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About Vaccines

WCA Policy On Vaccinating Weimaraners - 2005 Update

1A. IMMUNE MEDIATED PROBLEMS AND VACCINATION IN WEIMARANERS

A small percentage of Weimaraner puppies exhibit a syndrome following vaccination or other forms of stress. This syndrome can include one or more of the following symptoms: Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (swollen and painful joints), Elevated WBC, Elevated temperature, diarrhea, lethargy or depression, lymph node enlargement, pain to touch.

One explanation for this syndrome invokes failure of the immune system of young dogs to handle multiple antigens in modified live virus combination vaccines. When the immune system of these susceptible individuals is challenged by multiple antigens, it responds by attempting to fight off what it perceives as an invader in much the same way as it would to fight off an infection: fever, elevated WBC and an inflammatory reaction of tissues and joints causing swelling and polyarthritis. In other words, the immune system has become hyper-reactive.

The treatment consists of administering intravenous steroids (dexamethasone) at a loading dose of 0.1-0.5 mg/kg followed by oral prednisone or prednisolone at a dose of 2 mg/kg divided into twice a day dose for one week and then tapered over the next 3-5 weeks to 0.5 mg/kg every other day. What this treatment does is to reduce the immediate inflammatory response and suppress the over-reacting immune system.

Although many puppies can be vaccinated with no adverse reactions, there is no way at the present time to determine which puppies may react. Past research has documented reactions occurring between 8-16 weeks of age with the greatest number of reactions seen in puppies 12-16 week age.
Several of the vaccine manufacturers assure that immunity in puppies can be achieved with only two vaccines providing the second vaccine is given at 12 weeks of age. Therefore, the Board of Directors of the Weimaraner Club of America recommends the following vaccine schedule:

8 weeks: Distemper, Adeno2, Parainfluenza and Parvo
12 weeks: Distemper, Adeno2, Parainfluenza and Parvo


The use of Corona, Lepto, Bordatella and Lyme vaccine is not recommended unless these diseases are prevalent in the area. The recombinant DNA vaccines available for Distemper and Lyme have shown a significantly lower incidence of reactions.
While this protocol helps in preventing reactions, it does not prevent them in all susceptible individuals.
Any questions regarding this protocol can be sent to Judy Colan. Email: Weim@ix.netcom.com
"Michigan Weimaraner Rescue dogs receive Merial Recombitek C4 (Canine Distemper-Adenovirus Type 2-Parainfluenza-Parvovirus Vaccine Modified Live Virus, Canarypox Vector)http://ph.merial.com/pet_owners/pdf/news_shcultz.pdf and Merial IMRAB Rabies Vaccine"

Jean Dodd's NEW vaccine protocol - PERMISSION TO CROSSPOST

Dr. W. Jean Dodd's vaccination protocol is now being adopted by ALL 27 North American veterinary schools. I highly recommend that you read this. Copy and save it to your files. Print it and pass it out at dog fairs, cat shows, kennel club meetings, dog parks, give a copy to your veterinarian and groomer, etc., etc. Get the word out.

Hi everyone.... THIS is wonderful news, that the veterinary schools are now going to be teaching that over-vaccination of pets (once a year "boosters") is only not necessary, but in some cases can be harmful or deadly! It has information for both dogs and cats. There still is an ongoing study regarding the Rabies vaccine. Most states now allow (reluctantly) 3 year Rabies, but the study is collecting data on whether or not even that may be too much. They are looking at 8 or 10 year Rabies!

I hope you all stop having yearly boosters for your pets. If you're concerned with immune levels, have the vet run a Titer test. THEN and only then, if the levels are below acceptable, should you have a booster. After all, when is the last time you had a "booster" for smallpox, or whooping cough, or anything else you had shots for as a child? Immune systems work the same in all mammals, and the concept that pets have to have yearly shots doesn't make any more sense than if you had have shots every year. If mammal's immune systems were that weak in fending off these things, all of them, us included, would have been extinct years ago!

VACCINATION NEWS FLASH

I would like to make you aware that all 27 veterinary schools in North America are in the process of changing their protocols for vaccinating dogs and cats. Some of this information will present an ethical & economic challenge to vets, and there will be skeptics. Some organizations have come up with a political compromise suggesting vaccinations every 3 years to appease those who fear loss of income vs those concerned about potential side effects.

Politics, traditions, or the doctor's economic well being should not be a factor in medical decisions.

