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Vaccine Good News -- Bad News

by Marina Zacharias

First the "good" news. For those of you still into the mind set of vaccinating your dogs, there is a new parvo vaccine for puppies!

As we mentioned in Issue #8, young puppies are vulnerable to parvo when the immunity from the mother is declining but is still sufficient to effectively inactivate the type of vaccines previously available. Thus the four to eighteen week period is called the "window of susceptibility".

Pfizer Animal Health has come out with a new parvo vaccine called "Vanguard®Puppy" that they say can better protect pups 12 weeks of age or younger in spite of passive immunity derived from the mother.

The new vaccine has been previously tested in Europe and is now licensed in the U.S.A. for vaccination of pups six weeks of age or older.

It should be given in three doses at three week intervals and the vaccine is said to shed only negligible amounts of virus.

According to Dr. Laurie J. Larson and Dr. Ronald D. Schultz of the University of Wisconsin, the new vaccine protects against the two variant strains of parvo virus.

As with any vaccination, please remember that Thuja 30c and Sulphur 30c are a great help to detoxify from the side effects of vaccinations. They do not nullify or affect the efficacy of the vaccine. One dose of Thuja 30c should be given immediately after the vaccine has been administered.

The bad news is that the "Fort Dodge" boys have launched a massive advertising campaign to "educate" dog owners and "develop an awareness" of Lyme disease!

While you are looking at Issue #8 mentioned above, please refer to Dr. Jean Dodds comments (page 3) that amongst totally unnecessary vaccinations she heads the list with -- Lyme disease!

Veterinarians across the country recently received advance notice of the campaign so they could ‘stock up’ on the Fort Dodge version of this vaccine and order a free supply of "education" pamphlets for the clinic.

The ‘hype’ involved to the vets is very cleverly designed to skillfully mislead them by innuendo rather than cold, hard facts.

For example, they point out that "the Center of Disease Control and Prevention reported the incidence of Lyme disease in humans increased by 58% over the previous year, with more than 13,000 cases reported". (Hmmm! Lets see. That’s 13,000 people in a population of let’s say 300 million -- yeah, sounds like a good enough reason to vaccinate everybody doesn’t it?). They go on to say that "although Lyme disease in dogs is not tracked by the CDC (or anybody else for that matter!) dogs are more likely to become infected with the Lyme disease organism because of their lifestyle". And still more: "Fort Dodge is dedicated to help you (the vet) reverse this trend by educating dog owners on Lyme disease prevention".

Dogs are more likely to become infected than people? Based on what? What do they mean by "lifestyle"?

What trend? How do you reverse a "trend" when nobody is tracking the statistics in the first place? Because more cases were "reported" concerning people, do we then take as fact that the same must be true with dogs? Gee, maybe we should vaccinate our dogs against measles?

Here’s the really sad part: "Our radio campaign begins in mid August and will run for four weeks. During this time, we will reach more than 80% of pet owners with a message of why they should vaccinate their dogs in early fall. The 60 second radio commercial ends with a request to ask your veterinarian today for Lyme Vax® from Fort Dodge Animal Health".

Is it any wonder that the "belief" in vaccinations is so strong? Of the 80% of pet owners "reached" by the campaign, how many do you think would ever question the "need" to get their dog vaccinated? Of course every one of these dogs will be examined to make sure they are in "good health" before being vaccinated, won’t they?

It’s worth repeating the April/93 Cornell University Newsletter item concerning a study of dogs with a clear history and diagnosis of Lymes. Through testing they proved that more than half had Lyme disease because of the vaccine used, and almost a third had Lymes, despite the vaccine!! I doubt that the Fort Dodge boys would like this report to be mentioned during their big campaign but you may want to tell just a few of those 80% pet owners. Maybe one or two will listen and save some needless suffering with their dogs.

(Marina Zacharias is a breeder/handler of Basset Hounds and has been using natural methods of health care for all her dogs for over ten years. She is a Natural Rearing consultant, author, Editor of the Natural Rearing newsletter and founder of the NR Breeder Directory.

She has been a noted guest speaker at a variety of functions including the 1995 "Educational Symposium for Alternative Veterinary Methods." Although she is not a Veterinarian, she is certified in Homeotoxicology (homeopathic) and does regularly attend the annual conventions of the American Holistic Veterinarian Society. She is also an associate member of several European holistic health care associations.

If you would like further information on holistic care for your animals, including a sample copy of the Natural Rearing Newsletter please contact Marina, P. O. Box 1436, Jacksonville, OR 97530 Phone (503) 899-2080; Fax (503) 899-3414 or e-mail

(Thanks Marina for the very timely article to follow the story of Katie in our last issue. In addition, quoting from Dr. Pitcairn’s book Natural Health for Dogs and Cats -- "In people Lyme disease causes a skin rash, tiredness, fever and chills, headache, backache, arthritis and other symptoms. The situation is very different for animals, however, and that makes it difficult to discuss. On the one hand, there is a lot of concern about this disease in dogs and a lot of press about it. On the other hand, there is almost no evidence that it is a real disease in animals. By this, I mean that even though a lot of veterinarians are making this diagnosis and doing treatment, there is no research that shows it is actually a disease. Almost every attempt to reproduce this disease experimentally has ended in failure". There is more if anyone would like to have it. He ends by saying, "In any case, from the research available so far and from my personal experience over the last several years, it is my opinion that (in contrast to the situation for humans) Lyme disease is an insignificant condition for dogs and other animals".)

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