Vaccines cause immediate and long-term damage in our dogs


Running Canine Health Concern for the past twenty years, I have been contacted by hundreds of dog owners who tell me that their dogs became ill within a few hours, days or weeks of a vaccine event.   Indeed, I formed Canine Health Concern after three of my own young dogs died of illnesses that were, I believe, vaccine related. 

However, many official veterinary and government bodies maintain that vaccine reactions are very rare, although it is known in medical and veterinary fields that adverse events are vastly under-reported. 

The problem is that it’s rarely possible to prove that an individual animal is vaccine damaged, even though the science points towards probability.  Scientists use the word ‘anecdotal’ to discount the illness or death of an individual animal and any suspected vaccine link.  Further, veterinary vaccine manufacturers might pay veterinary costs associated with illnesses that arise post vaccination, but they frequently deny any culpability (it’s just a “goodwill gesture”), and they frequently make pet owners sign gagging orders before money is handed over – which of course means that they are no longer allowed to talk about their friend in relation to the potential cause of his death or illness. 

Years of experience and research: how to spot a vaccine-damaged dog

It is clear to me that both inflammatory (anything with ‘itis’ in its name) and immune-mediated illnesses need to be assessed in relation to previous vaccine events if the full consequences of vaccines are to be understood.  We must also consider longer-term effects of repeated vaccination.  As you will see, there is much we do not know, but the known science does point the way towards caution – especially since we now know that, once immune, dogs are immune to viral disease for years or even life. 


Vaccine datasheets state that they are for use in healthy animals only; this is a licensing requirement.  Sick dogs should not be vaccinated – but they routinely are. 

Intervet’s datasheet for Nobivac DHPPi states:  “Immunocompetence of the animal may be compromised by a variety of factors including poor health, nutritional status, genetic factors, concurrent drug therapy and stress.”  This refers to some animals being unable to mount an immune response to the vaccine challenge, in which case they can develop diseases such as parvo or distemper from the vaccine.  It may also explain why disease outbreaks occur in heavily vaccinated, stressed and malnourished dogs in rescue centres.  But there is more to it. 

The Merck Manual (1) states:  “Children with known or suspected immunodeficiency disease should not receive any live virus vaccines, since they could initiate a severe or fatal infection… Patients with either B or T cell immunodeficiencies should not be given live vaccines because of the risk of vaccine-induced illness.”

I wondered how we could tell if our dogs had B and/or T cell immunodeficiencies.  Merck states:   

“Associated features of B cell deficiencies include respiratory or food allergies; features of T cell deficiencies include heart disease; and features of combined T and B cell deficiencies include dermatitis, neurological deterioration and eczema.”

Many vets believe that we should vaccinate animals who exhibit the sort of chronic illness listed above, as they may be more at risk from viral disease.  However, it seems, individuals exhibiting features of B and T cell immunodeficiencies might be more at risk of vaccine-induced illness or fatality.  Even if your dog ‘just’ has skin problems, a vaccine could kill him. 

In December 1988, DVM magazine published a round table debate in which eminent pro-vaccine experts discussed the pros and cons of vaccine use.(2) 

Dr Ronald Schultz stated:  “We have had the idea for years that vaccines, if they don’t do any good, won’t cause harm.  I think that’s another concept the veterinarian has to get away from because whether it be modified live or non-infectious, there is the potential to cause harm.”


In the same debate, Dr Ian Tizard stated:  “In making a modified live vaccine you make it for an animal that you assume is immunologically normal… There will be a proportion of any population that is not immunologically 100 percent. This can immediately tilt an animal towards disease susceptibility.  In addition, a vaccine may not cause frank disease itself.  It may cause mild immunosuppression.” 

