URGENT! – Health Alert – Canine Cough in Southern Maine

September 10th, 2017 – We have received information that there have been several cases of Canine Cough in Southern Maine (this is not to be confused with the Canine Flu). We have currently NOT experienced any here at Green Acres at this time, but there is always the potential that this may occur.

We have contacted local veterinarians and asked them to keep us advised if they start to see canine cough in the greater Bangor area.

As you may all know, Canine Cough can come from a variety of different strains, and while we do require the vaccination, it is not full-proof, particularly against strains that may not be covered by the vaccine. That being said, vaccinated dogs typically recover more quickly. While for most dogs, Canine Cough is a relatively mild cold with an hacking cough, there is always a concern for the development of pneumonia, particularly in the young and the old.

If you are seeing any signs of a “cold” in your dog (runny eyes or nose, sneezing, coughing, lethargy, lack of appetite, fever, etc.) please do not bring your pet for daycare, boarding, grooming or training until they have seen their veterinarian and have been cleared. Also, please contact us immediately so that we are aware. As we experienced earlier this year, often dogs are contagious well before they are symptomatic so the sooner we have a heads up the better for all.

At Green Acres Kennel Shop we do require that dogs that board or daycare with us, or that are enrolled in a training class, be current on a canine cough vaccine as administered by their veterinarian, or canine cough nosodes as prescribed and provided by the veterinarian. Not all boarding and daycare facilities require canine cough preventatives.

Canine cough or kennel cough are lay terms for Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC), which is highly contagious to other dogs, much like the common cold is with people. Canine cough can be transmitted through the air from one dog to the next or by contact with contaminated objects such as a common water dish at the dog park or in front of a dog-friendly store. Like the common cold is to humans, canine cough is not typically serious, but if you see symptoms in your dog (coughing, gagging, vomiting, or general lethargy) I would recommend that you call your veterinarian.

For More Information on canine cough <click here>

©2017, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

Podcast – A Holistic Approach to Vaccines for Dogs – Part 2 w/Dr. Judy Herman

< Click to Listen to Podcast >

In this episode of The Woof Meow Show on July 22, 2017, the second in a two-part series on vaccinations for dogs, Kate and Don talk with Dr. Judy Herman of the Animal Wellness Center in Augusta, Maine. In this show, we start by discussing what the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) classifies as non-core vaccines, those not required by every dog.

The first vaccine we discuss is the one for Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC), more commonly known as canine cough, or sometimes kennel cough. Dr. Herman’s starts off by explaining that there are many infectious agents that can cause upper respiratory disease in a dog.  This is a vaccination that should be considered for a dog that is around other dogs, such as a show dog, a dog that boards or goes to daycare, a dog that visits the dog park, or any dog that is frequently around other dogs. She explains that they are various types of vaccines; intranasal, intraoral, and injectable, which should not be mixed. Dr. Herman also discusses the homeopathic nosode for kennel cough, which she has found to be very effective.

Nosodes are not a vaccine. They are a type of homeopathic remedy that is made from diseased tissue or discharge. Nosodes do not work the same as a vaccine and do not give one immunity. The nosode stimulates the body’s immune system to fight off the disease. Typically the kennel cough nosode is given before potential exposure, such as before a boarding stay. Unlike a vaccine, it does not offer long-term protection. The kennel cough nosode has been researched by Dr. Christopher Day in England. The study indicated that the dogs that received the nosode had little or no symptoms.

Green Acres Kennel Shop does accept the Kennel Cough vaccine instead of the canine cough vaccine as long as a client provides proof that the nosode was prescribed and dispensed by their dog’s veterinarian. Nosodes are not something you should purchase and administer without a veterinary guidance.

Don asked, and Dr. Herman explains, why dogs that are vaccinated for CIRDC still sometimes come down with the symptoms of canine cough. Vaccines do not always work with some animals, just like the flu vaccine used with humans does not always work.

In segment two, we discuss canine Leptospirosis, a vaccine against the Leptospirosis bacteria. This bacteria is passed in the urine of rodent’s skunks, raccoons, beavers, porcupines, and other wildlife. This bacteria survives in pools of stagnant water. It is seen more frequently in city dogs and smaller dogs. It causes acute kidney disease which can be treated. You need to assess your dog’s potential exposure to these risks before you decide if this vaccine makes sense for your dog. Dr. Herman indicates that there are adverse reactions to this vaccine and that it should not be given to puppies under 12 weeks of age. Although the Leptospirosis vaccine is supposed to be good for a year, many experts are not confident that it is effective for that long. There are several different types of Leptospirosis, but the vaccine does typically not cover all of these types. There is a nosode for Leptospirosis which would be available from homeopathic veterinarians. In Cuba, a Leptospirosis nosode has been used with humans, where Leptospirosis is a problem, with great success.

