Home / health and wellness / Over Vaccination of Dogs and Cats – Risks, Costs, Alternatives

Over Vaccination of Dogs and Cats – Risks, Costs, Alternatives

On a Walk With My Dog Pack…
from small to large – not over inoculated!

In this article – vaccines and vaccination…

  1. Defining Core Vaccines v.s. Non-Core Vaccines
  2. Core Vaccines – Updated Guidelines
  3. Non-core Vaccines – Does your Dog or Cat Really Need One?
  4. How Does a Vaccine Work?
  5. What is in a Vaccine?
  6. The Serious Health Risks of Over Inoculation;
  7. Your Best Defense Is…
1.0 Defining Core Vaccines v.s. Non-Core

1.1 Core Vaccines
The  American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) define core vaccines as:
  • Vaccines that all dogs should receive to be protected against serious or potentially fatal diseases;
    • These diseases are;
      • Present in all areas within North America;
      • Are more easily transmitted than non-core diseases.
    • Core vaccinations as defined by the AAHA are:
1.2 Non-Core Vaccines
The AAHA defines non-core vaccines as:


2.0 Core Inoculations – Updated
The AAHA’s updated guidelines issued in 2011 (includes the US and Canada):
  • Recommends that canine vaccination be done every three (3) years.
  • In these guidelines, the AAHA also admits/acknowledges that immunity for vaccinations extends beyond the three year horizon…
    • Core inoculations such as:
      • Distemper and Parvo are good for 5 or more years;
      • Ardenovirus is good for 7 years;
    • Rabies is the only inoculation is that usually mandated by law;
      • In many locals, rabies is a 2 or 3 year inoculation.
Although this new 3-year protocol is taught in Veterinary Science schools, the majority (the number currently sits at about 60%) of practicing allopathic veterinarians continue to recommend annual re-vaccinations. 
If your veterinarian is still pushing you to re-vaccinate your dog or cat on an annual basis you should:
Ask them to do a titer test to measure your dog’s or cat’s current level of immunity;
Basically if your dog or cat was properly vaccinated when he /she was a puppy or kitten, he/she is likely protected for life from core diseases. The only exception to this rule (in a legal sense, not in an immunity sense) is rabies. The province or state in which you reside sets the protocol for rabies inoculations. For an example of a government mandated rabies protocol you can check this one for Ontario Canada, the province that I reside in. 

3.0 Non-core Vaccines – Does Your Dog or
Cat Really Need One?

Decisions regarding inoculation with non-core vaccinations should be based on an individual dog’s particular circumstances -for example:

3.1 Overall health…

Diet plays a key role in protecting your dog and cat from illness and disease…

  • The problem is that most commercial dog and cat food diets do not support the overall health of you companion animal;


3.2 Exposure due to Lifestyle…

  • For example, 
    • In the case of Bordetella, your dog is going to a boarding or daycare facility that only accepts dogs that have this vaccine;
    • You are traveling to a location with a high incidence of Lyme Disease.


3.3 Exposure due to Geographic Location…

  • For example;
    • You are living in an area with a high incidence of Lyme disease;
    • Your dog walks in areas populated by deer-tick bearing wildlife;
    • You don’t check for ticks on a routine basis and remove the tick within 24 hours of attachment (disease is only transferable from tick to dog after 24 hours of attachment).


4.0 How Does A Vaccine Work?
A vaccine is supposed to protect your dog or cat from potentially fatal infections by disease causing (pathogenic) viruses (i.e. distemper). The vaccine contains a killed virus or modified (non-pathogenic) live virus. This is intended to stimulate your dog’s or cat’s immune system to recognize and fight that particular virus. After the vaccination your dog’s or cat’s immune system should then be able to produce his/her own antibodies to fight the virus. 
During the period just after vaccination your dog’s and cat’s immune system is suppressed as it fights to acclimatize itself to the foreign antibodies. During this time the immune systems normal ability to reject common bacteria, fungus, parasites and viruses may be seriously hampered. This can result in increased susceptibility to acute or chronic infections, for example:
If your dog is suffering from a chronic condition or disease you really need to think twice before re-inoculating your dog or cat as his/her weakened condition may not support the further assault on the immune system caused by vaccinations.

5.0 What Is In a Vaccine Besides

Vaccines contain more than the active antibodies. Vaccines contain many substances that can wreak havoc on your companion animals’ health….

  • Toxins such as the vaccine adjuvant aluminum hydroxide (associated with causing neurological disease);
  • Chemical preservatives which can also be endocrine disrupting and carcinogenic);
  • Foreign proteins;
  • Immune irritants;
  • Mutated bacteria, and;
  • Viruses. 

Aluminum hydroxide is one example of a vaccine adjuvant that can cause serious problems for your dog or cat – specifically aluminum hydroxide can and does cause neurological disease. 


