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The quotes in red below are from the attached scientific report covering adverse events within 3 days of vaccination in dogs over the course of 2 years. Reports of dogs having vaccinal adverse reactions within the same time frame were not included if heartworm medication had been administered along with the vaccines. This study did not include adverse reactions such as development of fibrosarcomas and/or other conditions which take longer than 3 days to develop.

Moore, George E. et als., Adverse events diagnosed within three days of Vaccine Administration in Dogs, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Vol 227, No. 7, October 1, 2005

Animals—1,226,159 dogs vaccinated at 360 veterinary hospitals.

Results—4,678 adverse events (38.2/10,000 dogs vaccinated) were associated with administration of 3,439,576 doses of vaccine to 1,226,159 dogs. The VAAE rate decreased significantly as body weight increased. Risk was 27% to 38% greater for neutered versus sexually intact dogs and 35% to 64% greater for dogs approximately 1 to 3 years old versus 2 to 9 months old. The risk of a VAAE significantly increased as the number of vaccine doses administered per office visit increased; each additional vaccine significantly increased risk of an adverse event by 27% in dogs ≤ 10 kg (22 lb) and 12% in dogs > 10 kg.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Young adult small-breed neutered dogs that received multiple vaccines per office visit were at greatest risk of a VAAE within 72 hours after vaccination.

Records for dogs that received both an injectable heartworm preventive and a vaccine during the same office visit were not included in analyses.

Population—In the 2-year study period, 4,531,837 vaccine doses were administered to 1,537,534 dogs at 360 veterinary hospitals.

Among breeds with 5,000 or more dogs vaccinated, Dachshund, Pug, Boston Terrier, Miniature Pinscher, and Chihuahua breeds had the highest rates of VAAEs with 121.7, 93.0, 83.8, 76.4, and 76.1 adverse events/10,000 dogs vaccinated, respectively (Table 1). The VAAE rate for mixed-breed dogs was in the bottom quintile of all rates.

The VAAE rates decreased significantly as body weight increased (P for trend < 0.001; Figure 1). For all vaccines or for rabies vaccine alone, the VAAE rate for 10.1- to 45.0-kg (22.2- to 99.0-lb) dogs was approximately half the rate for dogs that weighed 0 to 10.0 kg (0 to 22.0 lb; P < 0.001; Figure 2). For rabies vaccine administered alone, VAAE rates/10,000 dogs that weighed 0 to 10.0 kg, 10.1 to 45.0 kg, and > 45 kg were 32.1 (222/69,178), 15.3 (69/45,088), and 0.0 (0/1,966), respectively.

The risk of a VAAE significantly increased as the number of vaccines administered per office visit increased (P for trend < 0.001).

In all dogs, each additional vaccine administered per office visit increased the rate of a VAAE by 24.2%; the rate increase was significantly (P <0.001) greater in dogs that weighed 0 to 10.0 kg, compared with dogs that weighed 0.1 to 45.0 kg (27.3% vs 11.5%, respectively; Figure 4). The 3 dogs with recorded deaths each had received ≥ 4 vaccines at their last office visit.

The lowest rate was observed with parenteral administration of Bordetella vaccine (15.4/10,000; 82 VAAEs/53,238 doses), and the highest rate was observed with Borrelia (Lyme disease) vaccine (43.7/10,000; 132 VAAEs/30,201 doses).

The risk of a VAAE in this study population was inversely related to a dog’s weight.

Factors known to cause vaccine reactions include the primary vaccine agent or antigen, adjuvants, preservatives, stabilizers, and residues from tissue cultures used in vaccine production.

The overall formulation of various vaccine components (eg, antigen, adjuvants, and diluent) is proprietary information that was unavailable for analysis in our study; thus, the variation in VAAE rates among single-antigen vaccines
may not be solely attributable to the primary vaccine antigen.

... because of genetic heterogeneity, the relatively low VAAE rate observed in mixed-breed dogs suggests that laboratory safety trials that use such dogs may underestimate the VAAE rates that would occur in purebred dogs. This is important because purebred dogs comprise at least two thirds of the US dog population.

