Protecting Dogs From Vaccine Reactions

Written by Jan on October 8, 2009 – 12:01 am

yorkies croppedUnless a vaccine reaction is strong and immediate, most people – and a shocking number of vets – don’t connect a new or worsened health problem to a shot, let alone report the reaction. The 2007 World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Vaccination Guidelines say there is “gross under-reporting of vaccine-associated adverse events which impedes knowledge of the ongoing safety of these products.”  Former FDA head, Dr. David Kessler, says “only about 1% of serious events are reported to the FDA.”  He was referring to drugs for people; reporting of pet drug reactions is likely to be far worse.

How prevalent are reactions?

In 2007, approximately 6500 reactions were reported for the canine rabies vaccine alone. If as suggested only 1% of reactions were reported, approximately 650,000 reactions likely occurred.  And there are still more than a dozen other vaccines causing reactions.

In my article Vaccinating Small Dogs: Risks Vets Aren’t Revealing, I summarized a shocking 2005 study which reported: Young adult small-breed neutered dogs given multiple vaccines per office visit are at greatest risk of an adverse reaction within 72 hours after vaccination … and the risk increases with each subsequent vaccine given. Reactions studied ranged from hives to shock and even death. Although the less a dog weighs, the more likely the reaction — all dogs are at risk when multiple vaccines are given.

Please read Vaccinating Small Dogs now to determine if and when your dog is at risk, which reactions were reported and more. Really. Read it now!

What can you do to keep your dog from reacting badly to a vaccine? Read more »

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Tags: bad reactions to shots, cat, dog, dog vaccinations, puppy vaccination schedule, puppy vaccinations, rabies vaccine, reaction, reactions, shot, Vaccination, vaccine
Posted under Preventing Vaccine Reactions, Uncategorized, Vaccination | 123 Comments » | Email This Post

Vaccinating Unhealthy Pets: Beware Reactions & Vaccine Failure

Written by Jan on April 29, 2009 – 1:00 am

Despite the huge tumor on his mouth, this sweet dog was given 7 shots 4 weeks before this photo was taken. The tumor grew 10-15% after the shots.."

Despite the huge tumor on his mouth, this sweet dog was given 7 shots 4 weeks before this photo was taken. The tumor grew 10-15% after the shots."

All vaccine labels and inserts state that vaccines are for use in “healthy dogs only.” Unfortunately, no one defines “healthy.”

Most knowledgeable vets agree that certain animals should NOT be vaccinated (absent proven, urgent need such as inevitable exposure to a life-threatening disease). These  include, but aren’t limited to, pets with autoimmune disease … pets undergoing chemo, radiation or surgery (even dental cleaning or neutering) … pets with autoimmune disease, cancer, severe allergies and skin diseases … pets fighting an illness or parasites … pets stressed from shipment or a move to a new home … malnourished pets … and dying housebound pets.  Assaulting the immune systems  of these animals with vaccination has been likened to throwing gas on a raging fire.

Vaccination is big business and an old habit.  Dogs and cats need an advocate with common sense (and a strong backbone) to stand up for their pets. That means you!

So why shouldn’t you vaccinate a sick, stressed or geriatric pet? For one thing, the pet may develop adverse reactions ranging from fever to seizures to autoimmune disease to anaphylactic shock  and even death. (Click this link  to see other possible adverse reactions.) Furthermore, shots administered to an unhealthy animal may fail to provide immunity while giving you the false security that your dog is protected.  On top of that, Read more »

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Tags: adverse reactions, autoimmune, bad reaction, bad reactions, cat, cats, dog, dogs, parvovirus, rabies shot, rabies vaccine, seizure, shots, sick, side effects, titer testing, vaccinate, vaccinating, Vaccination, vaccine, vet, veterinarian
Posted under Cancer, Uncategorized, Vaccination, Veterinarians | 131 Comments » | Email This Post

Dog and Cat Food Labels: Marketing Tricks That Cost You Money

Written by Jan on March 24, 2009 – 10:11 am

My good friend Dr. Jean Hofve, veterinarian and former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Holistic Veterinary Organization, has kindly allowed me to post a great article she wrote on how marketing can obscure the truth about what’s in your dog or cat food. I think you’ll really enjoy this article and her website LittleBigCat.

