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Author Topic: Vaccination/Heartworm/etc. Information  (Read 11480 times)
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« on: April 03, 2007, 09:04:01 AM »

Yes, those who know me have probably been wondering where this thread has been.   Roll Eyes    So here is the start of it. 

  This the Duration of Immunity Study done by Dr. Schultz.  If you have read any articles on pet vaccines he has probably been quoted.  I am posting this first so if nothing else you will see that immunity lasts a LOT longer than most vets want you to think.


 

Duration of Immunity to Canine Vaccines:

What We Know and Don't Know

Ronald D. Schultz, Professor and Chair

Department of Pathobiological Sciences

School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison

It has been common practice since the development of canine vaccines in the late 1950's to administer them annually. The recommendation to vaccinate annually was based on the assumption that immunity would wane in some dogs, thus to ensure immunity in the population, all dogs required revaccination since it was not practical to test each animal for antibody. Little or no research has been done to demonstrate that the practice of annual revaccination has any scientific value in providing greater immunity than would be present if an animal was never revaccinated or was revaccinated at intervals longer than one year.

In 1978 we recommended an ideal vaccination program would be one in which dogs and cats would be revaccinated at one year of age and then every third year thereafter (1). That recommendation was based on a general knowledge of vaccinal immunity, especially the importance of immunologic memory and on duration of protection after natural subclinical or clinical infections as well as on limited studies we had performed with certain canine and feline vaccines. Since the mid 1970's we have done a variety of studies with various canine vaccines to demonstrate their duration of immunity. From our studies it is apparent, at least to me, that the duration of immunity for the four most important canine vaccines (core vaccines) that the duration of immunity is considerably longer than one year. Furthermore, we have found that annual revaccination, with the vaccines that provide long term immunity, provides no demonstrable benefit and may increase the risk for adverse reactions. We have assessed duration of protective immunity primarily by two procedures; the first is held to be the "gold standard and that is to challenge the vaccinated animal with the virulent organism, the second method is to measure antibody and compare the antibody titer to that which is known to prevent infection (e.g. provide sterile immunity). The studies we report here include challenge studies as well as studies that determine antibody titers. A summary of our results show the following (Table 1).
     
     

The minimum duration of immunity data does not imply that all vaccinated dogs will be immune for the period of time listed, nor does it suggest that immunity may not last longer (e.g. the life of the dog). The percentage of vaccinated animals protected from clinical disease after challenge with canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus and canine adenovirus in the present study was greater than 95%.

Although there is much more that we need to know about duration of immunity to canine vaccines the information we have at present provides adequate justification for the vaccination recommendations that I and others have made and continue to make regarding frequency of vaccination (2)

1.     Schultz, RD. and F.W. Scott. Canine & Feline Immunization. In: Symposium on Practical Immunology. R.D. Schultz, Ed., Vet Clinics of N. Am., Nov. 1978, W.B. Saunders Co.

2.     Schultz, R.D. Current and Future Canine and feline vaccination programs. Vet Med 3: No. 3, 233-254, 1998.

http://critteradvocacy.org/Duration%20of%20Immunity.htm


  Check out the Quick Links on that site to read other information on pet vaccines:

      http://critteradvocacy.org/
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2007, 09:08:15 AM »

The Rabies Challenge fund co-chaired by Dr. Jean Dodds, another name some of you might have heard of.  She has done wonderful research into autoimmune problems, I will be adding links and articles to her in the future.:

  http://rabieschallengefund.com/index.html


The Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust will  determine the duration of immunity conveyed by rabies vaccine. The goal is to  extend the required interval for rabies boosters to 5 and then to 7 years. This project depends primarily upon grassroots gifts for funding the costs of conducting the requisite vaccine trials. Our contributions to date have come mostly from kennel clubs and private individuals.  The Challenge fund is a federally registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization [Fed. EIN # 84-6390682].  Our costs to begin the first year of the study are $177,000; to date we have raised close to $78,000. This vaccine trial cannot begin without funding for the first year.The Rabies Challenge Fund needs to raise a total of $1.5 million to complete the 5 and 7 year challenge studies, the adjuvant study, and to establish  the vaccine adverse reaction reporting system.  With your help this can be accomplished.

This vaccine research project to address the duration of immunity actually conveyed by rabies vaccine will be performed by Dr. Ronald Schultz, Chairman of Pathobiology at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.The second phase of the project will finance a study of the adjuvants used in veterinary vaccines, and establish a federal adverse reaction reporting system for rabies and other vaccines.

The University of Wisconsin will donate all of the necessary overhead costs for these studies which normally amount to 48% of the direct research costs. Furthermore, Dr. Schultz, the Principal Investigator, has volunteered his time in conducting the research. My staff at Hemopet  are donating their efforts as well. The only monies used from the pre-grant funds were IRS fees associated with applying for non-profit status. All other monies donated to The Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust will go directly to funding these studies.

The Rabies Challenge Fund needs to raise a total of $1.5 million to complete the 5 and 7 year challenge studies, the adjuvant study, and to establish  the vaccine adverse reaction reporting system.  With your help this can be accomplished.

Jean
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2007, 09:16:28 AM »

http://www.holisticat.com/vaccinations.html

Vaccination for Cats: Helpful or Harmful?
Author - Don Hamilton, DVM

Vaccination is not as widely and unquestionably accepted today as it was in the past. Many pet guardians and veterinarians believe we have taken the concept much farther than its usefulness warrants. In twenty years of veterinary practice, I have made the transition from believing strongly in the protective power of vaccines to becoming continually more certain that they create at least as much illness as they have ever prevented. In truth, I now consider vaccination to be tantamount to animal abuse in most cases.

This opinion has two main bases: First, vaccines often do not provide any protection. This may result from poor vaccine performance (as with feline leukemia virus, feline infectious peritonitis virus, and ringworm vaccines), lack of risk (all vaccines at times, but particularly the above vaccines plus rabies), or simply lack of need (as with booster vaccination in almost all cases). Secondly, many vaccines actually induce illness that is much greater than that of the diseases that they are designed to prevent.

A further consideration is that vaccination weakens the strength of a population by allowing individuals to survive that otherwise would succumb to natural diseases; these diseases provide cleansing and strengthening for the population under normal conditions. The population is further weakened by immunosuppressive and possibly gene-damaging vaccine impacts. Vaccination likely provides protection from acute, contagious diseases by inducing chronic disease. This trade-off is not a good one and itself amounts to abuse.

Obviously there are several issues here that affect an immunization decision. Each is a separate factor with its own issues. I’ll start with booster vaccinations, as this is the clearest area and one with little risk of error. Simply put, there is almost never a need for booster immunization. Once immunized, an animal, as with humans, is protected for life. Further vaccinations do not improve the immunity. The following quote, from Ron Schultz, Ph.D., and Tom Phillips, DVM, appeared in Current Veterinary Therapy XI in 1992 (This is a purely conventional textbook, and Drs. Schultz and Phillips are respected veterinary immunologists in the academic community):

A practice that was started many years ago and that lacks scientific validity or verification is annual revaccinations. Almost without exception there is no immunologic requirement for annual revaccination. Immunity to viruses persists for years or for the life of the animal. Successful vaccination to most bacterial pathogens produces an immunologic memory that remains for years, allowing an animal to develop a protective anamnestic (secondary) response when exposed to virulent organisms. Only the immune response to toxins requires boosters (e.g. tetanus toxin booster, in humans, is recommended once every 7-10 years), and no toxin vaccines are currently used for dogs and cats. Furthermore, revaccination with most viral vaccines fails to stimulate an anamnestic (secondary) response as a result of interference by existing antibody (similar to maternal antibody interference). The practice of annual vaccination in our opinion should be considered of questionable efficacy unless it is used as a mechanism to provide an annual physical examination or is required by law (i.e., certain states require annual revaccination for rabies). (Italics added)

In essence, Drs. Schultz and Phillips are stating that the only reasons for annual vaccination are legal (as with rabies vaccination) or as a means of manipulating guardians into bringing their companions for examinations (rather than simply recommending an examination). They also clearly state that booster vaccines provide no other benefit, including improved or added immunization. Although it has been some years since this was published, the veterinary community has made little headway toward following these recommendations. Some university experts now recommend vaccinations every three years, and other university clinics recommend titer testing to determine need. While both concepts are a step in the right direction, they still do not reflect the actual picture.

As the above quote indicates, immunologic memory lasts for years (usually for the life of the individual). This memory is not dependent upon titers, nor do titer levels always accurately indicate the immune status. A titer is a reflection of the quantity of circulating antibodies (immunoglobulins) to a given antigen (in this case, an organism). Cells in the body produce the antibody. These cells retain the ability to produce antibodies toward a given antigen for quite a long time, usually for life. Upon re-exposure, they can produce antibody within forty-eight hours. As a consequence of this capability, there is no need for the body to expend the energy needed to maintain circulating antibodies. A low or absent titer, therefore, does not mean the body is unprotected. The body may simply have cells ready to act, like firefighters playing cards until they are needed. When booster vaccines are administered, antibodies destroy the vaccine particles before they can augment the immunity, and nothing is accomplished.

With kittens, antibodies (maternal antibody) may be passed from the mother to the kittens via the umbilical cord and via colostrum (the first milk). This antibody serves to protect the kitten, but it also can interfere with vaccination. For this reason, we often vaccinate kittens multiple times, in hopes that we will give a vaccination shortly after the maternal antibody diminishes to a level that will not interfere with vaccination. This is often overkill, as one vaccination can induce immunity in approximately 95 percent of animals if the timing is correct.

Multiple vaccination, particularly with combination vaccines, is one of the greatest contributors to vaccine-induced illness. Limiting vaccination to one or two doses of appropriately indicated vaccines could greatly reduce disease from vaccination. In my opinion, this would be a huge step in the right direction for those who are too fearful to avoid vaccines entirely.

The next area of concern is that of risk. Veterinarians and vaccine companies frequently use fear to convince others of the need for vaccines. Often, the risk of disease is so small that vaccination is foolish. Many cats are kept indoors, and while this practice is certainly controversial (I believe all animals need exposure to the outside), these cats have virtually no risk of exposure to most organisms (especially rabies and feline leukemia virus, both of which require direct contact with an infected animal). Vaccination is generally pointless for these animals.

Even in outdoor cats, vaccines may be unnecessary, as many diseases are not truly contagious. In these cases vaccination is useless since it is not directed toward the cause of illness. These diseases are immune suppressive (often autoimmune) conditions. The immunosuppression occurs first, allowing a virus, bacteria, or fungus to grow. We know this because healthy animals are unaffected by these organisms. Organisms that fit this category include feline leukemia virus, feline infectious peritonitis virus, feline immunodeficiency virus, and ringworm (in most cases). Vaccines for these diseases are therefore of no benefit; in fact, they often induce just the disease they are purported to prevent. These vaccines are among the most dangerous ones available. The only prevention of these diseases comes from a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Vaccination often receives undue credit for disease prevention, and we often hear raving about the lifesaving benefits of vaccination. From human studies, however, we know that the death rates of measles, whooping cough, and polio had fallen significantly prior to the introduction of vaccination; in the case of measles it had dropped 95 percent. Many practitioners around the turn of the century reported that smallpox immunization often increased a person’s chance of disease; this was even reflected in public health statistics. (Miller) Most of the reduction of disease actually resulted from good food and good hygiene.

This brings us to the question of damage from vaccines. Although this is the most controversial aspect of vaccination, I see this so commonly that I personally have no doubts that vaccines are extremely dangerous. Most of my homeopathic colleagues are in agreement. We believe vaccination underlies a huge percentage of illness that we see today, and especially the rash of autoimmune diseases; these have increased dramatically since my graduation from veterinary school in 1979.

I’ll briefly present a case that turned my head many years ago. When I first heard that vaccines might actually cause disease, I was skeptical. Of course, I knew about allergic reactions and other quick responses, but I assumed that these initial reactions were the extent of the problem. I remember a case, however, that opened my eyes. Fluffy was a sweet Persian cat who lived with an equally sweet woman.

Fluffy had recurrent bouts of cystitis (urinary bladder inflammation) that were very resistant to conventional and homeopathic treatment. Despite the fact that I liked Fluffy’s guardian (and Fluffy), I hated to hear from her, as it was such a frustrating case. The bladder infections were never under control for long before they would return. One day I was reviewing the record for some clue as to what to do next when I had a stunning revelation. The cystitis bouts were always about a month after the yearly boosters. I suggested to Fluffy’s guardian that we no longer vaccinate Fluffy, and I never needed to treat Fluffy’s cystitis again. I could only conclude that vaccines could indeed cause diseases—even a supposed infection.

Once I opened my eyes to the possibility of vaccine-induced illness, I began to see it commonly. It even became clear that certain vaccines could cause chronic illness that resembled the acute disease that the vaccine was intended to prevent. Panleukopenia is a good example.

With panleukopenia, major symptoms include inflammation and degeneration of the intestinal tract leading to severe vomiting and diarrhea, severe reduction of white blood cells (leukopenia) leading to immunosuppression, loss of appetite, mucopurulent nasal discharge, dehydration, and rapid weight loss. The chronic diseases we see frequently in cats correspond to many of these symptoms. Inflammatory bowel disease, an autoimmune inflammation of the intestines, is occurring at epidemic levels today. This disease was virtually nonexistent twenty years ago, yet today it is one of the most frequent diagnoses.

Cats are also extremely susceptible to immune malfunction and immunosuppression. The immunosuppressive state has been associated with two retroviruses (feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus), and others are suspected. Rather than these being separate diseases, I believe they are the same, but that more than one virus can fill the niche opened by the immunosuppression (remember that with chronic diseases the illness precedes the infection). This is probably the same in people with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) related viruses. Parvoviruses, which include the feline panleukopenia virus, are known to be very immunosuppressive. Additionally, I suspect the feline upper respiratory infections are a chronic state of the panleukopenia virus-induced immunosuppression and the tendency to get eye discharges.

