Can Vaccinating Your Dog Create Allergies?
Veterinarians now say, Yes.
“Vaccinations are a major stress to the immune system. They can not only cause immediate side effects and allergic reactions, but they also contribute to long term problems. Many chronic health issues may be linked to vaccination, including skin allergies, arthritis, thyroid disease, recurrent ear infections…”
How Vaccines Stimulate the Immune System
There are two ways for an antigen to stimulate an immune response. One is through the cellular portion of the immune system which includes mucosal membranes and lymph nodes in the respiratory and digestive tracts.
The second way is through humoral immunity, which involves antibody production in the bone marrow by plasma cells.
While cellular immunity is your dog’s dominant protection, humoral immunity is complimentary.
So, the most natural way for a dog to deal with an antigen is through his cellular immune responses. Like when encountering food-borne pathogens, the antigens are stopped by mucosal membranes in the throat and esophagus, and then the stomach.
However, vaccines stimulate the humoral immune response upon injection into the bloodstream, bypassing the cellular defenses. This triggers the thymus gland to make lymphocytes which in turn create cytokines that communicate with the humoral defenses. These humoral cytokines become dominant, efficiently suppressing the cellular cytokines and defenses. It reverses the dominance of cellular immunity and humoral immunity.
An example of this is how a food allergy develops in response to a protein in a vaccine. When the dog eats the protein, it encounters his cellular immunity. Immune cells in the mucosal membranes of the digestive tract, plus digestion by powerful stomach acids, means antigens have a small chance of causing your dog any problems. When your dog eats a protein, it is addressed by your dog’s natural immunity system.
However, if you vaccinate your dog, and the vaccine includes an animal protein, it doesn’t encounter the cellular immune response but the humoral immune response. This causes an immune reaction to the protein starting the production of antibodies and sensitizing your dog to that protein.
Anaphylaxis – Allergic Shock
Anaphylaxis is a very immediate type of allergic reaction that can occur in response to a vaccine. It is a state of shock in the immune system. The Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Manual says that signs may start at the site of contact with the allergen, like pain, itching, swelling, and redness.
Acute anaphylaxis becomes generalized in the entire body either immediately or over several hours. In acute anaphylactic shock agitation, diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, weakness, and circulatory collapse may lead to coma and death. Emergency treatment is always necessary for dogs showing signs of anaphylactic shock.
French physiologist Charles Robert Richet gave allergic shock reactions the name “anaphylaxis.” While studying anaphylaxis, he injected dogs with trace amounts of jellyfish poison. He hoped that the dogs would develop immunity to the poison. The dogs seemed fine after the first injection, so he injected them again, expecting no effects. However, the dogs quickly reacted and died.
“This response was opposite to the protection that Richet expected and he named this reaction ana-phylaxis. This is Latin for anti-protection. Curious about these results, Richet experimented further. Over the next few years, he injected trace amounts of milk and meat proteins into cats, rabbits and horses and found the same results. The first injection seemed to create a sensitivity to the injected protein.”
This is what happens with vaccines. The first injection creates a sensitivity to the ingredients in the vaccine. Immune cells called B memory cells, memorize the immune response to the disease and have that response ready the next time the body encounters the antigen.
Delayed Development of Allergies
Dr. Martin Goldstein says that while the link between anaphylactic shock and vaccines is easy to see because of the immediacy of the reaction, there are reactions that we don’t quickly link to the vaccination.
“More subtly, after a week or two, a pet may show other serious symptoms: bleeding gums, enhanced allergies, seizures, and hemorrhages.”
Many dogs exhibit typical allergies, second and third degree reactions including autoimmune reactions, for the first time following a vaccination.
Dr. Larry Glickman spearheaded a Purdue research study in post-vaccination biochemical changes in dogs. In a letter to Bet Hargreaves, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breeder, he said:
“Our ongoing studies of dogs show that following routine vaccination, there is a significant rise in the level of antibodies dogs produce against their own tissues. Some of these antibodies have been shown to target the thyroid gland, connective tissue such as that found in the valves of the heart, red blood cells, DNA, etc.”
Dr. Glickman saw first-hand how vaccines were causing autoimmune reactions in dogs. He learned that vaccines cause the dog to attack its body cells.
The Source of Trouble
- Animal proteins. Vaccines are grown in animal proteins. Cow fetuses and chick embryos are used to develop strains of diseases for vaccinations. This protein then enters the bloodstream, instead of passing through the digestive system, and creates a sensitivity in the immune system.
- Adjuvants. These are ingredients added to vaccines to trigger a stronger immune response to the vaccine. Great, right? Aluminum hydroxide (alum), aluminum phosphate and calcium phosphate are common vaccine adjuvants. Other adjuvants are made from emulsified oils and bacteria such as lipopolysaccharide which is known to induce fever.
