If you haven’t questioned combination vaccines, especially the core vaccines given as first puppy shots, you should. Here’s what I learned from studies with a bit of common sense thrown in.
Let me say up front that I am not a fan of dog vaccinations. Part of the reason is the perceived value of giving combination shots. I mean it costs less to combine several ‘diseases’ in one dog shot right?
It could cost you far more than you think – like the health of your dog.
First let’s use some common sense. A vaccine is supposed to stimulate an immune system response. The body attacks the invading force and because it’s either a small dose or a ‘killed’ virus, the body builds immunity to that disease right? Well if one vaccine incorporates several diseases don’t you think that is like hitting our dogs like a sledgehammer?
Did you know that overestimating the immune system can lead
to autoimmune diseases where the body actually attacks itself? But there is more.
Research has indicated that one vaccine actually blocks another, but which ones would that be? Core vaccine components.
The pro vaccine view on the Doctors Foster and Smith website talk about combination vaccines including the core vaccines; the 5-way and the 7-way vaccines.
Core vaccines are distemper, canine adenovirus (hepatitis and respiratory disease), canine parvovirus and rabies. The first three are given together yet studies have shown the parvo component works to block the distemper component. Why is this ignored? Also, there has been some debate whether the Parvo disease is actually caused by the long time use of the distemper vaccine.
What I find most interesting is something added at the bottom of their page after listing enough vaccines to choke a horse. Here is the quote:
“Researchers at the Veterinary Schools at the University of Minnesota, Colorado State University, and University of Wisconsin suggest alternating vaccinations in dogs from year to year. Instead of using multivalent vaccines (combination vaccines against more than one disease), they recommend using monovalent vaccines which only have one component, e.g., a vaccine that only contains parvovirus. So, one year your dog would be vaccinated against distemper, the next year against canine adenovirus-2, and the third year against parvovirus. Then the cycle would repeat itself. Other researchers believe we may not have enough information to recommend only vaccinating every 3 years. Manufacturers of dog vaccines have not changed their labeling which recommends annual vaccinations. Again, each dog owner must make an informed choice of when to vaccinate, and with what. Consult with your veterinarian to help you make the decision.”
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Let me ask you this. Why would the manufacturers of vaccines say anything other than using their products yearly? What would that do to their income? Let’s get educated. For more information on vaccines, a great place is Dogs Naturally Magazine. While I highly recommend a subscription, they have an incredible amount of information on their website for free and they cite specific studies.