Veterinary Times Letter, published March 2014

The following letter has been published in Veterinary Times this month, and today we received an email from a vet asking about the availability of VacciCheck. If vets can be persuaded to perform titre tests, rather than revaccinate already immune dogs and cats, then our dogs and cats are going to be very much healthier. 

Dear Sir

There seems to be a constant stream of media stories surrounding dog attacks on both adults and children in the UK.  Some of these will no doubt be due to the way in which the dogs are treated by humans: a lack of training and socialisation, poor diet, cruelty, and so on.  However, we are concerned that one potential cause is being overlooked.

Vaccines are known to cause neurological effects.  Are veterinarians aware of this, and are they examining the vaccination records of dogs exhibiting sudden unprovoked aggression? 

The WSAVA has repeatedly called for vets to reduce the antigenic load, and to stop annual vaccination so as to minimise unwanted sequelae. Neurological effects may be thought to be uncommon (although they are likely to be vastly under-reported), but any reaction which leads to the maiming or killing of a human being and the destruction of the dog is surely unacceptable – especially when the vaccine was not needed.

The veterinary profession must respond to the science, and stop over-vaccinating. The consequences are too awful to allow the profession to continue to ignore expert advice.  This is a link to the WSAVA puppy vaccine summary:

http://www.wsava.org/sites/default/files/New%20Puppy%20Owner%20Vaccination%20Guidelines%20May%202013_0.pdf

The summary clarifies with regard to vaccine frequency: “The WSAVA states that we should vaccinate against the core diseases no more frequently than every three years. This is often taken to mean that we should vaccinate every three years – but this is not the case. If the dog is already immune to these three core diseases, re-vaccinating will not add any extra immunity.”

Kennel cough and leptospirosis vaccines are deemed ‘non-core’ or ‘optional’, and the world experts say that they should only be used if there is a known disease threat in the area.

Yet it seems that UK vets believe that the leptospirosis vaccine, with its short-term efficacy, is an annual necessity. This vaccine is known to stimulate the most severe side-effects.

One must weigh the risks and benefits: how prevalent is leptospirosis in the UK? No-one seems to know.  Industry sales data is not a reliable source. Where are the official statistics for this zoonotic disease?  Think: if leptospirosis and Weill’s Disease were that common, an official database would exist somewhere, and yet it does not.  Do the potential unwanted effects of the leptospirosis vaccine – which can include brain damage – justify the vaccine’s use where no or little disease threat exists?

Canine Health Concern, through its international initiative The Pet Welfare Alliance, has this week sent thousands of letters to local authorities, kennel and cattery owners, boarding establishments, breeders, dog clubs, breed clubs, breed rescue organisations, charity/rescue, and pet insurers to inform them of:

Potential lifetime immunity to the core viral diseases

  • The optional nature of non-core vaccines
  • Potential vaccine adverse effects
  • The availability of inexpensive in-house titre testing kits that will negate the need to revaccinate already immune dogs and cats 
  • That the presence of antibody for the core diseases confirms that the animal is immune and does not need revaccinating

During 2013, the Pet Welfare Alliance wrote to every veterinary practice in the UK with the above facts, plus vaccine adverse effects references. We negotiated a discount for veterinary practices against VacciCheck, the in-house titre testing kit. Titre testing can mitigate vaccine booster loss.

Vets need to be aware that vaccinating is not the same as immunising, which is why vaccinated dogs succumb to viral and bacterial disease. Only the presence of circulating antibody can confirm immunity, and only the absence of circulating antibody can justify revaccination.

We have so much to thank the veterinary profession for. By updating vaccination policy, we will have much more to thank them for.  First do no harm.

Yours faithfully

Catherine O’Driscoll

Canine Health Concern

Pet Welfare Alliance  

 References follow: 

1.   Encephalitis has been shown to appear in dogs after vaccination. (Grene, CE, ed, Appel MJ, Canine Distemper in Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat, 2nd edition, Philadelphia: WB Saunders, 1998: 9-22).

2.   Veterinary Record 1992 (130, 27-30), AIP McCandlish et al: “Post-vaccinal encephalitis is a recognised complication of the administration of certain strains of live attenuated canine distemper vaccine (Hartley 1974, Bestetti and others 1978, Cornwell and others 1988)”.

3.   Braund’s Clinical Neurology in Small Animals: Localisation, Diagnosis and Treatment:

Post vaccinal canine distemper encephalitis occurs in young animals, especially those less than six months of age. It has been recognised as a disease entity for a number of years, and is believed to be association with vaccination using live virus. The pathogenesis of this disease is unclear, but may result from insufficient attenuation of the vaccine virus which causes subsequent infections of the CNS; the triggering of a latent distemper infection by vaccination; other vaccine components; or an enhanced susceptibility of the animal (e.g., animals that are immunosuppressed).”

