As the owner of personal protection dogs, you want the best for your pet. This often means that you make the annual check-up at the veterinarian’s office a top priority along with making sure they are getting all of the vaccines your vet recommends, but are you aware of the risks that come along with those vaccines? Recent studies are showing that we are over-vaccinating our pets, and this is resulting in some pretty concerning issues.
The Harmful Effects of Over-Vaccinating
Like most dog owners, you fear infectious diseases that could harm your protection dog. Diseases like distemper and parvovirus are not only debilitating, but they can actually be deadly to your personal protection dogs. You think you are doing the best you can for your pet by vaccinating them, but protecting them may cost your protection dog.
It is very important that we only vaccinate our pets when it is absolutely necessary. Many of these dog vaccines are just as harmful to your pets as the diseases you are trying to avoid. Vaccinations can result in a variety of health issues that can be anything from a simple fever to life-threatening anaphylactic shock. The following are a few of the most common reactions dogs may develop.
• Hair loss or color change at the site of injection
• Loss of appetite
• Oral Ulcers Sneezing
You may also see moderate reactions such as these.
• Changes in behavior
• Weight loss
• Facial edema
• Allergic uveitis
• Respiratory disease
• Reduced milk production
In certain cases, you may even see severe reactions from the following list.
• HOD hypertrophy osteodystrophy
• Vaccine site sarcomas anaphylaxis
• Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
• Hemolytic disease of newborns
• Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia
• Disease that the vaccine was designed to prevent
• Post vicinal encephalitis
• Failure to conceive/fetal death
In most cases, vaccines protect protection dogs against harmful diseases, but they can also increase their risk of life-threatening autoimmune issues and cancer. Your goal as a pet owner is to provide your family protection dog with protection in as few vaccines as possible. When looking at personal protection dogs for sale, be sure to ask about any vaccines they have already had before adopting them.
Why Clinics Are Still Over-Vaccinating
Dr. Ronald Schultz did an important research study that was published over twenty years ago. He monitored more than one thousand dogs in order to see how they reacted to their major vaccines. His results showed that once a vaccine was administered to an adult dog, they were protected for life. He came up with the same conclusion in every case. This leaves us wondering why vets repeatedly give our dogs the same vaccines.
When this study was done, veterinarians were administering vaccines yearly. This was mainly done because the companies making the vaccines did not test the protection for more than just a few months. No one realized the protection would last. Because of Dr. Schultz’s studies, revaccination guidelines were changed in 2003.
This was a huge step forward, but there were still problems. The recommended yearly vaccines were only changed to every three years by the AVMA and the AAHA. There was no science used to determine the three-year recommendation. It was simply a compromise. There have been additional guidelines released by the AAHA over the years, but they have not really changed the pattern of excessive vaccinating.
No Changes as of 2017
The most recent vaccination guidelines were made in 2017, but the three-year recommendation did not change. In addition to this being excessive, it is still only a recommendation. This means that vets can still vaccine as often as they want to, regardless of the research. It is estimated by one major manufacturer of vaccines that 60 percent of the veterinarians still administer vaccines annually.
Many speculate that profits are the reason vets are resistant to change. If clients don’t feel that they need lifesaving vaccines each year, they are less likely to come in for an annual check-up. The AAHA reported that vaccines can be 14 percent of the average veterinary clinic’s income. Annual visits with vaccines became popular during the 1980s and became standard practice in the 1990s. Today’s vets are reluctant to give this up. Fortunately, there has been one significant change in the 2017 guidelines that could help end over-vaccinating.
The Titer Test is a simple blood test that can tell vets if your protection dog actually needs another vaccine. The problem is that there are very few vets using this test, and many dog owners do not realize it is available. For a long time, the cost and inconvenience of the Titer Test kept many from trying it. The test was expensive, and it took a long time to get the results because blood samples had to be sent out to a lab.
Recently, this process changed. It is now easier for you and your veterinarian to determine if vaccines are truly necessary with in-house Titer Tests. There are two types of these available which means your vet can now take the blood sample and test it right in their own clinic. Both the TiterCHEK and Vaccicheck tests have an affordable price that is similar to the cost of a vaccine.
Sadly, many vets are not utilizing this. They are slow to make changes when it comes to vaccines, and they often find it simpler to just give the routine vaccine whether your dog needs it or not. As someone looking into personal protection dogs for sale or as an experienced pet owner, you have a choice to protect your animal from over-vaccinating by using the Titer test. This test is common knowledge among vets, but many of them won’t use it unless you ask. If your vet refuses to use the Titer Test, find one that will.