Author Topic: My over vaccination paper  (Read 6606 times)

Bers

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My over vaccination paper
« on: October 23, 2007, 11:22:26 AM »
I was supposed to get my paper back graded yesterday, but my Eng class was cancelled so I didn't. But anyway, just in case anyone is interested, here it is in full.

The Effects of Over-Vaccination for Pets

   America is a nation of pet lovers. According to the most complete and current data available, we own around 73 million dogs and 90 million cats (U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics). For a pet lover, few things in life can cause as much joy and excitement as the experience of bringing a new pet into our lives. Many people even consider their pets to be a part of the family. Of course, we want to do whatever we can to keep our pets healthy. For at least two decades, we have been told that part of our responsibility as pet owners is to vaccinate early and often, and for every possible disease. This information has come from veterinarians, groomers, boarding facilities, pet trainers, humane organizations, animal law enforcement agencies, and companies that make and sell the products we buy for our pets. After all, they tell us that vaccinations are safe, and even if all this vaccination is unnecessary, no harm will come of it. But what if they are wrong?

   In recent years there has been growing concern about health problems related to over-vaccination, and growing opposition to the practice of vaccinating without cause, particularly yearly booster shots. Pet owners and veterinarians alike have begun to ask questions about vaccinations. How effective are they? Which, if any, are really necessary? What is the duration of immunity? And, most importantly, what are the side effects? There has always been anecdotal evidence that vaccinations are not harmless, and now research is being done to verify these claims. Ironically, we vaccinate our pets to keep them healthy, but over-vaccination has led to unintended health problems.

   Vaccinosis is a general term which “describes the abnormal physiologic changes or clinical diseases associated, either directly or indirectly, with the administration of a vaccine” (Vaccinosis in Great Danes 2). Symptoms of vaccinosis can be acute or chronic. Acute symptoms occur in the days and weeks immediately following administration of vaccines, and include injection site swelling and soreness, allergic reactions, fever, sluggishness, loss of appetite, and generalized pain. Chronic symptoms of vaccinosis can be much more serious, and can last for the life of the affected dog.

   Autoimmune disorders are associated with overuse or improper use of vaccinations, and are a form of chronic vaccinosis. According to Dr. Jean Dodds, “the term "autoimmunity" literally means immunity against self and is caused by an immune-mediated reaction to self-antigens (i.e. failure of self-tolerance),” (Dodds par 4). Although the causative relationship is not completely understood, the theory is that vaccinations cause autoimmune disorders by overtaxing the immune system, especially in immune-compromised animals. These include the very young, the very old, and those animals which are unhealthy or under stress at the time of inoculation. Some examples of autoimmune disorders are chronic allergies, Addison’s disease, hemolytic anemia, alopecia, and Grave’s disease. “Vaccines can stimulate the patient's immune system against his or her own tissues, resulting in diseases that affect the blood, the skin, the joints, or the nervous system,” (Vaccinations).

   Another serious autoimmune disorder believed to be triggered in some cases by over-vaccination is a condition called autoimmune hypothyroidism, a condition “in which the immune system attacks the thyroid tissue,” (Fougere 391). Symptoms of this condition are skin abnormalities, hair loss, behavioral problems, chronic skin infections, obesity, lethargy, and anemia. Thyroid disorders are not curable, but symptoms can be controlled by giving oral thyroid supplements daily. Yearly thyroid screenings are needed to ensure that the proper dosage of medication is maintained. 

   While most of these conditions affect both dogs and cats, there is one vaccine-related condition which affects only felines. In the last decade, veterinarians have noticed a link between vaccinations and feline fibrosarcomas. These are deep-rooted and aggressive cancerous tumors which are difficult to treat. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has formed the Vaccine Associated Feline Sarcoma Task Force (VAFSTF) to address this problem. The following are some facts already known about this phenomenon:
  • When local laws change to require rabies vaccination for cats, the incidence of fibrosarcomas increases in that area.
  • The most common sites for fibrosarcomas are the area between the shoulder, the lower back & hind limb (areas commonly used for vaccination in the past).
  • At this time, killed virus vaccines such as rabies and feline leukemia virus vaccines have been primarily implicated.
  • Fibrosarcomas in areas commonly used for vaccination seem to be more aggressive/malignant than fibrosarcomas in other areas. (Vaccine Associated Fibrosarcoma)

   As more information becomes available, it is harder to classify yearly vaccinations as “harmless”. In fact, it has become clear that they can and do cause great harm. As such, the responsible pet owner must now decide what course to take with their pet. Many people have become conditioned to accept without question the advice they get from their veterinarian. Unfortunately, not all veterinarians are dedicated to pursuing the most current medical standards and practices and prefer to continue to do as they have done in the past. Worse still, some veterinarians and pharmaceutical companies are dedicated to continuing the practice of annual vaccination for pets because it has become a lucrative business. Luckily, there is a wealth of information available on the internet and in published books to help concerned pet owners make knowledgeable healthcare decisions for their pets. As a first step, people can adopt a reduced vaccination schedule for their pets. A guideline for canine vaccinations was published in 2006 by the American Animal Hospital Association which designates vaccinations as “core”, “non-core”, or “not recommended” and recommends revaccination no more often than every three years (Paul, et al. table 1). Donations can also be made to the Rabies Challenge Fund, which is dedicated to determining the duration of immunity for rabies vaccinations in order to challenge state laws requiring boosters to be given every one or three years. Over-vaccination is an issue that should concern all caring pet owners. Our pets rely on us to make decisions for their health, so we ought to utilize the latest information available to make those decisions.