Lyme disease and the vaccines for it is the subject of segment three of our show. Lyme has been a concern in New England since the late 70’s, and with tick populations on the rise, it is becoming of greater concern. Specialists indicate that symptoms are more likely in; dogs less than two and immune-compromised dogs. Ninety percent of dogs infected with Lyme do not get sick. The best way to prevent Lyme is by preventing ticks. The vaccine is about 70% effective. There is a nosode for Lyme, but there are questions as to what protocol one would use.

Prevention through repellents, and checking your dog on a regular basis is the best bet for preventing Lyme. If your dog has already been exposed to Lyme, it is questionable whether or not the Lyme vaccine would be helpful. Also, the vaccine does not prevent Lyme Nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys).

Lastly, we discuss adverse reactions to vaccines; what to look for and what to do. An acute anaphylactic reaction usually occurs in the first fifteen minutes after a vaccine.  Symptoms include the face swelling up, breathing impairment, and shock, which will need immediate treatment by a veterinarian. Other symptoms include fever, vomiting, and diarrhea, and may not occur as much as a week later. Dr. Herman has also seen dogs have seizures post-vaccine. Adverse reactions to vaccines should be reported to your veterinarian and (AAHA website?)

Long-term adverse reactions can be immune mediated skin disease, thyroid disease, and even behavioral changes.

< Click to Listen to Podcast >

To Contact Dr. Herman

Animal Wellness Center
95 Northern Avenue, Augusta, ME 04330

(207) 623-1177

officeawc@roadrunner.com

Website:  http://www.judithhermandvm.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mainehomeopathicvet/

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog (http://www.words-woofs-meows.com)

Vaccinations–Interviews with Dr. Ron Schultzhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2013/07/15/vaccinations-interviews-with-dr-ron-schultz/

How to Report Adverse Reactions to Vaccines, Drugs, Devices, Foods, and Flea and Tick Products – http://bit.ly/ReportAdverseReactions

Complementary Medicine – Tikken – Vaccines, Aggression & Homeopathy — http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/10/06/complementary-medicine-tikken-vaccines-aggression-homeopathy/

Shared Blog Post – It’s Time to Put a Stop to the Mindless Over-Vaccination of Petshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/07/05/shared-blog-post-its-time-to-put-a-stop-to-the-mindless-over-vaccination-of-pets/

 

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show (http://www.woofmeowshow.com)

 

Podcast – A Holistic Approach to Vaccines for Dogs – Part 1 w/Dr. Judy Herman –

Meet the Veterinarian with Dr. Judy Herman from the Animal Wellness Center — http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2014-07-12-Meet_the_Vet_Judy_Herman.mp3

Vaccinations- Why they are important, Core Vaccines & Vaccination Schedules w/Dr. Ronald Schultz (June 22nd, 2013) http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2013-06-22-Vaccinations-1.mp3

Vaccinations, Titer Testing, Non-Core Vaccines and Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex with Dr. Ron Schultz (June 29th, 2013) http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2013-06-29-Vaccinations-2.mp3

Vaccinations– Non-Core Vaccines for Cats and Adverse Reactions to Vaccines with Dr. Ron Schultz (July 6th, 2013)http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2013-07-06-Vaccinations-3.mp3

Vaccinations – The Rabies Challenge Fund with Dr. Ron Schultz (July 13th, 2013)http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2013-07-13-Vaccinations-Rabies_Challenge_Fund.mp3

Podcast – Holistic and Complementary Wellness for Pets – Our Personal Journey — http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/10/08/podcast-holistic-and-complementary-wellness-for-pets-our-personal-journey/

Veterinary Homeopathy – Part 1 with Dr. Judy Herman from the Animal Wellness Center in Augusta — http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2014-07-26-Veterinary_Homeopathy_Judy_Herman_Part-1.mp3

Veterinary Homeopathy – Part 2 with Dr. Judy Herman from the Animal Wellness Center in Augusta — http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2014-08-02-Veterinary_Homeopathy_Judy_Herman_Part-2.mp3

Veterinary Homeopathy – Part 3 with Dr. Judy Herman from the Animal Wellness Center in Augusta — http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2014-08-09-Veterinary_Homeopathy_Judy_Herman_Part-3.mp3

Holistic Veterinary Medicine and Homeopathy with Dr. Judy Herman from the Animal Wellness Center – part 1http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2011-09-17-Holistic_and_Homeopathy-part-1.mp3

Holistic Veterinary Medicine and Homeopathy with Dr. Judy Herman from the Animal Wellness Center – part 2 —http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2011-09-24-Holistic_and_Homeopathy-part-2.mp3

 

©22JUL17, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

URGENT! – Health Alert – Canine Cough in the Community

March 29th, 2017 – There is a strain of canine cough in the community. We have talked to veterinarians in the area, and they have reported seeing dogs with canine cough in dogs that have been at several kennels and daycares in the area. They have also seen dogs with canine cough that have not been at any kennel or daycare, at least recently, and as reported, these dogs have not necessarily been around other dogs. In some cases, canine cough has been seen in dogs that were current on their Bordetella vaccine, which suggests that the vaccination does not offer immunity to this particular strain of canine cough.

