Tails a Waggin' Online...The Vaccine Controversy
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"The Vaccine Controversy"

I decided to add this page to simply inform those of you who are interested in this topic, it is not here to convince anyone that they should not vaccinate their pet's, that is a personal decision that only you can make.

There are three sections to this page. The first section is an article based on a vaccine study done by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) back in November 2009. The second section is dictated from a discussion forum with Catherine O'Driscoll, author of What Vets Don't Tell You About Vaccines and is highly respected for her research into vaccinations. And the third section is about Vaccine Associated Sarcoma...it is something I decided to add after I learned more about it so I can keep my followers informed of one of the possible risks of vaccinating our furkids. I acquired this info from a blogger on the Tripawds Blog website.

Vaccinations and Vaccinosis: The Pet Vaccine Controversy

Many pet owners are unaware of the dangers in animal vaccinations that have been discovered in recent years. The major veterinary associations now agree that vaccinations can trigger all sorts of maladies, from allergies to cancer yet vaccines are recommended and repeated year after year. As vaccines are designed to stimulate the immune system, most of the problems with pet vaccinosis affect the pet immune system.

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), an international organization of companion animal veterinarians states: "Recently, studies have shown that vaccines protect dogs for longer than previously believed. In addition, there is increased awareness and concern that vaccination is not as harmless a procedure as once thought. These factors have led to a growing number of veterinarians who recommend reduced frequency of vaccinations while at the same time tailoring vaccine recommendations to specific risk situations. You can work with your veterinarian to tailor an immunization program that best protects your dog based on his risk and lifestyle factors."

AAHA recommends that each dog's vaccine decisions should be made on an individual basis. Issues to consider include the age, breed, health status, environment, lifestyle, and travel habits of the dog. They recommend that "core diseases" such as rabies, parvovirus and distemper re-vaccination of adults dogs (after puppy shots) no more than once every three years.

The "non-core" vaccines (bordatella, parainfluenza, leptospirosis and lyme) are given with core vaccines. Non-core vaccines are for less prevalent or situational diseases (boarding a dog requires the bordatella vaccine).

On AAHA's "not recommended" list are coronavirus, giardia, and adenovirus-1 vaccines. AAHA also recommends discontinuing re-vaccination if your dog has had an anaphylactic reaction as vaccine-induced anaphylaxis may be a higher risk than infection.

How do you know your pet is protected by vaccines already received? An antibody titer blood test can tell you if your dog is likely to have immunity to certain diseases. Keep in mind the test is reasonably precise and is one way to determine what's right for your dog. Most veterinarians can perform the test which is similar to a routine blood test.

Some dogs are more at risk of vaccinosis than others. If you have an older, immune-compromised or "delicate" pet or suspect the dog is not well, recommended vaccinations should be staggered throughout the year rather than an all in one injection. You should have a thorough discussion of the subject of vaccinosis with your veterinarian.

Catherine O'Driscoll wrote...

Before I start, I want to make one thing totally clear, I am not asking you to stop vaccinating your beloved animals. I don't believe that any human being has the right to dictate that sort of thing to another human being. However, I do believe that you have a right to the facts so that you can make an informed choice.

Annual vaccination is fraud. Strong stuff, eh? There is absolutely no scientific basis for annual vaccination. It was just a practice that was started many years ago, probably because the shots weren't working and someone had the bright idea to keep repeating it in case it helped. In fact, we have discovered that, far from helping, annual vaccination is destroying our animals' immune systems. This is widely known in scientific circles - but vets are reluctant to look at the evidence too closely due to potential lost booster income. I am sorry to say this but long years of campaigning allow me to develop no other conclusion. The vets who have read my book they take it very seriously. However, most refuse to read it.

"Once immunity to a virus exists, it persists for years or life." - Dr.. Ronald D Schultz, head of pathobiology at Wisconsin University.

My own six year old Golden Retriever - Gwinnie - gives a good example of this. Gwinnie was vaccinated ONLY as a puppy. We got her when she was five months old, already vaccinated. She was never vaccinated again. Last year, at the age of six, Gwinnie had a blood test and this revealed that she still has high antibody levels to distemper and parvo. The advice from Professor Hal Thomson at Glasgow University was "no need to revaccinate". After SIX years!

Dr. Jean Dodds in America has just completed a study that shows much the same thing. You don't NEED to keep vaccinating your dogs. There is one exception, and this is the leptospirosis component of the vaccine. Lepto is a bacterin, not a virus, and you can't get permanent immunity to a bacterin. However, the vaccine has been described as 'useless' and there have been many calls for it to be withdrawn from the market. There are hundreds of strains of leptospirosis, but only two in the vaccine, AND it provides immunity (if at all) for only between three and six months. This means that your dog is probably unprotected against the two strains for around nine months of the year, and against all the other hundreds of strains forever. Australian research shows that the lepto component of vaccines can cause horrendous side-effects, so top veterinary immunologists, microbiologists and pathobiologists have advised we don't use it.

