First ever survey into post-vaccine complications in dogs

Dogs and Vaccine Damage Within Three Months of a Vaccine Event

Pet owners frequently ask questions when their dogs get ill shortly after being vaccinated. As a general rule, their vet will tell them that it’s just a coincidence. Canine Health Concern sought to establish whether there was a correlation between vaccination and subsequent illness, based upon the observations of homeopathic vet Christopher Day in practice. These are our findings, first published in What Vets Don’t Tell You About Vaccines.

* Please note that this survey is finished; we are not looking to extend it.  The British government expressed extreme interest in this survey’s results, and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate asked to examine our base data. We were willing, provided they appoint an expert skilled in statistical analysis who had no ties to the veterinary vaccine industry. They put up an academic who was consultant to Intervet, a veterinary vaccine manufacturer.

The veterinary vaccine industry responded bywhat-vets paying a vaccine developer, the Animal Health Trust, to conduct the POOCH survey. This survey asked a totally different question, looking through client records held by amenable vets. Not surprisingly, this industry-funded research found no correlation between vaccination and subsequent illness. You have to ask why the VMD would champion industry data over independent data.

Background notes

The Canine Health Concern vaccine survey was first launched during October 1996. A questionnaire was devised with the help of Christopher Day, Jean Dodds DVM, and Dr Viera Scheibner. Some 30,000 readers of Dog World magazine were invited to participate: we paid an advertising rate to have the questionnaire printed within the publication. In addition, all members of Canine Health Concern were mailed with a questionnaire, and some members of CHC (very kindly) circulated the questionnaire to friends and neighbours. The first edition of What Vets Don’t Tell You About Vaccines carried our first interim findings. The second edition added over a thousand dogs to the picture. The total number of dogs surveyed was 3,800.

We were been able to show a definite statistical correlation between a vaccinate event and the onset of a number of specific illnesses.

First Interim results

The following published provisional conclusions all satisfied mathematical or inferential statistical tests at a level of confidence of 99% or better. That is, we have rejected, unless otherwise stated, any result with a z alpha of less than 2.56. In mathematical terms, an alpha score of 4 would mean that the chance of a false conclusion is less than one in about 33,000. In many cases, the data we have is greatly in excess of 4, making the following conclusions a certainty for all practical purposes.

The second analyses initially used the Chi square test. This test was used to compare the expected number of illnesses over the twelve months following vaccination against the actual results. We have rejected any illness with a Chi test statistic of less than twelve. That is to say, any Chi test statistic higher than twelve gives a 95% confidence about the conclusions. A Chi test result of 13 or greater gives a 99% confidence, and a Chi test of 17 gives 99.5% confidence. Only one test, heart conditions, was accepted at the 95% level as being vaccine-induced. Arthritis and pancreas problems are, at a 99% level of statistical certainty, vaccine-induced. Hepatitis is 99.5% certain to be vaccine-induced.

Meningitis, CDRM, asthma, leukaemia and thyroid problems did not pass the statistical test, although the term ‘meningitis’ is often the name given to encephalitis. However, the numbers of dogs in the survey with such ailments were extremely small and as leukaemia is a form of cancer, if cancer and leukaemia are combined, then one can conclude that leukaemia, like other cancers, is vaccine related. Strong research does exist in the human field to link these illnesses with vaccination. We also know that thyroid disease is very commonly undetected in the dog and therefore undiagnosed, and diseases like leukaemia may have varying incubation periods depending upon the inherent health of the dog.

For the purposes of this survey, we asked all participants to list their dogs’ illnesses, and tell us how soon they started after the date of vaccination. Our aim was to test whether there was a time frame bias between vaccination and the start of illness. This in itself would enable us to see whether illnesses which developed within three months after vaccination might be vaccine-linked.

The hypothesis is that, if vaccination has no adverse effect or even bearing on subsequent illness, then illnesses will occur in equal numbers at any time during the twelve months after vaccination. In fact, the results so far gathered show a distinct skew or bias towards illness occurring within the first three months after vaccination.

No data was recorded in respect of lupus, Lyme disease or rabies in the first analysis, but one dog with lupus was incorporated into the second analysis. Obviously, no statistical conclusions can be drawn on such a sample size. Some diseases showed a distinct bias towards occurring at nine months or more after vaccination had taken place. These are arthritis and heart conditions. We do, though, ask why these illnesses should all be clustered together at around the nine month period? It may, in fact, suggest that it takes longer for these illnesses to manifest overt symptoms, and consequently for diagnosis to take place. If vaccination had no bearing, then there should by rights be an even spread of occurrence throughout the twelve month period.

In a paper published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Vol 10, No 5, September/October 1966, entitled ‘Vaccine-Associated Immune-mediated Haemolytic Anaemia in the Dog’, the authors state: “Because vaccine components can remain in the body for extended periods of time, chemical reactions caused by these vaccine components may continue to occur later than with other drugs that are excreted or metabolized more quickly.” This statement in its own right would appear to support the belief that vaccines can cause reactions some time after the jab.

Although samples are small in terms of the number of dogs in each breed, it is clear that some breeds have a distinct propensity to heart conditions and additional data would permit us to assess whether or not such heart conditions were affected by vaccination. These breeds are Beagles, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Irish Wolfhounds, and Miniature Poodles.

The first, astounding, finding of our initial survey results showed that, overall, 55% of all illnesses reported by participants occurred within the first three months of vaccination. This has risen to 66% in the second analysis. If the vaccine had no bearing on the illness, you would expect to see no more than 25% occurring within that three month time frame.

This demonstrates that a significant percentage of canine diseases arise in the first quarter following vaccination. Further analysis of the data shows that 41.75% of all illnesses start within 30 days after vaccination; this figure rose to 49% with extra data. This is over five times the expected percentage (if vaccination had no bearing on subsequent illness, you would expect only 8.22% of the dogs to become ill during the 30 days after vaccination.)

The original observation was tested using a standard t-Test which resulted in a t value of 5.39 with alpha at 0.001%. This means that a statistician would be 99.999% confident that vaccines are related to the subsequent illnesses.

In respect of the illnesses occurring seven days after vaccination, the case against vaccination is even more dramatic. The first interim survey results showed that 24.56% of illness occurred within seven days, when statistically it should only be 1.92%. This rose to 29% when more dogs were added to the survey. That is to say, the risk of illness is 12.8 (now 13%) times greater than would be expected if vaccines had nothing to do with the illness. This t-Test gave a t value of 4.69, with alpha at 1%. For the non-statistician, this means that the vaccine/illness connection can be expressed with 99% confidence.

66% of illness occurring during this period compared with a maximum expectation of 25%: almost three times the number of illnesses you would expect if vaccines had no bearing on the outcome.

Specific diseases highlighted by the first interim survey now follow.


2.7% of all dogs surveyed had arthritis. Of these, 71.8% were diagnosed nine months plus after vaccination. Arthritis in humans has been positively linked to vaccines. The fact that the onset of arthritis clusters at the nine month period indicates that vaccine-induced arthritis has a longer incubation period, or takes longer for overt physical symptoms to manifest. At a 95% confidence interval, we believe that arthritis is caused by vaccination.
The New England Journal of Medicine (vol. 313 no 18, 1985), carried a research report entitled ‘Persistent rubella virus infection associated with chronic arthritis in children’.

The report confirms that infection or immunisation with rubella virus has been recognised in producing an acute synovitis (inflammation of the joint) . . . which has been reported to recur in certain persons for months or years after the acute stage’. It is also reported that it is often possible to isolate the virus from affected joints in children, vaccinated against rubella, many months after the vaccination.