But what are the implications of immunosuppression?   The first, of course, is that individuals are more open to infection.  One study, for example, showed chicks with a decreased resistance to E coli infection post-vaccination.(3)  Another involved a fatal outbreak of salmonellosis in a breeding cattery post-vaccination, and concluded that MLV vaccines may cause transient immunosuppression and should be used with caution because of the possibility of activating sub-clinical opportunist infection. (4) 

Vaccines and cancer

Cancer is, however, another potential sequel to immunosuppression.  One paper illustrated how a dog developed mammary cancer when immunosuppressed.  (5)

Another paper showed how the rubella vaccine in humans can cause immunosuppression for at least one month after vaccination.  It also described defective lymphocyte responses post-vaccination. (6)  Yet another study concluded that , “when canine distemper virus was combined with canine adenovirus type 1 or canine adenovirus type 2, significant suppression in lymphocyte responsiveness to mitogen occurred. The results indicate that interactions between canine distemper virus and canine adenovirus type 1 or canine adenovirus type 2 are responsible for the polyvalent vaccine induced suppression of lymphocyte responsiveness”. (7) 

The implication is cancer, since lymphocytes attack infected and cancerous cells, and vaccines are shown to disable lymphocytes. 

It is of course accepted that cats develop vaccine-site sarcomas.  Dr Dennis W Macy, stated, “I estimate there are about 22,000 cases of [feline] vaccine-associated tumours per year… it is likely that the more vaccines given in a particular site, and the more vaccines given over time, the higher the chance of sarcoma development.” (8)   An Italian study has shown that vaccine-site sarcomas also occur in dogs. (9)  But more on cancer later. 

Autoantibody production

The Vaccine Research Group at Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine conducted several critically important studies to determine if vaccines cause changes in the immune system of dogs that might lead to immune mediated diseases.  Their paper was presented to the International Veterinary Vaccines and Diagnostics Conference, July, 1997.  Other papers on vaccine-induced autoimmunity are referenced below.  (10, 11)

In the Purdue study, a group of Beagles was routinely vaccinated and closely followed for three years with blood and other tests at regular intervals.  The blood of all the vaccinated dogs were seen to contain significantly elevated concentrations of antibodies directed against proteins that are present in commercial vaccines as contaminants of the production process.  None of the unvaccinated control dogs had similar increases in these antibodies.  The contaminated proteins were typically of cow origin, since foetal calf serum is used as a component in the growth media used to grow viruses for vaccine production. 

Dog and cow protein are very similar in structure, and the Purdue team felt that antibodies produced by the vaccinated dogs might have cross-reacted with the dogs’ own tissue proteins in a process similar to autoimmunity.  The team added that experiments in other animal species suggested that the antibodies might eventually cause disease in the vaccinated animals. 

The biochemicals seen to be under attack in this study included fibronectin, laminin, DNA, albumin, Cytochrome C, cardiolipin and collagen.  I wondered what the significance of these autoantibodies might be. 

Fibronectin is a molecule involved in tissue repair, the formation and growth of embryos; blood clotting; and cell migration/adhesion.  Laminin surrounds muscles, nerves and fat, and is involved in may cellular activities, including the adhesion, spreading, differentiation, polarisation, proliferation and movement of cells.  As a layperson, this seems to indicate that the vaccine process scrambles the innate intelligence of cells and threatens tissues and organs. 

Albumin is a protein manufactured by the liver which enables fluid to remain in the bloodstream rather than leak into tissues.  If albumin gets low, fluid builds up and inflammation can occur in the body.  Importantly, fatty acids are carried with the aid of albumin to cells in the body.  Fatty acids are the building blocks for lipids, which form all of the membranes around and inside cells.  Fatty acids are essential for life, and albumin is essential for their distribution. 

Antibodies against Cardiolipin were also found in the Purdue study.  Anti-Cardiolipin autoantibodies (ACA) are frequently found in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).  They are also found in patients with other autoimmune diseases, as well as in some with no apparent underlying disease.  Elevated levels of ACA have been reported to be significantly associated with thrombosis, thrombocytopenia, and recurrent foetal loss, as well as neurological conditions.

Autoantibodies to Cytochrome C contribute to Cytochrome C Oxidase Deficiency, so far thought to be an inherited metabolic disorder.  Deficiency of Cytochrone C Oxidase may be limited to the tissues of the skeletal muscles or may affect several tissues, such as the heart, kidney, liver, brain, and/or connective tissue; in other cases it may be systemic.  The disorder may be characterised by a generalised weakness of skeletal muscles, abnormalities of the heart and kidneys, and/or abnormally high levels of lactic acid in the blood. 

Other forms of Cytochrome C Oxidase deficiency are characterised by progressive degeneration of the brain and dysfunction of other organs of the body, including the heart, kidneys, muscles and liver.  Symptoms may include loss of previously acquired motor skills, loss of appetite, vomiting, irritability, and/or seizures. 

