C.R.W., Washington, DC
Tags: dog Washington DC vaccinations
Aug 05, 2012
I have a 2-year-old Yorkshire terrier named Rondo who has a large, bald hot spot on the upper thigh of his right hind leg.
I took him to a veterinarian when the spot was small. She said that it came from hormones in a vaccination that was too strong for him. (I got him vaccinated at the local Petco, and it cost me $37.) She prescribed Animax Ointment nystatin-neomycin. The tube of ointment was $20, and the visit was $87. I used the entire tube to no avail.
The spot is getting larger and has a bumpy feeling. What do you suggest putting on it to make it heal? Although it does not seem to bother Rondo, it is unsightly for such a little dog
C.R.W., Washington, DC Aug 06, 2012
If this is indeed the spot where your little dog was vaccinated with a relatively huge shot for his size, then you could have a serious problem developing, especially since it is getting larger and has a "bumpy feeling."
Any veterinarian who tells a client that the "hormones" in a vaccination caused the reaction and gave you Animax Ointment should go back to school, give you your money back and read my article on adverse vaccination reactions on my website.
A biopsy needs to be taken to determine if the growth is a benign granuloma or a cancerous fibrosarcoma, which is a more prevalent reaction in cats at the point of injection. Until such a determination is made, I would advise against giving your dog any more vaccinations or other treatments.
M.B., Scranton, NJ
Tags: dog NJ vaccinations Scranton
Jul 08, 2012
Do you think rabies vaccinations are necessary? I have always given my dog the shots every three years, but since the last one, I have been avoiding all immunizations. I am trying to be more holistic with her.
My boyfriend said he never gave his dog any shots, and he fed her only the cheapest dog food. She lived to be 18 years old. My town is having a free rabies clinic in a few weeks, so I need to know before then.
M.B., Scranton, NJ Jul 09, 2012
The law is the law, and if your dog is ever lost and has no rabies tag or accidentally bites someone, you could be in deep trouble. Rabies vaccinations are mandatory in many communities across the U.S.
I, too, am concerned about adverse vaccination reactions. The American Veterinary Medical Association is working on a protocol for veterinarians to provide certificates for animals who are at risk of developing adverse reactions to the anti-rabies vaccination, and, therefore, should not be vaccinated.
At this time, you can have your veterinarian do a blood titer reading to determine if the three-year vaccine is still providing a high enough level of rabies protection to prove revaccination is not needed for your dog. A statement to that effect written by your veterinarian should satisfy public health authorities if the vaccination status of your dog is questioned.
G. & T.C., Granbury, TX
Dec 18, 2011
We recently lost our beloved dog, Ginger, to immune mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA). We are heartbroken. She was only 8 years old.
We have had dogs all our lives and had never heard of this devastating disease. After researching it online, it seems that it's fairly common and is possibly brought on by overvaccination.
Ginger had no symptoms except maybe panting, but it was over 100 degrees here in Texas all summer, so that seemed normal. We lost her within 24 hours. After a large dose of steroids, she never made it as far as a transfusion. We now wonder if we should bother with vaccinations should we decide to rescue another dog.
G. & T.C., Granbury, TX Dec 19, 2011
My condolences to you. I know how distressing it is to lose a beloved dog so suddenly and how helpless you feel because IMHA is usually fatal. For details on the connection between vaccinations and the genesis of autoimmune diseases in animals and humans, visit my website.
An 8-year-old dog should not need booster vaccinations every year (or even every three years in most instances), except for the mandatory anti-rabies vaccination. A blood titer test can be done to determine if any core vaccinations (canine distemper, parvovirus and hepatitis) need to be repeated. Vaccinations have their place in disease prevention. I would not hesitate to vaccinate any new dog or pup following the protocol set by veterinarians with expertise in vaccinology, immunology and the risks and benefits of vaccinations. These protocols are available on my website and in my books "Dog Body, Dog Mind" and "Cat Body, Cat Mind," published by Lyons Press.
P.L., Matawan, NJ
Oct 16, 2011
I need your advice regarding rabies shots. We recently lost a pet cat to cancer from rabies shots to the back of her neck. Now I ask that the vaccines be administered to a back leg, but it seems cancer can happen at this site, too.
Is there any way cats can get rabies protection other than by a needle shot? A pill? Anything?
P.L., Matawan, NJ Oct 17, 2011
Fortunately, the incidence of cancer (a fibrosarcoma at the site of injection) is rare. Most veterinarians no longer inject in the neck or shoulders, where surgical removal of the cancer, if it were to develop, is more difficult than in a leg that is most often amputated.