Arthritis can be either inflammatory or non-inflammatory. Stratton Vaccines: 97 carries case reports linking tetanus and diphtheria vaccines with arthritis and skin eruptions. The US National Academy of Sciences IOM report concluded that the measles vaccine can cause death from measles-vaccine-strain infection, thrombocytopenia, fatal shock and arthritis. Measles and distemper are, as you know, virtually the same virus. Transient arthritis follows rubella vaccination (Am J Child Dis, 1969), and pain in wrists, hands and knees (JAMA, 1970). One study reported that as many as 26% of children receiving rubella vaccination develop arthritis (Science, 1977). A study by the Institutes of Medicine in America concluded that there was evidence of a causal relationship between the rubella vaccine and acute arthritis in 13-15% of adult women.

In May 2003, a paper was presented by Yasmin Mehraein M.D., Carsten Lennerz, Sandra Ehlhardt, Thorsten Venzke M.D., Andreas Ojak M.D., Klaus Remberger M.D. and Klaus D. Zang M.D., entitled, Detection of Parvovirus B19 Capsid Proteins in Lymphocytic Cells in Synovial Tissue of Autoimmune Chronic Arthritis. They said:

“The pathogenic influence of viral agents in chronic inflammatory joint diseases like rheumatoid arthritis has been discussed for many years. More recently, DNA of several viruses, among them parvovirus B19 (B19), was traceable by PCR analysis in synovial fluid and synovial tissue. Parvovirus B19 capsid protein, indicating a replicative virus infection, was identified by immunohistochemical analysis in 63.4% (n = 40) of arthritic specimens (65%, n = 41, including normal synovial specimen). In detail, B19-positive cells were detected in 89.7% (n = 26) of rheuma cases, 66% (four of six cases) of psoriatic arthritis, 38.5% (n = 10) of nonspecific synovitis, and in one of the two normal synovial specimens.”

As arthritis has been clearly linked to a number of different vaccines, it would be blinkered to discount the possibility that canine vaccines can also cause arthritis in the light of these survey findings.


Where dogs had diarrhoea, 68% of cases occurred within the first three months following vaccination. 4.9% of dogs surveyed had diarrhoea at some stage. This could be a mild anaphylactic reaction. Anaphylactic reactions can be an indication that encephalitis might follow. You will already have seen how encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) has been shown to follow vaccination, even where no overt reaction has occurred. Incidentally, anaphylaxis and anaphylactic shock are not the same thing. Anaphylaxis is a Type 1 hypersensitivity reaction which involves the release of histamine. Anaphylactic shock is an extreme allergic reaction that could result in death. At 99% confidence interval, diarrhoea is highly likely to be vaccine related. The data satisfies the one-tail test but not the two-tail test.


Where dogs had allergies, 55.6% started within the first three months after vaccination. 3.8% of dogs surveyed had allergies. This indicates that vaccines do, indeed, ‘sensitise’ an organism. At 99% confidence, we are certain that allergies are triggered by vaccines.

Of course, Merck has already told us that patients suffering from B and T cell immunodeficiencies should not receive live virus vaccines. Deficiency symptoms include atopic (inherited) diseases such as allergies. Dr Robert Gouch of Baylor University, Houston, Texas reported to the US Public Health Committee in 1982 that a worsening of allergic symptoms occurred in six out of seven people immunised against flu. It wouldn’t take too great a leap of imagination to understand that other vaccines can provoke hypersensitivity reactions and could quite easily invoke or worsen allergic conditions. Frick and Brooks, in 1983, demonstrated that vaccines can trigger atopic dermatitis. As over half the dogs in the CHC survey first became allergic within three months of vaccination, we strongly suggest that further research be conducted to establish the relationship between vaccines and allergic conditions. This research, rather than being based upon experiment, could be simply accomplished if vets or the Veterinary Medicines Directorate took a serious look at patient records.


At 95% confidence, it is very probable that ataxia (muscle incoordination caused by lesions throughout the nervous system) is caused by vaccines, with a high percentage starting within three months of vaccination.

Merck has already told us that encephalitis can extend to the central nervous system, and encephalitis can result in lesions.

Autoimmune disease

54.8% of dogs in the survey developed this condition within the first three months after vaccination. However, there were abnormally low incidences occurring at the six month and nine month intervals, which may be explained by delays in diagnosis. We can now say that AI related diseases, at a 95% confidence interval, are vaccine-related.

Merck acknowledges that autoimmune disease can follow rabies vaccination in which, ‘cross-reaction probably is initiated by animal brain tissue in the vaccine’. As dogs in the UK are not yet subjected to the rabies vaccine, we must either assume (upon the evidence that nearly half of dogs in the survey with autoimmune disease developed it within three months of vaccination) that either other canine vaccines are developed on brain tissue, or that vaccines not cultured on brain tissue can also initiate autoimmune diseases. Merck tells us that details of the autoimmune response are incompletely understood. We do, though, know from other research that autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, Hashimotos thyroiditis, cancer, leukaemia, atopic dermatitis, and other autoimmune diseases are positively associated with vaccination.


Where dogs had colitis, 56.9% occurred within the first three months after vaccination. 2.7% of dogs surveyed had colitis. This finding may help current research seeking to establish the vaccine/colitis/irritable bowel link in humans. At 95% confidence, the survey indicates strongly that colitis is a sequel to vaccination. As colitis and diarrhoea overlap, the case could be considered to be even stronger.

The Concise Oxford Veterinary Dictionary defines colitis as inflammation of the colon and says it is also associated with concurrent enteritis, which it defines as an acute or chronic inflammation of the mucosa of any part of the intestines. Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease which can affect any part of the digestive tract in humans, has been associated with vaccination by Dr Andrew Wakefield of the Royal Free Hospital in London (The Lancet Vol 345, 1995).

Dry eye/conjunctivitis

Where dogs had dry eye or conjunctivitis, 56.9% occurred within the first three months after vaccination. 2.5% of dogs surveyed had this complaint. According to the homoeopathic vet Richard Pitcairn, the vaccine has induced chronic (long lasting) conjunctivitis, rather than distemper-induced conjunctivitis. At 99% confidence, we are certain that dry eye and conjunctivitis can be caused by vaccines. Frick and Brooks’ research highlighting the incidence of atopic dermatitis following vaccination showed that conjunctivitis could also be involved. Conjunctivitis is described as a Type 1 hypersensitivity reaction in the Concise Oxford Veterinary Dictionary.


Where dogs had epilepsy, 65.5% occurred within the first three months following vaccination. 2.1% of the dogs surveyed had epilepsy. Epilepsy is essentially a neurological condition; scientific evidence has already been given to explain that vaccines can cause brain palsy and lesions, leading to epilepsy (this is tied in with encephalitis, admitted by vaccine manufacturers to be a possible effect of vaccination). The surveys allows a 99% certainty that epilepsy can be caused by vaccines, and that the most common cause of epilepsy in dogs is vaccines.

Loss of appetite

Where owners reported a loss of appetite in their dogs, 79.8% were within 3 months after vaccination. 3.4% of dogs surveyed suffered a loss of appetite at some stage. Loss of appetite is vaccine related at 95% confidence.

Nasal discharges

Where dogs showed nasal discharges, 84.1% occurred within 3 months of vaccination. 1.7% of dogs surveyed had nasal discharges. At 99% confidence interval, it is a certainty that nasal discharges are vaccine related. Indeed, as Dr Richard Pitcairn has stated, “a dog with distemper would have watery discharge of eyes and nose; a dog with chronic vaccine-induced distemper would have a tendency for watery fluid to drip from the nose”.

Nervous/worrying disposition

Where dogs exhibited a nervous or worrying disposition, 54.8% began to do so within three months post-vaccination. 2.8% of dogs surveyed suffered from this complaint. This is THE certainty of the survey! It has the highest t-score of any group, i.e., 19.9. Combined with another category – behavioural problems – we can say without a shadow of a doubt that vaccines cause total personality changes in dogs. Of course, we know that encephalitis can be caused by vaccines. This fact is irrefutable.