The risk of allergic reaction has been reported to increase after the third or fourth injection of a vaccine (ie, a booster response).

Neutering appeared to increase risk of a VAAE more than sex. Females mount stronger immune responses after vaccination or infection than males because of a dimorphic enhancing effect of estrogens and a protective effect of androgens.

_____________________________________________________________________
Duration of Immunity to Canine Vaccines: What We Know and Don't Know, Dr. Ronald Schultz Duration of Immunity

What Everyone Needs to Know about Canine Vaccines, Dr. Ronald Schultz
What Everyone Needs to Know About Canine Vaccines

Age and Long-term Protective Immunity in Dogs and Cats, Dr. Ronald Schultz et als., Journal of Comparative Pathology January 2010 ScienceDirect - Journal of Comparative Pathology : Age and Long-term Protective Immunity in Dogs and Cats

Genetically Engineered and Modified Live Virus Vaccines;Public Health and Animal Welfare Concerns by Michael W. Fox BVetMed,PhD,DSc.MRCVS
Genetically Engineered & Modified Live Virus Vaccines: Public Health And Animal Welfare Concerns

Vaccination: An Overview Dr. Melissa Kennedy, DVM360 Vaccination: An overview (Proceedings) - Veterinary Healthcare

World Small Animal Veterinary Association 2007 Vaccine Guidelines - WSAVA - Scientific Advisory Committee Scroll down to Vaccine Guidelines 2007 (PDF)

The 2003 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines are accessible online at Special Report .

The 2006 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines are downloadable in PDF format at
http://www.aahanet.org/PublicDocuments/VaccineGuidelines06Revised.pdf

Veterinarian, Dr. Robert Rogers,has an excellent presentation on veterinary vaccines at Home

October 1, 2002 DVM Newsletter article entitled, AVMA, AAHA to Release Vaccine Positions, AVMA, AAHA to release vaccine positions - DVM

July 1, 2003 DVM Newsletter article entitled, What Do We Tell Our Clients?, Developing thorough plan to educate staff on changing vaccine protocols essential for maintaining solid relationships with clients and ensuring quality care 'What do we tell our clients?' - DVM

July 1, 2003, DVM Newsletter article, Developing Common Sense Strategies for Fiscal Responsibility: Using an interactive template to plan service protocol changes Developing common sense strategies for fiscal responsibility - DVM

Animal Wellness Magazine Article Vol. 8 Issue 6, How Often Does he REALLY Need A Rabies Shot Animal Wellness Magazine - devoted to natural health in animals

The Rabies Challenge Animal Wise Radio Interview
Listen to Animal Wise (scroll down to The Rabies Challenge 12/9/07)

The Vaccine Challenge Animal Talk Naturally Online Radio Show » The Vaccine Challenge - Show #91

Rabies Prevention -- United States, 1991 Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP), Center for Disease Control's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly March 22, 1991 / 40(RR03);1-19 Rabies Prevention -- United States, 1991 Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP) "A fully vaccinated dog or cat is unlikely to become infected with rabies, although rare cases have been reported (48). In a nationwide study of rabies among dogs and cats in 1988, only one dog and two cats that were vaccinated contracted rabies (49). All three of these animals had received only single doses of vaccine; no documented vaccine failures occurred among dogs or cats that had received two vaccinations. "
 

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Speaking of vaccinations....
I have had with Runway's litter, and the brown litter, 5 generations of minimally vaccinated poodles. My hope is with each generation, the damage to the epigenes may repair itself. We shall see........
Carole
 

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It doesn't seem to define "VAAE". Can someone tell me what those initials stand for.

I haven't read all the links, but it is very interesting. I am wondering of all the people who post on this board, how many are not doing booster shots.

All my Shih-tzus have regular booster shots for everything, none have had an adverse reaction, but I have heard of dogs that have.

I'd really like comments from others on not doing all or any booster shots. From the article it seems to suggest that its MULTIPLE shots that give the problem - or am I reading it wrong?
 

