#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

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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.

Intro: If you want a wildly healthy, naturally disease resistant pet who turns heads and starts conversations with awestruck onlookers, you're right where you belong. This is the Vital Animal Podcast with your host homeopathic veterinarian, Dr. Will Falconer.
[00:00:36] Will Falconer, DVM: Welcome everyone. This is episode number 30 of the Vital Animal Podcast and it is my great pleasure to welcome my friend and colleague, Dr. John Robb. Welcome John.
[00:00:46] John Robb, DVM: Always a pleasure, Will, thanks for having me on.
[00:00:49] Will Falconer, DVM: Yeah, my pleasure. We're going to talk about something that came in a comment from somebody who's out there, you know, trying to try to take care of their animal.
[00:00:58] But I thought maybe as way of introduction, probably more than anyone I know, you've been in the thick of measuring immunity for quite some time. Tell us when that began for you and how you're involved in the world of titers. And let's, let's define that term a little bit for people that might be new to it.
[00:01:16] John Robb, DVM: Sure. Well, that began back in my Banfield days. And when I was doing a lot of titers for international travel, I lived in the Stanford area. We had a lot of people who came from different countries and I was federally accredited, accredited to do those international. So I started doing a lot of vaccines and titering, which started to become a requirement.
[00:01:38] And I could see that the smaller dogs, titers were so much higher than the larger dogs when they're getting a full CC. And so that was one of the things. And then of course I was seeing more reactions in the smaller dogs and getting a full cc. So it, wasn't hard to put two and two together and see that we could lower the volume and give a five pound dog 0.2 cc's and have the same titer as a hundred pound dog getting 1cc. And then there was a study that came out in 2005, 1.2 million pets using the Banfield data. And their two conclusions in that study was these are reactions within the first 72 hours of vaccination. The two conclusions, very simple, smaller dogs have more reactions.
[00:02:24] And the more vaccines you give the higher the reaction rate. Well, You're simply giving a smaller dog too much. And that's why they're having more reactions
[00:02:34] Will Falconer, DVM: Makes sense.
[00:02:34] John Robb, DVM: So that's, it's, it's not difficult to understand, but you do have to lower your volume and check a titer and see. Yes, indeed. I did create immunity in this pet.
[00:02:45] Will Falconer, DVM: Right. So explain that word titer to us again.
[00:02:48] John Robb, DVM: Yeah. I'm not sure… It's titration. Okay. So when we, we want to see if the antibodies within serum neutralize a virus, whatever virus you could be rabies to distemper, for people, mumps, measles, rubella. And when it does neutralize and they want to see, well, how many antibodies do we have there?
[00:03:09] So , let's dilute it in half and see if it still neutralizes the virus. So we're titrating it half. And if that works and let's go one to four, all right, let's go one to 16. Let's go one to 132 and they just keep diluting it, keep titrating the sample, until it will no longer neutralize the virus.
[00:03:28] And at that point, that's the end point. And so obviously a higher concentration of antibodies is going to create a higher titration point.
[00:03:39] Will Falconer, DVM: Got it. Got it. And when you're talking about 1cc that may be unfamiliar to people too. So explain that the viruses or vaccines have a dose on the label. ,
[00:03:49] John Robb, DVM: Yeah, it basically says 1cc per pet and it's, what's called the recommended manufacturer's dose.
[00:03:58] Okay. They're recommending that. To me, that's a recommendation. Like any other drug, you know, that we use, it may say penicillin is this much, but you may decide to give less because of the immune compromise or whatever. So it's a recommendation, but when we practice and we see reactions happening in smaller pets, then most vets as time goes on, it's like playing Russian roulette Will right?
[00:04:24] Spin the gun and, and there's one bullet in it. Is it going to go off or not? Well, When you're giving a 10 pound dog, one CC, there's a percentage of those dogs that are going to go into anaphylactic shock. And so after you've been doing this a while, you're not going to do that anymore, you know, you're tired of it.
[00:04:41] Maybe making it to the lobby, maybe to the car before they run it back in with a dog that's vomiting, turning blue and going comatose. And you're rushing back in there trying to get an IV in an animal in shock. And you're just your adrenaline's pumping because if you don't get the IV, you're going to lose them.
[00:04:57] Yeah. I was through that so many times, given 1cc to little pets, it's like, what is going on here? You know, what's going on is we're overdosing them.
[00:05:05] Will Falconer, DVM: The same 1cc goes into a Great Dane, right?
[00:05:08] John Robb, DVM: Yeah, well, that's the whole thing, you know, you're given a a hundred pound dog. Well, I'll let you ask the questions.
[00:05:13] I know you're going to get to this idea about the immune system. So when you ask it off, I'll blow that one out of the water. Okay.
[00:05:22] Will Falconer, DVM: Well, let's go into why this show came about. So I've got a, I've got a past client of mine who contacted me and said, he's, he's looking for help in avoiding another slew of vaccines to get his little dog, he's a Chihuahua, groomed. And he said, you know, I had a vet at a low cost clinic and asked him if they could only give him part of a syringe because he's so small, he's only nine pounds. And the answer from the vet was because Colombo has the same size immune system as a Great Dane, he's got to get the full dose. The same size immune system.
