Veterinary study reveals increased vaccine risk for small dogs
According to the School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, there is a significant increase of health risks from the vaccination of small dogs and other types, ages, and breeds of dogs.
In an article published in the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, the Purdue Department of Veterinary Medicine published the following conclusion after studying the medical records of 1, 226,159 dogs. The term that they use to classify the adverse reactions associated to dog vaccination is VAAE (nonspecific vaccine reaction, allergic reaction, urticaria, or anaphylaxis.):
“Young adult small-breed neutered dogs that received multiple vaccines per office visit were at greatest risk of a VAAE within 72 hours after vaccination. These factors should be considered in risk assessment and risk communication with clients regarding vaccination.”
Small dogs at greater risk of adverse vaccine reaction.
The study revealed that small dogs and small breed dogs were at significant increase of risk as compared to large dogs. “The VAAE rate decreased significantly as body weight increased.” The conclusion is that puppies and small breed dogs are at greater risk of VAAE events.
Vaccine risk 27% to 38% greater for neutered dogs
According to the publish study: “Risk was 27% to 38% greater for neutered versus sexually intact dogs and 35% to 64% greater for dogs approximately 1 to 3 years old versus 2 to 9 months old.” The conclusion is that vaccination risk increased significantly in neutered and mature dogs.
Dog vaccine risk increases with the number of doses administered in a single visit
The study found that: “The risk of a VAAE significantly increased as the number of vaccine doses administered per office visit increased; each additional vaccine significantly increased risk of an adverse event by 27% in dogs < or = 10 kg (22 lb) and 12% in dogs > 10 kg.”
The standard vaccination protocol for veterinarians is to administer multiple single visit vaccines over three visits beginning at 6-8 weeks old, and ending at 14-16 weeks of age. The battery of vaccines that are administered is termed as a DHPP, which consists of distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus vaccines. This battery of vaccines is administered to dogs on an annual basis following the series from 8 to 16 weeks of age.
How to reduce the risk of harmful vaccine reaction in your dog
There isn't much that we can do to avoid vaccinating our dogs. Pet registration is a requirement of most local governments, and proof of vaccination of our pets is a requirement of registration.
But there is something that we can do. If your dog is included in the high risk groups, you should consider asking your veterinarian to administer the vaccines separately over a period of days or weeks rather that all at once during a single visit. You can also ask your veterinarian if your dog is included in the breeds that are known to have an increased risk of vaccine reaction also to determine if spreading the vaccinations out over a longer period of time is advisable .
J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2005 Oct 1;227(7):1102-8.
Adverse events diagnosed within three days of vaccine administration in dogs.
Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2027, USA.