View Full Version : Is there a link between SM and vacc

10th November 2006, 01:19 AM
I have a few question regarding SM and vaccination. I am not sure how to best word this so I'll do my best and hope it makes sense.

Can anyone tell me if there is a link to the cause of SM and routine vaccination ?

or Does routine vaccination aggravate the symptoms of SM ?

or is vaccination just painful for dogs with SM ?

Is there any information on this I can get for me and my vet as I went in to talk about a vaccine schedule suitable for a cavalier with chronic skin allergies and a heart murmur age 4, I also wanted to facter in the possibility of SM. He does not have SM or any symptoms but thought I had read some info on a link between vaccine and SM but as usual can not remember where I read this or if I dreamt it :sl*p: I have no facts and very limited information on SM in general. I have printed out the Info sheets to take in to my vet from Clare Rushbridge and wondered where I might find any info on Cavalier specific vaccine schedule taking into account all the possible health issues of the breed that need to be considered when vaccinating.

I do apologise if this make no sense I have very poor grammar and spelling. Any info would be appreciated.

10th November 2006, 07:47 AM
A subject with many views...a HOT area this one :lol: :lol: :lol:

Isn't it thought that you never vaccinate a sick dog? a dog should be 100% healthy before vaccination...a dog with SM and a heart murmer isn't a 100% well dog.

Personally I would have thought a needle in a sensitive area like a dogs neck with SM would be painful, just think of all the nerve endings and the pathway of pain with SM and about progressive SM itself...head,neck tilt and spine curvature.

There is thought that the murcury preservative in vaccines causes a slight brain swell, there are people that believe that it may well be a trigger factor...who knows, better to be safe if in any doubt, it seems that we have many members here alone that have had reations after vaccination in the neck with swelling, lumps and unwell pups/dogs. I myself use alternative ways of protection.
I'm sure all this will be corrected if needs be.

All I can say is that I would never vaccinate an affected SM Cavalier, I personally do not have needles in any of my dogs necks, we do the hind rump top leg area...again ones own personal choice.

An interesting topic!

Alison, wilts, U.K.

11th November 2006, 01:37 AM
Thanks Alison for your response I appreciate it. :flwr:

Harry does not have SM but given the fact he is a sick dog with his allergies and his heart murmur I wanted my vet to not only take these two factors into account but also the fact that he is a cavalier and to at least acknowledge the possibility of SM ( he shows no symptoms) when designing his vaccination protocol. I too was under the impression after recent limited research that a sick dog should not be vaccinated but I really feel I need the vets support or backing on this one as she has been with the boys since babies and is very good, I would hate to lose her support and something go wrong if I did not vaccinate.

The problem I have is Harry has three vets sort of, one for his skin, one for his heart and another for general stuff. I have asked all three for their opinions and help in designing a vaccination schedule that they feel is suitable for him as an individual. I can make some decisions but really do not have the insight or the brain capacity to understand all the implications of this very important part of my pets healthcare.

Unfortunately they feel it is my decision to make and I guess legally will not tell me not to do it or to do it ?
Our healthcare for pets is not as advanced as yours and the jury is still out on the whole need to vaccinate yearly thing ?????

I was hoping to get some documentation of sorts I could give to my vet that would maybe make her want to look into all these factors a bit more. I actually feel she was a little reluctant to even do an individual vaccine schedule but that does not mean she is a bad vet its just not really the done thing here yet. We really are behind the times.

Again any input on this would be really appreciated. I do not really know how to proceed.

12th November 2006, 12:40 AM
There's lots of documentation in the article on vaccines in the Library section, indicated a three-year schedule is quite adequate for vaccination.

Not a single researcher or neurologist knows what causes SM in cavaliers (or in humans). But likewise not a single one that I know of, and I know pretty much all of their viewpoints at this point, believes vaccinations to be as factor in causing or aggravating SM -- though sticking a needle in the neck area could be very painful for dogs with SM. If vaccines were a significant (or even minor) factor, one would expect to see SM far more widely distributed across all dog breeds given the vast majority are vaccinated in the same way, across the developed world. There are about 10 other breeds known to have SM reated to the Chiari-like bone malformation -- and all of these are short-nosed breeds mostly with skulls that have a steep slope at the back. That is the point in common.

