Monday, October 18, 2010
I went to see a fabulous speaker yesterday, Dr Jean Dodds (maybe you've heard of her:). She talked about many different subjects, starting with a discussion on vaccines, then a bit about nutrigenomics for companion animals and finally autoimmune disorders with a focus on thyroid issues.
Vaccines: Should we vaccinate, should we not vaccinate, maybe just a few vaccines? What should we do? I think every pet owner is asking themselves the same question, but what is the answer. Well, I still don't know the answer for everyone, but personally, I choose minimal to none. Oak had his puppy shots following Dr Dodds suggested vaccine schedule and hasn't had any of the yearly boosters since. I have had his titers checked though and am happy to report he has more then enough antibodies circulating in his blood!
She spoke a bit about vaccine reactions, optimal age for puppy and kitten vaccines, the core vaccines, why vaccine should adjusted based on body mass and factors that increase the risk of adverse vaccine reactions.
One thing that did stand out in what she had to tell us is if your pet has had a severe vaccine reaction do not vaccinate him again! Another thing she brought up that I never really thought of before is to question as to why a 10lb chihuahua gets the same vaccine as a 90lb lab. Vaccine dosage should be based on body mass, shouldn't it? Does a small dog need the same dose as a large dog, it seems very unlikely to me.
Another thing I learned yesterday is that some breeds, even some colours of dogs, are more predisposed to vaccine reactions then others! Huh! I never really thought about that before. Did you know that white dogs are more likely to have a vaccine reaction then a black dog? Interesting...
There are even dogs who are nonresponders. You as a doting pet parent may give them their vaccines as you were told, thinking they are protected but when you get their titers checked, you find they have no antibodies! It is a genetic characteristic in some breeds or dog families. They can fail to develop an immune response!
I think one of the main discovers I made yesterday is that there is just so much out there that I want to learn about, I'll probabely be researching things to help my Oak for many years to come.
In my next blog post I will share with you a bit about nutrition and autoimmune disease.
We also got a few handouts that she said we could give to others (as long as we say where the information came from), so I'm going to be posting them here on my blog over the next few weeks as well. Sooooo much information! So fascinating! So exciting!