Don't Be An Anti-Dog-Vaxxer

Vaccines for dogs are a good thing. Nobody wants Mister Floofles to die of Canine Hepatitis, Canine Distemper, Canine Parainfluenza or Canine Parvovirus. But it's easy to get spooked by rumours of the side effects of vaccines, and some people are turning down shots for their pets.

Photo by David Baxendale.

The Daily Wire reports that skipping dog vaccines is a thing "idiot hipsters" are doing, but it's really a natural extension of the same factors that lead people to avoid vaccinating their kids or themselves. (Be honest: did you get a flu shot this year?)

Let's look at the grains of truth behind the fears of vaccines. Some people who are concerned about "vaccine safety" in dogs (this is the new buzzword for the people formerly known as anti-vaxxers) point out the work of veterinary researcher Ronald Schultz, who has said that dogs get too many vaccines. But his research isn't about skipping necessary vaccines; it's about proving that some vaccines cause longer-lasting immunity than we originally realised.

Another researcher, Nicholas Dodman, has identified autism-like symptoms in dogs (even though autism is a purely human condition, so they technically can't "have autism"), but he has said that he does not believe that vaccines cause these symptoms and would not recommend that anyone forgo vaccinations due to his research.

So let's review: the reason to get shots for your dog is because the benefits of the shot (not getting or spreading canine diseases) outweigh the risks (which are real but rare — for example, allergic reactions).

Sometimes your dog's case is different: maybe they're at a higher risk for allergic reactions, or maybe they don't need a kennel cough vaccine because they don't spend much time socialising with other dogs. Your vet understands these issues, though, and they will be happy to discuss what's best for your dog.


Comments

    But Jenny McCarthy told me it will make my dog autistic :-p

      My dogs are 13 and 5 years old, I have them vaccinated and neither has ever spoken a word. Sometimes they won't even acknowledge their names when I call them.

      Now, who do I sue?

    I have seen 2 of my dogs die from parvo - it is a horrible agonizing death. How can people leave their fur babies unprotected? Just like children, take care of them and have a good Dr. vaccinate and exam them regularly.

    There is balance that can be achieved here. We have 3 dogs, which are 5, 2 and 1 years old. They have all had their initial vaccinations but none whatsoever since. We get them Titer Tested when they are due for their shots - this is a blood sample that is analysed to determine whether they still have the required level of resistance to the diseases vaccinated for. We want them to be protected, but don't want to unnecessarily vaccinate them with booster shots if they are not actually required.

    You may need to shop around vets, as they make more money pushing any particular manufacturers vaccine than they do determining whether your pet actually needs it or not. Many will have the facility, but will not tell you about it unless asked.

    You also need to make sure that you have a vet that understand the results, and it is a little extra effort - your mileage may vary, but for us, it's worth it.

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