don’t know what shots your dog got, but yelping and nipping is a sure sign your dog is in pain. It’s never good when symptoms get worse.

    Make sure you report your dog’s symptoms to your vet. Even if your dog feels better, you need a record of the reactions, especially if it was a rabies shot.

    Feel around when the shot was injected and see if that’s where the pain is. Make sure there isn’t a lump.

    If you read my article about the risks of vaccinating small dogs, you know your dog needs some help. Seek out a homeopathic vet or a homeopath who treats animals as well as people. I can refer you if necessary to a homeopath.

    I hope you follow up on this, even if your dog feels better.

  26. Linda Yu Says:

    Thanks for all your information. I had a min pin who was very healthy before I got him neuted, and then all sorts of problems arose. He was 15 months when I got him neuted, (as everyone recommended as I was expecting a baby), then a week later, his wound split, back to the vets for antibiotics. Then a rabies jab was given, a week later he was vomiting and had diarrhoea, back to the vets and given some more antibiotics. He also had his annual boosters. A few weeks later, there was a lump where he had his jabs, between the shoulders and under the skin, his legs were all weak and the vets gave him strong pain killers and antibiotics. Then a whole host of things went wrong: swelling around his legs, under chin, vomiting and diarrhoea, fluid retention, oedema, lungs and heart weren’t working properly, anaemic, low levels of platelets, his immune system was attacking his own body and he was in a lot of discomfort. It was so painful seeing him suffer so the vets recommended we put him down and was given canine euthanasia and died peacefully at 6pm yesterday.

    I wish I had read this website before I decided to get him vaccinated, as I’m pretty sure it was all the vaccines, drugs and all that affected him and made him ill.

  27. Carlotta Says:

    My baby Chi (Gigi) is 15 months old and today she had to be dropped off at Banfield for her annual check up and boosters.

    I had nothing explained to me except that they wanted her early bacause they wanted to give her a shot of antihistimine to stop her reaction to the rabies booster. She swelled up last year when she got it and they gave her a shot and told me to back it up with Benedryl. I did so and she was ok the next day.

    Today’s list of crap they did to her is a mile long!! She is now 5lb8oz, they gave her Diphenhydramine 50mg/ml SDV Injection to help with her adverse reaction to vaccines, then 20 minutes later they gave her Bordetella, Distemper Parvo DAP, Rabies Virus Injections, then she got Pyrantel Pamoate Dewormer 50mg/ml. I don’t understand why she was given a dewormer because her paperwork shows she had a fecal exam that came back negative.

    They kept her until 3pm because they wanted to make sure she was not going to have a reaction. And to combat that, they said they gave her another Diphenhydramine Injection at exactly 3pm when I got there.

    Well we got home and she ate a few bites of food and went down for what I thoght was a nap, a few minutes later she was at my side, that tiny little face staring up at me was blown up with hives, her eyes were puffy and red, her muzzle was red and twice it’s size. I cannot believe that BANFIELD knows about the danger of over-vaccinating small dogs and they just go ahead and do it anyway!!!!

    Called the vet, they said bring her back NOW!! I got there and they gave her another shot (1/2 dose this time) and told me she would be fine. Give her 1/2 teaspoon of Benedryl in 4 hours. If she gets worse, bring her to the emergency vet. We’ll call you tomorrow to check on her. They were nice enough, but after reading these articles, Banfield Vet Lady is going to have a lot of explaining to do tomorrow. I feel like screaming my head off that she got all those shots and worm meds and I was ignorant to the dangers. I had blind faith in these people. Not any more.

    I am heartsick to think that in my zeal to be the best mommy I could be, I may have hurt her in ways that cannot be reversed. I am heartbroken that all my research into getting a furbaby that was right for me never carried vaccination warnings. Or Corporate Veterinary Warnings!!

    I read every Chihuahua book and magazine I could find, and none of them said anything about vaccinations. Reactions to vaccinations or over-vaccinating. The injection site cancer probability is devasting to me.

    Is there any course of homeopathic treatments I could start for her to prevent liver problems or cancer?

  28. Jan Says:

    Hi Carlotta. I’ve heard your story too many times before. In fact, Amy had a very similar experience with her tiny min pin at Banfield. She has filed complaints with the state and federal Attorneys General, her state veterinary board and many others. I hope you’ll do the same. Banfield provided the data for the study on the dangers of vaccinating small dogs. They were surely given the results. And they were published in the AVMA Journal in 2005. Amy sent them a copy as well. Don’t get mad. Become an activist. I’ll put you in touch with Amy if you like. She’ll tell you what to do.

    About homeopathy, there are definitely things you can do. Find a referral list of homeopathy trained vets at I also have a homeopath (not a vet) who treats my dog and she can consult by phone. Her name is Willow. Her prices are very reasonable. You need to start treatment as soon as possible. And make sure you’re feeding the best possible food: fresh, homemade if possible. Not kibble.

    Let me know if you want to correspond with Amy. Good lluck! And no more shots. Read my article on titer testing. And get a copy of your dog’s file so when you get another vet (which you MUST!), they’ll have the paperwork to file for an exemption for the rabies shot next time around.

  29. Carlotta Says:

    Thank you so very much for the infomation. I have spent the weekend trying to educate myself to be the best advocate I can for my baby. I went to the American Animal Hospital Associaton’s website and found the canine vaccination guidelines, they list all the vaccines that should be given and the ones that are not needed at all. It was eye opening.

    My Gigi’s swelling has gone down but she is just not herself. I hope she gets back to her bubbly self soon.

    Thank you again, I will get going on all the info you have provided here.

  30. Jan Says:

    Carlotta, the AAHA report is what started the ball rolling for change in vaccination. However, it is, in my opinion and the opinion of many vets, overly conservative. It tells you how and when to vaccinate, not if you should and when you should stop. It is also widely misinterpreted as “vaccinate every three years” when the report actually says “vaccinate no more often than every three years.” Don’t look at all the shots that MIGHT be necessary, but those that are essential. Look for proof that they’re safe and effective and that revaccination is actually necessary.

  31. Tammy Says:

    We read your article as we were sitting at the emergency hosiptal over the weekend with our precious 13 year silky terrier Gus. He was diagnosed in June with Auto Immune disorder after being given his Bortadella vaccination. Three days after the vacination we were at the hospital because he had started bleeding from his nose. It then lead to bleeding from his eye. His blood count got slow low they almost had to transfuse. They put him on 20 mg of predinsone plus 100 mg of atopica both to apress his immune system. He has being going like this since June. This Saturday the seizures started. We now have him on nasty phenobarbitol to keep him from having anymore seizures. Our vet told us that we will be lucky if he makes it through xmas that we may have to make the decision to put him to sleep before that it is day to day right now. We know this is what we needs to be done but he is our son and we just lost our other precious boy three weeks ago. He was our 12 year old yorkie Ernie. He had addisions disease and in order to keep it in check it required blood work and a prednisone shot every twenty five days along with meds on a daily basis and ultimately all the years of this finally lead to high blood pressure which caused a fatal stroke. The last few weeks have been unbearable and heart wrenching. Ernie had several vaccine reactions over the years to the point our vet stopped given him shots he would performed a tider test that proved how much vaccination still remained in his system and Ernie went the last couple of years without any shots with the exception of his rabies shots as the assholes at the county would not renew his dog license without it. My vet explained how dangerous it was for my dog and I fought them for months they just kept charging me late fees and penalties until I provided the rabies cert. If I would have known then what know now my precious children would not have to suffer from my ignorance. I hope other parents learn from my mistakes and do their homework so their babies do not suffer the same fate. I would do anything to turn back the time and do things differently life without Ernie has been unbearable for me and knowing I am going to soon lose Gus is almost to much for me to bear.

  32. Jan Says:

    Tammy, I’m so sorry for what is happening. If you can find a holistic vet in your area, I’d give that vet a try. I seen wonderful things happen. You especially want someone with training in homeopathy. Find referral lists at I wish you the best of luck.

  33. Tammy Says:

    Thanks for your response. I lost Gus On Tuesday night exactly three weeks after Ernie. I took him to three different doctors and they all said there was nothing we could do. The seizures that Gus had on Saturday were the final blow and he just could not recover. In the future I will for sure do things differently when it comes to my children and try other avenues and take extra precautions. I would not wish the way I feel on my worst enemy. I dont know if my heart will ever recover as these babies were the loves of my life.

  34. Jan Says:

    I’m so, so sorry. I wish there were something I could do. I send a hug.

    Renowned vaccination expert Dr. Ron Schultz has been advising against giving Bordetella for years. The risks surpass the beneft. Did you read what he wrote about it at ? Tell your vet. Maybe he/she will stop the madness.

    Re the rabies vaccine, I hope you’ll support the Rabies Challenge Fund It’s our only hope.

  35. Lindsey Halpern-Givens Says:

    I have 4 chihuahua’s. Tow of them have had reactions to the rabies vaccines. One blew up like a balloon requiring emergency care. The other developed pancreatitis and nearly died and now is losing her hair on her leg near the injection site. Our vet says this reaction is rare. Her personality has changed and she sleeps all the time. It is heartbreaking. She lost a pound and a half and used to be inseperable with her sister. Now she growls at her and won’t cuddle with her. I hate this vaccine.

  36. Jan Says:

    Lindsey, I hate the rabies vaccine, too. I suggest you contact a vet with experience in homeopathy. There’s a referral list at They may be able to help your dog with the health and the behavioral problem. Homeopathy is the only remedy that seems to work well. Your dog is unlikely to get better without help, and is likely to get worse.

    If you’re near So. Cal., I hope you’ll come to our Safer Pet Vaccination Seminar in March. It benefits the Rabies Challenge Fund. If you don’t know about the Fund, please check it out at

    I wish you good luck.

  37. Christina Says:

    My Chinese Crested now (and for the rest of her life) has seizures as a result of the rabies shot.

  38. Jan Says:

    Christina, find a vet skilled in homeopathy. There IS hope.


  39. Shots Question - Forums - Yorkshire Terrier Community Says:

    […] […]

  40. Erica Says:

    I have a 2 yr. old shih tzu who has a small lump where his rabies shot was administered and his body has been shaking ever since this shot was given (about 4 months ago). I took him back to the vet wthin a week to see what the problem was and they said it’s nothing. My dog never had these issues before the vaccine was given. Now, I’m going fora second opinion but if you can’t trust your vet, who can you trust?

  41. Jan Says:

    Erica, you can’t trust your vet. Vets are human. They have knowledge and experience limited by time, interest and intellect. They are sometimes motivated by profit or feelings of insecurity. Your vet said the lump was nothing. Would they consider it nothing on their own bodies?

    You are right to get another opinion. A vet who didn’t give the shot will likely be less biased and may speak more openly because they won’t be blamed for the problem. If you can see a vet experienced in homeopathy, do. They are likely to be able to help with the problem. But know that a small percentage of these lingering lumps become cancerous. Ask your vet before you go if he/she has experience with injection-site tumors. Some vets think they only happen to cats. There are vet referral lists for vets with homeopathy experience at They may or may not know about this. Ask! And good luck.

    Oh, and report the reaction to the manufacturer (get the name, brand, lot #, etc. from the vet). And make sure the reaction is recorded in all your dog’s files. And get copies of the file. You may need to try for an exemption next time around.

    PS If you’re near southern California, check out our safer vaccination seminar.

  42. rabies shot or not next time? - Forums - Yorkshire Terrier Community Says:

    […] that discusses the problems. Personally, I would not revaccinate a dog with severe reactions. Vaccination Risk for Small Dogs | Truth4Dogs __________________ Lisa, Piccolo, and Viola […]

  43. Susan Thuener Says:

    I have a pomeranian 7 yrs old (10#) who was dianosed with dermal form of lupus. Her undercoat became very nappy and has to be shaved down. I had her microchipped when she was spayed because I travel from Fl to NY annually. She has also had vaccinations for rabies every 3 years, lyme disease annually and the 3 in one is every three years. The titers are very expensive but I think I will begin those this spring when I return to NY. I give her Heart guard once a month and also K-9 Advantix flea tx alternating with Frontline Plus monthly. Could the micro chip or any of the vaccines be responsible for the Lupus?

  44. Jan Says:

    Hi Susan. Your dog has had way too many chemicals. You need a better vet.

    Lyme is a dangerous shot with questionable effectiveness. In fact, it often brings on the symptoms it’s meant to prevent, particularly arthritis. I’d never give it to my dog. Do some research.

    The 3 in 1 every three years is also overkill. Parvo and distemper give at least 5-7 years immunity and the top experts believe it gives lifetime immunity to most dogs.

    Re the titer test, you need only give it once. Read about titer testing here: has good testing prices and a top expert, Dr. Dodds, reads the test.

    Why are you giving heartworm meds in winter? Read my articles on Heartworm at Why are you alternating flea meds? If it were my dog, and fleas were a horrible problem, I’ve give Frontline or Advantage (not Advantix) every 6 weeks during flea season.

    Get another vet. Find a referral list here. Your vet, in my opinion, is WAY too dependent on drugs.

  45. evelyn Says:

    my 10yr cat has kd my vet just gave her a rabies said she needed it , it was the law i m so worried about my kitty

  46. Jan Says:

    Evelyn, watch your cat for changes in health or behavior. And watch for lumps near the injection site. If anything looks suspicious — especially vomiting, hives, a lump — see your vet.

  47. sean Says:

    healthy shih tzu , fem., born june 09 recived 1st and 2nd shot hind leg at 8 weeks/ 16 weeks.
    is the 3rd now to be in skin on back of sholder area insted?
    is it safe to give it at home?

  48. Jan Says:

    Sean, 8 weeks is a long time between shots, but if your dog is healthy, lucky her. If your dog had the last set of shots at 16 weeks, top experts would say to wait 3 weeks then get a titer test for parvo and distemper. (It’s a single test given once.) If the test comes back strong, you’re done! Read about the test here: A good place to have titers tested is a There prices are good and an expert interprets results.

    I never believe in giving shots at home. If your dog has an allergic reaction and collapses or goes into shock, what would you do? Also, you’ll probably need a record that the shots were given. Also, vaccines must be handled properly and be kept refrigerated.

  49. Stella Rae had a reactions to vaccines today - Page 2 - Forums - Yorkshire Terrier Community Says:

    […] Vaccination Risk for Small Dogs | Truth4Dogs About the Rabies Challenge Fund – Rabies Challenge Fund How to Avoid Vaccination Reactions in Dogs | Truth4Dogs Combo Shots for Dogs: A Dangerous Convenience | Truth4Dogs __________________…6213341?ref=nf […]

  50. Margaret Says:

    My little 2 lb 12 oz Yorkshire dog (2 years old) was vaccinated for Parvo (she got 1/2 the normal dose). When I got home and took the bow out of her hair, she just fell on her side. I called the Vet’s office and they said I could leave her there for several hours even though at that time she was chipper. I went back in 1 1/2 hours to get her. I was told she vomited so they gave her an antihistimine. She is fine now. The doctor said he would give her 1/4 the dose next time. Has anyone else had this problem?

  51. Gail Bart Says:

    I agree with almost all of this advice. My 9 lb. Maltese almost died after his 2nd booster at the age of 4. No more for me. Ref: Rabbies, I can be sued and loose everything I’ve worked for all my life if my dog bites someone and my ins. does not cover that. I could -get sued- and if I cannot prove my pup had a rabbies shot-horrible trouble yet to come. I also heard then the only way they can tell if the dog had rabbies, is to euthinze it and cut off it’s head. Any truth to my concerns to protect myself.?? Without a rabbies shot every 3 yrs, I could loose my house AND my dog if he I am sued.

