#30 Vaccine Dose MATTERS

We were taught in vet school that “one size fits all” when it comes to vaccination: a Great Dane and a Chihuahua both get a 1 cc vaccine dose. There was some vague explanation that the “antigenic load” was all the mattered, and big animals and small ones needed the same amount of challenging substance injected.

This is what a past client was told recently when he asked for a smaller vaccine dose of rabies be given to his 9 lb dog. His reaction (like mine should have been as a vet student) was “What the H? How does that make any sense at all?”

I immediately knew who to interview on this: Dr. John Robb of Protect the Pets, who observed early on in his practice that the smaller the pet, the more likely they were to have a negative reaction to a vaccine. In his work at a Banfield clinic, he also had access to a very large study that showed, in well over a million dogs, that he was far from the only one to observe this.

Join me and Dr. Robb as we discuss this reality that most of our profession refuses to come to grips with. We discuss how titers clearly demonstrate that immunity happens in the small pets with a lessened dose. Dr. Robb had to endure the long, lonely torment of his veterinary board for refusing to adhere to a standard dose that he knew would cause harm to his smaller patients.

Links for this episode

At Dr. Robb’s website, ProtectThePets.com, you’ll learn how you can save money on titer testing and get his official “Immunity Certificate” for your animal.

The Banfield study on 1.2 Million pets and vaccine adverse events in the first 72 hours.

Dr. Robb’s work on linear dosing of vaccines, graphs included.

Listen also to Dr. Robb’s earlier interview and how titers are “like a pregnancy test — you either are or are not immune.” That’s Episode #4, click to join us there.

For more on vaccination, I have a free series for you starting here:
Vaccinations: Consider Carefully

Thanks for listening!

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Have you had a similar wonder about small dogs/smaller doses? Or worse, have you had a small pet that’s had trouble after a “normal vaccine dose” was given? Tell us in the comments below.

Next week: I’m joined by Dr. Odette Suter, holistic colleague from Chicago who gives many of her patient FMT’s (fecal microbiota transplants!).

Be sure to tune in to hear about the amazing results a “poop transplant” can make.

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  1. Kathy on May 12, 2021 at 10:49 am

    May 12, 2021
    So grateful to find this forum. Our prev. dog developed seizures after his rabies booster, so our current dog is unvaxxd. She is intact and very healthy, except she has developed intermittent chronic diarrhea the past few months despite my feeding her homemade food and keeping her on leash, no dog parks, etc. (An onleash neighbor’s dog unexpectedly licked her on the nose, so am thinking that may have transferred something.)

    Local SC area vets require a vx certificate before even seeing her. All I want right now is full fecal and bloodwork done. If I can figure out how to get the blood drawn, are there ANY independent laboratories which would accept samples/provide
    results directly with a pet owner?

    Thank you.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 12, 2021 at 9:51 pm

      A couple thoughts:
      1. Find a sympathetic (usually holistic or homeopathic vet) who understands your goals and will work with you. That might even be long distance, which works well with homeopathy. You’ve got chronic disease at play here, and that’s rarely DIY. Homeopathy shines in curing chronic disease, and I tell you how to choose a good vet on my http://vitalanimal.com/recommended-resources/ page.
      2. It sounds like you’ve got a pretty developed sense of “germophobia” working in your mind. No greater health comes from sheltering anyone, dog, cat, child, adult, from the rich world of microbes that we actually depend on to be healthy. Listen to some of the Vital Animal Podcast episodes with Julie Anne Lee (leaky gut, skin microbiome coming soon) and tune in to Zach Bush, MD for the reality that abundant diverse populations of bacteria and viruses in and on us all have been the key to our survival. It’s part of how Mother Nature designed us all. The dog who licked her nose did her a favor.

      It’s not that your dog depends on vaccination to somehow become “complete” and have a functional immune system. Far from it.

  2. Susan King on May 7, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    I recently had Loki in for his annual check up. They FINALLY seem to get it, as one of the first things the tech said to me is something like, “I understand you don’t want any more vaccines”. Then he needed heartworm tests and nails clipped and she said, “I understand you’d rather us do it here” (rather than take him to another room.) So she brought in another tech, and me and one tech put him in a stranglehold (he hates his feet messed with) and they drew blood for test and clipped nails while I helped hold him. Sooo, they are getting me, finally, and it was nice to feel they were doing things my way. He goes in next week to extract broken tooth.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 8, 2021 at 8:26 pm

      Excellent, Susan. Your efforts at “calling the shots” are paying off, and I’m so glad for you and Loki. It’s important for all reading this to contemplate: who’s paying whom for services? Would you knowing pay for something that could do more harm than good to your animal?

      I’d hope not. Speak up. Tell the vet what you are seeking and be choosy about what’s offered, based on YOUR research.

  3. Terry Myles on May 7, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    Does this make sense or what . How can the vet institutes and colleges not see this ? I for one will not be giving anymore vaccines to my dogs without getting a titer test first . Sadly you are right it’s all about the money . And main street media , big pharma and the government don’t care to do the right thing . Hopefully more people will do what’s best for our pets and force the issue to vets across North America .

