Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
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Did you know that all dogs whether large or small, get the same “universal” dose of vaccine? Despite the fact that:
“A 2002 study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association showed that there are potential problems with using a universal dosage. The research documented a higher incidence of vaccine-associated adverse events in dogs less than 22 pounds (27 percent versus 12 percent for dogs over 22 pounds with each subsequent shot).”
These two articles about vaccines have crossed my path in the last couple of weeks, and I wanted to share them with you. I think you’ll find them as enlightening as I have.
“For years people suspected that pet vaccines didn’t need to be administered annually and that immunity was more similar to human shots. Fortunately in the last ten years, veterinary colleges and organizations, such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), revisited their guidelines and now recommend administering core vaccines every three years. It’s even becoming more common to find veterinarians who measure antibody levels through blood titers instead of defaulting to regular booster shots (this is one of my requirements when choosing a vet).
But even with the AVMA and AAHA constantly revisiting their guidelines, pet vaccines remain a tricky topic. It’s further complicated by the fact that many studies are sponsored by vaccine manufacturers, which creates a potential bias.”
by Dr. Nancy Kay
“Am I feeling frustrated and disappointed? You bet I am after reading an article titled, “Vets Slowly Move to 3-Year Vaccine Protocols” in the most recent edition ofVeterinary Practice News. According to the article, approximately 60 percent of veterinarians continue to over-vaccinate their adult canine and feline patients by administering “core” vaccinations annually. This in spite of the fact that, for a decade now, it has been public knowledge that these vaccines provide aminimum of three year’s worth of protection.”
26 February 2013
Doing a titer every year is a great idea; going to start requesting that.
My cousin is a vet & when she was recently exposed to a kitten with rabies, she hadn’t had her own vaccination in 5 years… But she’s highly allergic to the rabies vaccine, so they drew a titer before doing any treatment & even after that long she was well-protected.
No reason the believe that the regular vaccines don’t last longer than a year and certainly makes sense to check.
27 December 2012
True! The injection size and amount is the same, no matter if your pup is 3lbs or 120lbs. Makes you wonder about what’s happening on both ends of the spectrum!
Good info, Jerry!
ACL tear in right hind leg 12/5/12 and scheduled ACL repair surgery 12/21/12. Pre-op xrays revealed osteosarcoma. Amputation 12/28/12. Chemo (carboplatin) started Jan 10, 2013 and ended on April 5, for a total of 5 doses. He handled carbo like a champ! No side effects. We started metronomic therapy at his third chemo and have been also doing some holistic treatments. He's a lively, playful 10 year old huskie-boarder collie and a very proud member of the Winter Warriors! Our love. Our funny little guy!
7 December 2012
Great info Jerry… I too just took my dogs to the vet for annual vaccines..and always came out thinking wow this just cost me around $250… I also saw an article in a vet journal that supports doing antibody titers before giving any vaccine. The article also went on to say the other part of the annual vaccine story is that vets are in a business and so annual vaccines are the way to make sure your client base comes in at least once per year so they can count on that revenue.
Now that I became aware of the vaccine issues, I look back at one of my dogs who developed late stage epilepsy. We did everything brain mri’s to determine if the cause might be a tumor.. Nothing was found. So in reading about side effects of the rabies vaccine.. guess what was listed as a side effect?? Epilepsy..
I now have become very cautious in what vaccines my dogs get.. And especially Tiffany won’t be getting any for sure..
Glad you liked the articles. I couldn’t help but share them because I can’t help but be leery about vaccines. The more I read about them the more their willy-nilly use scares the heck out of me.
The other day I saw a line of people in Petco. Thinking it was for an adoption day event, I took a closer look and saw they all had dogs with them. Turns out they were in line for a cheap vaccine clinic. And I just saw the same thing at a pet expo too. I wanted to scream “Wait! Think about it!” Sigh.
16 October 2012
Been seriously thinking for a couple of years about doing titers and now with Sassy, they said they wouldn’t do them unless it was rabies. But I am still trying to get out of that one (the only reason I would have to is because of dog license) She doesn’t go places where there are large number of dogs and she is too mild to bite anyone
Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013
05/04/2006 - Bosch, Sassy's pal, earned his wings 03/29/19 fought cancer for 4 months.
"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."
22 August 2011
Einstein is getting his titer test this weekend instead of his annual shots. He got all of his normal puppy shots including rabies last year. He is one year and four months now. He will get a three year rabies vaccine this year because it is required by law, but we will titer all the rest. They say most vaccines are good for about three years anyways. We made that mistake with Cadence, vaccinating her every year. Since the cancer, she has a waiver from the vets office and we don’t have to get her vaccinated anymore. Humans don’t get vaccinated every year!
Cadence Faye: Born 10/30/04, stepped into our hearts 12/23/2004. Rear leg tumor found 7/24/11 by mom and dad, Xray on 7/25/11, Osteosarcoma suspected 7/26/11, amputation 7/29/11, Carboplatin started 8/23. Met free so far!
This topic comes up so much that Dr. Dressler just addressed it in his blog: Vaccination and Dog Cancer
“Okay, with that out of the way, let’s look at the situation like rationale, clear thinking human beings. The situation is not clear cut, and that recognition should be established early.
