Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Necessary Vaccinations

FionaBeth
April 27th, 2012, 04:25 PM
After doing research and talking to others, I have realized that not all yearly "recommended" vaccinations are necessary, or even healthy. I have and will continue to do research on this- however, I know that many members of this forum are very well informed about all things dogs, and would like to have your opinions as well.
I have had Zeus for almost a year, so it is almost time for the annual checkup. I got him from the SPCA, so he came vaccinated for distemper, parainfluenza, adenovirus, parvovirus, leptospirosis, bordetella, coronavirus and rabies. The vet has recommended that he have all of these vaccinations annually except for the coronavirus. Obviously I will get the rabies vaccination (it is required in order to license and I live in the city). I am not worried about the cost, I just do not want to have my dog unnecessarily vaccinated. I would appreciate any feedback :)

Marty11
April 27th, 2012, 04:31 PM
There is test called ? to see if your dog needs certain vaccinations. Someone here will know what it's called.

Rgeurts
April 27th, 2012, 05:04 PM
It's called a titre test. It checks the level of the vaccines in the blood. Some say that the vaccines, once the proper levels are achieved, will last for 7+ yrs. I'd highly recommend titres instead of vaccinating. Not only is annual vaccinations unneccesary, but can be quite harmful, and for some dogs, fatal. Check this website:

www.hemopet.org

It gives some great info on annual vaccinations and problems that can occur (I've been battling for my boys life for over 2 yrs). I'm not saying don't ever vaccinate, but once the proper levels are achieved, you can titre instead. If you would like more links regarding the dangers of over-vaccinating, let me know. I have many :)

sugarcatmom
April 27th, 2012, 05:46 PM
The vet has recommended that he have all of these vaccinations annually except for the coronavirus.

I'd be finding another vet. If this one is THAT out of touch with current recommended vax protocols (https://www.aahanet.org/PublicDocuments/CanineVaccineGuidelines.pdf), it would appear that continuing education isn't a priority for him/her.


http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/10/27/new-canine-vaccination-guidelines.aspx
http://tollchester.tripod.com/vaccine.html

FionaBeth
April 27th, 2012, 06:04 PM
sugarcatmom: Don't worry, I am definitely going to a new vet for any upcoming visits... I have had other issues with the one I mentioned. I just want to make sure that I am well informed when taking Zeus for his first appt. (which will be his annual checkup) at the new vet.

Marty11 and Rgeurts: Thanks for the info on the titer tests :thumbs up

Choochi
April 27th, 2012, 09:45 PM
Sugarcat already posted the most current up to date official recommendations of the American Animal Hospital Association, these are the most up to date issued guide lines for all vets to abide by AND these are on the conservative side too based on what has been found in the studies. Any vet that suggests annual vaccines should be a red flag that they are not up to date on current practices or they choose to ignore them in favour of their profits. In either scenario, if that's their attitude towards vaccines what about more serious things?

I do the puppy series of DHPP and the rabies, then repeat only the rabies as required by law and nothing else. Never under any circumstances bordatella, at any point even as pups. If I lived some where where this was an issue, I might consider Lepto but even that has some controversy and the vaccine is of questionable safety and effectiveness.

Titer testing can be extremely expensive and not all vets know how to properly read the results, in fact some won't even allow it. The best option for most people is to have your vet draw the blood sample and send it in to Dr. Jean Dodds in California who offers a tittering service and is a leading immunologist (just Google her name and you'll get a ton of stuff). My vet even told me her rates are about half the price of what his cost would be to do titers in house for me.

Some good follow up reading to the AAHA pdf:
http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/lifelong-immunity-aaha/
http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/why-vets-are-getting-away-with-murder/
http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/veterinarian-ultimate-vaccine-authority/

Shaykeija
April 27th, 2012, 11:56 PM
anyone have an idea how much the titer test is? And parvo, how often do you vaccinate on an adult dog?

Loki Love
April 27th, 2012, 11:59 PM
This is what I follow : http://www.weim.net/emberweims/Vaccine.html

Rgeurts
April 28th, 2012, 12:38 AM
Shay, it depends on where you go. Here in Edmonton, we have 2 different vets. Our regular vet is around $250 for all the titres and the holistic vet is over $400.

Our regular vet uses Idexx, which is really inaccurate a lot of the times. The holistic vet sends the tests off to Hemopet in California. After some bad experiences with Idexx, we pay the extra to send them to Dr. Dodds.

