Three Year Vaccines & Protocols - Vet to Vet

I wrote this to a colleague of mine in Miami, Florida. She had, for a short time, adopted the three year vaccination protocol popularized by a retired (not practicing) professor at KSU. The most sad part is that the information is already being extrapolated to deprive cats and other exotic species of their shots except for every three or more years.

My letter:

"I admire your brave decision to adopt the ‘every-three-year’ vaccine protocol.

I'm leaving it alone here, because when our clinic offered that highly adjuvanted 3-year shot we saw "all those" type customers to the door. (They got the shot, perceived a fiction in time and money savings, and promptly "forgot" that there were "other shots" plus the more critically-important exam they had to get annually.) Additionally, I am seriously worried about how much rocket fuel they have to put into ANY vaccine to get it to stimulate and sustain a THREE YEAR immune response. Talk about "loaded!"

I felt convicted enough about the importance of the annual exam / renewal cycle that we discontinued offering the 3 year shot altogether. (We don't have to mince words like "We have it for special cases, but we don't recommend it" (what we used to say) - Now we say "We don't even have that vaccine, period, anymore."

I've looked at some of the "research" on the three year cycle of vaccinations, and it makes really broad assumptions about the immune status of EVERY animal falling under the protocol. It risks more animals to inadequate coverage, than it does risking animals to overprotection and vaccine-related diseases.

I do wholeheartedly agree that certain categories of animals are being overvaccinated on [maybe] one antigen or another - and I also have long-accepted the sustainability of certain immune responses with street chalenge re-exposure - But the greater percentage of my clients only have lap dogs - that is; they'll only get HIGHLY segmental re-exposures to various things.

So the Heeler that moves all around the neighborhood and everyone's back yard probably does auto-booster itself against Parvo - and the like - but Mrs Smith's Maltese won't see virulent Parvo until it goes to the kennel when something that mandates boarding comes up. It's guard will be down, and it will likely break and die, because attending parties will not soon-enough suspect Parvo (Why? Because the dog's vaccinated of course or so they think!) The dog will die of hematological changes because it was "a serious diarrhea" and "probably not" Parvo.

Search!

Simply, most of my customer's dogs will not autoexpose and autochallenge their immunity ENOUGH to sustain viable immunity. Plus, the legitimate risk of undervaccination is far too great for my type of customer.

I also propose, if a novel-strain or "morph" of some virus (perhaps Parvo) suddenly emerges with a new behavior / virulence it might be two or more years before I get access to the customer again to change their "three-year position".....For example, the current pandemic of Leptospirosis in the Georgia area, currently. A Leptospirosis-increase aided perhaps in part by enhanced diagnostic efforts as a result of some human exposures - we *WERE* actually in the process of diminishing the influence / importance of Lepto in our vaccination protocols - only now we're ramping it up again with recent events....On a THREE year cycle - staying current with the average "My-dog-is-current-for-three-years"-"see-ya-in-2010" type of customer would be at least challenging.

I explain to my customer "The 'research' is presented both intelligently and un-intelligently on the Internet. Dog breeders are jumping on this bandwagon because it reduces one of the biggest pushbacks to selling more of their puppies - (cost of medical care)
With regards to the research - You can sift through it, as I did. Valid arguments are made, but; kept in context and perspective are VERY unconvincing. For me, the "dust has not settled" and I am concerned this could be a fad like former Veterinary faux pas' including the heroically unsuccessful Giardia vaccine, dental-disease "vaccine", Feliway Spray, the widely reported 'Febreeze kills dogs' (Then, not), the awful Ringworm vaccine, dangerous FIP vaccine and the funniest 'hype' of all: West Nile Virus will kill us all!!!

In the meantime, if it means anything to you, the animals at MY home are vaccinated for everything, annually. This is because I have kids in love with the critters, and I would rather explain a "1-in-a-zillion-shot-reaction" rather than a wholly preventable error in judgment that left the door open to a common cause of illness."

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