Skin problems

Where dogs had skin problems, 46.2% started within three months after vaccination. 5.4% of dogs surveyed had skin problems. This, again, supports the contention that vaccines sensitise an organism. Again, with a 99% confidence, we can be certain that vaccines cause skin problems. Research conducted by Frick and Brooks in 1983 illustrates graphically that skin problems can be induced by vaccines.


Where owners reported vomiting in their dogs, 72.5% occurred within 3 months of vaccination. 3% of dogs surveyed were reported to have vomited. This, of course, can be described as an anaphylactic reaction which can develop into encephalitis. Dr JA Morris, a leading US infectious disease expert declared: “We only hear about the encephalitis and the deaths, but there is an entire spectrum between fever and death, and it’s all those things in between that never get reported”. Vomiting after vaccination can be expressed as a vaccine reaction, as a certainty at the 95% confidence interval.

Weight loss

Where owners reported weight loss in their dogs, 63.1% were within three months after vaccination. 2.5% of dogs in the survey had lost weight. At 99% confidence, weight loss is directly connected to vaccination.

The legal firm Dawbarns has been acting on behalf of parents whose children were vaccine damaged. Their fact sheet describes vaccine-induced Crohn’s disease which, it says, ‘can also be accompanied by joint pains and swelling, and conjunctivitis of the eyes. It can take many years to develop, but with children the first symptom is often malabsorption and failure to thrive’.

Behavioural problems

Where owners reported behavioural problems, 55.4% occurred within three months after vaccination. 2.5% of all dogs surveyed had behavioural problems. This, then, supports Dr Harris L Coulter‘s hypothesis that much human violence, sociopathy and criminality is vaccine linked, and has its basis in brain damage caused by vaccines. At a 99% confidence interval, we are now certain that behavioural problems are largely vaccine related.

The law firm Dawbarns says of autistic children (autism is thought to be a range symptoms including brain damage): “Before they were vaccinated they (according to their parents) were developing perfectly normally, passing all milestones and showing none of the classical signs of autism. After being vaccinated they regressed (sometimes only within a few days), losing metal, physical and social skills.” Dawbarns adds, “If a teenager takes Ecstasy and becomes ill or dies, it is IMMEDIATELY concluded that the illness or death was caused by the drug. But if a child becomes ill or dies after vaccination, it is dismissed as mere coincidence.”

Tumour or growth at vaccination site

Where dogs had tumours or growths at vaccination site, 67.9% occurred within three months of vaccination. 1.1% of all dogs surveyed suffered from this occurrence. It is well recorded in the medical/veterinary literature that cancer/tumours can (and do) grow at vaccine sites. With 95% confidence, we are certain that tumours or growths at vaccination sites are caused by the vaccination process itself.

All of the above figures had z alpha scores of greater than 5, and showed a distinct tendency to occur during the first three months after vaccination. This means that there is a link between vaccines and the above illnesses which, in turn, means that the vaccine/illness link is a certainty.

Other diseases

To increase statistical confidence, we need more completed questionnaires to study the patterns of each of the following diseases, although the interim figures do give rise for concern:

Cancer – 31% within 3 months

Chorea – 63.2% within 3 months (note: although we would like more data, the data that we do have indicates at a 99% confidence interval that this disease is vaccine-related. Chorea is, in fact, involuntary jerking of the muscles due to degenerative lesions of nerve cells. It is common in dogs with distemper when the fever has subsided; residual brain damage is revealed as chorea.)

Encephalitis – 75% within 3 months (note: at 95% confidence, it is highly probable that vaccination caused the encephalitis.)

Heart conditions – 26.8% within 3 months (note: even though only 26.8% occurred within the first three months after vaccination, we can say that, from the statistical evidence, it is very likely that heart conditions can be caused by vaccination. More data would help us resolve this.)

Kidney damage – 40.5% within three months (note: we are only 90% confident that it is probable that kidney damage follows vaccination.)

Lameness – 52% within three months (note: statistically, it is a 99% certainty that lameness can be caused by vaccination.)

Liver damage – 47% within three months (note: we are 90% certain that, statistically, liver damage can follow vaccination)

Paralysis of rear end – 64.7% within three months (it is very likely – at 95% confidence interval – that this condition is caused by vaccines)

Pancreas problems – 31.6% within three months (note: these are likely to be related to vaccines at a 90% confidence interval)

Short attention span – 68.4% within three months (note: we would like more data concerning dogs with this problem, although we can say that, even with the limited data, we are 99% confident that this is vaccine related)

Dogs contracting the diseases they were vaccinated against:

Hepatitis – 63.6% occurred within three months of vaccination

Parainfluenza – 50% occurred within three months of vaccination (note: it is highly probable that parainfluenza can be caused by vaccines, at 95% confidence interval)

Parvovirus – 68.2% occurred within three months of vaccination (note: at 95% confidence, this satisfies the one-tail test but not the two-tail. More data would allow us to prove whether vaccines cause the disease they are designed to prevent, in this case parvovirus)

Distemper – 55.6% occurred within three months of vaccination

Leptospirosis – 100% of dogs contracted leptospirosis within three months of vaccination (note: according to the data we have, leptospirosis is related to vaccination at a 90% confidence interval.)

With the exception of distemper and leptospirosis, where not enough dogs with the disease were recorded, all of the above satisfy a z alpha score of more than three. This means that we are 99.53% certain that there is a strong causal link between vaccination and the onset of the diseases. MLV vaccines are capable of spreading disease.

In all cases, at least half of the dogs with each of the viral diseases contracted them within three months of vaccination. This supports the view that vaccines either don’t protect, or can cause the disease itself.

Probability of vaccine reaction

In reality, we can be reasonably sure that the probability of a vaccine related illness is vastly under reported/admitted by manufacturers and authorities such as the Veterinary Medicines Directorate. It demonstrates clearly the need for a proper system of verification and compliance regarding the use of vaccines and other manufactured medicines.

Looking at the reactions/illnesses reported after vaccination in the survey, we have a probability of .7990868. In view of some of the above statistics, it is not unreasonable to conclude that the probability of a vaccine-related disease occurring is in the order of 1% (i.e., one in a hundred).

Age and illness

It is commonly believed that, as a dog gets older, the incidence of illness will increase. This has not been our personal experience, and the vaccine survey does not support this view, either.

The data we have relates to dogs ranging from a few weeks old to over 19 years of age. The conclusion from this survey is that a dog can become ill at any age – there was no statistical bias between the incidence of illness and the ages of the dogs covered in the survey.

Neither was there a correlation between the number of illnesses per dog and their respective ages. This suggests that vaccine reactions may not simply be a hereditary/genetic problem, as is often suggested by vaccine manufacturers, but more related to environmental factors. It might also support the statement by Dr Ronald D Schultz, that these reactions are a result of “the accumulation of many antigens over many years. I believe that adverse effects are increasing because we are putting more and more components into these animals.”


The majority of respondents were UK residents (England, Scotland and Wales). The remaining respondents were from the USA, Canada, New Zealand and the Channel Islands. After analysing the two batches of combined data we can rule out environmental factors having any relevance to illnesses in dogs.

Dogs who were never vaccinated

Only a small number of dogs in the survey had never been vaccinated. We need more data about unvaccinated dogs, including dogs protected exclusively with homoeopathic nosodes, before conclusions can be drawn. So if you have an unvaccinated dog, please contact us for a questionnaire. It will take you only ten minutes to complete.

Dog ownership

A person who has kept dogs for many years is just as likely to experience illness in their dogs as a person who has had a dog for a short time, indicating that experienced husbandry has little bearing on the rate of illness (probably IF the owner is still vaccinating and feeding processed food).

