It would be really nice if I could answer that question in this post. And I would love to. But unfortunately, probably like you, it’s really hard for me to know.
There has been long term, ongoing heated debate over whether vaccinations are safe for young children. It seems that the idea that children’s vaccinations can result in autism has finally been debunked. Vaccines can definitely prevent a good number of dangerous diseases. While that doesn’t mean they are actually good for you, they are surely better for you than the diseases are at least.
But what about vaccines for our canine buddies? A while back I came across an article entitled “Is Over Vaccination Killing Our Dogs?” that got me thinking. High drama title, I know. The gist of the article was that this guy, James Schwartz, had a really bad experience with a rabies vaccination gone wrong. His dog Moolah had an auto-immune disease which should have stopped her from being vaccinated. And he lost her as a result of the vaccine.
Since then James researched and published a book exploring the legalities and sometimes tragic results of over-vaccination in pets and is leading an anti-vaccination campaign in Colorado. This has led to threats and harassment from the veterinary community. Just what do the vets have to lose? Well.. lots and lots of money of course! Here’s an excerpt from the article:
In his book he demonstrates how vaccinations and their revenue offshoots serve as huge income sources for vet practices.
Schwartz calculates that 300 animal hospitals would administer an average of 2.25 million shots per year with a profit of $156 million over three years. He also notes that 63 percent of canine and 70 percent of feline vet office visits are for vaccination shots.
Schwartz learned that a British study demonstrated that up to 12 percent of vaccinated animals showed adverse reactions within 45 days of vaccination. Schwartz views current American vaccination practices as a betrayal of trust by the vet industry, quoting the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Journal as stating: “The one-year vaccination frequency recommendations for rabies found on many vaccine labels is based only on historical precedent, NOT on scientific data.”
The vets know a heck of a lot more than I know. That said, it’s very difficult to get an unbiased answer on something when the industry endorsing the vaccines is the same industry who stands to profit. I do worry about veterinarian bias… such as endorsing specific brands of kibble by selling it in their stores. From what I’ve researched kibble isn’t an incredibly healthy food for dogs to begin with. I mean, would you feed your human child a bowl of processed cereal and then call it a day? Nutrition achieved? I’ve asked several vets about their training in dog nutrition and they’ve honestly told me that nutrition isn’t a big part of their curriculum. I think what you eat makes you what you are so it’s a bit of a worry. But that’s another story for another discussion.
I absolutely love my vets and trust them with my dog’s life. We’ve got a fantastic relationship.
However, that doesn’t mean I have complete confidence in the veterinary institution as a whole… and some of the beliefs that may be inherent to veterinarian training. If the drug companies which provide the vaccinations are as powerful and influential as the companies which produce and provide the kibble, and I would expect they definitely are, then things are bound to get a bit messy.
So what do you think? Are you vaccine confident? Have you had any misgivings about vaccinations or any related canine health issues? I’d love to hear your view.