4.   Encephalitis following vaccination against distemper and infectious hepatitis in the dog. “A 4-months-old, male, healthy dog developed CNS-symptoms 10 days after the second vaccination with live, attenuated distemper and canine hepatitis virus.” G. Bestetti1, et al, Acta Neuropathologica Volume 43, Numbers 1-2 / 69-75 — 1/1/1978

5.   Wilson RB, Holladay JA, Cave JS: A Neurologic Syndrome Associated with Use of a Canine Coronavirus-Parvovirus Vaccine in a Dog. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet. February 1986; 8(2):117-124.

6.   Protein glutamate is added to vaccines to preserve the virus in vaccines. Meat, fish eggs, milk and cheese tend to be high in protein glutamate. High levels of glutamic acid have been shown in animal studies to cause damage to parts of the brain unprotected by the blood-brain barrier, leading to a variety of chronic diseases http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15167034

7.   “Experimental studies on paralysis after antirabies vaccination. I. Histological studies on acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis in guinea pigs.” Shiina T, et al, Jpn J Microbiol; 2(2):187-96. — 4/1/1958

8.   “Clinical picture of postvaccinal encephalitis after rabies vaccination and sequelae.” Uchimaura Y, et al, Nervenarzt; 29(7): 303-7. — 7/1/1958

9.   Myelin basic protein as an encephalitogen in encephalomyelitis and polyneuritis following rabies vaccination: “Encephalitis and polyneuritis occurring after rabies vaccination are believed to be immunologically mediated. We studied antibody responses to neural antigens in 36 patients with major neurologic complications, 25 with minor complications, and 39 with no complications after immunization with a brain-derived, Semple rabies vaccine.” T Hemachudha, et al, New England Journal of Medicine Volume 316:369-374 , Number 7 — 2/12/1987

10. Neurological adverse events associated with vaccination: “These complications include autism (measles vaccine), multiple sclerosis (hepatitis B vaccine), meningoencephalitis (Japanese encephalitis vaccine), Guillain-Barre syndrome and giant cell arteritis (influenza vaccine), and reactions after exposure to animal rabies vaccine. Seizures and hypotonic/hyporesponsive episodes following pertussis vaccination and potential risks associated with varicella vaccination, as well as vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis following oral poliovirus vaccination, are also described.” Piyasirisilp, Sucheep a; Hemachudha, Thiravat b, Neurology. 15(3):333-338 — 6/1/2002

11. Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis: T cell mediated autoimmune response to myelin basic protein, triggered by an infection or vaccination, underlies its pathogenesis R K Garg, Postgraduate Medical Journal; 79:11-17 — 1/1/2003

12. Neurologic complications of immunization. “Individual vaccines can produce systemic or neurologic reactions ranging from minor events, such as pain and erythema at the injection site, to major complications, such as seizures, shock, encephalopathy, or death.” Bale JF Jr, J Child Neurol.; 19(6): 405-12. — 6/1/2004

13. Merck: “In acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (post infectious encephalitis), demyelination can occur spontaneously, but usually follows a viral infection or inoculation (or very rarely a bacterial vaccine), suggesting an immunologic cause.”

14. “Expression and characterization of a low molecular weight recombinant human gelatin: development of a substitute for animal-derived gelatin with superior features.” “Gelatin is used as a stabilizer in several vaccines. Allergic reactions to gelatins have been reported, including anaphylaxis. These gelatins are derived from animal tissues and thus represent a potential source of contaminants that cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.” Olsen D, et al, Protein Expr Purif.; 40(2):346-57 — 4/1/2005

15. Ballerini, Rico B et al., Neurological Complications of Vaccination With Special Reference to Epileptic Syndrome Riview Neurol, Jul-Aug 1973; 43: 254-258.

16. Wisniewski, H.M.; Sturman, J.A.; Shek, J.W. Chronic model of neurofibrillary changes induced in mature rabbits by metallic aluminum. Neurobiol Aging. 1982, 3(1), 11-22.

 17. Pendlebury, W.W.; Beal, M.F.; Kowall, N.W.; Solomon, P.R. Neuropathologic, neurochemical and immunocytochemical characteristics of aluminium. Neurology. 2008 May 6; 70(19):1672-7.

18. Petit, T.L.; Biederman, G.B.; McMullen, P.A. Neurofibrillary degeneration, dendritic dying back, and learning-memory deficits after aluminium administration: implications for brain aging. Exp Neurol. 1980, 67(1), 152-162.

19. Petrik, M.S.; Wong, M.C.; Tabata, R.C.; Garry, R.F.; Shaw, C.A. Aluminum adjuvant linked to Gulf War illness induces motor neuron death in mice. Neuromolecular Med. 2007, 9(1), 83-100.