Longblades
April 28th, 2012, 10:26 AM
Your Vet is using vaccinations that are, unusual let's say, if you need the DHPP or whatever your version is called, every year. I am of the impression they are all now good for three years and your certificate would say so. You can easily check that out by going to the website of the manufacturer. Which pharma brand was used is usually on your certificate.

Sad to say but some Vets will try to scam you and health of your animal can take a rank below dollars in their pocket.

As far as the shots, apart from rabies they are all at your discretion. No law requires that you protect your dog from anything other than rabies. In most of the U.S. and Canada. Some people don't vaccinate their children at all, some don't vaccinate their dogs or cats.

You can titre test after any vaccination to see if protection is still sufficient, even the rabies. BUT, big BUT - with the rabies in particular you must ascertain if the titre level is sufficient and acceptable to every jurisdiction your dog lives in or visits. Some doggy day care, boarding kennels and training facilities will also demand to see certification of vaccination and may not accept titres in lieu. A training facility near me will not accept titres.

Something else to read up on is giving rabies at the same time as the other vaccinations. Giving them all at once is a huge whammy to the dog's system. Most dogs handle it well but you never know ahead of time which dogs those will be. I have never had any trouble that way with my dogs but two of my cats can't handle them all at one. I separate by at least a week.

FionaBeth
April 28th, 2012, 02:47 PM
I really, really appreciate all of the advice being given to me. I had made the decision long ago not to go back to this vet, because it became clear to me that they were only in it for the money. Your replies have affirmed this further.
Longblades: I never received a certificate for the vaccinations. Most of them were performed at the SPCA before I adopted Zeus. Unfortunately, I never thought to ask for this information at the time (Zeus is my first dog). I will get into touch with them to see if they can let me know about how long the vaccinations are good for, or at least the name of the manufacturer so I can check it out.
Again, thank you for all of the advice!! :)

Choochi
April 29th, 2012, 03:41 PM
RE certifications... the cert can only be issued by the vet who administered the shot to the dog. Even if you transferred your records from one vet to another, the new vet can not issue you a certificate even if they have the records in hand and can clearly see when the dog was vaccinated and for what.

Normally you will get a print out saying your dog has been vaccinated for such and such on what ever date by the stated vet, it will also be signed and dated by the vet. The print out will usually also state when the dog is due back (essentially when they certify that the immunity from the shots expires). Not all vets will include this last info but most do. Some also include the brand name and lot number of the vaccine that was given. HOWEVER, what the vaccine is rated for by the manufacturer has no baring on this! A vet can give your dog a 3yr rabies vaccine and only give you a certificate for one year. I've seen many do that just to get you back through their doors in a year. It's low, bad for the dog, but not illegal and I've seen a number of vets do this.

So...the only way for you to have a legal cert in your hand is to call the shelter and ask them to fax you this info from the dog's file (if they still have it). If for what ever reason they don't have those records or won't issue them, the only other way is to re-vaccinate your dog and use the new certs you will be given. BUT I wouldn't bother other then for the rabies which you legally need. You know your dog has had those shots and unless you need that cert to board your dog or to attend daycare, etc I wouldn't put your dog through an extra round of shots just to get that piece of paper.

RE contacting a manufacturer to see how long the vaccines are good for, there's no point. That will depend on individual dog. Some dogs get one shot and gain life long immunity, some dogs never respond to vaccines at all! The vaccine manufacturers have not been doing significant research into the duration of immunity (they're much happier just selling you the vaccines and hoping you and your vet think you need them annually). Currently there is a privately funded research study going on to prove that the rabies vaccine provides immunity for 5-7 years, this takes time and money and does not benefit the vaccine manufacturers at all. There already is evidence to suggest this, but in order to be legally considered, there is a protocol that needs to be followed. When this is completed, we will actually be (hopefully) able to get a 5yr certified rabies vaccine at the vet.

http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/

Choochi
April 29th, 2012, 03:51 PM
and if you read through the AAHA report, it does mention numerous duration studies many of which have found the immunity gained from puppy shots for most of the vaccines last any where from 5yr to a life time.

Longblades
April 29th, 2012, 04:34 PM
[B]RE contacting a manufacturer to see how long the vaccines are good for, there's no point. Possibly this is a reflection of my comment on contacting the manufacturer. Choochi is correct. But I meant something different. I meant how long the manufacturer warrants it for. How long it remains effective does indeed vary.

