The Kennel Club, Pet Vaccination, and Muddy Waters

Does the Kennel Club put the wellbeing of dogs above all other considerations? The answer, as with most things in life, depends upon your vantage point. If you love Crufts and you’re a member of the Assured Breeder Scheme, you might think that the Kennel Club is the dog’s whiskers. If you’re looking for a puppy and want assurance that he or she has had the very best start in life, you might also choose to buy from a KC Assured Breeder.

But what if you are being tragically misled? What if the Kennel Club is imposing advice that could harm dogs for generations to come?  Here are the facts – you decide.

A few years ago, the Kennel Club issued new guidelines for breeders wishing to register under the KC’s Assured Breeder Scheme – and the guidelines still stand, despite our campaign to urge them to change outdated vaccine guidelines.

Membership of the Scheme allows breeders to use the Club’s literature and logo to promote their puppies, lending an air of authority and respectability. The updated document can be seen in full at

KC Assured Breeders are now required to keep their ‘breeding stock’ ‘fully immunised’.  The question, in the light of conflicting information, is what is fully immunised? The Kennel Club’s document states:

“In order to be eligible for Scheme Membership, and remain an Assured Breeder, applicants must . . . Ensure that all breeding stock is protected, as far as reasonably     possible, by routine immunisation against current common          infectious diseases, unless    advised otherwise by a veterinary professional.”  

As members of the Scheme, breeders must submit to inspections of their paperwork (including vaccination records) and facilities, and issue an information pack to new puppy owners that follows templates provided by the Kennel Club. Puppy owners then receive a questionnaire to ensure that the breeders are giving out Kennel Club approved information.

However, someone needs to define the word ‘routine’ as it applies to dog vaccines because, historically, we have been advised to administer a cocktail of vaccines to our dogs every year, and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association is trying to get vets to stop this. If you would like to see the WSAVA’s guidelines, go to

The Kennel Club’s vaccination template for Assured Breeders’ puppy packs can be seen at this link:

According to the Kennel Club, this document has been prepared, ‘in conjunction with the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’. But how can this be, when the advice given by the Kennel Club is materially different to the advice given by the WSAVA?

“You Must Follow Your Vet’s Advice”

The Kennel Club Scheme makes it mandatory for Assured Breeders to follow their vet’s advice, and advise puppy owners to do the same.  Yet it is well known that vets routinely recommend annual vaccination when it has been shown to be unnecessary and potentially harmful.  In fact, members of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association have been quoted as saying that vets don’t actually know a lot about vaccination.

The WSAVA Vaccine Guidelines Group (VGG) web page states:

“It is clear that the controversy surrounding small companion animal vaccination has not diminished and that there is an urgent requirement for education of practicing veterinarians in this area. The members of the VGG are actively engaged in delivering national and international lectures to help address this demand.”

During a pet vaccination seminar held in the US in 2009, Professor Ronald Schultz, a leading player within the WSAVA VGG, went a little further:

“Our new [vet] grads don’t know a heck of a lot more about vaccines than our older grads. And I’ve figured out why this is. They know a lot more about basic immunology, but they don’t know about vaccinology and the two are not the same… Also, they’re taught by people generally that know nothing about vaccinology. Now, when do they get their vaccine training? During their fourth year. And who’s giving that? The veterinarians that know how to give vaccines, that still don’t know about vaccinology. So we haven’t gone very far from where we were ten years ago or twenty years ago with regard to training veterinarians about vaccines.”  (Transcribed from a DVD including footage of the 2009 US NJ Rabies Challenge Fund Benefit Seminar (Jan Rasmusen, Dogs4Dogs, )

The Kennel Club also appears to be tying vets’ hands behind their backs on the vaccine issue, stating:  “Vets should make a thorough assessment of the benefits and risks on an individual case basis and discuss them with clients when deciding the timing of vaccination and the use of particular vaccines. Such an assessment will need to be based on the Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC), often referred to as a data sheet in the UK, a publicly available document giving particulars of the data package submitted by the manufacturer and agreed by the licensing authority during the authorisation process…

“It is important for veterinary surgeons to understand that, when departing from the SPC, they do so under their own responsibility. . . If they deviate from the medicinal data available to them and/or use a vaccine not in accordance with the instructions on the label and the SPCs it must be done with good reason and informed client consent.”

In essence, this means that if the vet is using a vaccine that is a ‘one year’ vaccine, then the Kennel Club says they must advise the client to revaccinate a year later. If they use a three-year vaccine, then they must advise revaccination three years later. The problem is that a very high number of vets in the UK vaccinate annually, and the WSAVA tells us that vaccines can and do last much longer than is stated on the ‘SPC’.

Specifically, the WSAVA 2010 VGG guidelines state: “In speaking to practitioner audiences about the 2007 [WSAVA] guidelines it is clear that there is widespread confusion about their purpose. Many practitioners are initially alarmed that the recommendations appear contrary to those given on the product data sheet, and therefore feel that if they adopt guidelines recommendations, they are leaving themselves open to litigation.

“A data sheet (or ‘summary of product characteristics’; SPC) is a legal document that forms part of the registration process for a vaccine. A data sheet will give details of the quality, safety and efficacy of a product and in the case of vaccines will describe the legal DOI [duration of immunity … how long it works for] of the product. The legal DOI is based on experimental evidence, represents a minimum value and need not reflect the true DOI of a vaccine. Most companion animal vaccines, until recently, had a 1 year DOI and carried a recommendation for annual revaccination. The sensible response of industry to recent discussions about vaccine safety has been to increasingly license products with an ‘extended’ (generally 3 year) DOI. However, for most core vaccines … the true DOI is likely to be considerably longer.”

