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Vaccines Vaccines Vaccines-OMG!!!

I have been a bit upset recently regarding vaccines.  I have been upset with myself for not doing the proper research (because after all I am my dog's advocate), and also upset with my vet because I'm concerned he's not giving me the best advice.  Over the years I have slowly looked into raising and handling my dogs in the best possible manner.  From choosing high quality food that suits their needs, to leaning into more natural products for bathing and grooming...I have been doing my due diligence trying to keep my boys happy and healthy for as long as possible.  It's terrible enough our pups have such short lifespans, I certainly don't want to be doing anything to make them even shorter!  This is why I am currently on a crusade (as I have called it) to now make adjustments in my vaccinating schedule.  They say when you know better you do better... well that's me in this very moment.  About a year ago in conversation with a fellow dog lover and rescue worker (my cousin), it was mentioned to me that core dog vaccines "should" be given every three years.  A little bell went off in my head.  Three years??  I didn't think that's what my vet was doing.  I was fairly sure I was going in for those core shots far more often than every three years.  So, when I met with my vet this past spring (not to get any vaccines for Murray but to get them for Piper) I asked what schedule he had Murray on as far as his vaccines and I mentioned I was growing concerned do to his lifelong skin issues pointing to an auto-immune disorder and I didn't want any more stress to his system, and he told me every two years was Murray's schedule.  So, off to research some more I went!  Two years didn't jive with what I heard but it was better then yearly!  Now, today my eyes are pretty wide open...or I might say bugging out in shock!  The American Animal Hospital Association (aka AAHA) changed over their core vaccine schedule guidelines in 2006 from annual administration to every three years.  WHAT?!?!  2006?!?!  How had I missed the boat the past 7 years?  Worse, how was my vet missing the boat???  After calming myself down, I called my vet to discuss.  I spoke to one of his assistants. I explained I was calling to make my wellness appointment  but I had a few questions first.  I asked them to specifically check Murray's vaccine schedule.  I was told he received DHP-PV (distemper,hepatitis, parainfluenza and parvo) annually.  Always had.  Then I asked if I could refuse that vaccine.  I was told yes, if I titer him annually.  I then questioned why I couldn't titer him every three years if in fact the AAHA's own guidelines don't even recommend vaccines until three years have passed.  I was again told titers must be done annually.  So, I thanked her for her help, set up the appointment with my vet but explained I would have to discuss this at the appointment further and I wanted no shots and no titers at that point.  I will go on October 26 to see where this all ends up.  In the meantime I have also found out the two other local vets in my area are also vaccinating yearly.  I have, however, found a very reputable vet a little further away who does follow the AAHA guidelines.  If my current vet (whom I like a great deal) refuses to be flexible, I might have to switch.  I, of course want my dogs fully protected through their vaccines, but I do think there are serious risks to over vaccination as well.  I also realize where I live a current rabies vaccine is required by law.  I am strictly referring to the distemper/parvovirus combo shots.  So, my questions for anyone reading this is...Am I making sense?  Do you vaccinate every three years?  Do you titer?  Were you in the dark and totally trusting your vet like me?  So very frustrated!!!


  1. There has been a lot of information coming out about vaccines so hopefully the vets will get on the page as well as the cities requiring certain intervals!!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  2. I was told by a few dog parents to do titer testing every year. We have two vets for Beamer and both vets suggest getting vaccinated annually. I'm taking that advice with a grain of salt because on the last vaccine receipt, it said rabies vaccination (3 years) or something like that. When Beamer got his rabies vaccination, he had a lump on his thigh (where the vaccine was administered) for about 3 weeks and it really bothered me.