Works Cited

“U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics.” The Humane Society of the United States. 5 January 2007. 12 October 2007 <http://www.hsus.org/pets/issues_affecting_our_pets/ pet_overpopulation_and_ownership_statistics/ us_pet_ownership_statistics.html>.
Dodds, W. Jean, DVM. “The Immune System and Disease Resistance.” Great Dane Health Foundation of America. 14 October 2007 <http://www.gdhfa.org/ImmuneSystem.htm>.
Fougere, Barbara, BVSc. The Pet Lover’s Guide to Natural Healing for Cats & Dogs. St. Louis: Elsevier Saunders, 2006.
“Vaccine Associated Fibrosarcoma.” Mar Vista Animal Medical Center. 14 October 2007 <http://www.marvistavet.com/html/ body_vaccine_associated_fibrosarcom.html>.
“Vaccinations.” AAHA Pet Care Library. 12 October 2007 <http://www.healthypet.com/library_view.aspx?ID=143&sid=1>.
Paul, Michael A., et al. “2006 AAHA Canine Vaccine Guidelines, Revised.” American Animal Hospital Association. 12 October 2007 <http://www.aahanet.org/PublicDocuments/ VaccineGuidelines06Revised.pdf>.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2007, 12:48:30 PM by Newcastle »
Amber


ltournat

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Re: My over vaccination paper
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2007, 11:26:52 AM »
Very nice!
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~Lisa, mom to Felix~

whitepupzoe

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Re: My over vaccination paper
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2007, 11:26:58 AM »
 :thumbsup:  Great job Amber! I feel very educated now!  :yes:
Kristin ~ Mom to Abby & George


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Christen83

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Re: My over vaccination paper
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2007, 11:42:32 AM »
Great.  Informative and an interesting read!   :thumbsup:

Bugsys Mom

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Re: My over vaccination paper
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2007, 11:44:26 AM »
Great paper Amber.  It really reinforces my reasons for very limited vaccinations.
Vicky

Patti

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Re: My over vaccination paper
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2007, 11:58:20 AM »
Great job Amber! Do you mind if I forward a copy to a friend?
Patti & Otis (8/18/2006)


Bers

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Re: My over vaccination paper
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2007, 12:16:11 PM »
No, that would be fine. I'm flattered!
Amber


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Re: My over vaccination paper
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2007, 12:48:55 PM »
Very nice - I've stickied this. :)
Jennifer Walker
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highdrama

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Re: My over vaccination paper
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2007, 01:09:36 PM »
Well done.  Might just filter over here too but our vets are terrified not to vaccinate, although we do have the intervet policy, which recommends not vaccinating for everything every year, rather one type every 3 years.  It's probably insufficient but it's a start anyway.  Trouble is, no vet hospital will take them in over here if they are not up-to-date but they do recognise Intervet.  They don't even do titre testing over here and cite cost as a factor.  What dog lover would not pay over the odds to prevent illness?  They do titre tests in humans, why not our pets?

Good read Amber.

BoxerPerson

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Re: My over vaccination paper
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2007, 02:16:09 PM »
Excellent job. 
Claire-Mom to Ollie, Zoe, Phoebe, Willie & Snookie

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Re: My over vaccination paper
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2007, 10:58:47 AM »
 :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Great job .
Missi
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Arbies mom

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Re: My over vaccination paper
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2007, 05:07:43 PM »
Good info! I did have the titers done on Arbie this year but they were too low and the vet decided we should try vaccination again. It was a toss up between the vaccines causing more seizure activity or him getting a disease that could worsen his seizures. We decided to try the vaccines but split them up.
It may be coincidence but Arbie had two bouts of gastroenteritis after vaccines and also has been having seizures weekly instead of fortnightly.

jakethegreat

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Re: My over vaccination paper
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2007, 11:33:51 PM »
GREAT JOB!!!!!!! :thumbs up:IT,S PEOPLE LIKE YOU THAT MAKE A DIFFRENCE...AGAING JOB WELL DONE!!!!

vroom

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Re: My over vaccination paper
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2007, 03:05:20 PM »
Damn, A.Lo - YOU ARE SMART!!!     ;)

Great job, excellent paper.  A+ from the BoxerBoard
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Re: My over vaccination paper
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2007, 02:48:48 PM »
That is an excellent piece of work.
I have lost two dogs to auto immune disease due to vaccination.  They were just 4yrs and 7yrs.  It has caused me to do a lot of research into it and I now titre test before considering vaccination as I never want to put any dogs through what my babies went through.