Friday, September 2, 2011


Author, Jan Casey
They arrive every year, right on time, those postcards from
the veterinarian: "Max is now due
for his annual rabies shot. Plus his
bordatella, his distemper, his corona virus, parvo, hepatitis, leptospirosis,
lyme, influenza"...Whew. It's
amazing how they can fit that all on one card!
Actually, the drug manufacturers have made it easier and less sinister
by combining shots into a 7-way or a 5-way, but the number of vaccines your dog
or cat is asked to receive annually is astounding!

I must attach the caveat that I am not a veterinarian and I
do not dispense veterinary advice. I
write this blog as a dog owner who only wants the best for my beasties. Many years ago when the vet gave my dog her
rabies shot and told me it was good for three years, the question mark popped
up over my head. Three years? When did that change?

A lover of research and dogs, I started looking at anything
to do with vaccinations for our pets. I
read everything I could find. I found the
Rabies Challenge Fund ( and
read the works of Drs. Jean Dodds
and Ronald Schultz, among
others. Not only have they found that
rabies vaccinations are good for 3 years, but for at least 5, possibly 7, most
likely life. The annual rabies
vaccination is definitely unnecessary (with a note that there is a one year
non-adjuvanted feline rabies vaccine that is safer than the three year rabies
vaccine, but that's for a cat forum!).
The lines of "we have a lot of rabies around here and you need to
be sure your dog is protected" is ridiculous. More vaccinations do not mean one is more
protected. If it did, you'd get the MMR
vaccination each year.

Not only is the rabies vaccine far over-used by many vets,
other vaccines are as well. Dr. Dodds has a minimal vaccine protocol
which I follow with my dogs or I follow the AAHA guidelines:

So why all the brouhaha?
Illnesses associated with vaccines include:
autoimmune diseases affecting the thyroid, joints, blood, eyes,
skin, kidney, liver, bowel and central nervous system; anaphylactic shock;
aggression; seizures; epilepsy; and fibrosarcomas (cancer) at injection sites ( You may hear that there are not many
occurrences of side effects, but veterinarians are not required by law to
report them and it's estimated that only 1% of cases are actually
reported. Have you ever been informed of
the possible side effects of your pet's vaccines?

Vaccines can protect a dog
from many diseases and this is not an anti-vaccine blog, just an
anti-over-vaccination piece. Your dog is
your partner and companion. As his
protector, you have the duty to educate yourself about vaccinations - the good,
the bad, and the ugly. You also have the
obligation to be his guardian against the cavalier over-vaccination protocol
that has become so pervasive in our times.

Jan Casey is a
reward-based trainer in Florida
and owner of Smiles and Wags Pet Services . Mrs. Casey is a member of the Association of Animal Behavior
Mrs. Casey is
a columnist for the Cookeville,
Herald-Citizen Pet
and Kid's Korner .
This column was originally written for the Herald-Citizen .

Should you have any questions about vaccinations or over-vaccinations please post a comment below and Jan or I will try to answer.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not quite sure I understand the whole thing to be honest with you. I have had any and all vaccinations given to Kirby since he was born just as I have done with my two human sons. I have had a tendency to 'do what the doctor says' and never gave it much thought. Sad to say but true. I figured they went to school for this so they should know - Right? There are so many pro's and con's in what I have read so I suppose more research is in order. I have heard that vaccinations or should I say over vaccinating causes cancer - would be interesting to know for sure.