Vaccination Dangers to Your Best Friend

by admin on May 26, 2011

Duffster and Cooperstino

Like me, you undoubtedly take the health of your dogs very seriously. When the email alerts and the postcards came from our vet, in the past, I immediately made the appointment. However, I now believe, after many tears and heartache, that I should have been more knowledgeable about pros and cons of vaccinations. Here’s my story in the hopes that it will make you think carefully about the appropriateness of the shots for your pet.
Before a short boarding stint in late Nov, we took our pals in to make certain they were up to date with their shots–our vet said that they were recommending bordetella every six months-and so they were now due and we took care of it. When we picked them up, we noticed that the 3 year-old Malti-Poo wasn’t himself. He got increasingly lethargic and we took him back to the vet. We noticed his gums were very pale–the vet thought he may have pancreatitis and was treated accordingly. He seemed to improve. Then, he got desperately sick–needed hospitalization, a blood transfusion and much more. The diagnosis was something I had never heard of: Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia. It was touch and go as he was on “death’s doorstep” but after months of treatment, he is vastly improved and we are hopeful there will not be a relapse.
The reason I am sharing this story is that, after much research, I strongly believe that the “extra” Bordatella triggered this problem. Several studies at Purdue found:
* Smaller dogs are more prone to vaccine reactions than larger dogs
* Risk of reactions increased by 27 percent for each additional vaccine given per office visit in dogs under 22 pounds, and by 12 percent in dogs over 22 pounds
* Risk increased for dogs up to 2 years old, then declined with age
* Risk increased for pregnant dogs and dogs in heat
* More reactions were found in small dogs given Leptospirosis vaccine
There are a number of sites with information. This article has excellent information: “Less is More”

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Gabrielle Becker May 27, 2011 at 8:45 am

Wow, great information to know Karen and thanks for doing the footwork. I’ll be speaking to our fur kids’ vet about this since both Audrey and Evan are due for some shot updates. We’re very happy to hear that Mr. Coop is feeling so much better!!!


Christel K June 21, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Hello there, as a veterinary technician I have seen all sorts of medication reactions. Still, if you research the percentages of pets who have a negative reaction to those who do not its very minimal. I would much rather take a chance on a vaccine reaction than get the diseases that we are vaccinating against – much more deadlier, painful and costly than dealing with a vaccine reaction. The case above is unusual and not a typical vaccine reaction. Most of the time a reaction consists of lethargy, a bit of vomitting or breaking out in hives. At our clinic, if we have a dog that we know has previously had vaccine reactions we pretreat with benadryl or other drug about a half an hour prior to the vaccine then observe the dog for about an hour afterward. The negative reaction usually occurs within the first 20 minutes after the injection. It is wise to be aware that a reaction can occur with any dog – as it can with humans, however, if you still are not comfortable with it please speak with your veterinarian. Good luck to everyone and their fur babies!


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