A similar scenario now exists in dogs. While immunosuppressive states are not common in dogs, reports of their occurrence are on the rise. I believe the massive vaccination program for canine parvovirus, which began some thirty plus years after we began vaccinating cats with feline parvovirus (panleukopenia virus), is creating this situation in dogs. If this is true, then the imminent future bodes poorly for dogs if the problem in cats is an indication. Furthermore, we have been seeing inflammatory bowel disease in dogs over the past five to ten years. Prior to this it was virtually nonexistent. I am certain that vaccination for parvovirus and coronavirus is a major cause. I commonly see inflammatory bowel disease that arises within a month or two after vaccination for one of these viruses.

There is still another syndrome associated with parvoviruses, one that occurred first in cats, and later in dogs. Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle. The muscle may either weaken and stretch (dilated cardiomyopathy), or it may thicken greatly (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). Either condition will limit the heart’s ability to pump blood. Cardiomyopathy is often fatal.

We have been diagnosing cardiomyopathy in cats for over twenty years, approximately the same period of time as for inflammatory bowel disease. Many (but not all) cases of the dilated form of cardiomyopathy have been associated with a deficiency of the amino acid L-taurine. The cause for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, as well as the cause for the nontaurine-associated cases of dilated cardiomyopathy, is unknown. I believe that the answer may have appeared in dogs.

When canine parvovirus first erupted in the late 1970s, many young puppies died rapidly, sometimes within hours. It turned out that parvovirus was capable of attacking the heart muscle in young puppies, and this form of the infection killed the puppies rapidly.

Cardiomyopathy did not affect dogs before the parvovirus outbreak (or if so it was very rare), but in the years since the outbreak it has appeared. The number of cases has especially risen over the past five to ten years, coincident with the rise of inflammatory bowel disease in dogs. The Merck Veterinary Manual states that, "The cause [of dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs] is still unknown although viral infection and resultant autoimmune reaction against the damaged myocardium are suspect…. Since the canine parvovirus (CPV) pandemic of 1978, male Doberman pinschers appear to be highly vulnerable to both CPV and cardiomyopathy." (Fraser) In the years since this was written (in 1986), we have begun to see cardiomyopathy in many other breeds as well as Doberman pinschers.

I believe the author of this section of The Merck Veterinary Manual was correct, but I believe that parvovirus vaccination is even more likely to be the cause in most cases. I also believe that this explains the occurrence of cardiomyopathy in cats. Perhaps the heart muscle association of the feline parvovirus (panleukopenia virus) was not seen in natural infections, but vaccination brought it to the surface. Cardiomyopathy is an autoimmune disease, and vaccines are major causes of autoimmune disease. In my opinion, these connections are too close to be coincidence alone.

Another vaccine that induces great anguish for guardian and companion is the rabies vaccine. I see many cases of fear and aggression that stem from rabies vaccination. If you consider the nature of rabies, this might not surprise you. It appears we are introducing chronic rabies into our animals by injecting rabies virus particles into their bodies. How, you may wonder, could inactivated virus induce illness? Apparently, the ability to affect change is not contingent upon the quality of aliveness, as we understand the concept. In fact, viruses are on the border between living and non-living; they require another organism to reproduce and thrive; otherwise they are little more than a chemical compound with the potential to alter the metabolism of their hosts.

Other conditions we see frequently in veterinary medicine today are not so directly traceable to a particular vaccine, but the general connection to vaccination is clear to many practitioners. Hyperthyroidism (increased production of thyroid hormones) was not seen when I first graduated from veterinary school. It was not simply misdiagnosed. The symptoms are so characteristic that the syndrome would have been recognized even if the cause was unknown. The disease did not exist. Could vaccines be responsible? Let’s look at another case:

Sheba is a Siamese mix cat. She was nine years old when her guardian first consulted me. One week after vaccination, Sheba stopped eating and developed a rapid heart rate. Her conventional veterinarian suspected hyperthyroidism, although thyroid testing revealed no abnormalities. One dose of Thuja (a homeopathic remedy) reversed the rapid heartbeat and the appetite problems, and her health bloomed after the remedy so that she was better than before she became ill. Clearly the vaccines had caused these problems. I believe she would have developed true hyperthyroid disease if untreated.

The status of cats has elevated significantly since the 1960’s. Prior to this most cats received little veterinary care. Since the 1970’s, however, as cat status elevated, the care given to cats has climbed. This has generally meant more vaccinations. And rabies vaccination was often not recommended for cats until the mid-1980s. I believe the massive increase of vaccines in cats is responsible for hyperthyroidism as well as many other recently emerging diseases.

Cats suffer greatly from vaccination damage. The most obvious vaccine-induced problem is one that is deathly serious, causing great suffering among cats and cat companions. Fibrosarcomas, a type of cancer, occur more and more as a result of vaccination. The vaccines that are implicated are the rabies and feline leukemia virus vaccines. These cancers arise at the site of injection of one of the vaccines. Researchers have identified vaccine particles within the cancer mass in a number of cases; the link is definite. Many veterinarians now refer to these cancers as vaccine sarcomas. Fibrosarcomas are malignant, and the average life expectancy is less than three years once the cancer has arisen. No treatment has proven satisfactory. Even with aggressive surgical removal, these cancers recur in the vast majority of cats. Some leading veterinarians recommend giving the vaccines in a leg, or even in the tail (ow!), to make amputation a viable option in case the cancers arise. Does this make sense?

Obviously, when we reach the point of making recommendations like these, we are out of control. But do we simply avoid vaccinations in order to avoid all risk? Or is there possibly more risk by not vaccinating? Personally, I am opposed to vaccination in virtually all situations, but I will endeavor to give some guidelines that will assist you in making a balanced decision regarding your feline companions.

There are four criteria that are at the center of any vaccine decision. One should only consider administering a vaccine if all four criteria are met:

1. The disease is serious, even life threatening.

2. The animal is or will be exposed to the disease.

3. The vaccine for the disease is known to be effective.

4. The vaccine for the disease is considered safe.

Let’s look at individual diseases to see how this works. I’ll start with feline leukemia virus (FeLV) disease. An indoor-only cat will not be exposed (number two) as this virus requires direct, intimate, cat-to-cat contact for transmission. Many veterinarians recommend immunizing indoor cats against this disease, but I feel this is unethical. This disease does not fit criteria numbers three or four anyway in my experience, so vaccination is unwarranted in most if not all circumstances. If a vaccine for the feline immunodeficiency virus were developed, it would be the same as for FeLV.

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is another disease that fits neither three nor four, and rarely number two. The FIP virus vaccine has generally been found ineffective and has produced severe side effects. Among the side effects I have observed with both FIP and FeLV vaccines is induction of the clinical disease they were intended to prevent.

Feline panleukopenia virus is very serious and the vaccine is quite effective, but most cats will not be exposed to the virus and the disease generally affects kittens only. Only those cats that are likely to be exposed would benefit from vaccination, and one vaccination between the age of ten to twelve weeks will protect 95 percent of cats for life. (Schultz)

With the feline upper respiratory diseases (calicivirus and rhinotracheitis virus as well as feline chlamydia), most are not serious except in very young kittens. These kittens generally contract the disease before vaccines would typically be administered, so the vaccine is not often beneficial. If you choose to immunize for these, use the intranasal form, and do not vaccinate for chlamydia. The chlamydia fraction produces poor immunization.

Recently a vaccine for ringworm was introduced. I have no direct experience with this vaccine, but I am certain that it will have little benefit and it is probably unsafe. Ringworm is usually the result of immunodeficiency—a chronic disease rather than an acute illness, so the vaccine will not address the cause of disease. I strongly recommend against using this vaccine.

Finally, while rabies is a very serious disease with the potential to infect humans (this is the reason for excessive vaccination laws), most animals are very unlikely to be exposed. One vaccine at four months of age will protect most cats for life. If one booster vaccination is administered, almost all animals (95 percent) are immunized for life. (Schultz)

In summary, my first recommendation is avoidance of vaccination whenever possible. If the risk is great, one panleukopenia vaccination will adequately protect the cat in almost all cases. The intranasal rhinotracheitis-calicivirus vaccine is relatively effective, but very few cats will benefit from this. Finally, rabies is legally mandated, but one vaccination will generally protect cats that are at risk.

I never recommend vaccines for feline leukemia virus, feline infectious peritonitis virus, Chlamydia, ringworm, or the feline immunodeficiency virus. And I never recommend booster vaccines; these are always unwarranted.

Clarence Fraser, ed. The Merck Veterinary Manual (Rahway, New Jersey: Merck & Co., Inc., 1986).

Neil Miller, Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective? (Santa Fe, NM: New Atlantean Press, 1994).

Phillips, T.R., DVM, and Ron Schultz, Ph.D., "Canine and Feline Vaccines," in Current Veterinary Therapy XI, Robert Kirk, DVM and John Bonagura, DVM, eds. (Philadelphia: Saunders, 1992).

Ron Schultz, "Theory and Practice of Immunization" (paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, Snowmass, CO, September 1995), 92-104.

Dr. Don Hamilton practices veterinary homeopathy in New Mexico. The vaccination issue is comprehensively reviewed in a chapter of his forthcoming book, Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs: Small Doses for Small Animals, to be published this summer by North Atlantic Books. Please see this book (available directly from Dr. Hamilton or at most bookstores) for further information about vaccination or other health problems, or you may call 505 666 2091 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hamilton. There is a charge for telephone consultations.
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2007, 09:20:05 AM »

http://www.byregion.net/articles-healers/Dr_Shawn.html

Degenerative Myelopathy and Excitotoxins -
Bad News for Big Dogs


by Shawn Messonnier, DVM
Author of The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats

Degenerative myelopathy(DM) is a common yet misdiagnosed and underdiagnosed condition in dogs. According to Dr. Roger Clemmons, the leading expert on this condition, the age at onset is 5 to 14 years of age.1 The disease can occur in any large breed dog, but appears most frequently in the German Shepherd Dog GSD) suggesting the possibility of a genetic predisposition. Many dogs may experience a degenerative spinal cord disease; unless their disorders are caused by the same immune-related mechanisms which characterize DM of GSD, the integrative treatment protocol developed by Dr. Clemmons (and discussed fully on his informative website) may not be effective. The breeds for which there is data to suggest that they also suffer from DM of GSD are the Belgium Shepherd, Old English Sheep Dog, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Weimeraner and, probably, Great Pyrenees.

According to Dr. Clemmon’s research, the microscopic neural tissue lesions consist of widespread demyelination of the spinal cord, with the greatest concentration of lesions in the thoracolumbar spinal cord region. In severely involved areas, there is also a reduced number of axons, an increased number of astroglial cells and an increased density of small vascular elements. In the thoracic spinal cord, nearly all funiculi are vacuolated. Similar lesions are occasionally seen scattered throughout the white matter of the brains from some dogs, as well. Many patients have evidence of plasma cell infiltrates in the kidneys on throughout the gastrointestinal tract, providing a hint to the underlying immune disorder causing DM. 1

The current proposed etiology of DM centers on abnormalities of the immune system. Electrophoresis of immune-complexes that form during the disease demonstrates that the proteins present are in fact inflammatory proteins.1 These proteins increase in various disorders in which there is inflammation in the nervous system.

While the exact cause of DM is unknown, there is overwhelming evidence that DM is an autoimmune disease attacking the nervous system, and leading to progressive damage of the involved nervous system tissue. In many respects, the pathogenesis of DM is similar to the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis and it is likely that degenerative myelopathy is the equivalent of multiple sclerosis in affected dogs.1

Initially, due to some unidentified trigger, immune-complexes are formed and then circulate, leading to endothelial cell damage in the vessels of the CNS with subsequent deposition of fibrin in the perivascular spaces. When the fibrin degrades, inflammatory cells migrate into the lesions, releasing prostaglandins and cytokines. The prostaglandins and cytokines activate various tissue enzymes and form of oxygen free-radicals; the enzymes and radicals cause tissue damage.1 The currently proposed treatment is directed at these various pathologic processes.

I have an interesting yet probably controversial hypothesis on what possibly could cause this. Excitotoxicity may be part of the explanation. Excitotoxicity is defined as a “phenomenon characterized by the triggering of neuronal excitation through over-stimulation of susceptible neurons by the excitatory amino acids, primarily glutamate and aspartate”.2 These toxins increase for a variety of reasons, including exposure of the patient to mercury and in the presence of viruses.3,4

While controversial, there are some that believe that the increased incidence of autism is related to mercury in vaccines and the number of vaccines administered to young children with immature, developing nervous systems.5 Mercury inhibits the glutamate transport protein GLT-1, which allows glutamate to accumulate in the nervous system.3 Of particular interest is the measles virus, which is closely related to the dog distemper virus. When multiple vaccines are given together, especially when these vaccines are composed of modified live viruses, the stress on the immune system is increased.6 This leads to immune-directed damage to the nervous system. Measles virus, and likely distemper virus, can induce autoimmune reactions to myelin basic protein.6 In fact, 84% of autistic have antibodies against myelin basic protein, suggesting an autoimmunity to the nervous system.7 Damaged myelin is the lesion seen in people with MS, dogs with degenerative myelopathy, and in other disorders as well. Is it possible that by administering multiple modified live vaccines to puppies with immature immune systems, we are predisposing some patients to degenerative myelopathy? Viruses produce a lot of damage to the nervous system by stimulating the release of glutamate and other excitotoxins.4,8 Antioxidant deficiencies may allow viruses in vaccines (stealth viruses or modified live viruses) to mutate from a non-violent form to a highly virulent form.9

While some will find this article controversial, especially since I have extrapolated a lot of information from the human literature, I believe the idea of excitotoxicity is certainly plausible, and may be the most plausible inciting factor as a possible etiology for degenerative myelopathy to date. The pathophysiology of DM, plus the integrative treatment approach developed by Dr. Roger Clemmons and others, lend credibility to the possibility of autoimmunity with subsequent oxidative damage to the nervous tissue as outlined in this article. Of course not all kids or pets that are immunized will develop these disorders; my guess is that there is some genetic predisposition or other damage to the immune system that may allow one or more vaccine components to act as the trigger to incite the chain of events which allows damage to occur to the nervous system. Still, if we can minimize the amount of vaccines given to our patients, especially the younger ones, this will have a more positive effect on the overall health of the patient and reduce damage to the immune and nervous systems.