Type of vaccine used

Based on combined survey data, we checked to see if it might be better to give annual boosters, or to give a puppy its initial course of vaccines and none thereafter. The risk of vaccine reaction appears to be the same irrespective of regime – initial only or annual vaccination. Nor do killed vaccines appear to be any safer than modified live vaccines.

Additional Analysis
Based on the data gained after publication of the first edition of this book, we compared the profile of the second batch of data with the first. The objective was to ascertain whether or not we had received any different data that would invalidate previous conclusions. The second batch of data was a very close match to the first batch and statistically it can be concluded that the first and second batches of data are identical as to content.

Consolidating the two batches of data together allowed some more detailed levels of investigation. Significantly, the rankings of different diseases and ailments following vaccination did not change materially compared with the previous analysis.

In order of most significance, the following diseases occurred within three months of vaccination. Where we have large Chi scores, this tends to reflect that the disease was reported in large numbers of dogs in the survey, highlighting the fact that more dogs to study = more valid conclusions:

Ataxia – 91% occurred within three months of vaccination. This can be caused by lesions throughout the central nervous system (Concise Oxford Veterinary Dictionary). The previous analysis showed that, with a 95% confidence, Ataxia was caused by vaccines. Additional data allows us to attribute a Chi score of 29 and, as stated previously, a Chi score of 13 gives a 99% confidence. On which basis, without any hesitation whatsoever, we say that the most common cause of Ataxia is vaccination.

Nasal discharges – 87% occurred within three months of vaccination.
Previous analysis was 84%. The Chi score is now 125.

Loss of appetite – 83% occurred within three months of vaccination. Previous analysis was 79.8%. The Chi score is now 213.

Tumour or growth at vaccine site – this has climbed from 67.9% to 81.1%. There is a Chi score of 62.

Chorea – this has climbed from 63.2% and is now 81%. Chi score is 36.

Vomiting – climbed from 72.5% and is now 79.7% with a Chi score of 190.
Encephalitis occurring within three months of vaccination has risen from 75% to 78.6%. The Chi score for this is 22. It’s interesting that this is a known and acknowledged vaccine reaction, and our survey shows well above a 99% certainty that it’s vaccine related – but some other diseases which are not acknowledge as vaccine reactions show even higher Chi scores.

Diarrhoea – first interim results showed that 68% of the dogs in the survey with diarrhoea developed it within three months of vaccination. This has now risen to 78.4%. The Chi score is 290. Thus it is absolutely certain (not surprisingly) that vaccines can induce diarrhoea. Not too much of a problem if underlying encephalitis isn’t involved.

Hepatitis – initially 63.6% and now risen to 75%. Chi score is 17, i.e., 99.5% confidence that hepatitis was caused by vaccines in the dogs in our survey.

Short attention span – was 68.4% and now risen to 73.1%. The Chi score is 34. Again, this offers extremely strong proof (99.9% certainty) that dogs with short attention spans are vaccine damaged.

Epilepsy/fits/convulsions – 65.5% of dogs in the first interim analysis developed epilepsy within three months of vaccination. This has now risen to 73.1%, with a Chi score of 96. We would say that the majority of dogs in our survey with epilepsy are vaccine damaged.

Nervous, worrying disposition – this was the certainty in the previous survey, with 54.8% developing the condition within three months of vaccination, bringing a t score of 19.9. The percentage has now risen to 72.5% and a Chi score of 112. Yet another cast iron example of vaccine-induced brain damage.

Weight loss – was 63.1% and has grown to 70.3% developing within three months of vaccination; with a Chi score of 101.

Dry eye/conjunctivitis – was 56.9%, now risen to 70.2% with a Chi score of 95. Again, this is a vaccine-induced condition.

Paralysis of rear end – was 64.7%, now risen to 69.2% with Chi score of 28.

Allergies – was 55.6%, and has now risen to 69.2% with a Chi score of 136. Allergies are caused or worsened by vaccines with a certainty above 99.9%
Parvovirus – in the previous analysis 68.2% of dogs with this disease developed it within three months of vaccination. This has now risen to 69%, giving a Chi score of 33. We were only able to say with a 95% confidence in the first analysis that parvovirus can be vaccine-induced. We are now able to say with a 99.9% certainty that it can (was).

Lameness – was 52%, now 66.7% with a Chi score 66. A vet was reported in the UK media during 1998, saying that we shouldn’t allow our dogs upstairs as this is the cause of lameness!

Distemper – was 55.6%, now risen to 66.7%, with a Chi score of 12. Despite scientific research which shows that distemper can be vaccine induced, we can only give you a 95% confidence level of this fact.

Colitis – was 54.8%, now 65.9% with a Chi score of 79. Obviously, colitis can be vaccine induced. Vets: please check your practice records.

Behavioural problems – 55.4% of dogs in the first analysis developed behavioural problems within three months of vaccination. This has risen to 64.9% with a Chi score of 80. This gives a 99.9% certainty that the dogs with behavioural problems in our survey were brain damaged by vaccines.

Liver damage/failure – the number of dogs in the survey with liver damage/failure within three months of vaccination rose from 47% to 61.5%, with a Chi score of 29. Previously, we were only able to offer a 90% confidence that liver damage and/or failure was vaccine-induced. It is now 99.9% certain that liver damage/failure is a vaccine-induced condition.

Skin problems – 46.2% of dogs in the first analysis developed skin problems within three months of vaccination. This has risen to 61.2% of dogs, with a Chi of 130. A certainty at 99.99%.

Autoimmune disease – was 54.8%, now risen to 55.8% with a Chi of 26. As it is acknowledged by Merck that vaccines can initiate autoimmune disease, all we can do is confirm the experts’ opinion.

Parainfluenza – 50% of dogs with parainfluenza within the first analysis had been vaccinated against it within three months of getting it. This has now risen to 55.7% with a Chi score of 39. In the previous analysis we could only offer a 95% confidence that the parainfluenza vaccine could cause the disease. Now we are 99.9% certain.

Pancreas problems – was 31.6% and is now 54.2%, with a Chi score of 13, i.e., a 99% confidence that vaccines can induce pancreas problems.

Kidney damage – was 40.5% and has risen to 53.7%, with a Chi score of 20. Again, if you don’t want your dog to develop kidney damage, steer clear of vaccines.

There were only small numbers of dogs with leukaemia, asthma and meningitis in the survey and although around 50% of the dogs with these diseases contracted them within three months of a vaccine event, because of the small numbers involved, we can only give low Chi scores.

Heart condition – 26.8% of dogs with a heart condition first developed the condition within three months of vaccination. This has risen to 39.2% with a Chi score of 12, offering a 95% certainty that vaccines can induce this condition.

Arthritis – the original analysis revealed that 71.8% of dogs with arthritis developed it within the third quarter after vaccination. Further data reveals that 37.8% got it within the first three months after vaccination, and only 21% in the third quarter. Our Chi score is still 13, giving a 99% confidence that arthritis in dogs in our survey is vaccine induced. It is interesting to note that the New England Journal of Medicine (vol 313, 1985), reported that it is often possible to isolate the rubella virus from affected joints in children vaccinated against rubella, many months after vaccination. The report tells of isolation of viruses from the peripheral blood of women with prolonged arthritis which followed vaccination. As, statistically, our survey indicates a strong vaccine-arthritis association, we feel that further research should be carried out. It could be that many viruses can stimulate arthritis and, particularly, the immune mechanisms following vaccination with a live virus vaccine.

Cancer – 31% of dogs in the first analysis with cancer developed it within three months of vaccination. This has risen to 35.1%, with a Chi score of 15. This raises serious alarm. Indeed, we urge that those with the ability should look seriously at the vaccine link in relation to cancer. More research – looking at the onset of disease in relation to a vaccine event – could benefit animals and man.

