Allergies and Vaccines
Is this a description of your dog?
She has been biting her sides, paws, tail, anything she can get her mouth to and creating red, bald spots, some to the point of bleeding. These are along the sides of her body and on her tail. The last time she had all of her shots she got so sick she threw up blood and bile.
This was part of an email I received from a family member that does not live in the same state that I do and obviously she sees a different veterinarian. She is “due” for her yearly vaccinations. Nevermind my problem with receiving annual vaccinations, my first question was what has her vet done about this problem, before receiving the yearlys? The answer: “My vet said to just give her a benadryl and she can get her shots. She’ll be fine.”
Trying to control my anger and not to really be harsh on her current veterinarian I said WHAT THE H* (see I didn’t use the F-bomb) Why would a vet give vaccines to an obviously sick dog?
Clue number one that the dog is not healthy – it is scratching so much that it is self-mutilating itself. I don’t see too many healthy dogs scratching themselves till they bleed.
Clue number two – the last time the dog received its vaccines it vomitted blood for a couple days.
hmmm – maybe some diagnostics would be in order prior to vaccinating this dog.
Now of course I am not there to see the dog and I am only getting this info from email and a phone call, but I am fairly confident from the history I took and the long term symptoms, this poor dog has has allergies and right now possibly a staph infection (need some diagnostics to determine that one). Proper protocol is to not vaccinate unless the dog is healthy and from my perspective this dog’s immune system is not healthy and has a chronic condition which will need to be managed.
Ignoring all the other things I do for a dog with allergies such as diet changes, the one thing I for sure do is limit how many vaccines the dog receives. Now why would I do that if I just said the dog’s immune system is not well, shouldn’t it get all the vaccines to help protect it?
The problem is that the dog’s immune system is in overdrive it is hyperstimulated. It is reacting to something in the environment – food, grass, pollen, dust, mold, detergents, fabrics, trees, flowers, etc, etc, something. Well the worst thing that we can do is stimulate the immune system even more. How about vaccines? Well what is the purpose of a vaccine? It is to STIMULATE the immune system. In fact, the vaccine manufacturers have designed vaccines to stimulate the immune system as much as they can with having as few reactions as they can in HEALTHY dogs. Well guess what? An allergic dog does not have a healthy immune system and if you have a dog with allergies you usually can predict that within a month of receiving the “yearly” vaccines you have to bring your dog in for itchy skin, ear infections or even diarrhea.
I had one client that I told that information to and they were so stunned that they went back into their dogs health records and they did pinpoint that within 3 weeks of receiving vaccines every year their dog had to come in for a corticosteroid shot to help relieve the skin problems and itching. Since they came in the same time every year they just assumed it was from something in the environment. This past year after not receiving the vaccines they also did not have to come in for a anti-itch shot either.
I have made posts in the past about the new vaccine protocols and how dogs should be titer tested or receive vaccines every 3 years and definitely not annually; however further consideration must be taken for dogs with immune system problems like dogs with allergies. It may be best for those dogs to skip vaccines all together and if they must receive them then give them only those that are absolutely necessary. It does not make sense to stimulate the immune system when it is already overstimulated.