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Vaccinations ~

Dr. Schultz is the leading canine vaccine researcher in the world. He has done more research on canine parvo vaccines than anyone else, and in fact on all canine viral gastroenteritis and vaccines for those viruses. He is the Chair of the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, and was the editor of the text book “Advances in Veterinary Medicine: Veterinary Vaccines and Diagnostics.”

The gist of current thought is this:
The reason we usually repeat vaccinations for parvo and distemper is not because we need vaccines more than once to form immunity. They are repeated for two basic reasons only: Habit, and to catch those few individuals who for some reason don’t respond to the first vaccination. Most people, including some vets, don’t seem to be aware of this, and have the belief that there is some number of shots that must be given to create immunity. A single immunizing dose of a modified live virus vaccine… in other words, one vaccine that WORKS… will form long term, probably lifetime, immunity to parvo and distemper.

Core Vaccines are distemper, adenovirus, parvo and rabies. He says all dogs must have these. Principles of basic vaccine protocol include having breeders give vaccinations at home so puppies don’t go to the vet’s office (sources of infection).

Immunologic imprinting:
This refers to the fact that the immune system should be vaccinated only when it is ready and at its optimum. If you vaccinate an immature immune system or one not capable of responding fully for any reason, and you get only a partial response, re-vaccinating will never give a better response.

Recommended:
Canine Distemper (MLV) 10-12 weeks
Canine Parvo (MLV) 12-14 weeks

We don’t need to keep repeating the vaccines to know if they worked, either. Although titers as a measure of ONGOING immunity aren’t all that useful, as a measure of whether or not an animal formed immunity from a recent vaccination, they are extremely, highly reliable. Since it takes 7-10 days for the immunity to form, if you test a titer 10 days after a parvo and/or distemper vaccine, you will KNOW if the puppy had an immunizing response. You don’t need to guess.  So when you get your pup you can just have a titers done to see if he/she is covered. Using the TiterCHEKTM test kit, your veterinarian can now draw blood from your dog when you first arrive for his annual health exam, and within 15 minutes, be able to tell you whether or not he needs any vaccines.  Please be sure to carry him/her into the vet and avoid setting them down on anything but a sterilized exam table. The veterinarian’s is a high risk area for your puppy to be in. This method makes over vaccination a thing of the past.
One of the most interesting things I have learned is that evidence is now showing that repeating vaccinations doesn’t “boost” immunity at all. All our habits of making sure pregnant bitches are recently vaccinated so they will have lots of immunity to pass on, worrying about “fading” immunity in adult dogs, or whatever our concerns, are not based on scientific reality. Re-vaccinating an already-immune animal has little or no benefit; the previous immunity will act like maternal antibody and inactivate the vaccine, and immunity is not “boosted” at all. Side effects can cause skin problems, allergic reactions and autoimmune disease.  So you have all the risks of the vaccination, and no benefit.

There is a real concern that vaccines may predispose certain genetically susceptible individuals to immune-mediated disease. The more antigens we administer, the higher the potential for hyper-sensitivity.

“Most pet owners aren’t aware of the dangers in animal vaccinations that have been discovered in recent years. The major veterinary associations now agree that vaccinations can trigger all sorts of maladies, from allergies to cancer – but most pet caretakers (and many veterinarians, it seems) haven’t gotten the word. “With vaccines that are repeated year after year, the frequency and severity of these side-effects in our pets has increased dramatically. Most of the problems involve the immune system. After all, the immune system is what vaccines are designed to stimulate. But they do so in a very unnatural way that can overwhelm and confuse the immune system.” Dr. Donna Starita Mehan DVM

Being aware of the health risks involved in over vaccinating and adjusting our practice of vaccinations accordingly is one of the ways to avoid having the health problems such as autoimmune deficiency that are being reported in other Association’s dogs. We believe good vaccination protocols, health testing and healthy diets are the road to breeding healthier dogs.

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