I apologise for the complexity of the above paragraphs, but I wanted to give it to you from the horse’s mouth – it essentially means that although the Kennel Club is warning vets that they’ll be in trouble if they follow WSAVA rather than vaccine datasheet guidelines, the WSAVA is encouraging vets to ignore the datasheets on the basis that vaccines provide protection for considerably longer than the datasheets say.

How often do we need to vaccinate?

So, the Kennel Club is insisting that dogs need to be ‘routinely’ vaccinated, but the WSAVA is calling for a reduction in the number of vaccines given.

The Kennel Club says: “Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis … All of these diseases can be fatal so after its first course of vaccinations, your puppy will need booster vaccinations according to your vet’s advice.”

In contrast, with regard to Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus [known as the ‘core’ vaccines], the WSAVA says in its guidelines for vets: “Vaccines should not be given needlessly. Core vaccines should not be given any more frequently than every three years after the 12 month booster injection following the puppy/kitten series, because the duration of immunity (DOI) is many years and may be up to the lifetime of the pet.”

If you have never heard this before, I hope you are shocked and horrified that vets are advising their clients to vaccinate their pets every year against diseases to which they are already immune – for years.

The WSAVA adds in its advice for breeders:  “With regard to your adult breeding dogs, male and female, it is important to ensure they are vaccinated correctly with core vaccines, but that they are not over-vaccinated or receive unnecessary non-core vaccines.”

The WSAVA emphasises:  “We should aim to vaccinate every animal with core vaccines, and to vaccinate each individual less frequently by only giving non-core vaccines that are necessary for that animal.” 

Of the non-core vaccines (leptospirosis and kennel cough in the UK), the WSAVA says:  “The VGG has defined non-core vaccines as those that are required by only those animals whose geographical location, local environment or lifestyle places them at risk of contracting specific infections”.

The words ‘specific infections’ is important in relation to this advice. The WSAVA advises that leptospirosis is a range of 200 different bacterins, and vaccination against one form (serovar) of lepto does not protect against any of the other 199 forms. Also, the vaccine is short-lived, giving only around 70% protection for less than a year. If your vet recommends a lepto shot, you need to ask him two questions. The first is whether he has seen a case of lepto in the last, say, six months (i.e., is the vaccine necessary; is your dog in danger?). The second is which serovar is involved, and is that serovar in the vaccine?  For if it’s not, the vaccine won’t help. The issue isn’t necessarily one of spending money unnecessary, but of safety.

The problem is that vets in the UK are likely to suggest that your dog will die unless he receives the lepto vaccine annually (although it can be treated with antibiotics, and it’s not a common disease in dogs here). Therefore, if you do as the Kennel Club wishes and follow your vet’s advice, you could be vaccinating a dog against a disease that is not prevalent in your area, or vaccinating with a product that doesn’t contain the relevant serovar, leaving your dog unprotected anyway.

The WSAVA VGG names the four serovars responsible for most cases of leptospirosis in the USA but adds, “In many other countries there is insufficient knowledge of which serovars are circulating in the canine population. The VGG would encourage collection of such data.”  No-one seems to know what they’re vaccinating against outside the US!

The WSAVA VGG adds that, “This product [the lepto vaccine] is associated with the greatest number of adverse reactions to any vaccine. In particular, veterinarians are advised of reports of acute anaphylaxis in toy breeds following administration of leptospirosis vaccines. Routine vaccination of toy breeds should only be considered in dogs known to have a very high risk of exposure.”

Acute anaphylaxis is where a dog has a massive allergic reaction to a vaccine, so severe that it can cause death if adrenaline isn’t administered immediately – in dogs of any size. In addition, the lepto vaccine is associated with severe inflammation, which could encompass brain damage. The WSAVA states:  “There are some breeders that recommend their pups not be vaccinated with certain vaccines. If those vaccines are non-core (optional), those recommendations may be acceptable.”

With regard to kennel cough vaccines, the WSAVA informs us that, “it is important to realize that not all members of the Kennel Cough complex have a vaccine. Also, because Kennel Cough is a localized infection (meaning it is local to the respiratory tract), it is an infection that does not lend itself to prevention by vaccination. Vaccination must be regularly boosted and often vaccination simply muffles the severity of infection without completely preventing it.”

Did you ‘get’ the point? Kennel cough does not lend itself to prevention by vaccination! Actually, the datasheets warn that dogs who receive the kennel cough vaccine can shed it for up to seven weeks – which means they can infect other dogs with kennel cough; they can also spread the infection to unwell humans (since it is very close to human whooping cough). 

The WSAVA is keen to point out that the latest vaccine in the puppy series should be given at 14-16 weeks in order to ensure that maternally derived antibodies (which wane at that age) don’t interfere with the vaccine, leaving the puppy unprotected until his 12-month booster. The Kennel Club misses this important point.

The WSAVA Vaccine Guidelines Group “strongly supports the concept of the ‘annual health check’ which removes the emphasis from, and client expectation of, annual revaccination”.