  52. Claire Yarmark Says:

    Dear Jan,

    Thank you for a wonderful and enjoyable day last week. I had a great time, met some lovely interesting people, won a few bids, and most important, learned a great deal. Thanks for all your efforts. You did a remarkable job. Having put on different events myself, I know how much work it takes and appreaciate all your efforts.

    Claire Yarmark

  53. tyler Says:

    good article! thanks for posting this to the public.
    ALL vaccines are dangerous to pets and humans,NO VACCINE IS A SAFE VACCINE!
    petvaccine truth
    a new look at vaccines
    petvaccine dangers

  54. Terri Says:

    I lost my Daisy, a 10 year old collie/hound mix two days ago. On March 17 she had a 3 year Rabies booster. At that time the vet examined her and did a urinalysis and proclaimed her to be in excellent and remarkable health for a 10 year old dog. Two days later she had signs of a urinary tract infection…her first one ever and her first illness ever. That night (a Friday) we took her to an emergency animal clinic. They did urinalysis and found her creatin and bun levels slightly elevated and her urine dilute. They put her on a low dose of antibiotics which after 4 days didn’t seem to help.

    After the weekend we took her back to her regular vet who kept her on the same antibiotics along with Rimadyl. She became violently ill from the Rimadyl (vomiting) and the vet switched her to prednisone with no delay from taking the Rimadyl. We learned from a later vet that this is a big NO NO.

    Daisy did not improve and after 2 weeks of being jerked around by the vet who gave her the Rabies shot in the first place so we took her to a new vet. Like the original vet and the emergency vet, the new vet vehemently denied that the Rabies shot could have cause Daisy’s illness.

    However, this vet was alarmed to find Daisy’s bladder was full and really extended. Any urine she passed seemed to be from overflow. The vet evacuated the bladder and did an x-ray and ultrasound. The ultrasound showed a lot of fine sludge in Daisy’s bladder but no blockage. The x-ray also showed no blockage but the vet became fixated on the notion that she saw a herniated disk on the x-ray and it was pinching off the nerve controlling the bladder. That may have been the case but the x-ray is not a definitive test for diagnosing herniated or slipped disks. No further tests were ordered. She prescribed a higher dose of antibiotics and steroids again and Daisy became what we thought was incontinent but in reality her bladder was full all the time and was simply overflowing. We didn’t know it but she could not urinate on her own at all.

    We took her back to the vet when we became aware her bladder was terribly extended again and she was in pain all the time. The steroids had apparently done nothing for the “herniated disk.” The vet catheterized Daisy and removed nearly a half gallon of murky, orange urine. She did a urinalysis and the slide was nothing but bacteria…like the orange urine also indicated to the naked eye. It was clear to me that Daisy’s kidneys had not been working for some time and that she was in renal failure. The vet stuck with her pinched nerve/herniated disk theory. She told us if we needed to make a hard decision about Daisy before she suffered more. We had Daisy put down the next day.

    I believe the Rabies shot started off this 6 week long decline in Daisy’s health and eventually led to the kidney infection and renal failure which killed my baby.

  55. Jan Says:

    Terri, I’m so sorry for your loss. There are things I, and my holistic vet friends, hear all the time. 1) It couldn’t be the shot, although they never have a good case that it isn’t the shot. 2) They give antibiotics and steroids every time, almost no matter what is wrong. It’s all many of them know. If it doesn’t work, they up the dose. 3) They don’t treat the vaccinosis because they don’t believe it exists or know how to treat it.

    I hear story after story of how a healthy dog becomes ill after vaccination and begins a downward slide. It too often results in death and huge vet bills. And then it’s forgotten by the vets.

    You wrote: “the vet switched her to prednisone with no delay from taking the Rimadyl. We learned from a later vet that this is a big NO NO.” If I were you, I’d research Rimadyl and contraindications with other medication. Find evidence that your vet started the prednisone too soon and then file a complaint with your state veterinary board. Think of it as a way to educate that vet so maybe this won’t happen to another dog and her family.

  56. Debbie Says:

    My 3 year old maltese is making Honking noises and I think it might be his trachea. Can you help me? Will he die? it scares me.

  57. Debbie Says:

    The honking noises happens when he is stretching and turning his neck to the side on his back or stretching when he gets up.

  58. Debbie Says:

    I can stop the honking noises by rubbing the back of his neck it. I hope you can help me out. :o)

  59. Jan Says:

    Hi Debbie. Your dog may have a collapsing trachea. It’s pretty common. In fact, my Chiclet’s trachea looks on x-ray like a hose that has been stepped on. I control her gasping by trying not to let her get too excited and by stroking her throat. Surgery exasperbates it as well, as the trachea is irritated when the anesthetic tube is inserted. Dogs live for many years with collapsing tracheas. There is surgery for it but I’m told it’s only something to do as a last result. The results don’t last. You should see a vet to detect what is wrong.

    It could also be “reverse sneezing.” Read about it here There are other reliable articles on collapsing trachea at that site.

    Relax. Getting upset about it will only upset your dog.

  60. Liz Says:

    My poor little 18 month old Pappion just got the Rabies vaccine and almost died she had such a bad reaction to it, the vets were great and they were very attentive to her till she got better, but the little 7 lb dogs of the world shouldn’t get the same vaccine as the dogs that could be a pony, that just doesn’t even make sense. What can I do for her in the future?

  61. Jan Says:

    Liz, make sure your vet records the reaction in detail in your dog’s file and get a copy of the file. Put it in a safe place. When the rabies shot is due again, ask your vet to apply for an exemption. And read our page on vaccinating before you give another shot of any kind.

    What are the rabies laws in your state or locality? Check to see if your state offers medical exemptions to the rabies vaccine for health compromised animals. Note that sometimes the state doesn’t allow it but your local animal control does.

    If you can, see a vet with certification in homeopathy. There’s a referral list at This is the only way to clear the ill effects of the vaccine. Don’t presume that just because things are back to normal that everything’s okay. If you can’t afford a vet, contact marina at and see if she can help.

  62. Liz Says:

    Apparently in PA the only exemption from the vaccine is if the dog is under going chemotherapy then the vet can apply for it.

    But I’ll defiantly try to find a vet that will look into that. Thanks for the info!

  63. Debbie Says:

    When my Westie was 10 months old, she was vaccinated with a combo type vaccine that included rabies. At the injection site she had a knot the size of a golf ball that took over six weeks to go away. Needless to say I won’t vaccinate her ever again for anything. She has suffered extremely bad allergies her whole life(she is six now) and I just know deep down in my heart that vaccine shot had something to do with it!

  64. Jan Says:

    Debbie, make sure you report every detail of the incident to the vet and get a copy of your dog’s file. You’ll need it to apply for an exemption later.

    Also, I hope you’ve found a new vet. To give a combo shot at all is terrible. To give it with a rabies shot is horrible. At 10 months, why did your dog need shots anyway? Shots should end at 4 months. Then you do a titer test. If titers are strong, that’s that.

    If you can find a vet trained in homeopathy to help with the vaccine reaction, do. Find a referral list at Otherwise, contact marina at Tell her what happened and ask her to recommend a remedy. Just because the lump is gone doesn’t mean there are no lingering effects. You’re right to presume the allergies are connected, but there are things you can do to help.

  65. Joyce Houston Says:

    I have a 7lb white chihuahua with discoid lupus.He had a reaction to vaccines (multiple ones).I told my vet and he just blew me off.Had been going to the same vet for 20 years.I am now anti vaccines.I changed dog food and now give my dog cod liver oil and vit E. He seems to be doing great.Thanks for the article.Need to finf a new vet.

  66. carlie Says:

    I would like to know if the vet can give half the dose of rabies for small chihuahuas?

  67. Jan Says:

    Carlie, with your written consent, a vet can give a partial vaccine dose of any vaccine EXCEPT THE RABIES VACCINE. The dose cannot be reduced legally, although surely some vets do it anyway. When they do so, they risk their medical license.

  68. Lori Says:

    I just lost my little toy pom 2.5 lbs exactly 72 hrs after a rabies combo shot… she was lethargic, as was my 5.5 pom and my 8 lb maltese… (all dogs vaccinated same time) I was in the laundry room and came out to find my little baby on the floor with her tongue out greyish pinkish center with white rim.. eyes open… I gave her a few breaths and she gurgled a little… I gave her some more breaths and her tongue was a bit pinker… all of the sudden her left eye went all the way to the left and she started seizing… shortly after she went completely limp.. and was dead… I am devastated.. I was blaming myself thinking she may have been injured or fallen.. something… I had no idea the vaccines could have been the culprt… I watched the vet dose the syringes,, all my dogs got the same amount of vaccine… all are different weights? it makes sense now.. vaccines may have caused the seizure…

  69. Lori Says:


    my baby is still at the vet she has not been picked up for cremation yet… should I have a necropsy performed to see what may have happened…. or will there be no evidence available, toxicology… brain lesion? She was remarkably healthy for an extremly small dog… her blood tests (taken on the same day) were all within normal range including the thyroid function… your thoughts?

  70. Jan Says:

    Lori, I’m so sorry. I don’t know what a rabies combo shot is. Was it two shots? Rabies should always be given alone, weeks from other shots. Was she a puppy? Also, as you probably have read, a tiny dog should never get multiple shots at once.

    Re a necropsy, what is the goal? To prove the shot killed her? I can’t imagine there’s any doubt. But if you contact the manufacturer you can see if they’ll pay for it of money is an issue. Or you can do the necropsy and then contact the manufacturer and ask them to pay. Be sure to get the exact name, serial #, lot #, etc. Your vet has that information. I’ll be publishing an article next week (late Nov.) on reporting this horrible incident — which I hope you’ll read. These needless tragedies have to stop.

  71. Jan Says:

    Lori, another quick thought. If the vaccine can be proven to be at fault, you can probably recover your expenses and maybe more. Not that that will make yoiu feel any better. But it will help in the campaign to prove how dangerous vaccines can be.

  72. Lori Says:

    Thank you, I will read your new article…. I am very interested and concerned.. I have 2 other small dogs to protect.. I can not imagine losing another… in ref to the “combo” the vet gave rabies along with the other “regular vaccines” one in each hip…. I know a necropsy is far fetched .. I just cannot believe this happened… Again, thank you for all you do!

  73. B.J. Says:

    Hello Jan, I love your articles keep doing what your doing! The subject of overvaccination is a huge pet peeve of mine. I started researching this topic about three years ago and I was angry and saddened by the info I found out about, thanks to the internet.

    I’m having a HUGE problem trying to find a vet that doesn’t * insist* on overvaccinating my pets. It doesn’t seem to matter what I’m going in for, the topic always makes it’s way to “is my pets up to date” on their vaccines. I always ask, “What do you mean by “up to date”? The response I always get is “They need their annuals, that’s what we require.” My blood starts boiling at that moment.As far as I’m concerned my pets ARE fully vaccinated. They had their puppy shots, they are now protected for life.

    Last week I tried to set an appointment for my cats dental. As soon as the vet tech said they *required* my cat to have a distemper vaccine on her dental day, for their protection, I told her I would be going elsewhere. I just get so infuriated at this kind of dangerous misinformation coming from *professional*.

    Jan, could you PLEASE start a page where other people can recommend a vet who is not a vaccine pusher. I’m near Toledo and I have to yet find a good, honest,ethical vet. There are no holistic vets in my area and I’ve probably been to 8 regular vets so far and I’m still looking. I desperately need a good vet!
    Thank you again for all your work you do! Warmly, B.J.

  74. Jan Says:

    Hi B.J. Pet vaccination is such a scam! In fact, annual shots are consumer fraud. It drives me crazy!

    There are referral lists for holistic vets and those certified in homeopathy at Unfortunately, it would be hard to make a page such as you request because I wouldn’t have any way of verifying the vet’s policies. I fear vets who consider themselves minimal vaccinators, or at least like to call themselves that, would sign themselves up. In fact, most vets and their clients don’t know enough about vaccination to even know if they vaccinate minimally. The only lists I trust are the ones on my web page.

    If that weren’t bad enough, I’ve never seen a vet willing to put their policy in writing. I know one vet who considers herself a minimal vaccinator whom I recently overheard telling her assistant to ready a dog with a tumor for “his shots.” It’s criminal!

    Sorry I can’t be of much help. Maybe one vet in your area would be interested enough to listen to the Dodds-Schultz DVD. But I doubt it.

  75. Anonymous Says:

    […] […]

  76. Ruth Garland Says:

    My 7# chihuahua had her 1 year booster rabies shot Wednesday. Thursday morning, I notices she was shac
    king..not uncommon for a chi..however, it was unusually strong shaking..I would say tremors. She is not seizing, but muscle tone is very weak. I took her back to the vet, who was not in, and we saw another one, who could not give me any suggestions other than perhaps she was just sore from the shot. It is now Sunday, and she is still having tremors..even in her eyes..last night they were twitching together…like a ticking clock, and she was very adjitated. We had been out, and I think she was overexcited…but we really thought we were losing her. We stayed up half the night with her, and finally took her to bed with us, as usual, checking her little body for breath and warmth all night. I had bathed her little head with a cool cloth, feeling she was fevered, but I am not sure what help this may or may not have been. Today, she is the same as yesterday during the day…staggering when she walks, but eating and drinking, passing urine and fecis…..Will return to the Vet tomorrow when he is back in his office to see if there is anything they can do. Anything I have seen on the net doesn’t seem too encouraging.

  77. Jan Says:

    Ruth, your dog needs to see a vet immediately. If your vet doesn’t know what to do, and he/she probably doesn’t know how to treat vaccinosis, contact Dr. Jean Dodds at She will likely consult with your vet at no charge. If your vet won’t do this, contact Dr. Dodds yourself. Or try Marina at or any local vet with knowledge of homeopathy. See a referral list at Also, contact the vaccine manufacturer. They should pay for your vet care. Read this article about reporting reactions. I wish you and your dog the best of luck.

  78. Robert Koperwhats Says:

    A Vet. not my regular vet I visited when my regular vet was not available, suggested that my 8 lb. 4 year old Maltese did not require any more annual immunizations. He stated that these immunizations would be weakening the dogs immunity and subject them to additional problems. This vet is a well respected vet.I would appreciate comments on his opinion. thank you,

    Robert Koperwhats

  79. Jan Says:

    Robert, count your blessings. This new vet is terrific. He has not only saved you money, but has also improved your dog’s health. I’d recommend switching to the new vet. Maybe reading this article will show you why; it’s about eliminating unnecessary shots.

  80. Julie Says:

    I write this as we grieve the loss of our beloved baby pug Cole.Aug.1st I took him for his one year exam,where the vet gave him bordatella,3 yr. rabies, and the combo shot.3 mins. later he vomited and collapsed in the office.Vet tried to calmly talk through it but I saw the tech checking out his pale gums.She then gave him a shot of Dex & a shot of Benadryl, then put him in a kennel with oxygen until he looked better.I brought him home.

    1 hour later he started rubbing his face all over and swelling.I returned to the vet.She gave him another shot of Benadryl(charging me in full for all of this by the way).He seemed better by night’s end,but by Sunday he REALLY swelled up and itching uncontrollably.Back to the vet Monday.She said he had bad allergies although he had been PERFECTLY healthy for the last year.She blew off my claims to a vaccine reaction,stating he would have been over that by now.Another shot of Benadryl.He improved for a couple days,then more swelling and an oozing rash that appeared in his face and over a few days spread over his body and legs.Back to the vet,Prednisone&antibiotic,Benadryl,& medicated shampoo.I was frustrated,as I knew this was no skin allergy,so I went to another vet for a second opinion.He looked as my dog for 5 mins,took skin scraping,& claimed skin allergies as well even though I explained the circumstances.