Mercury has not been used as a preservative in dog vaccines in the US for nearly 15 years -- it was removed from the market in 1992. So hardly a cavalier alive today in the US would ever have been vaccinated with a mercury-based vaccine. Yet the growth in severe cases of SM have all become apparent within the last decade; and more specifically, the last 4-5 years.

I have all injections for my dogs given in a hind leg, those with SM and those without.

I also vaccinate my SM cavalier on a three year schedule. If he has worsened significantly by the time his next vaccine comes around, I would consider not vaccinating him.

I just spent an entire day BTW listening to the world's experts on SM in cavaliers speaking in London -- and none feel any environmental affect is significant -- for a range of reasons from the fact that you would expect to see the same incidence in other beeds (yet there isn't in even ONE other breed), the fact that all cavaliers everywhere would have to be receiving the same environmental factors yet the same incidence exists on three continents now where this has been studied; and as one neuro noted even if you factored in a genetic inability to say, process vitamin A thus causing some deficiency, it simply would not have the massive impact that occurs with SM. They addressed this issue from a number of angles.

15th November 2006, 07:07 AM
about vets wanting to stick to a set schedule for vaccinating all dogs, it's not just in Australia. There are plenty in the US. They believe annual vaccination of all dogs is best. but gradually, more and more vets are changing their views.

Here are a couple of excerpts from the 2003 American Animal Hospital Association Vaccination recommendations report which was developed to pioneer new vaccination practices that are more in line with research findings on duration of immunity and more acknowledging of the health risks of vaccination, so that they will be used more mindfully.


Maybe your vet could read this report, it's posted on line, and is republished with more updated info and research citations in 2006. They are advocating not so much a longer interval between vaccinations, as a more individualized careful approach to vaccinating each dog, though they clearly intend to encourage more comfort with longer intervals.

...In 2002, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) updated their vaccine guidelines after recognizing that traditional guidelines were not compatible with the recommendations of a growing number of veterinary practitioners and experts in the fields of vaccinology and infectious diseases. Although many of these experts support triennial vaccination against core diseases, there is a relative paucity of published scientific documentation to indicate that every 3 years is any more rational than every 2 years or any less rational than every 7 years. For that reason, the AVMA and AAHA guidelines intentionally allow room for individual veterinarians to apply them...

...The burgeoning knowledge in the fields of vaccinology and immunology, together with the continued enhancements of vaccine efficacy and safety, have placed the traditional approaches to vaccine use in doubt and engaged our profession in a long overdue debate. What is clear is that the complexity of the issues involved make it impossible for our profession to make blanket statements with respect to vaccine selection and useā€”one size simply does not fit all. This underscores the fact that vaccination is a medical procedure and, as such, needs to be tailored to the individual and administered under a valid VCPR on the basis of informed consent. Not all vaccines are indicated in all animals and no vaccine should be given without a thorough knowledge of the risks of acquiring the disease, the potential for adverse reactions to vaccination, and the health of the animal in question. Current knowledge clearly indicates the need to refine vaccine selection and to re-establish vaccine protocols when revaccinating animals >1 year of age that have undergone an initial vaccine series. In the case of core vaccines (i.e., CDV, CPV, CAV-2, and rabies virus), every 3 years is considered adequate to maintain appropriate protection.

About SM, like Alison and Karlin said, if a dog is ill, vaccination should be used with caution if at all. that is what the AAHA has in mind when they talk about an individualized approach. the vaccine manufacturers have put on the vaccine labels that they are only to be used on healthy animals. the definition of a healthy animal, in common vet practice, for many, seems to have come to include dogs with various unexplained chronic conditions. one of my vets had no hesitation about vaccinating Zack when i brought him in with bloody diarrhea after i had only had him for two days. but it just seemed wrong to me and i postponed it until the symptoms cleared up--but they came right back after the vaccination.

I had the pleasure of meeting and consulting with one of the top vaccine researchers, Jean Dodds, a week ago. I asked her about SM, with respect to vaccination and in general. About vaccinations, she said (as Karlin detailed above) there is no basis (scientific) for associating SM with vaccination. She said, of course, clearly, it is a genetic or hereditary disease.

Of course, the last thing an SM dog needs is to have other medical conditions in addition to what they are already dealing with, so the circumstances of the individual dog have to be carefully considered.

17th November 2006, 12:38 PM
Just to add to this, my own Vet refused to vaccinate Charlie as he has so many allergies and is on immuno suppressants. He said that vaccinating him could make him extremely ill or even kill him :yikes