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A trip down the pet food aisle these days will boggle the mind with all the wonderful claims made by manufacturers for their particular products. But what’s the truth behind all this marvelous hype? You might be very surprised…let’s take a look.

1. Niche claims. Today, if you have an indoor cat, a canine athlete, a Persian, a Bloodhound, or a pet with a tender tummy or itchy feet, you can find a food “designed” just for your pet’s personal needs. Niche marketing has arrived in a big way in the pet food industry. People like to feel special, and a product with specific appeal is bound to sell better than a general product like “puppy food.” But the reality is that there are only two nutritional standards against which all pet foods are measured (adult and growth/gestation/lactation)—everything else is marketing.

2. “Natural” or “Organic” claims. The definition of “natural” adopted by AAFCO is very broad, and allows for artificially processed ingredients that most of us would consider very unnatural indeed. The term “organic,” on the other hand, has a very strict legal definition. However, some companies are adept at evading the intent of these rules. The name of the company or product may be intentionally misleading. For instance, some companies use terms like “Nature” or “Natural” in the brand name, whether or not their products fit the definition of natural.

3. Ingredient quality claims. A lot of pet foods claim they contain “human grade” ingredients. This is a completely meaningless term Read more »

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Tags: cat, cat food, cats, dog, dog food, dogs, food labels, good cat food, good dog food, label terms, marketing, Nutrition, pet food, reading labels, what's really in pet food
Posted under Nutrition, Uncategorized | 24 Comments » | Email This Post

Farmed Salmon in Pet Food: Is It Safe?

Written by Jan on February 20, 2009 – 2:00 am

Salmon in the Wild

Salmon in the Wild

Many of us who are careful about our diets have real concerns about eating farmed salmon and other farmed (aka “ocean-raised”) fish.  We want the Omega-3 fatty acids from the fish oils — for ourselves and for our pets — but wonder if we are trading lower prices for contamination.  This is especially important for pets, most of whom eat the same food every meal, every day. If there’s fish in their food (and it’s sometimes there without our realizing), it’s especially important that it’s safe.

But is wild-caught fish really all that better?  The prices should tell you something. In a store near me, you pay $6.99 per pound for farmed; $16.99 for wild (when you can get it); and $15 or more for farmed fish fed organically. Given these prices, you can bet that Fifi and Fido aren’t getting organic or wild-caught.

The health dangers from farmed fish comes from the contamination of their fat with harmful chemicals called PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyls).  An article called PCBs – Is Farmed Salmon safe to eat?reports: “The manufacture of PCBs was banned in the U.S. in 1979 because of evidence they build up in the environment and can cause harmful health effects. However, PCBs persist in the environment. Fish absorb PCBs from contaminated sediments and from their food.” Read more »

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Tags: cat, dog, dog food, dogs, farmed fish, farmed fish safe, farmed salmon, health, pet, pet food, safe, Safety, salmon
Posted under Nutrition | 10 Comments » | Email This Post

Dog Teeth Cleaning Anesthesia-Free: Buyer Beware!

Written by Jan on July 6, 2008 – 2:42 pm

Anesthesia-Free, or Non-Anesthetic, teeth cleaning for dogs (and even cats) is becoming more and more commonplace. As people grow fearful of “putting their dog under” just to have teeth cleaned, and ever more fearful of vet bills sometimes topping $1000, these services offer an attractive alternative. Even veterinarians who have called these procedures “animal cruelty” and “unsafe” (which they sometimes are), are adding anesthesia-free dental care to services offered. Whether any service is humane, safe and effective depends exclusively on practitioner skill and kindness towards animals.

Any health service provided by practitioners without specific training or experience requirements, and with no certification, can be risky. Read more »

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Tags: anesthesia risk, anesthesia-free, cat, dental, dog dental care, dog teeth cleaning, non-anesthetic
Posted under Dog Teeth Cleaning, Videos | 41 Comments » | Email This Post