    That night I bathed him with the shampoo.He would not lay down that night and rash was even WORSE!The next day he hid under the table,not wanting to be touched,as the rash and swelling had reached under his belly.He was lethargic,so back to the original vet.She FINALLY agreed there was a bigger problem and he was put on fluids for the day,with no results.We picked him up that evening & drove 90 miles to the big 24 hour hospital,but he was too far gone.He had Vasculitis and Pemphygus skin disease,which had become septic.These autoimmune diseases were a quick and direct result of his vaccinations, and my vet finally admitted that.A team of wonderful doctors at the hospital tried EVERYTHING to save him, but his body rejected everything by this time.We loved on him,let him know how much we tried and asked his forgiveness for his suffering,then put him into his final rest in my arms.

    That was 7 hrs.ago.I have never hurt so much in my life.His ordeal lasted 19 days.My boy suffered a long,agonizing death for which I feel responsible.I wish I had read your info before now,he would still be here with us.Although nothing will ease the pain we will have forever,I feel the drug company as well as the vet, should assume responisibility for the thousands we spent trying to undo their damage.Any thoughts or legal info would be much appreciated.P.S.I have 1 pug & 2 cats left.I will NOT put those toxic vaccines into my pets ever again,law or no law.God Bless everyone who has ever had to go through this.

  81. Jan Says:

    Julie, I’m so sorry for your loss. Vets seldom admit to a health problem being a vaccine reaction. If they do. then they worry you’ll blame them. It’s selfish, stupid and cruel. Why didn’t they just read the product information accompanying the vaccine?

    Here’s what to do now. Please read this article on What to Do When Your Dog Has a Vaccine Reaction.

    The first step is to get all the documention from your dog’s files at all the vets. Be nice and nonthreatening when asking. But remember it is your property. Don’t let them stonewall you.

    I hope you don’t give up. The manufacturer should pay your expenses. The vets who so blatantly misdiagnosed your dog, especially the first vet, need to take responsibility and refund anything you paid. A small claims suit might be in order.

    Take care of yourself in the meantime. And read this article before you vaccinate your other dogs. Vaccinating Dogs, 10 Steps to Eliminating Unnecessary Shots.

  82. Yannah Says:

    Nobody will tell you that, but little dogs like Chihuahuas don’t need to be vaccinated every year!!! I am breeding Chihuahuas and I would limit as much danger as possible for these little dogs. They need parvo when 3 months old, and later around 6 months divided vaccine in three sessions. After a year old, one half of rabies vaccine and that’s it for life! We dont need to be vaccinated every year either (except for a flu shoot} It’s just one big fraud and vets are just pushing it on us for no reason. Believe me.

  83. Jan Says:

    Yannah, you’re absolutely right about the lack of need for yearly vaccination for dogs. But I think you are still recommending vaccination more often than studies have proved necessary. I hope you’ll read Vaccinating Dogs: 10 Steps to Eliminating Unnecessary Shots For tiny dogs, this is especially important.

  84. Greg Says:

    How can I find out if the 1 year rabies vaccine is truly the 3 year relabeled?

  85. Jan Says:

    Greg, you probably can’t find out. Vaccine ingredients are proprietary. Top secret. The top experts, however, say they are the same, although some 3-year vaccines may contain more adjuvants.

  86. Jan Says:

    Greg, watch this.

  87. Jan Says:

    Greg, and this:

  88. Karen Says:

    Great well researched article. And to comment further on the the section:
    “Why Does a Dog’s Weight Have Such a Big Impact?”
    Think about this, Veterinary medicine has a classification of “small animal medicine” but that’s anything that’s not a horse, cow or other agricultural animal. Small animal medicine and “companion animals” are usually grouped together as the same thing – meaning mainly dogs and cats. That’s still a very broad area, and there is no way you can compare a Johnson’s Bulldog that can weigh in at 120 lbs and a pure bred Chihuahua at 7 lbs. It’s a universe of difference, but unfortunately they are all lumped together as if they were the same.
    Personally, I think that the medicine geared for small breed dogs, and cats should be an entire study unto itself.
    In my industry that’s Nutraceuticals , most supplements that are sold to the Pet market are really designed for humans. The average human that a supplement is designed for is 190 lb man at 5’10”.
    Please be very careful about giving your small breed dog ( and cat for that matter) any supplement off the shelf that is geared for the human market, In my opinion, the dosage is going to be too high. Seek the advise of a professional and then make your own decision, I would always err on being very cautious for our smaller friends.

  89. Joyce Says:

    would you give an 8 wk old 2 pound miniature pinscher puppy the 2 way parvo/distemper shot or the individual parvo shot first, then the individual shot for distemper?
    which brands are best for those of us who give our own shots?
    thanks joyce

  90. Jan Says:

    Joyce, my top experts say to use distemper/parvo or distemper/parvo/adenovirus 2 no earlier than 9 weeks of age. I used to think you should give the vaccines alone but Dr. Ron Schultz says that means the dog is getting more adjuvants, which can cause reactions, that way. Here’s what expert Dr. Jean Dodds recommends: Titer test after the shot after 12-15 weekes and see if further vaccination is necessary.

    You might want to listen to the videos made by Drs. Karen Becker and Ron Schultz at

    Remember to keep your dog away from other puppies and unvaccinated dogs, and the places the frequent (including the vet’s floor) until you know he/she has immunity.

  91. Rabies Vaccination: 13 Ways to Vaccinate More Safely | Dogs Naturally Magazine Says:

    […] given at once greatly increase the chance of reactions.  Multiple vaccines are especially risky for small dogs.5. Make sure your dog gets the correct vaccine. If you’re vaccinating a puppy, make sure your vet […]

  92. Francine Says:


    You are truly a blessing. Thank you for your time, dedication and love of animals in creating this site. I have an 11 yr. old Havanese who has thankfully always been very healthy and weighs 11.4 pounds. He’s my everything and I can’t even bear the thought of when he’s no longer here, which without vaccinations or overly medicating, my breeder thinks can be at least a healthy 16-17yrs old.

    My last visit to the vet (I had been taking him to since he was 3 months old), was about 3 years ago. The Vet did consult with me about not doing too many vaccinations at one time, so only suggested 3 and to come back separately for the other one. When I brought my boy home from the Vet, (a 20-30 minute car ride), he immediately became lathargic. He didn’t eat/drink and only slept for about 2-3 days. He would wince/cry when he’d get up to adjust himself or move around. I had to physically pick him up and take him out to release and he was in so much pain he instinctively snapped at me a few times.

    I called the Vet, and all they said was that was a normal side effect. I also believe, he has contracted corneal adema from the vaccination. I believe this is the case because my breeder assured and warranted against any eye related problems in my dog which is characteristic of the breed, until he turned 10yrs old b/c she had virtually eliminated that from her line. What do you think?

    I’m hesitant to go to another Vet to have it looked at (“if it aint broke, why fix it”) and for an overall wellness exam, but I don’t want it to escalate to cataracts or blindness or worse. I have not nor plan to return to that Vet or any other Vet to have my senior dog vaccinated for anything. Will a new Vet treat for the “blue eye” condition without him being current on his shots? BTW, I’ve forwarded this link to all my friends and family who are animal owners/lovers and have also asked them to forward. Thank you again. I’m sure you’ve saved many animals lives just with your words. You should feel proud.

  93. Jan Says:

    Francine, I’m so happy Truth4Dogs has been helpful to you.

    I think your dog had more than a normal reaction. Why did your vet give shots to a three-year old dog? They aren’t called puppy shots for nothing.

    Dr. Jean Dodds talked about blue eye at our Saferpet Vaccination Seminar and it is recorded, but I can’t quite remember what she said other than that she had a lot of experience with it. You might try contacting her. She was in Italy last week. Don’t know when she’ll be back.

    Please read the section on reporting vaccine reactions in The vaccine maker may help with expenses. May… And you need to have the reaction well documented so you can try to get a medical exemption for rabies vaccination.

    Most specialists don’t require vaccinations to treat an animal. They know that you shouldn’t vaccinate a dog with health problems or a vaccine reaction. Holistic vets are sane about this as well. Check the referral lists at If there’s no vet near you, write me again. I know great vets who do phone consults. You said: “if it aint broke, why fix it.” I’m sorry to say, it’s sounds “broke” to me.

    Another thought is to see if your breed has an on-line group. Just make sure the people giving advice are knowledgeable.

  94. Francine Says:

    Thanks Jan for your reply. I’m sorry for any confusion in my first email. My dog is actually 11 years old now, and was either 7 or 8 years old during that last vaccination incident with this particular vet. Thanks for the information regarding specialists. Some of them are just so pushy about vaccinations, so I wanted to be fully armed when/if I do go to a traditional vet so I can do what’s best for my dog.

    There are a few holistic vets in my area so I’ll contact one about his “blue eye” condition. And yes, there are groups, forums and online communities for my breed that I’ve been somewhat active with. One of the forums is responsible for leading me to you. Thanks again for your time. Keep up the amazing work you’re doing.

  95. Irarte Says:

    I went got rabies shot distemper, and parvo all at once not sure why needed them all dog was fine first day next day playing took 30 min nap woke up different dog doesnt want to move licks nose alot i got some bendrly licking stopped , wasnt getting sick or anything just sore touch would yelp took vet next day they said this dont have anything to do with the shots they tried to tell me was a disc in her neck dog next to me 24 / 7 work from home, nothing happened to dog ,it is rare dog have reaction to these shots, internet is wrong lol but lady on there paper work emergency room vet said same thing internet did is common shot can cause alot probs with dogs , my vet said nothing about anything hows dog examined gave clean bill health now she fighting for life ,, so took back to them said bring it in they gave her 3 more shots next day said just in case agve her amoxicillin, a pain shot and something else they didnt list

    i tell you this I WILL NEVER GET ANY DOG I EVER OWN ANOTHER SHOT EVER , I DO NO CARE WHAT STATE LAW IN IL SAYS , they dont wanna protect my animal by changing laws so ppl are held accountable so on, then i will take my chances , honestly my opinion of vets are very bad , [name deleted] in Belleville,IL dont not go to that place, guess you have to research a hospital now before can get freaking help. what is this world coming to ,, i mean REALLY ? a few hundered $ that important,,, i feel like when i go to vets offices i am entering a telemarketing firm type place it is insane, they didnt charge me for 2nd visit, dog will not eat feeding it with syringe on way home it puked once , when i got home it puked again has thrown up 3 times since i left vet the 2nd time i should not have gone back , i mean who do i report this to ? what can i do ?

  96. Jan Says:

    Irarte, please read this article on how to deal with vaccine reactions. Just skip the opening part about emergency help.

  97. Ashley Says:

    I would just like to point out that yes, vaccines have risks associated with them, but so does not vaccinating. I can’t even tell you how many horrible cases of parvo I have seen from pets that haven’t been vaccinated. And in most cases, the risk of the disease is WORSE than the risk of a vaccine reaction. People just have to be smart, informed, and make a choice. Vaccines aren’t perfect, but if we stop vaccinating, none of us will like the consequences.

  98. Jan Says:

    Ashley, it is not a zero sum game: vaccinating or become diseased. I am not advocating an end to vaccinating. I am advocating an end to OVER-vaccinating. Vaccinating a dog that already has many years, if not lifetime, immunity is reckless, expense and completely unnecessary. If not cruel. It is also veterinary over-servicing. Parvo and distemper give a minimum of 7-9 yrs immunity, if not lifetime. And a titer test can prove it. I would hope you would agree.

  99. Stephanie Shenk Says:

    Something you may not be aware of as one lady posted her sons Greyhound died from the vaccination, is that any dog that carries the blue gene is way more susceptible and likely to have a reaction to vaccinations. I breed Blue Lacys who of course carry the blue gene. My vaccination protocol is one puppy shot of Distemper/Parvo at 8 weeks and a titers blood test at 11 weeks. That is it for me and my dogs. I administer Thuja before exposure for a couple of days and immediately after. I have never had a dog develop any reaction after or later in life to vaccinations using this method.

  100. Jan Says:

    Stephanie, thanks for your response. I do have a few suggestions, however.

    Thuja can be given before, during and after the vaccine for a few days. Also, Dr. Jean Dodds, a renowned expert, recommends beginning vaccination at 9-10 weeks. Lyssin should be given with rabies.

    Another top expert, Dr. Ron Schultz plus the entire AAHA Canine Vaccine Guidelines board recommends that the final shot be given at or after 15 weeks. Then wait two or more weeks to titer. You may already be doing this.

    Good for you for being a responsbile breeder.

  101. Tam Vitt Says:

    I think I’ve read some of your articles on problogger or somewhere similar, well at least you have the same writing style.

  102. Russ Says:

    Our Pug died very shortly after getting the rabies vaccine at PetCo in Southington, CT last night. He was 3 1/2 years old and about 22 lbs. It wasn’t his first vaccine and I didn’t realize the side effects it could have on a dog until now!
    May you rest in peace Puggy!

  103. Jan Says:

    Russ, I’m so sorry for your loss. When you’re up to it, please report what happened to the drug manufacturer. It’s possible they will reimburse you, at least some, for your medical expenses and maybe more. Most importantly, they will have to report the drug reaction to the USDA to make the drug safer. Get the records from the PetCo vet. They should also report what happened but may not have. You might also write the president of PetCo and tell them what happened.

    Join all of us who have lost dogs, or had dogs sickened, by the rabies vaccine. See We’re working to make it safer.

    My sincere condolences. — jan

  104. Anna Staszewski Says:

    I just got a 7 month old 2.5lb male chihuahua puppy Gizmo 3 days ago. He was living with a family who couldn’t care for him which is why I gave him a home. He had never been socialised or taken to see a vet…. Today I registered him with my local vet and he had a full health check and his first vaccines which were Nobivac DHPPi and Nobivac Lepto 2. The vet said he is healthy apart from an umbilical hernia and two remaining baby teeth. She has said that he should be castrated next week and at the same time she will remove the hernia along with the two baby teeth and she will microchip him. The week after he is booked in to have his second set of vaccines along with Advocate spot on treatment. I feel like this is so much for a small dog to endure in such a short space of time and I am concerned. Since receiving the vaccine today he has been lethargic and is sore in the location it was administered. I have raised my concerns over vaccines with this vet and other vets several times. My main question to my vet was to ask why the same quantities are given to dogs regardless of size. My vet has always brushed off my concerns and actually makes me feel like a conspiracy theorist for broaching the subject. I am made to feel like a bad pet owner for questioning current accepted veterinary practices. I have a two year old male Pomeranian, he is quite large for his breed at 9.5lb. He has never reacted to vaccines. He’s a tough cookie. However I am concerned about my Chihuahua. Is there anything I can do to help him feel better and to protect him? Should I delay the castration and other procedures for a few months?

  105. Jan Says:

    Anna, I hate your vet. Those are way too many shots to give to a small dog at once. And Lepto shouldn’t be given to dogs under 10 pounds unless it’s epidemic in your area AND the vaccine matches the strain. Why vaccinate a 7 mo old anyway? And you shouldn’t be vaccinating your other dog either. Puppy shots are for puppies!

    If it were my Chihuahua, I’d wait until at least 2-3 weeks after the last vaccine and ask for a parvo-distemper titer test. If the test is positive, that’s it for shots! No more. I’d titer your other dog while you’re at it. Read this about titer testing:

    Your vet over-vaccinates and doesn’t take your concerns seriously. Dump him/her! Find a better, more responsible vet.