For those who want the bottom line now: No vaccinations for dogs with cancer. None. Vaccinations have complex interactions with the immune system and these are not predictable and can be harmful in dogs with cancer. Use the minimum vaccinations for your pet’s lifestyle, needs, and other health issues.
But don’t eliminate all vaccinations in healthy pets.”
Read more at Vaccination and Dog Cancer
I took Mona, my tri-kitty, June amputee due to vaccine fibrosarcoma, for a weigh-in and for an outing as she has become fearful of the car since loosing her leg. And we think they don’t remember…
I also took Eli, who was due for is due his yearly health check and for his rabies vaccine. Mona will never have a vaccine again and my vet said if he was in my situation that Eli would no longer get vaccines. Eli will have titers done in 2 years and we’ll go from there. Rabies are not required in my province and we talked about the risks. These days the greatest risk is from ticks from the deer in my yard. Phew! No vaccines, what a relief.
They went to the vet with one in the crate and one in a box. This is how they chose to go home:
Eli on the left, Mona on the right. At home, she normally won’t let him closed than swatting distance.
Gotta love these characters!
Ooooohhhh! At least they have each other! I’m all for titers over vaccines. If only the rest of the world would catch up. Your vet is pawesome!
22 February 2013
Great vet…and ADORABLE PICTURE!!!
Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle
Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!
Wanted to share this great blog post by Dr. Nancy Kay. It’s about dogs but the same ideas can be applied to feline friends too
Perhaps you know a little bit about antibody titers (aka, vaccine titers, vaccine serology, and titer testing), but find the topic to be confusing. Rest assured, you are in good company. The topic is somewhat complicated, and recommendations as to how to use antibody titers vary widely.
Until relatively recently, antibody titer testing was quite pricey and involved sending the dog’s blood sample to a specialty laboratory. The testing process is now far more affordable and readily available. It can be performed right in the veterinary hospital with results provided during the course of an office visit. Given this ease, accessibility, and affordability, it makes really good sense to figure out if antibody testing is a good choice for your dog. Here’s some information to bring you up to speed on this topic.
. . . It makes sense then to consider antibody titers in lieu of automatically revaccinating every three years.
3 June 2014
I really enjoyed reading this latest article on titre testing. We have been doing the titre testing with Lucian for 2 years and both times the results came back that his protection against parvo and distemper is good. So Lucian has only had his puppy vaccines against parvo and distemper and he’s now 2 years old. When we bring Lucian in for his yearly check-up we’re asked if we want to do the vaccinations. I tell the vet that we’ll do the titre testing and if there’s a need for a booster shot after the results come back we’ll do it then. Granted it would be more money doing it this way (paying for the titre as well as possible vaccinations) but I’d prefer not to put Lucian’s health at risk by just over vaccinating.
I’ve never asked for a titre test on the other virus mentioned in the article (started with an a). Heck, I’m not sure that was something Lucian was ever vaccinated against in the first place. That’s another thing that can get confusing…there are so MANY different vaccines offered should I be checking into having Lucian vaccinated against all these other diseases? He’s only ever had the parvo, distemper, and rabies.
I did want to mention that this year at Lucian’s yearly check-up the vet advised next year (Lucian will be 3 years old) he wants to run an EKG. He said since the Doberman breed has a good bit of heart issues he thinks performing an EKG would be good. I guess it’s good to get a baseline while Lucian is healthy so we could detect any changes sooner. I was just a bit shocked by the suggestion as nothing like that was ever mentioned for our Leland but then I think a lot with Leland was missed by various veterinarian professionals.
Anyway, we’ll keep doing the titre testing for Lucian and I definitely bring it up with dog folks when we get to discussing our fur babies. We truly need to educate ourselves so we can be the best advocates for our cherished fur babies.
Sahana and her Angel Leland and Lucian too!
November 17, 2009 - June 30, 2014
May you finally be healthy and running free at the Rainbow Bridge. Until we meet again my sweet boy!
21 May 2016
My girl Eurydice (like all my furry babies) always had all the vaccines available.
She even had a newly brought to the market vaccine against Leishmaniose a few years ago (my beloved Kinky died of Leishmaniose in 2011) she had her first 3 doses the first year and it was ok but the second year she had severe reactions to it so I decided to discontinue the vaccine after that.
I was a strong believer in protecting my babies with vaccines no matter what.
Well, that all changed now.
Eurydice has osteosarcoma and for my total amazement I’ve learnt from this site how dangerous they can be too!
I have now learnt vaccines can give our babies cancer and a lot of vets I asked the question tell me there is always a risk of developing a tumour where the vaccine has been administered.
So, their advice has been one always has to measure whether the vaccine is truly needed.
I am not giving Eurydice any more vaccines as I don’t want anything to interfere with her body’s ability to fight her cancer.
So hard to be a parent, hey?
Sending you all a big hug and cuddles to your babies
Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-)
After Mona got cancer from a vaccine injection I devoured anything I could find on vaccines and came to respect the work of a leading immunologist Dr. Ronald Schultz. Here is an article on his findings that dogs are over-vaccinated: http://news.wis…..necessary/
Here is a great interview with Dr. Schultz about vaccine protocol: He explains why multiple immunizations are required for kittens and puppies.
I agree with Teresa that it’s hard to be a parent so all the info we can share is invaluable.
Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona