Are you Over-Vaccinating Your Dog or Cat?

We have compiled the following information for the benefit of your animals. Vaccinations are a sign of the times, and even though evidence has been mounting as to the very real potential for adverse reactions to many vaccinations, the number and frequency of vaccinations seems to be growing. However, among a more educated, or knowledgeable, section of our society we are viewing the growing pressure to vaccinate for more and more potential threats, and the pressure to subject animals to constant booster vaccines as a real concern. We recommend you view the video below. This vet is very passionate about what he views as a very serious issue.

Just to be perfectly clear: we are not "anti-vaccine". The "core" vaccinations that include rabies, distemper and parvovirus offer protection against diseases that are prevalent in the environment and are potentially life-threatening. We are "anti" vaccine abuse that is a result of greed, fear or ignorance, but in the end winds up with an animal receiving repeated booster shots and/or unnecessary vaccinations that endangers the health of the animal receiving them. Dogs and cats can become very sick and potentially die from vaccinations (consider autoimmune reactions like IMHA), we see it most every day in our business. So if you decide to get your animal a vaccination make sure you weigh the benefits with the potential for side-effects that can sometimes be very serious.

To make a decision on what is best for your animals you have to be educated, not with fear, but with facts. There is a very powerful influence in our society that pushes the use of vaccinations, and profits enormously from their use, and in addition, I might add, the resulting reactions. But because it is scary to "buck" the system, we can't fault people for being afraid. But we can educate you and help you to make the right decision for your beloved pet.

Dr. Dee Blanco, D.V.M - "You take healthy animals and often very quickly after you vaccinate, you can see simple things like itching of the skin or excessive licking of the paws, sometimes even with no eruptions and licking of the air. We see a lot of epilepsy/seizure, often after a rabies vaccination. Or dogs or cats can become aggressive for several days. Frequently, you'll see urinary tract infections in cats, often within three months after their [annual] vaccination. If you step back, open your mind and heart, you'll start to see patterns of illness post-vaccination."
Dr. Christina Chambreau, DVM - "Routine vaccinations are probably the worst thing that we do for our animals. They cause all types of illnesses but not directly to where we would relate them definitely to be caused by the vaccine. Repeating vaccinations on a yearly basis undermines the whole energetic well-being of our animals. Animals do not seem to be decimated by one or two vaccines when they are young and veterinary immunologists tell us that viral vaccines need only be given once or twice in an animal's life. First, there is no need for annual vaccinations and, second, they definitely cause chronic disease. As a homeopath, it is almost impossible to cure an animal without first addressing the problems that vaccines have caused to the animal, no matter what the species."

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association - Adverse events diagnosed within three days of vaccine administration in dogs - A study of more than 2,000 cats and dogs in the United Kingdom by Canine Health Concern showed a 1 in 10 risk of adverse reactions from vaccines. This contradicts what the vaccine manufacturers report for rates of adverse reactions, which is “less than 15 adverse reactions in 100,000 animals vaccinated (0.015 percent). Additionally, adverse reactions of small breeds are 10 times higher than large breeds, suggesting standard vaccine doses are too high for smaller animals.

Every day more information is being published advising against the over-vaccination of our beloved animals. However, conventional vets across the country continue to advise their clients that vaccinations are absolutely necessary and safe; that not giving them is putting their animals in harms way. Some vets even go so far as to tell their clients their loving companions will die without them. So, what is a loving and responsible guardian supposed to do? Who do you believe? How much is too much? Which vaccines are really needed? Which ones are actually required by law?

The answers begin with guardians gathering information, learning how to find the truth in all the hype, not being intimidated by those thought to be in authority, and taking responsibility for an informed final decision. The intention of this handout is to give you truthful information and resources to be sure you are making the right decision for you and your animals.

Here are a few things to consider:

1. Most vets agree, even in the holistic community, that initial puppy shots are helpful, and do protect your animals against certain conditions. However, once the animal is a year old additional vaccines should not be necessary. Rabies is the only exception. In most states this is the only vaccine required by law. More information on this is provided later in this handout.