Genetic Pre-Disposition, or Vaccine Damage?
Although I have never bred a dog, I have always intuitively doubted the assertion that most illnesses in dogs can be attributed to irresponsible or faulty breeding practices. We have sufficient data from a number of breeds to say that the genetic issue is a red herring without justification. We had sufficient data to look specifically at a number of breeds, and found that Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Shar-Peis, Border Collies, Boxers, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels all showed a high incidence of illness in the first three months following vaccination. Mathematically speaking, the propensity to illness within these breeds is the same.

The myth has told us that Border Collies, bred predominantly as workers, were hardier than other breeds, and that Shar-Peis hadn’t been westernised for long enough to suffer from irresponsible breeding. German Shepherds and Goldens, on the other hand, are said to be genetically compromised as they are so popular and therefore over-bred. Or maybe, on the other hand, all these breeds are genetically defective . . . . in which case, maybe all dogs are genetically defective and vaccination should not – as indicated by Merck – take place.

When your friend passes to the Great Mystery


Daniel O’Driscoll: Laughter Dog

In 2009, my friend Daniel died. I absolutely hate death. It’s the one thing in this world that we are ultimately powerless to defeat. Death is the ultimate slap in the face; a reminder that we are not God, and that we are essentially limited.

Normally when one of my dogs has died, I have sat down at the computer and written about them so that I can connect with them, remember them, and celebrate their life. It seems to me that, when faced with any form of destruction or loss, the only way out is through creativity.

But I couldn’t sit down and write about Dannie. I couldn’t even speak about him. I didn’t want to let anyone into the dark sanctuary of grief we shared together. I would have done anything in my power, and I did do everything in my power, to stop my little Dan from dying. So whilst I could not make Dannie live, I was unable and unwilling to let him go. If I did not speak about him out loud, or allow anyone inside, I could hold him within me for ever.

I have difficulty getting my head around the fact that one day your beloved is there, and the next day he’s not, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Even though dogs can’t verbalise what they think, their minds and their bodies can surely communicate with us; their presence is very real. And I find it astounding and disturbing that a person should simply cease to exist.

For weeks after Dannie died, I was distressed when I walked into a room and he wasn’t there. I resented very much that he was no longer with me, no longer cracking jokes and acting the clown; no longer smiling at me and giving me beautiful butterfly kisses; no longer stalking us in the Highlands, staying close enough to know where we were, but far enough away to revel in the freedom of the hills. I wanted to see his tail on the skyline again. I wanted him to be here now, picking up his enormous teddy bear and dancing down the hall, looking so adorable that my heart nearly burst.

I was so cross about Dannie’s death. It’s really unfair that we are rewarded for loving someone by having them taken away.

Two weeks after Dannie died, his ashes were ready for us to collect from the vets, so Rob and I walked up the hill behind our house, onto the moors, and set Dannie free. We scattered his ashes to the four winds, and remembered him running free, hunting for rabbits, his muscles rippling and his mind focused. And in setting Daniel free, the dark clouds lifted, and the light came back into my body and my heart.

And I was free to remember the happiness of Daniel O’Driscoll, Laughter Dog, Shimmering, Sparkling, Joy-filled Master Dog.

I am so very, very thankful that Dannie came into my life. I have given over wailing at God, and gratitude has taken its place. When I look back over the years, I see pictures of Dan the Man as a puppy – so adorable and huggable. He smelt so good. I can see him growing into a young man, thinking it hilarious when the cows below our garden ran away every time he crept up and barked at them through the fence. I see him watching Edward intently, wanting Edward’s bone and Edward’s toy, distracting him so he could run in and pinch the treasured prize. Then I see him prancing like a pony with the treasure in his mouth.

I see Dannie lying under the sheet – he loved me to cover his head and poke him through the cloth. I see him rolling in the fields, and rolling even harder if I joined in and laughed. I remember he was hopeless at catching balls or titbits. He tried, really he did – but he must have been at the end of the line when the coordination was handed out. He was a canine Bennie Hill, tongue lolling out for his comedy catching showcase. He was also useless at hunting. He tried so much harder than Edward – but whereas rabbits seemed to leap into Edward’s mouth without him even trying, Dannie would hunt with total attention and rarely managed to catch a thing.

In life, I know that Daniel was ever mindful of me. I absolutely know he loved me, and he knew I loved him. Dogs are like that, aren’t they? If you take a dog into your heart, he’s always on your side, forever rooting for you. Dogs want the best for their humans, they really do. Daniel’s life mission was to make me laugh, and it was my job to repay him by laughing heartily at every joke he cracked. The more I would laugh, the more he would do what I was laughing at; and the more he would shimmer and shine and sparkle and do it all again.

Oh Dannie. Thank you so much.

Another part of Daniel’s personality lay in his vulnerability. Daniel made my heart ache with maternal love. I wanted to protect him and cosset him and put his complex mind at ease. Like all legendary comedians, Dannie was very vulnerable. His need to make his loved-ones laugh came from a deep place of worry and concern. The thing is, if all was not calm and well in our world, Dannie felt the need to turn things around. It hurt him if Rob or I were feeling unhappy – it hurt him very deeply. He would take on his loved-ones’ pain and carry it for them, whilst at the same time trying to cheer everyone up. Dogs do this, don’t they.

The death of a loved-one certainly puts life into perspective. One woman said to me when her dog died, “It made me realise that life can be so painful, and it makes me shrink away from causing hurt to anyone again”. This is exactly what happened to me when Oliver died when he was four years old. Knowing what real pain felt like, I vowed to never willingly cause pain to another living being.

Since then, I’ve noticed that this vow is not so easy to keep. The Buddha refused to walk on grass – he didn’t want to kill insects accidentally. And it seems to me that even though we try to be kind, we often harm others by accident. We say things without thinking, without understanding the effect of our words, or we don’t think to say or do something that could mean so much to someone in pain.

I have a fridge magnet that says, “Dear Lord, help me to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am”, but I have it on good authority that our dogs know that we are already the lovely people they think we are. They’re just waiting for us to feel worthy of the love they give us. They want us to stop beating ourselves up and accept ourselves as the imperfect beings that every human must be.

I personally believe that the spirit can never die, that the essence of who we are simply discards its worn-out body and moves on to the next adventure, passing through a place of profound peace, and meeting up with others who have gone before. I know that my little Dan Man is with Chappie, Sophie, Prudence, Oliver, Samson and dear, sweet, Gwinnie. I also know that Dannie’s essence will always be with me and Rob. My faith is lashed very tightly to the flag of hope – that we will all meet our loved-ones again one day.

Scientists have studied the grief process, and they know that our grief goes through stages. Initially, we may feel detached, calm, shocked, dazed and/or unresponsive. The second stage of grief involves despair, intense anguish and psychological pain. Emotions can include anger, guilt and self-reproach, anxiety, loneliness, fatigue, helplessness, shock and yearning. Tears also play a big part. Physical sensations range from headaches and chest pains to breathlessness and lack of energy. For me personally, grief always seems to involve agonising shoulder pain.

Research also shows that it’s necessary to work through the pain of grief. It is, according to the experts, healthy and natural, and even necessary, to experience pain when you lose someone you love. We’re not supposed to bottle our grief up, our bodies will not let us. Our bodies will remind us that we need to go through the process of grief, accept and allow our tears, before the physical aches will go away. We can’t turn our backs on grief – we have to face it full on.

The third phase of grief – of recovery – is when we begin to find acceptance, and are then free to move on and give our love to others. I personally believe that this takes time. Even though Rob and I have allowed ourselves to cry, and to talk about sweet Dan, and also Gwinnie who passed over in July, it may take months or even a few years, before all traces of grief are gone. We may never be entirely free of it. You know the deal: you’re minding your own business and then someone says something, or something happens, and you’re engulfed in grief again. But it does soften over time, I know this from experience.

