Don’t Let Your Vet Vaccinate Blindly: Test Titers

Written by Jan on January 26, 2015 – 11:59 pm

Someone (I’ll call her Ann) wrote me last week asking: Is there any recent info I can pass along to my Vet – he says titres are not reliable and he will not do them.

Yikes. He-will-not-do-them? Titer testing — a simple blood draw to test immunity to a disease — is an absolutely safe procedure. You can test titers (antibody) levels to determine if an animal (or human) already has immunity to particular diseases and doesn’t need “boosters.”  The most commonly tested titers are for parvovirus and distemper, the two most important diseases, and also rabies in certain instances. Don’t waste your money on anything else.

Even if Ann’s vet thinks titer testing is unreliable and a waste of time and money, it is her money and her responsibility to keep her dog healthy. Not his. His job, in this instance, is to draw blood and offer advice if asked. After testing, it is up to Ann to determine the weight to give to the results. She can then allow her vet to vaccinate if he wants. Or not.

Incidentally, Ann could have any vet or vet tech draw blood. She could send the blood sample to a lab (like my favorite, hemopet.org). They’ll perform the test and an expert will interpret the results. From that point on, she can solicit her vet’s input. Or not.

Although most enlightened veterinarians will happily test titers, too many, like Ann’s vet, refuse to test or will belittle results. Others avoid confrontation by charging astronomical rates. A parvovirus/distemper titer test should cost around $50-60; a rabies titer (not for export) should cost around $100. Add to this, around $25 for a blood draw; some tests in some locations may also require a shipping expense. If your vet is charging much more than that, he/she is just trying to discourage (and/or take advantage of) you.

But isn’t vaccinating cheaper than testing? 

Read more »

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Tags: dogs, immunity, test, titer, Vaccination, veterinarian
Posted under Titer Testing, Uncategorized, Vaccination, Vaccine Reactions, Veterinarians | 8 Comments » | Email This Post

If Your Doctor (or Veterinarian) Insists That Vaccines Are Safe, Then Have Them Sign This Form

Written by Jan on May 29, 2012 – 8:21 pm

This vaccination consent form was designed for humans. The author suggests asking your doctor to complete and sign it before vaccinating. With a little reworking, this would work for pets — not that I believe for a moment that anyone will ever sign it. This is just about being realistic about vaccines. They are not without risk. All parties should weigh risks vs benefits in every medical procedure.

Read the original article at http://preventdisease.com/news/12/050212_If-Your-Doctor-Insists-That-Vaccines-Are-Safe-Have-Them-Sign-This-Form.shtml.  Get a printable pdf file at http://preventdisease.com/pdf/Warranty-of-Vaccine-Safety-English.pdf.   Our thanks to http://preventdisease.com for permission to reprint this. Read more »

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Tags: children, consent form, informed consent, pets, Vaccination, vaccine ingredients, vaccine safety
Posted under Vaccination | 2 Comments » | Email This Post

Bordetella: Does Your Dog Really Need the Kennel Cough Vaccine?

Written by Jan on March 21, 2012 – 12:01 am

News from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association Vaccine Guideline’s Group: Vaccine Guidelines, page 11: “Canine respiratory
disease complex (kennel cough) is not a vaccine-preventable disease and the vaccine should only be used to help manage the disease.” That is, don’t waste your money.

Unfortunately, your veterinarian, kennel owner, trainer, day care provider or groomer says your dog should/must be vaccinated against kennel cough, but you’re trying not to over-vaccinate.

What should you do?

More and more, people with pets are finding another vet, kennel owner, day care provider or groomer — or keeping their pet at home!  Vaccination is a serious medical procedure with significant risks.  If that weren’t bad enough, the “kennel cough” vaccine is unlikely to prevent kennel cough! It can even produce kennel-cough like symptoms. The WSAVA Guidelines say, “Transient (3–10 days) coughing, sneezing, or nasal discharge may occur in a small percentage of vaccinates.” It can also cause a serious anaphylactoid reaction. Look up anaphylactoid. You won’t like it.

Regarding kennels, day care and grooming facilities: In general, if they have good ventilation and practice good hygiene, kennel cough shouldn’t even be an issue. Bordetella is not for dogs playing together in well-ventilated areas — like dog parks or backyards or living rooms. It’s for dogs in close quarters, like kennels. That’s why it’s called kennel cough!