2. When reviewing suggested vaccines think about your pet’s potential for exposure to this condition. Is it life-threatening? Are there safe and natural treatments should your pet succumb to the condition? Overall, which is the greater risk…the vaccination?... Or the condition? If you decide to vaccinate is the vaccine known to be effective and safe?

3. A strong immune system goes a long way in protecting your pet against many illnesses. Begin early to support your pet’s immune system.

4. “Vaccines should NEVER be given to unhealthy animals. It goes against the recommendations in all vaccine inserts as well as those of virtually all immunologists. Says Dr. Don Hamilton, DVM.

5."Side effects from vaccines include everything from irritating skin allergies, epilepsy, upper respiratory infections, irritable bowl syndromes, auto-immune diseases, excessive licking of the paws, urinary infections, thyroid imbalances, and aggression, to life-threatening cancerous conditions. This can be seen as quickly as 24-48 hours following the injection. However, often times the symptoms might take months or years to present themselves making it harder for the guardian to connect the symptoms to an earlier vaccination."
- Catherine O’Driscoll, founder of The Canine Health Concern in the UK, offers an educational program based upon ten years of research on canine healthcare, including the side effects of over-vaccination.

6. Single vaccines, given several weeks apart, are far safer than combined serums all given at the same time.

7. Geographic location plays a part in one’s decisions regarding vaccines. Someone living in a tropical climate such as Florida will have different considerations compared to someone living in the Rocky Mountains. For instance, heartworm and sand fleas would be a serious consideration in Florida, while not a problem in the rocky mountains. One protocol is not necessarily correct for everyone.

8. A strong immune system is your best defense. The holistic approach to caring for an animal is to give the body, mind, and spirit everything it needs to work on its own behalf. The purpose of the immune system is to protect the body against unwanted invaders. Vaccines suppress the immune system making it difficult to fight not only the toxicity of the vaccines, but other environmental toxins and illness invaders the animal may have been exposed to.

Suggested Vaccine Schedule for Dogs

W. Jean Dodds, DVM, is an internationally recognized authority on thyroid issues in dogs and blood diseases in animals. In the mid-1980's she founded Hemopet, the first nonprofit blood bank for animals. Dr. Dodds is a grantee of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and author of over 150 research publications. Through Hemopet she provides canine blood components and blood-bank supplies throughout North America, consults in clinical pathology, and lectures worldwide. Hemopet provides blood testing to check for vaccine antibodies instead of automatically re-vaccinating companion animals unnecessarily. She has written excellent articles that everyone, especially our veterinarians, should read. The following is her suggested vaccine protocol for dogs:

The following vaccine protocol is offered for those dogs where minimal vaccinations are advisable or desirable. The schedule is one I recommend (Dr. Dodds) and should not be interpreted to mean that other protocols recommended by a veterinarian would be less satisfactory. It’s a matter of professional judgment and choice.

9 – 10 weeks of age
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV
e.g. Merck Nobivac (Intervet Progard) Puppy DPV

14 – 15 weeks of age
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV

18 weeks of age
Parvovirus only, MLV
Note: New research states that last puppy parvovirus vaccine should be at 18 weeks old.

20 weeks or older, if allowable by law
Rabies – give 3-4 weeks apart from other vaccines
Mercury-free (thimerosol-free, TF)

1 year old
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV
This is an optional booster or titer. If the client intends not to booster after this optional booster or intends to retest titers in another three years, this optional booster at puberty is wise.

1 year old
Rabies – give 3-4 weeks apart from other vaccines
3-year product if allowable by law; mercury-free (TF)

Perform vaccine antibody titers for distemper and parvovirus every three years thereafter, or more often, if desired. Vaccinate for rabies virus according to the law, except where circumstances indicate that a written waiver needs to be obtained from the primary care veterinarian. In that case, a rabies antibody titer can also be performed to accompany the waiver request. Visit The Rabies Challenge Fund for more information.

Suggested Vaccine Schedule for Cats

Dr. Charles E. Loops is a Homeopathic veterinarian specializing in disease treatment, alternative cancer treatment, and behavioral problems and disorders. The following is his suggested vaccine protocol for cats:

12 weeks
Panleukopenia combination (FRCP) If available give vaccine components separately spaced 3-4 weeks apart.
24 weeks
Rabies – follow-up vaccines are based on the legal requirements of your state.