The guarantee you get from the manufacturer of the vaccine will be warranted for a certain number of years. As said above, Choochi said, some Vets will tell you the animal needs to be re-vaccinated sooner that the manufacturer says. This happened to me. My dog got his DA2PP in 2009 and the certificate said it was good for 2 years. In two years, 2011, I declined that vaccination even though My Vet pressured me to have it administered. I told him I was going to the 3 year protocol and I refused it. THEN my Vet told me it was warranted now for three years anyway. I checked on-line with the manufacturer and the vaccine given in 2009 was indeed warranted for 3 years instead of 2. AND my 2011 certificate said the 2009 shot was not due till 2012. When I declined it again.

FionaBeth
April 29th, 2012, 08:28 PM
Well I am definitely leaning towards only getting him the rabies vaccination. The thing is, there is a chance that he may have received all of these vaccinations more than once already. At the SPCA (at least here), they assume that dogs have NEVER been vaccinated, and they are vaccinated against everything when they come to the shelter.
It's really sad to know (though unsurprising) that some vets will recommend more frequent vaccinations solely for the money. My eyes have really been opened.

Choochi
April 29th, 2012, 10:18 PM
Its not always just for the money, they're not all that evil. Not that it's much consolation but some are just that uneducated and stick to what they have been doing for years just because that's what they have been doing for years. :)

Longblades, I think you threw me off when you said warranted. It's more of a rating as in the manufacturer does not warrant that your dog will not catch a disease after being vaccinated for it as this does happen.

If your vet attaches the stickers that came with your vaccine to your printout, that will state the vaccine expiry date but that's just a best before date for the use of the vaccine, not when the immunity wears off. As far as I know, rabies is the only vaccine which comes with a rating of being valid for 1 or 3 years and this is all for legal reasons since rabies is required by law. I've never seen a manufacturer state duration of immunity for any other vaccine.

If you look at Merial's web site and compare their info for their rabies vaccines:
http://www.merial.ca/dogs/imrab-1-3.asp
and the other vaccines they offer:
http://www.merial.ca/dogs/recombitek.asp
they only indicate on the rabies vaccines if it is said to protect the pet from rabies for a period of 1 or 3 years. No such term is given for any of the other vaccines.

MaxaLisa
April 30th, 2012, 01:05 AM
If your dog had the core vaccines (primarily distemper and parvo) after the age of 4 months old, those should confer long term protection and I would not revax.

The bacterial vaccines (lepto, bordetella) do need to be given more frequently, but they are not very effective and for a normal healthy pet not in a shelter environment, I choose to never give them. Cornoavirus is also not needed past that first puppy vax.

Rabies is the only thing you need per law, and you need to call animal control to see what the law requires. Typically they require a booster one year after the original one, and then hopefully 3 years after that, depends on the area, and this is why you want to call animal control. If you ask this question of your vet, and the vet says anything other than 3 years, double check with animal control, as many vets will give this shot more frequently, which I, personally, think is malpractice, unless they explain to you the law and what they are doing, why, and obtain informed consent.

Longblades
April 30th, 2012, 08:12 AM
Longblades, I think you threw me off when you said warranted. It's more of a rating as in the manufacturer does not warrant that your dog will not catch a disease after being vaccinated for it as this does happen.
Some do. If your dog has received their vaccine and catches the disease anyway there could be some compensation due. Or if your dog gets sick from the vaccine. Or if there was a bad batch of vaccine. It's in the fine print of course and they are all different. I wish I had pursued this when our fully vaccinated 6 month old Lab got Parvo. I wish I had pursued with the Vet and with the Pharma. At the time we were just overwrought with worry and then with relief.

Ellivort
May 7th, 2012, 02:12 PM
First off, I am in Ontario Canada.

We just adopted our 1.5 year old lab mix from the local humane society. He was a surrender so they did have some history.

He had a full exam, bloodwork, was neutered, microchipped and given bordatella, rabies and DA2PP vax by the humane society, but vax certificate indicates Da2PPv is only good for 1 month.

I happened upon the article about new protocols for vaccination and know it applies in the states, but Im most concerned with the realities for our new canine familar member.

I want him to be protected, but he's been through a lot in his short life and if I don't have to get him revaxxed in 3 weeks that'd be best for him.

I just want to ensure that he has immunity after one set, or does he need 2 in order to have full immunity?

Also, we want to have him groomed regularly at Petsmart (bath, brush, ears, teeth, nails) and they require vaccination, I'm just wondering if the current certificate will be sufficient.

Thanks in advance for the info and advice!