While the number of dogs that have shown symptoms and/or have been diagnosed is small compared to those that are symptom and disease free, we want to be sure that you are aware of the situation.

At Green Acres Kennel Shop we do require that dogs that board or daycare with us, or that are enrolled in a training class, be current on a canine cough vaccine as administered by their veterinarian, or canine cough nosodes as prescribed and provided by the veterinarian. Not all boarding and daycare facilities require canine cough preventatives.

Canine cough or kennel cough are lay terms for Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC), which is highly contagious to other dogs, much like the common cold is with people. Canine cough can be transmitted through the air from one dog to the next or by contact with contaminated objects such as a common water dish at the dog park or in front of a dog-friendly store. Like the common cold is to humans, canine cough is not typically serious, but if you see symptoms in your dog (coughing, gagging, vomiting, or general lethargy) I would recommend that you call your veterinarian.

For More Information on canine cough <click here>

©2017, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

URGENT! – Health Alert – Canine Cough in the Community

Pet Health AlertThere is a strain of canine cough in the community. We’ve talked to veterinarians in the area and they have seen canine cough with several dogs that have been at several kennels in the area. It has also been observed in dogs that have not been at any kennel, at least recently, and as reported, these dogs have not been around other dogs. Canine cough has been seen in several dogs that were current on their Bordetella vaccine which suggests that the vaccination does not offer immunity to this particular strain. While the number of dogs that have shown symptoms and/or have been diagnosed is small compared to those that are symptom and disease free, we want to be sure that you are aware of the situation.

Canine cough or kennel cough is actually a lay term for Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC). It is highly contagious to other dogs, much like the common cold is with people. It can be transmitted through the air from one dog to the next or by contact with contaminated objects such as a common water dish at the dog park or in front of a dog-friendly store. It is not normally serious, but if you see symptoms in your dog (coughing, gagging, vomiting, or general lethargy) I would recommend that you call your veterinarian.

For More Information on canine cough <click here>

©2015, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

PODCAST – What You Need to Know About the Canine Flu with Dr. Mark Hanks from Kindred Spirits Veterinary Clinic

20JUN15-Canine Flu 400x400CONCERNED ABOUT CANINE FLU? DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW!

The canine flu has been all over the news and even though it has not been seen in Maine this year, we asked Dr. Hanks to talk to us about canine flu. Topics addressed; what differentiates the flu from other respiratory disorders we see in dogs, how does the canine flu seen in the Midwest differ from the canine flu seen in 2002/2004, what are the symptoms, how should the flu be treated, when should dogs be vaccinated, what tests are available, should we be worried about people bringing dogs in to Maine from other states, and how serious is this?

What You Need to Know About the Canine Flu –with Dr. Mark Hanks from Kindred Spirits <Click to Listen>

This show first aired on The Woof Meow Show on The Voice of Maine on Saturday June 20th on 103.9FM, 101.3FM and 1450AM. It and other shows are available for download at the Apple iTunes store, at our podcast host; http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com and at our website www.woofmeowshow.com.

©2015, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

Pet Health & Wellness – What Is Canine Cough?

Canine cough or kennel cough is actually a lay term for Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC). There are many bacteria and viruses which can cause this illness. The most prevalent of the bacteria that cause this illness is Bordetella bronchiseptica. This illness involves an inflammation of a dog’s trachea and upper bronchii and is similar to bronchitis in a human. The passage of air over the inflamed tissues can be very irritating which causes the dog to cough.

Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex is highly contagious to other dogs. It can be transmitted through the air from one dog to the next or by contact with contaminated objects such as a common water dish at the dog park or in Pug in mask-canstockphoto2476742front of a dog-friendly store. Sitting next to an infected dog at a vaccination clinic is all it may take to catch canine cough. It’s basically transmitted the same ways as the “common cold” is transferred from one person to another. Just like people that work with the public, or like school children, the more dogs your dog associates with, especially those that are unvaccinated, the greater the opportunity to contract canine cough. That’s why the canine cough vaccine is often recommended for dogs that; frequent the dog park, attend daycare, are boarded or groomed, are in a training class, go to dog shows or dog sport events, visit the veterinarian frequently, or are just around lots of other dogs. Most boarding kennels, daycares and training classes require guests to be vaccinated for CIRDC.