Vaccines can cause a whole range of diseases:

Skin problems: Frick and Brooks, in 1983, showed that dogs who were genetically susceptible to develop atopic dermatitis ONLY contracted the condition IF they were vaccinated before being exposed to an allergen. So - vaccines trigger skin disease.

Arthritis: there are many, many studies which show that vaccines can cause arthritis. Vaccine components have even been found in the bones of arthritis sufferers.

Cancer: Vaccine components have been found at the cancer sites of victims. Worse, they have been found at the cancer sites of the CHILDREN of the people who received the guilty vaccine. In other words, vaccines can cause inheritable cancer.

Leukemia: Dr. Jean Dodds has linked leukemia to vaccines. Also, Merck, a vaccine manufacturer, has linked leukemia to a leukemia-like retrovirus found in birds. Merck were investigating the link between this retrovirus and the eggs they cultivated the measles vaccine on. Distemper and measles are virtually the same virus, and both vaccines are cultivated on chick embryos.

Aggression: Vaccines are acknowledged to cause inflammation of the brain and, in severe cases, lesions in the brain and throughout the central nervous system. This condition, known as encephalitis, lies at the root of much aggressive and violent behaviour, autism, epilepsy, attention deficit disorder, and other neurological conditions (for example, CDRM, Ataxia, etc.).

Autoimmune disease: It is widely acknowledged that vaccines can cause a whole range of autoimmune diseases, such as Cushings disease, Addisons disease, thyroid disease, autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, and many others. The scientific evidence is there for anyone who wants to look at it.

Dr. Larry Glickman at Purdue University has found that routinely vaccinated dogs develop autoantibodies to a wide range of their own biochemicals. This means that vaccines cause dogs to attack their own bodies - which is what autoimmune disease is all about.

Some animals are genetically pre-disposed to suffer fatal reactions to vaccines, or to develop vaccine-induced disease. The Merck Manual (the doctor's bible, published by a vaccine manufacturer) says that children with B and/or T cell immunodeficiencies should not receive live virus vaccines as the vaccine can stimulate a severe or FATAL infection. Not to put too fine a point on it, 'fatal' means death.

Merck explains that features of B and T cell immunodeficiencies include eczema, dermatitis, heart disease, inhalant allergies, food allergies and neurological conditions. They say that humans suffering with any of these conditions, or from families with these conditions, should not receive live virus vaccines because the vaccine can kill them.

Our dogs also have B and T cells, and B and T cell immunodeficiencies. So if your dog has allergies, or heart problems, or neurological problems...vaccines represent a life threatening risk.

Vaccines cause more diseases than they prevent. This is the one the scientists are currently arguing about. You can probably guess which way I've fallen on the debate. In my humble opinion, vaccination is probably the worst thing we can do for someone we love.

Obviously, this is a scarey statement. Let me tell you a little about why I'm here saying this to you. Oliver, a beautiful Golden Retriever, lost the use of his back legs one day when he was four years old. We rushed him to the vet but he was dead by four that afternoon. For two years, I asked every vet I met 'why'? No one could tell me until I met a homeopathic vet, Chris Play, and he asked me when Oliver had last been vaccinated. He told me it was a classic vaccine reaction, falling within three months of the shot. Since then I have met many people whose dogs died in exactly the same way.

Prudence, another Golden Retriever, died of leukemia when she was six. The last time I vaccinated her, her eyes rolled in her sockets, and she climbed up on my back, begging me not to have it done. But we carried on because I thought it was good for her. Distemper and parvo are horrible diseases, of course - but so is leukemia. You don't want to see a dog die this way.

Samson's back legs were paralysed the day after his second puppy shot. I thought maybe someone had put poison down because I didn't know vaccines could do this. The next year he was boosted, and his head swelled up like a football and he ran around screaming - I now know that this was a massive allergic reaction to the vaccine. At the age of two we had a blood test done, and it came back autoimmune disease. He died of cancer at the age of five. Having studied the scientific evidence, I know that Sammie was killed the day a vaccine destroyed his immune system.

Edward and Daniel are three-year-old Golden Retrievers. Neither has ever been vaccinated. Not once. They are the healthiest two Goldens I have ever had the privilege to share my life with. No sickness, no diarrhea, no allergies, no illness. The vet doesn't know who they are - they have only ever visited to have their blood tested (both have antibodies to distemper and parvo...which means they've met the diseases but not succumbed).

They also went to the vets a few weeks ago to have ticks removed. The vet remarked on how fit and healthy they were. But that's it - their entire veterinary history at the age of three. Compare this with Samson's veterinary history! I was literally at the vet every two weeks with Sammie.