References:

1. Clemmons R.

2. Olney JW. Brain lesions, obesity, and other disturbances in mice treated with monosodium glutamate, Sci 1969, 165:719-721.

3. Aschner M, Ganon M, Kimelberg HK. Methylmercury-induced alterations in excitatory amino acid transport in rat primary astrocyte cultures, Brain Research, 1993, 602:181-186.

4. Dories R. The role of T-cell-mediated mechanisms in virus infections of the nervous system, Curr Top Microbiol Immunol, 2001, 253:219-245.

5. Blaylock R. The Central Role of Excitotoxicity in Autism Spectrum Disorders, JANA, Vol 6, No 1, 2001:10-22.

6. Liebert UG, Hashin GA, ter Meulen V. Characterization of measles virus-induced cellular autoimmune reactions against myelin basic protein in Lewis rats, J Neuroimmunol, 1990, 29:139-147.

7. Singh VK, Warren RP, Odell JD, et al. Antibodies to myelin basic protein in children with autistic behavior, Brain Behavior Immunity, 1993, 7:97-103.

8. Espey MG, Kustova Y, Sie Y, Basile AS. Extracellular glutamate levels are chronically elevated in the brains of LP-BM5-infected mics: a mechanism of retrovirus-induced encephalopathy, J Neurochem, 1998, 71:2079-2087.

9. Beck MA, Levander OA. Dietary oxidative stress and the potentiation of viral infection, Ammu Rev Nutr, 1998, 18:93-116.

Dr. Shawn Messonnier is author of the Natural Vet series from Prima publishing, which includes The Arthritis Solution for Dogs, The Allergy Solution for Dogs, and the award-winning The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats. For your weekly dose of holistic pet care, read Dr. Shawn's column "The Holistic Pet" in your local paper. He can be reached at 972-867-8000, naturalvet@juno.com, or at http://www.petcarenaturally.com.
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2007, 09:24:52 AM »

 http://www.austinholistic.com/articles/FW001.html

Vaccinations: A Word of Caution for Our Animals – Part I

Efficacy ( Does it Work?)

Every procedure we do to ourselves or those in our care should be a useful one or there is no reason to do it. This may seem obvious, but bears mentioning, especially in the world of modern medicine. While vaccinations may confer immunity in animals, how effective or useful is it to repeat this procedure every year, as is the standard recommendation in this country today?

Immunology has recognized for a great many years that viruses in vaccinations confer a long-lived immunity. This is why your physician is not sending you postcards every year to repeat your small pox or polio vaccinations annually. They understand your immune system was adequately stimulated in childhood, and a cellular memory exists in you that will "wake up" if any future challenges from these viruses occur. Is there some profound difference in animals that makes us think they need to repeat their vaccinations yearly? Let me quote from the experts. The following was printed in Current Veterinary Therapy, volume XI, published several years ago (this is a very well respected, peer-reviewed book that is updated every four years). The authors are veterinary immunologists Ronald Schultz ( University of Wisconsin) and Tom Phillips (Scrips Research Institute).

"A practice that was started many years ago and that lacks scientific validity or verification is annual revaccination. Almost without exception there is no immunologic requirement for annual revaccination. Immunity to viruses persists for years or for the life of the animal...... Furthermore, revaccination with most viral vaccines fails to stimulate an anamnestic (secondary) response.... The practice of annual vaccination in our opinion should be considered of questionable efficacy..."

In plain English, that means you are wasting a lot of money (and, as we'll see later, risking your animals' health) without much likelihood that your animal is actually becoming "boosted" each year. In other words, the immunity that was established in early life persists, and it is that immunity that actually interferes with subsequent vaccinations. It's much like the case of vaccinating very young puppies. If you vaccinate a puppy (or kitten) at a too young age, the maternal antibodies from the mother's immune system are still present, and the vaccine will be thwarted in its attempt to provoke an immune response.


I had the pleasure to meet Dr. Schultz at a veterinary conference a few years ago. He has done research for many of the companies that market vaccines. It was very interesting to hear his perspective of 25 years in this field. He clearly had not come to this understanding lightly. One most interesting fact was the way that rabies vaccine comes to be labeled. We currently have a "One-year rabies" and a "Three-year rabies" vaccine. On the labels, the one-year must be repeated yearly and the three- year must be repeated every three years. The reason behind this is the length of time the experimental animals were studied. At the end of one year after their vaccination, the animals were challenged with live rabies virus, the survivors tallied, and the vaccine marketed. The same vaccine was studied for three years , the data gathered, and this vaccine lot was marketed as "Three-year rabies vaccine." Rabies vaccine is so effective in immunizing that there is likely life-long protection. Why then do we vaccinate annually? And why, in light of the understanding above, are we Texas veterinarians required to use the three-year vaccine annually? Unfortunately, we have a law in place that fails to recognize immunological facts. In Texas, all dogs and cats are required to be vaccinated annually against rabies.

What about the other vaccinations? They are also viral vaccines, so there should be "no immunological requirement" for repeating them yearly. Also know that none of the others are required by law to be repeated annually. Some are even useless to give at any age, others at any age over one year.

A lot of what conventional medicine recommends is based on is fear. If there's a "bad germ" out there that might "get us" (or our pets), we want to use something to protect against that germ. We've all heard horror stories about dogs dying of Parvovirus infection, so we are admonished to get yearly (or even twice yearly!) vaccinations against this deadly disease. Yet how many adult dogs die of Parvo each year? Ask your veterinarian this question. Parvo is almost always a disease of puppies under one year of age, and very occasionally old dogs who have weakened immune systems from unhealthy living (commercial diets and frequent vaccinations!). Why, then should we vaccinate against it yearly throughout life? Coronavirus also causes puppy diarrhea and vomiting, but differs from Parvo in that it is not fatal. Is it worthwhile injecting viruses into our animals for a disease from which they will surely survive? Dr. Schultz and others feel it is not. Yet this and other non-fatal viruses are in common use in every "annual (non-)booster" given.

You might ask why this annual vaccination habit exists. It's a very good question, and one that conventional medicine is examining more and more frequently as time goes on. A recent watershed occurred when a renowned University of California-Davis veterinary researcher and professor, Neils Pedersen, commented on the practice in a very well respected conventional magazine called AAHA Trends (AAHA is the American Animal Hospital Association). "current vaccine practices are medically unsound. It is time to question the wisdom of annual booster, multivalent products (combination vaccines, the most common being DHLPP for dogs and FVRCP for cats), and unnecessary vaccines. Doing so will return companion animals' immunization to its status as a medical and not an economical procedure."

What will get us a lot closer to what we really want (healthy animals who are resistant to all disease) is to focus on raising our individual animals in the way that allows them to do what nature intended: to live freely, happily, and fully alive, with an immune system that responds directly to any challenge that confronts them. In our haste to protect our pets, let's not forget that it's the animal's immune system that protects, not some solution of viruses in a syringe.

In Part II, I address another aspect of the vaccine question: safety. For now, suffice it to say that if your dog or cat is an adult who has had vaccinations, there is no immunologic need to continue vaccinating annually: the immunity is present from the early vaccines and will not get any better through yearly repetition.
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2007, 09:26:04 AM »

http://www.austinholistic.com/articles/FW002.html

 Vaccinations: A Word of Caution for Our Animals – Part II

Safety (Is It Free of Harm?)

Have you ever wondered why you get a reminder every year to revaccinate your pet when your physician never prompts you to do the same for your family or yourself? I'd like you to question the notion that we need this frequent vaccinating, and go a step further and listen to some evidence that this practice may actually be harmful to our four-footed friends.

If someone, even someone in a white coat, suggests that you take a drug or get injected with some substance, two logical questions ought to immediately arise in your mind:

1. Is this beneficial to me (or does this work as intended)?

2. Is this safe?

If we ask these two questions about annual revaccination of animals, and we ask the right people, we'll get a negative answer to both. We've already covered the first question in Part I: efficacy of annual revaccination is clearly lacking according to immunologists. A more important question is the safety issue, as a growing body of evidence mounts showing a correlation between vaccinations and chronic disease.

The chronic diseases have many names, including arthritis, hypo- or hyperthyroidism, allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, repeated ear infections, skin disease, heart disease, diabetes, kidney failure, and cancer. What makes them nightmarish is that they linger, they are not easily cured, and they are slowly, progressively degenerative, meaning the patient declines in health over the time they are present. The best that conventional medicine can do with chronic disease is to control symptoms through suppressive therapies. This is fraught with problems, including side effects from the drugs, and apparently "new," more serious diseases arising from the continued course of suppression. So, our greatest goal as animal caretakers should be to prevent chronic disease in the first place.

The onset of chronic disease after vaccination is often delayed, coming about 1-2 months afterwards. This is not close enough for conventional medical minds to appreciate the correlation, but it's there nonetheless. The evidence of this comes from both anecdotal sources and research studies.

A British veterinarian has, for the last 10-12 years, asked those clients who present him with an itchy, allergic dog, "When did this itchiness begin?" The response is striking. Some 75% remember clearly: it began within 1-2 months of the "puppy shots." Anecdotal evidence in human medicine is pointing to a cause and effect relationship between childhood vaccines and autism. There has been a marked increase in incidence of this devastating disease that parallels the increased number of vaccinations now required of children. The interval between vaccination and disease? About one month.

In a research study published in 1996, the authors looked at a deadly canine disease of a confused immune system. Known as immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA), it means the dogs' immune systems attacked their own red blood cells as if they were foreign. Needless to say, this is life-challenging and the death rate is high, as one cannot live long without the oxygen-carrying red blood cells. In the study, 58 dogs with the illness, presenting at a veterinary teaching hospital over a two year period, were compared to a control group presenting for other problems over the same time. The question was asked, "Did anything precede the onset of IMHA?" Lo and behold, a highly statistically significant group of the sick dogs had been vaccinated with the usual yearly vaccines one month earlier. It was so significant that the authors entitled their paper, "Vaccine-Associated Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia in the Dog." (Duval and Giger, J Vet Intern Med 1996;10:290-295)

In cats, researchers have known for the last ten years about the correlation between vaccines and a malignant tumor. This particular tumor arises where the vaccines are commonly given, in the area of loose skin at the back of the neck, or in the back of the hind leg. It appears to be uniformly fatal, even with extensive surgery. And it has been clearly associated with two particular vaccines, rabies and feline leukemia. Finally, in 2000, recognizing the clear cause and effect relationship between vaccination and this cancer, the disease was renamed by the research community. It is now officially called Vaccine-Associated Sarcoma.

In the early days of homeopathic veterinary practice, a number of us would see something we would later call the "vaccinosis phenomenon." It was instructive to us as to just how significant an impact vaccinations had had on our animal patients. We would be presented with a chronically ill animal, and after carefully choosing and giving the appropriate homeopathic remedy, we'd be met with disappointing results. A second or third prescription would be made with similar dismal responses from the patient. Finally, we'd go back to the owner and ask about vaccinations. Inevitably the patient was vaccinated. "Whenever we got the reminder postcard, we went in for the shots." Then we would reanalyze the case in light of this knowledge, and look at remedies that were particularly noted to have been applicable in illness that arose after vaccination. When we'd prescribe again with a "vaccinosis" remedy, the results were often startling. Not only would the disease symptoms lessen by 50% or more, but the patient would start acting more normally. The dog who was hyperactive would settle down and pay attention, the angry cat would become a lover again, or the animal terrified of visitors would come out and say hello. The owners were so impressed with the changes that they would often call before the next appointment to tell us how great things were going!

The inference we have made from this experience, repeated over and over in different parts of the country in different practitioners' hands, is simple: vaccinations are responsible for a significant portion of the illness we see in the patients with chronic disease.

The veterinary profession slowly continues to evaluate this practice of vaccinating annually. In 2000, the American Association of Feline Practitioners came out with an official statement against annual vaccination in the cat. They based this position on research from Cornell where kittens, vaccinated once, measured seven years later still showing evidence of immunity from those vaccines. Quite frankly though, I don?t think we can afford to wait for the whole profession to catch up. Our animals are at risk to become chronically ill if we continue this baseless practice of annual revaccination. And, years from now when we look back incredulously at how such a practice was ever thought to be wise, wouldn't it be nice to be able to smile and pat your healthy twenty-something pet and say, "We knew. We stopped. That's why you're still here."


About the Author

Dr. Will Falconer, DVM, enjoys a full-time classical homeopathic practice in Austin, Texas. To learn what Dr. Falconer has been recommending to his clients on all matter of natural health care for years, visit www.Alt4Animals.com.

He graduated with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Missouri in 1980 and has been in practice ever since. For the first seven years, he practiced very conventionally, using drugs and surgery to treat animals. Since then, he has gradually changed his practice style and philosophy to incorporate a more holistic approach to healthcare. He has taken certification training in veterinary acupuncture and veterinary homeopathy, and has received Certification as a Veterinary Homeopath from the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy.

