View Full Version : booster

4th October 2006, 05:13 PM
Hello everybody,

Just would be interested in peoples opinions on this dilemma....
My 2 year old tri-colour (wilson), had an adverse reaction to his booster last year and promptly passed out in front of me. Now his booster is due again within the next few weeks and I really don't want him to have it done, I have asked the vet to phone me so we can have a chat, but I have been reading about the danger of over-vaccinating cavaliers, how often do they really need to be done and do they need all vaccines every year. Please can I have your views, I just want to do whats best for Wilson.

4th October 2006, 05:30 PM
which boosters are they specifically? which one or combination caused him to pass out :yikes

i think you're right to hesitate and to be cautious, and to seek out different opinions and information. i think you said it was his first booster a year ago that he had the reaction to. The current recommended protocols most commonly now are for boosters to be every 3 years, after the first annual booster. So if he's had his first annual booster, you should have another two years to research and think about what is right for him. Vets/states/drug makers who recommend routine annual boosters after the first year are becoming less common and as i understand it, they are 'behind the times.'

There are highly respected knowledgeable veterinary medical people, researchers, who suspect that immunity in the cases of some conditions last many years and very possibly for life, so that after the first exposure, immunity can't be improved upon by later vaccinations. Do a web search on Jean Dodds and Ronald Schultz, think they are the most prominent. Stay tuned with their research, they are in the process of putting together funds for a rabies challenge study at the University of Wisconsin Madison, to provide the hardest kind of empirical support for what they are already confident based on clinical experience and other less hard evidence is the case--to show that rabies immunity persists for many many years after initial exposure, the protocol they recommend is one annual booster and then three years, believing that this would be even more frequent than needed. they are extremely concerned about ill effects of over vaccination, maybe you have already looked into their work and their efforts to influence legislation on state rabies laws. You can also do a search for Christy Keith or Christine Keith, she is a tireless compiler of information on this subject, and attempts to present a balance of positions.

your doggie is lucky that you are taking seriously what happened to him previously, knowing there is strong pressure to automatically re-vaccinate and to downplay signs of danger.

Cathy Moon
4th October 2006, 05:35 PM
I'm wondering if it might be a good idea to have the vet do titer testing on Wilson, to find out which vaccines he doesn't need at this time.

Also, ask the vet which pharmaceutical company the last vaccines came from, and maybe try a different brand if available.

I'd like to hear what some of the others say.

I would definitely talk to my vet to find out what to do.

I once had a little dog, and she had a severe anaphylactic shock reaction but we did not know what caused it. Thereafter, whenever she had to be vaccinated, I would wait in the vet's waiting room for at least an hour to make sure if she had a reaction they would be right there to help her. Fortunately she never had another reaction, and also lived to the ripe old age of 14.5 years!

4th October 2006, 09:59 PM
Is your vet insisting he be vaccinated despite this previous experience? If so I'd get a second opinion from a different vet. I'd be inclined to not vaccinate at all with a dog that has had this reaction -- it is rare but some dogs can die from an adverse reaction to a vaccine and it sounds like yours might have had quite a severe reaction.

There are other options -- first off at his age he is likely to be well covered for three years anyway with his existing shots so there's no worry about needing to find a solution right away -- take your time to do some research. I'd talk to the vet about using nosodes as an alternative method of immunizing with a cavalier like this.

Did the vet tell you why your cavalier had this reaction, and what actually happened medically? Was it an anaphylactic (severe allergic) reaction? If so they often grow worse on subsequent injections so you have every reason to want to seek alternative approaches. A holistic vet could also advise on alternatives but I can't believe a vet would ever want to revaccinate under these circumstances.

5th October 2006, 01:36 PM
Thanks for all your opinions, Wilson suffered anaphlactic (spelling??) shock and it happened within 3 or 4 minutes of injection, the vet administered adrenalin and kept him in under observation for the day.

I am really nervous about what to do and I feel I don't want him to have any more jabs, but then I worry that people will frown upon my "unvaccinated" dog.

Wilson is such a lovely boy and so precious to me I am scared to death of losing him.

5th October 2006, 02:40 PM
You don't have an "unvaccinated" dog-- that would be very dangerous. Some may consider the dog undervaccinated. If he had his booster-- the length of duration of these drugs can vary (hence some people titer). Some estimate the duration (depending on the shot) is 6 months (bordetella) to possibly over *7* years for others. jmo

5th October 2006, 04:57 PM
Like karlin said, it's hard to understand how a vet would want to do a routine booster shot on a dog that has had an anaphylactic reaction. Also, you said he is two years old and it was a reaction to his booster shot, so even the conservative protocols of the veterinary associations say that after the first booster, the following vaccinations should be every three years. That doesn't mean you have to do it every three years, but it should mean that you know that you don't have to decide in the next two weeks as you said you did.

