Dog lovers on facebook, in various groups, keep discussing whether or not they should vaccinate their dogs every year, or even at all. They talk about their vets advising annual shots, or only one shot. So many people aren’t sure what to do.
The absolute truth is that once a dog is immune to parvovirus, adenovirus (hepatitis) and distemper, they are likely to remain immune for the rest of their lives. Immunity usually comes – for life – from the puppy shots, providing they were given after maternal immunity has waned, which can be generally said to be around 14-16 weeks of age. Not sure about the truth of this statement? Then check out the World Small Animal Veterinary Association puppy summary, given on the link below.
There then remains the question of kennel cough and leptospirosis vaccines. These are deemed ‘non-core’ by the WSAVA, which means they are optional, and should only be given in the face (according to the WSAVA) of significant threat. However, the WSAVA also says that kennel cough and lepto are not vaccinatable diseases.
Kennel cough is generally a mild disease and the vaccine causes kennel cough which can then cause outbreaks (it more or less says this on the summary below). Leptospirosis is a range of over 200 bacterins, and there are only 2-4 in the vaccine. These bacterins are not cross-protective, so the vaccine will not protect against the other 196+ out there. This vaccine is often short-lived, sometimes giving protection (if at all) for as few as three months. Added to this, the lepto vaccine is dangerous; it’s the one most associated with severe adverse reactions, which could include brain damage and death. Finally, lepto is RARE in the UK and North America. It is most commonly found in tropical areas, or areas of flooding (which is not to say it will definitely be there if there is flooding).
My dogs have not been vaccinated at all for over 20 years. None of them have died of viral or bacterial disease. They swim in rivers, consort with farm animals (who might carry lepto), and live life without restriction. They are fed raw, which supports them in the battle against disease. My puppies are given the homoeopathic nosode and Transfer Factor (concentrated from colostrum).
Vaccines come with serious potential side-effects. Cancer, leukaemia, brain damage, arthritis, epilepsy, skin disease, allergies, and a whole raft of autoimmune diseases. Love is not a warm fuzzy feeling. It is ACTIVE. Love means responsibility, especially when you are imposing your choices on the animals and children who are dependent upon you. Take the time to educate yourself, and you will be rewarded with good health and long life in your dogs.
This is the World Small Animal Veterinary Association puppy summary link: http://www.wsava.org/sites/default/files/New%20Puppy%20Owner%20Vaccination%20Guidelines%20May%202013_0.pdf