- Reversed Immunity Dominance. The way vaccines stimulate the immune system creates a reversed immune reaction to your dog’s healthy immune response. This weakens and confuses the immune system, making a path for future allergic reactions.
- Over-Vaccination. Repeated vaccinations mean more risk for developing sensitivities, weakening the immune system, and triggering allergic reactions.
What to Do?
When we first started using vaccines, there wasn’t any research to show how long a vaccine was effective. Annual re-vaccination was begun to ensure lasting immunity. However, we now have studies that show that a single vaccine can last your dog for seven years! It’s also very possible that a single vaccine will give your dog a lifetime of immunity.
(To learn more about the duration of immunity by vaccination you can read Dr. Ronald Schultz’s research here.)
Why vaccinate your dog every year when just one will do the job? You could avoid causing or worsening your dog’s allergies by preventing over-vaccination.
(Note: Rabies vaccines are required every one-to-three years by law in the US. We cannot recommend that you stop vaccinating for Rabies unless your dog has a health risk that necessitates it.)
Can You Stop Vaccinating?
Yes, and you have other options. Once your dog has had whichever vaccinations you and your vet deem necessary, you can use other measures to protect your dog.
Titering: Choose to use a titer test, a simple blood analysis, to determine your dog’s production of antibodies to diseases. Assuming your dog’s immune system needs annual “boosters” could do more harm than help and often the dog’s immune system is still producing antibodies several years after a single vaccination.
Nosodes: Nosodes are homeopathic vaccinations that contain an “energy blueprint” instead of a modified or killed disease. They act on the dog’s naturally dominant cellular immunity. Nosodes are given orally and must only contact the dog’s gums to take effect.
Only vaccinate healthy dogs! If your dog is currently in poor health, avoid vaccinating him. His immune system is already working hard and you do not want to further stress it. In some places, if your dog is unhealthy, he is allowed a veterinary-written exemption from vaccination. Consider checking with your vet to find the best option for your dog.
Detox: If you decide a vaccination is necessary, follow it up with a detox to keep your dog’s immune system in good working order. You can do this using a homeopathic tincture, or through your dog’s diet. Using raw foods with added herbs and leafy greens is an effective method for detoxing. Add ingredients that support the liver, your dog’s detox organ. Fasting your dog is another detox option but requires caution. We advise you to talk with a holistic vet about detox methods.
Allergies make many dogs miserable, so many pet owners are looking for ways to help their dogs. This series is here to give you an in-depth look at the causes and processes of allergic reactions. With this information, you will be able to make choices that will help your dog heal.
Coming up, Part Four is what you’ve been looking for! Options for helping your dog heal based on the knowledge of the previous three parts. Parts Four and Five will be extensive lists of natural methods to treat the cause and symptoms of Canine Allergies.
I encourage you to find the method that will make your dog a Satisfied Dog!
– Cassy Kay
Goldstein, Martin D.V.M. The Nature of Animal Healing. Toronto, Canada: Random House, Inc. 1999. Print. Chapter 4 pg. 71.
Jordan, Patricia D.V.M. “Dangerous Over-Vaccination is on the Rise.” Dogsnaturallymagazine.com. Web. Oct. 8, 2017. http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/dangerous-over-vaccination-on-the-rise/
Khalsa, Deva D.V.M. “When Vaccines Should Not Be Given.” Animalwellnessmagazine.com. Web. Accessed Oct. 7, 2017. https://animalwellnessmagazine.com/yearly-vaccines-unnecessary/
Scott, Dana. “Dog Vaccinations: Why Detox is Important.” Dogsnaturallymagazine.com. Web. Oct. 7, 2017. http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/dog-vaccinations-detox/
Scott, Dana. “Food Allergies in Dogs – A Man-Made Problem.” Dogsnaturallymagazine.com. Web. Oct. 7, 2017. http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/dog-allergies-a-man-made-problem/
Scott, Dana. “Vaccine Adjuvants and Contamination.” Dogsnaturallymagazine.com. 2012. Web. Oct. 6, 2017. http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/vaccine-adjuvants-contamination/
Scott, Dana. “Vaccines And The Immune System.” dogsnaturallymagazine.com. Web. Accessed March 6, 2018. http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/vaccines-and-the-immune-system/
Schultz, Dr. Ronald. https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/03057b_9038326c993b487ea5a0e932b3b9f91a.pdf
Veterinary Advisors, Only Natural Pet. “Vaccination Basics.” Web. Oct. 8, 2017. https://www.onlynaturalpet.com/holistic-healthcare-library/vaccinations/37/vaccination-basics-summary.aspx