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Friday, December 9, 2011

Knuckleheads on the Internet Again


This blog is a response to the article referenced above. And, pardon my language, but I'm pissed off about it. The science of immunology is highly complicated, and vaccinating dogs and cats is serious business. There is a LOT of gray area here. It offends me when someone who owns a dog and has a computer "publishes" a report describing "millions of people" who have lost their companion animals due to "unscientific, unsafe, and unnecessary vaccinations."

Really? It's that simple? Well, it must be true - they even have pictures and videos! The thing all these dogs had in common? Vaccines! So...using that logic, I could "prove" how hundreds of dogs I have seen with horrible, miserable skin disease were doomed because they went to a GROOMER!! Even after their diagnosis, they still got GROOMED! The horror! What about the hundreds of dogs I've seen with hip dysplasia who all went to DOG PARKS?! And the atrocities I've seen from dogs who were fed DOG FOOD!! Do you get my point?

Vaccines are not innocuous. They can do harm. I agree with that. That's why I have spent literally hundreds of hours reviewing veterinary journal articles and texts, as well as speaking with credentialed researchers on the subject. I'm sorry, but I think I have a little more credibility than anonymous internet blogger guy (or girl). Our knowledge of vaccines is continously evolving. My practice changes our recommendations as new information becomes available.

A lot of our information comes from people like Ron Schultz and Richard Ford who are referred to in the "Death By Vaccinosis" article. The anonymous author of the article states that Drs Ford and Schultz "don't recommend the Lepto vaccines." That's interesting, because I have a copy of a paper written by Dr Ford in 2010 in which he recommends the Lepto vaccine where risk of exposure exists (2010 Vaccines and Vaccination: Issues and Controversies). Drs Ford and Schultz both sat on the American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Task Force, whose vaccine recommendations are followed by mine, and many other veterinary hospitals. I wonder how they feel about having their opinions distorted by this knucklehead?

I am sure there are neglegent veterinarians. I know of veterinarians who vaccinate for everything they possibly can. This is wrong. I am sorry for their patients and clients. But the overwhelming majority of us make vaccine recommendations based on the most current knowledge, and with our patients' welfare as the only consideration. We vaccinate our own pets in the same manner as which we recommend for our patients. We may change those vaccination recommendations as new information becomes available, but I'm extremely comfortable stating that vaccines have spared exponentially more suffering than they have caused.