So here I am, at the end of this article, having written about Daniel – and he is still not here.

Except, when I wrote: “I was free to remember the happiness of Daniel O’Driscoll, Laughter Dog, Shimmering, Sparkling, Joy-filled Master Dog”, Daniel was actually here with me in the room, over the moon at the description I had found for him. He was so happy and excited, just as he used to be in life, that he lit up every cell in my body. Have you ever had that feeling, when you’re so full of joy and spirit is close, that your whole body tingles? Some people describe it as the hairs standing up on the back of their necks.

Well, some people would call me mad or deluded for saying that, and some people will even find a reason to be enraged. We all see the world as we see it, and not necessarily how it is. But I do know, through the life and death of my beloved friends, that acceptance is something we must all seek and embrace. Acceptance of life, acceptance of death, and acceptance of the trillion thoughts, feelings and happenings in between. And acceptance of each other.

We should have a fridge magnet that says, “Dear Lord, please make me the kind of person my dog is.”

If you hear this, and it makes you want to get in your car and go to a place called Acceptance, I am glad. The world needs us to be kind to ourselves and one-another, and acceptance will certainly take us there.

Isn’t it interesting that our dogs never seem to judge us, and that the King of Love also asked us not to judge one-another? And isn’t it interesting that death and loss offer us the ultimate lesson in acceptance of what is? Kahlil Gibran wrote:

When love beckons to you, follow him,
though his ways are hard and steep . . .
For even as love crowns you so shall
he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth
so is he for your pruning . . .
And think not you can direct the course
of love; for love, if it finds you worthy,
directs your course . . .

And so I thank our Dannie for the love he gave and received, and for the knowledge that our love has deepened and intensified across the veil of death. Daniel is no longer on the outside of me, wagging his tail. He is inside me, in my heart, where he will always stay.

* My husband Rob creates his way out of life’s pain, and finds acceptance, through producing music. Some of his songs can be found on this link – The track entitled ‘Tail on the Skyline’ is Dannie’s song, and ‘My Friend’ is written and performed in honour of our dear precious Gwinnie. Perhaps you would like to hear these songs of love.

New Kennel Guidelines

vaccine dog

Guidance Notes for Pet and Kennel Owners on the CIEH (Chartered Institute for Environmental Health)  Model Licence Conditions and Guidance for Dog Boarding Establishments 2016 (hereafter stated as the ‘MLCs’)

 Introduction/Background Notes from the Pet Welfare Alliance

 This is not intended to comment on the whole of the MLCs, but seeks to clarify and make public the relevant issues with regard to regulations of the boarding of dogs in England.

 Even though the Pet Welfare Alliance (the ‘PWA’) made a  submission to the CIEH prior to their consultation that raised issues and provided  valid suggestions (together with full scientific support for those findings), the  consultation excluded any direct input outside of its members. Members of the  consultation group were kept secret until the publication of the MLCs.

 As at the time of this publication, the CIEH has no mandatory legal power with regard to any licensing authority or boarding establishment. However, certain local authorities choose to follow the CIEH model (and many do not).

Kennel owners  should contact their own local authority if they are in any doubt as to regulations that  apply to them and indeed, whether they follow the CIEH model or not.

 We would encourage pet owners to contact their local authority direct on these  matters if they are unsure about their local kennel regulations, as some kennels may  not have been made aware of any changes to policy to a sufficient level or  understanding (from the authorities). And again, whether they follow the CIEH model  or not.

The CIEH MLCs do not apply to Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. Although they state that Wales and Northern Ireland may wish to use them as part of their own regulations. But they are under no obligation to do so.

We believe that the CIEH are currently looking at the subject of MLCs for home boarding/pet sitting etc. It is likely that the same (or extremely similar) conditions will be set.

What the MLCs mean:

The MLCs state: “No liability rests with contributing bodies for the  circumstances arising out of the application of conditions contained within the  document. The contents of this document will be kept under regular review to  ensure that it remains relevant and accurate.”

This is a disclaimer and an insult to pet and kennel owners. It seems that policy  makers are happy to make the rules but take no responsibility for any outcome.  No details are given regarding ‘regular review’ and we question whether this is of a  competent nature due to the complexities of, and time to produce (two years), the  updated MLCs in the first place.

The MLCs state they are in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Some of the regulations may lead to placing boarding establishments in contravention  of those acts. It is an offence under the Act to cause harm or suffering, which may  arise due to unnecessary over-vaccination as promoted in the MLCs.

 If an animal is already immune to a viral disease, or a particular vaccine is associated with severe adverse reactions and under investigation with the European Medicines Control Agency, as is the case with MSD’s Lepto 4 vaccine, then an animal may be made to suffer as a result of enforced administration of that vaccine.

The MLCs state all dogs boarded at the establishment should wear a collar and tag identifying the name and telephone number of the owner, or have the collar and tag secured immediately outside the kennel unit.

 This would appear to be negligent to state it should only have the owner’s details, when, if the dog is lost (for the vast majority of dogs being boarded) the owners will not be at home when their dog is in kennels. Microchips, even when a dog is scanned (which they are often not), will also not prove of any use if the owner is away for any length of time. It should be recommended that kennels provide a separate tag with the kennel’s details on.

The MLCs state: Under The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 all dogs over the age of 8 weeks in England must be fitted with a microchip, unless a veterinary surgeon has certified (on an approved form) that a dog should not be microchipped for reasons of the animals health.

It is not an offence to not microchip your dog. The law states that microchipping applies to dogs over 8 weeks of age, and those being transferred to another owner. Any owner with a dog who hasn’t been microchipped is not under any obligation to do so unless ownership of the dog is transferred to another person/party. Pet owners or kennels are under no obligation to insist on dogs being microchipped.

Regulation 3 of the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 state: from April 6, 2016 all dogs older than eight weeks of age, which are not certified working dogs or subject of a veterinary health exemption, must be microchipped.

“Despite the heading of regulation 3 being “Obligation to microchip dogs”, which is reinforced at 3(1) “every keeper… must ensure that it is microchipped”, and again at regulation 8(1) “the new keeper must… record their full name and address”, the regulations do not make failure to do so an offence.

“However, what is an offence, under regulation 8(2) is the transfer of a dog that is not microchipped to a new keeper.

“The explanatory notes accompanying the regulations make it clear a new keeper who fails to comply with regulation 8(1), in accordance with regulation 3 would result in the keeper being subject to an enforcement action by an authorised person.

“Regulation 11 lists authorised persons, but, in practical terms, it means a police officer or a dog warden. An authorised person may, if required, serve a notice under regulation 12(a) on a keeper requiring a dog is microchipped within 21 days. Failure to comply with this notice would constitute an offence. The “may” and “if required” of regulation 12(a) confirm it is a discretionary power.

“The legislator’s intentions are clear. The purpose of the regulations is to control and monitor the breeding of puppies and to have a mechanism in place to monitor dogs that have, for one or more reasons, been brought to the attention of the authorities.

“The regulations have not been drafted to make life difficult for the majority of responsible owners who fully intend to look after their dogs and attend to their lifelong welfare needs.”

So the bottom line appears to be that you don’t HAVE to microchip your dogs unless you are involved in the transfer of ownership of a dog. But if a dog warden or police officer serves you with a notice to do it (for example, if your dog gets lost and found), then you’ll get fined if you don’t do as you’re told.

The MLCs state: kennels should understand the potential consequences of dogs that have not been adequately vaccinated in terms of the risk to those particular dogs, other dogs and their own insurance.

Under the Animal Welfare Act, kennels and pet owners should also understand the potential consequences of harmful unnecessary and/or over vaccination, since vaccines are not without harm and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association has called to the end of unnecessary vaccination due to that potential harm. It is the pet owner and kennel’s responsibility to avoid over-vaccination.

