Vaccines are a controversial topic in humans, as well as animals. However, the animal medical profession looks a lot closer at the effectivity and potential danger of vaccines than the human medical profession. The reasons are easy to deduce. For one thing our pets traditionally have been vaccinated MUCH MUCH more than our children. Yearly boosters for everything? That provides a lot more anecdotal fodder that cries for attention.
Our children are catching up to our pets though, so it is even more important that we look very closely at the risk/benefit ratio of vaccines.
Alex Jones' PrisonPlanet site pushed awareness with this article recently:
A team at Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine conducted several studies (1,2) to determine if vaccines can cause changes in the immune system of dogs that might lead to life-threatening immune-mediated diseases. They obviously conducted this research because concern already existed. It was sponsored by the Haywood Foundation which itself was looking for evidence that such changes in the human immune system might also be vaccine induced. It found the evidence.
The vaccinated, but not the non-vaccinated, dogs in the Purdue studies developed autoantibodies to many of their own biochemicals, including fibronectin, laminin, DNA, albumin, cytochrome C, cardiolipin and collagen.
William La Rosa of the Hayward Foundation writes:
Autoimmune diseases in dogs are clinically similar to those in humans. We hope that Veterinary and Medical Schools will continue and expand these preliminary research studies. Our companion dogs are crashing all around us and maybe we are now finding one of the sources of the problems. It has been so easy to point fingers at breeders but they may not be entirely at fault. Let us continue this important researcher to help our future generations of dogs and possibly children. Yes, indiscriminate breeding can genetically predispose the dog but is the trigger mechanism indiscriminate vaccination.
I have no problem wagging the finger at breeders for health concerns, not just because of barbie inbreeding, but for general husbandry practices. Weaning carnivore pups onto rice cereal and pedialyte is supposed to result in optimal adult health? Many breeders adopt their husbandry practices from older breeders, never stopping to think about why they do what they do. A little critical reasoning capability would go a long way.
UC Davis website gives a good breakdown of vaccines for dogs (and cats) into those considered "Core" and those that are not. Core vaccines are those that cover diseases with a high mortality rate, and are generally proven to be effective. Most pet owners will opt for those at a minimum, on a minimal schedule.
Thankfully we pet owners can still make our own decisions about vaccinations. We have information available about each vaccine, its' effectiveness and the risk of the disease it covers.
Our children are another matter. As parents, we are all too often pushed by healthcare workers afraid of lawsuits and pharmaceutical manufacturers who think they can scare us into giving them money, to vaccinate and vaccinate and vaccinate without any real consideration of the risk/benefit cost.
I only hope our advances in pet vaccine knowledge will transfer to our children, and that our children vaccine hype and paranoia will not be transferred to our "companion animals".