Dr. Falconer is a member of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy, and the National Center for Homeopathy. He writes articles for national pet magazines and medical journals, gives public lectures to animal owners, and shares homeopathic case reports with conventional and holistic veterinarians. He enjoys a full-time classical homeopathic practice in Austin, Texas.
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2007, 09:37:55 AM »

   "A practice that was started many years ago and that lacks scientific validity or verification is annual revaccinations."   
 from Kirk's Current Veterinary Therapy, Volume XI


   

        Charles Loops, DVM:

  "After more than twenty years of practicing veterinary medicine, I am observing chronic diseases that begin much earlier than before.  Cancer before five years of age in dogs and cats was a rarity, but now it is not unusual to see fatal cancers in two and three year old animals.  And the incidence or number of cases is definitely increasing. While poor breeding practices, poor commercial diets and other environmental factors play their part, I believe it is the practice of vaccinating an animal repeatedly, with multiple vaccinations throughout their lifespan that factors the most. We have genetically weakened our companions with this practice.  A normal dog or cat living to twelve years of age will receive at least twenty and possibly thirty vaccinations during their lifetime.  Fifteen or so of these shots will have four to seven disease fractions present in each vaccination.

            In all of this, balance in nature has been lost to the pharmaceutical-medical complex's philosophy, propelled in great part by monetary factors, leading us to believe that all vaccinations are beneficial.

            Risk of Exposure should be the main guideline for consideration of whether to vaccinate and what to vaccinate against. If your cats are indoor only, or if your dogs' outside activities are on a leash or within a fenced area under supervision, there is little risk.  The other considerations for a vaccine's use are its proven safety, its effectiveness, and whether the disease so serious or life-threatening that vaccinating is necessary. Remember, VACCINES ARE NOT HARMLESS. Only vaccinate if the threat is real. "



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« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2007, 06:12:41 PM »

Pet Vaccination Lawsuit

By Lisa Ross-Williams with Dr Bob Rogers


Lisa has a great radio show called If Your Horse Could Talk. Recently she interviewed Bob Rogers DVM about a very hot topic in the dog community right now over a vaccination lawsuit. Here is her interview:

Today I’ll be chatting with Dr Bob Rogers about the class action lawsuit concerning pet vaccinations.

Lisa
-Welcome Dr Rogers. Thanks so much for being with us today. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of this issue, please tell us a bit about your background and how you got involved with this issue.

Dr Rogers
-I’m a 1975 graduate of Texas A & M University and I’ve been in practice for 30 years. In 1988, I noticed a new vaccine came out for Corona virus and I was confused because I had never seen a case of a dog with Corona. In talking with the manufacturer, they said the vaccine was only developed for use for puppies, they acknowledged that Corona was not a disease of adult dogs and yet, their marketing department was marketing it for adult dogs. I asked them what was up with that and they said that Marketing doesn’t talk to Research & Development.

I thought that over the years vets would quit using the Corona virus vaccine but what I’ve seen is more and more unnecessary and ineffective vaccines coming out. In 1997, I went to a seminar where Dr Ron Schultz, probably the most prominent immunologist in veterinary medicine said that giving vaccines like Rabies, Distemper, and Parvo annually had no effect. I went back to me practice and changed my vaccine recommendations as I cannot in good conscious charge a client for something that does nothing, especially when I know that there’s a risk involved. I was very surprised over the years to see that nobody else was changing.

Lisa-Do you think that’s because vets are so busy with their practice that they don’t have the time to try to find new information about vaccines?

Dr Rogers
-I think that’s a big part of it. Certainly a vet would be more inclined to get continuing education about diabetes because that’s a big challenge. However, he would probably think he knows how to vaccinate a dog. But the drug companies have disseminated a lot of false information; they come into town, buy dinners at the most expensive restaurant for all the vets and present a seminar on vaccines where they misconstrue the studies, they omit the most current studies, and they conclude that we should go on vaccinating every pet for every disease known to man, every year. So that’s a big part of the problem too.

Lisa
-So at what point did you decide you needed to take a more active role?

Dr Rogers-Over three years, I went to the Texas State Veterinary Board; their mission is #1 to protect the public and #2 is to elevate the standard of practice. I merely asked them to encourage vets to get continuing education on vaccinations and to stop allowing continued education where the speaker is a paid employee of a drug company because that is a big conflict of interest. I think that was a very reasonable request and they refused.

Lisa-Did they give you a reason?

Dr Rogers-They said they didn’t want to tell vets how to practice. Well, stopping fraud is quite different than telling vets how to practice. This isn’t just a matter of which antibiotic is better, this is charging people for something that has no effect. As more scientific data came out and as more organizations like the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association came out with recommendations and guidelines, I kept going back to the state board and they continued to refuse. After about the sixth time, I threatened to sue them for negligence for failing to protect the public.

Lisa
-Good and did that work?

Dr Rogers
-Yes, they then agreed to investigate my complaint and in fact sent a letter out to every Texas vet saying that they should change their vaccine recommendations. To me the word “should” means do it and the boards interpretation means it’s a suggestion. As people here have filed complaints against vets for giving unnecessary vaccinations, the state board has told these people, “if you don’t like your vet’s recommendations, find another vet.” They still are not enforcing this.

So I went to the Sunset Commission which is a group of senators who oversee the state board and they told the board in no uncertain terms to crack down on unnecessary vaccinations. The state board sent me a letter saying they intended to ignore the Sunset Commission. People continue to file complaints and the board continues to say vets can do whatever they want.

There are attorneys who just hang around the state capitals to see what’s going on and this issue came to a law firm’s attention. They made an announcement that they would represent clients who are upset about unnecessary vaccinations and whose pets have been harmed. That firm approached me and asked me to provide them with the scientific literature to support this, which I have done. On the day they announced this, they got over 300 people on the first day alone.

Lisa
-I believe that. Is that just Texas or is this across the U.S.?

Dr Rogers-I know of lawsuits going on in several states. They just changed the class-action ruling on a national level defining how class action suits can be filed. This law firm’s focus started in Texas although they have identified complainants in other states.

Lisa-I certainly can see many people involved because this is an issue across the country. I’m finding that animal owners are becoming more informed and learning new things and I certainly think more people are aware of the vaccination issue. I see it growing to ten of thousands at least.

Let’s talk a little more about vaccinations. I always tell people to do some research. If you’re going to vaccinate, try to understand the diseases, the efficiency & duration of protection and the side effects. That way, you can make an informed decision. Unfortunately, a lot of people look to their vets for guidance, but it sounds like many of the vets are not aware of the latest studies and plug along, sending out annual vaccination notices.

Dr Rogers
-What a vaccine consist of is a virus or bacteria that has been weakened or killed so that it cannot cause the disease, hopefully. But it still is essentially a Parvo virus, or Distemper, etc, so it stimulates the immune system to protect against that disease. We’re depending on our patients to respond to that vaccine by producing antibodies and cell mediated immunity. If a pet has already been immunized for one of the core vaccines of which we know the vaccines produce a long-term immunity, when you give them another vaccine, the antibodies for the first vaccine will block any subsequent vaccine from having an effect. This is what Dr Ron Schultz published clear back in 1995; that the client is paying for something with no effect. There are other vaccines like Leptospirosis for which the duration of immunity is very short and they do have to be given every year. But these vaccines should only be given to a dog that is at risk of developing the disease.

Lisa-So if there have been no reports of that disease in your area for many years, then that would be a reason not to give it.

Dr Rogers
-Correct. For instance, in Texas, they only see an average of 12 dogs a year with Leptospirosis. Over a million dogs and the chance of your dog being exposed to Lepto is less than 1 in a million. We know that the dogs at the highest risk are hunting dogs. So, if you were given that information, would you purchase that vaccine for your dog? I wouldn’t. The other thing is that vaccine is only 60-80% effective. Clients should be provided with enough information to make an informed decision.

Lisa
-From what I understand, on the back of vaccination bottles it states it only should be given to healthy animals. So if an animal has a compromised immune system or some type of chronic issue, they might not be able to build the immunity even if given the shot. If they’re not healthy enough to launch a reaction, what happens then?

Dr Rogers
-The real danger is that the animal could develop the disease for which the vaccine was intended to prevent. Distemper is the biggest culprit. A dog with diabetes or Cushings could get distemper from the vaccine and this actually happens, depending on the brand of vaccine in 1 out of 10,000. I personally have seen this happen to three dogs and this is an awful experience for the animal, the owners and me as well.

Lisa-When you are talking about core vaccines, what are you referring to?

Dr Rogers
-These are vaccinations that are recommended for every dog to receive; Rabies, Distemper, and Parvo. We are currently recommending these for puppies at 8, 12, and 16 weeks and again at one year. The American Animal Hospital Association and most veterinary schools have adopted a compromise here. We know the vaccines are good for at least 7 years, probably the lifetime of the pet. But to try to compromise with vets who are worried about losing money, they came up with an every 3 year recommendation. This is really just an arbitrary number that they just pulled out of a hat.

Lisa-Is it true that the USDA doesn’t require the drug companies to prove efficiency?

Dr Rogers-They do have to prove 85% efficiency. The USDA certainly needs to revise it’s standards for licensing vaccines. They do not have to prove how long the vaccine is good for; they can test at three months and get a license for the vaccine. The vaccine might only be good for four months or for the life of the pet. The USDA makes no determination on that.

Lisa-So unless you’re testing for efficiency beyond one year, then you don’t have to come out and say it’s effective longer. Is that what has happened in the past where the drug companies say we have tested it at one year, but never went further? It is a business and we need to understand that vaccinations involve a LOT of money for the vets and the drug companies.

Dr Rogers
-Yes, it’s a billion dollar industry.
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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2007, 06:14:30 PM »

Lisa-Is it true that the USDA doesn’t require the drug companies to prove efficiency?

Dr Rogers-They do have to prove 85% efficiency. The USDA certainly needs to revise it’s standards for licensing vaccines. They do not have to prove how long the vaccine is good for; they can test at three months and get a license for the vaccine. The vaccine might only be good for four months or for the life of the pet. The USDA makes no determination on that.

Lisa-How about some of the adverse reactions that are seen in pets today. Quite frankly, I think that this is just the tip of the iceberg and I don’t feel the current adverse reporting procedures are efficient. I hear so many times from people who may see a reaction in their dog, cat or horse and tell their vet. The vet says, “On no, it couldn’t possibly be linked to the shot.” The people then just stop there where in fact this needed to be reported, either by the vet or the owner. Let’s chat whether there’s a better way to report these reactions

Dr Rogers-There is no reporting. There is no government supported reporting for veterinary vaccines. We can report to the drug company, but they have no obligation and they do not report back to vets about these reactions. We have no idea and no way of finding out.

Lisa-That seems like it’s broken. I thought there was a reporting agency?

Dr Rogers-There was a reporting network but it was discontinued several years ago.

Lisa-I didn’t know that. What was the reason?

Dr Rogers
-To save on government funding. Probably the most severe vaccine reaction that has received the most attention is cats getting cancer from the vaccines. This is called a vaccine associated sarcoma and it is 100% fatal. It is thought to kill 22,000 cats a year in the U.S. and that’s an estimated figure.

Lisa-Say someone takes their cat in and are diagnosed with this. Are they being told why or do the vets even know why?

Dr Rogers-I’ve talked to a lot of cat owners where the vet didn’t tell them that the vaccine was the cause of the cancer.

Lisa-Is that because the vet is afraid of repercussions?

Dr Rogers
-I think it’s a knee jerk reaction for people to be defensive and say “I didn’t do it.” But the owners find out. They all tell me the same thing-I wasn’t warned, nobody told me this could happen. If vets would do one thing we could greatly reduce the number of cats getting cancer. Warn the owner that if a lump develops at the site of the shot and it doesn’t go way within three weeks, have it removed, hopefully before it becomes cancer. Maybe only 1 lump out of 100 will develop into cancer but it’s worth removing them all.

Adjuvants are something that is added to the vaccine to stimulate the immune system. There is lots of evidence to show that it is adjuvants that is the cause of cancer in cats. I’m not saying that a non-adjuvanted vaccines can’t possible cause cancer, but certainly the adjuvant vaccines are at least five times more likely.

Lisa-What type of substances are used for adjuvants?

Dr Rogers-It’s usually an aluminum added. The way it works is it creates inflammation which draws the immune system to the site of the vaccine. It also makes a vaccination more of a sustained release product. Cats are unique in that inflammation can turn into cancer. There are non-adjuvanted vaccines; they don’t cost anymore and yet they only have about 10% of the market. Only 10% of vets are going to all non-adjuvanted vaccines.

Lisa
-Does that go back to them just not knowing?

Dr Rogers
-I think it goes back to the vaccine manufacturer disseminating false and misleading information. Certainly the companies that don’t make a non-adjuvant vaccines want to go around and say it hasn’t been proven that adjuvants are the culprit.

Lisa
-Doesn’t that come down to demand? If there were more vets and owners demanding the types of vaccines, then the drug companies would either get onboard or they’re going to lose their shirt.

Dr Rogers-Absolutely. Adjuvants were declared a Class 2 Carcinogen by the World Health Organization. If that was recognized by the USDA, they would have to take all the adjuvant vaccines off the market. So again I think the USDA is asleep at the wheel.

The AVMA asked the USDA to revise their standards for licensing vaccines back in 1998. Since that time, they have licensed vaccines that have no effect, vaccines that don’t even contain the virus or disease to which they were intended to protect and many adjuvant vaccines. So the USDA has not done what the AVMA asked them to do.

Lisa
-Do you think this class action lawsuit will put pressure on the USDA to change that? How can we get that changed?

Dr Rogers
-It’s very sad to see that it had to come to a lawsuit. I think vets are good people who have made one bad decision which is to ignore the scientific evidence and studies and to refuse to accept change. Basically, good people who said, “I don’t care that the scientific evidence says, I’m not changing.” But I do think we need some moral leadership at the AVMA, the State boards should do their duty to protect the public and the USDA needs to clean up their act.

