The Hidden Hazards of Vaccines


Sometimes vaccines can do more harm than good.Vaccines.  We are conditioned to believe that they are safe and that they will prevent our dogs from getting sick.  However, as more research is done into what ACTUALLY happens to the body when vaccines are introduced, more doctors and pet guardians are realizing that sometimes vaccines can actually do more harm than good.  This can be especially true when your dog has a compromised immune system, such as when they have cancer.  As a result, many vets are changing their recommendations about how often dogs should be vaccinated, and more and more are offering titer testing to check for a dog’s immunity level before giving a booster shot.

When deciding whether or not to vaccinate your dog, consider three things:

- What is the current state of your dog’s immune system? 

- Is the disease your vaccinating against treatable or could the potential side effects of the vaccine be worse than the disease itself?

- Is your dog at high risk for contracting the disease being vaccinated against?

If your dog’s immune system is highly compromised, such as in the case of a dog with cancer or one with severe allergies, AND your dog is not at high risk for contracting a disease, then you may want to talk with your veterinarian about whether or not a vaccination is completely necessary. 

Certainly, in some cases, vaccines can be a good thing, and with preventatives such as heartworm medicines, they can be vital to your dog’s health.  The important thing is to be aware of the hidden dangers of vaccines and to talk with your vet about any concerns you have.  See if it’s possible to get a waiver for Rabies vaccines, or to change your heartworm treatment schedule to every 45 days instead of every 30, and discuss which vaccines are essential, which you can do titer testing for, and which can be postponed.  You are your dog’s advocate when it comes to healthcare, so you are responsible for asking the right questions and doing your homework about controversial subjects such as vaccines.

To help you with this research, read this great overview about the potential dangers of vaccines called the “Science of Vaccine Damage”by Catherine O’Driscoll. 

These books are also must-reads for anyone who wants to know more about vaccine dangers and how to keep your dog healthy and safe.

“Stop the Shots: Are Vaccinations Killing our Pets?” by John Clifton

“The Nature of Animal Healing” by Dr. Martin Goldstein

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About Kerry Malak

I am a Bulldog mom, Reiki Master/Teacher, pet loss counselor and canine cancer advocate who loves working with people and animals to help them live longer, happier and healthier lives.
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4 Responses to The Hidden Hazards of Vaccines

  1. hannah says:

    we should always be aware of the vaccines that we are giving to our dogs..thanks for the info!!! did you happen to see this article about the shelter makeover? http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-04-12-zootoo-shelter-clash_N.htm

  2. Joyce McDowell says:

    Subject: My dog dead from “cancer” (??) 4 days post vaccines at 2 yrs old

    All this is still very fresh in my mind – and I have started to “read” online info – only wish I had done this before – and I am still looking for answers to HOW this could have happened to a 2 1/2 yr old dog – that NEVER showed any symptoms. Bailee was an energetic beautiful golden retriever mix – the week before this all happened she was bouncing and running up and down the fence with the neighbors dogs – She receivered her rabies vaccine at Petco on May 2 – and the balance of her vaccines from my vet on May 8 – on May 12 we had to put her to sleep – hours after her boosters she threw up – and again in the morning – she had lost her appetite and Sunday and Monday following she would not eat at all – nothing not even people food or a treat – I brought her in Tues morning – notices a little blood in her nose when we got to the vet – who during this process had attributed her lethargy and loss of appetite to being depressed over not having her pack mate (my other golden mix) around since she had been boarded for a week away – He thought it could be rat poison – and yes we have a weird neighbor that had threatened my dogs for getting out of my gate May 1 (which has NEVER happened before) – my vet did a clotting test and it was not good – so he told me to go to the local emergency hospital – they did blood xray and sonogram and diagnosed Bailee with Spleen, Kidney Liver and bone marrow cancer – and recommended putting her down – we wanted to take her home to do this – so went to pick her up – but when we saw her condition – even more weakened than earlier and throwing up what they said she was bleeding out (it looked like the brown food supplement I had been giving her for nutrition for 2 days – but they said it was blood) She had lost 3 lbs in 3 days – we decided she was visibily weak and in pain so we had her put to sleep there – This was all going on exactly a week today – I have been trying to put these pieces together – and cannot ignore the fact that she was vaccinated otherwise heathly and then suddenly sick – how do I argue with professionals that my dog did not have cancer – or that possibly the vaccines escalated the illness that was underlying….

    I need some answers – I have 3 other pets in the family – do not want to make this same mistake again – I am looking for another vet because I think he
    was hasty and incomplete with his initial exam

    Can you please comment on my experience.

    Thank you
    Joyce McDowell Acworth GA

    • I’m so very sorry to hear about your sweet Bailee. What a horrible experience for all of you to go through! In my personal experience, vets do vary a lot when it comes to vaccines — some are very aware of the controversies surrounding them, but many are either oblivious or don’t care because they can make money off of people who bring their dogs in for regular boosters…thinking that they are helping their dogs live longer, healthier lives. I certainly didn’t know anything about vaccines and their link to illness until after Georgia’s cancer diagnosis. While I think Bailee’s situation is very extreme (and it’s almost impossible to know exactly how the vaccines interacted with any cancer, or potential for cancer in her body), you may want to consider switching to a holistic veterinarian, or an integrative vet who can help work through your concerns and discuss other options to keep your other animals healthy and avoid unnecessary vaccines. One option is that for most vaccines, you can actually do titer testing instead of boosters to check the level of antibodies in the dog’s blood. Most of the time, adult dogs have enough antibodies in their system and don’t need additional vaccines. This is true for Rabies too, which is one of the most potent of the vaccines out there and can often cause a reaction. I personally will only do titers on my dog now because he has severe allergies that indicate an already weakened immune system. There are some legal issues around Rabies vaccines/titers though that are different from state to state and which need to be considered. If you’re interested in working with a holistic vet, I’d recommend visiting: http://www.holisticvetlist.com/ to find one near you. And, if you want to discuss more, feel free to email me at kerry@fightcaninecancer.com. Good luck, and again, my sincere condolences on the loss of Bailee.

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