The most typical symptom of canine cough is a persistent dry cough that almost sounds as if your dog is “honking” like a goose. When we adopted our dog Shed from the Dane County Humane Society many, many years ago, she started showing the symptoms of canine cough in a few days. I remember waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of a flock of geese “honking” under the bed. Most of the time your dog will appear healthy except for the cough. They’ll eat normally and will still be active. They may gag and produce white foamy phlegm. Exercise and pressure from their collar against their trachea (from pulling on leash) may cause a bout of coughing.

If your dog is coughing repeatedly it’s a good idea to take them to the veterinarian. While canine cough often resolves on its own, there are several other infections, as well as cardiac issues, that cause coughing, which can be fatal if not treated. Pneumonia can result as a secondary infection to canine cough. Typical treatments for canine cough include a cough suppressant, and possibly antibiotics as secondary infections can occur from canine cough. It is also essential that you keep your dog away from other dogs while they have canine cough so that they do not spread the disease.

There are different types of vaccines for canine cough/CIRDC; however, because there are so many infectious agents that can cause the disease, a dog can be vaccinated and still get the disease. The vaccines do often reduce the severity of the disease. Vaccines can be injectable or given orally or intranasal. Dr. Ronald Schultz (Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathobiological Sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison) recommends that dogs that will be around other dogs be vaccinated annually with the intranasal vaccine which immunizes against Bordetella. Since the normal path of infection for these diseases is via the respiratory system, Dr. Schultz feels the intranasal approach, which immunizes via the respiratory system, is the most effective way to administer this vaccine.

Vaccinations–Interviews with Dr. Ron Schultz

Vaccines are incredibly important in preventing infectious diseases in both animals and people. However, they can also cause life threatening adverse reactions. This interview discussed the importance of vaccines and how to use them in the safest manner possible.

In Memory of Tikken 300x300I first learned of Dr. Ron Schultz sometime between the spring of 2000 and the spring of 2002. Paula and I had started reading everything we could about vaccinations, especially adverse reactions due to over vaccination, because our Golden Retriever Tikken had started exhibiting some severe behavioral changes in the spring of 2000. Her aggression towards other dogs and subsequent obsessive-compulsive shadow and light chasing began shortly after her third Rabies vaccination. Her first Rabies vaccination was in 1997 when she was a puppy. Her second occurred when she was one year old in 1998 and the third occurred in 2000. At the time Maine law required revaccination for Rabies every two years, even though the Rabies vaccine was labeled as offering immunity for three years.

We were not initially aware that Tikken’s behavioral changes were a result of a vaccine reaction.  We consulted with our local veterinarian who provided treatment and then the veterinary behavior clinic at Tufts University when we saw no improvement. When there was still no improvement we consulted with an applied animal behaviorist in Wisconsin who suggested we explore a homeopathic treatment for Tikken’s disease. In the spring of 2001 Tikken was examined by Dr. Judy Herman of the Animal Wellness Center in Augusta, ME and diagnosed as having had a reaction to the Rabies vaccine. She was subsequently treated and cured for a Rabies miasm by Dr. Herman.

As a result of Tikken’s illness, Paula and I started educating ourselves about vaccines and I came upon the following quote, by Dr. Schultz, from a veterinary text book.

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 in the life of the animal. – Veterinary immunologist Ronald Schultz and Tom Phillips make the following statement in Current Veterinary Therapy, volume XI, pp202-206, 1992.

It was apparent that experts in the field felt that the annual vaccination of our pets was not necessary. Knowing the types of reactions that vaccinations could cause, we continued to learn everything we could about vaccines. We also started to share that information with our clients at Green Acres Kennel Shop when I wrote the article Rethinking Annual Vaccinations for our April 2002 newsletter, Paw Prints.

On February 7th, 2013 Tikken crossed the rainbow bridge at 16 years of age. While she had mostly recovered from the behavioral issues resulting from her adverse reaction to the Rabies vaccine, she was never the same confident, anxiety free dog that she was pre-reaction. Her veterinarians have advised us that the two immune mediated diseases (hypothyroid disease and golden retriever uveitis syndrome) she later developed were also probably related to the Rabies vacation and her genetics. The vaccine triggered an abnormal immune response which affected these other organ systems.

Upon Tikken’s passing Paula and I were looking for an appropriate way to remember her and decided to commit to educating others by sharing Tikken’s story and to do a fundraiser for The Rabies Challenge Fund (http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/ and https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Rabies-Challenge-Fund/119106981159?fref=ts). This interview and the four resulting Woof Meow Shows with Dr. Schultz are part of that educational effort.

The following are notes, not a transcript, from an interview with Dr. Ron Schultz, Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathobiological Sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Schultz is considered to be one of the foremost experts on immunology and vaccinations for pets. The interview occurred on Friday, May 3rd 2013 and was broadcast as four separate editions of The Woof Meow Show on the Voice of Maine WVOM, 103.9FM & WVQM 101.3FM on four subsequent weekends.