Think of kennel cough as a canine cold, transmitted as human colds are transmitted — from an infected individual in close contact with an individual with compromised immunity.  Like a cold, it is also considered a mild self-limiting disease.  If humans can’t effectively be vaccinated against a cold, how can pets? A veterinarian friend uses an OTC remedy called B & T Cough and Bronchial Syrup to treat the cough.  For small dogs she uses the children’s variety.  See your vet for further treatment information.

If your service provider is afraid your dog will contract kennel cough at their establishment, offer to sign a waiver saying you’ve been informed of the risk and will waive liability if your pet falls ill. That should do it.  Should.  It’s often just liability at issue, not a question of health.

If the person insisting on the bordetella vaccine is afraid other dogs at their establishment will contract kennel cough from your unvaccinated dog, this person clearly doesn’t trust that the vaccinated dogs actually have immunity. If they don’t believe the vaccine is protective,  why insist that you or anyone else vaccinate?

Note: If you decide to give the vaccine, make sure it is the intranasal form, that is, given as nose drops, not injected.  And give the vaccine at least 2 weeks before contact with other dogs, for the sake of both your dog and other dogs.

Don’t take my word for any of this. Read what three vets and a PhD have to say about the bordetella vaccine:

World-renowned vaccination scientist, Dr. Ronald Schultz, says [emphasis mine]: “Many animals receive “kennel cough” vaccines that include Bordetella and CPI and/or CAV-2 every 6 to 9 months without evidence that this frequency of vaccination is necessary or beneficial. In contrast, other dogs are never vaccinated for kennel cough and disease is not seen. Read more »

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Tags: bordatella, bordetella, cough, dog, kennel cough, Vaccination, vaccine
Posted under Uncategorized, Vaccination | 62 Comments » | Email This Post

Does Your State Permit Rabies Vaccination Medical Exemptions?

Written by Jan on March 5, 2012 – 12:23 pm

Updated 7/13: You and your veterinarian both agree: your dog is too ill to be vaccinated. Animal Control insists that you vaccinate against rabies.  What should you do? Kris Christine, Founder of the Rabies Challenge Fund, has been instrumental in helping to change state laws to allow rabies vaccination medical exemptions for unhealthy dogs!  See below the language of the various state laws (supplied by Kris). If your state isn’t listed, please change the law! Virtually every exemption was brought about by concerned pet parents and their veterinarians not wanting to vaccinate a health-compromised pet.

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Tags: avoid, illness, rabbies, rabies, shot, shots, sickness, Vaccination, vaccine
Posted under Medical Exemptions from Rabies Shots, Rabies Shots, Uncategorized, Vaccination | 29 Comments » | Email This Post

Why Vets Don’t Recognize Vaccine Reactions

Written by Jan on December 17, 2011 – 1:01 am

You take your perfectly healthy dog to the vet for “her shots.”  Early the next morning, she has a seizure — her first seizure ever.  You rush your dog back to the vet or an emergency clinic and ask if the seizure had something to do with the shot.  Odds are, the vet will tell you, No, it’s not the shot! She might a genetic disorder or possibly even a brain tumor. The timing is just a coincidence.

Or … your dog is suddenly having trouble walking after rabies vaccination. Or he suddenly becomes aggressive.  You ask your vet if the condition could be tied to the rabies shot.  No, it’s not possible, the vet says. He says has never heard of such a thing. But something tells you the condition and vaccine are related.

Of course, not all veterinarians are reluctant or unable to recognize and deal with vaccine reactions. In fact, the practices of vets trained in homeopathy, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, etc. often revolve around treating reactions caused by vaccination.  And, happily, many conventional vets are becoming increasingly worried about over-vaccination and vaccine reactions. But these vets are not the norm.

Many people have written me that they have had to fight with their vet to even get a vaccine reaction considered and noted in their dog’s or cat’s file.  The vet doesn’t even want to call the vaccine maker to report or inquire about the reaction.  After you do extensive Internet research, your suspicions grow. You see another vet, or maybe post on this blog looking for answers or you e-mail me. You wonder: why are vets so reluctant to admit that a vaccine (or vaccine combo) caused a reaction?  Here are some potential reasons why. Read more »

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Tags: bad reactions to shots, cat, dog, rabies shot reaction, Vaccination, vaccine reactions, vets
Posted under Uncategorized, Vaccination, Vaccine Reactions, Veterinarians | 41 Comments » | Email This Post