Edward and Daniel are fed real food - raw meaty bones, vegetables, etc. This means that they have optimal immune systems, so they are in a good position to fight any viruses or bacterins that come along. They also receive the homeopathic vaccine alternative. When they were nine months old, my older vaccinated dogs contracted kennel cough. My two homeopathically protected pups didn't cough once. A few days ago on the CHC discussion list, one of our members reported meeting two 17 year old Golden Retrievers on the beach. Both ran and jumped around like young ones. The owner told her that they had never been vaccinated and, as he was a butcher, he had fed them raw meat.

Seven years into the campaign, we are beginning to see the results of not vaccinating and feeding real food. Canine Health Concern members are now constantly reporting that their dogs are incredibly healthy, and those who show are winning at all the shows.

Don't blame the 'irresponsible breeders' - blame vaccines. Without vaccines, you too can hope for long-lived friends who get through their lives without the crippling debilitating diseases that have become common in the dog population.

Vaccines don't offer GUARANTEED immunity. Nearly all of the dogs in the CHC vaccine survey - which involved over 4,000 dogs and is still ongoing - contracted distemper, parvo, lepto, hepatitis, etc., within three months of being vaccinated.

I know that this post is going to unsettle and disturb many list members and I apologize for this. My motivation is that you don't have to sit and watch your beloved friends die years before their time, or suffer from any of the many vaccine-induced diseases. We are making a terrible mistake on behalf of our animal friends. What we think is best for them is in fact the worst thing we can do. I am not alone in saying this - the very top veterinary specialists agree. We just need to get the other vets up to date. CHC members and people like your own beloved Bonnie are doing this through example. I promise you this - annual vaccination is coming to an end. We will look back in horror at what we used to do.


VAS is an aggressive soft tissue cancer that forms after a vaccination. Most of the research suggest that it is due to a local reaction to the vaccine or to the adjuvants contained in the vaccine, which are additives that help the vaccine last longer and stay in place when injected. (Foster and Smith Educational Staff).

It starts as a small area of inflammation, but it doesn't go away... it just keeps growing. These lumps can occur in the first few weeks after a vaccination or can arise up to 10 years later. Some animals may be predisposed to these tumors thanks to their genes. This seems to be a primarily feline problem, but there have been several cases in the dog world.

- a lump found in areas used for vaccinations (hind legs, flanks, or between the shoulder blades are common locations, however it is now protocol to vaccinate low in the hind legs)
- a lump that has been there for several months
- a lump that is increasing in size (they tend to grow quickly and can be very large) (Foster and Smith Educational Staff)

If you find one of these lumps, take your pet to the vet for a complete exam. Your vet will probably start with a biopsy. Wedge biopsies offer the most conclusive diagnosis because a tissue sample is sent out for pathology, which can tell you what kind of tumor it is and how aggressive it may be. Next, the vet will order blood work, x-rays, and possibly a CT scan. From this information, the vet may be able to tell if the cancer has spread to other organs (lungs, liver, lymph nodes, etc) or if it is localized. At this point, the vet may recommend a specialist who deals primarily with cancer.

Treatment will depend on many factors. The pet's age, health, if the tumor has spread, access to a specialist, and (unfortunately) cost all play a part in coming up with a treatment plan. Every situation is different. In general, treatment includes surgery. Tumors in the scruff area may be treated with a front leg amputation depending on location, but often times the tumor is in a place where that's not possible. In those cases, the tumor itself may be removed. If the spine is involved, surgery may not be an option. As with any of these tumors, with rear leg tumors, the more aggressive the first surgery is, the better the outcome. This usually means amputation. VAS tumors are invasive. They have small trendels that extend from the main tumor making it difficult to remove just the tumor itself without leaving some cancer cells behind. If cells are left behind, it will grow back. Re-occurrence has been reported in up to 65% of cases within the first year ("Vaccine Associated Fibrosarcoma in Cats").

Chemo and radiation may be recommended for your pet. If the tumor is inoperable, these treatments can slow the growth (shrink the size), maintain quality of life, and give you more time to spend together. After surgery, these treatments are designed to keep any cancer cells left behind from growing back, or at least slowing down the process ("Vaccine Associated Fibrosarcoma in Cats"). There is also a lot of information out there on diet and supplements to go along with medical management. If surgery, chemo, or radiation is not an option, talk with your vet about ways to keep your pet comfortable for the longest amount of time possible. There are medications available that can help control symptoms.

After a VAS diagnosis, your vet will probably recommend that no further vaccinations be given. Litter mates may be at an increased risk of developing VAS if there is a genetic factor. The only way to really prevent VAS is to avoid vaccinations altogether, but this is sometime not an option. Talk with your vet and review your pet's personal risk factors. Use that information to come up with a vaccination plan customized to your pet. That will limit unnecessary vaccinations. Many of these vaccinations don't have to be given yearly either. Many vets also offer vaccines that don't have the adjuvants in them. The only way you will know is to ASK. Also, be sure to request that the vaccine be given as low as possible on one of the rear legs. That way, if a tumor appears, you will have a better chance at getting all of the cancer with just one surgery (Foster and Smith Educational Staff).


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