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I just read Ed Frawley's eBook re: vaccinosis on his Leerburg site, and I know he speaks from experience. Kodee just turned 1 a week ago, and in a few weeks, he is "due" for vaccinations. I am planning on having my vet perform titer tests on him, but I have to admit, the idea of not vaccinating him still feels foreign to me. I know I won't worry as long as the titers show he has immunity, but I wanted to know, for those who don't vaccinate - have you ever had a dog become infected with an illness that can be vaccinated "against"? I worked for a vet for a while (I am by no means claiming to be an expert - just have a little experience to go by), and I have seen dogs die of Parvo, for example, and it is a horrible way to die. I always believed that it could be prevented if the dogs had been vaccinated. (They had not, and there were several cases of parvo in town during that same period).

I won't vaccinate as long as the titers come up ok (except for rabies, which is required by law here), but I still wondered - how common is it for dogs to become infected with say, distemper, or parvo, vs. the chance of vaccinosis?

I am especially interested in the responses of those who've had dogs who haven't been vaccinated in several years, but would appreciate input from all...

Thanks in advance!
 

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Honestly, I don't think either vaccinosis or previously vaccinated dogs (or adult dogs at all, in the case of parvo) coming down with distemper or parvo are very common.

In many years of working with rural shelters, all of which have problems with parvo, I have seen I think two adult dogs come down with it - and most of the dogs in the shelters I deal with have never had a vaccine in their lives, including the adults. I have less experience with distemper as (thank goodness!) it's not common here.

Titers aren't all they're cracked up to be unfortunately and even though a high titer does show good immunitiy, a low titer doesn't necessarily mean low immunity. There are some interesting articles and threads about it.

But anyway, I think if your dog has a solid vaccine history, you will be fine going to an every three year plan or so. I actually do like to do the 1 year old vaccines but if they've had the puppy series then after the 1 year vax, I go to every several years.

In terms of your question, since I foster dogs from rural shelters you figure I'm dragging through more than the average pet owner's share of germs, I only do the DHLP vaccination on my personal 4 dogs every three years, and we have still never had a problem. I do vaccinate every year for kennel cough however, although I wouldn't if I didn't foster.
 

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Dante had puppy shots and 1 year boosters.
Titers ever since ('cept Rabies 'cause of law and Kennel Cough because the place I board insists on it).

Dante has been boarded, at the vets over night
and all has been well, he's 4 now.
 

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My dogs are now on titers for parvo and distemper. Two are also currently on titers for rabies and the other two will each receive one more rabies shot and then go to titers.

I still recommend puppy shots and one series of adult shots. I believe that all shots should be seperate and decided on by you and your vet according to what is needed for your particular area.
 

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Quote:I am especially interested in the responses of those who've had dogs who haven't been vaccinated in several years, but would appreciate input from all...
Heidi hasn't had any vaccines in four years but she is 13 yrs old and had been vaccinated yearly before we stopped, so I am not sure if this helps you. I made the decision to stop vaccinating her because of her health problems.

We just moved three weeks ago but were we used to live in the country we would get lots of wildlife (rabbits, skunks), some stray dogs running around but so far, knock on wood, we haven't had any problems. Heidi until a few months ago was a regular at the vets office, she would go at least once a week so she was exposed to sick dogs. Heidi still goes for her walk every day so she is not living a sheltered life but I do keep her away from any poop.

My biggest concern was and still is "lepto", according to my vet lepto is endemic in our area (south texas). But then I spoke to three our vets and they feel that only high risk dogs should be vaccinated for it due to it's high risk of side effects.

I wish veterinarians would just agree on this subject


Michaela
 

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Quit vaccinating in general about 8 years ago. Still gave 3 year rabies boosters until we moved here (arkansas) where it was required every year. Did that once and went to titers. Did that once - I think last year. Occassional bordatella when vet is insistent about it when boarding.

10 & 13 yo dogs with no distemper and no parvo.

When the time comes for a puppy, I will do puppy shots unless the protocals change - and titer every now and again.
 

