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Are Dog Vaccines Really Safe?

Are Dog Vaccines Really Safe?

After the administration of  the puppy vaccines, why are vets re-vaccinating our pets year after year for the duration lives of our pets?  The 2011 AHAA Canine Vaccination Guidelines were published to inform veterinarians of the new guidelines based.  The AHAA (American Animal Hospital Association) sets the guidelines and rules to create standard practices within veterinary practices.  Despite a three year protocol was recommended for the core vaccines many vets disregard these guidelines.  Interestingly, AAHA and AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) state that the core vaccines can protect for at least five years, but they still maintain the 2011 guidlines which suggests core vaccines should be given every 3 years.

The published protocols are excessive in light of the admission that every 5 years would be acceptable.  Either vets haven’t read about these widely published protocols?  Vets who are vaccinating cores more often than every 5 years are irresponsible, unethical, and reckless.  The rabies is a given legal requirement so I won’t go into that mess (and it is a mess).  Some states have lagged behind with the rabies research so they need to ammend legislation.  Research shows that these vaccines last far longer than what the industry is leading us to believe.

When humans are vaccinated, do we require re-vaccinationation every year for the duration of our lives?

Research is proving that vaccinations are not safe to give on a yearly basis.  Traditional vets are over-vaccinating our dogs.  Since the 1970’s, Dr. Ronald Schultz, PhD Dipl ACVIM is the Founding Chair of Pathobiological Sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin in Madison has been the and principal investigator of the efficacy of these vaccines.  Some of his other credentials include he is a member of the American Animal Hospital Association’s Canine Vaccine Task Force, the American Association of Feline Practitioner’s Feline Vaccine Task Force, and the Veterinary Vaccine Group of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association.  Dr. Schultz recommends the core vaccines that are given to puppies.  His findings have revealed that a dog’s immunity can last far longer than what we have been lead to believe.  In some cases, antibodies have remained active for the lifespan of many dogs.

Prior to Dr. Schultz’s research, the Rabies vaccine was recommended annually by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).  Due to Dr. Schultz PhD Dipl ACVIM ’s work, the recommendation for Rabies re-vaccination has been revised to every 3 years.  Dr. Schultz has found that Rabies vaccines can be effective for between 3 to 7 years.  It is unsure when immunity takes effect in puppies.  It can vary from puppy to puppy.  Sometimes the vaccines reach a full working level sooner than than others depending on the dog and the vaccine.  This an important reason for vets to administer antibody titer tests (I will go over that later in the article).

The rabies vaccines are required, but laws differ from state to state. Unfortunately, the governing bodies that create and enforce these regulations are not immunologists so they don’t they are forcing pet owners to vaccinate inappropriately. I wonder if pharmaceutical corporations have anything to do with that. Vaccines contain such ingredients as aluminum, thimerosal (a form of mercury), MSG, formaldehyde, and other dangerous toxins.  There are rabies vaccines available that are mercury-free. Ask your vet for a thimerosal-free (mercury-free and aluminum-free) vaccines. Merial makes thimerosal-free rabies vaccines: IMRAB® 1 TF and IMRAB® 3 TF. Make sure you see “TF” on the label. I would question a vet who doesn’t have this vaccine when it is available and less toxic than the original vaccines. It’s a question of education and ethics.

Despite the clear scientific proof that vaccines last longer than most vets are telling us.  A couple of great articles that explain this are  Despite the Law, Here’s Proof Your Pet Probably Doesn’t Need This Vaccine and Does Your Pet Really Need That Rabies Shot?

Dog Tags Hanging Outdoors 1024

The Lyme Disease vaccine only protects against Lyme-carrying ticks which are only an issue if you are located in regions where this particular tick live.  Do dogs outside of those regions really need this vaccine?

Dogs usually don’t require vaccination for Kennel Cough unless they are coming from crowded, enclosed, poorly ventilated places like many breeding kennels where the likelihood of infection would be higher due to those conditions.

