Keeping protection dogs and family pets healthy is always a top concern for owners. But what happens when our good intentions actually end up hurting our best friends? In a recent study at the University of Wisconsin, researchers found that vets and dog owners all over the country may be over-vaccinating dogs and causing health problems. Basically, in an effort to make their pets healthy, people may actually be making them sick.
Dr. Ronald Schultz, a pathobiological scientist at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine has been studying canine vaccines for nearly forty years. In his research, he has found that immunities can last an entire lifetime in canines. This means that quite possibly, people only need to vaccinate their dogs one time, instead of the yearly vaccinations that many family pets and protection dogs now receive.
The annual vaccinations are usually comprised of a single shot that includes vaccines for over 16 different canine diseases such as Lyme disease, parvovirus, distemper and more. The rabies shot is often given every three to five years, but Dr. Schultz’s findings also show that this may be over-vaccinating dogs as well. He has studied the antibody levels in dogs as they progress through their lifetimes, and his data has shown that the dogs retain their immunities to these diseases for many years, sometimes even until natural death.
Over-vaccinating dogs can lead to side effects like skin problems, allergic reactions and even autoimmune disease. Dr. Schultz’s research is becoming widely acknowledged by vets across the country, who are rethinking the annual schedule of vaccinations. His results could lead to cheaper vet visits and healthier pets and protection dogs.