NEW PRINCIPLES OF IMMUNOLOGY

"Dogs and cats immune systems mature fully at 6 months. If a modified live virus (MLV) vaccine is given after 6 months of age, it produces an immunity which is good for the life of the pet (i.e: canine distemper, parvo, feline distemper). If another MLV vaccine is given a year later, the antibodies from the first vaccine neutralize the antigens of the second vaccine and there is little or no effect. The titer is not "boosted" nor are more memory cells induced. 
"Not only are annual boosters for parvo and distemper unnecessary, they subject the pet to potential risks of allergic reactions and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. There is no scientific documentation to back up label claims for annual administration of MLV vaccines." 
Puppies receive antibodies through their mother's milk. This natural protection can last 8-14 weeks. Puppies & kittens should NOT be vaccinated at LESS than 8 weeks. Maternal immunity will neutralize the vaccine and little protection (0-38%) will be produced. Vaccination at 6 weeks will, however, delay the timing of the first highly effective vaccine.
Vaccinations given 2 weeks apart suppress rather than stimulate the immune system. A series of vaccinations is given starting at 8 weeks and given 3-4 weeks apart up to 16 weeks of age. Another vaccination given sometime after 6 months of age (usually at 1 year 4 months) will provide lifetime immunity.

CURRENT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DOGS:

*DISTEMPER and PARVO
"According to Dr. Schultz, AVMA, 8-15-95, when a vaccinations series given at 2, 3 & 4 months and again at 1 year with MLV, puppies and kittens program memory cells that survive for life, providing lifelong immunity." Dr. Carmichael at Cornell and Dr. Schultz have studies showing immunity against challenge at 2-10 years for canine distemper & 4 years for parvovirus. Studies for longer duration are pending. "There are no new strains of parvovirus as one manufacturer would like to suggest. Parvovirus vaccination provides cross immunity for all types." Hepatitis (Adenovirus) is one of the agents known to be a cause of kennel cough. Only vaccines with CAV-2 should be used as CAV-1 vaccines carry the risk of "hepatitis blue-eye" reactions & kidney damage.

*BORDETELLA PARAINFLUENZA
Commonly called "Kennel cough". Recommended only for those dogs boarded, groomed, taken to dog shows, or for any reason housed where exposed to a lot of dogs. The intranasal vaccine provides more complete and more rapid onset of immunity with less chance of reaction. Immunity requires 72 hours and does not protect from every cause of kennel cough. Immunity is of short duration (4 to 6 months).*

*RABIES 
There have been no reported cases of rabid dogs or cats in Harris, Montgomery or Ft. Bend Counties [ Texas ] but there have been rabid skunks and bats so the potential exists. It is a killed vaccine and must be given every year.

*LYME DISEASE 
Lyme disease is a tick born disease which can cause lameness, kidney failure and heart disease in dogs. Ticks can also transmit the disease to humans. The original Ft. Dodge killed bacteria has proven to be the most effective vaccine. Lyme disease prevention should emphasize early removal of ticks. Amitraz collars are more effective than Top Spot, as amitraz paralyzes the tick's mouthparts preventing transmission of disease.

**VACCINATIONS NOT RECOMMENDED* *

Multiple components in vaccines compete with each other for the immune system and result in lesser immunity for each individual disease as well as increasing the risk of a reaction. Canine Corona Virus is only a disease of puppies. It is rare, self limiting (dogs get well in 3 days without treatment). Cornell & Texas A&M have only diagnosed one case each in the last 7 years. Corona virus does not cause disease in adult dogs.*

*Leptospirosis vaccine is a common cause of adverse reactions in dogs. Most of the clinical cases of lepto reported in dogs in the US are caused by serovaars (or types) grippotyphosa and bratsilvia. The vaccines contain different serovaars eanicola and ictohemorrhagica. Cross protection is not provided and protection is short lived. Lepto vaccine is immuno-supressive to puppies less than 16 weeks.

NEW RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CATS

Feline vaccine related Fibrosarcoma is a type of terminal cancer related in inflammation caused by rabies & leukemia vaccines. This cancer is thought to affect 1 in 10,000 cats vaccinated. Vaccines with aluminum adjuvant, an ingredient included to stimulate the immune system, have been implicated as a higher risk. We now recommend a non-adjuvanted rabies vaccine for cats.

Testing by Dr. Macy, Colorado State, has shown this vaccine to have the lowest tissue reaction and although there is no guarantee that a vaccine induced sarcoma will not develop, the risk will be much lower than with other 
vaccines.