20. Gherardi, R.K.; Coquet, M.; Cherin, P.; Belec, L.; Moretto, P.; Dreyfus, P.A.; Pellissier, J.F.; Chariot, P.; Authier, F.J. Macrophagic myofasciitis lesions assess long-term persistence of vaccine-derived aluminium hydroxide in muscle. Brain. 2001, 124(Pt 9), 1821-1831.

21. Shaw, C.A.; Petrik, M.S. Aluminum hydroxide injections lead to motor deficits and motor neuron degeneration. J Inorg Biochem. 2009, 103(11), 1555-1562.

22. Golub, M.S.; Gershwin, M.E.; Donald, J.M.; Negri, S.; Keen, C.L. Maternal and developmental toxicity of chronic aluminum exposure in mice. Fundam Appl Toxicol. 1987, 8(3), 346-357.

23. Redhead, K.; Quinlan, G.J.; Das, R.G.; Gutteridge, J.M. Aluminium adjuvanted vaccines transiently increase aluminium levels in murine brain tissue. Pharmacol Toxicol. 1992, 70(4), 278-280.

24. Struys-Ponsar, C.; Guillard, O.; van den Bosch de Aguilar, P. Effects of aluminum exposure on glutamate metabolism: a possible explanation for its toxicity. Exp Neurol. 2000, 163(1), 157-164.

25. Cohly, H.H.; Panja, A. Immunological findings in autism. Int Rev Neurobiol.2005, 71, 317-341.

26. Banks, W.A.; Kastin, A.J. Aluminum-induced neurotoxicity: alterations in membrane function at the blood-brain barrier. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 1989, 13(1), 47-53.

27. Aluminum Vaccine Adjuvants: Are they Safe? L. Tomljenovic, and C.A. Shaw, Current Medicinal Chemistry, 2011, 18, 2630-2637 “Aluminium presented in this form carries a risk for autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation and associated neurological complications and may thus have profound and widespread adverse health consequences.”

28. Department of Paediatrics, Tokyo Medical University, Japan, found the measles virus in patients with inflammatory bowel disease and autism. (Dig Dis Sci, 2000, Apri; 45(4) 723-9) . The sequences obtained from the patients with ulcerative colitis and children with autism were consistent with vaccine strains. It should be remembered that the measles virus and canine distemper are very closely related.

29. The question of encephalitis following vaccination was investigated by the League of Nations, and on August 27, 1928, the League published a report on the situation. The report stated: “The post-vaccinal encephalitis with which we are dealing has become a problem of itself . . . a new, or at least previously unsuspected or unrecognized risk attaches to vaccination. . . ”

30. The Journal of the American Medical Association on April 2, 1937: “A multiplicity of untoward sequelae have been observed in patients treated with immune serum…The common symptomatology includes fever, urticaria, erythema, oedema, lymphadenoma, artharaliga, smothering sensations, headache, nausea and vomiting. Occasionally there are more serious and lasting manifestations such as peripheral neuritis, epididymitis and orchitis.”

31. “The Smallpox Vaccine and Postvaccinal Encephalitis” “Before we become complacent with the idea that we will respond to a bioterrorism attack with a mass immunization program for smallpox, it is important to be reminded of the risk and clinical manifestations of postvaccinal encephalitis… The first case of postvaccinal encephalitis as a complication of the Jennerian cowpox inoculation was observed in 1905. A century later, there is no effective therapy.” Karen L. Roos, et al, Semin Neurol 22: 095-098 –1/1/2002

32. “Relapsing Neuropathy due to tetanus toxoid.” “Summary: A unique case history is presented of a 42-year-old patient who has suffered three episodes of a demyelinating neuropathy, each of which followed an injection of tetanus toxoid.” Pollard, JD; Selby, G, Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 1978, 37: 113-125 — 1/1/1900

33. “Etiology of acute encephalomyelitis after rabies vaccination.” Piskareva NA, Vopr Virusol; 1(6):47-50. — 11/1/1956

34. “Experimental studies on paralysis after antirabies vaccination. Histological studies on acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis in guinea pigs. Shiina T, et al, Jpn J Microbiol; 2(2):187-96. — 4/1/1958

35. “Clinical picture of postvaccinal encephalitis after rabies vaccination and sequelae.” Uchimaura Y, et al, Nervenarzt; 29(7): 303

36. “The management of meningoencephalitis following rabies vaccination” Klemm D, et al, Med Klin;63(34):1354. — 8/1/1968

37. “Relapsing encephalomyelitis following the use of influenza vaccine” Yahr MD and Lobo-Antunes, J, Arch Neurol. 27(2):182-3. — 8/1/1972