  3. We get our needles annually, but we don't have rabies, so maybe our needles are different.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  4. :-/ Domeek thanks you and your pawrents for bringing your concerns and ideas to the forefront of her mind, Murray!! I have a 3 year rabies vaccine, but after looking at my vaccination certificate, we see that the others are 1 year. This is definitely something that we should investigate further...also, we had never hear of titer testing before. Thanks dude! :-)

  5. Gahhh, we hate vaccines. At least we don't have to have the rabies one here.
    Dip Bridge and Elliot x

  6. We don't rabies here but as for the rest we are going to look into that as here it is annually. I fear we too are conned. Have a super Saturday.
    Best wishes Molly

  7. You are totally on the right page!! The Bichon Frise Club of America has been advocating titers for several years now. In all honesty, I think the vets are doing it for the much as I hate to admit it! Good luck. I sure hope your vet is willing to be flexible. I, too, worry about the over-vaccinating issue!!

  8. Don't beat yourself up. I used to feed my dogs crap and vacinate yearly too, about ten years ago then I meant someone like you did who told me otherwise. I did research, I also started subscribing to the whole dog journal, and realized yearly vacines are a bad idea. I also realized you should always always always question the vet. I now do my wn research on everything and while I only vacinate every three years and titer even then, and with my cats I do less as they are indoor cats and I think the risk of vacines is much worse then the risk of disease. However, I think most people at my vets office vacinate yearly which bothers me. The vet simply doesnt tell them otherwise, many vets only do the rabies vacine every three years and the others every year

    urban hounds

  9. Oh man I didn't know about all this! I'm going to have to talk to Joker's vet, and do my research! Hugs, Francesca

  10. It's hard to know what is the right thing to do. I used to bring Whisky for her vaccinations every year before I knew any better. Titers are not available here so I stopped her vaccinations based on her lifestyle (she is totally indoors and doesn't mix with other dogs).

  11. It really does depend on your vet. There are many who have made it a practice to recommend and vaccinate their patients every year. We used to go to a vet that vaccinated for everything and anything. But when we lost our first Golden at 5 years old, in 2002, waiting 3 years to give the DHLPP vaccination (distemper, etc) was just being talked about and I told my vet that's what I wanted to do. He looked at me like I had 3 heads, and I realized that I needed to change vets because he didn't support that choice. The years have passed and we've gone to doing vaccine every 3 years, and NEVER give more than one vaccine a day. I personally have chosen to NOT titer every year, but rather vaccinate when they are due at the 3 year mark. And when our dogs are about 11, they only receive rabies, (because it's the law) and nothing else. I personally think vaccines may/could/do tax their immune system, and so I won't do it. Even knowing what the titers may show, wouldn't change that.

    But your choice about vaccinating is a personal one, and has to be one that you are comfortable with. Don't let your vet or anyone question you on that. As you said, you are your pets advocates, and you alone have to decide what your feel is best for them.

    Good luck!!!!

  12. I gets the rabies every three years, butts that really is it. Our vetties don't push any vaccines, butts do give the info flyers to take home and read and decide if it is for your dog. I like this approach. I have had vets try and push vaccines in the past, and don't really know their motivations ~ concern, money..?
    Anyhu, I thinks you need to do what you are comfortable with. Aside from rabies (which is the law here), it is up to you and what you think is best for your doggie.
    You'll know.
    Ruby ♥

  13. I am blessed with a vet who doesn't give yearly vaccs. I have read of vaccinosis, cancer, and hosts of other issues related to over vaccination. It is scary.

  14. We have been giving them every year because we can't board them without. I will speak to my vet about this.

  15. Hi, Murray! Thanks for stopping by my blog and visiting me. I get a 3 year rabies shot but the other ones are required to be seen at our vet's office. Gonna have to have mom and dad check into this!

  16. Hi, Murray! Thank you for visiting me. What an interesting post. I'm very interested in this subject. I've never liked yearly vaccinations, but never questioned it. You've opened my eyes.

  17. Hmm, you just gave me something to think about! I know that Riley gets some of her vaccines on the 3 year schedule, but I think she gets some others more often than that, but I'd have to check her records to be sure. I'll have to go to AAHA's webpage and read their recommendations.

    How did the appointment end up going? (Or did I miss that post?).

    Elyse (and Riley)


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