  4. Susanna Santhiram-Hofherr on May 5, 2021 at 10:24 pm

    Dear Dr Falconer,

    As a fellow “naturopathic” veterinarian, I so wholeheartedly subscribe to your “journey” of having been told what to do as a vet student, young vet. Also I followed obediently, and I had the exact same “reasoning” (my professors are so much smarter than I am… etc).

    It’s strangely comforting that another person had 100%, exactly the same experience becoming and being a young vet (with the same thought processes and the same – immediately quelled, by myself(!) – quiet questions that I had, sometimes).
    And it’s amazing how exploring into natural forms of medicine (for me it was acupuncture and TCVM) not only changes your approach to medicine, but very possibly how we look at life, generally1

    It can be lonely, as a “differently practicing” vet.
    So, your words, your openness and your fight for real understanding and practicing a way of medicine that’s not built on making patients more sick and, hence, more “profitable” (albeit, i credit most my still conventionally practicing colleagues that they don’t work this way consciously) are just so wholesome and soothing, beyond description.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for speaking out, speaking up and reaching so many people who are starting to think, and for supporting those who are well on the path of real health care, not symptom-suppressing medicine. Thank you!!

  5. Margaret Eggen on May 4, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    I’m so thankful for you both and the information you give freely to help us, and in turn help others . I’m always encouraged to keep on the fight, and it is a fight! I feel like your my cheer leaders to keep going, when sometimes I feel trampled on. It’s not easy to stand up for what is right! I run a facility called Silverdale Doggy Vacation Lodge up here in British Columbia in the Fraser Valley. We are a holistic facility, not many vets like us lololol, ask me if I care NOT!! We get so many of their clients coming to us and I educate each and everyone of the dog’s owners that bring their dogs here for daycare and lodging. All my clients do titers now. Our clientele is far and wide now just by the word of mouth. Things are starting to change as more vets are offering titers now ( because their clients are demanding it), but sadly give the wrong information on titers and scores. I find our clients are better educated than the vets! I tell all our clients it’s more like a pregnancy check, you either have antibodies or you don’t. Don’t worry so much about the score. I had one vet totally try and belittle one of our clients and shaming her for not doing yearly booster vaccine after the series of puppy shots, and asked her where she got her information about titers from. The vet proceeded to tell her how awful our facility is and heard so many complaints about us trying to play vet which we knew was all nonsense! The nerve of the vet!!. Then when he finally did the Titer, he did it begrudgingly, and told her it was going to cost her $300. for a core vaccine titer ( Parvo and Distemper). She said “I know a titer shouldn’t cost more than about $150. so if you don’t do it for $150. I’ll find another vet who will”. Yes he did it for $150. lol. It was over a month since she had done the titer and the vet didn’t call her back with the results. She was afraid to call him back lol. She finally called the clinic for the results. Vet comes on the phone and says.. “Ya all good” very curtly and said he had to go, basically hangs up!! Ugh! We also teach all our clients to have the puppy shots dose based on size of the breed, we’re not much loved by the vets around us. Anyway I could go on and on. Thank you again and we’ll keep working on changing the vets protocols through their clients. When it affects the vet’s wallet maybe they’ll listen and do their homework! I have 4 good vets who will do and encourage titers, I tell my clients when they are given a hard time regarding titers and over vaccinating, time to change vets.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 5, 2021 at 9:12 pm

      Brilliant, Margaret! It’s great to know you’re there, and NO, you are NOT alone. Keep up the great work and yes, when you’re getting BS from your vet and you know better, it is time to FIRE them and tell them why.

      First clue: annual vaccinations. Anyone experiencing that is getting 100% ripped off and receiving a far riskier procedure than possible benefit (in exchange for hard earned money, no less).

  6. Yvonne Novak on May 4, 2021 at 9:49 am

    I love this information. I live in CA where it is required to have a rabies vaccine. I have a 1 year old (25 lbs mini-labradoodle), who did have the first rabies at about 16+ weeks, I am now faced with having to give her another. What do we do when we live in a state where rabies is mandatory?

    • Sue D. on May 4, 2021 at 11:44 am

      If you still have your original certificate, you can do wonders with Photoshop, MS Publisher, etc. and make adjustments… if you know what I mean.
      There is no reason to follow an unjust law at the risk of harming your pet.

      • Will Falconer, DVM on May 5, 2021 at 9:15 pm

        Indeed, Sue. Thomas Jefferson said, “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.”

      • Kathy on May 12, 2021 at 10:34 am

        Agree with you and Will Falconer both. Thank you!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 5, 2021 at 9:04 pm

      Well, that’s almost ALL states, so first know you’re not alone. And also know that thousands have found a way.

      The best starting place is my free Rabies Short Course. Then, keep an eye open for the deeper dive where I present more options, called Rabies: Knowledge is Power.

  7. Lorraine Sullivan on May 4, 2021 at 8:42 am

    Thank you for bringing up the problem with veterinarians not wanting to do a blood draw for their client to send out for a titer. There are a few natural pet shops in my local area and I plan on stopping by and letting them know Dr. Robb’s suggestion and giving them a link to this podcast. As always, your podcast is a wealth of information. Thank you for doing them!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on May 5, 2021 at 9:02 pm

      Yes, didn’t you love that suggestion? The stubborn vets will lose money for their stubbornness and the pets and their owners will be served in spite of them.

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