Titer testing option

In addition, the WSAVA, “supports the development and use of simple in-practice tests for determination of seroconversion (antibody) following vaccination”.  This means that you can have your dog’s blood tested to ensure that he or she is immune from viral disease, which means that you can avoid vaccinating unnecessarily. A new and relatively inexpensive in-practice titer testing kit – the VacciCheck – makes this more practical. The Kennel Club makes no mention of titer testing.

In short, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association:

  • advises against annual vaccination for the core diseases;
  • advises that dogs should be vaccinated no more frequently than three yearly, but that in most cases immunity can be lifelong.
  • is not keen on promoting indiscriminate use of the non-core vaccines (lepto and kennel cough in the UK);
  • promotes titer testing as an alternative to indiscriminate vaccination;
  • and informs vets that it is acceptable to stray from the SPC with informed consent (informed consent means that the vet has discussed the risks and benefits with you, and you have agreed with his advice in writing).

By contrast, the Kennel Club:

  •  Is pushing ‘routine’ vaccination;
  • Fails to inform breeders and pet owners of the long-term effectiveness of core vaccines;
  • Insists you must follow your vet’s advice, irrespective of his lack of knowledge
  • Fails to advise you that some vaccines are non-core (optional);
  • Makes no effort to minimise over-vaccination
  • Issues a veiled threat to vets, warning them not to stray from datasheets
  • Ignores WSAVA advice in most respects

What are the risks?

Kennel Club advice to puppy owners states:  “Does vaccination have any side effects? . . . Anybody who has ever been vaccinated knows that it can occasionally make you feel quite feverish and poorly for a short while. Whilst this effect is not pleasant, it is a sign that the vaccine is stimulating the body’s disease defences. The perfect vaccine would not cause those effects, but not all vaccines are perfect, although safety is paramount in the licensing of vaccines. Exceptionally there can very occasionally be more severe side effects but they are so rare that the benefits obtained with vaccination far outweighs the risks. If you are concerned about any possible side effects, discuss this with your vet prior to the vaccine being administered to your puppy.”

The WSAVA, however, seeks to quantify potential side-effects. They say:

A general estimation of the prevalence of adverse reactions classified by severity would be:

  • 1 of every 100 to 500 vaccinations for mild reactions
  • 1 in every 1,000 to 5,000 vaccinations for moderate reactions
  • 1 in every 5,000 to 10,000 for severe reactions.

If there are 11 million dogs in the UK, and only half are vaccinated annually, and one in 5,000 has a severe vaccine reaction, this means 1,100 dogs can expect severe vaccine reactions: skin problems and arthritis, all the way through to epilepsy, brain damage, and death. Let’s hope it’s not your dog suffering after receiving a vaccine he didn’t need, and that it’s not your vet who failed to tell you that he didn’t actually need the vaccine.

As for moderate reactions, a further 1,100 to 5,500 can expect to suffer from behavioural changes and lameness, all the way through to ‘inherited’ allergies and respiratory disease. Still alive, but suffering unnecessarily.


Adverse Reactions Associated with Vaccination in Animals

Severe Reactions

(Rare to Uncommon)

Moderate Reactions

(Uncommon to Common)

Mild Reactions


Injection site sarcoma Immunosuppression Lethargy
Anaphylaxis Behavioural changes Hair Loss

hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD)

Vitiligo Hair colour change at injection site
Immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA) Weight loss Fever
Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (IMTP) Reduced milk production Soreness
Glomerulonephritis      Lameness Stiffness
Disease or enhanced disease the vaccine was designed to prevent Granulomas/abscesses at the injection site Refusal to eat (transient)
Myocarditis Hives Conjunctivitis
Post-vaccinal encephalitis or polyneuritis Facial oedema Sneezing
Seizures Atopy Coughing
Abortion, congenital anomalies, embryonic/fetal death, failure to conceive Respiratory disease Oral ulcers
Allergic uveitis (blue eye) Diarrhoea
Skin disorders Vomiting

Has your vet ever told you any of this before you agreed to have your dog vaccinated against a disease he is already immune to? Has your vet ever told you he might already be immune, and offered you a titer test? I can answer this question for you – it is very unlikely that you have been offered ‘informed consent’.

I emailed members of the WSAVA Vaccine Guidelines Group to ask whether the WSAVA had really collaborated with the Kennel Club to produce its vaccine guidelines to breeders and puppy owners. Professor Michael Day, senior lecturer in Veterinary Pathology at the University of Bristol, replied:

“The WSAVA VGG did indeed make suggestions on this document and our key recommendations related to current core vaccination for puppies and boosters for adult dogs were incorporated.  As you will see, a link to the guidelines has also been provided.  The WSAVA Guidelines are generic in nature and have been, and will continue to be, adapted according to national requirements.  There are numerous examples of this throughout the 90 member countries of the Association and we continue to encourage national organizations to incorporate the principles into their own national guidelines.”