Longblades
May 7th, 2012, 02:38 PM
Ellivort, go back and ask the Humane Society. Maybe his owner never vaccinated him? In that case the one month due date for the next booster makes sense. Initial vaccination for my puppy was at 8 weeks with boosters at 12 and 16 weeks and then not again till one year and then not again for three years.


Here's another first hand example for all of you. My crew were in for their annuals a month ago. The dog got his rabies, imrab3. It says imrab3 right on the certificate but the due date for the next rabies was given as 2014. Umm, pardon me, but 3 years from 2012 is 2015. Not 2014.

The Vet tech said there was a kink in their computer programme, it won't print out a date more than two years hence. Bring back the certificate and they would fix it. Guess what the new certificate says? No due date at all on it, just imrab3.

Guess they should have stuck with the programme they used three years ago which was able to print dates at least as much as three ahead. His certificate from 2009 says the rabies due date is 2012.

Oh, and they don't give out new rabies tags anymore. I thought the tag corresponded to the date of the vaccination and was an indication of currency. Seems that has changed too.

Things do change, glitches do happen. So do subterfuge and dishonesty. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.

MaxaLisa
May 8th, 2012, 12:49 AM
Ellivort, go back and ask the Humane Society. Maybe his owner never vaccinated him? In that case the one month due date for the next booster makes sense. Initial vaccination for my puppy was at 8 weeks with boosters at 12 and 16 weeks and then not again till one year and then not again for three years.
Adult dogs don't need boosters though. The only reason that puppies do is because of interference from maternal antibodies. One vaccination at 4 months or after should confer long term immunity. If that vax is in an adult dog, a revax is not necessary at all in nearly all dogs.

Ellivort, there is no legal requirement for the DA2PP, which means that that cert really means nothing, it's different than the rabies vax cert, which does have a legal requirement.

I do not understand places that "require vaccination", since, if I vaccinate my dog and 5 years later the dog still has measurable titers, then my dog is vaccinated. So the statement about "requiring vaccination" is really not meaningful. If a place requires annual vax, then I would not take give that place my business, or I would ask if they would accept titers. If the answer is no, then I would find somewhere else, since my pet's health is more important to me.


Here's another first hand example for all of you. My crew were in for their annuals a month ago. The dog got his rabies, imrab3. It says imrab3 right on the certificate but the due date for the next rabies was given as 2014. Umm, pardon me, but 3 years from 2012 is 2015. Not 2014..
I know that the vet tech said that this is a glitch, but many vets do this *on purpose* because they think either it confers greater immunity, or they want to ensure that clients stay in compliance. Personally, I think it's malpractice, since the majority of people don't notice and will be back in 2 years when they get that reminder in the mail :(

Choochi
May 8th, 2012, 08:06 AM
As Maxa said, adult dogs do not require any boosters, only puppies and only when they are less then 16wks old or so. If you were to get a dog that was never vaccinated in his life, and he was 6 mo old, you would only do a single shot.


Petsmart only requires the rabies to be up to date and to see this in writing, not the othere vaccinations and it's just for legal reasons due to liability to their groomers.

The thing about places (classes, etc) asking for up to date vaccinations really irks me especially if to them up to date still means annual. It has nothing to do with the safety of any of the dogs, it's simply a marketing cue because people have been brain washed to think that if the place demands annual shots it's a signal of quality and standards. It's perpetuated stupidity.

Longblades
May 8th, 2012, 09:20 AM
Thanks. Ellivort should still ask the Humane Society though as puppy boosters may be the protocol they were following. Despite some of my own comments on unscrupulous Vets it is good to at least start out giving the benefit of the doubt. It might be a simple mistake or misunderstanding.

Yeah, it's silly what some facilities do. A lot is CYA policy. We are attending training classes twice a week, have done some Rally trials and nobody has asked for proof of vaccinations.

Years ago a training facility took copies of all our vaccination certificates and kept them on file. That was when my fully vaccinated 6 month old Lab puppy got parvo. I think she picked it up in class when a couple of club members brought a new dog to drop in classes. In fact, I always suspected a lab breeder, not ours, for bringing her newly imported from the U.K. bitch in. Drop in people who were club members were not questionned as closely as all we newcomers.

My girl nearly died but recovered and lived a good healthy life to age 14.5. I'm sure you would want to know that. I would not skip the first vacc.s, myself, after that experience, which I think was a fluke we were unfortunate enough to get hit with.