*Program injectable 6 month flea prevention for cats has been shown to be very tissue reactive & therefore has the potential of inducing an injection site fiborsarcoma. If your cats develops a lump at the site of a vaccination, we 
recommend that it be removed ASAP, within 3-12 weeks.*

*Feline Leukemia Virus Vaccine. This virus is the leading viral killer of cats. The individuals most at risk of infection are young outdoor cats, indoor/outdoor cats and cats exposed to such individuals. Indoor only cats with no exposure to potentially infected cats are unlikely to become infected. All cats should be tested prior to vaccination. Cats over one year of age are naturally immune to Fel.V whether they are vaccinated or not, so annual vaccination of adult cats is NOT necessary. The incubation period of Feline leukemia can be over 3 years, so if your cat is in the incubation state of the disease prior to vaccination, the vaccine will not prevent the disease. *

*Feline Panleukopenia Virus Vaccine. Also called feline distemper is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease of kittens. It's extremely hardy and is resistant to extremes in temperature and to most available disinfectants. Although an effective treatment protocol is available, it is expensive to treat because of the serious nature of the 
disease and the continued presence of virus in the environment, vaccination is highly recommended for all kittens. Cats vaccinated at 6 month or older with either killed or MLV vaccine will produce immunity good for life. Adult cats do NOT need this vaccine.

*Feline Calicivirus/ Herpesvirus Vaccine. Responsible for 80-90% of infectious feline upper respiratory tract diseases. The currently available injectable vaccines will minim ize the severity of upper respiratory infections, although none will prevent disease in all situations. **Intranasal vaccines are more effective at preventing the disease entirely. Don't worry about normal sneezing for a couple of days. Because intranasal vaccines produce an immunity of shorter durations, annual vaccination is recommended.

VACCINES NOT RECOMMENDED (for cats)

*Chlamydia or pneumonitis. The vaccine produces a short (2 month) duration of immunity and accounts for less than 5% of upper respiratory infections in cats. The risks outweigh the benefits.*

*Feline Infectious Peritonitis. A controversial vaccine. Most kittens that contract FIP become infected during the first 3 months of life. The vaccine is labeled for use at 16 weeks. All 27 vet schools do not recommend the vaccine.*

*Bordetella. A new vaccine for feline bordetella has been introduced. Dr. Wolfe of Texas A&M says that bordetella is a normal flora and does not caus e disease in adult cats. Dr. Lappin of Colorado State says that a review of the Colorado State medical records reveals not one case diagnosed in 10 years.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS:

*Giardia is the most common intestinal parasite of humans in North America, 30% or more of all dogs & cats are infected with giardia. It has now been demonstrated that humans can transmit giardia to dogs & cats and vice versa.

*Heartworm preventative must be given year-round in Houston .

VACCINES BADLY NEEDED

New vaccines in development include: Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and cat scratch fever vaccine for cats and Ehrlichia [one of the other tick diseases, much worse than Lyme] for dogs.

THE VIEW FROM THE TRENCHES; BUSINESS ASPECTS

Most vets recommend annual boosters and most kennel operators require them. For years, the pricing structure of vets has misled clients into thinking that the inherent value of an annual o ffice visit was in the "shots". They failed to emphasize the importance of a physical exam for early detection of treatable diseases. It is my hope that you will continue to require Rabies & Kennel cough and emphasize the importance of a recent vet exam. I also hope you 
will accept the new protocols and honor these pets as currently vaccinated. Those in the boarding business, who will honor the new vaccine facilities, are reluctant to change.

CONCLUSION

Dogs & cats no longer need to be vaccinated against distemper, parvo, & feline leukemia every year. Once the initial series of puppy or kitten vaccinations and first annual vaccinations are completed, immunity from MLV vaccines persists for life. It has been shown that cats over 1 year of age are immune to Feline Leukemia whether they have been vaccinated or not.

Imagine the money you will save, not to mention fewer risks from side risk of mediated hemolytic anemia and allergic reactions are r educed by less frequent use of vaccines as well as by avoiding unnecessary vaccines such as K-9 Corona virus and chlamydia for cats, as well as ineffective vaccines such as Leptospirosis and FIP. Intranasal vaccine or Rhiotracheitis and Calici virus, two upper respiratory viruses of cats provide more complete protection than injectable vaccines with less risk of serious reactions.

The AAHA and all 27 veterinary schools of North America are our biggest endorsement for these new protocols.