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Zamboni is 15 and I don't do DHLPP on her anymore. Then again, she had distemper and parvo as a puppy. But having witnessed those first-hand, I don't take these illnesses lightly. We stopped giving her vaccines about 4 years ago. To attend classes, my vet writes me a waiver. She still gets rabies (it's the law) and bordetella. (And my puppy just contracted kennel cough. I was very happy Boni was current on her bordetella vaccine. Kennel cough can become pneumonia, which isn't something I'd want to risk in a senior dog).

My younger kids still get vaccines. I know there are risks. But having nearly lost Zamboni when she was teeny tiny (and she spent nearly a month in critical care), I just don't risk it. Plus, these days, especially here in Granola-crunching Western Washington, I meet more and more people that simply don't vaccinate their dogs. Ever. At all. It's not like they vaccinate then do titers. They just never vaccinate (not even rabies, because our county doesn't require proof for licences). This puts my dogs more at risk, I think. More potential carriers of deadly diseases. I was in my vet's office the other day (picking up a prescription, so my dogs were in the car. Whew!) when she was working on a puppy with parvo. This disease should be close to being eradicated, like smallpox. IMO. But people don't vaccinate their kids. And there are measles outbreaks like there never used to be. If an owner/parent doesn't want to innoculate against corona or chicken pox, I get it. But really serious illness? I dunno. There's no easy answers.

Why don't vets agree? I think most traditional vets do.
 

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Well, I grew up before there was any thought of a measels vaccine. We got measels, we got mumps, we got chickenpox. Some kids got scarlet fever and that was nasty. I didn't get the mumps until I was 18 & that was misery. Our parents worried about polio until the vaccine came out. I lied about getting the third shot so I wouldn't have to get it. They were miserable shots.

Getting vets to recognize new protocals takes a bit of education. I armed myself with a print out from the vet school to convince my vet 9 years ago that I didn't want any more vaccines. Also - this was during the time we were going to obedience trials. I had no qualms about it. A little exposure probably helps keep the immune system working.
 

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Originally Posted By: 3K9Mom

especially here in Granola-crunching Western Washington,



Sorry, but that just cracked me UP! (And I know EXACTLY the type you are talking about.)

I can't remember the last time my adult dogs for any "regular" shots. Diva is 10yo and never goes off of the property. Wrangler is almost 9yo and he goes EVERYWHERE I go.

Siren got a puppy shot without Lepto at 8 weeks and she got DHLPP at 12 and 16 weeks. (I supposedly live in a "high risk" Lepto area.) I will most likely give her another DHLPP in a year. After that, she probably won't get any more either.

I too have had a puppy with Parvo. (Though it was almost 30 years ago.) And she was 6 months old when she got it, and HAD been "fully vaccinated"! Luckily she pulled thru just fine.
 

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Re: Question for those of you who don't vaccinate.

Due to an autoimmune illness Sean has our specialty vet only recommends getting rabies and we give him the 3 yr. vaccine. I keep him away from any strange dogs, never go to dog parks and luckily so far so good.
When we adopted him as a stray that the police found our regular vet vaccinated him for everything and we always wonder if that didn't stir up the pot.
 

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....but I wanted to know, for those who don't vaccinate - have you ever had a dog become infected with an illness that can be vaccinated "against"?

Yes, distemper. A few years back I rescued a very emaciated GSD- they vaccinated him right at the shelter- a couple days later he came down with vaccine induced distemper. Almost a week later my Lab (who actually has vaccinosis) has had all her puppy shots and yearly vaccine booster (before I knew better), came down with distemper, too, when she was 3 I believe, but it was mild.
But I've been in contact with parvo several times and my dogs never got sick with it.

If your dog has had his puppy shots, he should be fine. But if you want peace of mind, run a titer test. It's more expensive than a vaccine, but it doesn't has side effects.
 

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It's not like they vaccinate then do titers. They just never vaccinate (not even rabies, because our county doesn't require proof for licences). This puts my dogs more at risk, I think. More potential carriers of deadly diseases.

Not true! Every time you vaccinate a dog with a MLVaccine (like distemper & parvo) he is shedding the virus into the environment for several days! So who is really keeping those diseases alive?


But people don't vaccinate their kids. And there are measles outbreaks like there never used to be.

If you do a little research, you will find that a large percentage of those people/kids are fully vaccinated!! Of course the CDC isn't very proud of this fact and doesn't shout it out to the public- please don't assume vaccines offer 100% protection to 100% of the population and then blame informed parents who choose not to vaccinate for a well treatable disease for an outbreak.
 