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I don't do yearly boosters, in fact, only a few of mine have had more than 1 rabies.
I also have had no auto-immune diseases in my poodles that live here.
Carole
 

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I am a huge fan of minimal vaccines, but people have to be VERY careful if you choose to ignore local law regarding rabies vaccine.

My friend lived in Alamo, CA. She accidentally let her rabies lapse by 2 months. Her dog got into a fight with a skunk that was later determined to be rabid.

Because her rabies was not current (by 2 months), the health department gave her two options. Euthanize the dog or quarantine it in a kennel for 6 months at a cost of $600 a month. This was non-negotiable. They would not accept titer tests showing that the dog was covered. They refused to hear evidence from a vet. $3600 and 6 months later, my friend got her dog back.

I think we should all work to change local laws regarding rabies vaccinations. I myself would like to see a 7 yr vaccine. However, you put your dogs at risk if you disregard local rabies law.
 

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I do not do booster shots with my dogs. I also wait until 16 weeks and give the DAP vacc., then wait between 20-24 weeks to give rabies. If I need proof of current vacc (boarding, training, ect.) I pull titers.
 

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It doesn't seem to define "VAAE". Can someone tell me what those initials stand for.
Vaccine associated adverse events

I've kept my dogs rabies up to date because it's the law and the only way I can license them in my city is to have their rabies current (3 year vaccines) but my 10 and 8 year old dogs (who were boostered yearly when younger) haven't had the DA2PP for several years now. I had Lucy vaccinated and boostered on schedule for a puppy, but I'll probably run a titer before having her done again.
 

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it's a tight line to walk s well. My aussie's breeder does minimal vaccines..> I vaccine a bit more- just due to the fact that boarding kennels etc require it- but keep it as minimal as possible while still providing coverage

One pup from her litter who went to the states then came home from a dog show with parvo (would have been about 8-9 months of age at the time) nd then 2 other dogs in their home also got parvo :( it was quite ugly.

So keep up on titre checks!
 

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first, let me say, I'm SO glad to see Kris Christine posting here!!!!

I admire all the work that the Rabies Challenge Fund is doing to raise awareness AND to change the laws as they apply in each state when it comes to Rabies vaccinations.

The work of Dr. Jean Dodds and Dr. Ronald Schultz to change the vaccination protocols has been monumental and I have been following it for the last 6 years!

Y'all should listen to Kris! She knows what she's talkin' about :)

My story about VAAE:

Milo, my older male Chihuahua developed mild focal seizures a month or so after receiving his last Rabies vaccination. They have since progressed to full on Grand Mal seizures and is on medication now to HELP control them.

My Chica, female Chihuahua, has had a bald patch and lump on her leg where the last rabies vaccine was administered (same time that Milo was injected) and that's been 4 years ago!

I have seen and dealt with MANY client's dogs that have had reactions after getting their "shots" updated and for some, it nearly caused their DEATHS.
 

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This is very interesting - definitely something to keep in mind. Somewhat off topic rant - I am pleased there is so much research going into over vaccination of puppies, yet annoyed at how little is going into how many vaccinations we give human babies so close together.

But that's just me. Back on topic!
 

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Before getting too focused on the relatively rare instances of adverse reactions to vaccines, it is worth remembering that before the vaccine, rabies was a terrifying scourge. People routinely were infected and died horrible deaths (and still do in many countries). Today, about 55,000 people die each year from rabies. Rabies in people has a 100% death rate.

I do everything I can to protect my dog, but I also feel a responsibility to the larger population of dogs, and to the human population. In terms of cost/benefit, it's a no-brainer to vaccinate.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It doesn't seem to define "VAAE". Can someone tell me what those initials stand for.
They stand for vaccine associated adverse event.
I'd really like comments from others on not doing all or any booster shots. From the article it seems to suggest that its MULTIPLE shots that give the problem - or am I reading it wrong?
Yes, giving more vaccinations than is necessary increases the likelihood of adverse reactions. You may be interested in reading the material below.

