To The Point

 

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Steffi survived her battle with distemper but has been left with physical reminders of the disease's path of destruction

 

Here we are in the 2000's and there is much debate on immunizations and vaccinations.  Should we be vaccinating children and dogs?  Is there too much of risk involved in the administration of vaccinations? 

Although vaccinations have the potential to protect pets against life-threatening diseases as well as contributing to overall human health, they do have their risks.  Recently, controversy has sprung up regarding the duration of protection and the timing of administration as well as the safety and necessity of certain vaccines. 

What is the controversy?

There is a growing train of thought that we have overvaccinated our dogs and caused an increase in epilepsy, allergies and cancers.  The approach these individuals propose is to eliminate vaccinations altogether and we will eliminate disease in our dogs. 

Now, here is where my bias as a dog rescuer comes in. 

In one article I read opposing vaccination recently, the author suggested that "kennel cough is so easily treated, that why would I worry about vaccinating for this".  Well, it seems to me that by using antibiotics to treat for the bordatella bug, you may actually be doing your dog a disservice by building up a resistance to common antibiotics. 

Another article suggested that "distemper is so rare now, vets haven't seen a case in over 10 years".  This is completely untrue, as I sit typing this, a 3 year old dog who survived distemper is sleeping at my feet.  Had Steffi been vaccinated against distemper she would not have experienced the mucosal, respiratory and neurological impact of the disease.  As a result, she has neurological twitch that remains, she has lost her teeth (a result of the enamel on her teeth not forming properly), has a dent in her skull (a result of her bones not forming properly), has keratosis on her nose (callus like skin) and will experience a shortened life span.  Now, can you honestly say that she is better off not having had a simple sub-cutaneous injection to fight distemper? 

Another article points to "parvovirus is rarely a problem in adult dogs, this vaccination is not required in this day and age".   As a dog rescuer, I have admitted numerous puppies to the vet because of parvo.  It is cruel disease that causes lethargy, severe diarrhea and extreme vomiting.  If you read the last post, you know that little Hawkeye was vomiting so hard he wrenched his GI tube out.  This caused him to aspirate and the fluid in his lungs caused him to stop breathing.  The rest of his litter fought hard to win their battle with an entourage of veterinarians administering a plethora of supports.  Can you honestly tell me that Hawkeye is better off not having had this vaccination? 

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Heading under Hawkeye's image:  Despite all efforts, Hawkeye did not survive his diagnosis of parvo. 

 

Please do not get me wrong.  I do not, and hart does not, think that overvaccinating is a positive thing.  But the core vaccinations are essential. 

We are proud to say that dogs in our care receive DACPP (Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type 2, Coronavirus, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus), Rabies, Bordatella Bronchiseptica, Pyran/Panacur (deworming) and Capstar/Advantage (flea and mange).

We have held too many puppies while they take their last breathes due to completely preventable diseases.  

Written by Lyndsay hart at 00:00

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