Choochi
May 8th, 2012, 09:39 AM
Thanks. Ellivort should still ask the Humane Society though as puppy boosters may be the protocol they were following. Despite some of my own comments on unscrupulous Vets it is good to at least start out giving the benefit of the doubt. It might be a simple mistake or misunderstanding.

Yeah, it's silly what some facilities do. A lot is CYA policy. We are attending training classes twice a week, have done some Rally trials and nobody has asked for proof of vaccinations.

Years ago a training facility took copies of all our vaccination certificates and kept them on file. That was when my fully vaccinated 6 month old Lab puppy got parvo. I think she picked it up in class when a couple of club members brought a new dog to drop in classes. In fact, I always suspected a lab breeder, not ours, for bringing her newly imported from the U.K. bitch in. Drop in people who were club members were not questionned as closely as all we newcomers.

My girl nearly died but recovered and lived a good healthy life to age 14.5. I'm sure you would want to know that. I would not skip the first vacc.s, myself, after that experience, which I think was a fluke we were unfortunate enough to get hit with.


Right, but the vaccine only protects your own dog if you give it to your dog. The fact all other dogs are vaccinated for parvo would not have protected your dog in any way as people can bring it in on their shoes. That was my point. Many of these illnesses are communicated environmentally, not necessarily through sick animals. And a vaccinated dog with immunity can still pick up the virus/bacteria and spread it even though they themselves are never affected by it.



RE puppy vaccs and boosters:
http://www.caberfeidh.com/PuppyVax.htm

Longblades
May 8th, 2012, 09:52 AM
Right, but the vaccine only protects your own dog if you give it to your dog. The fact all other dogs are vaccinated for parvo would not have protected your dog in any way as people can bring it in on their shoes. That was my point. Many of these illnesses are communicated environmentally, not necessarily through sick animals. And a vaccinated dog with immunity can still pick up the virus/bacteria and spread it even though they themselves are never affected by it.



RE puppy vaccs and boosters:
http://www.caberfeidh.com/PuppyVax.htmYes, Choochi is correct. I think Choochi and I are agreeing but expressing ourselves differently. I just thought it was ironic, my parvo case.

Bringing it in on shoes. LOL. We were only about 3 weeks into an 8 week class. The whole obedience club convened a special meeting to see what to do about us. Would our money be refunded (possible admission of ignoring their own vaccination rules acknowledged), keep my money but give me the next class free, or would I be allowed to come back? They let me come back AND the trainer allowed me to continue class with his 4 month old Rottie. If you know about Rotties this was a terrific show of support from him as apparently Rotties are more sensitive to parvo than some other breeds. But I had to agree to change any clothes I'd worn that day that might have come into contact with my sick little puppy. She was back home by then but far too weak to go to class. And I had to take a container of bleach, pour it on the ground and walk through it before entering the building. Which I did.

And some months later when Jet and I did another class, the next one in the progression since my trainer felt we could move on, she was the best dog in class and won the little mini obedience trial they had at the end, against a couple of very experienced dog handlers. :) :) :)

MaxaLisa
May 8th, 2012, 07:54 PM
Years ago a training facility took copies of all our vaccination certificates and kept them on file. That was when my fully vaccinated 6 month old Lab puppy got parvo. I think she picked it up in class when a couple of club members brought a new dog to drop in classes.

Then your dog was not fully vaccinated? Either she had an immune system problem, or had a recent vaccination which transmitted the virus, or was a different strain not fully covered by the vax?

However it happened, so glad that she pulled through!

Longblades
May 9th, 2012, 09:03 AM
Years ago a training facility took copies of all our vaccination certificates and kept them on file. That was when my fully vaccinated 6 month old Lab puppy got parvo. My girl nearly died but recovered and lived a good healthy life to age 14.5. I'm sure you would want to know that. I would not skip the first vacc.s, myself, after that experience, which I think was a fluke we were unfortunate enough to get hit with.

Then your dog was not fully vaccinated? Either she had an immune system problem, or had a recent vaccination which transmitted the virus, or was a different strain not fully covered by the vax?

However it happened, so glad that she pulled through!She was fully vaccinated. My Vet said either a mutated parvo virus not covered by that vaccine, or a break in the vaccine. No vaccine is 100% effective on every recipient. Leading back to my earler comment on guarantees from the pharma company. If I knew then what I know now I'd pursue compensation from my VEt and the pharma for my costs at least. 4 days at the Vet's on intravenous, big Vet bill. At the time, like probably every other pet owner, we were overwhelmed with fear and then with relief and too over wrought at the time to even think of it.