The Purdue study also found that vaccinated dogs were developing autoantibodies to collagen.  About one quarter of all the protein in the body is collagen.  It is a major structural protein, forming molecular cables that strengthen the tendons and resilient sheets that support the skin and internal organs.  Bones and teeth are made by adding mineral crystals to collagen.

Vaccine contaminants

Bet Hargreaves was a long-time Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breeder who has noted a correlation between vaccination and the onset of heart disease in her breed.  She wrote to Dr Larry Glickman who, with his colleagues, conducted the Purdue study.  In his reply he stated:

“Our ongoing studies of dogs shows that following routine vaccination, there is a significant rise in the level of antibodies dogs produce against their own tissues.  Some of these antibodies have been shown to target the thyroid gland, connective tissue such as that found in the valves of the heart, red blood cells, DNA, etc.  I do believe that the heart conditions in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels could be the end result of repeated immunisations by vaccines containing tissue culture contaminants that cause a progressive immune response directed at connective tissue in the heart valves.  The clinical manifestations would be more pronounced in dogs that have a genetic predisposition [although] the findings should be generally applicable to all dogs regardless of their breed.”

Dr Glickman, it should be noted, is a strong pro-vaccinator.  The study dogs were re-homed and no follow-up studies were conducted.     

Many species are used in vaccine manufacture, including monkeys, dogs, cats, hamsters, and avian embryos.  Bovine serum, used as a carrier in vaccines, was  a concern during the BSE outbreak due to potential cross-species infection; foreign serum and animal protein also threaten inflammation and autoimmunity. 

Adjuvants such as mercury and aluminium salts are also added to vaccines to increase the immune response.Mercury and aluminium are neurotoxins.In her book, ‘Mark of the Beast’ (12) veterinarian Dr Patricia Jordan discusses the link between the effects of aluminium on the P-53 oncogene and cancer.  She says:  “The adjuvant aluminum in vaccines is one culprit in mutating the genome and specifically the P53 oncogene, thereby ruining the individual’s ability to stop tumor genesis.” (13) 

Cancer revisited

Having seen an article in which I quote the Purdue study, Andrew Maniotis, Ph.D., Visiting Associate Professor of Bioengineering: Program of tumour mechanics and tissue regeneration, University of Illinois at Chicago, contacted me.  He wrote:  “I don’t think it is coincidental that two of the molecules that the vets find (especially the tissue-controlling two molecules laminin and fibronectin) that are deregulated in vaccine-induced, cancer-harbouring animals, are the same ones we have found reverse, kill, or promote tumours.

“It is logical that these two tissue constructing molecules in the correct or incorrect amounts induce tumour dormancy or killing as we have found, and at different amounts (as when a vaccine disturbs a tissue and fibronectin is produced in abundance while laminin is suppressed) they can, when not in proper amounts, induce tumour growth and metastasis.”

Gary Smith, another cancer researcher, explains in a peer review journal how the inflammatory process (which can be vaccine-induced) can be intimately involved in cancer production and also how it is an essential process in malignancy. (14)

He comments:  “Cancer has been described as the wound that never heals. All successful cancers are surrounded by inflammation.  Commonly, this is thought to be the body’s reaction to try to fight the cancer, but this is not the case.  Infections such as the common cold, the flu, and herpes also cause inflammation, as do vaccines.  This type of inflammation is not the body trying to fight the infection.  It is the pathogen deliberately causing inflammation in order to hide from the immune system.”

The hypersensitivity or inflammatory reactions commonly associated with vaccination can, therefore, be the beginning of cancer and many other conditions – and not just at injection site.  According to Kennel Club research in the UK, one in four pedigree dogs now dies of cancer. 

Genetic damage?

Perhaps most worryingly, the Purdue study found that the vaccinated dogs were developing autoantibodies to their own DNA, which indicates that we are injecting inheritable damage into animals. 

Systemic immune dysregulation

According to Cambridge Life Sciences, antibodies directed against native DNA were first detected in the serum of patients with SLE in the 1950s.  The presence of anti-DNA autoantibodies is one of the four highly specific serological markers included in the 1982 American College of Rheumatology criteria for the classification of SLE.  The more of these antibodies an individual has, the higher the disease activity.  Long term risks include renal and central nervous system involvement. 