Vaccinal adverse reactions are becoming more recognized and acknowledged in the veterinary community -- in an August 1, 2008 article in DVM360 entitled Vaccination: An Overview, Vaccination: An overview (Proceedings) - Veterinary Healthcare Dr. Melissa Kennedy states that of the two types of vaccinal adverse reactions:

Adverse reactions have also become a major concern in small animal medicine. .... These fall into two general categories. The first is immediate hypersensitivity. This may be a local or systemic response, and is due to pre-existing antibody to the agent. This is the classic "allergic reaction" to the vaccine and can be life-threatening. The second is a delayed response, requiring days of longer to develop. The vaccine, seen as foreign, elicits a significant inflammatory response and is especially true for adjuvanted vaccines. This response can manifest as a granuloma, or more seriously, a fibrosarcoma .

Further, she reports that: The likelihood of adverse reactions in dogs has been found to correlate with the size of the dog and the number of inoculations given, with higher risk associated with small size and multiple inoculations.

The 2003 American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Guidelines Special Report state on Page 18 that: “We now know that booster injections are of no value in dogs already immune, and immunity from distemper infection and vaccination lasts for a minimum of 7 years based on challenge studies and up to 15 years (a lifetime) based on antibody titer.” They further state that hepatitis and parvovirus vaccines have been proven to protect for a minimum of 7 years by challenge and up to 9 and 10 years based on antibody count. .
 

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Yes, but it is foolish for pet owners to overvaccinate their animals, just as it for them to give their children tetanus or polio boosters more often than is necessary to maintain immunity.
I think the difficulty is in getting good clear information about a) what constitutes overvaccination and b) what the relative risks are of overvaccinating.

For the former, vet schools and animal researchers are looking at this all time time, and are generally advising caution in making radical changes to historically-proven vaccine schedules. Titer tests have not been found to be completely accurate in predicting immunity. Better results are coming from testing where vaccinated animals are challenged with the virus for which they have been vaccinated, but this sort of research takes time to generate definitive results.

For the latter, the risk assessment has to balance the incidence of (relatively rare, relatively mild) vaccine reactions against the risk of either contracting the disease and/or further risk of transmitting the disease.

While I'm glad vet researchers are looking at optimising vaccine schedules to balance risks appropriately, I'll still follow current vaccine advice.

The BVA advises that vets use vaccines in accordance with the licence stipulations and what they know of the prevailing disease trends in their area; if they deviate from the data available to them and/or use a vaccine not in accordance with the instructions on the label it must be done with good reason and informed client consent. The AVMA advice is for vets to base vaccination schedules on local disease incidence, the animal's past reactions to vaccines (if any), virulence of the disease in question, and local legal requirements.

This seems eminently sensible to me.

Given that medical knowledge is constantly being added to, I would consult with my vet on any decisions to be made about type or frequency of vaccination. I'd expect him/her to be able to provide a rationale for the vaccination schedule they adhere to, and if I disagree strongly, I'd look for another vet. I generally cede to them the better knowledge, however.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Titer tests have not been found to be completely accurate in predicting immunity.
Regarding the reliability of titers, Dr. Ronald Schultz declares in his An Update on What Everyone Needs to KNow about Canine and Feline Vaccination Programs" published in the 2008 Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the AHVMA, Pages 325-336:

36. Are serum antibody titers useful in determining vaccine immunity?

Yes-Especially for CDV, CPV-2, and CAV-1 in the dog, FPV in the cat and rabies virus in the cat and dog. Serum antibody titers are of limited or no value for the other vaccines.


Better results are coming from testing where vaccinated animals are challenged with the virus for which they have been vaccinated, but this sort of research takes time to generate definitive results.
Challenge studies have been available on distemper, hepatitis, and parvo for years. The 2003 American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Guidelines Special Report state on Page 18 that: “We now know that booster injections are of no value in dogs already immune, and immunity from distemper infection and vaccination lasts for a minimum of 7 years based on challenge studies and up to 15 years (a lifetime) based on antibody titer.” They further state that hepatitis and parvovirus vaccines have been proven to protect for a minimum of 7 years by challenge and up to 9 and 10 years based on antibody count.