Lisa-How about the AVMA. You said that they did change their recommendations. Did they send that out to all the vet members?

Dr Rogers
-Yes, in 2001 they published a position statement on vaccines. They said there is no scientific data to support annual vaccination and said that repeated administration of these vaccines does not enhance the pet’s immunity.

Lisa
-So you’re getting risk with no benefit.

Dr Rogers-Correct. It’s been ignored for 6 years. Those guidelines have been ignored by 90% of vets.

Lisa
-Can’t the AVMA get stronger it their stance?

Dr Rogers
-They’re afraid people will quit paying their dues. They do get most of their money from the drug companies. It is a trade association.

Lisa
-I want people to understand that the AVMA is a private trade organization whose goal is to benefit the vets.

Dr Rogers
-I have filed complaints with the AVMA about false advertising and they blew me off.

Lisa-
But isn’t that their duty to look into that?

Dr Rogers
-They do have an ethics clause and committee and they do have the power to sanction vets who are doing false advertising, but they refuse to. It’s about following the money.

Lisa
-I do understand big business but I do what I do for the love of the animals. If doing the right thing means I lose some money, then so be it.

Dr Rogers
-Well, look at this Vioxx trial. I think it’s a good example of what drug companies do. If they don’t like a study, they just ignore it.

Lisa-
That in itself should be illegal. It sounds like there just needs to be a whole bunch of changes at all the different levels. I believe you initiating this and getting the legal people involved is the beginning.

Dr Rogers
-It has had an effect. I just attended a seminar on vaccines and a vet in the audience was very concerned about lawsuits. The speaker indicated that fear was justified.

Lisa
-Lets talk a little but about the disclosure statement which should cover the pros, cons, and adverse reactions to help educate the owner. What would be involved with something like that?

Dr Rogers
-There is legislation pending in many states to require vets to give informed consent before vaccinating a pet. I know that the Texas AVMA has a committee that is looking at drafting such an informed consent form.

Lisa-
Do you think that’s what it’s going to take to get the vets doing what’s right? Introducing legislation at a state level requiring them to do so?

Dr Rogers
-Well, I’m not sure if that’s the answer. Say I have a client who comes in, a Dad with three kids and a dog. He says that Mom says all the shots are due and please hurry because the football game starts in 15 minutes. He doesn’t want to know anything about vaccines and no doubt, if I don’t vaccinate the dog for parvo and distemper every year, I’ll get a phone call from Mom asking why not.

Lisa-
Perhaps Mom would like that information. Dad can bring it home and she may say, I had no idea and next year we’ll have to think twice about it. I run into some owners who just don’t want to know-they figure if they don’t have the information, then they can’t be held accountable.

Dr Rogers-
Maybe when the dog develops a severe reaction, they will say, “if only you had told me”. It’s got to start with the client.

Lisa-
I know with my dealings with the Arizona Vet Board, it’s tough to introduce a new idea and get them to change the way it’s been going for ever. My question goes back to, is this something that each state needs to get their legislators to introduce a bill? Who’s responsibly is this to get the vets giving disclosure information?

Dr Rogers-
It’s the responsibility of each State Board and I have written to every state board in the U.S. They said they would take it under advisement which tells me my letter got filed in the round file. To your listeners- If you really love pets, get on the state board. Go apply to be on that board. Right now we have the foxes watching the henhouse and we need people on these boards who love pets. We have far too many people on the board who love vets and care about protecting their income-Now we need people who love pets.

Lisa-
That’s certainly a way to do it. I believe here in AZ we have two or three seats open to the public.

Dr Rogers-
Well, I hope they are not like the lay people on the TX board who sit there like a bump on a log and think this is over their head. We need people on these state board who are out to protect the public and their pets.

Lisa-
Let’s talk about the actually lawsuit. Again, is this just for Texas people only?

Dr Rogers
-No, this firm will accept complaints out of Texas and there are a number of firms looking at this issue.

Lisa-
The law firm is Childress, Duffy, Goldblatt of Chicago. Their website is www.childresslaw.net

Dr Rogers-Yes, click on the “contact us” and then go to class action. It has a companion animal vaccine lawsuit there.

Lisa
-So what are their main goals? Is it to require vets to give disclosure statement or is it bigger than that?

Dr Rogers
-I think they want to see vets quit giving unnecessary and unsafe vaccines. Certainly, this begins with disclosure. The point of law here is the standard of the reasonable patient. Would a reasonable patient elect to purchase, for example, the corona vaccine if they knew that adult dogs don’t even get this disease? Would a reasonable client purchase an adjuvant vaccine if they knew they were five times more likely to cause cancer? Or would they elect a safer, non-adjuvant vaccine? I provide my clients with that information and have not had one clients take the riskier product.

Lisa-So would it be up to the individual vets to come up with their own disclosure or would that be something at a state level?

Dr Rogers
-The problem with the individual vet coming up with a disclosure is what if he gives false information and doesn’t disclose or withheld the information? What if his disclosure statement said that dogs can die from corona? Then we’re back to the lawsuits for misrepresentation.

Lisa-
Do you think it’s the responsibility of the AVMA to some up with something?

Dr Rogers
-Yes, I would encourage the AVMA to come up with something, but ultimately the state boards are going to have to enforce the law that already exists, which in Texas says that a vet can be punished for giving unnecessary treatment. Most states say vets must deal ethically with the public. I don’t think you’d say it’s ethical to charge someone for something that has no effect or to administer something to a patient which could cause a 100% fatal cancer without warning the client.

Lisa
-Where can people go for more information? www.newvaccinationprotoc ol.com is one.

Dr Rogers-There’s good information on that site. Most veterinary schools have their vaccination recommendations on their websites including Cornell and University of California at Davis. There’s a lot of good info about cancer in cats at www.catshots.com. My website, www.critteradvocacy.org is good and has a lot of links to other excellent sites.

Lisa-You brought up vet schools. So they’re on track with this?

Dr Rogers-Sure, the University of California at Davis changed their recommendation over 7 years ago. They do not use any adjuvant vaccines.

Lisa
-Do you think that the new graduates are going to be coming out with an understanding and perhaps realize the dangers of this?

Dr Rogers-I think this is heartbreaking. When I graduated from vet school 30 years ago, the vet I went to work for told me on the first day, “When things go wrong, tell the truth.” I have interviewed 40 new graduates who have told me at their job interviews, the vets tell them that they will vaccinate every dog for corona, every year or they can’t come to work for them. Any vet who has graduated from Texas A & M in the last 17 years was taught that adult dogs don’t get that disease and the vaccine is unnecessary but they come out of schools and their boss tells them they have to do it. They have student loans and they need a job. To me, this is heartbreaking.

Lisa-Yes because it’s making people give up on their principles.

Dr Rogers
-Of these people who graduated in the last 17 years who know better, 30% of them are still giving corona every year.

Lisa-Any last message you want to leave our listeners with? If they’re saying that this is outrages, what can they do? Hopefully, they pass this information along to every animal owners they know. What is your message to everyday animal owners?

Dr Rogers-As the Attorney General in Texas told me, “If this is going to get changed, it’s going to take a big public outcry.”

Lisa-
The first step to that is education.

Dr Rogers
-I think the core of the problem is doctors, dentists and vets need to quit getting their information from drug companies. Continuing education should not be allowed from a speaker who is a paid employee of a drug company. I prefer to get my information from the university or someone who is board certified in the field and someone who has no conflict of interest in the products being discussed. A lot of various things need to be put in place and certainly the state vet boards need to open their minds, listen to the information and truly do that’s best for the animals and the public.

Lisa-Dr Rogers, thanks so much for being with us today. I pat you on the back for coming forward and taking a stance as I know it’s not an easy thing to do. That’s it for another great If Your Horse Could Talk show. Until next time, I’m Lisa Ross-Williams.

Be sure to listen to the full audio interview at www.NaturalHorseTalk.com
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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2007, 11:17:46 AM »

 http://www.bogartsdaddy.com/bouvier/health/vaccination-concerns-uk.htm


Canine Vaccine Survey

by Canine Health Concern, England


It is well known that there are risks associated with vaccination of dogs, just as there are risks for humans. The trouble is, no one has adequately quantified the risks. Is it true that only a tiny minority of dogs suffer adverse reactions to vaccines, or is the problem more common? And what is a vaccine reaction? Is it something that happens immediately after the jab, or can you expect a reaction to manifest weeks or months later?

Christopher Day, Honorary Secretary of the British Homoeopathic Veterinary Association, told us that, in his experience, where the start date of a dog's illness is known, a high percentage (around 80%) begin within three months of vaccination.

Canine Health Concern tested this observation and has analyzed the histories of over 3,800 dogs post vaccination. This critical mass, by any standards, is a very high number from which to draw valid statistical conclusions. Most commercial scientific research involves significantly fewer dogs (tending to base their conclusions on data involving a couple of litters of puppies, if that). We have been able to show a definite statistical correlation between a vaccine event and the onset of a number of specific illnesses. Our published conclusions have satisfied mathematical or inferential statistical tests at a level of confidence of 99% or better.

Overall, we found that 66% per cent of all sick dogs start being sick within three months of vaccination, which is considerably more than double the expected rate of illness. Worse, 49% of all illnesses reported in the survey occurred within 30 days of vaccination. This is over five times the expected percentage if vaccination had no bearing on subsequent illness. More damning still, 29% of sick dogs first became sick within seven days of their vaccine jab. This means that a dog is 13 times more likely to become ill within seven days of vaccination than at any other time.

In the study, 69.2% of allergic dogs first became allergic within three months of being vaccinated - more than double the expected number. 55.8% of dogs with autoimmune disease developed the condition within three months of being vaccinated - again, more than twice the expected figure. Of dogs with colitis, 65.9% developed the complaint within three months of being vaccinated and, of dogs with dry eye/conjunctivitis, 70.2% developed their conditions within three months - both nearly three times higher than expected. 73.1% of dogs with epilepsy first became epileptic within three months of vaccination. As 2% of all dogs in the UK are epileptic, vaccines are clearly causing horrendous damage. For statisticians, our Chi score for epilepsy is 96: any Chi test statistic higher than twelve gives a 95% confidence about the conclusions. Without doubt, then, the majority of epileptic dogs in our survey are vaccine damaged.

But perhaps most astonishing is the fact that a majority of dogs (64.9%) with behavioral problems appear to have developed their difficulties within three months of vaccination. Similarly, 72.5% per cent of dogs with nervous or worrying dispositions became nervous within three months of their jabs (with a Chi score of 112), and 73.1% per cent of dogs with short attention spans lost their attentiveness within three months of vaccination.

All of our evidence ties in with research in the human field, and a growing body of veterinary research, which says that vaccines cause allergies, hypersensitivity reactions, autoimmune disease, encephalitis, epilepsy, personality changes and brain damage.

The CHC results are statistically very significant, and carry with them very high statistical certainty. This means that the evidence is strong that the above diseases can be triggered or caused by vaccination.

Other diseases that were highly represented within three months post vaccination included cancer (35.1%) , chorea (81%), encephalitis (78.6%), heart conditions (39.2%), kidney damage (53.7%), liver damage/failure (61.5%), paralysis of the rear end (69.2%), and pancreas problems (54.2%).

Research conducted at Purdue University shows routinely vaccinated dogs developing auto antibodies to a vast range of normal canine biochemicals - which corroborates our findings.

Interestingly, our study showed that arthritis and Chronic Destructive Reticulo Myelopathy (CDRM - a degenerative disease affecting myelin in the spinal cord) occur in clusters nine months after vaccination, suggesting that the damage from vaccines resulting in these two diseases takes longer to develop or to show their symptoms.

Many contend that vaccines are a necessary evil; that we need them to protect our dogs against certain deadly canine diseases. However, our survey found that high percentages of dogs are developing the diseases we vaccinate against, soon after vaccination.

Of dogs with hepatitis, 64% contracted it within three months of being vaccinated and, of those with parainfluenza, 50% developed it within three months of their shots. Also, 69% of dogs with parvovirus, 56% of dogs with distemper, and every single dog with leptospirosis in the survey contracted the diseases within three months of vaccination.

Our figures support the view that vaccines don't confer guaranteed immunity and may actually cause the diseases they're designed to prevent. Our figures appear to demonstrate that vaccines cause illness in one in every  hundred dogs - and this is a conservative estimate.

For human beings, the  World Health Organization considers a reaction of one in 10,000 unacceptable. Surely the same statistics apply to dogs. Worse - and bordering on corporate dog slaughter - is the fact that we are urged to vaccinate companion animals every year. There is no scientific justification for this; it is a crime.

This research is ongoing. For further details or to participate, contact  Canine Health Concern @ Box 6943, Forfar, Angus DD8 3WG, Scotland or, for email, click on my name below.

Thank you.

Catherine O¹Driscoll
Canine Health Concern

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« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2007, 05:26:42 AM »

Heartworm meds.

 I do not give heartworm meds or flea meds, ever. I prefer to keep my dogs healthy by not injecting or applying chemicals and poisons to them.  If a dog is healthy it's body will handle heartworms.  I do not live in an area where mosquitoes are a problem for long periods, so every person will have to look at their situation and comfort level and decide for themselves. 

 If you do chose to give heartworm preventative, only give it during your areas mosquito season, and not year round.  And give it every 45 days instead of 30, the 30 days is recommended because it is easier to remember to give a pill on the first of the month then to figure out every 45 days.  But by doing this you can cut down the amount of poison you give your pet by half!   And yes, it is a poison. 

   If your dog contracts heartworm in a lot of cases a dose of heartworm med takes care of them.  The horror stories you hear of dogs dieing from the treatment to get rid of them and them having to be kept clam and inactive for months are cases of a huge parasite loads, a dog that has had them for years, usually is a shelter or rescued dog from a bad home that didn't feed or care for the dog. 