    If you can keep your dog away from females, wait a while to castrate (unless marking is a problem). Your dog’s bone growth plates need to be mature before castration. Get another opinion before proceeding.

    Read this about over-vaccination: Watch the videos, especially part 4, at

    Good luck.

  106. Anna Says:

    Jan, Thank you for responding so fast. I am really concerned about the vet I use now. It is actually very difficult here in the UK to find a vet who deviates from conventional veterinary medicine. My parents dogs used to have a vet who was concerned about over vaccination but he was criticized for his opinions. Unfortunately I think he may be retired now.

    I will hold off on my little Chihuahua’s castration, he will not be near any un-neutered females for the forseeable future.
    What age would you recommend for castration for such a small dog?

    My Pomeranian was castrated at abut 12 months due to an undescended testicle and I was told it was the only option for him for health reasons. I hope this was the right decision. He is due his yearly booster soon, they have told me if I am two days over the date it is due he will have to start from scratch again. I can not allow this to happen. :(

    I will have to spend some time trying to find another vet, it is going to be a tough one though. I will also investigate how to arrange a titer test in the UK

    Thanks again for all your help. :)

  107. Anna Says:

    I just rang my vet to ask about titer testing and I was made to speak on the phone to a nurse who gave me a huge lecture. She said in 20 years she has only seen one reaction to a vaccine and she would not accept any of the information in this article. She said titer testing is a waste of time because if my dog only needed vaccination against one disease they do not vaccinate for individual diseases. She said that the manufacturers only produce combined vaccines.

    I am now searching for an alternative vet but I feel so annoyed that they have this attitude.

  108. Jan Says:

    Anna, I am not an expert on castration. The main concern is about the growth plates maturing. You might search around the web on that. The other concerns are behavior, unwanted pups, difficulty housebreaking.

    Re vaccinating your Pom, the only shot I can think of that you would have to start over again is rabies. You should do that on time and NOT vaccinate or give any other meds within a few weeks. No other shots. No heartworm. Etc. If the vet wants to pressure you into something else, ask for written documentation showing why it is necessary.

    Re Lepto, why would your dogs get this? Is it epidemic in your area? Do your dogs play outside in wetlands and woodlands? It is a highly reactive vaccine and the top vet organizations recommend against giving it to small dogs especially. See the AAHA and WSAVA links near page bottom at

    There’s a lot of good info from a great source in the UK: Did you try the referral list for holistic vets: She also has a new group for concerned pet parents: You should add your name to the list. It’s free. She also has a newsletter that’s terrific, but not free.

    Hope this helps.

  109. Anna Staszewski Says:

    Jan, no there is no lepto in my area. My dogs do not play in wetlands and woodland. My vet didn’t even tell me what vaccines my Chihuahua was getting. I read his record book afterwards and was pretty shocked. Apparently almost all vets in the UK recommend the Lepto vaccine to all dogs. I am worried about him now and dreading his second batch in 2 weeks. Today he seems a lot better and has been enjoying his food and walks as normal but god knows what damage all this could have done to his tiny body in the long term.

    Thankfully there is no rabies in the UK so I don’t need to worry about that awful vaccine.

    I will look at your links now and I will add my name to the concerned pet parents list.

    Thanks again

  110. Jan Says:

    Anna, your dog’s second batch? Why? One parvo/distemper given after a dog is

      15 weeks old

    , should give lifetime immunity. Please watch the video with world expert Dr. Schultz talking. That’s what he says.

  111. Anna Staszewski Says:

    Jan thanks for everything. I told my vet I don’t want to put my Chihuahua through a castration op just yet. I also tild them I do not want him to have a second batch of vaccinations. After what you have said and through further reading I can see this is totally uneccessary for a 7 month old pup. I do not know why they do two batches of vaccines on older puppies/ dogs. I can not get answers from them. They don’t like questions and when I asked about titer testing they were very negative. I have attempted to contact a holistic vet in my area. Hopefully she will have time to get back to me. I want a vet who is happy to answer my questions and do what is right for my dogs. I do not want yearly boosters but I would like to titer test my dogs. I can’t get this done throrough any of my local vets so I am feeling quite stressed about the whols situation.

  112. Jan Says:

    Anna, all you need is a blood draw. Then send the blood to They have instructions on their website. You want a titer for parvo/distemper. Hang in there!

  113. Maria Says:

    I have a lil guy that is 17 1/2 weeks and he only weighs 14.2oz. I refuse to get the rabies vaccine as I am fearful that he is too little. He is up to date on the rest of his shots, please advise. There are not holistic vets in my area.
    Thank you

  114. Jan Says:

    Maria, you are right to be worried. But you have only three choices: break the law, find a holistic vet somewhere in the state (although they will still probably feel the need to vaccinate, but may be able to do so more safely), or hold your breath and vaccinate. If you vaccinate, please read this first: One more thought: as the breeder what he/she does with the tiny ones (although many breeders are poorly informed about vaccination).

    You can probably avoid any other shots by getting titer testing (a simple blood test) for parvo and distemper.

    Vaccination is a big risk for tiny dogs, as is anesthesia. Make sure you have a very experienced vet for any surgery.

  115. Helen Says:

    Hi Jan, thank you for this informative site. I run a dog rescue and also have 9 dogs and 2 cats. Four dogs are of the very tiny breeds, five are big guys. I have been dragging my feet about getting their shots updated because the little guys are a Chi 12 yrs old, 2 mini daschunds 11 and 9 yrs old and a Bichon 4 yrs. The big guys are a Rottie 8 yrs, GSD 5 yrs, and 3 Labs, 12 yrs, 9 yrs and 7 yrs. The cats are 11 yrs and 9 yrs and are and have always been only indoor guys.
    I know they are all due for either distemper or lepto but I just can`t bring myself to get them vaccinations again. I do the rabies every 3 yrs and request the Chi get 1/2 dose and 2 visits. Only the big dogs go for runs in the forest and all are on hw, tick and flea protection. By the time a Chi weighing 3 lbs is 12 yrs old, good grief, surely she does not need anymore shots. Also one of the mini daschies had an adverse (anaphylactic) reaction to vaccines when she was 5 yrs old, she is now 11 yrs old. I will not get them anymore shots.

  116. Jan Says:

    Helen, they’re not called “puppy shots” for no reason. Shame on your vet for even considering vaccinating your dogs, let alone pressing the issue.

    Lepto is contraindicated for dogs under 10 pounds and for all other dogs in areas without an epidemic. Also, the strains in the shot often don’t protect again the viral strains in the area. See the WSAVA and AAHA Guidelines. Find links at page bottom at

    I don’t understand giving a Chi a half dose twice. Why twice?

    You don’t say what state you’re in. You might take a look at my heartworm article.

    My dog Rascal has a new column in my newsletter: Rascal’s Rules for Rescues. I hope you’ll check it out. Sign up at It’s free. Maybe you also have some tips you’d like to share??? My contact info is at

  117. Norma Neal Says:

    My 4 yr old chi weighs 3 1/2 # . We got her at a year old. Her mom died soon after she was born so she was dropper fed until she could suck a bottle. She seems healthy except she has times (& you never know when or what triggers it) she goes through a time when she hides under things shakes. We just had her spayed a few months ago & they gave her a bortatella (not sure about spelling ) booster. I was afraid to have her spayed because of anesthesia & her size. I had just lost my 16 yr old chi a few months before ( this was due to age) & I was so heartbroken that I was afraid of anything. I am shaking & have a headache just reading all of this ! I want to be the best Mom I can. I love my baby with all my heart. I thank you for all this info too. Getting back to the spaying & vaccine, She jerked in her hind legs after few minutes after I brought her home & then seemed to be ok. Every now & then she jerks when she is sleeping. Could this be the result of vaccine or surgery? I don’t know what to do or what to give her now. PLEASE HELP ME !

  118. Jan Says:

    Norma, it’s hard to tell you what is happening. Jerking when sleeping often happens. Dogs have nightmares and dreams. My Jiggy wimpers and runs in his sleep.

    That said, if you’re worried, you should report it to your vet. BTW, I think it was very irresponsible of your vet to vaccinate a dog stressed from surgery. And why with Bordetella? Is your dog being kenneled? Otherwise, it’s a waste of money and hard on your dog. Kennel cough is usually easy to treat and is only for dogs in close quarters, according to experts.

    If your dog seems in any pain, report it to your vet. And stop getting shots your dog likely doesn’t need. Please read this article on how to eliminate unnecessary vaccines. Also, Nothing is more important than this, especially since your dog is so small.

    Also important is food.

    I’ll be posting an article on Bordetella soon. Please sign up for free alerts at You also might want to sign up for my free newsletter.

  119. jenny jarvis Says:

    my little pom/chi the first dog ive ever had and i am 60 years old has just had the rabies injection. the vet didnt discuss it with me or inform me of any side effects, and the following day he has started vomiting and has diaarhoea with blood in it. my husband and i are very worried and upset. we dont know if this is a reaction or something that happens with this injection. we are so upset, and are sorry we took him to the vet. with hindsight i woould not have bothered and left our baby home with our son when we go on holiday. by the way he only weighs three and a half pounds

  120. Jan Says:

    Hi Jenny. Please read this article on vaccine reactions: And call your vet right away to report the reaction.

    Please read these articles: and

    I suggest you sign up for this blog and my free newsletter: My book will also teach you a lot. Read about it at

    Good luck.

  121. Lyn Liphart Says:

    After reading this article I am convinced that we were correct in assuming that vaccinations have caused the HGE/pancreatitis to our 8 pound yorkie, Isabella, 4. Over the last several weeks she has had several bouts of HGE which was initially thought to be an ulcer. However, the vet agreed that she had a bad reaction to her vaccinations, as the first bout occurred immediately after them and required IVs, carafate, etc. for several days. My concern is that she will appear to recover for several days to a week, then the cycle returns. Several days ago we began amytriptaline as her blood work came back normal and it was assumed anxiety was contributing to the problem. (As of today it has been stopped, when a second vet advised us it was likely contributing to her symptoms.) Prior to today we had spent $1100 in vet bills not counting the vaccinations. I believe she has had 7 vet visits, includiing one to the emergency after hours vet hospital, and about 10 IVs.

    Today we were truly frightened we were losing her, and were assertive with the vet about providing more aggressive care as she was getting worse. She is remaining at the vet for 24-48 hours, having ongoing IVs, antibiotic injections, etc. She lost a lot of blood this morning, yet yesterday seemed happy, playful, and to be on the mend. She has been on the ID diet as her first bout of this occurred exactly a year ago. She had been symptom free until the reoccurance following her vaccinations. Any suggestions you have would be appreciated. Clearly we need to change vets. We are in Marietta, GA, a suburb of Atlanta. How would you recommend we find a reputable vet who will not require our little one to have unnecessary vaccinations? She is an indoor dog and walked only on a leash.

  122. Jan Says:

    Lyn, forgive me for not getting back to you sooner. I hadn’t seen your blog comment post in my inbox. I’m so sorry.

    Please give me an update and I’ll try to help. I can recommend some vets. And read this article:

    Has your vet reported this reaction to the drug maker? They should help pay for treatment.

    I agree. You need a new vet. Why would anyone vaccinate your dog? Even with a healthy dog, puppy shots are for puppies!

    You can find referral lists at I can also recommend some specialists who will consult by phone.

  123. Dawn Says:

    We lost our 11 year old bichon Not two weeks after a 3 yr rabies vaccine. He had been like a puppy. He suffered his first ever grand mal seiZure approximately one week after the shot. The second seizure that night at the vets office. He was never himself after the shot and spiraled down fast after the seizures. We were told it was probably a brain tumor. I suspect not!

  124. Jan Says:

    Dawn, I’m so sorry for your loss. Like you, I suspect it was not a brain tumor out of the blue, but a known reaction to the vaccine. Please report this reaction to the vaccine manufacturer and ask for payment of vet bills and the replacement cost of your dog (although you surely can’t replace him). Find info on doing this at Even if you don’t feel like doing this, do it any way to help other dogs. And insist that your vet help you, or dump him/her. Either your vet is protecting himself/herself, or is ignorant about adverse reactions. While you’re at it, ask your vet for the package insert for the vaccine. It will surely list seizures as a possible reaction.

    Read this about adverse reactions from a world-renowned vet.

  125. Cheryl Says:

    My chihuahua just received all of her shots plus rabies during the same visit on her left side. She will be 6 in May. Now she is very lethargic and is shaking. This was yesterday. She had her last shots three years ago with no reaction. She also yelps when I try to pick her up. Is this normal behavior after vaccines?

  126. Jan Says:

    Cheryl, this is not atypical behavior. Watch her carefully and report this to your vet.

    What concerns me is the phrase: “received all of her shots plus rabies.” Rabies is the only shot most adult dogs require. The rest are “puppy shots.” She could have had a blood titer test instead of unnecessary shots.

    You might want to read the end of this article: Before even thinking about vaccinating again, please read this article about over-vaccination.

    Tell your friends about over-vaccination.

    Find another vet. Your vet is way behind the times. And keep a close eye on your dog. She should feel better by now. If not, see a vet and write again.

  127. Lynn Says:

    My 9.5lb 14 yr old Jack Russell went this morning for his Lepto K-9,4 way shot An hour and a half after we brought him home he started seizing we rushed him back into the vets and after them giving him valium phenobarb and anestesia he never came out of the seizures and we had to put him down, The vet did report this and Pfzier is paying for an autopsy through Michigan State the vet said his liver enzymes were elevated but he just had his teeth cleaned 2 months ago and his enzymes were normal. Right now I cant even think about getting another dog and now I am scared to death to get any vacinations if we get another one. No one is going to convince me otherwise these shots didnt cause his death.

  128. Jan Says:

    Lynn, your dog was too small to get so many vaccines at once. I can send you the study of 1.2 million dogs showing this. Show it to your vet.

    Even worse, one of the vaccines was Lepto. See page 12, at right, under Lepto at The World Small Animal Veterinary Assoc Canine Guidelines say: “This product is associated with the greatest number of adverse reactions to
    any vaccine. In particular, veterinarians are advised of reports of acute anaphylaxis in toy breeds following administration of leptospirosis vaccines. Routine vaccination of toy breeds should only be considered in dogs
    known to have a very high risk of exposure.”

    Google Lepto and you’ll find lots of warnings. I can show you more. Your vet better have proof that Lepto is epidemic in your area, that the vaccine included the necessary strains and that your dog was at particular risk. Please read the last few sections of the article Report this reaction and demand compensation.

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  129. Judy Dean Says:

    Hello and thanks for such an informative site.
    My 10 month old, 10.5 lb. Miniature Dachshund received her first Rabies vaccination yesterday morning. Starting at midnight, she had bouts of watery diarrhea every two hours until 8:00 this morning, at which point she also had dry, but slobbery heaves.
    Surprisingly enough, she did eat a small bit shortly afterward, but has been stricken with diarrhea again.
    The vaccine was administered by itself, along with half of a 25 mg Benadryl by mouth.
    If she’s having a reaction to the vaccine, is there anything I can do at this point to stop or slow down any possible damage?

  130. Jan Says:

    IF she’s having a reaction? Clearly, she is. Please read

    Why was Benadryl given with the vaccine? Had your dog had previous reactions. Was she ill? If so, she shouldn’t have been vaccinated.

    What to do? Immediately, report the reaction. If the vet says it isn’t a reaction, the vet is wrong. Read this is you want to know why: Make sure the reaction is reported in your dog’s file. This is important. Then follow the instructions in my article.

    Generally, diarrhea is helped by skipping a meal, but some dogs have blood sugar issues. Be careful. You can also try feeding a little cool baked sweet potato or yam or plain canned pumpkin.