I personally don’t see how ‘national considerations’ change the science. However, professor Day, in his presentation to the WSAVA Conference in Geneva during 2010, said something slightly different:

“…The first consideration is whether this dog requires revaccination at all. This is an adult dog that was appropriately immunized as a pup… Although the licensed duration of immunity (DOI) for the core vaccine components (DHP) is three years, there is now evidence for a minimum DOI of 9 years for CDV and CPV and, in reality, a dog that is appropriately immunized as a pup probably never requires another core vaccine during its lifetime. The non-core components of this animal’s vaccine schedule (LPi) are also unnecessary. Although they do not have a DOI greater than 1 year, this is a city dog that is never kennelled in a boarding establishment and its lifestyle means that its risk of exposure to Leptospira or the canine respiratory complex is minimal. If the owner is in any doubt as to whether the animal is protected against the core vaccine-preventable diseases, then serological testing may be used to allay any fears. The presence of any titre of antibody to CDV, CAV and CPV is indicative of protection.” 

Why the discrepancies?

A growing number of people around the world who have campaigned to end over vaccination (in my case for over 20 years), are increasingly alarmed by discrepancies in the advice given by veterinary bodies and their members in public and private. They say one thing to one audience, and another thing to another. On the one hand I want to praise and honour the people who have worked on the dogs’ behalf, and on the other hand I want them to be clearer. There is a suspicion that there are political compromises involved, especially considering the widespread financial influence of the veterinary vaccine industry.

What do you think?

Do you see significant discrepancies between Kennel Club vaccination advice and WSAVA advice?  If so, do you question – as I do – why the WSAVA should lend credibility to incomplete and misleading information that can lead to the over-vaccination of our dogs, risking some pretty tragic life-threatening adverse reactions? Do you think the Kennel Club should issue incomplete and misleading guidelines and hold Scheme members to them, forcing Assured Breeders to spread that incomplete and misleading information to puppy owners?  Should the Kennel Club incorporate more of the known science, rather than appear to be pushing vaccines when they are not needed?

It’s not as though the Kennel Club is without top-ranking expertise to draw upon. Its former chairman, Steve Dean, started as a vet and spent many years as head of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), the government body in the UK that licenses veterinary drugs and biologics, and which is charged with the task of ensuring the safety and efficacy of veterinary medicines. As head of the VMD, Steve Dean was one of the most highly paid and respected vets in the UK, and he should have the knowledge to reflect this status.

Indeed, Steve’s expertise goes further: he also worked for 17 years in the pharmaceutical industry, becoming technical and marketing manager (Europe) for Syntex Animal Health. He was a consultant to the veterinary pharmaceutical industry prior to being recruited to the post of director of licensing, VMD, in 1996. He was also a past-chairman and treasurer of the Association of Veterinarians in Industry.

Having spent many years as a marketing man within the pharmaceutical industry, and having worked as a consultant to the veterinary pharmaceutical industry, even chairing the organisation that championed vets in industry, and working as a regulator, we would be forgiven for expecting the Kennel Club’s new chairman to understand the importance of scientific accuracy.

In fact, once he retired from the VMD, Steve Dean wrote an article in Dog World which contained the following sentence:

“Whatever you choose for your dog, the minimum immunisation in the form of a course of puppy vaccines, offers protection that could prove life-long.”

Perhaps the Kennel Club needed to consult its in-house expert before publishing misleading advice to breeders and vet owners, and holding them to it.

For rather than helping the WSAVA to spread its message that we should: “vaccinate every animal with core vaccines, and vaccinate each individual less frequently by only giving non-core vaccines that are necessary for that animal”, the Kennel Club is in danger of taking us back to pre-1978 when no-one queried over-vaccination. Then – 35 years ago – Kirk’s Veterinary Therapy first published the statement from Drs Ronald D Schultz and Tom R Phillips that: once a dog is immune to viral disease, he remains immune for years or life”. 

Why, as a dog owner and averred dog lover, a vet, a former regulator and pharmaceutical industry man, would the chairman of the Kennel Club – a clearly brilliant mind – allow the Kennel Club to muddy the known science and impose misleading information on breeders, and circulate that misleading information to puppy owners?

And why would the WSAVA – which has worked so hard to end over-vaccination – lend its endorsement? Currently there is much concern from dog owns whose dogs appear to have had adverse reactions to the new Lepto 4 vaccine. Yet the WSAVA is sitting on the fence, saying it’s up to individual countries to set their own policies.

My concern is that individual countries are amendable to control, and the pharmaceutical industry is happy to wield that control. For your dog’s sake, or profit’s sake – you decide.

After we protested about the Kennel Club’s outdated vaccine guidelines, I was asked – by Bill Lambert of the Kennel Club – to draft new guidelines and have it approved by the WSAVA. If I did this, he said, he would make them available to ABS breeders. This was several years ago, and the promise has not been fulfilled. Instead, the WSAVA approved of the summary so much that they put it on their own site. You can see it here:


Click to access New%20Puppy%20Owner%20Vaccination%20Guidelines%20May%202013_0.pdf

Click to access New%20Puppy%20Owner%20Vaccination%20Guidelines%20May%202013_0.pdf




When Psychopaths Rule the World

You may have studied canine behaviour in order to understand why dogs do what they do, and how their behaviour can be modified. I wonder if you’ve studied human behaviour, as I have, to understand why people treat their dogs so badly, and how they can be encouraged to look after them better?

Dog owners come from all walks of life. At one end of the scale are those who like to be in control. These include people with antisocial personality disorder, also known as psychopaths. Psychopaths, due to their genes or their early childhood environment, show callous disregard for the rights and feelings of others. They are the people most likely to physically abuse animals (and other humans).