If you have a vet who is insisting you re-vaccinate this dog after just one year, that's a sign that your vet is not someone you would want taking care of your pet's health. For a dog who has had such a severe reaction to a vaccination, based on veterinary documentation, states grant waivers to the mandated ongoing rabies shots. If it were me, Iwould find a good vet who would complete the documentation showing that the dog would be at risk of serious complications if vaccinated again so that you can get a legal waiver and be legally excused from having the vaccination.

You will be told in this event that you have to semi-isolate your dog and avoid areas where dogs and animals frequent, but you need to realize that there are extremely qualified experts in immunology who have been persuaded by the evidence they've seen that immunity from the first shot and first booster, as Wilson has had, confer immunity for many years, this has been demonstrated in challenge situations where dogs have been exposed to the disease 7, 8, 9 years and more after vaccination, and don't become ill. These immunologists are trying fund a large scale study that will demonstrate these results once and for all so that laws can be changed. If your 2 year old dog has already been vaccinated and boostered once, you don't have to worry about him getting theh disease and you can get a legal waiver so that your dog won't be confiscated for not being vaccinated.

Nothing is ever 100% but whatever risk Wilson still has of getting the disease that the one he reacted to protects against, would seem to be theoretically less than the risk of him being hurt or killed by revaccination. When i was a kid i watched my mom have an anaphylactic reaction to penicillin. It was scary, an ambulance came and she had shots of adrenaline to save her life. she wears a pendant that says she must never have penicillin again.

I don't know which vaccinations Wilson received or which one was considered the likely cause of the reaction, but as Sandy said, many vaccinations, including the core vaccinations, confer long term immunity. You don't have an unprotected unvaccinated dog, your dog likely will remain immune for a long time or for life. It's not just Sandy's opinion, it's the firm belief of the leaders in the field of veterinary medicine that because the evidence suggests long term or permanent immunity, waiting 3 years between shots is very reasonable compared to annual revaccination with those vaccines. Some vaccinations need to be done more often, (if at all) but the core ones that you seem to be talking about have long term effects.

read this, or print it and mail it to your vet and anyone else who questions whether your dog is protected:

Check out the links to this one:

In your case, i don't think you have a choice. How can you risk vaccinating him, regardless of what uninformed people think?

i don't mean to downplay the persecution of being ostracised and judged by the ignorant, it's a real problem. but Wilson's health would be the highest priority. sorry you have to find yourself in this position. :(

5th October 2006, 05:53 PM
PS you could also print this and give it to your vet to read--it's a more concise summary of all the current well considered beliefs of the leaders of the veterinary profession.

CLICK HERE (http://www.vmth.ucdavis.edu/vmth/clientinfo/info/genmed/vaccinproto.pdf#search=%22efficacy%20of%20intranas al%20bordetella%20injection%22[url)

These beliefs represent some fundamental changes in previous long held beliefs (particularly the need for annual boosters) and are rather recent, 2003-2006, so your vet may just not be up on them, or like many people, may be cautious about changing long held beliefs understandably. Personally though, i would seek out a vet who keeps current, and would NOT be cavalier about an anaphylactic reaction. If this happened in my situation, I would call the vet's office and tell them that for my records I need to find out the date they reported the adverse reaction to the vaccine manufacturer. I would ask this, partly to find out if they did report it at all. That would be something i would want to know. If they did report it, I would respect and appreciate that.

6th October 2006, 01:28 PM
Thanks for all your views and advice, I had a long chat with the breeder whom I got wilson from last night as she is a member of the same agility group as me, as she is of the same opinion as you guys, that the reaction he had was so severe it would be wise to leave him for 3 years before thinking about what route to take thereafter.

Lets just hope that the decision is correct. I feel a weight has been lifted.

7th October 2006, 12:35 AM
I've got some info posted in the Library on vaccinations and every three years is an ACCEPTED spacing for injections by the major US vet schools. So this isn't considered a risk in terms of spacing, but you have a dog that should not be vaccinated again IMHO, full stop.

I would really go talk to another vet at some point to talk about alternatives if your current vet is insistent on vaccinating your dog. Anaphylactic reactions are extremely dangerous and often fatal. They often increase in severity each time/. I would NEVER vaccinate a dog that has had such a severe reaction to a vaccination again. A vaccination is not worth the death of your dog.

Incidentally find out from your vet what the reaction was to -- weas it to the three in one regular booster or the leptospirosis injection? The latter has more reactions to it than the booster and could be eliminated anyway.

Please read this, written by a vet:


And note he says:

Once a pet has developed an anaphylactic reaction to vaccinations, I no longer suggest periodic booster shots. The only vaccine I will administer to these pets is a yearly rabies booster if required by law.