With regard to insurance, it is a common misconception that policies are invalid if dogs are not vaccinated. Firstly, pet and kennel owners should clarify this with their insurers. It is advisable to ask specific questions in that regard, and state that your kennel licensing allows dogs to be boarded if:

a) a certificate is provided by a vet to show a titer test is valid
b) a letter by a vet is provided to show a vaccine is contraindicated

Another misconception is that insurers still insist on annual vaccination. Again, this needs to be clarified with the insurer, and where three year vaccines have been given, that insurers are aware that these are licensed for that period and giving annual vaccines would not provide any further benefit, but may cause harm.

If your insurance (pet or kennel) does not accept points a) and b) above under their policy, the plain and simple advice is to change insurer (and tell your current insurer, politely, that you are doing so and why).

Pet owners can find suitable policies at insurers such as or

For kennel owners:

Cliverton Insurance (who are underwritten by Amlin UK) state:

“As long as kennels/catteries comply with their local authority licensing conditions, then it is up to the individual establishment regarding vaccine policy”.

So, the first thing for any boarding establishment is to check with your insurer – do they offer the same cover as Amlin? If you are not getting that cover then switch to Amlin UK, either through your own broker or by contacting Cliverton Insurance on 01328 857921. Other insurers may also offer the same benefits.

The MLCs state: Vaccination against kennel cough (infectious tracheobronchitis) should be recommended.

Vaccination against kennel cough is not mandatory and does not contravene licensing
conditions if not administered.

The MLCs state: There must be a documented policy for dogs coming to the kennels having protection against appropriate diseases (Occasionally there will be veterinary advice on a specific dog regarding vaccination and its health status and this should be taken into account).

If vaccination is contraindicated as per veterinary advice as stated, then admittance can still be allowed without demanding vaccination if veterinary advice supports this.

A certificate of a titer test is an accepted document as proof of protection (see below).

The MLCs state: An up-to-date veterinary vaccination record must be seen to ensure that dogs boarded have current vaccinations against canine parvovirus, canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis (adenovirus) and, leptospirosis. The date of the most recent vaccination must be
recorded preferably with a valid until date.

Certification from a veterinary surgeon of a recent protective titre test may be accepted in individual cases as evidence of protection against adenovirus, distemper and parvovirus. The certificate must state that it is valid for the period of stay at the kennels. It is the decision of the kennel proprietor whether to accept such a certificate.

Viral Disease

As per the WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association), current vaccination for the viral diseases (Parvovirus, Distemper. Hepatitis/Adenovirus) should be no more often than every three years. They also state that immunity against those diseases may be for years of the lifetime of the animal.

Titer testing should always be the first choice, as immunity lasts for years or life. To blindly re-vaccinate at any interval puts your dog at risk, but will not provide any benefit if he is already immune.

To do so is in contravention of the Animal Welfare Act – simply because this act aims to reduce suffering.


There has been no change in policy from the previous MLCs (1995).

Leptospirosis is a range of over 200 bacterins, most of which are not carried in the vaccine. Long lasting immunity cannot be acquired with this vaccine and, there is no evidence to support mandatory use in the UK, although vaccine manufacturers have tried very hard to build such a case. Official documents state quite clearly that leptospirosis is rare in the UK, and since the leptospirosis vaccine is specifically mentioned by world experts sitting on the WSAVA VGG as one that carries highest risk, it is arguable that the vaccine represents more of a risk than the disease itself.

The WSAVA states that this is a non-core vaccine and should only be used where there is a real and significant risk. Claims that Leptospirosis is endemic in the UK have no validity or evidence to substantiate that claim. There are safety issues with this vaccine (also highlighted at EU level):

To make a vaccine that is under surveillance mandatory is in direct contravention of the Animal Welfare Act as it encourages harmful unnecessary and over-vaccination to needlessly  continue/occur. Nonetheless, this vaccine has been stated as mandatory by the CIEH unless veterinary advice dictates otherwise.

Pet owners should provide veterinary advice that administration of the Leptospirosis vaccine is contraindicated. This evidence may take the form of a letter from their vet stating that their dog should not receive the Leptospirosis vaccine as their dog is not in good health, in accordance with the vaccine data sheet (should not be administered to unhealthy animals). It would also be advisable to state that the dog is free of any disease (including Leptospirosis) and therefore would pose no risk to others.

The only other option if you need to board your dog, is for the letter from your vet to state that it is of their qualified opinion as a vet that under the Animal Welfare Act it would be potentially harmful to administer the Leptospirosis vaccine but with no potential benefit. Either way, you would need a vet onside who would agree to do so.

Of course there is an easier way – go to a kennels that doesn’t follow the CIEH model and doesn’t contravene the Animal Welfare Act by over vaccinating.

Titer Testing

Titer testing is now accepted as valid proof that vaccination is not required against the viral diseases (parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis/adenovirus). Many vets in the UK now have the VacciCheck in-house titer (blood) test kits that provide results while you wait. Prices vary depending on the vet, and range from £30.00 to £60.00. Details about the VacciCheck and participating vets can be found on the PWA website at:

Despite the PWA providing evidence and suggested protocols on length requirements for titer testing certificates prior to the MLCs consultation, this was again ignored and no guidance is provided. However, it would make perfect sense for titer testing to be in line with current vaccination protocols – and therefore ‘should be no more often than every three years’, although likely suitable for years or the lifetime of the animal.

Bottom line – ensure you get a certificate from your vet that states it is valid to cover the period of boarding. If you intend to board on a regular basis (even once a year for holidays), then it would be advisable that you talk to your vet to establish the length of validity with a view to the ‘no more often than every years’ protocol. If your vet is in agreement with the WSAVA protocol they may even put ‘valid for life’ on the certificate. The minimum valid to date should be no sooner than three years after the date of the last vaccine.

The decision to admit a dog on this basis is stated as being down to the kennel owners. The fact that the British Small Animal Veterinary Association, British Veterinary Association, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, Dogs Trust, Pet Industry Federation (formerly Pet Care Trust), RSPCA, The Kennel Club, and others, have stated that titer testing is a valid form of proof of immunity without the need to vaccinate is proof enough that this should be accepted by all kennels.

The option to titer test should not be capable of being vetoed by kennel owners. The science is clear: titer tests are a reliable measure of immunity, which is why the CIEH committee has accepted titer testing as an option.

We encourage all pet owners to find another kennel if their first choice kennel does not accept titer testing as proof of protection.

The MLCs state: Primary vaccination courses must be completed at least 2 weeks before boarding.
Since kennel cough vaccine causes ‘mild’ kennel cough which can be infective, this needs to be at least four weeks. Clarification on vaccine requirements are again nonexistent in the MLCs. They do not state:

1. Once immune to viral disease, then immune for years or life.
2. Titer testing is a valid alternative to blind re-vaccination.
3. Any ‘primary’ ‘course’ should not be administered where a dog may
already be immune. This would not provide any benefit, but may cause

The MLCs state: Homoeopathic vaccination is not acceptable as it will not protect against infectious diseases.

Firstly of course there is no such thing as ‘homeopathic vaccination’ – homeopathy and vaccination are two entirely different things. The scientific community calls for ‘evidence based medicine’ and refutes homeopathy, yet still adopts unscientific vaccine protocols without evidence. This is double standards and hypocrisy.

However, if a dog is protected by homeopathic means, then that is the choice of the owner. If that dog is titer tested to prove immunity then it is admissible to the kennels. The question of homeopathy is irrelevant in that case.

The fact that homeopathy does not work in the same way as vaccines, in theory, a titer test would not be a useful test for homeopathically protected animals. However, your dog may already be immune regardless, either from a previous vaccine, or have achieved acquired immunity through the environment. So a titer test should always be sought to avoid potentially harmful vaccination where it isn’t even needed or of benefit.