38. “Hyperacute Allergic Encephalomyelitis: A localised form produced by passive transfer and pertussis vaccine.” “Blockade of histamine H1 receptors may reduce mortality in pertussis immunisation-induced encephalopathy in mice.” Levine,S et al, American Journal of Pathology; 73:247-260 — 1/1/1973

39. “Murine model for pertussis vaccine encephalopathy: linkage to H−2” “Local, systemic and neurological complications have been observed following pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination in children. These often occur soon after primary or secondary immunization. The neurological syndrome ranges from minor irritability to convulsions, coma, and on rare occasions death.” L. Steinman, et al, Nature 299, 738 – 740 — 10/21/1982

40. “Acute necrotic myelopathy associated with influenza vaccination.Graus F, et al, Lancet; 1(8545):1311-2. — 6/1/1987

41. “Myelin basic protein as an encephalitogen in encephalomyelitis and polyneuritis following rabies vaccination” “Encephalitis and polyneuritis occurring after rabies vaccination are believed to be immunologically mediated. We studied antibody responses to neural antigens in 36 patients with major neurologic complications, 25 with minor complications, and 39 with no complications after immunization with a brain-derived, Semple rabies vaccine.” T Hemachudha, et al, New Endland Hournal of Medicine Volume 316:369-374 , Number 7 — 2/12/1987

42. “Incidence of Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis Following Measles and Measles Vaccination in Japan” “The Japanese Committee for the National Registry of Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis (SSPE) confirmed that 215 cases of SSPE occurred” Yoshiomi Okuno, International Journal of Epidemiology Volume 18, Number 3 Pp. 684-689 — 10/1/1988

43. “Acute cerebellar ataxia after influenza vaccination with recurrence and marked cerebellar atrophy.” “A 5-year-old, previously healthy girl developed symptoms and signs of acute cerebellar ataxia (ACA) 8 days after having received an influenza vaccination.” Saito H, et al, Tohoku J Exp Med; 158(1): 95-103. — 5/1/1989

44. “Acute cerebellar ataxia and facial palsy after DPT immunization” “Since the initial report of Beyers & Moll (1948), numerous cases of seizures and encephalopathy after pertussis immunization or DPT immunization have been reported. We report a 1-year-11-month-old girl with acute cerebellar ataxia and facial palsy after DPT immunization.” Katafuchi Y, et al, No To Hattatsu. 21(5):465-9. — 9/1/1989

45. “Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (Guillain-Barre syndrome) after immunization with Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine.D’Cruz OF, et al, J Pediatr; 115(5 Pt 1):743-6. — 11/1/1989

46. Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic Scottsdale, AZ 85259, USA. “Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system, can occur after viral infections or vaccinations. We report the clinical and neuroimaging findings in a 52-year-old man in whom acute disseminated encephalomyelitis developed after accidental self-injection of an industrial hog vaccine. ” Dodick DW, et al, Mayo Clin Proc. 73(12):1193-5. — 12/1/1998

47. “Neurological adverse events associated with vaccination” “These complications include autism (measles vaccine), multiple sclerosis (hepatitis B vaccine), meningoencephalitis (Japanese encephalitis vaccine), Guillain-Barre syndrome and giant cell arteritis (influenza vaccine), and reactions after exposure to animal rabies vaccine. Seizures and hypotonic/hyporesponsive episodes following pertussis vaccination and potential risks associated with varicella vaccination, as well as vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis following oral poliovirus vaccination, are also described.” Piyasirisilp, Sucheep a; Hemachudha, Thiravat b, Neurology. 15(3):333-338 — 6/1/2002

48. “Development of case definitions for acute encephalopathy, encephalitis, and multiple sclerosis reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System” “Acute encephalopathy age <18 months, encephalitis (EI), and multiple sclerosis (MS) after vaccination have been reported to VAERS” Robert Ball, et al, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology Volume 55, Issue 8, Pages 819-824 — 8/1/2002

49. “Postvaccinal inflammatory neuropathy: peripheral nerve biopsy in 3 cases” “Autoimmune inflammatory polyneuropathy (PN) can be triggered by vaccination. We report 3 such cases. A 36-year-old female nurse presented 15 days after a hepatitis B vaccination (HBV) with acute sensory disturbances in the lower limbs. She had severe ataxia but no weakness.” Claude Vital, et al, Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System Volume 7 Page 163 — 9/1/2002

50. “Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis” “A T cell mediated autoimmune response to myelin basic protein, triggered by an infection or vaccination, underlies its pathogenesis. ” R K Garg, Postgraduate Medical Journal; 79:11-17 — 1/1/2003

51. “Neurologic complications of immunization.” “Individual vaccines can produce systemic or neurologic reactions ranging from minor events, such as pain and erythema at the injection site, to major complications, such as seizures, shock, encephalopathy, or death.” Bale JF Jr, J Child Neurol.; 19(6): 405-12. — 6/1/2004