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What is your opinion of what Grimm needs for any shots besides rabies? Grimm had his puppy shots (unfortunately, the DHLPP combo shot) at 9 weeks and again at.. hmm.. 3 months or so. Also rabies at 3 months.

People here are talking about one adult booster-- Grimm is 19 months old. Should he get a booster? This is a very dog-populated area. I don't like that the vets wants to give a 6-way vaccine that even includes rabies. I want her to special-order the all vaccines for me separately.... that is, if I should give the 1 year boosters?
 

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Originally Posted By: Maedchen

If you do a little research, you will find that a large percentage of those people/kids are fully vaccinated!! Of course the CDC isn't very proud of this fact and doesn't shout it out to the public- please don't assume vaccines offer 100% protection to 100% of the population and then blame informed parents who choose not to vaccinate for a well treatable disease for an outbreak.
Depends on the state. WA is somewhere right around 70%, and the percentage is dropping. That puts us in the lowest 10% of the US. If people aren't vaccinating their kids. I don't trust them to vaccinate their dogs.

I know what you're saying, and as a meat-eschewing, certified organic-consuming Granola-cruncher, I get it. I really get it. But we vaccinate a population for a reason. Those who choose not to vaccinate their individual dogs (as WDJ says, not perpetuating minor transgressions in the name of "the greater good") do kind of work on the assumption that most others are vaccinating THEIR dogs.

There's a risk in doing so. Is there a risk the other way? Sure. My puppy's kennel cough was vaccine-induced. My vet and I are sure of it. Her case of KC was far more mild than the KC and pneumonia another puppy I had experienced when she contracted it the "normal" way though. Which is worse? Exposing your pup through vaccines and hoping for the best? Or just hoping?

There is no easy answer.
 

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I have seen three dogs on this board die a very terrible death, diagnosed with distemper, shortly after having been given their vaccines. Vets *always* say that they had it before the vaccination, but these were previously healthy dogs, and I would bet money that it was the vaccine, and I'm not at all a gambler. Contracting the actual disease is a known side affect with modified live virus vaccines.

I have a dog that recently turned 11. She was severely damaged by her vaccines at roughly 6 months, though she did go on to get some boosters later (she shouldn't have, but I didn't know better, and the vets convinced me that my dog would die of some terrible disease if I didn't). All her vaccines have caused illness, and the then-director of the serology lab at Cornell diagnosed her with disease induced by the lyme vaccine. She has the symptoms of lyme, will always have the symptoms, but there is no cure. And she is also then susceptible to many other things, like cancer, kidney disease, etc. from this vaccine, and very likely the others too.

I have not vaccinated this dog since she was 2 years old. She has participated in training, agility, goes on vacations with us, etc. I get a waiver from the vet that the county accepts for her rabies vax.

If the original puppy vaccines were effective, then a booster isn't needed. However, rabies, is mandated by law typically to get that booster at the year mark. So for the typical distemper, parvo, etc. then they don't need a booster if they were ever vaccinated effectively. The bacterial vaccines (lepto, lyme, etc.) don't work the same way and thus you are supposed to get them more frequently. Perhaps coincidently, they can also be very damaging.
 

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I am so glad this thread is here. I have been contemplating what to do since Gracie needed her booster in June. Here is why I have such concerns about the vaccinations -- the breeder gave Gracie a DA2PP (in my presence, watched her take it out of the refrigerator, draw it up and give it to her) on 3/19/06. Went to the vet (NOT who Gracie sees now) and gave her the empty vial. She refused to accept it. (I was not as educated as I am now to have contacted the breeder to get her vet to submit a certificate.) Gracie was then given the DHLPP on 4/10, 5/8 and 5/31. If I am correct that is ONE TOO MANY puppy vaccinations. I thought I had seen somewhere an article correlating overvaccination and SIBO. For the life of me I can't find it now. She was given her adult booster in June '07. I haven't given her one since. I want to titer her for my own knowledge but I have no plans on vaccinating her this year. She does not board, does not go to the dog park, has few and far between play dates (with well known dogs - and if one of them has gone to the dog park, Gracie will not play with them). I work at a vet and have seen 2 cases of canine influenza this week alone, along with numerous cases of parvo and kennel cough since I started working there. So much is environment - I believe - where you let your dog go. I now am super cautious about it. Sorry this was so long....I've been wanting to let it out for awhile
I will continue to give Rabies, required for licensing, and there are wild critters around that Gracie thinks she can "play" with!!
 