  • June 22nd and 23rd – Vaccinations- Why they are important, Core Vaccines & Vaccination Schedules <click to listen>
  • June 29th and 30th  –  Vaccinations, Titer Testing, Non-Core Vaccines and Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex <click to listen>
  • July 6th and 7th –  Vaccinations- Non-Core Vaccines for Cats and Adverse Reactions to Vaccines <click to listen>
  • July 13th and 14th  – Vaccinations – The Rabies Challenge Fund. <click to listen>

The last show has actually aired twice. These four shows have been our most popular podcasts to-date with over 2800 downloads as of October 14th, 2013. All four shows are also available for download at the Apple iTunes store and at http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/webpage

Thanks to the generosity of 53 clients, friends and colleagues we were able to raise a total of $1240 with our fundraiser for The Rabies Challenge Fund from September 1st through October 5th. As promised we matched that generosity dollar for dollar and have sent a check to the Rabies Challenge Fund for $2,535 as a memoriam for our Golden Retriever, Tikken.

Thank you to all of you that contributed; Ann Murray, Anonymous, Barbara Cyr, Becky Brimley, Belinda Doliber, Brent & Michele Slater, Carol Higgins Taylor and Juanita Taylor, Carolyn Clark, Chris & Jane Flieller, Cindy Black, Coastside Bioresources, Colleen Pelar, Cynthia Bentley, Cynthia Farrell, Dee Hoult (Applause Your Paws), Doreen & Ken Dybevik, Gary  & Deb Mickalowski, Ginger & David Ward-Green, Heidi Riggs, Helen Musselwhite, Jan & David Pilotte, Jen Shryock (Family Paws), Jill Marple, John Hamer & Anne Marie Storey, Dr. Judith Herman, Julie Perkins, Juliette Humiston, Kathy Klein, Ken & Peggy Grant, Laura Van Dyne, Linda Mosely, Links Online Marketing, LLC (Kristy & Ken Kimball), Maina Fernald, Margaret Hall, Maria Staples, Marjorie Speck, Michael Puls, Michelle Sirois, Nanette Belenger, Patrick Lyons, Ralph Carr, Rhonda & Rick Hutchins, Richard & Cristanna Cook, Rick and Jill Marston, Sandra Payne, Sarah Baldwin, Sherry Pfister, Susan Scammon, Susan Witt, Teoti Anderson and Vanessa Field.

The Shows

Vaccinations (22JUN13-23JUN13)
Why they are important, Core Vaccines & Vaccination Schedules

Core Vaccines

Vaccines are important because they can prevent some very serious vaccine preventable diseases that can make animals very sick and can even kill. Since the veterinary profession started to reexamine vaccines in the 2000’s, they have come up with the term “core vaccines” to identify the vaccinations that all animals should have. These vaccines are so effective that they will prevent the disease in all appropriately vaccinated animals.

According to Dr. Schultz, dogs should receive the following core vaccines Canine Distemper Virus (CDV), Canine Parvovirus (CPV-2), Canine Adenovirus-1 (Infectious Canine Hepatitis [ICH])/Canine Adenovirus-2 and Rabies Virus (RV). The latter is not only important for the dog, but because it is usually fatal and can be transmitted to humans, it is considered a public health issue.

Dr. Schultz recommends that cats receive the following core vaccines; Feline Parvovirus (Panleukopenia) Virus (formerly known as feline distemper distemper)FPV, Feline Calicivirus (respiratory) (FCV), Feline Herpes Type 1 Virus (FHV-1), and Rabies Virus (RV).

Vaccine Schedules

Since the late 1990’s there has been a big change in the recommendations for how often our pets should be vaccinated. For years vaccinations were given annually as part of a pet’s annual wellness exam. This changed with the eventual recognition that pets were being over vaccinated, which in turn in some cases was causing pets to become very ill or to even die.

Dr. Schultz indicates that dogs should not receive any vaccinations before they are six weeks of age. This is because a puppy/kitten gets some immunity through antibodies in their mother’s milk. Those antibodies help protect the puppy/kitten from disease but also will interfere with vaccinations. This is why puppies and kittens receive multiple vaccinations. Although the antibodies in the milk interfere with vaccinations, under no circumstances should you prevent the puppy/kitten from getting these antibodies.

Recommended vaccination schedule: Start at 8-10 weeks, give a second dose 3 to 4 weeks later and then a final dose an additional 3 to 4 weeks later, making sure it is at 14 to 16 weeks of age. By then the mother’s antibodies will not interfere with the vaccinations.

After these initial puppy/kitten vaccinations, Dr. Schultz recommends doing a titer test or revaccination when the puppy/kitten is a year of age and then revaccinating or re-titering no more frequently than every 3 years.