  I am putting a link to a good site that has heartworm season maps that show starting and ending months to give heartworm meds if you decide to and explains a little about the cycle that must take place. (I have attached the maps but please go to the site and read the information also).


  http://www.tibetanmastiff.net/Heartworm.html


  These maps show what month to Begin Heartworm, and what month to end it.


* beginhw.gif (46.7 KB, 807x555 - viewed 566 times.)

* endhw.gif (50.41 KB, 807x552 - viewed 582 times.)
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« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2007, 05:42:32 AM »

http://www.homeovet.net/content/lifestyle/section4.html#top


Heartworms

This parasite is a source of great anxiety among dog caretakers. (I don't believe that one "owns" a dog.) Thanks in large part to the scare tactics of many veterinarians in promoting preventive drugs, many people believe that contracting heartworms is the equivalent of a death sentence for their dogs. This is not true.

     I practiced for seven years in the Santa Cruz, California area, and treated many dogs with heartworms. The only dogs that developed symptoms of heart failure were those that were being vaccinated yearly, eating commercial dog food, and getting suppressive drug treatment for other symptoms, such as skin problems. My treatment, at that time, consisted of switching to a natural (that is, homemade) diet, stopping drug treatment whenever possible, and eliminating any chemical exposure, such as flea and tick poisons. I would usually prescribe hawthorn tincture as well. None of these dogs ever developed any symptoms of heart failure.

     I concluded from this that it was not the heartworms that caused disease, but the other factors that damaged the dogs' health to the point that they could no longer compensate for an otherwise tolerable parasite load. It is not really that different from the common intestinal roundworms, in that most dogs do not show any symptoms. Only a dog whose health is compromised is unable to tolerate a few worms. Furthermore, a truly healthy dog would not be susceptible to either type of worm in the first place.

     It seems to me that the real problem is that allopathic attitudes have instilled in many of us a fear of disease, fear of pathogens and parasites, fear of rabies, as if these are evil and malicious entities just waiting to lay waste to a naive and unprotected public.

     Disease is not caused by viruses or by bacteria or by heartworm-bearing mosquitoes. Disease comes from within, and one aspect of disease can be the susceptibility to various pathogens. So the best thing to do is to address those susceptibilities on the deepest possible level, so that the pathogens will no longer be a threat. Most importantly, don't buy into the fear.

     That having been said, there are practical considerations of risk versus benefit in considering heartworm prevention. The risk of a dog contracting heartworms is directly related to geographic location. In heavily infested areas the risk is higher, and the prospect of using a preventive drug more justifiable. Whatever you choose to do, a yearly blood test for heartworm microfilaria is important.

     There are basically three choices with regard to heartworm prevention: drugs, nosodes, or nothing.

     There are currently a variety of heartworm preventive drugs, most of which are given monthly. I don't like any of them due to their toxicity, the frequency of side effects, and their tendency to antidote homeopathic remedies. Incidentally, the once-a-month preventives should be given only every 6 weeks.

     The next option is the heartworm nosode. It has the advantage of at least not being a toxic drug. It has been in use it for over 10 years now, and I am reasonably confident that it is effective. It is certainly very safe. The biggest problem with the nosode is integrating it with homeopathic treatment. But at least it's less of a problem than with the drugs.

     The last option, and in my opinion the best, is to do nothing. That is to say, do nothing to specifically prevent heartworm, but rather to minimize the chances of infestation by helping your dog to be healthier, and thereby less susceptible. This means avoiding those things that are detrimental to health, feeding a high quality homemade diet, regular exercise, a healthy emotional environment, and, most of all, constitutional homeopathic treatment. Of course, this will not guarantee that your dog will not get heartworms, but, under these conditions, even the worst-case scenario isn't so terrible. If your dog were to get heartworms, s/he shouldn't develop any symptoms as a result.

     For what it's worth, I never gave my dog any type of heartworm preventive, even when we lived in the Santa Cruz area where heartworms were very prevalent. I tested him yearly, and he never had a problem.
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« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2007, 05:56:34 AM »

Allergies - and a site with lots of information on many subjects:

http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/petallergies.htm
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2007, 11:17:56 AM »

The ProHeart 6:

 

  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18137930/from/RS.2/


Watchdog risked career over pet-drug warning
Speaking up about risky medicine sparked Senate inquiry, got vet demoted
By Jeff Donn
The Associated Press
Updated: 3:22 p.m. ET April 22, 2007

BETHESDA, Md. - The first hints of trouble came with vague warnings from the outer reaches of the bureaucracy.

She was “pushing too hard.”

She was “alarmist.”

But it was something else — a clumsy bid to call her off the scent of the dangerous veterinary drug she was tracking — that really galled her. Maybe that was her last possible moment to keep soundless and safe.

“When enough dogs die, this product will take care of itself,” a colleague said.

Her reply tumbled out like a boulder that, once rolling, will no longer stop. Victoria Hampshire heard herself say: “I don’t know what I’m doing here, then.”

What she was doing — trying to do, at least — was her job: She kept count of side effects from animal drugs for the Food and Drug Administration. She made tallies, analyzed numbers and alerted supervisors when something seemed amiss.

And something seemed amiss that spring of 2004.

A big drugmaker had crafted what seemed a star performer in Proheart 6, a 3-year-old injected drug to prevent heartworm, the common parasite in dogs. Hampshire’s numbers showed, though, that dogs were dying at alarming rates.

What happened next — and the price she paid for speaking up — have spurred a U.S. Senate inquiry and shined a spotlight on the complex topography of drug safety, where interests collide like tectonic plates and squeeze decisions from all sides.

On this landscape, the government’s watchdogs come in disparate breeds, too. Some whimper at approaching trouble; others bark gamely.

And some, like Hampshire, won’t give an inch.


  continued... go to link for other pages.....
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« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2007, 11:59:30 AM »

Vaccine injection site fibrosarcoma in canine….imprint this photo on your memory for the next time an allopathic veterinarian tries to convince you that your dog will be made healthier if you allow him to be injected with these toxins.

It is up to you to protect your dog how you see fit…….no one BUT you!!!


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« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2007, 05:27:03 PM »

Whole Dog Journal

November 2006


We’ve come a long way, baby – on paper, at least.

In the past decade, the veterinary profession’s overall attitude toward vaccination has evolved to a point that can be tentatively termed progressive.

In 2002, the American Veterinary Medical Association issued a policy statement that urged veterinarians to “customize” vaccine protocols for individual patients, since there is “inadequate data to scientifically determine a single best protocol” for initial or repeat vaccinations. A year later, the prestigious American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) released its landmark canine vaccination guidelines, which were updated in 2006. The AAHA guidelines separate vaccines into different categories – core, noncore, and not recommended at all – and suggest that veterinarians revaccinate for core diseases such as parvovirus and distemper no more than every three years. Most veterinary universities have followed suit, teaching their graduates that, depending on the disease in question, yearly vaccines are now the exception, not the rule.

But while the idea of “annual shots” should be as antiquated as wringer washing machines, it is alive and well among some veterinarians who either have not taken the time to understand the new paradigm – or have chosen to ignore it.

“We haven’t gone anywhere in some cases, and I think there are several reasons,” says veterinary immunologist W. Jean Dodds of Santa Monica, California. One of them is simply inertia.

“The veterinary profession has been convinced for so long that vaccines were essential,” and that sort of thinking is hard to change, particularly when vaccine labels can be misleading, says Dr. Dodds. “I think veterinarians assume the label [identifying a given vaccine as a one-year product] is a requirement, and interpret it more strongly than the vaccine companies intended,” Dodds says. “And the companies don’t try to dissuade them because that’s what the USDA has told them to say.”

Bureaucracy aside, many veterinarians and veterinary practice managers may be concerned that abandoning annual vaccinations will hurt their practices’ bottom line. Bob Rogers, a veterinarian and vaccination critic from Spring, Texas, refutes that fear. When he switched to a reduced vaccination schedule, “my vaccine income dropped 7 percent, but my overall income went up 20 percent. When people find out they don’t have to spend a whole lot on vaccines, they spend that money on something the dog really needs, like teeth cleaning.”

One impetus for reevaluating vaccine protocols has been concern over adverse vaccine reactions, both acute and chronic. All veterinarians recognize signs such as anaphylactic shock (a severe allergic reaction), or flu-like symptoms such as low-grade fever, malaise, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. But they may not make the connection between vaccinations and temperament changes (particularly after the rabies vaccine), seizures, autoimmune diseases such as hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia (reduced platelet count), or hypertrophic osteodystrophy (severe lameness in young growing dogs), which may surface weeks or months after vaccination.

And many owners are equally oblivious. “If an owner sees her dog hiding under the table after a vaccination, or the dog doesn’t want to be touched, they don’t call their vet with that information,” Dr. Dodds says, but instead might dismiss it as the dog having an “off” day.

Dr. Dodds notes that some advocates for minimal vaccination have done more harm than good by overstating the issue, implying that virtually everything is caused by what’s in that syringe.

“Many environmental challenges can cause problems, and vaccines are just one of them,” says Dodds, ticking off other possible suspects, such as topical flea and tick products, and environmental pesticides and insecticides.

Personal experience is a powerful motivator, and some vets insist on vaccinating annually for diseases such as parvo because they remember the widespread fatalities when the disease was prevalent decades ago. Dr. Ron Schultz, chair and professor of pathobiological science at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Veterinary Medicine in Madison, notes that the flip side is true, too: Veterinarians whose own animals experience vaccine reactions are reluctant to reflexively vaccinate.

“Boy, are they ever believers,” says Dr. Schultz, who was a member of the AAHA task force that revised the 2006 guidelines. “As I often remind them, ‘When it was your animal, you didn’t care whether this occurs in one out of 10,000 animals, did you? It was your one.’”

Core vaccines

The 2006 AAHA canine vaccination guidelines single out four vaccines that are “musts” for every puppy: canine hepatitis (the adenovirus-2 vaccine), distemper, parvovirus, and rabies.

The guidelines recommend that the first three vaccines in that list be administered in a three-part puppy series, boostered at one year, then readministered no more than every three years.

Schultz notes that “no more than” could also be interpreted to mean “never again.” He points to studies that show that dogs properly immunized in puppyhood maintain lifetime immunity to canine hepatitis, distemper, and parvovirus.

“Every three years is probably a completely arbitrary number,” Dr. Rogers adds. “I’ve told my clients that after one year of age they don’t need to vaccinate anymore.” Rogers estimates that in nine years, he has used this protocol on some 30,000 dogs – “and I haven’t had one vaccine ‘break’ [failure].”

But he has seen a welcome decrease in adverse reactions. Dr. Rogers says he used to see at least one animal a week suffering from an adverse reaction to a vaccination. Now he’s down to three a year – almost always Dachshunds, a breed that he finds particularly vulnerable to vaccine reactions.

Other at-risks breeds include Akitas, Weimaraners, Standard Poodles, American Eskimo Dogs, Old English Sheepdogs, Irish Setters, Kerry Blue Terriers, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Even if a veterinarian is reluctant to stop vaccinating for these core diseases after the one-year booster, Schultz says that “every one of the major vaccine manufacturers has demonstrated that their current product, or one they’ve had for quite some time, has a minimum duration of immunity for three years,” regardless of what the label says.

“Only one company actually did it in a way that allows them to put ‘three year’ on the label according to USDA requirements, but it’s meaningless,” he says. In other words, parvo, distemper and canine hepatitis vaccines labeled “one year” have been proven to be effective for at least three.

Schultz also reminds that “other than rabies, there is no requirement to vaccinate with anything. And there’s no legal implication to any vaccine label with regard to duration of immunity, except for rabies.”

Why rabies is different

As those caveats suggest, the fourth core vaccine, rabies, offers far less wiggle room, because its administration is dictated by state laws – laws that were put into place to prevent this zoonotic disease from being transmitted to humans (see sidebar, left). An annual rabies “shot” was once the norm; in recent years, most states have changed their laws to allow a three-year vaccine, though there are a few stragglers that stick to annual rabies vaccination requirements. The one-year and three-year vaccines on the market are actually the same product, capable of conveying the same duration of immune response. But vaccines that are labeled “one year” satisfy the legal requirement for rabies vaccination for only that long. Legally, a dog who receives a one-year vaccine must get vaccinated again a year later, even if he lives in a state with a three-year law, and even if titer tests indicate that he’s protected against rabies.

To defend your dog against needless (and in the opinion of holistic veterinarians, potentially harmful) overvaccination against rabies, it’s imperative that you know the rabies requirement in your state. If you live in a state with a three-year law, make sure your veterinarian administers a three-year vaccine.

Also be sure to check your records; in an effort to increase client compliance, some veterinarians mail out rabies revaccination reminders after only two years to avoid a lapse in the three-year coverage that a given state law mandates.

Dr. Dodds notes that the rabies vaccine causes the greatest number of adverse reactions. As a result, owners of chronically ill dogs, or those who have had previous vaccine reactions, might want to consider applying for a rabies waiver.


To obtain a rabies waiver, the dog’s primary-care veterinarian must write a letter indicating why vaccinating the dog in question would be an unsound medical decision based on his health status. Though a rabies titer is not required – and can be expensive, from $75 to $150, depending on your location – Dodds nonetheless recommends doing one.

“Let’s say down the road there is an allegation that your dog bit someone,” she says. Even if the owner has obtained a rabies waiver, it does not exempt the dog from the possibility of being euthanized so that his brain can be examined – the only definitive diagnostic test for rabies. “If you’ve got the titer as proof that the animal has immunity, then the animal won’t be automatically impounded or destroyed.”