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Lisa, that means that because Grimm got his puppy shots, he doesn't need an adult booster for those? Except for his rabies that he needs by law, I mean?
 

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Quote: So much is environment - I believe - where you let your dog go.
Jen, I think you made a great point. If my dogs largely hung out at home or at classes (with dogs owned by responsible owners), I'd be a lot more relaxed. Camper goes almost everywhere with me, quite literally. We travel a lot, and the other two travel with us. Camping, hiking, hotels, across the country and across the borders.

We don't do dog parks, but rest areas off the freeway are just as scary (scarier?) from a germs and exposure perspective, and sometimes, there just isn't really anywhere else to stop. Zamboni has come nose-to-nose with a couple bears in her life, and honestly, compared to some of the other things we've encountered in more "civilized" environs, they appeared to be the least of the threats.
 

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Re: Question for those of you who don't vaccinate.

Originally Posted By: BrightelfLisa, that means that because Grimm got his puppy shots, he doesn't need an adult booster for those? Except for his rabies that he needs by law, I mean?
That's the theory.

There are some that advocate that first booster, to make sure that the vaccine "took". I'm told that if one would titer a short time after their last puppy vax, then they would know how effective that vaccination was. Since we don't do that, it's assumed that most dogs were successfully vaccinated, though there may be some dogs with suppressed immune systems that weren't. (The question in that case is whether another vaccine would be effective either.)

For the majority of dogs, once they are vaccinated as a pup, that should be good. The question is whether your dog is in the majority.

Hands down though, if your dog is having any type of medical problems, digestive issues, etc., I would hold off on vaccination, IMO.

edit: With my experience with Indy, I'm not sure I would vaccinate a puppy at all. The idea of sticking that needle into a dog, knowing what it did to Indy, makes me sick to my stomach. But *if I did* vaccinate, I would wait till the pup was old enough (I don't know how old is old enough), vaccinate with separate shots that were spaced out, regardless of cost, and the titer to make sure they took, and then forget about it.

For an adult dog that has been previously vaccinated, I wouldn't re-vax.
 

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Quote:If you do a little research, you will find that a large percentage of those people/kids are fully vaccinated!! Of course the CDC isn't very proud of this fact and doesn't shout it out to the public- please don't assume vaccines offer 100% protection to 100% of the population and then blame informed parents who choose not to vaccinate for a well treatable disease for an outbreak.
The CDC is looking at this from a population level, not as much at individuals. In every population, dogs, people, whatever, you will have individuals that for whatever reason fail to acquire the proper immunity from the vaccine. That's always been the case. But the vast majority of individuals do become immune if vaccinated. That creates what's called an "umbrella effect" where most people are immune and that prevents large scale disease outbreaks. That protects the small number of people/dogs without immunity whether because they just failed to develop it following vaccination or they were never vaccinated. BUT if large numbers of people/dogs do not get vaccinated and have no immunity, then you start seeing much larger outbreaks and more problems. If I'm remembering correctly this is what has happened recently with measles. Vaccinations do work for more people/dogs. Its a numbers game. If the majority of the herd is protected, you won't get an epidemic. If they're not, then you can.

So... I DO believe in vaccines. Socially and individually, it's the responsible thing to do. People who don't vaccinate at all are depending on the shelter of others who do and that may or may not work depending on how many people there are who do/don't.

But I also think we overvaccinate our companion animals. There really is no good evidence that dogs need either rabies or DHLP every year and pretty good evidence that immunity lasts for years, potentially their lifetime. So, my compromise position is to vaccinate puppies fully, vaccinate again at 1 year just in case there were any residual maternal antibodies messing up the puppy series, and then go to an every few years regimen. Actually we haven't gotten a young dog since we decided this so our dogs were vaccinated annually up until several years of age and now we're going to every three years - except bordatella. That one doesn't provide immunity for very long and really does need to be given regularly if your dogs are at risk of exposure.
 
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