Some breeds (Rottweiler’s and Doberman’s) do not develop an immune response as easily, especially to the canine parvo vaccine. However, studies have demonstrated that if that last dose is at 14-16 weeks of age at least 98% of puppies will get immunized, regardless of breed.

What Determines How Long A Vaccine is Effective?

It’s the specific vaccine and the disease it was designed to prevent that determines how long it will confer immunity. All of the core vaccines, except Rabies, are modified live vaccines. This means that they actually must infect the animal in order to have an immunization effect and therefore must contain an attenuated version of the actual virus. The immunity that is conferred by this type of vaccine, just like the core vaccines for children (measles, mumps rubella), provide long term immunity because they are live, replicating viruses, much like the immunity one would get if one were actually infected with and recovered from those diseases. Immunity conferred by these vaccines is typically many years to a lifetime. If you get measles or are vaccinated for measles as a child you will not get it again anytime in your life, even if you are exposed. That is the same with distemper, parvo, and the other core animal vaccines. That’s why back in the 1970’s Dr. Schultz and others started questioning the need for annual revaccinations of our pets. In other words, for the core vaccines that include a modified live virus, once a pet has had their puppy series and their revaccination at one year of age, they should be immune for life and should NOT require further vaccination. This is why instead of revaccinating annually Dr. Schultz recommends that we only consider revaccination every three or more years. His personal preference is to do titer testing every three years. A disadvantage of titers is they can be more expensive than revaccinating, but it is much safer to do a titer because while the adverse reactions to vaccines are fairly small they still can occur. Plus it’s just not good medical practice to give a vaccine that’s not needed.

Rabies Vaccinations

Titers can be done for Rabies but due to legal and public health requirements, revaccination for Rabies is still required every three years. Those legal requirements don’t necessarily follow science or good vaccination practice, but they are the law of the land.

All states in the US now have a three year Rabies vaccination law. The initial Rabies vaccination should not occur before 12 weeks of age. The second vaccination should occur a year later and any subsequent revaccination for Rabies should not occur more often than every three years. If you travel internationally with your dog, other laws may apply. I had a friend who moved out of the USA and had to have her dog vaccinated for Rabies three times in a few months in order to be admitted to the country where she moved. The dog later developed hyperthyroid disease which is a possible vaccine reaction.

 

Vaccinations (29JUN13-30JUN13)
Titer Testing, Non-Core Vaccines and Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex

Titer Testing

Antibody titer testing is a good alternative to revaccinating every three years and should be considered when you bring your pet in for an annual wellness exam. An annual wellness exam is a very important part of any pet’s ongoing veterinary care. Additionally, some of the non-core vaccines must be given on an annual basis because they are only effective for a year.

Dr. Schultz recommends titers for Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) and Canine Parvovirus (CPV-2). Titers are generally not needed for Canine Adenovirus-1 (Infectious Canine Hepatitis [ICH])/Canine Adenovirus-2) if you get positive results for distemper and parvo. Titers don’t need to be done more often than every three years.

Unfortunately there is confusion in the veterinary community as to how to use and interpret a titer test. A common misunderstanding about titering is that it is only a snapshot that indicates an animal’s immunity at a specific moment in time and that it does not indicate if your pet will still be immune in three months. Dr. Schultz indicates that is not the case at all. With regard to Distemper, Parvo and Adeno, a positive titer indicates immunity for life unless the animal contracts a severe disease that suppresses their immune system.

Non-Core Vaccines for Dogs

Non-core vaccines are not necessary for many animals and are only recommended when an animal as at risk of contracting the disease due to lifestyle and or where they live.

Dr. Schultz believes the most important non-core vaccine for the dog is the one for kennel cough or more correctly called Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC). This is a complex disease that involves a number of bacteria and viruses which can cause this disease. Bordetella bronchiseptica is the most prevalent of the bacteria that contribute to this disease. A variety of viruses can also contribute to this disease (Canine Parainfluenza, Canine Influenza virus, and several others). A variety of vaccines exist to reduce the severity of kennel cough.

“You cannot prevent kennel cough like you can prevent Distemper. You can prevent Parvo. You can prevent Adeno, ( infectious canine hepatitis). What we do is when we give the kennel cough vaccine we’re hoping to reduce the severity of the disease and we can’t as I say prevent it, as it is so complex.” – Dr. Ron Schultz

Other non-core vaccines for the dog that are important are Leptospirosis (caused by four different serovars/strains). The other disease that is regional for which there is a vaccine is Lyme disease.

These non-core vaccines, unlike the core vaccines, only provide short-term immunity and must be given annually.