Dr. Loops says, “Risk of Exposure should be the main guideline for consideration of whether to vaccinate and what to vaccinate against. If your cats are indoor only, or if your dogs' outside activities are on a leash or within a fenced area under supervision, there is little risk. The other considerations for a vaccine's use are its proven safety, its effectiveness, and whether the disease is so serious or life-threatening that vaccinating is necessary. Remember, VACCINES ARE NOT HARMLESS. Only vaccinate if the threat is real.”

What About Yearly Boosters and Vaccines Not Listed On The Above Protocols?
The only vaccine that is required by law is rabies. Check the legal requirements in your area for frequency (ie., every one or three years).

More and more studies show that early vaccines provide long-term immunity to distemper, parvovirus, panleukopenia, and other diseases. Dr. Schultz, professor and chair of pathobiological sciences at School of Veterinary Medicine University of Wisconsin has been studying the effectiveness of canine vaccines since the 1970’s. He’s learned that immunity can last as long as a dog’s lifetime. A simple blood test (known as a titer test) will show how much protection your animal still has against a given disease. Imagine the overload animals are getting by receiving unnecessary boosters every year.

Vaccines for Lyme Disease, Coronavirus, Bordetella (kennel cough), and Adenovirus -1 are not recommended. Many dogs have become symptomatic after receiving the Lyme vaccine. There is no clear evidence that this vaccine works. Coronavirus is not recommended because the condition is not prevalent, and does not make a dog sick. Puppies over 6 weeks old are immune whether vaccinated or not. Bordetella is similar to the common cold. If a dog’s immune system is strong it’s unlikely it will be a problem. If a dog should come down with Bordetella there are a variety of natural remedies that will heal it, and it is not a life-threatening condition. Dr. Jean Dodds feels that Adenovirus, also known as Canine Hepatitis, is rarely seen today and is treatable with early intervention. The Adenovirus-1 vaccine can cause a clouding of the cornea.

Amputations and Vaccines
Many veterinarians have changed their protocol on what part of the body to administer vaccines on animals. For years it has been common to give the injection on the back of the neck, between the shoulders. Because so many animals have developed sarcomas at the injection site practitioners are now injecting on the leg. The thinking being that the leg can be amputated should a sarcoma develop, saving the life of the animal.

Rabies Vaccines vs. State Laws
The Rabies vaccine is the only vaccine required by law. In most states it is required every three years for dogs and every year for cats. Even though a titer test will show that an animal is completed protected against this condition the titer is not recognized by law. Until the law is changed we are all forced to over-vaccinate our animals putting them at serious risk.

World-renowned vaccine research scientist and practicing veterinarian, Dr. W. Jean Dodds of California, and pet vaccine disclosure advocate, Kris L. Christine of Maine, have established The Rabies Challenge Fund to raise money to fund a 7 year rabies vaccine challenge study in the United States. In addition to the challenge study, the fund will finance a study of the adjuvants used in veterinary rabies vaccines and establish a rabies vaccine adverse reaction reporting system. Anyone interested in donating money to support this study should send their contribution to: Hemopet, 11561 Salinaz Avenue, Garden Grove, CA 92841.

It is also suggested that you contact your local representatives to get the ball rolling in your own community in an effort to change the laws and protect your pets.

What If My Pets Have Already Been Over-Vaccinated?
The level of damage done by vaccines varies from animal to animal. Many animals have been able to regain their health by eating a whole food diet, taking proper supplementation, and experiencing sufficient detoxification. The staff at The Pet Health and Nutrition Center can help you design a protocol that’s right for your pet.

Be an Informed Guardian for Your Pets
The ultimate goal of pet lovers around the world is to have a deep and loving relationship with a happy, healthy, and long-lived animal. One way to achieve this goal is to be an informed and responsible caregiver. Be the best voice you can be on behalf of your beloved animal companions.


Some information has been reproduced with permission from

You have successfully subscribed!