Dog Shots

Hugo here is definitely hoping that more vets adopt the AVMA vaccination protocol; he's not a big fan of yearly shots!

Dog shots are changing. The next time your vet pulls out her syringe and says it's time for your dog's yearly dose, let her know about the information below. The following was sent to me recently, with permission to cross post.

Update May 2013: Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, over 60% of all vets STILL insist on yearly shots. If your vet is one of these, bring this post to him or her.

Dr. W. Jean Dodd's vaccination protocol is now being adopted by ALL 27 North American veterinary schools. I highly recommend that you read this.

Hi everyone.... THIS is wonderful news, that the veterinary schools are now going to be teaching that over-vaccination of pets (once a year "boosters") is only not necessary, but in some cases can be harmful or deadly!

There still is an ongoing study regarding Rabies vaccine dog shots. Most states now allow(reluctantly) 3 year Rabies, but the study is collecting data on whether or not even that may be too much. They are looking at 8 or 10 year Rabies!

I hope you all stop having yearly booster dog shots. If you're concerned with immune levels, have the vet run a Titer test. THEN and only then, if the levels are below acceptable, should you have a booster.

After all, when is the last time you had a "booster" for smallpox, or whooping cough, or anything else you had shots for as a child? Immune systems work the same in all mammals, and the concept that pets have to have yearly shots doesn't make any more sense than if you had have shots every year. If mammals' immune systems were that weak in fending off these things, all of them, us included, would have been extinct years ago!


I would like to make you aware that all 27 veterinary schools in North America are in the process of changing their protocols for vaccinating dogs and cats.

Some of this information will present an ethical & economic challenge to vets, and there will be skeptics. Some organizations have come up with a political compromise suggesting vaccination dog shots every 3 years to appease those who fear loss of income vs those concerned about potential side effects. Politics, traditions 20 or the doctor's economic well being should not be a factor in medical decision.


Dogs and cats immune systems mature fully at 6 months. If modified live virus (MLV) vaccine dog shots are given after 6 months of age, they produce an immunity which is good for the life of the pet (i.e: canine distemper, parvo, feline distemper).

If another MLV vaccine is given a year later, the antibodies from the first vaccine neutralize the antigens of the second vaccine and there is little or no effect. The titer is not "boosted" nor are more memory cells induced."

Not only are annual booster dog shots for parvo and distemper unnecessary, they subject the pet to potential risks of allergic reactions and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. "There is no scientific documentation to back up label claims for annual administration of MLV vaccines."

Puppies receive antibodies through their mother's milk. This natural protection can last 8-14 weeks. Puppies & kittens should NOT be vaccinated at LESS than 8 weeks. Maternal immunity will neutralize the vaccine and little protection (0-38%) will be produced. Vaccination at 6 weeks will, however, delay the timing of the first highly effective vaccine. Vaccinations given 2 weeksapart suppress rather than stimulate the immune system.

A series of vaccinations is given starting at 8 weeks and given 3-4 weeks apart up to 16 weeks of age. Another vaccination given sometime after 6 months of age (usually at 1 year 4 months) will provide lifetime immunity.



Distemper & Parvo

According to Dr. Schultz, AVMA, 8-15-95, when a vaccinations series given at 2, 3 & 4 months and again at 1 year with MLV, puppies and kitten program memory cells that survive for life, providing lifelong immunity. Dr. Carmichael at Cornell and Dr. Schultz has studies showing immunity against challenge at 2-10 years for canine distemper & 4 years for parvovirus. Studies for longer duration are pending.

There are no new strains of parvovirus as one manufacturer would like to suggest. Parvovirus vaccination provides cross immunity for all types." Hepatitis (Adenovirus) is one of the agents known to be a cause of kennel cough. Only vaccines with CAV-2 should be used as CAV-1 vaccines carry the risk of "hepatitis blue-eye" reactions & kidney damage.

Bordetella Parainfluenza 

Commonly called "Kennel cough". Recommended only for those dogs boarded, groomed, taken to dog shows, or for any reason housed where exposed to a lot of dogs. The intranasal vaccine provides more complete and more rapid onset of immunity with less chance of reaction. Immunity requires 72 hours and does not protect from every cause of kennel cough. Immunity is of short duration(4 to 6 months).


There have been no reported cases of rabid dogs or cats in Harris, Montgomery or Ft. Bend Counties [ Texas ] but there have been rabid skunks and bats so the potential exists. It is a killed vaccine and must be given every year.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is a tick born disease which can cause lameness, kidney failure and heart disease in dogs. Ticks can also transmit the disease to humans. The original Ft. Dodge killed bacteria has proven to be the most effective vaccine.

Lyme disease prevention should emphasize early removal of ticks. Amitraz collars are more effective than Top Spot, as amitraz paralyzes the tick's mouthparts preventing transmission of disease.


Multiple components in vaccine dog shots compete with each other for the immune system and result in lesser immunity for each individual disease as well as increasing the risk of a reaction. Therefore, it is a good idea to give the basic vaccinations at separate times, one day for the five way combo shot, another day for the bordetella and another for the Lyme disease vaccination (if the latter two are needed).


Canine Corona Virus

Canine Corona Virus is only a disease of puppies. It is rare, self limiting (dogs get well in 3 days without treatment). Cornell & Texas A&M have only diagnosed one case each in the last 7 years. Corona virus does not cause disease in adult dogs.*


The Leptospirosis vaccine is a common cause of adverse reactions in dogs. Most of the clinical cases of lepto reported in dogs in the US are caused by serovaars (or types) grippotyphosa and bratsilvia. The vaccines contain different serovaars eanicola and ictohemorrhagica. Cross protection is not provided and protection is short lived . Lepto vaccine is immuno-supressive to puppies less than 16 weeks.

There you have it, possibly a lot more than you have ever known about dog shots.

When the quality of life of your dog is involved, ignorance is not bliss. A yearly exam is still an excellent practice as you can catch incipient conditions early. Just watch out for those syringes full of "yearly vaccinations" -- they just aren't needed anymore.

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