6.0 The Serious Health Risks of Over

Over-inoculation comes with a considerable risk of major adverse health issues such as those encapsulated under the term Vaccinosis. 

6.1 Vaccinosis includes… 

  • Mild adverse reactions to vaccination; 
  • Severe adverse reactions; 
  • And Illness.

6.2 The following are some of the mild adverse reactions
caused by vaccines and vaccination:

  • Conjunctivitis;
  • Fever and, other;
  • Flu-like symptoms;
  • Hair change;
  • Hair loss;
  • Inflammation and swelling at the injection site;
  • Lethargy;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Sneezing;
  • Stiffness;
  • Soreness;
  • Oral Ulcers.
6.3 The following are some of the severe adverse reactions
vaccines and vaccination
  • Allergic hypersensitivity;
  • Allergic uveitis;
  • Anaphylactic shock;
  • Behavioural change;
  • Granulomas and abscesses;
  • Hives;
  • Lameness;
  • Swelling of the face;
  • Neurological damage;
  • Respiratory Disease;
  • Vitiligo;
  • Weight loss, and;
  • In breeding females – reduction of milk production, and…
6.4 And, finally some of the Illness caused by  vaccines and
  • Abortion – spontaneous;
  • Anaphylaxis;
  • Autoimmune arthritis;
  • Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia;
  • Congenital abnormalities in foetus;
  • Encephalitis;
  • Fetal (embryotic) Death;
  • Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy;
  • Infertility;
  • Myocarditis;
  • Polyneuritus;
  • Seizures;
  • Tjyroiditis;
  • Cancer – Injection-site sarcomas.
7.0 Your Best Defense Is…
7.1 Knowledge. 
Don’t allow your veterinarian to push you into annual re-inoculations. If you are concerned about immunity levels ask your veterinarian to do a titer test.
7.2 Diet
Support your dog’s and cat’s system from the inside – don’t get roped into feeding a poor diet. No dry dog or cat food is nutritionally complete or species appropriate.

7.3 Use of Chemical-Based Insect, Parasite Preventatives…
Use Only IF Absolutely Necessary…
Chemical based insect and parasite preventatives are powerful pesticides that are toxic and carcinogenic – they tax the immune system, the renal system and more. You can read more about that here.
Use Healthy Alternatives…

There are many natural herbal, nutraceutical interventions that can be used – both ingested and topical.

About Karen Rosenfeld

My name is Karen Rosenfeld. I am an holistic diet nutrition health and wellness practitioner for dogs and cats. I am an holistic behaviorist for dogs. I offer a wealth of real-time, real-life experience. 30 years working and living with dogs and cats. Companion animals are my life, my work, my passion. Maintenance of Health Health Issues and Conditions Custom designed whole food diets, raw and cooked. Recommendations for commercial whole food diets. Consultations available worldwide via FaceTime, FaceBook video and voice, Skype, Phone and email Recommendation and specification of... Species Appropriate: Whole foods Treats Herbs Alternative medicines Supplemental foods Treatment and Remedy Holistic Behaviorist Services for Dogs Include: Obedience Training Behavior Modification Psychological Rehabilitation In-person Sessions Sessions available worldwide via FaceTime, FaceBook video and voice, Skype, Phone Affiliations to Companies None. I don’t sell food or supplements. I am NOT aligned with any companies. I prefer to select best solutions for my individual clients’ situation. My client services are available around the world. 🇺🇸USA 🇨🇦Canada 🇬🇧UK 🇦🇺Australia 🇪🇺Europe 🇨🇷Costa Rica and other Central American Countries 🇦🇪United Arab Emirates 🇸🇪Sweden and other Scandinavian Countries 🇸🇬Singapore and other Countries in Asia etc. Consultations and Sessions 📧Email: karen@ottawavalleydogwhispererer.ca 📞Phone: 1-613-293-3707 📱FaceTime 📱FaceBook video or voice 💻Skype 📖Holistic Wellness eBooks custom designed to suit 🚶In-person Sessions only available in Ontario, Canada.

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  1. Hi Karen, I’m wondering if their is anything you suggest as holistic support to give either before or after vaccines. I feel like I have heard of people giving certain homeopathic remedies for drainage of toxins following vaccines? Personally I’m not entirely comfortable with most of even the core vaccines for our dog BUT since we do leave the country in the winter for vacation and will need to have her boarded, I will have to get them, but I would love to know if their is anything you suggest that I can do to help her through it. Thanks so much!

    • Yes, there are natural herbs and neutraceuticals that help protect against the adverse side effects of vaccinations. Diet can also play a role in protection. If you decide you would like assistance my consultation services are available to you. Cheers, K

  2. Thank you for all the research and the work you commit to in the process of helping pet owners take better care of their beloved animals.

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