SLE is an autoimmune disease characterised by inflammation and destruction of a variety of tissues.  Clinical presentation is varied, but a common feature is the presence of a number of autoantibodies.  Canine autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, which also occurs in isolation, can form part of the SLE syndrome.  The other common manifestations of SLE are platelet deficiency and inflammation in blood vessels, joints, skin, peripheral nervous system, meninges (which protect the brain and spinal chord) and the thyroid. 

A paper entitled ‘Vaccine Associated Immune Mediated Haemolytic Anaemia (IMHA) in the Dog’ (15)  states, “This study provides the first clinical evidence for a temporal relationship of vaccine-associated IMHA in the dog.”  However, the Merck Manual had made this association earlier.

The study remarked that there was a marked difference in frequency of IMHA between the first month after vaccination and subsequent months which was not seen in the control group.  The authors concluded that, because not all cases are reported (none of the cases in their study had been reported), the prevalence of vaccine-associated IMHA is likely to be under-estimated.  

The seventh edition of the Merck Veterinary Manual states:  “Bone marrow suppression with transient (21 day) or chronic/latent erythroid dysplasia, in the presence or absence of thrombocytopenia and neutropenia, Combs’ positive haemolytic anaemia, and immune-mediated thrombocytopenia have been associated with (i.e., may prove to be caused by) both retroviral and parvoviral infection in man and other species.  Also, modified live parvovirus vaccines in dogs, and killed feline leukaemia virus vaccine are suspects as causes (in genetically susceptible animals) of such haematological diseases.” 

Dr Jean W Dodds, writing in US Dog World, March, 1995, (16) states:  “Immune–suppressant viruses of the retrovirus and parvovirus classes have recently been implicated as causes of bone marrow failure, immune-mediated blood diseases, haematologic malignancies (lymphoma and leukaemia), dysregulation of humoral and cell-mediated immunity, organ failure (liver, kidney) and autoimmune endocrine disorders – especially of the thyroid gland (thyroiditis), adrenal gland (Addison’s disease) and pancreas (diabetes). Viral disease and recent vaccination with single or combination modified live virus vaccines, especially those containing distemper, adenovirus 1 or 2 and parvovirus, are increasingly recognised contributors to immune-mediated blood diseases, bone marrow failure and organ dysfunction.”

Dr Dodds also stated:  “The T-cell leukaemias of human and animals are examples of those associated with retroviral infections.  The same class of viruses has been associated with the production of autoimmunity and immunodeficiency diseases.  The recent isolation of a retrovirus from a German Shepherd with B-cell leukaemia exemplifies the role of these agents in producing leukaemia and lymphomas in the dog.”

Dr Patricia Jordan has uncovered a scientific paper (Journal of Virology, April 2010, p. 3690-3694, Vol. 84, No. 7) which describes the testing of veterinary vaccines for dogs and cats from both the UK and Japan.  Several routinely used vaccines were shown to contain retrovirus contaminants.  This study shows that the methods currently employed to screen veterinary vaccines for retroviruses should be re-evaluated.  From a pet owner’s perspective, it doesn’t go far enough to alert us to the potential consequences of manufacturing failures.   

Vaccine shedding

I believe that we should also concern ourselves with vaccine shedding.  In the DVM round table discussion mentioned earlier, Dr Rude asked whether the shedding of modified live virus vaccine viruses from vaccinated animals have the potential to cause disease in non-vaccinated contact animals of the same species and/or different species.  The conclusion was ‘yes’. 

The 1988 Concise Oxford Veterinary Dictionary postulates that parvovirus “originated from an attenuated feline enteritis vaccine strain”. (17)  The question is whether this was from shed feline vaccine, or injected canine vaccine grown on cats’ kidneys. 

It’s also possible that symptoms of viral disease, such as arthritis from parvovirus, might arise from the vaccine process, from shed vaccine, as well as from field infection. (18) 

More on inflammation

A review article in In Practice, Vol 20 No 2, Feb 1998, by Michael Day, senior lecturer in Veterinary Pathology at the University of Bristol (19) states that environmental influences are crucial to the expression of immune mediated disease and that the most important of these is likely to be exposure to microbial antigens following natural infection or vaccination.  Mr Day divides immune mediated disease into four main groups – hypersensitivity diseases, autoimmune diseases, immune system neoplasia (the formation of tumours) and immunodeficiency diseases.