Dodds notes that some municipalities, such as Los Angeles County, have decided not to accept rabies waivers. Others will tell callers that they do not, but on receipt of the vet’s letter and titer the responsible public health official will review the case and may issue one anyway.

Because relatively few people request them, rabies waivers are a murky area that municipalities handle on a case-by-case basis. But Dr. Dodds worries about those owners who apply for them even though they do not have a sick dog; instead, they simply believe that the rabies vaccine has a longer duration of immunity than three years, and that the law is requiring them to overvaccinate.

While Dodds might agree in theory (the proposed rabies challenge study she and others are actively pursuing hopes to prove just that), she can’t condone the practice. As their numbers grow, such noncompliant owners increase the risk of triggering legislation that might bar the practice of waivers altogether – and in the process force their ill and immunocompromised counterparts to submit to vaccinations that could make them sicker, or worse.

Noncore vaccines

While the AAHA guidelines do not consider core vaccinations negotiable, noncore vaccine are, with their use determined by a dog’s risk factors.

One looming consideration is geography: In many parts of the country, leptospirosis and Lyme disease are simply not prevalent. But in areas where these “noncore” diseases are endemic, owners are faced with tough decisions about less-than-perfect vaccines.

For example, leptospirosis, which is most often spread through contact with the urine of an infected animal, has 200 different serovars, or strains. Only four strains (icterohaemorrhagiae, canicola, grippo-typhosa, and pomona) are covered by vaccines, which themselves are notoriously shortlived.

“The antibodies only last a short time n the body; they can be measured only by titers for one to two months, and [the titer levels] are low in the first place,” Dodds says. The vaccine manufacturers, in turn, maintain that a vaccinated dog is protected by its cell-mediated immunity, which cannot be measured by titers.

For dogs at high risk for leptospirosis, which has diffuse symptoms and can cause liver and kidney failure if caught too late, Schultz recommends using the four-strain vaccine instead of the two-strain product (which addresses the icterohaemorrhagiae and canicola serovars), first at 14 to 15 weeks (but not before 12 weeks), repeated two to four weeks later. Subsequent doses are administered at 6 months and one year, and thereafter every six to nine months. Even so, Schultz notes, “I find there’s still a fairly high percentage of dogs that do not respond to the vaccine.” Plus, of all the bacterin vaccines, leptospirosis causes the most adverse reactions. (For this reason, many holistic veterinarianss administer it separately and weeks apart from other vaccines, a practice they recommend with the rabies vaccine as well.)

The pros and cons of the Lyme vaccine are not any easier to navigate. In some areas where the disease is endemic, Schultz says practitioners are no longer vaccinating because they believe they are seeing as many vaccinated dogs with clinical disease as unvaccinated ones.

Instead of administering the vaccine, some owners are choosing to treat their dogs prophylactically with antibiotics if they suspect a tick bite. Regardless, good tick preventive is key, whether it’s in the form of an insect-repelling herbal spray or a systemic flea and tick product, though the more holistically oriented tend to avoid the latter because it exposes a dog’s body to still more chemicals. If owners choose to vaccinate for Lyme, both Dodds and Schultz recommend using the recombinant vaccine instead of the older bacterin one, which can cause symptoms similar to the disease itself, such as lameness and joint pain.

The recombinant vaccine does not contain the additional antigens that are in the bacterin vaccine, but instead contains only outer surface protein A, the antigen that inactivates the tick when it takes its blood meal, which is the point at which the disease is transmitted. As a rule of thumb, Schultz does not recommend the vaccine for dogs living in an area where the rate of infection is less than 10 percent. “Greater than 50 or 60 percent, then give it some serious thought.”

In the case of both Lyme and leptospirosis, which can be treated with early invention and antibiotic therapy, Dodds says that involved, observant owners who note any early and sometimes vague symptoms can literally save their dogs’ lives.

The condition commonly known as “kennel cough” is addressed by other noncore vaccines, including canine para-influenza virus (notated as CPiV or simply called parainfluenza) and Bordetella.

Unfortunately, few dog owners understand that kennel cough is a complex syndrome rather than an individual disease attributable to one specific pathogen. In addition to a buffet line of various viruses and bacteria (including the two mentioned above), factors that make a dog susceptible to kennel cough include stress, humidity, gasses such as ammonia from unhygienic environments, and nitrous oxide from exhaust fumes. That’s why a dog who received a parainfluenza or Bordetella vaccine may well still contract kennel cough.

Dogs who get out a lot, such as those who visit dog parks or dog shows, will be regularly exposed to many factors that can cause kennel cough. These exposures, in essence, will “vaccinate” the dog naturally, as his immune system learns to recognize and mount a defense against the ubiquitous pathogens. In contrast, dogs who lead highly sheltered, nonsocial lives may become quite ill in the rare event that they are exposed to the kennel-cough pathogens. “If any dog needed a kennel-cough vaccine, it would be one that’s never around another animal,” says Dr. Schultz. If such a dog had to be kenneled unexpectedly, a dose of the intranasal Bordetella vaccine might not prevent the disease entirely, but it could mitigate its severity, which is better than nothing. According to Dr. Schultz, when properly immunized dogs are exposed to infectious material of those “core” diseases, he is confident they will not contract the disease. He can’t say the same for leptospirosis, Lyme disease, or kennel cough; the existing vaccines are just not that effective or long-lived.

Dr. Schultz concludes about noncore vaccines, “No matter what you do, there’s going to be a risk. And that’s what we really have to measure.”

Not recommended vaccines

AAHA has various reasons for putting a vaccine in its “not recommended” category. One is simply a “lack of experience and paucity of field validation of efficacy,” which is the case with the vaccines for rattlesnake bites and periodontal disease.

The giardia vaccine is on the “no” list because it does not prevent a dog from getting infected – only from shedding the disease. Similarly, the adenovirus-1 vaccine earns the red light because it can cause “blue eye,” a clouding of the cornea, and because the core adenovirus-2 vaccine already protects against it.

In the case of coronavirus, the AAHA task force made the point that the disease is simply not prevalent enough to warrant vaccinating for it.

“People don’t have a clue that coronavirus doesn’t make dogs sick,” says Dr. Rogers, noting that puppies less than six weeks old develop a loose orangey stool that resolves on its own within 24 hours. “Puppies over six weeks of age are immune to it whether vaccinated or not.”

Indeed, he says, vaccine companies have had difficulty testing the vaccine on sick dogs because none can manage to contract it. But the vaccine can be licensed by the USDA because it does prompt a dog’s body to produce coronavirus antibodies.

Managing your veterinarian

Even if your veterinarian continues to recommend annual vaccines, as a client and consumer you have the right to request a different protocol. Depending on your approach, the veterinarian might be more willing to modify his or her suggested vaccine schedule. But some can prove to be stubbornly entrenched in their position on vaccination. Schultz’s own secretary was fortunate when she was unable to get past her veterinarian’s insistence on revaccinating her dogs. In frustration, she handed the phone to Dr. Schultz, who has the same sort of name recognition in veterinary circles as Tom Cruise does in most American households. After a brief exchange, Schultz returned the receiver to his secretary, who now found the vet more than willing to accede to her request for a minimal vaccine schedule. For those who cannot put one of the world’s foremost veterinary immunologists on the horn with their vet, Schultz recommends the next best thing: printing out the AAHA canine vaccination guidelines, highlighting the pertinent information, and bringing them along to the appointment.

“It really works; it helps,” he says. “AAHA is an esteemed organization that sets the highest standards for small-animal practice. Here’s what its expert panel recommends. How do you argue with that?”

The fact that you might have to argue – or at least debate – with your veterinarian to arrive at an appropriate vaccine schedule might be regrettable, but it’s hardly unexpected, given the very human resistance to change. “It’s an evolutionary process, not a revolutionary one,” Schultz concludes. “Nothing is revolutionary in medicine.”

Donations to the Rabies Challenge Fund can be sent care of Hemopet, 11330 Markon Drive, Garden Grove, CA 92841; for info, see dogsadversereactions.com/rabieschallenge.html.

Denise Flaim has two raw-fed Rhodesian Ridgebacks. The New Yorker is the author of The Holistic Dog Book: Canine Care for the 21st Century (Howell, $17). See "Resources" for purchasing information.
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« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2007, 05:10:51 PM »

A good site to browse around on many different topics:

   http://www.aunaturelk9s.com/about.html
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« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2007, 12:08:00 PM »

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=PubMed&cmd=Retrieve&list_uids=10328440&dopt=Abstract

Long-term immunity in cats vaccinated with an inactivated trivalent vaccine.

    * Scott FW,
    * Geissinger CM.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate duration of immunity in cats vaccinated with an inactivated vaccine of feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), feline herpesvirus (FHV), and feline calicivirus (FCV). ANIMALS: 17 cats. PROCEDURE: Immunity of 9 vaccinated and 8 unvaccinated cats (of an original 15 vaccinated and 17 unvaccinated cats) was challenged 7.5 years after vaccination. Specific-pathogen-free (SPF) cats were vaccinated at 8 and 12 weeks old and housed in isolation facilities. Offspring of vaccinated cats served as unvaccinated contact control cats. Virus neutralization tests were used to determine antibody titers yearly. Clinical responses were recorded, and titers were determined weekly after viral challenge. RESULTS: Control cats remained free of antibodies against FPV, FHV, and FCV and did not have infection before viral challenge. Vaccinated cats had high FPV titers throughout the study and solid protection against virulent FPV 7.5 years after vaccination. Vaccinated cats were seropositive against FHV and FCV for 3 to 4 years after vaccination, with gradually declining titers. Vaccinated cats were protected partially against viral challenge with virulent FHV. Relative efficacy of the vaccine, on the basis of reduction of clinical signs of disease, was 52%. Results were similar after FCV challenge, with relative efficacy of 63%. Vaccination did not prevent local mild infection or shedding of FHV or FCV. CONCLUSIONS: Duration of immunity after vaccination with an inactivated, adjuvanted vaccine was > 7 years. Protection against FPV was better than for FHV and FCV. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Persistence of antibody titers against all 3 viruses for > 3 years supports recommendations that cats may be revaccinated against FPV-FHV-FCV at 3-year intervals.

PMID: 10328440 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2007, 10:32:37 AM »

Hey Toots, whats your feelings about general injection sites like allergy shots? Can it cause tumors like other injections (ie annual shots) can in dogs?
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« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2007, 12:40:20 PM »

Hey Toots, whats your feelings about general injection sites like allergy shots? Can it cause tumors like other injections (ie annual shots) can in dogs?

  I did a quick search and could find no reference to this, BUT that doesn't mean it couldn't happen.  I did find this though:

 'Armed with the results of the intradermal tests, your veterinarian can develop a vaccine or vaccines specifically for your dog that contains the trouble-some allergens. The goal of hyposensitization is to reduce the dog's allergic response by injecting it with increasing doses of the allergens.

Although the therapy does not produce a cure, Nesbitt says that about three out of every four dogs that are treated experience from "excellent" to "fair" results, beginning within a few weeks or months after initiating treatment. After the early "loading" phase in the first one to two months, your dog will require weekly or monthly "maintenance" injections for the rest of its life. Most veterinarians like to teach their clients how to administer the vaccines to make it both more convenient and cost-effective. Nesbitt says that more than 90 percent of his clients give their own dogs' allergy injections. "One key to success is frequent communication between the owner and the veterinarian," Nesbittt says.  "Allergy treatment is highly individualized and requires micro-management so as to know when and how to vary the dosage or frequency of treatment." '


  Allergy shots would need to be given for the rest of his life, and this can be costly.  Is this for food or inhalant allergies?  Now I know we have discussed raw before and you don't think it is for you, but probably for the cost to upkeep his allergy treatments you could probably buy preground raw food that you could just plop in his bowl.  Overall that would also build up his immune system and make him healthier.   check out:

   www.aplaceforpaws.com   for some pricing, for dogs with allergies I recommend staying away from the mixes with veggies.    You could always give it a try for a month or 2, and go to shots later if no relief is found. 


   I just haven't heard great things about allergy shots for dogs, it may work,or may not, or not completely, then people turn to pred which is a nasty drug long term.
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« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2007, 10:51:50 AM »

  I did a quick search and could find no reference to this, BUT that doesn't mean it couldn't happen.  I did find this though:

 'Armed with the results of the intradermal tests, your veterinarian can develop a vaccine or vaccines specifically for your dog that contains the trouble-some allergens. The goal of hyposensitization is to reduce the dog's allergic response by injecting it with increasing doses of the allergens.

Although the therapy does not produce a cure, Nesbitt says that about three out of every four dogs that are treated experience from "excellent" to "fair" results, beginning within a few weeks or months after initiating treatment. After the early "loading" phase in the first one to two months, your dog will require weekly or monthly "maintenance" injections for the rest of its life. Most veterinarians like to teach their clients how to administer the vaccines to make it both more convenient and cost-effective. Nesbitt says that more than 90 percent of his clients give their own dogs' allergy injections. "One key to success is frequent communication between the owner and the veterinarian," Nesbittt says.  "Allergy treatment is highly individualized and requires micro-management so as to know when and how to vary the dosage or frequency of treatment." '


  Allergy shots would need to be given for the rest of his life, and this can be costly.  Is this for food or inhalant allergies?  Now I know we have discussed raw before and you don't think it is for you, but probably for the cost to upkeep his allergy treatments you could probably buy preground raw food that you could just plop in his bowl.  Overall that would also build up his immune system and make him healthier.   check out:

   www.aplaceforpaws.com   for some pricing, for dogs with allergies I recommend staying away from the mixes with veggies.    You could always give it a try for a month or 2, and go to shots later if no relief is found. 


   I just haven't heard great things about allergy shots for dogs, it may work,or may not, or not completely, then people turn to pred which is a nasty drug long term.


