Dog Vaccinations – Current Best Practices

The practice of yearly vaccinating took hold back in the 1950’s.
But it wasn’t based on scientific research.

To be fair, at the time it was believed there were no risks associated
with vaccines. We now know that’s very much incorrect.

As it became known there are many serious adverse reactions to vaccines more leading Vets questioned the practice.

All 27 Veterinary schools in North America have updated their recommendations, as have these industry associations:

  • American Veterinary Medical Association
  • American Animal Hospital Association
  • World Small Animal Veterinary Association
  • Australian Veterinary Association

Current recommendations for re–vaccination range from “3 or more years” to “7 or more years” to never…

Dr Ronald Schultz, expert in immunology and member of the WSAVA
Vaccination Guidelines Group and American Animal Hospital Association Canine
Vaccine Task Force:

if a puppy is immunized for parvovirus, distemper virus and adenovirus “there is every reason to believe the vaccinated animal will have up to life–long immunity”.

Adverse Reactions

First, there is no reporting system or reporting requirement for adverse reactions due to vaccines. So there’s no official accounting of problems.
And there’s no national database a Vet can get information about a particular vaccine from.

Second, for the most part, Vets only see immediate reactions. The range of symptoms that develop later – perhaps an hour, perhaps a week, perhaps years, are not identified as being caused by the vaccine.

Ideally, the virus is destroyed by the pets’ immune response and the additional toxins are purged from the body. That doesn’t always happen tho, particularly with repeated vaccines. These toxins and foreign substances can remain in the body taking up residence in organs, muscle and joints and creating a low–grade inflammation and weakened immune system.

Autopsies consistently show vaccine materials deposited throughout the body.

Reactions can be immediate, or they may not be obvious for some time.
They can be minor, but they can also be a severe as death.

Adverse reactions associated with vaccines include:
Allergies, chronic skin problems, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, pancreatitis, kidney failure, liver failure, arthritis, thyroid disease, epilepsy, seizures, paralysis, auto-immune disease, cancer.

Also behavior problems such as aggression, suspiciousness, restlessness,
aloofness, separation anxiety, excessive barking, destructive behavior, tail chewing.

Vaccine Protocol

There’s two parts to a vaccine protocol for your dog.
 – Which vaccines
 – How often

Primary dog vaccines include: Distemper, Parvovirus, Hepatitis (Adenovirus), Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza.

Bordatella, Coronavirus and Lyme disease are less often given.

Parvovirus is considered deadly to puppies but rarely effects adult dogs.

Distemper is rare, but can kill.

The Hepatitis vaccine (Adenovirus) doesn’t protect against all causes and hepatitis isn’t prevalent.

Leptospirosis is rare. There are hundreds of strains. The vaccine includes
only a few strains and is protective (of those strains) for only 3–6 months. The Leptospirosis vaccine is also prone to side effects.

The Parainfluenza vaccine doesn’t protect against all causes, the flu virus mutates and the flu rarely is significantly debilitating.

Bordatella vaccine is for kennel cough. Kennel cough is not serious and not likely at all if your dog isn’t in close contact with other dogs such as would be the case in a kennel.

Corona results in mild diarrhea. The vaccine isn’t fully protective.

The risk of Lyme disease is location and lifestyle dependent. If you don’t live in an area where Lyme disease is prevalent your dog is not at risk.

Vaccine schedule

Maternal antibodies are protective for 16–22 weeks. So the earliest you want to start vaccinating is 16 weeks.

A conservative approach is reflected in Dr Pitcairn’s recommendations.
 – First Distemper shot at 16 weeks
 – First Parvovirus shot at 20 weeks
 – Second Distemper shot at 24 weeks
 – Second Parvovirus shot at 28 weeks
 – Rabies shot a month later

If your municipality requires a rabies shot sooner than 8 months, he recommends you start with the rabies shot and then begin the rest of the schedule 4 weeks later.

It’s best to get a single vaccination at a time.

You can for rabies; however, most of the other vaccines come as a combination. It’s more cost effective for manufacturers.

For dogs you’ll likely get DH – Distemper and Hepatitis. At least limit the vaccine schedule to one shot at a time.

Additional recommendations:

  • Never vaccinate when the pet is sick or immune compromised.
  • Never vaccinate when the pet is receiving pharmaceuticals, especially steroids.
  • Never vaccinate near or at the same time as surgery such as spaying/neutering.
  • If there’s any adverse reaction at all stop or at least slow down the schedule.
  • Minimize stress as much as possible.
  • Maintain a good diet.

Natural Dog and Cat Care 101 explains the history of vaccination for cats and dogs, the risks, the current science and recommendations from leading Vets. Get the best information to make the wisest care choices.