In a letter to Veterinary Times during July 1999, veterinarian Lyn Thomson responded, “This would indicate that veterinarians must consider and report the whole range of immune mediated diseases post vaccination, including flea allergy, atopic dermatitis, dietary hypersensitivity, contact hypersensitivity, asthma, autoimmune diseases, lymphoma, lymphoid leukaemia, multiple myeloma, plasmcytoma, hisiiocytoma, thymoma, and immunodeficiency disease.”   

A paper appearing in the British Veterinary Journal states that dogs with rheumatoid arthritis showed higher anti-heat shock protein antibody levels in their sera and synovial fluids compared to control dogs.  There was a significant correlation between anti HSP65 and antibodies to canine distemper virus, and the paper discussed the relevance of the presence of canine distemper virus within the joints.  Since vaccines inject modified live distemper virus into the dog, this research should be of concern.  Shed attenuated live vaccine might also be considered in this regard. And it’s worth noting that the high antibody titers to distemper that we are so pleased with might also play a role in our dogs’ decreasing mobility. (20)

Rheumatoid arthritis is, of course an autoimmune condition in which there is inflammation of joints and progressive erosion of cartilage and bone, which reflects the autoantibodies to collagen found in the Purdue study. 

In 2000, research showed that polyarthritis and other diseases like amyloidosis in dogs were linked to combined MLV vaccines. (21)   Dr Ronald Schultz is quoted in Vet Med Today: “Immune-mediated disease has developed in human beings following vaccination, as was seen with cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome following swine flu vaccinations, and rheumatoid arthritis following influenza vaccination”.  (22)

In the 1996 Canine Health Concern vaccine survey, we found that a high percentage of dogs with arthritis in the survey were diagnosed with the condition in a cluster nine months after a vaccine event. 

Dermatitis, another inflammatory disease, has also been linked to vaccination.  A study conducted by Frick and Brooks in 1983 showed that dogs predisposed to develop atopic dermatitis didn’t develop this hereditary condition when exposed to an allergen and later vaccinated.  But a second group who were vaccinated before being exposed to the allergen did develop the condition, indicating that vaccines can play a role in skin disease.  The trial group also developed conjunctivitis. 

Merck also tells us that serum (which is used in vaccines) can cause Type III hypersensitivity reactions, including an inflammatory skin condition involving painful local lesions leading to tissue necrosis (tissue death), as well as widespread vascular injury.

Although rare, I have come across three cases of dogs whose skin began to split post-vaccination.  One case involved a Golden Retriever called Spangler. Some of Spangler’s dead and dying skin was sent by his vet to an independent laboratory, which could neither confirm nor deny that his death was related to vaccination.  Very early reports of vaccine adverse effects, incidentally, talk widely of leprosy developing in those who were vaccinated. 

Neurological damage

The Merck Manual describes encephalitis as “an acute inflammatory disease of the brain due to direct viral invasion or to hypersensitivity initiated by a virus or other foreign protein … Secondary encephalitis, usually a complication of viral infection, is considered to have an immunologic mechanism.  Examples are the encephalitides following measles, chickenpox, rubella, smallpox vaccination, vaccinia, and many other less well defined viral infections.”

Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain which can include lesions throughout the brain and central nervous system) has been shown to appear in dogs after vaccination. (23) 

Another paper in Veterinary Record states:  “Post-vaccinal encephalitis is a recognised complication of the administration of certain strains of live attenuated canine distemper vaccine. (24)

According to 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.” (25)

Merck states:  “Symptoms of encephalitis may be associated with cerebral dysfunction (alteration in consciousness, personality change, seizures, paresis) and cranial nerve abnormalities.”

Think of all the epileptic dogs, and all of the dogs showing aggression, and start asking questions about the onset of these problems in relation to vaccine events.  If you are going to vaccinate, keep detailed, dated, records of your dog – his mental and physical health, and veterinary interventions. 

