Are you confused as to why a Chihuahua gets the same amount of vaccine for viruses as a Great Dane? You should be. And the answer is not obvious.
What We Know
Vaccines are produced on scientific research conducted many years ago. That research by respected veterinary immunologists suggested that every dog needed a specific amount of virus particles to stimulate the immune system, no matter what the size of the dog. Unfortunately, vaccines need more than just the virus particles to be effective. The virus needs nutrients and helper chemicals (adjuvants) to preserve and strengthen the vaccine response by the immune system. The volume of those chemicals makes up the majority of the vaccine. It is these adjuvants that we think are causing the long term consequences of vaccinations, called “vaccinosis.” The mercury in rabies vaccine is particularly suspect.So what is the problem if we give a small dog ½ or less of the regular dose?
Decreased Vaccine Doses
If decreased volumes of vaccine are given for smaller dogs, they will receive fewer virus particles. According to the traditional research, dogs receiving fewer virus particle won’t achieve optimum immunity against disease. This situation has not been investigated and we veterinarians have no new information to help our clients and patients with logical decisions. Hopefully more updated research will be conducted soon to determine exactly how many virus particles are necessary per pound of body weight.
The American Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association conference that I attended in September featured very strong research to suggest rabies vaccine may need to be given only every 5 years. The hope is that the recommendations of this group of veterinary scientists, will be adopted by public health organizations throughout the world as has occurred with their previous vaccine research recommendations.
So What is Your Dog’s Alternative?
At The Well Dog Place we recommend that vaccines for distemper and parvovirus be given only every 3 years, or ideal, when blood tests show that vaccination is necessary. It is a simple test we can do in-house at a much lower cost than veterinary labs. This minimizes unnecessary vaccinations. Our rabies vaccine is mercury-free. We can help you with a sensible vaccination program for your dog.