    Note, Dachshunds, especially very small ones, are on top of the list of small dogs having reactions to multiple shots. Your dog is likely now finished with shots. Please read:

    Watch your dog carefully through the night and tomorrow.

  131. Lynn Says:

    Jan I wrote to you about a month ago about our 14 yr old Jack Russell. The autopsy report came back from Michigan State which Pfizer paid for because our vet reported the incident to them due to it was their vaccine.
    Anyway it came back stating they found penitrem- a during the toxcity testing. I dont know what to believe. First of all we are vegan so there is no meat or cheese around our house or no moldly walnuts. he was with us all day until the seizure started 1-2 hours after the vaccine, he threw up probably 10 min after the seizure and it was just phlegm no stomach contents were noted. From what I read they usually start vomiting first. I just cant believe this was pure coincidence that this happened.Anyway we are going to get another puppy and I found a holistic vet in Ann Arbor. I will be taking your advise. Thanks Lynn

  132. Jan Says:

    Hi Lynn. Thanks for getting back to me. That’s perplexing, alright.

    I found an interesting case study on-line at the NIH. Still, it seems like a strange coincidence if that’s what it is. Vomiting and seizures are known reactions to the vaccine.

    Sending your new puppy a tummy rub. — Jan

  133. raf Says:

    Hey jan… i was reading through this forum… ive been actually looking around on the net to help me out with my problem with my dog which i think banfield should be accountable… 3 days ago i brought him to banfield to get vaccinated they acctually performed what they think is needed… for my 2 months old puppy got 1shot of vaccine but my other 7months old chihuahua got 2 shots of vaccines and 1shot of rabies then he ended up getting a mild fever was having diarrhea and vomiting … so i was thinking that they might gave him too many shots for just one visit because my other pup is doing ok coz he got only one shot… then now they told me to come back and they will check him for free… after that they said he needs to hospitalize which suprise me of the bills because i just realized that their wellness crap is all about scam… and one thing i try to figure out if they told me actually what they are going to do with my dogs they just took them in the back and brought them out and everything was done already and i think and i believed i was not notified of what shot they will going to give them… i hate them so much because my dog still not in a good condition… i want them to be accountable of what happened to my liitle bestfriend… and if he get more worse i really want to step up and sue them! Because i think what they are doing is not right. Help pls what should i do?

  134. Nikole Says:

    Hi Jan, this is the first time I have been to your web-site and honestly it has helped me a lot during my current circumstance. I guess I am writing to see what I can do because I am at a brick wall with my trust right now as far as a vet has been lost.

    I have a 10-11 year old peak, he was a rescue and has had some health issues such as arthritis and a small cataracts in both his eyes. He moves slow, but honestly seems really healthy. We live in a small town and I commute an hour and thirty minutes to work, and my dogs vet is 15 minutes way but there is a vet locally that I decided to take him since it’s so close to home. But lately my dog “Boots” has been having walking issues in his hind legs, I naturally assumed it was arthritis and decided to go to the local vet. I have crazy hours so my boyfriend took our dog about ten days ago and I can honestly say my dog has not been the same since I got him back. I was told they would do some digital x-rays on his back ect. And I approved this. But what I find disturbing is that when my boyfriend took my dog they stated it was a “drop off” appointment only and I was never informed of this. Naturally he was eager to find out what was wrong and thought nothing of this. When I came home I found a bill for $432.00! After finally being able to look at the detailed receipt I saw they gave him 6 injections(DAPP, Corona, Rabies 3 yr, Cortisone, and sedative which I never consented) on top of the only thing I asked for which were the x-rays. He has been up to date at his normal vet for check ups, x-rays and shots. But since then I have had a lot of sleepless nights because my dog cry’s uncontrollably ( I have called the same vet twice and they stated it was normal because the sedative hits smaller dogs harder and it will take a couple of days to wear off), constant urinating every were, and he now runs into walls, breathing seems shallower, and he sits and stares at corners in the house and flinches just when I touch him. I have read your articles on the effects of smaller dogs and I am so worried that my poor baby is suffering. I don’t know what to do from here, I don’t want to put him down but I don’t know what to do. I will be contacting the vet board of Washington, as well as BBB, and AVMA but that is not my worry now. I need to know what to do with my kid; honestly I am at such a loss. I have made him as comfortable as I can but it seems to only work for a couple of minutes. Any advice first and foremost on my “Boots” would be greatly appreciated. But if you have any other tidbits about my rights please feel free. I just want my baby back. Thank you for your time!

  135. Jan Says:

    Nikole, I find it unforgivable that the vet gave 5 vaccines to an 10 year old dog — especially without consent. And Corona is on the NOT recommended list of every veterinary organization.

    Are you sure your boyfriend didn’t give consent? If he didn’t, you have every right to file a complaint and also a claim in small claims court for damages. If you paid by credit card, you can also protest the charge.

    You’ll find a lot of useful info in this article about filing claims and also treating your dog.

    I can recommend someone who will treat by phone if there isn’t a holistic vet locally. See for referral lists. to get me. You should contact the vaccine manufacturer about all this. With luck it will be one company, but could be more. That’s one of the many troubles of giving multiple vaccines at once.

    Crying uncontrollably is not normal. And any effects from sedation should wear off quickly. I’d walk into the vet’s office and demand to see the vet if they’re ignoring your calls.

    You might also contact your local media about this although that might be difficult in a small town.

    I wish you the best of luck with Boots.

  136. Jan Says:

    Raf, I just wrote this to someone else but it also, unfortunately, applies to you. Some dogs handle vaccination better than others and age can matter. All small dogs are at risk, and ironically the study proving this used Banfield reaction data.

    You’ll find a lot of useful info in this article about filing claims and also treating your dog.

    Why does your dog need to be hospitalized? Is there a diagnosis?

    You should contact the vaccine manufacturer about all this. With luck it will be one company, but could be more. That’s one of the many troubles of giving multiple vaccines at once.

    Crying uncontrollably is not normal. And any effects from sedation should wear off quickly. I’d walk into the vet’s office and demand to see the vet if they’re ignoring your calls.

    You might also contact your local media about this although that might be difficult in a small town.

  137. Kamille Says:

    Hi Jan, I’ve been suspicious of the side effects of the vaccines recommended by my vet and covered under the “healthy pet plan” I have with them since my chihuahua’s second round of shots. About 2 weeks or so after that cycle of shots she developed a patch of hair loss on the back of her neck. I brought it up at her next vaccination appointment a week later but was assured it was just something to keep an eye on but nothing serious and they continued with her third and final round of puppy vaccines. A week after that she developed another spot on her side (both of these spots began to irritate her incredibly and she started biting her paws and vaginal area). The vet then did a skin scrap which came back negative but they still recommended treatment similar to that for dermatitis. It seemed to have been working as she was barely itching, biting, or licking those spots but now that we are weening her off her meds the symptoms have returned. Now, with no regard to her skin condition the vet plan demands I spay her before she is 6 months. I definitely plan on discontinuing any and all vaccinations for as long as possible and going to find a holistic vet to examine the effects of the damage I’ve already caused, but my question is do you think it’s safe to spay her? I didn’t see anything in regards to spaying on your site but I would greatly appreciate any advice you could give me. Thank you so very much for all the time you have put towards informing pet owners like myself.

  138. Jan Says:

    Kamille, I am not an expert on spaying but know from experience with my little girl dog that it is major surgery. However, there are risks inherent in not spaying or getting pregnant. Here’s an interesting article:

    There are few risks as far as I know in delaying the spaying and probably a lot to gain. (I am not a vet.) If she were my dog, I’d see that holistic vet and get the skin condition under control and try to calm her overactive immune system. That vet can help you decide on the spaying as well. Insurance plans, as you clearly know, are not veterinarians. They are acting on actuarial data to reduce their own costs. I am not a fan of wellness plans as many are sickness plans in disguise.

    Do regular blood tests and get a physical exam regularly, but rely on your own sense of what is right for your dog as you are doing right now.

    Re avoiding vaccination “for as long as possible”: your dog is likely immune for life for the important diseases. You might be able to get an exemption for the rabies vaccine which is well known to cause skin problems such as you describe. If you subscribe to this blog ( you’ll get notification soon about a new resource for making your vaccination decisions. And talk to your holistic vet about this.

    If you need a vet referral, see or write me at for vets who may be able to help you. Let me know where you live when you write.

  139. Julianna Says:

    Hi Jan,
    OMG! this is crazy, I have done so much research for my dogs but never for vaccinations. I feel so ignorant. I have a 45 lb siberian husky and an 11 lb mini dachshund. I went in today for their vaccines. My mini doxie got 3 vaccines; lepto( it is common in my area because of squirrels and raccoons)lyme and bordetella. He has gotten his rabies and his dhpp in the past. He has never had a reaction nor had one today. They applied benadryl before giving the shots and I gave him 25mg of it after. So scary how many side effects I read here though…and 72 hrs that I have to watch now. He is not neutered and is 8 months old.

    My siberian husky on the other hand, who is spayed. Got rabies,lepto,dhpp, lyme, bordetella today. She also got the benadryl shot and 50 mg after because she had a horrible reaction. Her whole face was swollen with hives, red and itchy. I feel horrible. I called the vet and he says the 50 mg should help but its been 4 hrs and the swelling is not going down. I don’t know what to do. She has only had swelling once before, not due to vaccinations however. I took her in to emergency and got a million tests and shots for her. They couldn’t give me any answers.

    They want me to go in 2 weeks for boosters on the lepto and lyme…I’m not sure I want to. Also, why would they give so many at once?? This is horrible!

  140. Jan Says:

    Juliana, your dog is having a classic allergic reaction to the vaccines — few if any of which were necessary for an adult dog. Lepto, Lyme and Bordetella are not supposed to be given with other vaccines. They are highly reactive. They are for dogs specifically at risk, which most dogs aren’t. They are called noncore vaccines — meaning they are for animals in special situations.

    Why didn’t they give you answers about the reaction? They likely want to pretend that the shots didn’t cause the problem. Please read this about what to do when your dog has a reaction:

    About the boosters in two weeks? Are they kidding? Noncore vaccines, like Bordetella, lyme and lepto, are not supposed to be given to dogs who have previously had reactions to them according to top expert protocols. I am sending you an article written by one of the top veterinary experts, Dr. Jean Dodds. Please read it.

    Also, please make sure you sign up for my newsletter at I will soon be introducing a new not for profit website about pet vaccination. There are lots of other answers there.

  141. Vaccination Dangers For Dogs Says:

    […] the help of Dogs 4 Dogs, we’ve been able to obtain the analysis of a study published in the Journal of American […]

  142. Khadi Says:

    My sister found a stray Chihuahua puppy that was roughly 7 weeks old about a month and a half ago. Nobody claimed her despite putting up multiple ads.

    She hasn’t been vaccinated for anything yet [and I was pressing my sister to do so], and with reading this article, I’m not sure if she should be.

    Should she just be vaccinated for rabies at this time? If she’s vaccinated for that, when should she be vaccinated for Parvo? I’m worried about her falling ill as much as I’m worried about her having reactions to the vaccines!

    She’s such a small pup- we’re not sure what to do. :( It would be helpful if you could give your opinion on the matter.

  143. Jan Says:

    Khadi, I’m not a vet but I can tell you what I would do if it were my dog. Two things: I’d read Questions to Ask Before Vaccinating at . I’d also watch Ron Schultz’s videos, especially the 4th one, at Experts recommend waiting until 8-9 weeks of age to start vaccinations.

    If you vaccinate minimally, which I would certainly do with a tiny dog, you have to keep the pup from potentially dangerous situations until immunity develops.

    Here’s what expert Dr. Jean Dodds recommends: The only thing I’d do differently is a titer test three weeks after the shot at 16 weeks. That will tell you if your dog has immunity and if you have to vaccinate again.

    Here’s some info about food:

    May I ask you a favor? Please sign our petition (and share it and post it around) at — We wants vets to give us more information before vaccinating.

    Write again if you need anything else.

  144. David and Audrey Says:

    Hi Jan,

    Our 13 year old Maltese just recieved his 3 yr canine distemper/ lepto combo and 3 yr rabies. Vaccination on Saturday August 25th. By 6:00pm on Sunday the 26th our dog Snowy was acting strang. By 7:00pm he could not walk and his legs were just sliding out from under him. Then his whole spine became very stiff other than his head that he could not even hold up.

    We rushed him to the 24 hour animal hospital at 9:00pm. We were told in about 10 minutes that he appeared to have had a stroke or thrown a clot. We were told he needed an MRI and see a neurologist the following day at 2:30 pm. We said we believe this was a reaction to the shots. She said sorry to tell you but that is not possible, just a coincidence.

    So basically they could do nothing for him until he could have a MRI. This is the only 24 hour emergency center in the area. We felt helpless. We decided we were better off taking him home where we knew he will be looked after. Sunday night was a horrable night because he could not sleep or get comfortable at all. Monday morning we called the Vet that gave him he combo shots to make an appointment.

    I texted a singer that was going to be coming in to try out for my band and told here the practice that night was cancelled because of my dogs sickness. She proceeded to ask what breed he was and then told us the same thing had happened to her Dashound two years ago after a combo shot. She told me they gave her a steroid shot and she took her dog in the hot tub for three days. After a few days her dog was once again walking. This was great info to now take to the vet.

    That vet also insisted the other doctor in the emergency was correct and this was a stroke or a clot that caused this. We insisted that she gave him a steroid. She was resistant then agree we can give it a try. I’m happy to report the after 2 hours after his first pill Snowy could now bend his spine again and he was able to hold his head up like normal. Within 4 hours he was able to walk at about half his normal pace with some stumbling involved. By Tuesday morning he was walking and running at about 80% of his normal pace.

    Today is Friday and he is about 90% with just a little bits of wobbling on a slippery floor. Other that that he is fine. He even brought about three if his toys up in the couch last night and insisted we play with him. That lasted about an Hour and a half. Totally unbelievable. This was a dog we were considering on Monday if we had to let him go and put him down. Thank you for this page and all this info that you provide. Also to allow me let others know about this danger from these shots. I think the multible shots inflamed his entire spine and affecting all his nervrous system. The steroid helped bring down the swelling.

  145. Jan Says:

    David and Audrey, I wrote you privately as I was running out the door. Can you tell me what is happening now? How can I help?

    (I told you I was on my way to look at a rescue and unfortunately couldn’t talk. He’s at my side now.)

  146. David and Audrey Says:

    Hi Jan we did not get any message from you.
    Anyways we are happy to report Snowy is back 100%.
    When we took him back to the vet she still refused to believe the problems had anything to do with the vaccines. We will not be returning to that vet.

  147. Jan Says:

    David and Audrey, you might want to read this. It explains a lot: And don’t forget to get the reaction written in your dog’s file; insist that it be done even if you vet doesn’t think it’s a reaction. He/she is supposed to report any POSSIBLE reaction to the drug maker. If the vet won’t, you should. I think I sent you the link. If not, it’s at ; click the report reactions link.