Why don’t these vaccines confer long term immunity? It has to do with the immunity of the animal. There are some diseases, with humans too, where once we get the disease we develop a lifelong immunity. An example with this with humans would be measles. But with humans and animals there are also many diseases which we can get over and over again like Lyme disease and the common cold.

Some of the human vaccines that only give short term immunity would be tetanus. Part of the reason dogs require more frequent vaccinations than humans is that they don’t live as long.

Kennel Cough/CIRDC

Most boarding facilities, daycares and training classes require the canine cough vaccine, even though it’s not a core vaccine. Over the past 15 years the vaccines that are used for this complex group of diseases have changed, as well as the protocols for their administration. What in your opinion really works best?

First we need to remember that canine cough/CIRDC is not vaccine preventable. The vaccines only reduce the severity of the disease. Part of that is because we don’t even have vaccines for some of the organisms that cause CIRDC. However, even where we do have vaccines, they are often only 60% to 70% effective. That’s why a dog can be vaccinated and still get CIRDC.

For Bordetella, the most important bacterial component of canine cough, we now have an injectable vaccine which is made from a dead organism, an intranasal vaccine which is a modified live vaccine, and an oral vaccine which is made from a modified live organism. The two live vaccines are more effective than the dead vaccine. Dr. Schultz recommends revaccination on an annual basis and prefers the intranasal vaccine. It not only includes Bordetella but also canine Parainfluenza. Since the normal path of infection for these diseases is via the respiratory system, Dr. Schultz feels the intranasal approach is the best way to administer this vaccine.

Both Bordetella and canine Parainfluenza can also be administered by injection, but Dr. Schultz indicates that neither work as well as the vaccine administered intra-nasally. Some dogs will develop a cough after being given the intranasal vaccine but it is not an infection but is actually an allergic reaction to the Bordetella component of the vaccine. These dogs have not developed canine cough but because they have a hyper sensitivity to the vaccine they are coughing.

 

Vaccinations (6JUL13-7JUL13)

Non-Core Vaccines for Cats and Adverse Reactions to Vaccines

 

In cats there are very few non-core vaccines that are recommended. While Feline Leukemia has previously been recommended annually this has changed to every 2 to 3 years since the publication of the new guidelines. It is now only considered a core vaccine for all kittens because if we get a major part of the population of kittens vaccinated we could reduce or even eliminate Feline Leukemia virus as a cause of disease in the cat. It would require two doses given between 8 and 10 weeks of age and between 12 to 14 weeks of age. Dr. Schultz would recommend a third vaccine again at one year and then no further vaccines for FeLV. They have actually eradicated Feline Leukemia in Switzerland using this type of vaccine program with kittens.

The Feline Immune Deficiency Virus vaccine is not recommended by Dr. Schultz. There is also a Feline Infectious Peritonitis vaccine that is available and most feline practitioners do not recommend this vaccine.

Non-Adjuvanted One Year Rabies Vaccine for Cats

A non-adjuvanted Rabies vaccine that requires annual revaccinations is also available for cats. In addition to the ingredients used to stimulate the immune response many vaccines contain an adjuvant, which is an additional ingredient designed to further stimulate the immune system. Unfortunately, this adjuvant is often the vaccine component which causes an adverse reaction, hence the development of this non-adjuvanted vaccine. This will probably become a three year vaccine in the near future.

Adverse Reactions Caused By Vaccines

Injection site sarcomas, the development of a malignant tumor at a vaccine injection site was one of the reasons vaccines started to be looked at more critically. This was discovered in the mid 1980’s when these lethal tumors started showing up in cats.

Vaccines do have the potential to cause harm, but for years the prevailing attitude was if a vaccine doesn’t help, it least it won’t hurt. Obviously this was not the case and people started to reexamine if their pets should be vaccinated so frequently, much less at all.

In general vaccines are very safe. Less serious adverse reactions can include causing a change in pigmentation at the injection site. The injection site sarcoma was very much a species issue related specifically to the cat. Injection site tumors in the dog are very rare. All of these adverse reactions are determined by the genetics of the animal, not only the vaccine. When breeders observe these vaccination reactions in litters, they need to make sure that those animals producing these litters are not bred again. Doing so only perpetuates the genetics and increases the odds of an adverse reaction.

Autoimmune diseases are genetically controlled but can be triggered by vaccinations. Immune mediated hypersensitivities like anaphylaxis have both a genetic and a vaccine component. Adverse reactions do not always occur the first time a vaccine is administered but can occur after subsequent vaccinations when the animal becomes hypersensitive.

Certain vaccines are more likely to trigger this type of hypersensitivity.  The Leptospirosis vaccine and the injectable Bordetella vaccine have caused hypersensitivity reactions. It’s often not the antigens in the vaccine, the substances that are meant to help the animal, that cause the reactions. Reactions are often caused by other ingredients in the vaccine like Bovine Serum Albumen, adjuvants, etc. By vaccinating only with the vaccines that are absolutely necessary and as infrequently as possible, we can minimize the risk of adverse reactions.

