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Pet Vaccines

Pet Vaccines

 By Dog's Naturally 




Forty years ago, the veterinary community believed in the harmlessness of continuous vaccinations for pets. However, the perspective has significantly evolved, recognizing that vaccines often last a lifetime, and the potential dangers of over-vaccination have come to light. Despite this knowledge, the practice of repeated vaccinations persists, influenced by a mix of skepticism towards research, financial incentives, or both. Owners now face a crucial decision: to follow their vet's vaccination schedule or to take an informed, active role in their pet’s health care, especially when it comes to avoiding unnecessary vaccinations.

Among the contentious issues surrounding vaccinations are the ingredients used in these vaccines. Here are the critical components every owner should be aware of:

Aluminium: Found in most veterinary vaccines, aluminum has been linked to serious neurological conditions, including Alzheimer's disease and ALS. It's associated with brain inflammation and oxidative damage, raising concerns about its long-term impact on pets' cognitive functions.

Thimerosal: This mercury-based preservative has been known for its extreme neurotoxicity. Despite evidence of its dangers dating back to the 1930s, Thimerosal remains a common ingredient in veterinary vaccines, primarily because it allows for the production of multi-dose vials, reducing costs. 

In 1977, ten babies at a Toronto hospital died when an antiseptic preserved with Thimerosal was dabbed on their umbilical cords. In 1982, the FDA proposed a ban on over-the-counter products containing Thimerosal. In 1991 the FDA considered banning Thimerosal from animal vaccines.

Contaminants: Vaccines may contain harmful contaminants that can lead to cancer, autoimmune diseases, and other conditions. Notably, a feline retrovirus found in both canine and feline vaccines has raised alarms about the safety of shared vaccine seed stock.

Animal Protein: The use of animal tissue in vaccine production introduces foreign proteins directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system. This can trigger immune responses leading to autoimmune disorders and other health issues.

“Our ongoing studies of dogs show that following routine vaccination, there is a significant level of antibodies dogs produce against their own tissues…Some of these antibodies have been shown to target the thyroid gland, the connective tissue such as that found in the valves of the heart, red blood cells, DNA etc.” Larry Glickman DVM, referring to the results of the Purdue Vaccine Studies.

Financial Motives: The dramatic increase in the vaccine market size from $6 billion in 2005 to $34 billion in 2012 highlights a potential financial motive behind the push for more frequent vaccinations. The controversy surrounding the canine influenza vaccine, heavily promoted despite its questionable necessity, exemplifies the profit-driven aspect of vaccinations.

“Profits are what vaccine critics believe is at the root of the profession’s resistance to update its protocols. Without the lure of vaccines, clients are less inclined to make yearly veterinary visits. Vaccines add up to 14 percent of the average practice’s income, AAHA reports, and veterinarians stand to lose big. I suspect some are ignoring my work,” says Animal vaccine researcher Dr Ronald Schultz, who claims some distemper vaccines last as long as 15 years. “Tying vaccinations into the annual visit became prominent in the 1980s and a way of practicing in the 1990s. Now veterinarians don’t want to give it up.”

Vaccination is fraught with problems that weren’t considered even a few short years ago. Vaccination programs should consider both the benefits and the inherent risks of each vaccine given to companion animals. Some vets are able to see through the politics and money that drive revaccination while others can’t. To protect their pets from unnecessary vaccination, owners must discover which camp their vet is in.

Dana Scott

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