Monday, February 08, 2010

You Can Vaccinate Your Own Dog

Every farmer in America routinely administers vaccines to pigs, cattle, and sheep, and they do it without once checking with a veterinarian.

And guess what? You can administer vaccines to your dogs too!

Every pet supply catalogue in America sells vaccines. That should give you some idea of how safe it is, and how easy it is to do.

How cheap are vaccines?


A 7-way Durvet vaccine from Revival is just $4 (Distemper-Adenovirus Type 2-Hepatits-Parinfluenza-Parvovirus-Lepto, MLV ) and a 5-way Spectra is a few cents less (Distemper, Adenovirus Type 2, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus). Add a few monject syringes and needles (20 cents a unit) and you are on your way.

Want to know what shot to give and when? It's not complicated. A simple 5-way shot at 6 and nine weeks, and a 5-way or 7-way at 12 and 15 weeks, and you are done.

Want to know how to give a shot? It's not complicated. A subcutaneous injection is simply shot into a fold of skin -- the needle does not go deep, and does not enter the muscle or a vein.

What about rabies? There's no need to go to the vet for your rabies shots. Most local animal shelters will give you a rabies shot for $10 or so, and you can get your dog tags at the same time.

Revival, of course, is only one company selling vaccines. As noted, every other vet supply place sells vaccines too: Drs. Fosters and Smith, Lambert Veterinary Supply, Valley Vet, Heartland Vet Supply, Bullwrinkle, KV Vet Supply, etc.

Of course, don't expect to hear how easy vaccines are from your veterinarian. The core business practice of veterinary care, after all, is fencing out the truth.

You have a litter of young pups?

"Oh yes, by all means, drag them down to the office" where a 1,000 dogs a month go through the waiting room with every kind of illness under the sun. No health concerns there!

Vaccines are given all over the world, often in very primitive conditions and by people who cannot even spell the word vaccine. And guess what? It works out fine.

If you are smart enough to refrigerate your own groceries, I am pretty sure you can figure out how to refrigerate vaccines when they arrive at your door with a nice block of dry ice next to them and a simple set of instructions.

Remember: Companies like Revival Animal Health, Lambert Veterinary, and Drs. Foster and Smith have been supplying high-quality vaccines and antibiotics to their customers for longer than your veterinarian has been in practice.

What's laughable about veterinarians warning people not to vaccinate their own dogs is that for decades these same veterinarians have been silent about the very real danger of over-vaccinating pets. It's not like over-vaccination of dogs and cats was simply a rip-off; it was also complicit in auto-immune disorders.

But mum's the word about that!

According to most veterinarians, no one can possibly keep their dog healthy without coming in one or twice a year for a booster shot (unneeded), teeth cleaning (unneeded), a stool test (unneeded), and "prescription" flea and tick medicine (which does not require a prescription).

Of course, real dog men and women have been giving a pass to this kind of nonsense for a very long time. A dog does not have to be expensive to keep!


Jonathan Setter said...

Thank you for writing this. someone took a puppy from me recently that I vaccinated myself at 9 weeks and seemed very angry when I gave him the vials that the vaccine came in as proof. He took the dog 7 days later to his vet who vaccinated it again. From what I have read and understand this is pointless and can cancel out the vaccinations effect.

Jonathan CT

Heather Houlahan said...

If you have one or a few pets, it's cheapest to get your vaccines at Agway, Tractor Supply, or your independent farm & feed store. Saves on shipping costs.

Be sure to keep a permanent paper record of the date. Electronic reminders are dandy, but don't replace paperwork. Peel the little sticker off the bottle of vaccine and stick it on the paper -- it will have the lot number and everything you could ever need to know.

YesBiscuit! said...

I don't know how common this is but some Vets, groomers, boarding facilities, etc refuse to accept vaccines done by the owner as "proof of vaccination".

PBurns said...

Not only have I never had a problem, I have never had a vet or boarding faciltity even ASK to see any proof of vaccination.

And why would they? If all the other animals are vaccinated, the only threat is to your animal.


It really is that simple.

The world is a big place, and we do not need to feed the liars, theives and cheats any more. Most vets are fine people, but just as there a lying, predating car mechanics, so too are there an equal (or larger) number of lying predating veterinarians.

And, to repeat, I have NEVER had a vet even ask for proof of vaccine on my dogs, much less turn down my label-proof medical records. STOP GOING TO VETS THAT are TRYING TO RIP YOU OFF!!

