Recent studies in the U.S. and the U.K. have produced significant evidence to support very limited use of vaccines in dogs and cats. Current recommendations are as follows:    


Dog’s and cat’s immune systems are mature by four to six months of age. The most conservative vaccine schedule would include puppy shots and a final one year booster.   



The “puppy shot combo” is good for at least eight years and should not be repeated for the life of the dog (or cat). I use the four month maturity cut-off for my own dogs with no booster as per Dr. Schultz. (School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison)    


Do not re-vaccinate your dog (or cat) with core vaccines. The bordatella vaccine has shorter (9-12 months) duration. It is required for boarding although there is little evidence that it will be effective in warding off infection. Use only the nasal application. If your dog gets “kennel cough”, it is generally mild and self-limiting and does not respond to medication, much like the common cold.   


Rabies vaccines are required every three years although they last more like 7 to 10 years. A current challenge is in progress in hopes of bringing the law into line with current vaccine research.   


Other vaccines available but not recommended due to adverse effects and/or lack of effectiveness are:   

Lyme vaccine, Coronavirus, Giardiasis, and Rattlesnake envenomation. (Home School of Veterinary Medicine UC Davis).   


There are many harmful effects of over vaccination, including:   

Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (usually fatal), Brain and nervous system damage, Encephalitis, Vaccine induced cancers, Anaphylactic shock (massive allergic reaction), Epilepsy and seizures, Behavioral problems; anxiety or aggression and Allergies.   


These and other adverse effects are being reported from studies compiled by Catherine O’Driscoll   


We came across an article about the new drug ProHeart 6 that is being prescribed for heartworm prevention. A 6 year old healthy dog named Jack died unexpectedly after receiving the drug ProHeart 6. You can read more about Jack’s story here.   


Don’t be afraid to talk to your veterinarian about your questions and concerns of over vaccinating. It could not only extend the lifespan of your dog, but save it’s life.