  148. Kristy Says:

    I just found your site and hope you can give me some advice. On July 10, 2012 we took our 10 lb 11 yr maltese to the vet for his normal check up and shots and relief for a grass allergy. He got his Rabies, dhpp (no lepto as he had an allergic reaction to it as a puppy) and bordetella along with a vetalog injection and cephalexin prescription for the skin allergy. Around aug 1st we noticed little things that he just wasn’t himself but made up excuses for his behavior. Stopped meeting us at the door, stopped talking to us, not excited to go out to potty, looked unsteady when lifting his leg to pee, dazed stare, not eating as much. Finally we thought he felt hot and seemed to have lost weight and decided to take him to the vet before going out of town on aug 11th. They found he had serious anemia, pcv 20 and put him on Prednisone and famotidine and did bloodwork to test for IMHA. After 1 week his pvc did not improve and IMHA came back negative, so the vet took xrays and thought his intestines had been pushed up into his chest which would come from severe trauma of which we could not think of anything other than jumping off the couch. We were referred to a specialist on aug 20th and they took more xrays and an ultrasound. They said they thought he had a diaphramatic hernia and did surgery. Opened him up, no hernia, but he did have fluid in his stomach and chest which they drained and he had a collasped lung lobe which they were able to reinflate easily and they also did biopsy of the liver, and intestines. Those results ended up showing some abnormalities but nothing significant. Pcv rose soon after surgery only to drop again by morning. We brought him home after several days and less than 4 days after his surgery had to rush him back because his gums had gotten paler. Pcv was now 15 and they decided to do a transfusion. Pcv came up to 42 but in the couple of weeks since has dropped to 39,34, and now 24. Elevated liver levels. They said maybe we could do a bone marrow which we rejected. They said they just can’t figure out what is wrong with him, he is an enigma to them. Meanwhile he continues to be on high dose of Pred for over a month now along with pepcid and denamarin to protect his liver and stomach. Everyone including the vets office In July comment on how he acts like a puppy and can’t believe he is 11. Vet said he was very healthy and then when he got sick did admit the vaccinations could have caused IMHA when that’s what they thought he had. Now they are saying it could be auto immune, liver, kidney, heart, or cancer. Wow! How do they know the best way to treat him if they can’t narrow it down more than that? We feel like we are watching him die slowly and are totally heartbroken. Do you have any suggestions on what we should do without putting him through anything invasive? Poor little guy has been through too much and I stay awake most of the nights watching his breathing (which is rapid after his night medications) and color. The other night I woke my husband at 2am because I thought Bruiser was dying, he trembled badly for several hours. Sorry to ramble I just don’t know where to turn. Thank you for any help you might be able to offer.

  149. Jan Says:

    Kristy, I am so sorry this is happening. It makes me so angry I don’t know where to start.

    Your wrote: we took our 10 lb 11 yr maltese to the vet for his normal check up and shots and relief for a grass allergy. He got his Rabies, dhpp (no lepto as he had an allergic reaction to it as a puppy) and bordetella along with a vetalog injection and cephalexin prescription for the skin allergy.

    First, why would your vet give puppy shots to an 11-yr-old Maltese? Answer: incompetence or money.

    Second, no knowledgeable vet would give an injection to a dog suffering from allergies.

    Third, no knowledgeable vet would give 5 shots at once to a toy dog. Each additional vaccine increases the chance of reaction by 27%.

    Fourth, bordetella is only for use in dogs who require it to be boarded, and even then, because it doesn’t work.

    Needless-to-say, I think you should dump your vet. If he/she tested for IMHA, the vet at least suspected a vaccine reaction and should have reported the reaction to the manufacturer. Did he/she? If not, you need to. They may at least help you pay for some of this, although I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    Here’s an article I’d like you to read: You need to find a vet who can help. Where do you live?

    We have a petition to ask the vet community to stop vaccinating without giving us the facts, which your vet didn’t. I hope you’ll sign it. Also, I’d like to tell your story at All I need is your permission and one or more photos.

    I’ll help if I can, but I need to know what city you live in. There is a brilliant vet who will consult by phone. He has treated two of my dogs. You need an expert.


    PS I lost two Maltese in the past 18 mos. I have two Maltese kids now. This is important to me.

  150. Kristy Says:

    Thank you so much for your quick reply. I have signed the petition and will let all my friends know about it and encourage them to sign it also. I learned a lesson that we are paying a high price for, first with our precious little guys life and with our pocketbook, having spent over $6000 so far. I trusted the vets do not do anything that would harm Bruiser. He is never boarded and only is outside to potty, so he is not in a high risk situation. I do not believe the vet has reported the incident, but she did tell us that if it was auto immune it could be from a bee sting, a medication, or shots, but the test came back negative although they do come back false negative. That was when they did the xrays. I don’t understand how they could not have detected fluid before they opened him up in surgery. I don’t know if all of this is connected to that initial visit on July 10th, but I know I had a very happy, healthy, spunky full of personality dog and it all changed so quickly. The specialist told me yes their health can turn that quickly and does not think it was from vaccinations or the cephalexan. We live in Dacula Georgia, which is a NE suburb of Atlanta. I would love to speak to the vet you reccommend or Dr. Dodds or anyone in this area if you know of someone. I even thought about having a blood sample sent to Dr. Dodds to see if she can give us some answers. Please feel free to post our story and I would love to send you a picture of Bruiser if you can let me know how. I am not the most computer literate person though. Thank you again for how much you care, it brought tears to my eyes. Even though we are constantly at vets offices and ER and they have been very kind we are so distraught because we are not confident that Bruiser is getting the correct treatment to help, since they even say they just don’t know what is wrong with him. I will look forward to any suggestions.

  151. Karen Says:

    I have a chi puppy that I rescued and she isnt but maybe at most 1 lb at the time. I was reading the blogs on here and I am now scared to even start getting her any shots. I am torn as to getting her shots or being scared that she may get parvo or some other virus. I just want whats best for her and for her to be safe . Please tell me what to do. I am scared if I take her to the vet that they will try and give her vacs that may hurt or even kill her with her extremely small size.

  152. Jan Says:

    Karen, you are right to be concerned about vaccinating (and not vaccinating) the tiny pup. Can you tell me about how old the pup is and if you know if the pup has had any shots? And if so, which shots?

    In the meantime, keep your pet inside and away from unvaccinated dogs and especially other puppies. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you; your post was buried amongst others.

  153. Liz Callahan Says:

    I adopted a rescue dog, Toy Fox Terrier, in May 2009. He was
    born on 6-8-08. He had rough edges around his ears, my vet did a scraping & it was negative for mange, (later was diagnosed as ear tip vasculitis) actual small pieces of his ear fell off & he lost the hair on his ears. Pentoxifylline 20 mg capsules were prescribed for him. “Jake” took these for 1 1/2 yrs. His ears cleared up, & I slowly took him off the Pentoxifyline.

    Jake weight (5 1/2 lbs) Vaccines given were : 10-1-08 Rabies, 10-3-09 Rabies (for 3 yrs) , Dhipp, Bordetella. (5 in 1 DAP + Parvo, Leptospirosis 4 way). Since then Jake has developed Cataracts in both eyes. (he goes to a specialist once a year to monitor it) Jake had a Grand Mall Seizure 5-23-11, lasted 10 min,. (phenobarb inj was given ) 6-19-11 second seizure, lasted 5 min, I gave pheno at home. On 6-22 -11 my vet put Jake on “KEPPRA”.

    Jake has not had a seizure since. He did develope itchy red/pink skin. My vet has not given any more shots to Jake. ( My delima is: It is time for all the vaccines again. I need to make a decission NOW as what to do. (titer test?? only Rabies shot?? I do not want any of the past problems appearing again.
    Thanks Liz & Jake
    PS Enjoyed reading all the other peoples questions

  154. Jan Says:

    Liz, I don’t know if your present vet gave all the initial vaccines or if the same vet says it is time now for more shots. I wouldn’t trust my dog’s life to either vet. Your dog likely had a rash of vaccines from the shelter or rescue group as well that set off the skin disease.

    I’m not a vet, but I’d give a titer test for parvo and distemper. It should cost less than $100 total. You can send the blood to and get a great price and a reading on titers from an expert. Top experts say if the test is positive, your dog is finished with shots. I’d also apply for an exemption from rabies vaccination. 16 states and other localities allow them. I can’t imagine anything more dangerous for your pet. You need a vet who will help.

    You dog’s skin disease was likely caused by vaccines. Read this: Remember: Adult dogs don’t need puppy shots over and over again any more than you need your childhood shots into adulthood.

    Leptospirosis is one of the most dangerous vaccines, is highly ineffective and is especially dangerous for small dogs. It is commonly given to dogs who don’t need it anyway. Bordetella is almost as bad and does little if anything to prevent kennel cough. Please watch our powerful 3 minute video The Dark Side of Pet Vaccination It this doesn’t tell you why you must proceed cautiously, nothing will.

  155. Deborah Paddison Says:

    Hi Jan,

    My Papillon is seven years old. I am taking him for one final Rabies Vaccine after much thought.

    He weighs 8 lbs.

    I cannot get an exemption as the dog is healthy and I cannot find a vet to do a Rabies Titer?

    Where is the best spot on the dog to give this vaccination.

    Thank you.


  156. Jan Says:

    Deborah, a titer isn’t a legal substitution, although we hope it will be soon. You want to vaccinate on the lower right hip/upper leg. Here’s an article to help you do it as safely as possible. Also, a holistic vet, if you have one nearby, can do it more safely.

  157. Sherry Says:

    I have a 5-lb mini dachshund that had a MAJOR reaction to multiple vaccines 3 days ago. Parvo/Distemper, Bordatella, Cannine Influenza. He swelled up like a blowfish on the ride home from the vet and passed out in my lap while I was driving!So I turned around and took him right back and they gave him an antihistamine injection and kept him for 4 hours. They told me to give him Benadryil prior to bringing him back in 2weeks for his Rabbies vaccine. But, after reading everything here I’m completely freaked out about giving him the Rabbies vaccine or the final series of shots he needs at 16 weeks. I checked in Nevada and we do not have a Homeopathic Vet. Please advise!!

  158. Jan Says:

    Sherry, I wrote you a long reply several days ago but it seems to have disappeared. Let me know if you got it. If not, I’ll try again. In the meantime, if it were my dog, I’d hold off on the rabies vaccine until you determine if it’s safe. Only healthy dogs should be vaccinated. There are actually 5 holistic vets in Nevada. Check out Let me know how I can help.

    FYI, the bordatella and canine influenza were likely unnecessary. Also, Dachshunds are known to be especially reactive to multiple vaccines given together. Your vet should have known! Find another.

  159. Cathy Says:

    I have six week old chihuahua’s which weigh 2lbs or less and I am concerned about giving them a full dose of puppy shot. Should I just give 1/2 a dose

  160. Jan Says:

    Cathy, you’re the breeder? 6 weeks is too young to vaccinate. Experts say to wait until at least 8 weeks. Before that, maternal immunity will block the vaccine.

    Please read this for more information:

    FYI, many holistic vets use a 1/2 dose for everything but rabies, although others disagree. It would be best to vaccinate the pets at a vet’s office in case there’s a reaction. If you can’t do this, vaccinate in the vet’s parking lot just in case, and hang around a while. If the dog goes into shock, he/she won’t make it to the vet from your home.

    Also, get a vaccine containing only parvovirus and distemper. The smaller the dog, the greater chance of a reaction to multiple vaccines given at once. And don’t worm or give other meds within 2 weeks.

  161. Marj Says:

    My 9 lb 6-year old Maltese had his annual vaccinations on Oct 1. On the evening of November 14 (approx. 6 weeks later) he had a trembling spell that lasted for quite some time. The next day, Saturday, we took him to the vet and they did blood work and found him to be very anemic (red blood count 10) and kidney BUN levels quite high. Gave him fluids under the skin and a prednisone shot; we returned to the vet on Mon. The vet told us he is very sick (probably terminal) and gave him some more fluids under the skin along with a shot for nausea and more prednisone. We continued returning to the vet every day for more fluids then on Friday they decided to put him in the hospital with a IV drip to hydrate him. He stayed in the hospital until Wed when the vet determined he had a bleeding ulcer and sent him home with three meds to be given two times a day. Prilosec; Sucralfate; Pet-Tinic. On Thursday they did more bloodwork and it was the same (10). On Monday returned for another blood test – 10.5. His weight had dropped to 6.13 lb.

    Because we were not ready to give up on our pet, the vet told us there is one last effort he can make to save our precious pet by giving him a series of Procrit shots to be given every other day. We started the shots on Tuesday and at this point he has had three shots. He will have blood work tomorrow to see if the shots have improved his blood count.

    Getting him to eat is almost impossible. The vet wants him on Hills K/D or Hills L/D. We are also trying boiled chicken and boiled ground beef. Nothing seems to work.

    I do not think we are going to be able to save this little dog. And if we are able to save him our vet tells us he will always have kidney problems and will be on meds for the rest of his life.

    I just would like to know if anyone else has had a similar experience. We cannot think of anything that changed in his little world except for the annual vaccinations he had on October 1. Does anyone think that could have caused this? We can offer no other explanation. The comments I have read so far mostly talk about reactions in the first few hours up to about 72 hours. The amount of time from Beau’s shots to the rush to the vet is about six weeks. However, in retrospect we had noticed some subtle changes in his behavior and energy level prior to that time; just not enough to alarm us or to take him to the vet. Up until this incident this little dog had been the most active, healthy little dog I have ever had. If he had not been so healthy we think he would not have made it this far.
    I have been reading Kristy’s story and it is so similar to what has happened to us. I sure do wish we had taken Beau to the vet a lot earlier. After reading several of the comments on this site I have learned a lot about requesting one shot at a time for the small dogs. However, until I found this site I did not have any idea that the annual vaccinations could be so dangerous. Would appreciate hearing if anyone has any suggestions on anything we might be able to do. Any suggestions that might work on getting him to eat would also be appreciated.

  162. Jan Says:

    Marj, I am so horry to hear about your dog. It’s a story I hear way too often. I have two Maltese, and have had three others. All have suffered from vaccinosis — vaccine induced disease.

    Would you please write again telling what vaccines your dog received. You can post to this blog or write me directly. Find the email address at

    This is important in tracing the trail. Most if not all of the vaccines your dog got were likely unnecessary.

    Here’s an article to read about what shots are necessary. Read it with your dog in mind. It will likely anger you.

    Don’t forget to write again with the list of vaccines. If you can remember, look to see if one was rabies and, if so, when you dog got the one before that. It should have been 3 years ago.

    I’ll help if I can.

  163. Marj Says:

    Jan – Thank you so much for your response.

    The vaccines given my dog are Bordetella; DHPP-L; and Rabies given on Sep 28, 2012. The exact same vaccines were given the prior year on Aug 26, 2011.

    Todays red blood cell count had increased to 17 from 10.5 one week ago as a result of the Procrit shots. Now the BUN levels are apparently the critical problem that is keeping him from being able to eat. He had fluids injected under the skin today in an attempt to flush his kidneys in hopes of bringing the BUN levels down.

    We keep hoping he will pull through this and we will be able to save him. Thank you so much for making all this information available for people like me who had no idea of any dangers from pet vaccinations. Marj

  164. Jan Says:

    Marj, is the same vet treating your dog who likely caused the problem? If you can afford a consult, which shouldn’t be too much, contact Dr. Kruesi at He’s wonderful with difficult cases. He has treated all of my dogs and is brilliant.

    Your dog had many, MANY, vaccines that were probably unnecessary. Bordetella is only for dogs being boarded, and experts say it doesn’t even work. Leptospiroris is a disease of wetlands and woodlands; the vaccine is very dangerous for small dogs and seldom even works.

    The D is for distemper; one shot after 15 weeks likely gives lifetime immunity as does parvovirus (P) and the other P, parainfluenza. The H is for hepatitis, a disease mostly nonexistent in North America.

    None of the veterinary organizations recommend DHPP yearly. Every three years at most. Please check the links I sent you at Get mad! And please contact another vet for another opinion.

