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Old 03-23-2014, 01:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Vaccinations?? Are we hurting these beautiful dogs??

I have a beautiful female working-line Czech GSD that is 20months old. I got her at 12weeks old. A few months after her initial vaccinations she began itching, scratching, nibbling everywhere. She also developed eye drainage. This has continued to her current age. She was initiated on a raw diet by her experienced breeder. She was continued on raw diet for months, but she began to lose interest in her raw meals. She was gradually changed in her diet through several different manufactures: Bravo Balanced, Primal, Honest Kitchen, Stella and Chewy's, Fromms, Merrick, Blue Buffalo, etc. With supplements from Pure Planet (Spirulina, Organic Best of Greens, Just Barley, Vit C.) and Salmon Oil (although she has not had these supplements for months). Benadryl was as joke, had no impact (as I've read). None of these changes have had any impact on her itching.
I previously had an AKC show line GSD (Senna) who was a big beautiful boy that I'll miss forever, but he was beset with allergies and IBS (terrible) and other problems not germane to this thread. We spent many thousands of dollars on him for frequent vet appointments, many medications (very often repeated), x-rays, allergy testing and shots, many vet specialist visits (housing/testing/treatments and therapies), carpet cleanings / changes, and on and on. You get the idea.

What was the cause of his autoimmune problems?? Not sure, but the cost was staggering. But I loved him, how can one simply say, forget it, that's enough. I couldn't.
Before Senna we had a working-line German GSD (1991-2001), and she never had a hint of these problems (she died of lymphoma). We were ignorant of her heritage (all Pink Papers an Schutzhund heritage) and only knew (after she passed) that she was probably a once-in-a-lifetime dog for us.
So, here I am again dealing with an apparent autoimmune disorder. Is this a likely result of vaccininosis?? I'm sick of seeing my 20month old girl suffering with this constant itching. BTW we've tried baths and topicals...
If you can offer advise, help,,,please I don't wan't her to continue suffering!!
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Old 03-23-2014, 03:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Don't know the big answer but I can say that my GSD had itchy problems and an annual shot for the last 7 yrs. Vet said non specific allergens, Here's some fish oil and use allergy pills and gave him his annual shot ...see you in Sept.

I started feeding and rubbing Coconut oil on him for the last several months and he has been much much better! I can't even remember when the last time I gave him a allergy pill (which did nothing) was.

The fish oil never made any difference in his case but the Coconut oil clearly has!
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I believe vaccinations are part of the problem myself. I have been dealing with allergies since the day my dog came home at 8 weeks. Currently I am putting Braggs apple cider vinegar in the water, digestive enzymes with the food, krill oil, spiraling and adding coconut oil. This combination seems to be working so far. Washing the feet every time she comes in helps too.

I believe it is not just the vaccinations alone, but genetics.
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I am not sure there is any one smoking gun. Probably some combination of genetics, environment, food, vaccinations, insecticides, etc.

Did you dose the Benedryl properly. 1mg per pound every 8 hours? Enough to knock any human off their feet. That is 3 times a day. So a 75lb dog is getting 3 pills every 8 hours, 9 pills a day? All dogs are different but I had one with severe pyometra and the expensive antihistamine the vet prescribed was not as effective as the benedryl.

Being a minimalist for vaccines I spaced them out, etc. but do believe some are necessary.

I actually read (and I wish I kept the article) that a very varied diet in early puppyhood is one of the best ways to prevent food allergies. That is one challenge with the way many folks feed raw is that it can be very limited.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocoyn View Post
I am not sure there is any one smoking gun. Probably some combination of genetics, environment, food, vaccinations, insecticides, etc.

Did you dose the Benedryl properly. 1mg per pound every 8 hours? Enough to knock any human off their feet. That is 3 times a day. So a 75lb dog is getting 3 pills every 8 hours, 9 pills a day? All dogs are different but I had one with severe pyometra and the expensive antihistamine the vet prescribed was not as effective as the benedryl.

Being a minimalist for vaccines I spaced them out, etc. but do believe some are necessary.

I actually read (and I wish I kept the article) that a very varied diet in early puppyhood is one of the best ways to prevent food allergies. That is one challenge with the way many folks feed raw is that it can be very limited.
I also believe vaccines are necessary (some events / organizations require vaccination records), but plan to space them out as well. I also believe this itching problem is multifactorial, but started this thread out of a bit of frustration and looking for suggestions from others who have found beneficial treatment modalities. So thanks to you, DHau and Chip18 for suggestions I can try.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think we blame too much on vaccines these days. Back in the 80's I worked for a vet clinic. Because of a parvo outbreak we gave our dogs the all in 1 shots every 6 months. That's what they vets were all recommending back then. She lived to be 13+ never had an allergy a day in her life. None of my dogs back then ever had any of the stuff they get today. I personally believe we have poisoned our environment.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It seems more likely to me that it's genetic. I did have a bichon that died of canine thrombocytopenia after being heavily vaccinated and then boarded, but the breed is predisposed to it so I don't think it was just the vaccines.

Another thing I would like to point out is that people tend to blame things that are common to their experience, regardless of whether a causal effect is likely. Well, since vaccines are pretty much required, people whose dogs have similar problems are going to talk and say things like, "Hey, didn't her symptoms get worse after those booster shots?" And of course because of sheer numbers you're going to get enough anecdotal evidence that it spooks you. There are probably many more dogs who don't have problems with vaccines than dogs that do.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I work for a vet. I believe in vaccination for appropriate things. But I also believe that vaccines are not innocuous. Their whole modality to stress the immune system. So in animals with a predisposition to immune issue can have problems.

My dogs are probably over vaccinated to most peoples standards. They are all healthy, save for a few issues. Epilepsy in one. But her breed is predisposed. So I can't blame vaccines. One had Hemangiosarcoma, again a breed disposition. No allergies. In any of my dogs. No autoimmune problems.

But that does not mean anything, that is my experience. Personally I think that dogs are having a whole host of medical issues, we see more weird things now then when I started in this field. Is it because of better medical care? Are animals living longer and through issues that 20 years ago they would not? Is the fact that the average age is higher mean we see more cancer? Who knows.

I wish you luck with your dog. Benadryl does not work on many animals, but there are other antihistamines you can try.


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Old 03-23-2014, 11:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Experience with cats (of course they are different) and injection site sarcomas gives me concerns about the use of adjuvants in vaccines to improve immune response.

A lot of the newer recombinant vaccines have no adjuvant.

There is a cat vaccine that does not (rabies, 1 year only) because cats are very prone to injection site sarcomas. My daughter may be facing that with her own 7 year old cat right now. If I look at most of our cats go to 18-20 with no health problems and get very few vaccines, flea treaments, and kill and eat small furry things in addition to their normal food. Ours indoor/outdoor and hers indoor only.

I have all but given up on finding a local vet who gives a Merial lepto vaccine with no adjuvant and proven efficacy (something none of the others have done) and am just going to start calling vets to see if ANYONE local gives it. A teammate's dog just had a reaction to his lepto and he is NOT a little dog and it is a vaccine with short term only immunity.
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Old 03-23-2014, 12:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Coming from a clinical research background I'm naturally careful about causal analysis on a single event or anecdotal basis as it is silly. That being said there are some vets that are vaccinating at a higher rate than the drug companies recommend on the product investigational brochures. With that in mind you should read those IBs and refuse to vaccinate at a greater rate than they recommend no matter what your vet says.
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