Stop paying more because ...."someone ... somewhere ... said maybe...."


LisaT said...

And what worries me about the article here is that it still promotes too many vaccines, too early, and doesn't emphasize that boosters are not necessary if you follow the right protocol (see Jean Dodds' protocol )

So a post like this one can very likely encourage folks to continue giving their dogs UNNECESSARY vaccines, which many will continue for life. Vaccination doesn't have to be expensive if the right protocol is followed, which in turn protects the health of the dog.

Except for folks that are breeding, or giving their own puppy shots because they want to use special vaccines (single disease vaccines that contain no mercury for example), I find this blog post dangerous, particularly in its promotion of multi-disease vaccines, given too young and too frequently.

Of course, I find most protocols that vets use also very dangerous.

Would have been nice to see a blog post about how to vaccinate your dog, using *smart* protocols, and emphasizing current science to minimizing what is going into the dog.

C.L. Quigley said...

You have made some very valid points, and I thank you for this informative post. However, I find it dangerous that you have promoted a 7 way vaccine. Over vaccination is already a serious problem with most dogs currently getting 4 ways (plus Rabies) every year. See Dr. Jean Dodd's protocol: Dr. Dodd is one of the few vets in her occupation who are beginning to see that less is more when it comes to vaccinating our dogs.

PBurns said...

Lisa T, if you don't want people to think you are an idiot, it will help if you actually go to the links in a post. If you had done that, you would have read this >> and other vaccine-related posts on this blog.

Also, if you don't want people to think you are an idiot, you will actually stop talking about things you know nothing about. Mercury is NOT a problem in vaccines, and neither are multi-disease vaccines done all at once. The research here is NOT open for debate. Bottom line: your ignorance is showing. Slow down and do the work.


PBurns said...

Buoyant Dog, see the comment above.

Or, to put it more simply, READ THE LINKS. For instance >>


LisaT said...

Patrick, I'm directly my comments to the information contained in *this* post. You have encouraged multi-disease vaccines, and a puppy schedule that does not need to be aggressive. Mercury, and just as bad, the aluminum adjuvants are dangerous.

Sorry you can't make your points or deal with questioning without name calling.

PBurns said...

Lisa, I am sorry, but you are an IDIOT. You have not even read this post. If you had, you would see that THIS POST says boosters are not needed, and a LINK is provided to the post previously mentioned.

You apparently do not read this blog very often, as I have linked to that post (and a magazine article from Dogs Today with the same information) a million times.

Lisa, you know nothing about vaccines and so PLEASE do not talk about them, as your lack of knowledge will KILL A LOT OF DOGS. You clearly do not know when maternal-derived immunity wears off (it varies from dog to dog), do not know why dogs are vaccinated multiple times, and do not know how to weigh relative risk (no idea about that at all!). This ignorance means you need to STOP TALKING about vaccines. It really is that simple. Mercury and aluminum in vaccines are NOT dangerous, have a very high degree of safety, and are FDA approved for both humans and animals.


C.L. Quigley said...

Some things are not adding up between your post on the Billion Dollar Vaccine Scam and your more recent post, You Can Vaccinate Your Own Dog. I say this particularly in your sanction of a 7-way vaccine that includes Leptospirosis in a more recent post, and your statement that “As for other vaccines -- Corona, Lepto, Lyme, Bordatella -- those vaccines should generally not be given at all due to their lack of efficacy, relative danger, or the rarity of the disease and the ease of post-infection treatment.” You previously noted Dr. Jean Dodds with high regards in your Billion Dollar Vaccine post, but now in your comments section, you are saluting that only an “idiot” would space out vaccinations, like Dr. Dodds does. So, in conclusion, there are conflicting statements in your salute to idiots in the comments section, your recent post on vaccinating your own dog and your previous and well researched post on the Billion Dollar Vaccine Scam. Does this mean I do not value vaccinations for my dog? Of course not! I have been researching this subject by reading materials in scientific journals of veterinary medicine, the studies and conclusions of veterinary schools, and individual veterinarians, even self professed know-it-all bloggers like yourself, and there still is no definitive answer on the subject of vaccinations.

PBurns said...

Bouyant Dog -- Have you ever had a baby? If you have, you will know that a disease that can kill a baby will do no serious harm to an adult human. The same is true for dog illnesses. This is one reason why you want a puppy to be covered by things which you will never have a concern about later.