There are many adverse reactions that can occur from a vaccination. Dr. Schultz has a list over a page long of potential vaccine reactions. Even behavioral changes can be the result of an adverse reaction because the immune system is closely integrated with both the nervous and endocrine system. This is why behavior can be affected by a vaccine.

The only reactions that are considered to be caused by a vaccine are those that happen immediately, within 15 minutes to an hour after vaccination. There are other reactions that can happen days, weeks and even months later.

 

Vaccinations (13JUL13-14JUL13)

The Rabies Challenge Fund

Tikken’s Story

Don and Tikken-1with text 600x903Our Golden Retriever Tikken had started exhibiting some severe behavioral changes in the spring of 2000. Her aggression towards other dogs and subsequent obsessive-compulsive shadow and light chasing began shortly after her third Rabies vaccination. Her first Rabies vaccination was in 1997 when she was a puppy. Her second occurred when she was one year old in 1998 and the third occurred in 2000. At the time Maine law required revaccination for Rabies every two years, even though the Rabies vaccine was labeled as offering immunity for three years.

We were not initially aware that Tikken’s behavioral changes were a result of a vaccine reaction.  We consulted with our local veterinarian who provided treatment and then the veterinary behavior clinic at Tufts University when we saw no improvement. When there was still no improvement we consulted with an applied animal behaviorist in Wisconsin who suggested we explore a homeopathic treatment for Tikken’s disease. In the spring of 2001 Tikken was examined by Dr. Judy Herman of the Animal Wellness Center in Augusta, ME and diagnosed as having had a reaction to the Rabies vaccine. She was subsequently treated and cured for a Rabies miasm by Dr. Herman.

For more about Tikken, the Rabies vaccination and here treatment: <click here>.

The Rabies Challenge Fund

This is a project conceived by Kris Christine whose Labrador Retriever, Meadow, had an adverse reaction to a Rabies vaccine. Meadow developed a mast cell sarcoma at the injection site of the Rabies vaccination. Kris actually recruited Dr. Ron Schultz and another veterinarian, Dr. Jean Dodds, also very involved in vaccine work, to start a study to answer the question how long is the duration of immunity from today’s Rabies vaccine used with dogs? Current vaccines are labeled by the USDA as one year or three year vaccines. In some of these cases the vaccines are actually identical.

Because Rabies is a disease that can affect humans in addition to animals it is regulated more strictly than other vaccines. The duration of immunity is actually determined by challenging previously immunized animals with exposure to the disease to see if they survive. No additional challenge tests have been done beyond three years. A goal of the Rabies Challenge Fund is to complete this study at the 5 year and 7 year points.

The Rabies vaccine given today is a killed or non-infectious vaccine. Typically the duration of immunity for vaccines of this type is much shorter than the duration of immunity for modified live vaccines. For example a distemper killed vaccine provides immunity for about a year while a distemper vaccine made with modified live virus has a duration of immunity equal to the lifetime of the animal.

Up until the mid-1980’s, the Rabies vaccine was made with a modified live virus and that vaccine likely would result in lifetime immunity. However, because a few cats that received that vaccine actually developed a Rabies infection after vaccination the USDA no longer allows this vaccine to be used in the US. It is unclear why these cats developed Rabies from the vaccine. It is quite possible that their immune systems were already compromised due to an infection of Feline Leukemia virus.

The goal of the study being conducted by the Rabies Challenge Fund is to determine if the current killed vaccine will offer immunity up to five and seven years.

A new advance in Rabies vaccines is the development of vaccines made with recombinant technology. A feline version of this Rabies vaccine already exists. It behaves like a live vaccine but it cannot actually infect an animal with Rabies. This technology has also been used with the Distemper vaccine for the dog. That vaccine gives as long a duration of immunity as a modified live virus vaccine, up to nine years, which is considered a lifetime. Since there is no live virus in the vaccine it is also safer. It is also safer because recombinant vaccines, unlike killed virus vaccines, do not require the addition of adjuvants to help increase the immune response. It is believed that the hypersensitivity reactions to vaccines may be in part caused by these adjuvants.

The Rabies Challenge Fund is funded entirely by animal owners, not vaccine companies or any other company. The University of Wisconsin has been very generous in reducing the costs of the study since it is being funded by animal owners. Donations have come from individuals, dog clubs and others. The study is not over and fundraising is ongoing. If you are interested in helping fund this project you can find more information at (http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/).

The Rabies Challenge Fund is not only doing research but has also done some very effective lobbying to change the laws in all 50 states so that dogs only need to be revaccinated for Rabies every three years. Prior to that effort, there were many states that required the Rabies vaccine annually.

 

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