Dogs treated homeopathically and without positive titers, will not be admissible to the kennels. This then falls upon the same reasoning and requires vet backing as with the Leptospirosis vaccine, or of course, finding a kennel that doesn’t follow the CIEH model, but who does accept homeopathic protection.

The MLCs state: In emergency cases, such as admission of unvaccinated dogs because of owner hospitalisation, there must be provision to be able to place these animals in isolation.

It is well documented that titer testing is a useful tool in kennels (and has been used in rescue organisations) to determine the immune status of a dog prior to boarding. The VacciCheck titer test can be used to get results in around 25 minutes, on site (ie. the test is performed there and then and the blood sample does not have to be sent away for analysis). For kennels which experience these situations it would be advisable to have a vet who offers this service.

We repeat – to over vaccinate, or to demand unnecessary vaccination, is to put that animal at risk of ill-health or death, and with no benefit. This is in contravention of the Animal Welfare Act.

The MLCs warn of zoonotic disease. They are basically referring to Leptospirosis. Whereas this is common sense with regard to hygiene, what it fails to state is that the recorded cases of Leptospirosis being spread from animal to human is minimal and in those few cases refers mainly to farm workers. It gives the impression that kennels are a hot bed of disease and threat to human health – this is not the case and there is no evidence to support this.

A far greater threat to humans is the kennel cough vaccine (see below).

The MLCs state in various areas that vaccination is a requirement prior to boarding. This is a misleading statement.

Vaccination is NOT a requirement prior to boarding as per sections E5.1 and E5.2 of the MLCs, as already covered in these guidance notes above. Rather, evidence of immunity is a requirement, which is why titer testing has been given as an option.

It is worth noting that the WSAVA VGG advises that puppies should be vaccinated at 14-16 weeks of age, by which time maternal immunity will probably have waned to allow the successful immunisation of puppies and kittens. Puppies vaccinated before this age, despite vaccination certificates, may still be unprotected.

  • Regarding Leptospirosis the MLCs state: vaccination does not always prevent the shedding of the leptospires (infectious agents) from the urine.

So the Leptospirosis vaccine does not only have safety issues, and no evidence exists of its need as part of a mass vaccination protocol, but (as we already knew) they admit that it also may not work! How this vaccine is said to be needed as mandatory beggars belief. Totally against the Animal Welfare Act. We would urge all pet owners and kennel owners to seriously consider any use of the Leptospirosis vaccine and follow the options (as previously stated) to avoid this wherever possible.

  • The MLCs recommend the use of the Kennel Cough vaccine.

Vaccination against Kennel Cough is not mandatory. The WSAVA states that kennel cough is not a vaccinatable disease. Unnecessary and over use of vaccines that may cause harm is a contravention of the Animal Welfare Act.

The MLCs discuss the issue around zoonotic diseases but fail to point out that the kennel cough vaccine itself may cause whooping cough like symptoms in susceptible humans:

It should also be noted that Bordetella bronchiseptica is closely related to Bordetella pertussis (whooping cough). The B. bronchiseptica vaccine is known to shed for up to four weeks post-administration (see the datasheets), and this shedding can pose a risk to immunocompromised humans (see datasheets). In a significant number of cases, humans are diagnosed with whooping cough when they are in fact infected with shed kennel cough vaccine. See:

J Med Microbiol. 2007 Dec;56(Pt 12):1608-10. Misidentification of Bordetella bronchiseptica as
Bordetella pertussis using a newly described real-time PCR targeting the pertactin gene.
Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 37 , Issue 3, Pp. 407-414. Human Illness Associated with Use
of Veterinary Vaccines

Vaccine company datasheets for B. Bronchiseptica (Kennel Cough) advise that, “mild discharges from the eyes and nose can occur from the day after vaccination, sometimes accompanied by sneezing and coughing. In some cases, this may persist for up to four weeks”. The datasheets add that antibiotics need to be given to dogs showing severe signs of vaccine-induced kennel cough.

Additionally: “Cats, pigs and  unvaccinated dogs may react to the vaccine strains with mild and transient respiratory signs.” This is admission that the vaccine can cause outbreaks. Because B. pertussis and B. bronchiseptica are so closely related, a group of scientists seeking to understand why there has been a resurgence of whooping cough in vaccinated people used B. bronchiseptica and mice as their model. They found that natural infection induced protection in both the lungs and upper respiratory tract, whereas vaccines conferred protection only in the lungs. The authors suggested that naturally-induced protection is more effective than vaccine-induced protection, and
that natural infection could prevent subsequent infections, whereas current vaccines cannot. See:

Different mechanisms of vaccine-induced and infection-induced immunity to Bordetella
bronchiseptica, Microbes and Infection 9 (2007) 442e448

It seems that it would be better to let your normal healthy adult dog ‘risk’ contracting kennel cough and get over it, because nature provides better protection than the vaccine.

The kennel cough vaccine should not be stated as ‘recommended’, as if to make it sound as though it should be used routinely. We would advise pet owners to find a kennel that doesn’t insist on this vaccine, and for kennels to avoid its use.

Pet Welfare Alliance comments

It is with great disappointment and dismay that we find we have had to make a number of points to clarify the MLCs. Especially that all of these were raised in the PWA submission to the CIEH before their consultation. The PWA suggested (and provided examples of) guidance notes on vaccination. The MLCs go into minute detail on other areas in kennel/boarding and provide guidance – to not do so on vaccination is negligent and totally unnecessary.

The fact that they were aware of these issues means they chose to wilfully ignore situations where dogs may suffer harm, and not provide any guidance whatsoever in those matters. This is in contravention to the Animal Welfare Act. The CIEH and its consultation members should be ashamed of themselves and are not a fit and proper body for purpose.

They of course have ensured they do not bear any responsibility as they provide their disclaimer (as stated earlier). A total disgrace.

The MLCs provide a ‘useful contacts list’. The list includes eight of the eleven members of the consultation group that we have included below, marked with an asterisk ‘*’.  The PWA would encourage any readers of this report to contact any of the consultation members with any concerns they have as a result of the points raised herein. – part of Canine Health Concern
____________________________________________________________________CIEH MLC
Useful contacts list

Animal and Plant Health Agency
Woodham Lane
Surrey KT15 3NB

Animal Welfare Foundation
7 Mansfield Street, London W1G 9NQ
Tel: 020 7908 6375

*British Veterinary Association
7 Mansfield Street, London W1M 0AT
Tel: 020 7636 6541

*British Small Animal Veterinary Association
Woodrow House, 1 Telford Way, Waterwells Business Park, Quedgeley,
Gloucestershire GL2 2AB
Tel: 01452 726700

*Chartered Institute of Environmental Health
Chadwick Court, 15 Hatfields, London SE1 8DJ
Tel: 020 7928 6006
Web site:

City of London Corporation
ARC, Beacon Rd. Heathrow Airport. TW6 3JF
Tel +44 (0)208 745 7894
Web site:

Local Government Association
Smith Square, London SW1P 3HZ
Tel: 020 7664 3000

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Nobel House, 17 Smith Square London SW1P 3JR
Tel: 08459 33 55 77

*The Dogs Trust
17 Wakley Street, London EC1V 7RQ
Tel: 0207 837 0006
Health and Safety Executive

*The Kennel Club
1-5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly London W1J 8AB
Tel: 0844 463 3980
Web site:

*PIF (Pet Industry Federation)
Unit 1a
Bedford Business Centre
170 Mile Road
Mk42 9TW
Tel 01234 273 933
Web site:

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
Belgravia House, 62-64 Horseferry Road
London SW1P 2AF
Tel: 020 7222 2001

*The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Wilberforce Way,
West Sussex RH13 9RS

*Borough Council of Wellingborough
Licensing Section
Swanspool House
Doddington Road
Telephone: (01933) 229777