Lepto is a vaccine that some get and some do not. This is a working terrier site and I have more than a few people who hunt rats (surprise!) and they have strong (if divergent) opinions on this matter. Lepto is a rat disease and I have said my bit on that disease before, and I let people chose either way. This a post on HOW to give a shot, not WHAT to give. I assume people will go to the links and the web site and the magazine article and I do not have to get a complete basic veterinary course with every post.

Jean Dodds runs a canine blood bank and blood testing place in California that she shares with another vet who believes in aromatherapy. I am not making this up ( Her company -- Hemopet -- sells blood testing services for dogs. I give credit to Jean Dodds for being a great popularizer of the notion that we are over-vaccinating dogs. That said, I would never go to a vet that ever uttered the word "homeopathic" as if it was a medical field, and I suggest you look up the word and research if before you decided to go one too!

Old Joke: You know what they call "alternative medicine" that works? Medicine!

The real expert on vaccines, in my opinion, is Ron Schultz. You will notice, for example, that it is he (and his university) that is being tapped to do the research for the Rabies Challenge Fund -- Jean Dodds simply does not have the facilties or the background to do it. She has been detailed to raising the money. This is a good split in terms of talent, I think.

Have you actually read Jean Dodd's vaccine protocols? Which one? I ask this last question, because they have changed. I ask the first question because she very clearly states that her "protocols" are NOT the only ones, nor does she say what they are actually based on. Dodds is, at the heart of it, a solo practitioner, and her vaccine protocol is nothing more than her opinion and carries no more weight than that.

You will see a lot of nonsense on list-servs saying that her vaccine protocol is "now in use at all 27 North American veterinary schools." In fact, it is not. Complete bunk made up wholecloth by someone other than Jean Dodds.

What we have now is every veterinarian in America with their own vaccine protocols -- Jean Dodds's protocol is simply one in 1,000 at this point, and it is one created by a veterinarian that thinks "homeopathy" is a type of medicine. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with her protocol, but it is not necessarily "right" either. She herself says the same thing.

I myself think that is is GOOD medicine to get a complete round of vaccinations in early and to maintain a complete round of boosters that first year. This is the foundation for your dog's life and its immunization system. If you are going to lose a dog to parvo or distemper, or any other disease, it is most likely to happen in the first three or four months of that dog's life, and into that first year. Going slow here, and undervaccinating, is simply a fools errand. After that, annual or tri-annual vaccinations (other than rabies) is a waste of money and a small threat to health.

Dodds is big on vaccine titers (she sells blood testing services herself), but in fact getting a dog stuck for a titer is more expensive and probably more dangerous than simply revaccinating your dog every 7years if you have that worry. I don't, and neither does Ron Schultz. And, for the record, a low titer does NOT mean your dog is not vaccinated and immune.


PBurns said...

You might want to listen to this NPR interview on vaccines.

Link provided at >>

Viatecio said...

Ever since I learned over a year ago that you can get vaccines (and antibiotics!) from good sources--the breeder I used to work for gave her own vaccines as well--I've always sworn the only jab my future dogs will get from the vet is the Rabies.

For basic fecals, all you need is any one of a few chemical solutions (sodium nitrate, zinc sulfate, or Sheather's sugar solution), a centrifuge, slides/coverslips, a microscope and a knowledge of parasites and what you might be missing (some eggies might be too heavy to float).

Despite the possibility of working for shady vets who insist on yearly jabs and twice-yearly senior-wellness exams (among other rip-offs), I see a great value in being a vet tech: namely, doing my own basic exams! I'll be such a BAA-A-A-A-AD, er, "noncompliant" client!

Jess Ruffner-Booth said...

Bouyant might want to ask some breeders who used Dodds 'improved' schedule and ended up with Parvo what they think. I know more than a few who have gone back to vaccinating at six weeks. Our local vet sees a lot of Parvo pups and the vast majority are between six and nine weeks of age and UNvaccinated. Dodds protocol is NOT based on what we know about maternal antibodies (that there is a window of approximately two weeks where the pup has too little MA to protect it, and too much to interfere seroconversion from a regular vaccine [that is why high titer vaccines exist]). Dodds and her followers also seems to live in an alternate universe where puppies can be kept perfectly safe from Parvo with no effort at all, regardless of the fact that it can be carried by innocuous things like birds and flies and shoes.

I finally got to the point where I've just started slapping people who start singing the 'you're killing your pups by vaccinating to early' rag.

Unknown said...