Given that medical knowledge is constantly being added to, I would consult with my vet on any decisions to be made about type or frequency of vaccination.
I believe that all dog owners should educate themselves on canine vaccines and then consult with their veterinary care provider to make an informed vaccine choice for their animals.
 

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I believe that all dog owners should educate themselves on canine vaccines and then consult with their veterinary care provider to make an informed vaccine choice for their animals.
There is no way, absolutely no way, that I am going to be as educated and informed on animal health as my vet.

There just isn't.

I haven't spent 8 years studying my little heart out in order to become a vet. Or more! I have a cousin who has a BA, a MS in animal ethology, and a DVM.

I haven't spent x years looking at healthy and sick animals every day, and seeing how they react to treatments and how their illnesses and injuries resolve.

I haven't spent time talking to colleagues about their specific cases.

I agree with you somewhat that pet owners should educate themselves as much as possible, but it is harmful and wrong to make the presumption that pet owners can be AS educated and informed as vets. Of course, vets have their own opinions and don't always agree with each other, which can make things confusing.

We need to give our vets credit for an enormous amount of study and knowledge, and for trying to do the best for our pets that they can. That's the reason they became vets, after all.

Vaccines are one of the miracles of the modern world .... right up there with running water, IMO :).

I am not sure how we got to this place, where people are equating the risk of a dog contracting a terrible disease (I remember as a child watching our pet dog die of distemper) with the slight risk of mostly mild reactions to vaccination.

Vets seem to be taking a sensible approach and generally adopting the 3 year interval for rabies. For the other 'core' vaccines, there is still no clear direction. There is no agreement on interpretation of titer results, and different labs use different methods, which doesn't help to clarify the issue. I plan to consult with my vet and read what research is available and try to make the best decision I can for my dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I am not sure how we got to this place, where people are equating the risk of a dog contracting a terrible disease (I remember as a child watching our pet dog die of distemper) with the slight risk of mostly mild reactions to vaccination.
No one is advocating against vaccination, rather I am advocating against overvaccination. Vaccinating against distemper, hepatitis, and parvo every 3 years is too often according to challenge studies, the animal derives no benefit (immunity is not enhanced) from a redundant modified live vaccine MLV booster any more than a human would by having an extra MLV polio booster throughout their lifetime. It needlessly exposes the animal to the risk of adverse reactions for which the pet owner must pay a veterinary fee.

The 2003 American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Guidelines Special Report state on Page 18 that: “We now know that booster injections are of no value in dogs already immune, and immunity from distemper infection and vaccination lasts for a minimum of 7 years based on challenge studies and up to 15 years (a lifetime) based on antibody titer.” They further state that hepatitis and parvovirus vaccines have been proven to protect for a minimum of 7 years by challenge and up to 9 and 10 years based on antibody count.
 

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No one is advocating against vaccination, rather I am advocating against overvaccination. Vaccinating against distemper, hepatitis, and parvo every 3 years is too often according to challenge studies, the animal derives no benefit (immunity is not enhanced) from a redundant modified live vaccine MLV booster any more than a human would by having an extra MLV polio booster throughout their lifetime. It needlessly exposes the animal to the risk of adverse reactions for which the pet owner must pay a veterinary fee.

The 2003 American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Guidelines Special Report state on Page 18 that: “We now know that booster injections are of no value in dogs already immune, and immunity from distemper infection and vaccination lasts for a minimum of 7 years based on challenge studies and up to 15 years (a lifetime) based on antibody titer.” They further state that hepatitis and parvovirus vaccines have been proven to protect for a minimum of 7 years by challenge and up to 9 and 10 years based on antibody count.
And that's an extremely reasonable approach.

I think the thing I fear is that the less-thorough pet owners out there in the big wide world (trying to be kind!) will just hear "vaccination dangerous and bad" and stop vaccinating.

There's also a valid fear by some vets that pet owners will get out of the habit of annual check-ups if there is no vaccination schedule driving an annual visit.

It would be the research design challenge from hell, but I'd be very interested if someone were able to compare any relative benefit gained by not doing needless annual vaccination boosters against the risk that other health conditions are missed through not seeing a vet for an annual check-up. Probably too many factors to control for.
 
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