  165. Marj Says:

    Jan -I am sorry to have to tell you that we had to put my little Beau to sleep this morning. I appreciate your responding to me and all of the knowledge you have shared with me. We just waited too long to get help for him simply because we were not aware of all of the concerns with the annual vaccinations for these little dogs. In retrospect we can think of several, what seemed like minor changes in his behavior, in the time from his shots on September 28 to November 14 when he had the shivering spell that prompted us to take him to the vet. None of these seemingly minor changes were significant enough to alarm us at the time. Maybe if we had taken him in sooner we could have saved him. That we will never know.

    However, it just got to be too overwhelming for him in the end and even though it broke my heart (and still is) we had to make that dreadful decision to let him go. After over three weeks of very intensive treatment he had reached the point of being unable to eat or drink and this morning unable to walk. We felt it was the most humane thing to do for him.

    I appreciate the opportunity to share my story in hopes of helping someone else avoid going through what we have gone through. If only I had researched and read more maybe my story would have a different ending. I plan to sign the petition and encourage my friends to do so.

    Thank you for your site and all the information you provide. I am letting all my pet lover friends know about your site in hopes of helping them avoid any similar situation. We also plan to make our vet aware of the information we have found and will refer him to your site. Again, thank you so much. Marj

  166. Jan Says:

    Marj, I’m so so sorry about Beau. It’s a story I hear all the time and gets sadder every time. I hope you’ll recount your story, with photos, at It will help others learn about the tragedy of overvaccination.

  167. Marius Says:

    Our pug was perfectly healthy and 2.5 years old, but died in less than 5 minutes after a double vaccination with Eurican and Rabisin. These were supposed to be her regular shots, but proved to be the last ones. The vets tried for almost 15 minutes to bring her back to life, but they couldn’t do anything. We are still in shock and grieving after her loss, especially since she had lots of vaccines before, with no side-effects. This is how we came across your blog. I hope other people read it before they take their dogs to the vet.

  168. Jan Says:

    Marius, I’m so sorry for your loss. I looked for Eurican and the site was down. In another place, it says it contains DHPPi-L. These were all vaccines your dog likely didn’t need.

    Rabisin is a rabies vaccine. Please read what the product sheet says at or below:
    “Contra-indications, warnings, etcFor animal treatment only. Do not vaccinate unhealthy animals.

      No information is available on the safety and efficacy from the concurrent use of this vaccine with any other. It is therefore recommended that no other vaccine should be administered within 14 days before or after vaccination with RABISIN.
      Vaccination may sometimes induce a local reaction, as a small nodule at the injection site (usually 2-3cm diameter, persisting up to 10-15 days). Vaccination may exceptionally induce an anaphylactoid (hypersensitivity) reaction. In such a case, symptomatic treatment should be provided.”

    An anaphylactoid reaction can be deadly.

    It also says: “Booster vaccination should be given every two years.” Why would your vet give a two-year vaccine when the law is every three years and most vaccines give 3-year protection?

    Your vet disregarded the label warnings plus vaccinated a small dog with 5 other vaccines greatly increasing the chance of a reaction plus gave Lepto (the L) to a small dog ignoring the warning of doing so. It is also unlikely your dog would have ever been exposed to Lepto. And adult dogs rarely need the other vaccines.

    If it were my vet, I’d report your dog’s death from the vaccines to Merial and your vet’s reckless behavior to your state veterinary board. Call your local media. File a claim in small claims court. Here are some links to help:

    If you want to learn more about what your vet did, read Don’t just be sad. When you can, take action and maybe help others avoid such a tragedy.

  169. Jan Says:

    Marius, I already replied to you but just realized you are in the UK. Reporting is different. Check out You might contact them and tell them what happened.

  170. Rachel Says:

    Jan – just got my 6mo old pom vaccinated and I am terrified. She is only four pounds, and I had been putting off taking her to the vet after losing the first pom I had after only a week (not due to the rabies shot, but that did make me lose a day with her). I just emailed the closest holistic vet, who is a couple hours away, about doing the titer test with her. After losing the first puppy a few months ago, I am paranoid – I haven’t left her alone and I watch her while she’s sleeping to make sure she breathes! What reactions should I be “looking” for, in case I need to get on top of an emergency situation?

    Also, because of the abundance of stray dogs in my area, I scheduled her to be spayed in less than a month (she will be almost 7 months old). I saw you mentioned to someone else a while ago that the age was “too young” to undergo spaying/neutering – do you have any thoughts on when the right time is for this surgery? Obviously with such a small dog, it would also be dangerous for a much larger dog to get her pregnant. Thank you for your tips!!

  171. Jan Says:

    Rachel, I have sent you an article on spay/neuter that should interest you.

    Re rabies vaccine reactions, check out

    Learn more about vaccination at If you want to do homeopathy to help with any long or short-term effects, check out the vets at I hope this helps.

  172. char Says:

    Okay…Let me see if I am reading this correctly:

    My 12 week old 6 pound 4 ounce puppy received the same vaccine dosage as a 12 week old Great Dane would receive?!????

    My puppy had a strong adverse reaction to his second round of vaccines last week. A few hours after receiving the shots, he started violently vomiting (total of four times) and could not be touched without whimpering. And, I am talking about the lightest touch imaginable.

    72 hours afterward, he had a Grand Mal Seizure. The following morning (12 hours later) he had another Grand Mal Seizure. 3 hours later, another Grand Mal Seizure. He was rushed into the animal ER where he had another Grand Mal Seizure that a vet neurologist witnessed. He was placed on Keppra. He has not had any more Grand Mal Seizures in 48 hours but, I think there might have been two petite mal seizures in the 24 hour period after the last Grand Mal Seizure–not sure (head bobbing for 10 seconds).

    Conventional vet medicine is not connecting the dots to the vaccine on this one. Reading what you are saying, someone should connect the dots for my puppy…correct?

  173. Jan Says:

    Char, it seems very clear that your poor little dog has suffered a major vaccine reaction. From what you’ve said, connecting the dots should be a slam dunk. If your vet, inexplicably, doesn’t believe the vaccines caused the damage, you might want to read this:

    How can I help? I’d contact a holistic vet if I were you. You need a vet who can help undo the damage. Find a referral list here. The vet who caused the reaction is unlikely the one to help.

    Report the reaction. Depending on which (how many) shots your dog got, they may help pay for the treatment.

    I’d be interested in knowing which shots your dog got. This may help you figure out which ones were actually needed.

    I wish you the best of luck.

  174. B.J. Rbsr Says:

    Jan, could you pleas give me an answer I can give to vets who ask the dreaded question…”Are your pets up to date on there vaccines?” I know what they are referring to, annuals.
    I don’t want to get into a debate or get defensive answering this question, I just want them to leave those decisions up to me. I am so tired of dreading my trip to a vets office because of this. I’ve been to about 8 different vets in the past 4-5 years and have not found one who is doing minimum vaccines, they all are *requiring* annuals. Thank you for any tips. B.J.

  175. Jan Says:

    Hi B.J. I wrote this article to help people answer their vet’s questions. It has links to supporting documents any vet should respect. You can print out the reports, studies, etc.

    One good thing to say when pressured about giving shots is: “Not today, but thanks.” Say it with a smile.

    Another: “You know, I just read the 2011 American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccination Report, and the 2010 World Small Animal Veterinary Association Guidelines, and they no longer recommend vaccination with any of the vaccines you recommend. If there is other documentation you suggest I read, I’d be really happy to consider it. I want to do what is right for my pet.”

    Another, more pointed response is: “If you will guarantee that my dog won’t have either a short term reaction, or a long-term one, and that you will pay for any reaction, and that I can get documentation showing me why the vaccination is due, then fine.” No vet will agree.

    If they are suggesting a leptospirosis vaccine, the “L” in a combo shot, you can say: “I just read that even vaccine sellers don’t recommend it for small dogs.”

    Does this help?

  176. B.J. Rbsr Says:

    Thank you Jan….Your awesome!!

  177. Confused! Limited Vaccine Schedule - Page 2 - Maltese Dogs Forum : Spoiled Maltese Forums Says:

    […] This is the best article I've written about vaccinating. And here's one especially for small dogs: Vaccination Risk for Small Dogs | Truth4Dogs Lepto is extremely dangerous for small breed dogs, and is rarely necessary or effective. I don't […]

  178. Paula Says:

    I a upset and worried about my 7 1/2 year old mini dachshund Duchess. She received her 3 year rabies shot a few weeks ago. We only did the rabies, because I knew it may very well cause issues if she were given all of her shots at one time. Last night she was moving slow and being careful about walking and stepping up 1 step into my kitchen. Today my daughter called me at work and said she can barley walk. By the time I got hom this afternoon she is not using her back legs at all. I’ve called the vet, but my appt. isn’t until tomorrow. Has anyone else on this site had this issue with any of their dogs?

  179. Jan Says:

    Paula, do you have an emergency vet near you? If so, go there now. This was very likely caused by the rabies vaccine. I hear from posters to this blog all the time. But expect the vet to say it’s not the shot. Where do you live? You’ll need a vet who knows how to rehab your dog after this.

    Good luck.

  180. Beware: side effects of rabies shots | Have dog blog will travel Says:

    […] 4. Don’t vaccinate against rabies within three weeks of other vaccinations or medication for parasites. Multiple vaccines given at once greatly increase the chance of reactions.  Multiple vaccines are especially risky for small dogs. […]

  181. Brian Says:

    We just had our 10 yr old pug get her “shots” updated. It had been a few years because we didn’t really think it was necessary but thought it was time. 3 days later a perfectly healthy, active, respond to every little sound cannot hear. I have to believe there is a connection.

    This after our other pug went deaf and his health failed him about 18 months ago. Thinking back we did the same thing, we got his shots updated when he was about 7, he went deaf and within 18 months we had to put him to rest.

    All of this with no warning from our vet or consultation about the risk of vaccines. Only pressure to get their shots updated. Has anyone experienced hearing loss after vaccinations?

  182. Jan Says:

    Brian, I’m sorry to tell you that adult dogs don’t often need vaccinating against puppy diseases. Your vet shouldn’t have pressured you. Please read this before vaccinating again:

    Your vet should definitely have discussed side effects with you fully before vaccinating. It’s call “full disclosure.” In my book, no disclosure + unnecessary vaccines = time to find a better vet.

    Re deafness, I’ve never heard of deafness being a side effect of vaccination. Ill health certainly can be, however. Were the pugs siblings?

  183. Jess Says:


    I have a 4 and a 1/2 chorkie, he just got his rabies shot on sunday. I have noticed that he is being more agressive and biting more now. He s teething, but he wasnt so bad before the shots. I guess after reading everyone’s comments, I am a little worried. Anything I should watch out for? He had diahrea (sp) the day after the shot, but only once that day. I will continue to monitor him closely. I don’t plan on giving him any other shots. Thats ok, right? Why do i feel so guilty when I tell people this? I just don’t want these shots to kill him.

    any advice is good! thanks

  184. Jan Says:

    Jess, you probably feel guilty because you don’t know all the facts and your friends know far fewer. When a few people started to believe the earth wasn’t flat, the flat-earthers surely ridiculed them. You’re right, they are uneducated. Here’s an article about vaccination that should help: If your dog 4 1/2 lbs or years old? If that’s the age, you’re probably done with puppy shots.

    Your dog may be sore and thus cranky. However, the rabies vaccine can bring about behavior changes. Keep an eye on him and write again if he’s not better soon.

    You might want to read Good luck. And keep doing what you think is right.

  185. Rebecca Says:

    I have a mini schnauzer she’s 5 and 17 lbs. We live in Ohio and I’m told it’s an epidemic area for Lepto. They want to give her the dhlpp. She had it last year and she was fine. I am worried about the Lepto but I would never forgive myself is she got it. We live in the woods. Is the vaccine safer than it used to be?

  186. Jan Says:

    Rebecca, I don’t know where to start. First, your adult dog likely doesn’t need any vaccination for the dhpp. These are all vaccines giving 95% of dogs lifetime immunity according to the top experts.

    Second, re Lepto, here’s a website with a lot of great info.

    I’m not a vet, but if it were my dog, especially one of the breeds most likely to suffer vaccine reactions when given multiple vaccines at once (as yours is), I’d forgo the shots altogether. Just because she survived them once doesn’t mean she’ll survive them again. But make your own decision. Please read:

  187. deborah Says:

    my dog had a small lump along spine from microchip. my poodle was 2 lbs. at 8 weeks old…he had a mulitpal vacine and a microchip..he was itchin and he has a bump along his spine left side. i am concerned if the bump is vacine or microchip..only advice i get is give more vacines feed royal chaine or science diet.not to be concerned over bump.he eats food i mostly cook. can you give some advicehe now weigs 4 lbs

  188. Puppy Love Commercial Behind The Scenes | Dogs Says:

    […] intestine, the ileum, has been freed from an older dog, he was in tears. I talked to her, I paged Brian and told him the […]

  189. Connie Says:

    My 12 year old Maltese received the three year rabies vaccine on April 5, she also recieved a clean bill of health at our office visit. April 12 she had a seizure that lasted longer then 5 minutes we rushed her to the veterinarians office where she had another seizure when the veterinarian took her to do her blood work. We were told that her liver functions were elevated and that she could not be given seziure medication, the veterinarian said she had a brain tumor. She was euthanized. I do not believe she had a brain tumor. I am sure it was a reaction to the vaccine!

  190. Jan Says:

    Connie, I’m so sorry. A seizure is a well known reaction to a rabies vaccine. That your dog suddenly had a brain tumor is unlikely in my opinion.

    Did you do a necropsy to see what happened? Please report the reaction to the vaccine maker. They will then have to report it to the USDA. Even if you just think, but aren’t sure, that it’s a reaction, it should be reported.

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my 12 year old Maltese to a reaction to a vaccine given 11 years before. He had been borderline ill the whole time. It’s so sad and so unnecessary.

  191. Holly Says:

    We’ve got 4 Chihuahuas, and so far only 1 has bad reactions to shots. After his first Lepto’ shot, he got flu like symptoms and had to be on medication. Before his booster of that shot 30 days later, he was given Benadryl and STILL had a lump the size of a tennis ball on his hip and screamed if you touched him. He was very sick!!

    He just turned a year old and went for his DHPP shot this past Saturday. He won’t eat and is not himself, and it’s now Wednesday afternoon. He’s going back to the vet’s this afternoon to see what can be done. His Rabies shot is due at the end of May, but I’m hesitant to have them give it to him. He has such bad reactions to shots, that I’m really wondering if it’s worth it. The DHPP that he just had is an every 2 year dose, so he wouldn’t need it again for 2 years, but I really don’t want to risk it again. His rabies would be every 3 years, but still, is it worth the risk??

    My husband and I do not have children. Our dogs are our children. I do not want to risk their lives because most vets are pro “pump your dog full of medication!”

  192. Jan Says:

    Holly, fire your vet. Chihuahuas should never get Lepto. In the first place, it’s for outdoor dogs in playing in swamps and woodlands. Secondly, it’s very dangerous for small breed dogs. Also, he never should have gotten a second vaccine when he reacted badly to the first. Please read

    You should see a vet who knows how to handle vaccine reactions. Your vet seems to mainly know how to give them.

    Aside for legally-required rabies, your dogs likely do not need any more puppy shots. Please read this: And watch the videos of Dr. Becker interviewing Dr. Schultz at

    As for rabies vaccines, they are dangerous. You have to weigh risks vs rewards if you want to violate laws. Rabies is contracted only by a bite from a rabid animal like a skunk, raccoon, etc.