I find this vaccination risk unwarranted for cats who never go outdoors, and the mandatory rabies vaccination is draconian when no exceptions are given. But it is also true that far too many owners allow their cats to roam free, exposing them to possible infection from a rabid cat or wild animal.
It is hoped that nasal spray vaccinations as an alternative to injections will soon be available, though research and development of these safer alternatives is slow. Oral anti-rabies vaccines are used in bait to help control this disease in wild animals such as foxes. I would think manufacturers might profitably focus on developing a safe and effective oral anti-rabies vaccine for cats and dogs.
For a detailed review of vaccination risks -- a controversial issue in both human and veterinary medicine, especially when it comes to mandatory vaccinations -- check my new book "Healing Animals & the Vision of One Health," available on Amazon.com.
A.S., Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Oct 10, 2011
In a recent column, you wrote about a vaccination that could cause an autoimmune disease. Was it the whooping cough vaccination?
My 5-month-old Maltese puppy received his vaccination shots, and a week or two later he developed a nasty cough and sneezing. My vet put him on an antibiotic shot and pills for the cough. He is still coughing.
A.S., Palm Beach Gardens, FL Oct 11, 2011
Only humans are given the whooping cough vaccination since the disease does not affect dogs.
Dogs have more adverse reactions to routine vaccinations than cats, and they are usually mild and of short duration, such as a bit of stiffness, slight fever and lethargy. More serious reactions include autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases.
Your dog's health issue may be purely coincidental or it could have come from the vaccinations, especially when a "cocktail" of several vaccines is given at the same time. This combination can act like a "cluster bomb" and overwhelm the animal's immune system, making the recipient more prone to secondary bacterial infection. In your dog's instance, this was in his upper respiratory system.
Make sure the mandatory rabies vaccination is given several weeks before or after routine boosters are needed. A blood test can be done to see which, if any, booster vaccinations are needed.
For details and vaccination protocols and risks, visit my article, Dog Vaccination Protocols and Services.
S.M., Hobe Sound, FL
Oct 09, 2011
Our previous veterinarian sold his practice about five years ago. We are not happy with the new veterinarian. Our 8-year-old bichon, Jake, is currently due for his annual exam. Below, I am listing what this doctor wants to test:
- blood parasite screening
- senior annual blood profile
- fecal exam
- annual exam and health assessment
- DA2PP adult booster (two-year)
Jake got very ill on his last two annual visits, thus resulting in money being spent to reverse the effect of the Bordetella spray that was put in his nostrils. The year before, he had a bad reaction to one of his treatments. I'm scared to death to take my beautiful dog for his annual exam.
I would like your professional opinion on the above-mentioned tests. Should I change doctors? I want my dog to receive only what is absolutely necessary.
S.M., Hobe Sound, FL Oct 10, 2011
I consider annual, complete health checkups to be a duty of care for dog and cat owners. It is an issue, because in many regions, fewer pets are seeing the vet on a regular basis. Part of this decline is attributable to the current economy.
Your letter is important for all pet owners who are being sold diagnostic and preventive medical services that are unwarranted (and therefore unethical), have no medical value and could put animals' health at risk.
I have discussed this regrettable state of affairs in the pet health-care business in my new book, "Healing Animals and the Vision of One Health" (available at Amazon.com).
For your dog, the blood parasite screening is warranted, especially since you live in Florida, where heartworm and other insect-borne diseases are prevalent. This should be "bundled" with the senior annual blood profile and not billed separately. The fecal exam is not costly and is warranted, even if stools are normal and your dog is neither anemic nor losing weight. The Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine that made your dog ill is uncalled for, and the multivaccine "adult booster" is ill advised at best and contrary to the new vaccination protocols adopted by most veterinarians. Considering your dog's age and vaccination history, he probably needs no more vaccinations for the rest of his life, with the exception of the rabies vaccination mandated under state health laws.
G.P.T., Poughkeepsie, NY
Tags: dog Poughkeepsie NY allergies vaccinations
May 08, 2011
I own a small beagle. In keeping with his health shots, I brought him to the vet for his distemper shot last April. I have had him for three years, and he is now 6 years old.
When we arrived home from the vet, he was fine for a short time. He then became excitable, running through rooms, jumping on furniture, and rubbing his face and head on the cushions. I called the vet, and he told me to bring him in for a shot to counteract the obvious allergic reaction. They gave him dexamethasone and Benadryl. He quieted immediately and remained calm that way until the next evening. His behavior became irritable again, running around and only resting for a few minutes at a time. His tongue got quite red; he panted and drank a lot of water.
