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Old 01-31-2008, 07:55 AM   #1
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Default LYME--Vaccinate or Not?

In response to questions about Lyme disease in dogs and the Lyme vaccine, I would like to share the advice that Dr. Ronald Schultz, Chair of Pathobiological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine gave me for my 2 dogs, who both receive(d) (one died in July from a mast cell tumor which developed at a rabies vaccination site) 100+ tick bites a summer.

I was concerned after having contracted Lyme twice myself; however, none of the dogs we have had over 30 years were ever vaccinated against Lyme or ever contracted the disease. After getting it myself, I was reconsidering. Dr. Schultz advised me that there was far more risk associated with the Lyme vaccine than there was with antibiotics to treat the disease if one or both dogs contracted Lyme.

He further explained that if they tested positive for Lyme, but displayed no symptoms, then not to treat them with antibiotics because it indicated that they had been exposed to the disease, but hadn't contracted the disease. However, he said, that if they tested positive for Lyme and had symptoms (lameness, fever, lethargy, etc..), then start treatment. Dr. Schultz elaborated by telling me that in vaccinology, immunology, the point is not to prevent infection, it is to prevent disease. In fact, low-grade infections are introduced to elicit immune responses, which is how vaccination works, by introducing an attenuated (weakened) antigen into the animal's system.

Further, he said that a positive Lyme test in an ASYMPTOMATIC dog merely reflects the fact that the dog has been exposed; positive Lyme test in a dog with SYMPTOMS indicates that the animal has contracted the disease and needs treatment.

Based on his advice, I have chosen to not vaccinate my dog(s) against Lyme. Below are links to a few articles on the subject which may help you in deciding whether or not to vaccinate your dog against Lyme.


Canine Lyme, What's New? http://vettechs.blogspot.com/2005/11...whats-new.html


No Lyme Vaccine for Charlie Nancy Freedman Smith, Maine Today http://www.mainetoday.com/pets/dogslife/006006.html

"It is not a scientifically based recommendation to suggest that all dogs in Maine should be vaccinated with Lyme Vaccine. There may be select areas in the state, "hot spots" where infection is very high and vaccination would be indicated, but dogs in most parts of the state would probably not receive benefit and may actually be at risk of adverse reactions if a large scale vaccination program was initiated. Wisconsin has a much higher risk of Lyme than Maine, however at our Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) we have used almost no Lyme vaccine since it was first USDA approved in the early 1990's. What we have found is infection (not disease), in much of Wisconsin, is low (<10% infection). As you know, infection does not mean disease. About 3 to 4% of infected dogs develop disease. In contrast, in Western and Northwestern parts of Wisconsin infection occurs in 60 to 90% of all dogs. In those areas, vaccination is of benefit in reducing clinical disease. ........Also, vaccinated dogs can develop disease as efficacy of the product is about 60 to 70% in preventing disease, thus antibiotics must be used in vaccinated dogs developing disease, just like it must be used in non-vaccinated diseased dogs. Therefore, in general areas with a low infection rate <10>50%) then the vaccine will be very useful. Thus, I believe it is irresponsible to suggest that all dogs in Maine should be vaccinated. Veterinarians should know, based on diagnoses in their clinic and other clinics in the area (town), how common the disease would be and they should base their judgment to vaccinate on risk, not on a statement that all dogs in Maine need Lyme vaccine!

R.D. Schultz
_______________________________
Ronald D. Schultz, Professor and Chair
Department of Pathobiological Sciences
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of Wisconsin-Madison
2015 Linden Drive West
Madison, WI 53706"


LYME DISEASE: Fact from Fiction by Dr. Allen Schoen
http://www.drschoen.com/articles_L1_11.html

"Research at Cornell University veterinary school brings up some suspicion that there may be potential long term side effects of the vaccine, though nothing is certain. These side effects may vary from rheumatoid arthritis and all the major symptoms of lyme disease to acute kidney failure." ...... "Many veterinary schools and major veterinary centers do not recommend the vaccine for the same concern regarding potential side effects. "

"I have seen all the symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs four to eight weeks after the vaccine and when I sent the western blot test to Cornell, it shows no evidence of the disease, only evidence of the dog having been vaccinated, yet the dog shows all the classic symptoms of the disease." - Dr. Allen Schoen


LYME DISEASE by Dr. R. Staubinger
http://siriusdog.com/articles/article3.php?id=146