[00:06:00] Right. And he says, WTF, what the heck is, what the heck is that all about? So speak to that, would you, John?
[00:06:07] John Robb, DVM: Okay. So here's the deal. A Great Dane hundred pound let's say, which obviously will be a small, Great Dane, 5% of the body weight is red blood cells. So that means he has five pounds of red blood cells in his body.
[00:06:24] Now we know the red blood cell size, in a Chihuahua and a Great Dane, the cells are the same size. So obviously a Chihuahua doesn't have five pounds of red blood cells. It has, you know, 50 mils, right? So, or 10 mils or five, five, you know, it's a much smaller volume. Same thing with the lymphocytes. I mean, a Great Dane has a hundred times more lymphocytes than a 10 pound dog, a hundred pound dog.
[00:06:51] That's all there is to it. It's linear. So when you're giving a small dog, you don't have as many cells to stimulate. You don't need as much antigen. That's all there is to it. And if you it's real basic, that's all there is to, and it's proven by doing the titers and the fact that it's linear. I mean, it's some breed changes and things like that, but in general, it's a linear thing.
[00:07:15] As the body weight goes down, you have to drop your volume, linearly, as you cut down to a smaller pet. , And in fact, I put out a, a dose chart for the size of the pet. And I put it on my website and a couple of people who've got books out there, asked if they could publish. I said, sure. And, and it works, you know, you check your titers to make sure. That's what I tell people.
[00:07:37] The goal in vaccinating your pet is to give the least amount of antigen to produce a titer that will then protect the pet. You don't want to have a very high titer because in that case, you've overstimulated the immune system because there's no benefit. A higher titer does not make the pet have greater immunity.
[00:07:58] Any measurable antibodies, it's the same immunity as a pet who has a very high titer. So when you have a high titer people go, wow, it's high. That's great. I said, no, that's not great. You've over vaccinated. You've overstimulated immune system. You've got other issues going on in that body because of that.
[00:08:15] Because let's face it, Will you and I know the signal is not clear.
[00:08:18] The body isn't here, "Oh, make antibodies against this virus.," and that's it. It makes antibodies against skin cells, against red blood cells, against platelets. That new COVID vaccine, it happens with the rabies vaccine too, where they break down platelets and people were dying of strokes because there are clotting problems.
[00:08:36] That's very common with any vaccine, because the immune system's not always getting the signal we say we're sending. Exactly. But anyway, so it's pretty simple. The immune system is smaller, you need less antigen.
[00:08:47] Will Falconer, DVM: And the argument from you and I learned in vet school was we won't get immunity if we're giving too little, right?
[00:08:55] You got to have a certain amount to get that immune system stimulated. And literally we were taught: it doesn't matter the size of the animal. So you have data that speaks to immunity that, which is really the end goal, right? We're vaccinating to get immunization. Tell us about, tell us about what your data shows.
[00:09:14] John Robb, DVM: Well, when I was going through that situation of lowering my volume, of course, I didn't want to have pets that weren't protected against rabies. I mean that rabies is a serious disease, so I take it seriously. So I would check my titers. It's just as simple as that. So I can tell you that I've lowered it to, in a two pound, five pound dog to a quarter CC and gotten a good titer meaning circulating antibodies present, that was sustained over years.
[00:09:43] Some of these dogs I followed through for 8, 10 years. And with one half CC dose at six months of age, they're still having a good titer out here at 10 years.
[00:09:55] Will Falconer, DVM: Wow, now that speaks volumes. Let me, let me stop you right there and make sure everybody heard that. You titered or tested those animals to see that they took the vaccine and got immune from it.
[00:10:07] John Robb, DVM: Right.
[00:10:07] Will Falconer, DVM: But you not only titered them once, close to the vaccine. You titered them years later. Right. And from that one vaccine, they were still immune many years later.
[00:10:15] John Robb, DVM: Right, that's right. It's not always the case and the reason why it's not always the case, I think we've mentioned this on your other program is, when you vaccinate them too young, which most states say 12 weeks, you have too much passive immunity from the colostrum and it wipes out the vaccine.
[00:10:32] So. We, we should be waiting until they're older. So you get that good reading. So a lot of these dogs vaccinated young, they have to get that booster because they didn't get a good titer from the first time, but that's why you have to wait. But yes, but I do recommend serial testing of titers to be sure.
[00:10:48] Although, honestly, if there's one or two I, that I've ever gone below the 0.1 mark, I can't even remember. The titers last... Well, like myself, vaccinated in 1983 in vet school, my titer is still good. It's out there 37 years later. I think I got two shots and that was it. 37 years.
[00:11:07] Will Falconer, DVM: To rabies.
[00:11:08] John Robb, DVM: But of course, you know, they're going to say, Oh, that's a human, that's not a dog, but let's face it. We're very similar in terms of our anatomy. And so, yeah, so, you know, when people, when I talk to veterinarians and they say, yo, you can't lower the volume because you, [John asks,] "Have you ever lowered the volume and checked the titer?" They say, no. Well then why are you arguing with me when I've done it? You see?