Some Research About Annual Vaccinations:

In his website, Vital Animals and the Natural Path, William Falconer states: “The following was printed in Current Veterinary Therapy, Volume XI, published in 1992 (this is a very well-respected, peer-reviewed textbook 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…’”

Most conventional vets are not following the newer vaccine protocols that were published in 2011!  To see those protocols, read Good News About the Latest Canine Vaccination Guidelines.

With regard to annual vaccinations a veterinary textbook called, Kirk’s Current Veterinary Therapy XI (Small Animal Practice) states “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.”

Shocking Information About 1-Year vs 3-Year Rabies Vaccines:

There is NO difference except for the label.  When the vaccines were compared in the lab, their content was IDENTICAL!!!  The one-year vaccine was only studied for the duration of one year; the study did not continue until it lost its efficacy.  The same with the 3-year.  Funding these studies are very difficult because the pharmaceutical companies (and the vets) have a lot to lose.

Rabies Challenge Fund:

The Rabies Challenge Fund supports vaccine research without the influence of pharmaceutical corporations who create the vaccines.  Dr. Jean Dodds serves as the Co-Trustee of the Fund and supervises the project. Dr. Dodds is a world-renowned veterinary research scientist specializing in hematology, immunology, endocrinology.  Dr. Dodds has done extensive work alongside with Dr. Schultz for the Rabies Challenge Fund.  The goal of this project is to extend the Rabies re-vaccination schedule from the current 3 years (which many vets are still unaware of) to 5 years and eventually to 7 years and on and on.  Together they are finding that the antibodies are active for a much longer time than our traditional vets are informing us.

So what are some side effects of vaccinations?

*Autoimmune Diseases
*Behavioral Changes such as aggression and separation anxiety
*Obsessive behavior, self-mutilation, tail chewing
*Pica – eating wood, stones, earth, stool
*Destructive behavior, shredding bedding
*Various types of abscesses and growths by vaccination site
*Facial swelling
*Weight lossVaccination Reminder
*Allergic hypersensitivity
*Respiratory disease
*Muscular weakness and or atrophy & lameness
*Eye diseases
*Injection-site sarcomas (cancer)
*Kidney disease
*Seizures & epilepsy
*Bone disease
*Blood disorders
*Thyroid disease
*Inflammation of the heart
*Chronic digestive problems
*Autoimmune diseases such as those affecting bone marrow and blood cells, joints, eyes, skin, kidney, liver, bowel and central nervous system

How come vets don’t warn us about this?  How come vets don’t identify these symptoms when they are present?

money in hands

Why are these vets following old procedures? 

Here are some of my guesses:

1.  The cost of vaccine serums are extremely cheap.  Vets make a fortune of money from   administering these vaccines year after year.

2.  Testing is much more expensive than vaccinating so vets wouldn’t profit as much.

3.  The testing is more complex.  When puppies are tested, each vaccine requires a different amount of time to become effective.  In other words, tests would need to be administered at different times for puppies to find out the onset of an immunity response.  This is time consuming.

4.  Traditional vets are just not keeping up with the research.  For example, being that the same vaccines are given to a 2 pound dog as a 200 pound human, studies have shown that administering a fraction of the vaccine to a tiny dog has the same effect as administering the entire dose.  The difference is that the smaller dose is not as overwhelming or toxic as the dose for a 200 pound person.

5.  It used to be the case that very few labs perform the diagnostic testing for titer tests.  Those labs were associated with veterinary schools.  The actual testing of the blood is usually mailed to the lab.  Although there are products that can be used at a veterinary office my guess that most vets are unaware that these products exist or they would prefer to just profit from administering the vaccines.

What infuriates me is that vets can administer tests called antibody titers.  TiterCHEK and VacciCheck are two diagnostic test options that doctors can administer that measure the presence of disease antibodies in an animal’s blood.  They are not designed to analyze for rabies antibodies so the blood needs to be sent to an outside lab.  These diagnostic kits are designed for onsite testing at the veterinary facility; there is no need to work with outside labs for analysis for some other diseases.  If vets genuinely care about our pets as they claim they do, why are they negligent in educating us about this?  There are vets out there who are still administering rabies vaccinations on an annual basis.  Those vets are probably unaware that the vaccination schedule has been changed in 2011.  Some states require the vaccinations, but that is another issue.  There are ways to get around that if vets were genuinely concerned.  Many vets send out notifications to their clients advising them to come in to have their dogs vaccinated in order to keep them healthy.  This implies that foregoing vaccinations would put a pet’s health in jeopardy.