Psychopaths are usually highly intelligent. They understand others well, but they don’t care about them. They can be manipulative and dishonest, exploiting others for personal gain. Although you may assume that psychopaths are the crazed serial killers we hear about in the news, they’re actually represented in all walks of life, and particularly at the top of the business world. Many of our captains of industry are psychopaths.

Narcissists are similar to psychopaths. They are egotists with a sense of superiority and a lack of empathy. Others don’t matter, they’re simply a means to an end. Narcissists exploit others whose needs they feel to be less important. Many top business people are narcissists.

The vast majority of society sits at the other end of the scale. They’re the followers, named ‘Apaths’ in psycho-speak. Apaths are naturally amenable to control. It’s estimated that over 90% of people in our society are apaths. They support the sociopaths and narcissists by opting out. They’ll watch someone be brutalised in the social media by a sociopath, for example, and they won’t intervene.

There are also people described as codependent, which seems to cover the majority of us. Codependent people have been taught, as children, not to trust their own thoughts or feelings. They lack self esteem and long to be regarded favourably. They believe that those in authority know better than them.

Very few people are therefore able to work out what’s true and what isn’t, because the people who seek power are pulling strings for their own ends. I’m not saying this as a cynic, but as someone who has studied what is officially known about human behaviour.

The end result is that we harm our dogs accidentally, because we’ve been manipulated by individuals and corporations into believing a pack of lies. The lie that most dog owners currently believe, and which is causing horrendous harm, is that dogs need to be vaccinated every year, or even every three years. This is just not true.

A woman on an internet discussion group said: “I vaccinate my dogs yearly. I’d never forgive myself if they become poorly and I could have prevented it through a simple yearly injection.”

This woman is speaking from fear. Fear makes it’s easy to manipulate people into believing that annual shots are necessary when they are not.

Another woman replied: “That’s exactly how I feel. I do worry, though, as Mollie has a small reaction after her boosters every year, but unless it was to get worse, I would still vaccinate.”

This woman is also speaking from fear, sponsored by the lie that annual shots are necessary. The tragedy is that, having already shown reactions to vaccines, the next unnecessary vaccine could kill her dog.

A third woman said: “Susie gets annual boosters. Ollie doesn’t get any more boosters since becoming very ill after one. He seems to have a problem with his immune system, of unknown cause, that rears up sometimes.”

If the vet were knowledgeable and honest, he would have told Ollie’s owner that vaccines can cause immune-mediated diseases. Vaccines probably made Ollie ill in the first place, and neither he nor Susie need annual shots.

Here is a statement of truth: once immune, dogs are immune against viral disease for years or life. The study group set up by the WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) on vaccines has issued global guidelines which categorically state that dogs and cats should NOT be vaccinated at more than three yearly intervals. By this they do not mean vaccinate every three years! As for Leptospirosis, the WSAVA acknowledges that this vaccine causes more adverse reactions than other vaccine, is ineffective, and is ‘optional’.

Importantly, the WSAVA acknowledges that vaccines can be harmful, and titer (blood) tests are safer than revaccination.

I constantly receive emails from people whose dogs have been harmed by vaccines. Edward McKenzie-Clark stated: “At the request of the new owner, I had a puppy I bred vaccinated. The puppy went downhill overnight and is now seriously ill. The vet is telling me that this puppy’s condition and the vaccination are coincidences. The puppy is going into kidney failure caused by either leptospirosis (in the vaccine) or drinking anti-freeze (impossible). Can there be a connection between the vaccine and the puppy’s health?”

If this man had given this puppy heroin, his vet would be in no doubt as to cause and effect. It’s amazing how they don’t connect the dots. In fact, a study conducted by Purdue University found that vaccinated, but not unvaccinated, dogs developed auto-antibodies to a wide range of their own biochemicals. One of these was laminin, which coats kidney cells. Vaccinated dogs were attacking their own kidneys.

Vaccines can also cause the disease you’re attempting to prevent. In the Canine Health Concern vaccine survey, 100% of dogs with leptospirosis contracted it just after being vaccinated against it. Leptospirosis, of course, attacks the kidneys – and the puppy had severe kidney damage.

Edward wrote again. “I had to put Hamish to sleep on Sunday. He deteriorated rapidly over the weekend and I decided I couldn’t allow him to go through any more. There are a lot of ‘if only we did this’ days. My other half says I’m too hard on myself and perhaps I can be but it’s very hard to put out of my mind what that poor baby had to go through.”

A few days later, Edward wrote: “The pharmaceutical company have said they will pay for an autopsy. I’ve said if you pick up the rest of the £300 bill. They refused so I’m refusing to let them have the autopsy done. I asked why are you so keen on an autopsy when you claim it wasn’t your vaccine? No answer! I stopped vaccinating in 1990 after a similar incident and this was only done at the new owner’s request so NEVER again will a vaccine come near my dogs.”

I shared Edward’s story with Dr Patricia Jordan, a vet who has done a great deal of research into the vaccine issue. She added these comments: “Kidney failure is a common sequel to vaccination. The basement membrane is susceptible to damage from a clogging that results as the immune complexes are drained via the lymphatics. The kidney is a big part of the lymphatic system. The body tries to clear the toxins in the vaccines and there is damage done in this clearing mechanism.

“Lepto is a very adverse event associated vaccine and the damndest thing is that lepto vaccines simply do not work. Dr Ron Schultz (the world’s foremost independent authority on canine vaccines) hates to see them in with anything else and, in puppies, advises that they are completely finished with the viral inoculations before getting a vaccine against Lepto, which he neither recommends nor advocates – even in Lepto endemic areas.

