How to Protect Your Dog from a Vaccine Junkie

Shira Miller, M.D.Men, Women5 Comments

My veterinarian is a friendly young woman, but this week she made me cry. I will admit that I’m not the average dog mom. As an integrative medicine physician I know the benefits of nutrition, lifestyle, and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for humans and that old traditions die hard, so when I got my cocker spaniel puppy, Daphne, I did my due diligence to find the best diet, surgery, and vaccines for her. What I learned was drastically different from the recommendations of conventional veterinary medicine, similar in essence to when I started researching outside the box of conventional internal medicine.

One of the best E-books I read was “How to Protect Your Dog From a Vaccine Junkie,” by holistic vet Dr. Paula Terifaj. I discovered that:

  1. Dog vaccinations can have side-effects.
  2. There is overwhelming evidence that vaccinations given after the age of six months protect dogs for up to seven years, and possibly for life.
  3. Some vaccines are recommended, some are optional, and some are NOT recommended for any reason.
  4. All vaccine recommendations need to be individualized.
  5. There is NO evidence that dog vaccines need to be administered every year.

I was shocked to read that after your dog’s one year booster shots, in most cases, the American Animal Hospital Association’s 2006 Canine Vaccine Guidelines strongly recommend to revaccinate only every three years or longer, unless mandated by state statutes. What? This knowledge has been around since 2006? That’s certainly not the impression we would get from the annual vaccine reminder postcards we get from our veterinary clinics.

When I received my postcard, I took my little pooch and drove almost an hour from home to see Dr. Terifaj. We did a blood titer test on Daphne to measure her antibody levels and determine if she had already mounted an immune response to her previous vaccines. She passed the test with flying colors and received a document stating she didn’t need to be revaccinated for the time being. Yeah! I had this piece of paper placed in Daphne’s chart and was very happy to be able to protect my dog from unnecessarily being shot with vaccines.

So what happened this week? Daphne had a mild ear infection and my husband took her to the veterinarian for some basic antibiotics. When the doctor told him she was also due for her vaccines, there was an unfortunate miscommunication, and she was shot in the back office with 5 unnecessary vaccines! All this from a DVM who knows we make alternative choices, has evidence of the dog’s immunity in the chart, and has a sick dog in front of her (not a good time to administer vaccines anyway.) Luckily, Daphne hasn’t suffered any side-effects, but since I have taken so many measures to protect my dog from unnecessary treatments the incident broke my heart. So much so that although I am not a veterinarian, I wanted to share my experience with all you dog lovers out there so that you may have the intellectual ammunition to be able to protect your dog…as much as possible.

To you and your dog’s good health.

“Which vaccines and how often to vaccinate your dog are crucial questions requiring the acceptance of new medical findings, careful thought, and a departure from medical traditions. And don’t think that your veterinarian should be trusted to make all your dog’s healthcare decisions while you simply nod along. Your nodding is not the action of taking responsibility for your dog’s health.”  Dr. Paula Terifaj in “How to Protect Your Dog From A Vaccine Junkie

  • Linda Dennison

    @Cathy: Also ask for the sevo anesthetic (a/k/a the “Greyhound” one)…it is safer w/ less side effects. You seem to know your homeopathy, so I’m sure you know the surgical protocol. If not, Linda T. Dennison on Facebook (in Marietta, GA). Yeah, sevo cost

  • Sam Sheldon

    As always you do terrific due diligence, unfortunately we are dissapointed by those professionals that we trust to be on top of things. i am glad Daphne is OK

  • Joan Yarfitz

    Good info to pass on to dog lovers! A friend recently had his dog “murdered” by a greedy vet whose tech gave the dog an unnecessary shot too close to his spinal column and within a day the dog was dead!