Ronald Schultz’s Chart – Minimum Duration of Immunity for Canine Vaccines
Vaccine Minimum Duration
of Immunity
Methods Used to
Determine Immunity
Canine Distemper Virus (CDV)  Rock born Strain 7 yrs/15 yrs challenge/serology
Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) Onderstepoort Strain 5 yrs/9 yrs challenge/serology
Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) Canarypox Vectored rCDV 3 yrs/4 yrs challenge/serology
Canine Adenovirus-2 (CAV -2) 7 yrs/9 yrs challenge-CAV-l/serology
Canine Parvovirus-2 (CPV -2) 7 yrs/10 yrs challenge/serology
Canine Rabies 3 yrs/5 yrs challenge/serology

That was just the core vaccines.  We must be more critical of practitioners and ask more questions.  Many vets don’t even offer titer tests.

Although the video is relatively long, I believe that it is essential for vets and pet owners to view.  It is an interview with Dr. Karen Becker who is a veterinarian who is trained in both traditional veterinary medicine as well as veterinary holistic medicine.  She strives to educate pet owners about healthcare.

Find out about what vaccines are necessary and when they should be administered.  This information comes from the research of Dr. Ronald Schultz.  Read more:  Vaccines 101.  Another excellent article about vaccines is The Simple Guide to Titer Testing Dogs.  A great article written in 2009 (prior to the AHAA guidelines in 2011) is called Over-Vaccination of Pets – An Unethical Practice.  Despite knowledge for years about the duration of vaccines and despite the excessive recommendations by the AHAA, most vets continue to abuse vaccines.  There is extensive proof of this abuse and the damage that over-vaccination is causing.  See more overwhelming evidence in Over-vaccinations of Dogs with Parvo and other Vaccines Remains Prevalent Practice.  Another VERY comprehensive article is 65 Ways Rabies Vaccination Can Harm Your Dog (by Dr. Patricia Jordan) – the latter article has images which might be disturbing.

Please check out my article Vets Cash in on Vaccines.



“2011 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines.” American Animal Hospital Association. American Animal Hospital Association, Sept./Oct. 2011. Web. 20 Aug. 2015. <>.

Falconer, William. “Pet Vaccination Efficacy: Are All These Shots Working?” Vital Animal & The Natural Path. Dr. William Falconer, 20 July 2014. Web. 13 Feb. 2015. <>.

Kirk, Robert Warren, John D. Bonagura, and Carl A. Osborne. Current Veterinary Therapy XI: Small Animal Practice. Philadelphia: Saunders, 1992. Print. p. 205

Rasmusen, Jan. “Rabies Vaccination: Important Things You Need to Know.” Truth4Dogs. Jan Rasmusen, 16 Dec. 2014. Web. 27 Dec. 2014. <>.

Schultz, Ronald D.. “Duration of immunity for canine and feline vaccines: A review.” Veterinary Microbiology 117.1 (2006): 75-79. Print.Rodier, Lisa. “Vaccines 101.” Whole Dog Journal. Aug. 2008. Web. 13 Feb. 2015. <>.

Schultz, Ronald. “What Everyone Needs to Know About Canine Vaccines.” What Everyone Needs to Know About Canine Vaccines. Puli Club of America, n.d. Web. 08 June 2016<>. is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) veterinary treatment. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements. Please do plenty of research so that you may equip yourself with the knowledge necessary to be an effective advocate for your dog’s well-being.


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  1. Sonja Lessley

    This is very interesting. After Shizzle got her one year Rabies vaccine, she pretty much stopped eating for a month and became moody and aggressive towards other dogs. Most of that has subsided now, but next year I will be doing a titter test first. It’s not worth risking her health and well being to comply with an ignorant law.

