Canine Vaccination

By: Catherine O’Driscoll

The arguments for vaccination are fairly straightforward: they are designed to protect our dogs (and other species) from infectious diseases. Without vaccines, the pro-vaccinators argue, diseases like rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and so on, would still be at epidemic proportions. No-one wants their dog to die of parvovirus or distemper – but neither would we want our dogs to die of leukaemia or organ failure while they’re young, or to suffer from crippling diseases for half of their lives. Yet this is what vaccines are capable of doing to them.

Ask yourself this question: why do we need to vaccinate our dogs every year? Do we vaccinate our children annually? One vet phoned me recently from overseas. Having read my book, Who Killed the Darling Buds of May? What Vets Don’t Tell You About Vaccines, he told me that it confirmed many of the fears he has had over the years. He also said that when he qualified as a vet in the early ’70s, he was told annual vaccination was unnecessary, but that the vaccine companies approached vets in the ’80s, suggesting that annual vaccination would boost their practice income and provide an opportunity for an annual checkup. He told me that they knew it was fraud at the time, but they went along with it.

Dr Ronald D Schultz, one of the foremost veterinary immunologists in the world, is on record as saying that annual vaccination for viral disease is not only unnecessary, but that it also causes significant problems. A growing number of vets, predominantly in America but also in the UK, contend that vaccines are now causing more diseases than they are preventing.

The arguments against vaccination include the following viewpoints:

  • vaccines do not prevent disease or immunise, they sensitise
  • vaccines cause encephalitis: inflammation of the brain
  • encephalitis has many diverse symptoms, ranging from acute to chronic
  • vaccines are deadly poisons
  • vaccines can cause the disease they are designed to prevent
  • vaccines shed into the environment, spreading disease
  • vaccines disarm and unbalance the immune system

Pro-vaccinators use statistics to ‘prove’ that vaccines have eradicated epidemics. However, the way they have interpreted these statistics is open to question. When you look at the medical literature, you find research project after research project which shows that as many vaccinated humans contract a disease as do unvaccinated – and it can even be argued that more vaccinated people contract the diseases.

In absolute truth, it is clear that immunity only sometimes follows vaccination. Research recently conducted by the Canine Health Census (CHC) shows that at least 50% of the dogs with viral diseases (parvovirus, distemper, etc), contracted the diseases within three months of being vaccinated. This supports the view that vaccines often fail to protect, and that in some cases they can actually cause the disease they are designed to prevent. In the case of leptospirosis, every single dog with the disease contracted it within three months of being vaccinated. So where was the protection?

In contrast, the adverse effects of vaccination are well documented. Vaccine manufacturers admit that vaccines can cause encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain. Encephalitis has many diverse symptoms, ranging from acute to chronic. Emeritus professor of neurology at Columbia University, HH Merritt, wrote of encephalitis: “Since any portion of the nervous system may be affected, variable clinical syndromes may occur…meningeal, encephalitic, brain-stem, spinal cord, and neuritic.”

Diarrhoea, vomiting, flatulence, gastroenteritis, stomach aches, headaches, enuresis, constipation, breathing difficulties, hyperactivity, obsessiveness, inatentiveness, mental retardation, seizures, paralysis, aggression, and other conditions are known to be sequelae arising from viral encephalitis.

Death is quite possible. Dr Harris L Coulter argues that encephalitis from infectious disease or traumatic injury is known produce severe neurologic damage in the absence of an acute reaction, and that vaccine-induced encephalitis should be no exception. So you take your newly-vaccinated dog home from the vet’s, and he seems fine, and then a few weeks later, he starts having skin problems or digestive problems, or biting the children. And no-one thinks to tie it in with the vaccine…except that some vets are now making this connection.

When a dog (or any species) reacts to a vaccine with drowsiness, a slight fever, or appears off his food, there is every reason to fear that this is the hypersensitivity reaction described in the vaccine manufacturers’ literature, which can cause inflammation, which can lead to encephalitis, which is capable of producing quite severe neurologic consequences and even death. Further, the symptoms need not manifest themselves immediately for damage to ensue.

Dr JA Morris, a leading US infectious disease expert declared: “We only hear about the encephalitis and the deaths, but there is an entire spectrum between fever and death, and it’s all those things in between that never get reported.”

Dr R Mendelsohn said: “There now exists a growing theoretical concern which links immunisation to the huge increase, in recent decades, of autoimmune diseases, e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lymphoma and leukaemia.”

Vets and vaccine manufacturers tell us that ‘only a tiny minority’ of dogs suffer adverse reactions to vaccines. According to research conducted by the CHC, this tiny minority is, in fact, one in every hundred dogs. Many dogs with behavioural problems, eating disorders, digestive problems, allergies, organ damage, skin complaints, autoimmune diseases, arthritis and so on, could well trace their origin to the door of the veterinary practice, and to the needle.

I have three living Golden Retrievers, and three dead Golden Retrievers. Oliver died when he was four: we woke one morning to discover that his back legs were paralysed. We rushed him to the vets where he was put on a steroid drip and died that day. Although the conventional vet could offer no explanation, a homoeopathic vets tells me that, in his view, this is a classic vaccine reaction.

Prudence died when she was six from an autoimmune disease. Dr Jean Dodds DVM claims that, “Many veterinarians trace the present problems with allergic and immunologic diseases to the introduction of MLV (multiple live virus) vaccines some twenty years ago.”