"The Borrelia burgdorferi Bacterin from Fort Dodge Laboratories is currently the only licensed Lyme disease vaccine for dogs. ...... In a limited field study it was concluded that the incidence of disease (4.7 percent in infected, non-vaccinated dogs) was reduced to about one percent. However, the vaccine does not protect from actual infection. ....... We cannot recommend vaccination of dogs in endemic areas with the whole-cell bacterin until questions are resolved about clinical Lyme disease developing in dogs that have been properly vaccinated. "

"We cannot recommend vaccination of dogs in endemic areas with the whole-cell bacterin until questions are resolved about clinical Lyme disease developing in dogs that have been properly vaccinated."




http://www.angelfire.com/biz/froghol...accBlanco.html

This is a good article that speaks in general regarding the risks associated with vaccines.


In addition a friend attended the Dr. Ron Schultz (he’s the preeminent immunologist who has done much of the duration of immunity research) seminar in March and this is a paraphrase of what he had to say about the Lyme vaccine:

LYME VACCINE - Recommends against, even in New England where
75% of dogs show exposure. Only 1 year DOI. At least 10% false
positives. Impossible to really confirm lyme disease. Too many dogs get
clinical lyme from the vaccine and it is more likely to cause a worse type
of arthritis than the dog would get from lyme disease itself. The vaccine
does not prevent infection and really doesn’t prevent the disease either.
In Schultz’s opinion: “Lyme disease is a media produced paranoia.” Humanssuffer the devastating effects of lyme much more frequently than
dogs. Most dogs will fight on their own. A predisposed dog will get a
worse case of lyme if vaccinated than if not vaccinated. In a lab setting,
studies show “some” protection. But in actual field studies, the vaccine
seems pretty useless. Lyme is easily treated with doxy once clinical signs
appear. Lameness/arthritis is generally the first to show up.
Only treat if clinical signs of lyme develop. Tests are not reliable since
few are adequately trained in reading lab results.
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:41 AM   #2
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Kris, do you happen to have any info on the lepto vaccine? Side effects including death in small breeds?
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:50 AM   #3
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Thank you for making this post. A friend and I were discussing this subject just this morning. Her vet now believes that a Lymes vaccine given by another vet to her dog resulted in the dog getting bacterial encephalitis. After months of antibiotic therapy her dog did recover, sadly many do not though.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:30 AM   #4
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I will not be vaccinating for Lymes. Just my personal preference!
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Old 01-31-2008, 12:19 PM   #5
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Exclamation LEPTO Vaccine- Adverse Reactions

Regarding the Lepto vaccine, on Page 2 of the American Animal Hospital Association's 2003 Canine Vaccine Guidelines and Recommendations, it states that "Optional or 'noncore' vaccines are those that the committee believe should be considered only in special circumstances because their use is more dependent on the exposure risk of the individual animal. Issues of geographic distribution and lifestyle should be considered before administering these vaccines. In addition, the diseases involved are generally self-limiting or respond readily to treatment. The committee believes this group of vaccines comprises distemper-meases virus (D-MV), canine parainfluenza virus (CPIV), Leptospira spp., Bordetella bronchispetica, and Borrelia burdorferi."

Furthermore, on Page 7, Tables 1 of the AAHA Guidelines referenced above, it states under Revaccination (Booster Recommendations) that the Leptospira interrogans vaccine "....this product carries high-risk for adverse vaccine events." Under Overall Comments and Recommendations they elaborate: "Anecdotal reports from veterinarians and breeders suggest that the incidence of postvaccination reactions (acute anaphylaxis) in puppies (<12 wks of age) and small-breed dogs is high. Reactions are most severe in young (<9 wks of age) puppies. Routine use of the vaccine should be delayed until dogs are >9 wks of age."

A fuller discussion of the Lepto vaccine can be found on Page 14, in which it is reported that, "Immunity is an ill-defined term for Leptospira ssp. products. If immunity is defined as protection from infection or prevention of bacterial-shedding, then there is little or no enduring immunity."

Personally, I found the most stunning quote in this entire document on Page 18, in which the task force declares: "However, the ethical issue that our profession strugles with today is whether economics justifies giving an animal a drug (vaccines are biologic drugs) that is not necessarily required. As a minimum, we should allow pet owners to make this choice rather than make it for them."

Anyone who wishes to have a copy of the American Animal Hospital Association's 2003 Canine Vaccine Guidelines referenced above, please contact me at ledgespring@lincoln.midcoast.com. I highly encourage people to share this report with all of the dog owners they know!
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