December 17, 2011

AAHA Responds to Public Concern of 2011 Guidelines

Several weeks ago, the most recent vaccination guidelines published by the American Animal Hospital Association for its member-veterinarians were greeted with small praise and healthy skepticism and criticism by dog and cat owners concerned about the killing effects of over-vaccination in companion animals.

At the bottom line, these guidelines do not go far enough to align veterinary practice with vaccine science. Moreover, they are merely guidelines and do nothing to discourage abuse of dog and cat vaccines, which we define as anything more than absolutely necessary.

In response, the public relations manager of AAHA claims:

If they are administered properly and the individual lifestyle/location of each individual pets is taken into account, vaccines are very effective in protecting pets and humans from serious illness and sometimes death.
Jason Merrihew
AAHA PR Manager

I do not believe any advocate for vaccine reform wants to dispute the efficacy of core vaccines in puppies and kittens. We strongly protest the practice of using revaccination in adult animals as a ruse to bring patients into a veterinary clinic.

As Dog Naturally Magazine points out in this excellent history of the development of animal vaccinations, it is a practice with little or no scientific merit and potentially great harm.

If anyone doubts this, I encourage you to read the testimonials of  pet owners who have signed the petition to exempt sick and senior pets from rabies vaccine.  Read about Peaches, the champion rat terrier or Shadow, a beloved house cat, both seriously afflicted as a result of medically unnecessary revaccination. And the next time you take your pet in for a wellness exam, don't be afraid to say "no" to booster shots.

While the odds may be in favor of vaccines doing more good than harm, this bromide is no comfort when your dog or cat is the one.

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