  193. Tricia Says:

    Hello, I purchased a 16 week old Yorkie puppy she weighs 1lb. and 15oz.
    I took her to my vet and she said I needed to give her, her rabies shot.
    They breeder said no, that she should not get rabies shot until she weighs 3.5 lbs. Or 6 months old.
    All of this is confusing. What is your opinion?

  194. Jan Says:

    Tricia, your vet is telling you what is legally required. Your breeder is telling you what is best for your dog. Just speaking of your dog’s health, the older, the better. Please read these questions to ask before vaccinating: And read this about vaccinating against rabies:

  195. adverse reaction to Rabies shot - Poodle Forum - Standard Poodle, Toy Poodle, Miniature Poodle Forum ALL Poodle owners too! Says:

    […] Vaccination Risk for Small Dogs | Truth4Dogs Truth4Pets Think about your life style…where your dog will be, what is prevalent in your area, what kind of wild life your dog is likely to come into contact with etc before getting vaccinations of any kind. Do some research before jumping into getting things like influenza and kennel cough, Lymes and some of the others. They, in my opinion are just not necessary. And definitely don't just go by a vet's recommendation. Don't trust them. Do your own research. Not all, but a lot of vets are money grabbers. Find one you can trust better, one who shares your concerns and who stays on TOP of new research. Too many vaccinations in my opinion destroy the immune system and they are more susceptible to other things. Here we have been…trying to keep our dogs from getting distemper or parvo but they wind up getting just as devastating or even worse health problems at some point due to over vaccinating most likely. I'm certainly not against any or all vaccines, just that we need to take a step back, evaluate, research and not go by what someone says who stands to gain from our following. __________________ Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend. ~Corey Ford […]

  196. Ruth Says:

    Wish I had read this before revaccinating my Chihuahua. I had doubts about revaccinated an almost 14 year old dog anyway. Looks like I was right to be worried. She will not received any vaccine again if I have anything to say about it!

  197. diana Says:

    I don’t know if anyone will read this but i am desperate so here we go…
    I recently moved to South Florida and have 2 yr 4 months old Min Pin about 5.5 pounds or smaller… She is my life!
    She always got her vaccines .. just recently i have discovered articles that are against vaccination as they can be deadly for dogs and unnecessary.. So i do NOT KNOW what to do now.!!. I just got email saying she is due for many of her yearly vaccines … When it comes to money it does not matter as long as my best friend is healthy and lives a long life.. So i really want to make the best decision possible for her. Btw she is mostly home under constant supervision and i take her for walks leashed only and dog park maybe once a week or so.. other that that she is safely at home with me :).. Does anyone have any advice for me ? I am scared to vaccinate now after reading so much bad stuff about it.. Esp rabies one .. There is so much info out there.. i am honestly confused and feel stressed out i don’t know what to do!! PLEASE help..
    Thanks and God bless !xox

  198. Jan Says:

    Diana, relax. According to the top vaccination expert in the world, Dr. Ron Schultz, the scientist who does all the studies that recommendations are based on, your dog has a 95 percent chance of already having lifetime immunity to the most important diseases.

    Min Pins are among the breeds most at risk for vaccine reactions. I will send you the study of 1.5 million dogs proving it. Just reply to this blog email.

    Please read this and write me again if you have any questions:

  199. Erika Says:

    I fairly recently got a female adult chihuahua (from neighbors that couldnt take care of her anymore) and I took her for her vaccination as my state CT requires (prior she had a check up and was healthy). After her vaccine she was normal 3 days later I come home from work and I notice her face was swollen she is a 6lb dog so shes small and her face was a size of a pitbull’s head. I headed to a vet near me and of course they had to be closed I made the hard decision to wait till the morning she was up all night whinning . By morning her face swelling gone down alot so I call to inform my vet and my dog seemed fine next day she started vomitting,had a fever, and was itchy with large patches of “rash” throughout her body (which seems pernament since it hasnt gone away). I would of never thought the rabies vaccine would hurt her like this it was a painful experience I dont want to relieve and im sure she doesnt want to either.

  200. Jan Says:

    Erika, you’re very lucky your dog survived. Very. Your dog was having a severe vaccine reaction and must have been miserable. If you didn’t report this to your vet, you will have a hard time getting an exemption the next time around. Tell your vet what happened and make sure it’s recorded in your dog’s file in detail. And find out what brand vaccine was used. If you have to vaccinate again, report the reaction to the vet and call before to make sure that you can get a different brand. Your dog’s life is truly at stake.

    Please read It tells you everything you need to know about rabies vaccination. And warn your friends.

    Read this before you give any other vaccines.

    Also, I just updated my book. It’s a crash course in everything you need to know. The book may be a few dollars more than mentioned in this post, but it’s still under $4.

  201. kelly Says:

    Hi I have a one year old Chihuahua Gizmo popawheelie and a 5 month old Chihuahua Summer Girl. Gizmo is tiny and weighs 3-4 lbs Summer weighed in today at 6 lbs. Summer had both set of puppyshots over past two months in two visits 4 weeks apart she had a reaction to both . Ive had Chihuahuas and Ive never seen any of them have any reaction to the vaccines but today I told the vet that summer had a pretty bad reaction last time to the puppy set of shots he nose swelled up she was red on her head her nose her neck her tummy and her paws . so I asked if she would be okay if she got this rabie shot the vet did seem very concerned so she gave her the rabie vaccine and then benidryl and said she would be sleepy all day.

    she was right but summer just woke up and was acting really weird she was shaking and acted like she was afraid of me like when I moved my hand towards her she flinched really hard like I was gonna hit her :( she acted very scared and she is shaking a lot harder than normal and she kept turning her face away from looking at me like all the way around. she feels very rigid like very tense I called the vet emergency they said to keep an eye on her if she gets worse to bring her in. so I get online and I find this…I cannot believe what I am reading.

    My little summer has had 3 vaccines in 3 months shes 5 months old today. I have told my husband that she seems different like I get this feeling something is wrong. and when I feel this way summer gets really sick I had to rush her to animal hospital after her last vaccine her heart rate was very very high she couldn’t stop moving her head back n forth for 2 days I sat up with her thinking I was gonna lose her. Im so afraid now because she just got this vaccine for rabies at 10 am this morning so shes still showing signs of a reaction I just don’t know how bad it will get.

    I love my little fur kid so much I don’t want to lose her I couldn’t deal with that. People don’t realize sometimes these dogs are our family I lost my dad my brother my best friend and my 7 yr old Chihuahua all within 2 yrs summer is the first dog ive had since and Im just so fussy over her I guess because Im so happy I could still be close to another dog this much after all that stuff. I didn’t know about the risk of all these vaccines but I certainly don’t think that dogs like summer who is prone to a reaction should have to have the vaccine. I literally keep my dogs at home they play outside but mainly inside we take them on trips with us but they do not get out on any dirt because I know parvo lives in dirt for 20 years. I just hope summer is gonna be okay shes all shakey and tense and red and puffy nose and her eyes look funny to me but they said its normal. I don’t think so..

  202. Jan Says:

    Kelly, somehow I didn’t see your post until today. I’m sorry. Please write me and let me know how Summer is doing. I hope she got through what sounded like a severe allergic reaction. You’re right. It’s not normal. Trust your instincts — not that vet.

    Please read this: If you even think about vaccinating again, read this:

    Do you let me know how things are going.

  203. JANA Says:


  204. Why Vets Don’t Recognize Vaccine Reactions - Dogs Naturally Magazine Says:

    […] 8.3% and 5.5% respectively of reactions reported to the USDA.  It also doesn’t include vaccine reactions happening within three or more days after vaccination – despite a major study published in the AVMA’s own Journal in 2005.  And what about […]

  205. Jan Says:

    Jana, your post was somehow lost. Please read this: If you need more information, please let me know. Also read

  206. Barbara Says:

    About 8 days ago, my friend took her beloved 9 year old Boston Terrier to the vet for Parvo, Rabies, and Distemper vaccinations. Approximately 1 hour after arriving home, the dog began showing signs of distress and my friend took the dog back to the vet. The vet administered pain meds and put her on an IV, while having my friend wait in the outer office. The dog was sent home that night but continued to show signs of distress, prompting a visit to the emergency clinic last night. Again my friend was told to wait in the outer office. The vet then told my friend the dog “might have a brain tumor” since it appeared to be neurological. Not wanting her pet to suffer, my friend agreed to have the dog put down.

    My questions are as follows:
    1. The dog was healthy prior to the vaccinations: does this sound like a “brain tumor” or an anaphylactic reaction to the vaccinations?
    2. Should the vet have informed the owner of the risk of administering multiple vaccinations in an older, smaller breed dog PRIOR to administrating the vaccinations?
    3. Should the 9 year old dog have been administered the Parvo and Distemper vaccinations as she is never kenneled and has little or no contact with dogs other than her sister (from the same litter), and has built up an immunity to these diseases due to her age?
    4. Is it possible the vets may have been unaware of the multiple vaccine risks in older, small breed dogs?
    4. Should the Parvo, Distemper, and Rabies shots have been administered at separate visits, if at all?
    6. Is the vet required to report the death to the manufacturer of the vaccines?

    I will be asking these questions of both of the vets tonight as we do not want this to happen to her litter mate next year when she is due for her vaccinations.

    Thank you.

  207. Jan Says:

    Barbara, thanks for writing. Here are my thoughts to your questions:

    Q1. The dog was healthy prior to the vaccinations: does this sound like a “brain tumor” or an anaphylactic reaction to the vaccinations?
    A: A brain tumor, which would be very rare, would be quite a coincidence! Vaccine reactions aren’t rare. And excuses aren’t rare, either.

    Q2. Should the vet have informed the owner of the risk of administering multiple vaccinations in an older, smaller breed dog PRIOR to administrating the vaccinations?

    A: Yes. It’s called informed consent. The vet should inform the client of risks and then get their permission to proceed. Most of them don’t.

    Q3. Should the 9 year old dog have been administered the Parvo and Distemper vaccinations as she is never kenneled and has little or no contact with dogs other than her sister (from the same litter), and has built up an immunity to these diseases due to her age?

    A: In my opinion (I’m not a vet), no. If there was any question of waning immunity, the vet could have recommended a titer test.

    4. Is it possible the vets may have been unaware of the multiple vaccine risks in older, small breed dogs?

    A: The study of 1.5 million dogs was published in 2005 in the AVMA Journal. It has been mentioned in numerous articles since. It is possible that the vet didn’t read it, but in my opinion, the vet should have. Most vets turn a blind eye to the dangers of vaccination.

    4. Should the Parvo, Distemper, and Rabies shots have been administered at separate visits, if at all?

    A: I don’t believe that the parvo and distemper shots should be given at all unless there was proven need. The dog, according to expert Dr. Ron Schultz, says that the dog had a 95% of having lifetime immunity.

    The rabies vaccine should have been give at a separate visit. Live virus vaccines, like p & d, should not be given with killed virus vaccines. And the rabies vaccine is known to be more likely to cause reactions. And, of course, the more vaccines given at once, the bigger the danger. Most vets don’t take these precautions.

    Q6. Is the vet required to report the death to the manufacturer of the vaccines?
    The vet should, but they often can’t be bothered. Your friend can and should report it to the manufacturer and elsewhere.

    A: Here are some articles of interest by the top expert in the field: And

    I hope this helps. I’m sorry for your friend’s loss.

  208. Stella Beard Says:

    Help. We have a 15 month old Bischon/Shih-tzu that weighs 8 lbs. We have always taken him on time to get his shots at the vet. This last time he had a rabies and distemper shot at the same time. I took him back one week later since he was scratching uncontrollably and it was not time for his flea meds. The vet gave him a steroid shot. We had also noticed that he has become extremely aggressive and is now obsessed with “humping” our male cat (he did not do this before). He has not been neutered. He use to love to play at night with my husband but now he just bites and growls and doesn’t want to play. He shakes when going to sleep and doesn’t want to let us pet him and he doesn’t wZnt to lay with us at night in bed like he use to. He just seems to be so restless. After reading this blog, I think he is experiencing a adverse reaction to his rabies vaccine. Can you give me any help on what I can do to help? We just want our Nook back.

  209. Yvonne Hudson Says:

    Why do you not talk about the dangers of spaying and neutering too early. New information shows this comes with a whole lot of health problems, from heart problems to bones not growing properly.

  210. Jan Says:

    Yvonne, I do talk about it. See Thanks for bringing up the subject again.

  211. Jan Says:

    Stella, find another vet. Your vet doesn’t even recognize the reaction let alone know how to treat it. Check out the holistic vets at Several consult by phone if you can’t find one near you.

  212. sally Says:

    My 3lb 9 oz chi dog had rabies and Dapp vaccines. the vet gave both at same time. she had hives neck and face swelling within 6 hours took her back in before closing. the gave her a steroid shot and told me to start giving her antihistamine 3-4 times. seemed ok for two days then broke out in hives again. another steroid shot, liquid in the shoulder for dehydration and more histamine. two days later throwing up and blood in stool. emergency vet twice more fluids and nausea meds. went back now lower GI med. next day back to my vet more fluids. It does go on and on. she is put on low fat diet for GI, loses a lb, now add high protein, her tummy hurts from med so now on pectolin. She still gets hives and I give her small amount of histamine. I will get an apt with a holistic vet but that is 2 weeks out at the earliest I could get her in. Also seems like she pees a lot but I was told that is not to worry about because she is on canned food from the vet and has water in it.

  213. Jan Says:

    Sally, there are holistic vets at who consult by phone. Especially try Dr. Loops. He knows a lot about vaccine reactions.

    Your present vet should have known better than to give two vaccines at once to a tiny dog. Also report the reactions to the manufacturer and have the vet do the same. Then dump the vet.

    You may be able to get an exemption to rabies vaccination the next time out. Keep all your records.

  214. Christina Says:


    I have three chihuahua’s. One named Bella (8.5 lbs) who is a rescue from NSAL, one named Lexi (6.5 lbs) who is a chihuahua from a pet store in town, and another named Minnie (2.5 lbs) who we got from the same pet store in town after she was returned by a family because they didn’t take proper care of her. My bella just had her shots on 10/7/15 and on 10/17/15 I noticed she had a hard lump near where she had the shot. I was concerned so I brought her back to the vet where they did an xray and said nothing showed up on the xray besides her microchip which is near the same viccinity but not where the lump is. The vet tech who held her while she received her vaccines stated the lump is 99% likely from the vaccine because it’s in the same spot he gives the vaccines and it showed up a little over a week after the shot was given.
    Normally my dog has a reaction within a day or two of the shot. Can this be normal?

    I get so nervous now due to my other chihuahua terrier mix Ralphie that was only 9 passing from cancer that spread through out his body without a single sign. Also, my little Minnie the 2.5 pounder has a lump that moves around under her skin that feels a little bit bigger than a pea but is not as hard as my Bella’s and she just recieved vaccines too. I’m pretty sure he altered the amount given because he is very caucious with that kind of stuff, not to mention he made a statement about how tiny she was and how he was going to have to barely give her any vaccine. I’m wondering if this lump on Minnie can be from the vaccine or could it be her microchip because its on her back near her shoulder blade/neck area and shes so tiny and thin you can feel everything. Please advise!

  215. Jan Says:

    Christina, the lump could be from either the chip or the vaccine. Rabies vaccines are supposed to be given in the right hip and I wonder why it wasn’t. Also, the exact location should have been recorded in your dog’s file.

    Don’t worry. A lump after vaccination is fairly common. Experts have told me they should be biopsied if they’re still there in two months. A sarcoma is relatively rare, although possible. You should make sure the lump is reported to the drug maker. And make sure it’s in your dog’s file.

    And please read this before vaccinating again.

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