Tag Archives: health test

The dangers of Over-vaccinating your dogs.

Today I’m writing about a topic that makes me want to reach for a blood pressure pill: the annual (over) vaccination of dogs.

Annual vaccination is unnecessary and dangerous for your dog. Despite what we know about the risks, it seems to be what most vets recommend to all dogs.

Experts like leading veterinary immunology researcher Ronald D Schultz PhD proved decades ago that most dogs will be protected for many years – and probably for life by one round of core vaccines as puppies – as long as they are completed about 16 weeks old.

Only Rabies is actually legally required. Parvo is highly recommended as it can be lethal if not treated quickly and effectively.

Dr Schultz reports:

“The patient receives no benefit and may be placed at serious risk when an unnecessary vaccine is given. Few or no scientific studies have demonstrated a need for cats or dogs to be revaccinated.”

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA), the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) have announced publicly that annual vaccination is unnecessary and can be harmful.

But unfortunately, often these studies do nothing to stop vets from vaccinating more often than necessary. Dog owners need to advocate for their dogs and be the ones to say “no” or ask for a TITRE TEST.

A titer test is a simple blood test where they look at the immunity level of your dog’s blood against the virus. If your dog has low immunity, the vaccine is recommended. If they have high immunity then it is not.

Over vaccination has be attributed to auto-immune disorders, allergies, epileptic seizures and neurological issues and cancer.

Please, please advocate for your dog.

Figuring out what CDDY/IVDD – CHONDRODYSTROPHY AND INTERVERTEBRAL DISC DISEASE, TYPE I IVDD Mean on your Embark Test

This is a genetic test that is (in my opinion) a little deceptive. Almost every beagle I have come across, that has been tested, has been positive for this. Some say as many as 99% of the breed will be positive – but I dont see 99% of beagles having back issues and ruptured disks.

There is even evidence that shows that it may be common across most breeds, even though most will be asymptomatic.

The reason it is highlighted is that it is an indicator of a gene that they found commonly in dogs with short legs and long bodies – bassets, corgis, dauschunds and the like. These dogs are said to have an “increased risk of a health condition affecting the discs that act as cushions between vertebrae. Affected dogs can have a disc event where it ruptures or herniates towards the spinal cord and it can cause neurological issues.”

The problem I find with the results of this test are two fold.

  1. The test does not take into account any environmental factors such as the weight of your dog, how active or fit your dog is, or how often they jump off higher surfaces like couches or beds. An overweight dog is going to be much more likely to have back issues than one that is kept at a healthy weight for his or her body.
  2. The test does not give any indication of how much increased risk. Is your dog at 0.001% increased risk of having a rupture? Or 4% increased risk? Or 33% increased risk? or 79% increased risk? There is no information about what the increased risk actually is. There is no actual guidelines or information here. Just scary words with nothing to quantify it.

Ruth Darlene Stewart from Aladar Beagles wrote an article about this also – she is a repected AKC judge and long time beagle breeder.

It seems that maybe this gene doesn’t activate or affect beagles in the same way that it does other breeds. Maybe it is because we are actually not a long bodied, short legged breed. I dont know. However, I want you to rest at ease and not panic about it if you see it on your genetic testing result.

Below is a copy of the amended letter from Embark to families about IVDD to try and better explain and put everyone’s minds at ease. Please feel free to read it.