Why don’t we vaccinate our puppies like most breeders? We are increasingly seeing pet owners seeking breeders who do not vaccinate prior to eight weeks of age as they now are coming to understand the damage that doing so does to our puppies’ immune systems. We do not vaccinate prior to nine weeks of age, as it is not only ineffective but is also detrimental to our dogs’ health. Skin problems are always among the top issues veterinarians see in their patients, and these are largely caused by vaccinating too early and too often. Vaccinating before nine weeks benefits only your vet and actually hurts your pup. Vaccinating by current veterinary schedules may very well be the cause of the epidemic of skin problems, cancers and other significant health issues among American canines. Further, the skin conditions are often treated by the administration of Apoquel, an expensive and highly toxic pharmaceutical, and other allergy medications. Yet, on almost any pet group on the internet or Facebook, you’ll read story after story of dog owners struggling with painful, debilitating skin conditions who’ve tried many different medications without relief. Recently, a family member took their dog to the family vet for treatment of a skin issue and was told that their pet insurance would not cover the $400 cost for tests and initial treatment because it is considered a pre-existing condition caused by vaccination!
Puppies receive antibodies through their mother’s milk. This natural protection can last 8‐14weeks. Puppies & kittens should NOT be vaccinated at LESS than 8 weeks. Maternal immunity will neutralize the vaccine and little protection (0‐38%) will be produced.
Vaccination at 6 weeks will, however, delay the timing of the first highly effective vaccine. Vaccinations given 2 weeks apart suppress rather than stimulate the immune system.Dr. Jean Dodd, DVM
We follow Dr. W. Jean Dodd’s vaccination protocol, which is now being adopted by ALL 27 North American veterinary
schools. Please read this through, it’s very important to the life of your dog. We have included many links to information from various sources on the impact of vaccination and the administration of various medications to assist your decision-making process on our Resources page.
I would like to make you aware that all 27 veterinary schools in North America are in the process of
changing their protocols for vaccinating dogs and cats. Some of this information will present an ethical &
economic challenge to vets, and there will be skeptics.
Some organizations have come up with a political compromise suggesting vaccinations every 3 years to
appease those who fear loss of income vs. those concerned about potential side effects. Politics,
traditions, or the doctor’s economic well-being should not be a factor in medical decision.
NEW PRINCIPLES OF IMMUNOLOGY
“Dogs and cats immune systems mature fully at 6 months. If a modified live virus vaccine is given after 6
months of age, it produces an immunity that is good for the life of the pet (ie: canine distemper, parvo,
feline distemper). If another MLV vaccine is given a year later, the antibodies from the first vaccine
neutralize the antigens of the second vaccine and there is little or no effect. The titer is not “boosted”
nor are more memory cells induced.” Not only are annual boosters for parvo and distemper
unnecessary, they subject the pet to potential risks of allergic reactions and immune‐mediated
hemolytic anemia. “There is no scientific documentation to back up label claims for annual
administration of MLV vaccines.” Puppies receive antibodies through their mother’s milk. This natural
protection can last 8‐14weeks. Puppies & kittens should NOT be vaccinated at LESS than 8 weeks. Maternal immunity will neutralize the vaccine and little protection (0‐38%) will be produced.
Vaccination at 6 weeks will, however, delay the timing of the first highly effective vaccine. Vaccinations
given 2 weeks apart suppress rather than stimulate the immune system. A series of vaccinations is given
starting at 8 weeks and given 3‐4 weeks apart up to 16 weeks of age. Another vaccination given
sometime after 6 months of age (usually at 1 year 4mo) will provide lifetime immunity.
There are two types of vaccines currently available to veterinarians: modified‐live vaccines and
inactivated (“killed”) vaccines.
There is a great deal of controversy and confusion surrounding the appropriate immunization schedule,
especially with the availability of modified‐live vaccines and breeders who have experienced
postvaccinal problems when using some of these vaccines. It is also important to not begin a vaccination
program while maternal antibodies are still active and present in the puppy from the mother’s
colostrum. The maternal antibodies identify the vaccines as infectious organisms and destroy them
before they can stimulate an immune response. Many breeders and owners have sought a safer immunization program.
Modified Live Vaccines (MLV)
Modified‐live vaccines contain a weakened strain of the disease-causing agent. Weakening of the agent
is typically accomplished by chemical means or by genetic engineering. These vaccines replicate within
the host, thus increasing the amount of material available for provoking an immune response without
inducing clinical illness. This provocation primes the immune system to mount a vigorous response if the
disease-causing agent is ever introduced to the animal. Further, the immunity provided by a modified-live
vaccine develops rather swiftly and since they mimic infection with the actual disease agent, it
provides the best immune response.
Inactivated Vaccines (Killed)
Inactivated vaccines contain killed disease-causing agents. Since the agent is killed, it is much more
stable and has a longer shelf life, there is no possibility that they will revert to a virulent form, and they
never spread from the vaccinated host to other animals. They are also safe for use in pregnant animals
(a developing fetus may be susceptible to damage by some of the disease agents, even though
attenuated, present in modified‐live vaccines). Although more than a single dose of vaccine is always
required and the duration of immunity is generally shorter, inactivated vaccines are regaining
importance in this age of retrovirus and herpesvirus infections and concern about the safety of
genetically modified microorganisms. Inactivated vaccines available for use in dogs include rabies,
canine parvovirus, canine coronavirus, etc.
W. Jean Dodds, DVM
938 Stanford Street
Santa Monica, CA 90403
fax: 310/ 828‐8251
Note: This schedule is the one I recommend and should not be interpreted to mean that other protocols
recommended by a veterinarian would be less satisfactory. It’s a matter of professional judgment and
choice. For breeds or families of dogs susceptible to or affected with immune dysfunction, immunemediated
disease, immune‐reactions associated with vaccinations, or autoimmune endocrine disease
(e.g., thyroiditis, Addison’s or Cushing’s disease, diabetes, etc.) the above protocol is recommended.
After 1 year, annually measure serum antibody titers against specific canine infectious agents such as
distemper and parvovirus. This is especially recommended for animals previously experiencing adverse
vaccine reactions or breeds at higher risk for such reactions (e.g., Weimaraner, Akita, American Eskimo,
Another alternative to booster vaccinations is homeopathic nosodes. This option is considered an
unconventional treatment that has not been scientifically proven to be efficacious. One controlled
parvovirus nosode study did not adequately protect puppies under challenged conditions. However,
data from Europe and clinical experience in North America support its use. If veterinarians choose to use
homeopathic nosodes, their clients should be provided with an appropriate disclaimer and written
informed consent should be obtained.
I use only killed 3 year rabies vaccine for adults and give it separated from other vaccines by 3‐4 weeks.
In some states, they may be able to give titer test result in lieu of booster.
I do NOT use Bordetella, corona virus, leptospirosis or Lyme vaccines unless these diseases are endemic
in the local area pr specific kennel. Furthermore, the currently licensed leptospira bacterins do not
contain the serovars causing the majority of clinical leptospirosis today.
I do NOT recommend vaccinating bitches during estrus, pregnancy or lactation.
W. Jean Dodds, DVM