I am concerned that he may have gotten a bad batch of serum. Is that possible? This is the first shot of that type since I first took him in.
G.P.T., Poughkeepsie, NY May 08, 2011
Please follow up with your veterinarian to make sure that your dog's adverse reaction to this new type of distemper vaccine was reported to the manufacturers and to the FDA's Bureau of Veterinary Medicine.
If your dog had received a distemper vaccination between one and three years ago, this shot was probably not called for. I am deeply concerned about the cavalier attitude toward vaccinations because I receive many letters like yours. Acute anaphylactic/hypersensitive reactions, as with your dog, may or may not mean seizures, allergies, cancer and other health problems later in life.
Some grocery stores have flu-shot drugs for customers, just as the big-box pet stores have constant vaccination promotions for cats and dogs. Repeated, unwarranted and potentially hazardous vaccinations primarily benefit the manufacturers and distributors. In principle, I am not opposed to vaccinations, having seen as a child the devastating consequences of a distemper outbreak in dogs and more recently epidemics of parvovirus, especially in young dogs here in the United States. I have also faced rabies and foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks while working in India. Vaccinations play an important role in preventive medicine, but should not be relied upon as the only solution.
N.P., Springfield, Mo
Tags: dog Springfield MO vaccinations
May 01, 2011
I received a call from our groomer (also a boarding facility and clinic), saying it would not groom our dogs unless they were vaccinated for canine influenza at an expense of $50 per dog. I contacted another boarding facility that I occasionally use, and it said this shot was not required. In your opinion, is this a necessary vaccination?
N.P., Springfield, Mo May 01, 2011
It concerns me deeply that many uninformed people, usually with the best intentions (including healthcare professionals), erroneously believe that vaccinations are some kind of risk-free panacea. They are a big moneymaker for manufacturers and providers. Their unnecessary overuse is to be deplored. Many autoimmune and other vaccine-associated diseases have been reported in humans and animals. For details, see my review in my new book, "Healing Animals & The Vision of One Health," now available at www.Createspace.com ($29.95).
Certainly, an unhygienic, poorly ventilated dog-grooming facility that has no restrictions on taking in sick animals is a canine- and public-health risk. Go to another groomer.
There are many groomers who do not fear liability or who insist on vaccinations as some kind of professional business practice.
S.R., Arlington, Texas"
Tags: dog Arlington TX vaccinations
Jul 12, 2008
A dog park recently opened in our neighborhood. The rules state that all dogs need to display licenses. However, not all dogs do, and I'm sure some vaccinations are not current. Our pets have current vaccinations. Do we have to worry about our dogs running around with others that may not be vaccinated?
S.R., Arlington, Texas" Jul 13, 2008
If your dogs have received their "basic core" vaccinations (as per the protocol on my web site), you are on the safe side. But no vaccination can guarantee 100 percent protection. There should be a sign posted at the dog park saying all dogs must have their ID and anti-rabies vaccination tags on their collars. For the sake of all, every animal should have stool samples checked for worms and have been treated as needed before coming to the park.
B.J.G., Averill Park, NY
May 19, 2007
My cat had surgery on a tumor between her shoulder blades the beginning of last November. The pathology report came back as vaccine-related fibrosarcoma. A month after the tumor was excised, it started growing back in the same spot, a little lower on her spine. She now has a second tumor growing on the outside of her scapula. I have been doing research and know it is a hopeless cause, but none of the research gave information about how death comes about. Her vet said she would not become sick as she would with systemic cancer. So, how do you know when she's had enough? Do the tumors get so big she can no longer move? Or do they press on the spine so she cannot walk? Right now, she does not seem to be bothered at all by them, but they are still rather small (pea- and grape-sized). They seem to grow quickly at times and then lie quiescent for a time. She's such a happy, loving, friendly pet. It makes me furious that a vaccination could cause such a thing.
B.J.G., Averill Park, NY May 20, 2007
I am sorry to hear that your poor cat is yet another victim of vaccine-related fibrosarcoma. All veterinarians should follow the correct vaccination protocol for cats. This entails injecting vaccines as low down one hind leg as possible. Then, if a cancerous tumor develops, the cat has a better chance of survival because the leg can be amputated. Injecting the vaccine in the neck or shoulder area makes it far more difficult to root out the cancer surgically. Injections of frankincense have wiped out melanomas in some horses. Your vet might try this as a last resort, injecting a small amount of this pure essential oil in and around the tumor. A healthy diet -- not dry cat food -- with supplements such as a few drops of fish oil and selenium may help give your cat a fighting chance.