A small selection of scientific data illustrating the dangers of annual pet vaccination


1. Seizures and other neurological manifestations are listed as potentially immune-mediated. Approximately 2% of dogs in the UK are epileptic. 2.1% of dogs in CHC's vaccine survey (covering some 4,000 dogs) had epilepsy. Of these, 73.1% first became epileptic within three months of vaccination.

According to Nelson and Couto, writing in, ‘Essentials of Small Animal Internal Medicine’, “in acquired epilepsy, a prior inflammatory, traumatic, toxic, metabolic or vascular insult alters a focus of neurons, enabling them to spontaneously discharge and cause a seizure”. Vaccines could legitimately represent an inflammatory, traumatic, toxic or vascular insult.

The Merck Manual lists encephalitis as a possible vaccine reaction. It also lists epilepsy as a symptom of encephalitis. The human vaccine damage compensation unit in the UK has paid thousands of pounds in compensation to the parents of children with vaccine-induced epilepsy.

British government research shows that the DTP and MMR vaccines can increase the risk of seizure five-fold. The Lancet in 1989 reported that one in 400 children given the MMR vaccine will suffer convulsions; in 1995, The Lancet reported that children given the MMR jab were three times more likely to suffer convulsions than those who didn't receive it. It should be noted that the measles and distemper viruses are, to all intents and purposes, the same virus.

Writing in the Veterinary Record during 1992 (130, 27-30), AIP McCandlish et al state: "Post-vaccinal encephalitis is a recognised complication of the administration of certain strains of live attenuated canine distemper vaccine (Hartley 1974, Bestetti and others 1978, Cornwell and others 1988)."

2. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. 78.1% of dogs with arthritis in the CHC survey developed the condition in a cluster post vaccination. 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 also tells of isolation of viruses from the peripheral blood of women with prolonged arthritis which followed vaccination.

Stratton Vaccines: 97 carries case reports linking tetanus and diphtheria vaccines with arthritis and skin eruptions. The US Academy of Sciences IOM reported concluded that the measles vaccine can cause death from measles-vaccine- strain infection, thrombocytopenia, fatal shock, and arthritis.

A paper appearing in BVJ (May 1995, Bell, Carter, May and Bennett) states that dogs with rheumatoid arthritis showed higher anti-heat shock proteins antibody levels in their sera and synovial fluids compared to control dogs. There was a significant correlation between anti HSP65 and antibodies to the canine distemper virus, and they discussed the relevance of the presence of canine distemper virus within the joint. It is known that a wide range of human vaccines can stimulate arthritis, so it makes sense to consider that canine vaccines might also stimulate this condition.

3. According to Dr Jean Dodds, thyroid disease can be triggered by vaccines. This condition then becomes inheritable. If thyroid disease is present, Dr Dodds contends that vaccines can trigger other autoimmune diseases. Dr Dodds has written numerous papers on this subject, and she has been closely involved with the international veterinary vaccines symposiums held in the United States. I would be happy to forward copies of Dr Dodds' papers to you.

4. The Merck Veterinary Manual states: "autoimmune diseases may be initiated by the encephalitis that can follow rabies vaccination in which an autoimmune cross-reaction probably is initiated by animal brain tissue in the vaccine". In fact, all sorts of vaccines, in addition to the rabies vaccine, are typically cultivated on dog, cat and monkey brains and kidneys; chick embryos, hamsters and guinea pigs - all of which can be described as foreign proteins, which can cause an allergic reaction, autoimmune disease and encephalitis. I would add that vaccines contain serum - foreign proteins - which are clearly acknowledged to cause inflammatory reactions - which itself can cause autoimmune disease.

Further, the Merck Veterinary Manual confirms that modified live parvovirus vaccines are suspected to cause autoimmune haemolytic anaemia in dogs (an autoimmune disease).

The Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Vol 10, No 5 (September October) 1996, published a paper entitled 'Vaccine Associated Immune Mediated Haemolytic Anaemia (IMHA) in the Dog'. The paper states: "This study provides the first clinical evidence for a temporal relationship of vaccine-associated IMHA in the dog."

The study adds: "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 metabolised more quickly". It also states that, "Vaccine-associated IMHA has been reported after diphtheria-pertusis-tetanus vaccination in children".

The authors concluded that, because not all cases are reported to the manufacturers (none of the cases in their study had been reported), the prevalence of vaccine- associated IMHA is likely to be underestimated.

5. A team at Purdue University (Larry Glickman et al, 1997) studied the effects of routinely used vaccination protocol on the immune and endocrine system of Beagles. One control group was unvaccinated and the other received a commercial multivalent vaccine. The vaccinated group developed significant autoantibody levels against fibronectin, laminin, DNA, albumin, Cytochrome C, transferring, cardiolipin and collagen. A startling indication that vaccines may cause autoimmune diseases, and even genetic damage.

6. Frick and Brooks (1983) demonstrated that dogs predisposed to develop atopic dermatitis did not do so if vaccinated after being exposed to an allergen, but did when vaccinated before being exposed to an allergen. This is a clear demonstration that vaccines sensitise genetically pre-disposed individuals.

I would ask you this question: how many of our dogs suffer from chronic, debilitating skin disease? How many suffer from arthritis? How many are dying years before their time from various autoimmune diseases?

CHC members, and many others now, are choosing not to vaccinate their dogs each year. The results are speaking for themselves. Our dogs - at last - are healthy.

Kennels and Rescue Environments

It is my belief that the practice of giving MLV vaccines to dogs in rescue environments is causing the diseases to thrive. The reason is simple - take a look at Intervet's vaccine data sheets. They state, clearly, that immunocompetence may be compromised by a variety of factors, including diet and stress. Dogs in rescue situations are likely to be stressed, and potentially malnourished.

Dr Ronald Schultz, head of pathobiology at Wisconsin University, has stated that MLV vaccines can cause the diseases they are designed to prevent if the animal is not functioning immunologically normally. In short, you need a well functioning immune system to survive the vaccine challenge - failing which, frank disease can occur.

Are we using vaccines inappropriately, and are we creating a sickly dog population through over-use of vaccines?

The thought of leaving dogs in your kennels without vaccine protection could be potentially alarming to consider. But I also know of a homoeopathic rescue centre that does not vaccinate, and which has had no outbreak in its 40-year-or-so history. I would also bring John Saxton's distemper trial to your attention. This took place in a RSPCA kennel in Leeds and successfully halted a distemper epidemic using homoeopathic nosodes.

I think you will see that there is substantial evidence to link vaccination with autoimmune diseases, and I sincerely hope that you will be able to consider this evidence in a scientific and impartial way. I have been unable to find any scientific evidence to say that annual vaccination is either necessary or safe. Indeed, various eminent individuals and bodies in America are now saying categorically that 'once immunity to a virus exists, it persists for years or life'.

When you are told that annual vaccination is necessary - ask who speaks, and why? Are they making money from your dog's suffering?

Catherine O'Driscoll
Canine Health Concern


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