    1. Janie

      When you call to make an appointment, realize that most receptionists and many techs won’t know what you’re talking about so you need to be specific. If I were you, I would wait a couple of years because the research is pretty well established that the antibodies survive for way longer. The AMVA (American Veterinary Association) is only willing to put the seal of approval on 3 years. Hopefully state and city laws will acknowledge that. If a dog reacts really badly I would write a letter in order to waive the yearly vaccination regulations and see what can be done. I am doing my best to avoid vaccinating my dogs. They contain so many taxins including mercury. Maybe people should write to our city and state government. Thank you for the comment. I appreciate your support. Regards to Shizzle.

  2. Deena Haas

    Very good artical. I know you are right. I have to find out what the 4 in one or is it three in one? Dr. Luckow does not vaccinate for Kennel cough or Lyme Disease if you do not live in an area where these ticks are. So besides Rabies I need to know. I don’t want to vaccinate either dog. They are not running around outside.

    1. Janie

      Hi Deena-
      Bulking vaccines like 3 in one or 4 in one is VERY bad. It is demanding the immune system of a dog to react to 3 or 4 different things at once. A dog who is senior should NOT be vaccinated. Too many vets do NOT read the research and are not even up to date with the vaccine requirements. Most vaccines stay within the body for many years. This is why titer tests are available. Many vets don’t even tell you that such tests exist! Vaccines only cost a dollar or two, but when vets administer them, these vets can make $25 or much more from just a rabies shot. They can build it into a checkup appointment in which most vets take around 10 minutes to do. Then they can charge $50 and up for the checkup and then an additional $25 and up for a rabies vaccine. Dogs DO maintain antibodies for longer than that the vets will tell you. I don’t know if the vets sincerely don’t know or if they don’t care. Both scenarios freak me out!!! Senior dogs should NOT be vaccinated. Dogs with weakened immune systems should NOT be vaccinated.

    1. Janie

      I just checked out your website after publishing my article. Your work is nothing short of spectacular. Thank you so much! I will read more of your articles. It is so important to get the word out. Thank you so much again.

  3. Sonja

    I recently took my dog to the vet to get an abscess looked at and drained. Curiously, the abscess was where she had a Rabies shot. Immediately they told me she was due for another round of vaccines. She has already had the full treatments as a puppy, and another vet gave her a three year rabies vaccine which made her aggressive for a while. I demanded titer tests before vaccinating, and guess what? She still had full immunity from her puppy vaccines. I was horrified that they were so eager to pump my small dog full of more vaccines without testing her first after I warned them that she actually got kennel cough from the kennel cough vaccine and had to go in for breathing treatments everyday for a week and be on hard core antibiotics. I can not suggest strongly enough for everyone to ask for titer tests before vaccinating. They may not need it at all!
    Its the humane thing to do for your loving furry family member.

    1. Janie

      Hi Sonja-

      Thank you so much for such a spectacular comment. I am so sorry that you had to experience that. Vets who practice ONLY conventional medicine lack an essential arsenal of treatment methods that prevent AND heal using natural solutions. There are cases when conventional medicine is necessary, but to completely put aside other methods is irresponsible. Many vets rely on information that they learned in traditional vet school. How many strains of a certain disease can be attacked by certain antibiotics… As a result of this narrow scope of training, dogs are getting sicker and sicker. I see it constantly. I am not implying that vaccination is not a good thing. I am stressing that it is not performed properly. Ronal Schultz and Jean Dodds are the experts when it comes to veterinary medicine and anything immunology. Why so many vets follow THOSE experts? Not keeping up with studies (NOT just the ones funded by the pharmaceutical companies) is simply unethical. I accompanied a friend of mine to a vet. I innocently asked the vet what the difference was between the 1 year and the 2 year rabies vaccines. She replied, “I think they are both the same.” Wait a second… She said she “THINKS” they are both the same. This is stuff that pisses me off. It is unfortunate that there are so few vets who practice integrative medicine.

      Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for sharing your story with me and my readers.

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