“I have seen older dogs go into kidney failure within two days of receiving a Lepto vaccine.”

Many dog lovers, I suspect, have difficulty in understanding the science surrounding vaccination, so they’d rather trust the ‘experts’ than struggle to understand. Dr Jordan sent me one of her diary notes, which isn’t technical in the least. Perhaps this will have meaning for you?

“What a depressing day today. I had to kill a patient who was vaccinated every year, fed crappy food, and was so immune exhausted that he had everything wrong – coccidia, yeast overgrowth, cancer. I took pictures of his poor wracked body. I only had about a month to try to reverse his condition. It was insurmountable due to the years of visits to the vet and resulting complete adrenal exhaustion and immunosuppression. He was just spent.

“The day got worse. I heard barking in the reception and found a tiny eight pound terrorist barking at a tall noble greyhound. The tall dog was looking desperate and his sides were heaving. I went back to finish the patient I was with. By the time I had finished, I’d missed the next patient and the owner of the practice had him.

“I was able to walk by the room for another reason and was very concerned to see vaccines laid out in the room – with the dog who looked like he couldn’t breathe. I have ranted and raved against vaccines – the over-use and the fact that every single day there is malpractice committed with the administration of this danger to sick and geriatric animals. Anyway, the dog was shot up with vaccines.

“After lunch, I returned to see two of the kennel workers carrying that dog’s dead body back to the freezer for burial. He had gone home and died. The owner was very upset. Apparently, he wasn’t expecting to have vaccinated his pet and his pet die shortly thereafter.

“I looked at the record. The dog had been a cardiac patient for a while, with terrible heart murmurs. That was why he was so concerned about the barking terrier, if only eight pounds. The dog could hardly get around, so why was he administered an eight way MLV vaccine?

“There appears to be very little compassion in this field. Very little honesty and integrity for the patient of the client. I will get blasted by most vets reading this, but the situation is true. It’s a desperate situation.”

I agree with Dr Jordan. The situation is desperate. Those in authority don’t appear to care, and the pet owners seem unable to get out of the mode of following.

Alice Hughes wrote to me: “Please help. Our pup is six years old and has suffered terribly from arthritis. For three weeks she lost the use of her back end. One week ago today she had her booster and within days she was in distress and is barely moving around. She is lethargic and sad. What can we do? I am not sure if I should take her to the vet for advice because when we were there last Saturday, he seemed displeased that I turned down the kennel cough shot (I just felt uneasy about so many chemicals going into her and she is never in a kennel). He is 100% behind the annual shots and sends me notices each year, twice. I feel like I am killing her.”

Research shows that vaccines can cause arthritis. They can also, as a symptom of encephalitis (which is an acknowledged vaccine reaction), cause paralysis of the rear end.

Elaine Loydall wrote: “Two weeks ago we did the year’s round of boosters. Our younger boy who is 16 months had a massive fit almost two weeks after the jabs. It was scary. Do you have a view on this, and does this mirror other experiences?”

Yes it does mirror other experiences. Epilepsy is another symptom of encephalitis, an acknowledged vaccine sequel. Millions of pounds have been paid out worldwide in compensation to the parents of epileptic, vaccine damaged, children.

Brenda Hopping wrote: “I took my eleven year old dog (the love of my life!) to have his boosters yesterday. Just minutes after leaving the vets, he collapsed to the ground in an unconscious state and looked as if he was dying. The sight of this was horrendous, just seeing his legs at awkward angles and in spasms.

”He did come round, but his eyes were glazed and he looked completely disorientated. I couldn’t lift him. I managed to persuade him to his feet and he wobbled back to the vets. My dog has a slight heart murmur and I feared the worst. The vet would not say that it may be something to do with the vaccination. He just told me to take my dog home and advised me that if it happened again, I should bring my dog back for an ECG.

“In my mind it is too much of a coincidence that his ‘attack’ was straight after the vaccination. I really think that the state of confusion and the lack of knowledge on the part of the owner is beneficial to the vet and invariably to the pharmaceutical companies.”

Proceedings of the First Veterinary Vaccine Symposium, held in 1997, advised that geriatric dogs – over eight years of age – should not be vaccinated. All vaccine datasheets state that only healthy animals should be vaccinated. A dog with a heart murmur is not healthy. He should not be vaccinated: he can die.

To make matters worse, Brenda was forced to have her cat euthanised recently as his vaccine-induced cancer had become so aggressive. Brenda says, “His big eyes and lovely face still haunt me and I am in tears now as I write to you. To think, if I had been better informed, he may still be with me now.”

When I started reporting vaccine reactions back in 1994, a limited amount of research was available. It isn’t limited any more. What is needed now is for vets to stop giving unnecessary annual shots, to start upholding the truth, and for pet owners to become aware of the truth and honour the trust their dogs place in them.

It is a sad fact that we live in a world where we can’t trust apparently respectable business people and healthcare providers to put our dogs’ health first. We need to wise up – our dogs depend on us.

(This article first appeared in Dogs Today in 2009)

Cannabis oil for you and your pets

Finally … Cannabis Oil!

Something has come to my attention recently – cannabis oil. So here’s the question: Is cannabis oil a miracle cure for a myriad of immune-mediated diseases? It is said to be another powerful immune modulator.

