There are a number of
different scenarios relative to using
the term "over vaccinating".
It seems many people actually don't even
have a definition, they just "know" too
many are "harmful". When queried
about what a pet owner means by "too
many vaccinations are harmful" the
response usually goes something like
these: "My breeder says vets always
give more vaccinations than are needed
just to create revenue." "My dog
had a bad reaction once after one of
those combo shots and I've heard vets
give too many at once so I don't ever
let them use a combo shot on my dogs." or
"I know a holistic vet that says you
should never vaccinate dogs or cats
yearly because all that foreign material
injected into their bodies ruins the
immune system and that's what causes
cancer, arthritis and immune diseases."
The following statements
could apply to "over vaccinating"...
the administration of a vaccine to an individual that
already has a good level of protective immunity.
vaccinating a patient for a disease for
which the pet already has protective
immunity (But how can we tell if it does
or does not have protective immunity?)
vaccinating a patient more frequently than the manufacturer
administering a vaccine antigen toward which the dog or cat
has previously shown an adverse reaction. (Acting tired and slightly achy or sore for 8-12 hours after
considered a dangerous post vaccine reaction and may be a small price to
pay if the vaccine prevents a deadly, untreatable
Even specialists in
veterinary immunology do not all agree what constitutes an
over vaccinating event. Just because a patient
experiences an adverse event after a vaccination does not
mean that it was "over vaccinated". In other words,
there is no such thing as having too much immunity to a
disease or that too much immunity makes a dog or cat sick.
A post vaccine reaction can occur after a second exposure to
any vaccine component... just like in humans a post
consumption reaction can occur from eating peanuts or shellfish.
Many self-described experts
in animal care assert vaccines are bad and are over-used by
veterinarians just to increase income. People and pets
may have post exposure health problems due to consumption of
aspirin, or from taking an antibiotic or from skin exposure
to direct sunlight... none of which logically dictates that
aspirin, antibiotics or sunlight are bad for people or pets.
And yet there are those who insist all vaccines are bad for
one's health. Interestingly we almost never hear of
polio, small pox or whooping cough in humans. These diseases used to be common
killers... their rarity is directly related to vaccination
Veterinary medicine today
respects the chance of a pet having an adverse reaction to
any medication or vaccine and that's why there is so much
research going on at this time, the goal of which is to
define just how long any given vaccine protects dogs and
cats against specific dangerous antigens.
Veterinarians balance the risks of exposure to a
dangerous antigen against the rare chance of a serious post
vaccine reaction. Most vaccine manufacturers and
veterinarians follow the recommendations of the American
Animal Hospital Association VACCINATION
GUIDELINES published by experts in
immunology and clinical medicine.