  • Linda Dennison

    Please get a dose of thuja 30C or silicea 30C into your baby asap. If she’s robust, thuja. If she’s little and on the delicate side to look at…like, aw, isn’t she so pretty and feminie…I’d go with silicea. It can help to offset the evil vaccines. If you don’t have Dr. Don Hamilton’s book “Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs” — get it. The chapters on diet and vaccine are major eye openers. My last dog developed a basal cell carcinoma on his HEAD at age 10.5 and the doggie dermatologist said it was from regular vaccines. That was in 1998. My current Poodle had puppy shots (under my protest, but the breeder prevailed) and in every case, they resulted in diarrhea, ear infection, and he developed runny eyes (so common in Poodles, but NOT present before vaccines) which he still has at age 9. He had one mandatory rabies shot at 16 months. His current vet has a big NO VACCINES on Cheggie’s chart. He is an indoor dog and exposed to no hazards. We use homeopathic nosode for heartworm and do the bloodtest for that 2x/year just to be sure. Hope this helps you and other readers. And, you ARE finding a new vet, right???? Total disregard of your wishes for your companion is unacceptable.

  • Cathy Benedict

    Thank you for sending your post to those pet owners that receive your newsletter as so many people are NOT aware of the dangers related to over vaccination in their canine-and-feline friends.

    We recently took in two young dogs that were found running loose in our neighborhood. I reported finding them to two local animal shelters, local veterinarians, online lost-and-found sites, several local rescue groups and placed two newspaper ads. No one claimed the dogs.

    One is about six months and the other about a year old. After waiting for two weeks for the owners to step forward, they were taken for rabies shots, as required by law as I need the certificates to be able to license them after they have been neutered. Due to their age, both were vaccinated with a one-year vaccine and will have to be re-vaccinated in a year.

    They both were treated homeopathically after their vaccinations. One week after the shot the Chihuahua experienced vomiting and a day of diarrhea. He was treated and responded to Nux Vomica and recovered in 24 hours.

    Ten days after the vaccination the Terrier-mix has developed in good-size lump in the vicinity of the injection site.

    I am in the process of writing a letter to the veterinarian so there will be documentation in each of the dog’s files regarding their response to the vaccinations. I will also contact the manufacturer and the USDA and file an Adverse Event Report.

    I live in the Highland/San Bernardino area of southern CA. It took a number of phone calls to various veterinarians before I could find one that was willing to draw blood for titer testing to be sent to a laboratory of MY choice.

    I did finally locate one, so I was able to submit the samples to W. Jean Dodds, DVM of Hemolife/Hemopet for processing.

    Due to these dogs being lost/strays their vaccination history is unknown and I did not want to subject them to any more vaccinations if they were already protected.

    I received an email the same day their their serum samples were received at Hemolife/Hemopet indicating that BOTH dogs even at their young ages have acceptable titer results indicating immunity against distemper and parvovirus. NO more unnecessary shots for these babies!

    They now need to be neutered. I called the vet’s office that gave them the rabies shots, which has a low-cost spay-neuter clinic once a week; they will NOT permit them to be operated on at their facility, even with proof of immunity, without giving both of them an additional 5-and-one vaccine.

    I called another local vet’s office, they too would not perform the surgery without giving them additional shots.

    I did find two vets that will perform the surgeries, one being the facility that drew the blood and the other a vet that I used years ago when I had pets, if I sign a wavier acknowledging that my dog’s can run the risk of contracting disease without current vaccinations; of course, which I am more than willing to do.

    At least there are 50% of the vets that I contacted that are willing to do the surgeries, which are at a higher price than the low-cost clinic; but, at least these dogs will not have to have unnecessary vaccinations.

    When I have more available time, I am going to contact additional local vets to see how overall percentages run for those willing to perform the surgery versus those that are not without additional vaccinations… just to satisfy my own curiosity!

    I am sorry that you have had this horrible experience with you veterinarian and that you will have far better results as to regards of your wishes with the next vet that you choose.

    It is up to us as pet caregivers to research and study the information available regarding over vaccination procedures still being insisted upon by so many of our local veterinarians even after the probings of the three-year studies that were released so many years ago.

    It becomes our duty to be proactive to protect our companion animals from the possibly of vaccinosis resulting from unnecessary vaccinations.

    Inform yourself and let your voices be heard!