Here are some examples that might give you pause for thought:

A bowel cancer patient was given 18 months to live and now claims that he has been cured by cannabis oil. David Hibbitt was diagnosed with the disease in July 2012 and underwent chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery to remove his large bowel.

Doctors told him the cancer was terminal so he decided to try cannabis oil as a last resort and bought it from a local dealer for £50 a gram. Now the father-of-one says he has been cancer-free since his last scan in January – and puts the class-B drug down to his miracle recovery. Search the internet for ‘cannabis oil cancer cure’, and you’ll find many similar examples.

In November 2007, researchers at California Pacific Medical Center released a study on the effects of cannabis oil (specifically a constituent of cannabis called CBD) on cancer. The study concluded that CBD shows promise for controlling the spread of malignant breast tumours and stalling metastasis (the process of cancerous cells spreading into different parts of the body) by “turning off” the activity of a gene responsible for tumour metastasis.

Since then, numerous studies have verified that cannabidiol shows inhibitory effects on several types of cancer including breast cancer, colon cancer, certain types of brain tumours, leukaemia and others. Parallel to these studies, cannabis oil has also been shown to inhibit benign tumour growth.

Cannabis oil induces programmed cell death in breast cancer cells by coordinating the cross-talk between two of the body’s defence mechanisms against cancer: apoptosis and autophagy. Apoptosis is the process of programmed cell death, while autophagy is the breakdown of individual cell components.

Combined, these two processes weaken and destroy cancer cells.
Here’s another example, this time for autism: At 10 months of age, Kalel Santiago of Puerto Rico was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called neuroblastoma. He survived chemotherapy, radiation treatments and surgery. Then he was diagnosed with severe autism that disabled him from speaking.
Eventually, his family stumbled upon cannabis oil. Kalel was given oral doses twice a day. Within just two days, he was able to speak.

Cannabis oil has also been studied in relation to epilepsy. In one study, in Pharmacology in 1980, four of the eight subjects remained almost free of convulsive crises throughout the experiment and three other patients demonstrated partial improvement in their clinical condition. Cannabis oil was ineffective in one patient.

Another study in Epilepsia in 2014, says: “CBD has neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects, and it appears to be well tolerated in humans, but small and methodologically limited studies of CBD in human epilepsy have been inconclusive. CBD bears investigation in epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric disorders, including anxiety, schizophrenia, addiction, and neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. However, we lack data from well-powered double-blind randomized, controlled studies on the efficacy of pure CBD for any disorder.”

Another paper, this time in Epilepsy Behaviour in 2013, stated: “This survey explored the use of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis in children with treatment-resistant epilepsy. The survey was presented to parents belonging to a Facebook group dedicated to sharing information about the use of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis to treat their child’s seizures. Sixteen (84%) of the 19 parents reported a reduction in their child’s seizure frequency while taking cannabidiol-enriched cannabis. Of these, two (11%) reported complete seizure freedom, eight (42%) reported a greater than 80% reduction in seizure frequency, and six (32%) reported a 25-60% seizure reduction. Other beneficial effects included increased alertness, better mood, and improved sleep. Side effects included drowsiness and fatigue.”

There are also studies showing that cannabis can help with obesity. The American Journal of Medicine reported in 2013 that: “Epidemiologic studies have found lower rates of obesity and diabetes mellitus in marijuana users compared with people who have never used marijuana, suggesting a relationship between cannabinoids and peripheral metabolic processes.”
Another paper in Orv Hetil, 2012, stated, “Cannabidiol has an immune-modulating effect …” and may be helpful in the treatment of metabolic syndrome (metabolic syndrome involves abdominal fat, glucose intolerance, and a high risk of heart attack).

Meanwhile, Rheumatology, 2006, found that cannabis oil produced statistically significant improvements in pain on movement, pain at rest, and quality of sleep.

The European Journal of Neuroscience, 2014, concluded: “The ubiquitous distribution of cannabinoid receptors, together with the physiological role of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of pain, inflammation and even joint function further support the therapeutic interest of cannabinoids for osteoarthritis.” (Translation: cannabis reduces inflammation and pain for osteoarthritis sufferers.)

In fact, there are many conditions which CBD oil is claimed to help, including; chronic pain, cancer, anxiety, diabetes, epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis, PTSD, sleep disorders, alcoholism, MS, cardiovascular disease, antibiotic-resistant infections, and various neurological ailments.

Veterinary marijuana?

From JAVMA News, 2013

Miles, a 12-year-old black Labrador Retriever had developed a splenic tumor that eventually metastasized to the liver and lungs. Miles was given two months to live and tramadol for the pain.
But Miles’ owner didn’t like the way tramadol affected her pet. “Every time we gave it to him, he would just sleep; he wouldn’t even move. He’d just lay there like he was dead,” said Denise, who asked that her real name not be used.

Sitting outside a West Hollywood, café with Miles at her feet, Denise recalls how a friend suggested she try a glycerine tincture of marijuana that is sold as a pet medicine in dozens of licensed medical marijuana dispensaries throughout Los Angeles. Within an hour of giving Miles the tincture, the dog’s appetite returned, and he was no longer vomiting.