A few days after his puppy jab, Samson was found in the garden, his back legs – like Oliver’s – were paralysed. We panicked and called the vet, who told us to give Sam a paracetamol (which, incidentally, are poisonous to dogs). Sam recovered. The next year, again a few days after his vaccine, Samson’s head swelled up like a balloon and he ran round screaming and crying. Shortly afterwards, we discovered that Samson had autoimmune disease. He died a few weeks ago, aged five, from cancer. We can trace his death right the way back to the door of the veterinary practice, to the day when a vaccine destroyed his immune system.

And of the three living dogs? Chappie, now 13, has been treated for thyroid disease. Underlying thyroid disease pre-disposes a dog to autoimmune diseases, the triggers for which include vaccines. One vet observed to me that thyroid disease is itself rampant where vaccine coverage is high. Sophie has had arthritis since she was six – also linked to vaccines.

Gwinnie was vaccinated before she came to live with us at the age of five months: her back would ripple if you put your hand on it, and she chewed at her paws and gnawed at her flesh. We took her to a homoeopathic vet where ‘vaccinosis’, a morbid reaction to vaccines, was diagnosed and successfully treated. Don’t imagine that I am speculating that vaccines are doing these things to our dogs. The scientific literature tells us that vaccines are quite capable of causing all this damage.

According to one vaccine manufacturer, only 15 dogs had suffered adverse vaccine reactions in three million administered doses. If the vaccine manufacturer is right, then the probability of one of my six dogs experiencing a vaccine reaction is about three in a million. The chances of three of my dogs having a vaccine reaction is about one in fifty billion Tera-doses. Six out of six, like three out of six, is mathematically impossible. So someone is mistaken.

The fact is that there is no effecting reporting system. No-one actually knows how many dogs react to their vaccines; and even fewer people know (because no-one has told them) how a vaccine reaction can manifest.

The vaccine manufacturers state, in their own literature – in their veterinary data sheets – that vaccination is not without risks. Does your vet warn you? One vaccine manufacturer writes:

“Only healthy dogs should be vaccinated. Following initial vaccination dogs should not be exposed to infection for at least 14 days. Generalised hypersensitivity reactions following administration may occasionally occur.

“A good immune response is reliant on the reaction of an immunogenic agent and a fully competent immune system. Immunogenicity of the vaccine antigen will be reduced by poor storage or inappropriate administration. Immunocompetence of the animal may be compromised by a variety of factors, including poor health, nutritional status, genetic factors, concurrent drug therapy and stress.”

In plain English, this means that there are around nine factors associated with vaccination that will put every dog at risk. The first of these is the irrefutable statement that only healthy dogs should be vaccinated. Flying in the face of this advice, vets routinely vaccinate sick dogs. Their logic is that, because the dog is sick, he needs the protection vaccines supposedly confer. My book contains a number of case stories where vets vaccinated sick dogs, and the dogs died.

Nutritional factors may also render vaccines harmful. For example, in one experiment, puppies deliberately starved of vitamin B5 were injected with vaccines and died. Vitamin B5 can be destroyed when cooked or frozen – and most dogs are given (cooked) processed and/or frozen food. The mineral selenium and vitamin A are vital for healthy thyroid function – pet food additives ethoxyquin, BHA and BHT are proven to destroy both selenium and vitamin A. As stated earlier, underlying thyroid disease pre-disposes dogs to autoimmune disease, triggered by vaccines.

Vaccine manufacturers warn that genetic factors might put dogs at risk from vaccination. They don’t tell us what these are – but neither does your vet have a clue. He or she vaccinates anyway. At least doctors and nurses ask humans whether there is any history of epilepsy, arthritis or allergies in the family before getting the needle out.

The phrase ‘concurrent drug therapy’ refers to the fact that immune-suppressant drugs should not be given in conjunction with vaccines. A dog taking steroids, for example, might die if vaccinated. This is because the whole basis of vaccination is that a virus is injected into a dog so that he can mount an immune response and develop antibodies to the virus. If the dog’s immune system is suppressed – either by drugs, ill health, poor nutrition, genetic weaknesses, or stress – then he isn’t going to be able to mount that immune response, and the vaccine could kill him or cause chronic disease.

MLV vaccines, by the way, are designed to multiply over time in the host. So a dog with a poor immune system will find himself gradually bombarded with a multiplying virus until such time as he either defeats the virus or succumbs to it (dies). The picture is complicated by the fact that the way the vet stores and handles the vaccine also has a bearing on whether the vaccine is successful or not. Another factor is associated with the word, ‘attenuation’. Attenuation is where the vaccine is supposedly rendered harmless (i.e., is not capable of producing disease). According to Dr Ronald D Schultz, vaccines will cause disease in an animal (or human) where attenuation has been unsuccessful, or where the host’s immune system is suppressed.

Vaccines also can, and do, shed in the environment and revert to virulence – which means that a dog can catch a disease from a vaccinated dog. Other species can be affected: parvovirus is thought, for example, to have been caused by shedding of the feline enteritis vaccine.

I hope that I have alarmed you sufficiently to consider whether vaccination is really necessary, or whether there is a safer alternative, such as homoeopathic nosodes (for further information on this, contact us at the Canine Health Census and we may be able to point you in the direction of a homoeopathic vet near you).

By the way, don’t expect your vet to furnish you with unbiased information concerning vaccination. To begin with, in the words of Dr Jean Dodds, “vets need to be better educated about the risks associated with vaccination”. Most vets are just as much in the dark as you are. Within weeks of the publication of my book, the National Office of Animal Health in the UK (a trade association representing vaccine manufacturers) held a press conference. They were advising vets to tell us pet owners that our animals could die and cost us a lot of money if we don’t buy their products. If vets are being recruited as a sales force, then there is little hope of you learning the truth from them. This is precisely why I wrote the book: to enable you to make the informed choice you have a right to make about the lives of the animals you love.