Epilepsy is listed by Merck as a symptom of encephalitis, and we know that encephalitis can be vaccine-induced.  Merck states:  “noninfecious causes of encephalitides include … vaccine reactions: many”.  It adds that epilepsy can be caused by “CNS infections (meningitis, Aids, encephalitis) and also by a foreign serum or drug allergy, or by convulsive or toxic agents”.    

See also Ballerini, Rico B et al., Neurological Complications of Vaccination With Special Reference to Epileptic Syndrome (Review Neurol, Jul-Aug 1973; 43: 254-258). 

According to the Society for Companion Animal Studies, “epilepsy is the commonest neurological disorder seen in dogs and constitutes a major health problem.  (26)  “It is probable that between 30,000 and 366,000 of the 6.1 million dogs in the UK suffer from epilepsy.”

Many dog owners have noted personality changes in their dogs shortly after vaccination, including nervous, worrying disposition; short attention span; and aggression.  The Canine Health Concern survey found that high percentages of these conditions, where they existed in survey dogs, were reported to have started within three months of vaccination.  The study is detailed in What Vets Don’t Tell You About Vaccines, Catherine O’Driscoll.  (27)

Scientists other than the politically, but not morally or scientifically, discredited Dr Andrew Wakefield have discovered a vaccine-autism (neurological) link.  For example, the Department of Paediatrics, Tokyo Medical University, Japan, found the measles virus in patients with inflammatory bowel disease and autism. (28) The sequences obtained from the patients with ulcerative colitis and children with autism were consistent with vaccine strains.

In another paper, researchers found a correlation between the Hepatitis B triple series vaccine and developmental disability in US children aged 1-9 years.  (29)

The myelin sheath may also be pertinent in relation to vaccine damage. Merck states: “Many congenital metabolic disorders affect the developing myelin sheath.  Unless the innate biochemical defect can be corrected or compensated for, permanent, often widespread, neurological deficits results.”

But vaccines can also play their part.  Merck adds:  “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.”

I find it interesting that on the one hand demyelination is deemed a congenital problem, but on the other it is clearly laid at the vaccine table.  This makes me ask whether dog breeders are responsible for many so-called genetic problems in dogs, or whether it’s because we vaccinate puppies before their true personalities and health status can be assessed. 

Paresis is another potential sequel to encephalitis; Merck describes paresis as: “Muscular weakness of neural origin.  It is usually regarded as a state of partial or incomplete paralysis, resulting in a deficit of voluntary movement.  Paresis may result from lesions at any level of the descending motor innervation pathway from the brain.”    In addition to my own four-year-old Golden Retriever, Oliver, presenting with paresis of both hind limbs before dying suddenly, I have been presented with many other anecdotal reports of dogs suffering paresis shortly after vaccination where the vets suspected no link to their vaccines, and no adverse event reports were filed.   

Cumulative damage

“There is a real concern that vaccines may predispose certain genetically susceptible individuals to immune-mediated disease,” says Dr Schultz.  “The more antigens we administer, the higher the potential for hypersensitivity.  Type I is IgE mediated; type 2, cytotoxic antibody mediated; type 3, immune-complex mediated; and type 4 cellular mediated. All of these hypersensitivities are natural parts of the immune response, but they cause a certain amount of tissue damage.  That damage may occur in the kidney, liver, or as was the case with canine adenovirus 1, in the eye. In many cases it is impossible to show a direct connection between the damage and a vaccine, since it is the accumulation of many antigens over many years that results in clinically evident disease.” (30)

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association Vaccination Guidelines Group states:   “We should aim to vaccinate every animal, and to vaccinate each individual less frequently.” (31)

My own view is that we should take on board Dr Schultz’s statements made as a result of his duration of immunity studies, namely that, “Once an animal is immune to viral disease, he is immune for years or life”.  Dr Schultz was motivated to conduct his studies when he reflected that children didn’t need vaccinating every year, so why do dogs?  It is also worth noting that no science has ever been put forward to justify annual vaccination, or three-yearly vaccination for that matter. 

With regard to the controversial leptospirosis vaccine and its known ability to stimulate anaphylaxis and encephalitis, its poor record of efficacy, and the fact that leptospirosis is a relatively rare disease, I go along with Dr Schultz’s own views that this vaccine comes with more risks than benefits, and that its use is questionable.  In view of the risks of any vaccine, informed guardian consent would seem sensible.  