“It couldn’t have been a coincidence,” Denise said. “The other great thing is that in the last couple of weeks, Miles has been going to the beach, he’s been running, he’s being himself. If Miles was on the tramadol, he’d be in bed, and he wouldn’t be enjoying anything or eating anything, and he’d probably be dead. I’m just really grateful we found this.”

Though initially hesitant about giving her pet an unapproved drug, Denise figured where’s the harm? Miles has terminal cancer and would die soon. Besides, people can’t overdose on marijuana, she reasoned. “I wasn’t that worried. I was actually pretty excited, because it has been used with human cancer patients for pain and nausea,” Denise said.

If the tramadol had worked, Denise says she wouldn’t have considered giving her dog marijuana. Now a “true believer” in marijuana’s therapeutic effects for at least some animal ailments, Denise says she will recommend the drug to other pet owners.

“People need to understand that this isn’t about getting my dog high,” she said. “It’s about improving his quality of life.”

Denise is probably not typical of the millions of US pet owners. She is part of what is likely a small community who use marijuana for their pets because they see it as a safe, natural, and effective alternative to “man-made” drugs. Should legal and social prohibitions associated with marijuana use continue easing, more and more pet owners might come around to this line of thinking, and Denise’s views could one day be less unorthodox than they are now.

Ernest Misko had never experimented with marijuana until his doctor recommended the 77-year-old try it for his chronic back pain. Misko was so amazed with how good his back felt afterward that when his aged pet cat, Borzo, had difficulty walking, Misko started feeding the cat the same marijuana tincture Denise used. Within a few days, Borzo appeared to be pain-free and was moving much better, according to Misko.
“I don’t get high, but the pain goes away. So I tried it on my cat, my 24-year-old cat, who’s feeling better,” Misko said.

Becky Flowers came to believe in marijuana’s healing powers for animals in a similar fashion. The Southern Californian’s pet horse, a 20-year-old named Phoenix, had had degenerative ligament disease for several years. But nearly a year ago the condition worsened. Phenylbutazone, glucosamine, Cavallo boots, cold and warm wraps—whatever Flowers tried, it didn’t help the horse for long. Eventually, Phoenix lay on her side and stopped eating and drinking.

Before resorting to euthanizing Phoenix, Flowers fed the horse marijuana. After all, Flowers herself had found marijuana to be a more effective analgesic than the medication she had been prescribed for pain associated with spinal spurs, arthritis, and several recent wrist surgeries. “Cannabis offers more relief to me than Norco, so why wouldn’t it also help Phoenix?” she reasoned.
Within an hour of ingesting a small amount of marijuana, Phoenix was walking, eating, and drinking, according to Flowers. She boils the marijuana plant, then makes the abstract into a butter that she feeds the horse once a day.

“With cannabis, I don’t worry about potential liver damage as with Bute. I also don’t worry about her overdosing, as I only give her a small amount. She never appears panicky or disoriented. She’s just her normal, happy Phoenix,” she said, adding that her Chinese Crested dog Tripper no longer chews on his feet since Flowers started mixing a small amount of marijuana into the dog’s food once a day.

Dogs, Vaccine Damage, Epilepsy, and Cannabis

Silke Le Messurier is another pet owner who is using cannabis to help her dog. She recently wrote to me: “My almost three year old Husky/German Shepherd Mix Loki received the Nobivac Lyme vaccine manufactured by Merck. As we left the Pet Hospital, on the way out my husband and I asked if we needed to observe him for any reactions or side effects. The answer was, “No, your dog will be fine.”

Three days later, on June 4th, Loki suffered a grand mal seizure, that lasted about 50 seconds.

“By the time we arrived at the veterinary emergency clinic that evening, his heart rate was back to normal and Loki had no fever. I immediately made a connection to the vaccine he had received three days earlier. The next morning we took Loki to our regular vet for an exam and to do further blood tests.

“I was told that the animal health technician had spoken to a veterinarian at Merck earlier that morning and he said ( I am paraphrasing, since I didn’t get to speak to him) that it was highly unlikely that the vaccine had caused the seizure. He did, however, offer to cover some of the veterinary bill for that day. While I was grateful that some of the cost was going to be recovered by Merck, I also found it a bit strange that the company that told me their vaccine did not cause Loki’s seizure offered to send a cheque.”

After extensive research, Silke discovered that, of course, vaccines frequently cause epilepsy. Loki subsequently had more seizures.

Silke is now using cannabis oil for Loki.

“The hemp oil seems to help,” she reports. “He had one short seizure on September 24th and nothing since, and it was a short one — I am tracking everything.

“He has a lot more energy now. I think it takes six weeks for the cannabis oil to be fully in his system, then we are hoping to reduce the phenobarbital. So far so good.”

I asked Silke whether Loki’s oil is hemp or marijuana based, since there’s a lot of conflicting advice regarding which is best. Silke replied:

“I am confused, too. Apparently the oil we are giving Loki comes from the hemp plant, not the marijuana plant.

“But this is still illegal stuff here in Canada. My husband did more research on this. We ordered it from the USA and it arrived , no problem. It was just two small bottles for a lot of money and it says food supplement on the label. It also says that it is hemp oil.
“I guess we were out of options and we chose to go ahead. So far definitely no negative side effects for Loki. We give him 8 drops 2 times daily on his food.

“He has more energy and is playful again. Not so lethargic, like he was on his meds.”

Canine Health Concern has sourced quality CBD oil and has added it to the CHC store. See