Thanks baby your the best! Cool
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« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2007, 11:28:21 AM »

http://web.archive.org/web/20040605095457/bullovedbulldogs.com/heartworm.htm


When a mosquito bites a dog harboring microfilariae, the mosquito ingests the L1 larvae, or microfilariae. This can only happen if the dog is also harboring the L6, or mature adult heartworm, because the microfilariae are the offspring of the adult heartworm. These microfilariae can live for up two years in the dog’s blood without causing any harm. They must, however, be taken up by a mosquito in order to develop any further. If they are not, they will simply die of old age and be passed out of the system.

Once the mosquito ingests the microfilariae from the infected dog, the larvae must go through two stages of development, or molts, changing from L1 to L2 and from L2 to L3, while in the mosquitoe’s system before the mosquito can infect another dog. Once the L3 stage has been reached the larvae migrate to the mosquitoe’s mouth. It is only the L3 larvae which are capable of infecting another dog. This mosquito cycle takes anywhere from two weeks to about a month depending on the weather. The warmer the weather, the faster the development. If the larvae haven’t made the final development by then, they never will because the mosquito dies of old age at about 35 days, and along with the mosquito, die the larvae.   

The importance of temperature: While the larvae are developing in the mosquito, development continues only when the temperature is above 64 degrees F. Further, the temperature MUST remain above 57 degrees Fahrenheit at all times, day and night during the entire mosquito cycle. If at any time during the development into the L3 stage, the temperature drops below 57 F, the development is aborted and must start over. Remember, it is only the L3 larvae which are capable of infesting your dog.

Now let’s say that a mosquito has bitten an infested dog; and that the temperature has remained above 57 degrees F for a minimum of 14 days since that bite; and that the mosquito bites your dog. Still, your dog is not infested because the L3 larvae are deposited in a tiny droplet of mosquito saliva adjacent to the bite, not injected into your dog by the mosquito--as many would have us believe. Providing the humidity and temperature are such that the droplet does not evaporate before the they get the chance, the L3 larvae must swim through the saliva and into the hole left by the mosquito bite, thereby entering your dog’s system.

Once inside your dog, the L3 larvae must spend the next two weeks or so developing into the L4 larvae. During this period of time the larvae are living in the subcutaneous tissue just under the skin, not in the blood of the newly infected dog. The L4 will continue to live and develop in the subcutaneous tissue for the next two to three months, where they develop into the L5 stage. Once they make this development or molt into the L5 or young adult stage, they then leave the subcutaneous tissue and enter the blood stream. The L5 or young adults then migrate to the heart and pulmonary arteries where they make their final development into the L6 or mature, breeding, adult stage and attach to the tissue of the heart and pulmonary arteries. Once there, approximately 5 to 7 months after entering the dog’s body, they will mate. This mating produces the microfilariae.

If the dog is not re-infested with L3 larvae from another bite from another infected mosquito, the adult heartworm will die of old age in about 2 years. The microfilaria will also die a natural death unless taken up by a mosquito.
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« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2007, 11:28:32 PM »

Heartworm meds.

 I do not give heartworm meds or flea meds, ever. I prefer to keep my dogs healthy by not injecting or applying chemicals and poisons to them.  If a dog is healthy it's body will handle heartworms.  I do not live in an area where mosquitoes are a problem for long periods, so every person will have to look at their situation and comfort level and decide for themselves. 

 If you do chose to give heartworm preventative, only give it during your areas mosquito season, and not year round.  And give it every 45 days instead of 30, the 30 days is recommended because it is easier to remember to give a pill on the first of the month then to figure out every 45 days.  But by doing this you can cut down the amount of poison you give your pet by half!   And yes, it is a poison. 

   If your dog contracts heartworm in a lot of cases a dose of heartworm med takes care of them.  The horror stories you hear of dogs dieing from the treatment to get rid of them and them having to be kept clam and inactive for months are cases of a huge parasite loads, a dog that has had them for years, usually is a shelter or rescued dog from a bad home that didn't feed or care for the dog. 

  I am putting a link to a good site that has heartworm season maps that show starting and ending months to give heartworm meds if you decide to and explains a little about the cycle that must take place. (I have attached the maps but please go to the site and read the information also).


  http://www.tibetanmastiff.net/Heartworm.html


  These maps show what month to Begin Heartworm, and what month to end it.

Flower, with all due respect, I strongly disagree with this post.   I do agree with most of what is said in this thread about vaccinations... owners need to carefully consider the vaccinations that the veterinarian is recommending, the veterinarian needs to be able to justify the use based upon disease risk of every single vaccination that they are giving, and considering measuring titers is something that is not unreasonable, however owners need to understand this is a more expensive process and need to be willing to pay for the costs.   Owners also need to understand that veterinarians are legally bound by the label of the vaccination---therefore if the vaccine is labeled as needing to be bostered annually, the veterinarian legally has to tell the owner that the vaccine should be boostered annually.   Its a difficult area because the drug companies test no vaccines past 3 years---and those are only a few select rabies vaccinations, although vaccines labeled as biannual--every 2 years--is becoming more and more common. 


As far as the heartworm recommendations, what is posted in this thread is borderline asanine.   Heartworm disease is a killer...its that simple.  I grew up in the riverbottoms of the Missouri and Gasconade river in Missouri.  When I was a kid, I thought dogs only lived 5 or 6 years, because that was how long the dogs we had on the farm lived before heartworm disease killed them.   An old dog lived 9 years.  It wasn't until I was a teenager that heartworm preventative became more readily available and the dogs started living their full lives.   Heartworm does not distinguish between "healthy" and "not healthy".   If a dog is bitten by a mosquito with heartworm, that dog has a very, very good chance of developing heartworm disease.   Their immune systems will not "handle the infection". 

I don't necessarily disagree with only giving heartworm preventative during "mosquito season" however, you need to be very, very careful with that statement.   I have seen heartworm positive dogs where I know without a doubt that the dog recieved heartworm preventative only between March and October in a part of the US where that was the mosquito season.   Mosquitos can come out of dormancy during unusual winter warm spells or during an early spring or late fall.    Its better in my opinion to error on the side of caution and give the preventative year round.   You also need to remember that all heartworm prevetatives---Interceptor, Heartguard, and Revolution (which I personally dont' like--but thats for personal reasons) also prevent common types of intestinal parasites.   This is an added bonus which can be a real issue in some dogs considering their susceptability----ie "farm" dogs, kenneled dogs, others at a high risk of exposure to hook worms and/or other intestinal parasites. 

You also need to remember that the manufacturers of Heartguard and Interceptor have traditionally paid for treatment of heartworm disease IF the owner has proof they have administered the drugs per label instructions.  This is every 30 days.   These drugs don't "prevent" heartworm, rather they kill the microfilaria that the dog or cat has been exposed to since the last time the drug was administered.  Stretching that time frame out to 45 days gives a longer period of time for the worm to develop to a stage where the preventative may become less effective.    You have a bit of leeway, but its walking a real tightrope in areas where heartworm disease is endemic.  Because of this, I can't recommend it.   

Quote
The horror stories you hear of dogs dieing from the treatment to get rid of them and them having to be kept clam and inactive for months are cases of a huge parasite loads, a dog that has had them for years, usually is a shelter or rescued dog from a bad home that didn't feed or care for the dog.
  This is a pure bullshit statement.   I've seen heartworm positive dogs come from very, very loving families that simply missed a couple of doses of heartworm preventative.  Heartworm doesn't distinguish the loving nature  or the socioeconomic status of the owners.   If you live in an endemic area, your pets are at risk of getting this disease.   And don't kid yourself into thinking that since your dog or cat lives indoors its at any less of a risk.  I've seen heartworm positive dogs in the middle of New York City where they only time they ever even went outside was once a month when the owners drove out to the Hamptons for the weekend.   Mosquitos can and do get indoors and if they are indoors they can bite your dog or cat.     

The success of treatment of heartworm disease depends upon the severity of the disease.  Heartworm disease is distinguished into distinct stages based upon the degree of heart failure the dog is in.   A dog that has no clinical signs and a low circulating microfilarial load has a much better chance than a dog that has progressed to heartfailure.   Ive seen heart failure develop within a time frame of 2 months---while the owners were saving money for treatment.   The reason for keeping the dogs calm and inactive is totally dependant upon the degree of heart failure that the dog has.   Obviously a dog with full blown heart failure has to have restricted activity post treatment.   That dog also needs to have its heart failure treated.   

Also remember, one heartworm is all it takes to kill a cat or a ferret and the most common clinical sign of heartworm disease in cats and ferrets is suddent death.   
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« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2007, 11:39:52 PM »

Hey Toots, whats your feelings about general injection sites like allergy shots? Can it cause tumors like other injections (ie annual shots) can in dogs?

There is absolutely no research that I'm aware of that associates allergy treatment with injection site sarcomas.   These types of tumors are rare in dogs, relatively uncommon, but very aggressive, in domestic cats, have been reported in exotic dog and cat species and ferrets.   They have all been associated with vaccinations.....  that said, there is one reasearcher that a few years ago, was trying to establish an association with simply penetrating the skin with a needle.  To the best of my knowledge, that reasearch didn't prove anything.   


Also, be very, very wary of the "depo" "cortisone" "prednisone" type "Allergy" shots many veterinarians administer.   These corticosteroid drugs are very, very different than immunomodulation that is used to desensitize dogs to allergens.   
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« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2007, 04:03:41 AM »

Are you aware that heartworm positive dogs have tested negative months later with NO treatment?  If you will notice I have given information, pros and cons, along with encouraging further research on all these topics.  Something most vets do not do. I am glad you stand behind the manufacturers instead of the welfare of your clients and not tell them heartguard can be given every 45 days and be effective, that the 30 days is for ease of remembrance for the owner.  Were you in favor of Proheart 6?  Despite all the evidence it was damaging pets? What a debacle that was.  Yet some vets would still gladly inject their clients up if they could.   

Quote
Owners also need to understand that veterinarians are legally bound by the label of the vaccination

 As far as reading the manufacturers recommendations on the labels with vaccines, yes more vets should do that.  How many vets give vacs at the same time as surgery?  How many update when the animal is showing signs of a chronic problem?  And what does the manufacturer label state:  ONLY VACCINATE HEALTHY ANIMALS.


Quote
Its a difficult area because the drug companies test no vaccines past 3 years---and those are only a few select rabies vaccinations, although vaccines labeled as biannual--every 2 years--is becoming more and more common.

 2 years? The current "protocols" are every 3 years for all core vaccines? And duration of immunity studies point to much longer (possibly lifetime) immunity.  And you know (or should know) that the 1 year rabies and 3 year rabies is the same stuff, different label. 

  A vet telling me that it wouldn't hurt my ferret to get updated even though he had had adrenal surgery less than 2 months ago and still had a swollen prostate. This was before I became aware that vaccines are not as harmless as we are led to believe. I questioned the vet on if we should wait til he was healthy and was told there was no reason to, it wouldn't hurt him.  Then the other adrenal became diseased even though it had appeared fine during the other surgery.  6 months later (most of that spent at the vets on fluids) and my ferret had kidney damage and suffered renal failure.  But he was protected from distemper and rabies thankfully!

  I have sat in the vet's office and heard the receptionist schedule a spay, a declaw and vaccinations all for the same visit.   That is malpractice, IMO. How many people are told their pet must be "up to date" for surgery and they can do it at the same time?  For whose protection?  Not the animal's the vaccine won't be affective for about 2 weeks, and neither for any of the other animals at the vets.  In fact it will make the animal more susceptible to disease because of that assault on the immune system, coupled with the surgery, and the stress of having surgery.

  My male dane at 4months of age tore a tendon (he had been vaccinated 3 times by the time he was 8 weeks old, against my explicit instructions he was to get no vaccinations.  After having fallen in love with him and then finding that out the day I was to bring him home I was faced with taking a puppy I knew was going to have health problems or abandon him.  I took him, and it cost me 3grand for ortho surgery and about $50 a month now to keep him on joint sups for that leg. I am assuming that you are aware that the distemper vaccine has been linked to joint problems?). When I took him at 4mos of age to get xrays to find out what was going on with that knee the vet asked if I wanted to neuter him as long as he was going to have to be under anesthesia anyways.   I flatly refused because 1) he is a great dane and at 4 months of age to even suggest neutering should be a crime, and 2) the puppy had a messed up knee and was probably going to need surgery, let his body focus on one thing at a time please!  Did I really need to explain this to that vet? 

  The 1 year and the 3 year rabies vaccine is the same vaccination, different label.  But if you were given the one year instead of the 3 year, sorry, your vet will tell you you need to do it again one year later, knowing full well that is not true.  Whose best interest is the vet concerned for?

  People need to be, and are starting to be more proactive with their own health and their pets.  Vets should educate them on the current studies out there and the growing evidence that overvaccinating, overpoisoning, is harming our pets. Do you inform your clients (if you are a vet) of the dangers of overvaccinating?  Do you let them know that there are duration of immunity studies out there showing that vaccines last much much longer (and maybe lifetime) than the recommended 3 years?  Do you tell them that even the AVMA has acknowledged that there is no scientific reasoning behind boosters?  They went to every 3 years because so many vets complained about the loss of income from not pushing annual vaccinations.  It was a "compromise" to placate the vets.  Schultz and Dodds do a great juggling act of trying to get information out there while still staying in the good graces of the veterinary profession.  I hope one day, maybe when they are retired, they won't be held back from stating what they really think, instead of having to hedge a little in their opinions.   

  Full disclosure is not very forthcoming from most vets.  I am no vet, but I try and direct people to actual studies, and to give information on both sides of the coin so that they can make an INFORMED decision.  And to encourage them to do further research. 

  Today's vets better get with the program.  People are not going to blindly take what the vet tells them as gospel, not when their is evidence the recommendations are outdated and potentially harmful to their pets.
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