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Q: I understand that Texas has changed the rabies law for pets to every three years. A Vet told me my pet still must have a one- year rabies shot because I was late. What can I do?
The Texas Department of Public Health has changed the requirement for rabies vaccinations for pets. Harris County and Montgomery County have adopted the new law. Previously, the law required annual vaccination with a rabies vaccine with three-year duration of immunity.  Because Cats have been getting cancer from their vaccines, Alternatively, cats can be vaccinated annually with a safer one-year non- adjuvanted vaccine. A three year license for this product is just months away.

Under the new law pets need to be vaccinated by 4 months of age, again one year later, and then every three years.

This new law is retroactive. If your pet was vaccinated last year with a three-year product, it is not due for another rabies vaccine until 2005. If your cat was vaccinated with a one-year product you need to revaccinate, although you might want to wait until the three-year license is approved.

No matter how late your pet is on the vaccine, if your pet has had two vaccinations and the last vaccination was with a three-year product, the vaccine is good for three years. If the Vet did not use a three-year product last year for dogs, the Vet was in violation of the law.

The Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners has advised all Veterinarians they should inform their clients about the risk of vaccines and update their vaccine recommendations. Less than 10% of Vets have complied.

Does my dog need a  “booster shot” for rabies, distemper, and parvovirus every year?
The American Animal Hospital Association, The American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Feline Practitioners, and Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine, as well as the Texas Department of Public Health have revised their recommendations for pet vaccinations.

Annual vaccinations for diseases like Rabies, Distemper and Parvovirus are no longer recommended.

The duration of immunity for these vaccines has been scientifically proven to be over 7 years, and probably the life of the pet. More importantly, it has been proven that re-administration of these vaccines does not make the patient more immune. The immunity induced by the first vaccine blocks the next vaccine. The client is paying for something with no effect; except that the pet is being exposed the unnecessary risk of an adverse reaction.

Q Does my dog need Corona virus vaccine?
The American Animal Hospital Association released the 2003 Vaccination Guidelines for dogs. Corona virus vaccine was not recommended. Texas A&M Veterinary School has not recommended Corona vaccine for over 15 years.

Corona virus causes a self- limiting diarrhea only in dogs less than 8 weeks of age. It is a very rare disease. At Texas A&M they have only seen one case in over 10 years.

Scientists have never been able to demonstrate that corona virus causes disease in adult dogs. Adult dogs are immune to corona virus whether they are vaccinated or not. Vaccination of adult dogs provides no benefit.  

 

 Q. Some Vets recommend Lyme Disease and Leptospirosis vaccines
       for my dog every year. Are all these vaccinations really necessary
       in Texas?

The American Animal Hospital Association recently released the 2003 Vaccination Guidelines for dogs.  Leptospirosis and Lyme disease vaccines were listed as ”non- core vaccines”, not recommended in parts of the country like Texas where dogs are not at risk or very low risk of contracting these diseases. Texas A&M Veterinary School does not recommend these vaccines.

Leptospirosis is a kidney infection contracted from water contaminated by wildlife. There are an average of 12 cases per year in dogs in Texas. Although people can get Leptospirosis from contaminated water, there is little risk of contracting it from an infected dog. Leptospirosis is the component of vaccines that is most likely to cause an adverse reaction, and it should not be given to dogs less than 12 weeks of age.

Lyme disease is a tick- transmitted disease, found in the New England States, Michigan and Minnesota. In Texas we do not have the reservoir deer mouse and Ixodid Tick relationship necessary for Lyme disease transmission. Texas A&M University has never seen a case of Lyme disease in a dog from Texas. What confuses the situation is a similar disease we do have in Texas, Southern Tick- Associated Rash Illness or STARI.   Unless you travel with your pet to the Northeast, Lyme vaccine offers no benefit to you or your pet.

Q: My cat died from a Vaccine Associated Fibrosarcomas.
     Are cat vaccines safe?

Over ten years ago Veterinarians discovered that cats were developing cancer at the site of vaccinations. An Injection Site Fibrosarcoma or Vaccine Associated Sarcoma (VAS) is a fatal type of cancer caused by vaccines. Even with surgery, radiation treatments, and chemotherapy, very few cats live longer than three years.

Adjuvant is put in vaccines to stimulate the immune system. Adjuvanted vaccines have been shown to be 5 times more likely to create VAS, than non- adjuvanted vaccines. Adjuvanted vaccines were declared a carcinogen for cats by the World Health Association in 1999.

 To prevent VAS the AVMA-VAS Task Force as well as the American Association of Feline Practitioners and Texas A&M University recommend reduced vaccine schedules, and safer alternative vaccines like non- adjuvanted vaccines and intranasal vaccines.     Over 22,000 cats in the U.S. die from VAS every year, many from vaccinations they did not even need.  And yet, few Veterinarians, less than 10%, offer the safer alternatives.

Some Vets reccomend Feline Aids, FIV Vaccine, and Feline Infectious Peritonitis, FIP vaccine. Does my cat need these vaccines?
When Feline Aids or FIV vaccine was introduced it was heralded as a major break through. Scientists have tried unsuccessfully for over two decades to develop a human AIDs vaccine. Is the Feline AIDs vaccine too good to be true?

There are 5 Clades or types of Feline FIV viruses. The vaccine contains two Clades, A & D. The Clade that causes FIV in the US is Clade B. The cross protection is poor. This is an adjuvanted vaccine so it is at risk of causing a vaccine-associated sarcoma. The American Association of Feline Practitioners wrote the USDA and asked them not to license the vaccine.

Feline corona virus is a normal virus of healthy cats. Rarely it mutates to become the virulent FIP virus. Each mutation is unique. They are not the same as the virus in the vaccine. Efficacy has not been substantiated by independent studies.

Why would the USDA license vaccines that do not contain the same virus that causes the disease? The American Veterinary Medical Association wrote to the USDA Center for Veterinary Medicine in 1998 and requested that they revise their standards for licensing vaccines. The USDA continuse to license vaccines whose efficacy is unsubstantiated by independent studies, like Feline Ringworm vaccine and Giardia vaccine.

 

CritterAdvocacy.org is dedicated to the education of pet owners
 and  the care-takers that help them.
e-mail drbob@critteradvocacy.org

Copyright (c) 2003. Dr. Robert L. Rogers. All rights reserved.

The Better Business Bureau. Education Foundation
Torch Awards for Excellence in Business Ethics
Presented to Dr. Bob Rogers
for Public Education about New Vaccination Recommendations