And finally, I am happy to state publicly that I do not vaccinate any of the dogs in my care.   My own researched belief is that vaccines cause more death and suffering than the diseases we vaccinate against.  I do, however, hold firm to the principles of free choice and informed guardian consent.  Without the information to base choices upon, no-one is giving their informed consent.  They are merely relying upon the knowledge, training, and financial needs of the person whose advice they follow. 


  1. The Merck Manual of Diagnostics and Therapy, sixteenth edition.
  2. DVM vaccine roundtable, Safety, efficacy heart of vaccine use; experts discuss pros and cons. DVM magazine, December 1988.
  3. Marek’s disease vaccines cause temporary U-lymphocyte dysfunction and reduced resistance to infection in chicks” Avian Pathology, Vol 21, issue 4, Dec 1992, pages 621-631.)
  4. JAVMA Vol 214, No 1, January 1 1999.  fatal outbreak of salmonellosis in a breeding cattery following the use of a high titre modified live panleucopaenia virus vaccine
  5. Cancer Research 30, October 1970, ‘Spontaneous Development of Mammary Adenocarcinoma following Prolonged Immunosuppression in the Dog’.
  6. (Cytokine profile after rubella vaccine inoculation: evidence of the immunosuppressive effect of vaccination, Mediators of Inflammation, 12(4), 203-207 (August 2003)).
  7. Effects of Vaccines on the Canine Immune System”, (Tom R. Phillips, Jean L. Jensen, Michael J. Rubino, Wen C. Yang and Ronald D. Schultz, Can J Vet Res 1989; 53: 154-160)
  8. JAVMA, Vol 207, No 4, August 15, 1995 – Current Concepts, are we vaccinating too much?
  9. JFM Series A, August 2003, vol 50, no 6, pp 286-291
  10. Negina IuP, Comparative study of auto-antibody formation following immunization with different types of vaccines. ZH Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol 1980 May; (5): 69-72.
  11. Romanov, UA et al, Role of auto-immune processes in the pathogenesis of post vaccinal lesions of the nervous system. ZH Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol 1977 Oct; 10: 80-93.
  12. Mark of the Beast, Dr Patricia Monahan Jordan,

  13. IARC International Agency for Research on Cancer; Summaries and Evaluations Surgical Implants and Other Foreign Bodies 1999 Feb 23; 74:24305-310.
  14. Smith, G.R. and S. Missailidis, Learning from cancer: The adaptive growth, wound and immune responses. Gene Therapy and Molecular Biology, 2009. 13(A): p. 158-185. 
  15. The Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Vol 10, No 5 (September October) 1996, ‘Vaccine Associated Immune Mediated Haemolytic Anaemia (IMHA) in the Dog’
  16. Dog World, USA, March 1995, Dr Jean W Dodds, ‘Dysfunction in the immune system can compromise the body’s entire line of defense’.
  17. Concise Oxford Veterinary Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1988.
  18. Detection of Parvovirus B19 Capsid Proteins in Lymphocytic Cells in Synovial Tissue of Autoimmune Chronic Arthritis, Mod Pathol (2003), 16(8):811817
  19. In Practice, Vol 20 No 2, Feb 1998, Michael Day
  20. British Veterinary Journal (May 1995, Bell, Carter, May and Bennett)
  21. Am Coll Vet Intern Med, 2000; 14: 381
  22. JAVMA, Vol 207, No 4, August 15, 1995 – Current Concepts, are we vaccinating too much?
  23. Grene, CE, ed, Appel MJ, Canine Distemper in Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat, 2


    edition, Philadelphia: WB Saunders, 1998: 9-22

  24. Veterinary Record during 1992 (130, 27-30)
  25. Braund’s Clinical Neurology in Small Animals: Localisation, Diagnosis and Treatment, IVIS
  26. Brewer, 199; Berendt 2002
  27. What Vets Don’t Tell You About Vaccines; Shock to the System, O’Driscoll, Abbeywood Publishing.
  28. Dig Dis Sci, 2000, Apri; 45(4) 723-9
  29. Toxicol Environ Chem 2008 90(5):997-1008
  30. JAVMA, Vol 207, No 4, August 15, 1995 – Current Concepts, are we vaccinating too much?