[00:11:28] Will Falconer, DVM: Exactly.
[00:11:29] John Robb, DVM: And then they kind of stop for a second and think, well, that's true. How could I argue? But, you know, because we're taught that, they argue because they took it as dogma. But when I researched that and I looked for any article that talked about, it's an immune system, I found nothing. There's nothing there because it's not true.
[00:11:48] And there was never any science... The rabies vaccine was started in the Philippines by a U S veterinarian who was also a missionary. And in those islands, they have a lot of mongrel type dogs. I mean, they're all about the same weight. And so, because it was rampant on the Island and people would get rabies.
[00:12:05] So I think it started out just, Hey, they're all about 30, 40 pounds. Give him a CC. But when you get into these people in the United States with every breed imaginable in every size, shape, and color. Now we've got to take a closer look at that because your population is so different and I'm not sure why, but we just refuse to do that.
[00:12:26] The veterinary industry... I'll tell you if I can give you a lead I'm doing a Facebook live on Sunday and I'll share this with you. Okay. Coming out earlier in the show notes too. Yeah. So there's a doctor and he's done a lot of research. And he was at a meeting that VCA put on he's at a major university.
[00:12:46] He's a veterinarian. Dr. Moore is his name, George Moore. And you can look him up. He got a lot of research. So he's speaking about four years ago VCA was sponsoring this event. There's 200 veterinarians in the room and he says, and he's the one who did the research on that study with the 1.2 million pets.
[00:13:03] And as the weight goes down, the reactions go up and he says, well, When you go into the room with a large dog, you go in with a three CC syringe. But when you go into the room with a small dog to give a rabies shot, go in with a tuberculin syringe, that's 1cc total, right? It's 1cc total, but you can measure less, which you can't do with a three CC, but he won't come out and say, give the small dogs a lower volume.
[00:13:28] You see? Yeah. Yeah. You see, because he does want get any trouble. Now, but let's fast forward now to Sunday, just five days ago when I was listening to him with a seminar put on by Avanco, which is one of the pharmaceutical companies along on his screen, it says you must give the same dose to all dogs.
[00:13:52] Then , a veterinarian asked the question , "But you give a hundred pound dog and a 10 pound dog the same dose? It doesn't make sense to me." And he says, "Well, it is true that maybe there's less cells in the immune system. So then somebody said ,"Well, can't you measure a titer?"
[00:14:08] He says, "Well, you could measure a titer...," But here's the sad part Will, because he won't come out and tell the truth because in my opinion, he's being sponsored by the pharmaceutical company's sales and he's got his stuff. A bunch of animals are going to die because those veterinarians who are there for continuing education with somebody who's supposed to know better and teach won't do it.
[00:14:36] And so they go in there and give a 10 pound dog, a full dose and somebody dies. You see what I'm saying? That's the sad part about it. It's not so much that, but he knows better. That's my point. I know he knows better. I talked to him at that VCA meeting and I told him my story and he just. Just shut up.
[00:14:55] Cause he doesn't want to have the discussion. Yeah. Cause he doesn't want to put himself in a situation where, because you see what these people do is they play both sides of the fence. Okay. To keep their jobs.
[00:15:09] Will Falconer, DVM: Yes. I see that in people that even call themselves holistic vets, they're wanting to not lose stock with the conventional vet. So they talk out of both sides of their mouth.
[00:15:20] John Robb, DVM: And so what it's really, and this is, I'll go a little further. This is what's wrong with our country right now, because it's about the money. You can buy me. And if you can buy me, then you are not living your oath. You are not doing your best for that pet in front of you.
[00:15:39] Well, and that client is expecting that.
[00:15:41] Will Falconer, DVM: Exactly. I mean, you must remember I remember my conventional practice days that we were so busy. That we had no time other than the occasional meeting to get continuing education. So if a drug rep came in with a new drug and he laid out some papers showing great results, you know, it was like whitewash.
[00:16:03] So we believed him and we said, yeah, we want to, we want a few cases, go ahead and order us a few cases. This we'll, we'll give it a try in our animal population. We never did the due diligence to go and say, let me see the research done by a third party that verifies that this is safe and it works. We didn't do that.
[00:16:21] We didn't have time. We were going out on the next call or seeing the next patient in the waiting room, et cetera, et cetera. Right. So that's the norm and yeah, I don't think you can trust somebody that's got a hand in the, in the pocket of big pharma to give you the full story. Right?
[00:16:38] John Robb, DVM: Well, you know, I try to want to, you got an older guy supposed to have more wisdom, been around a while, right?
[00:16:45] And I try to give him the benefit of the doubt, think to myself, well, does he really not know, or is he afraid that somebody's going to not vaccinate a dog properly? And then it gets rabies and somebody is exposed. So I'm trying to, but the titers are the answer.
[00:17:02] Will Falconer, DVM: You can measure it.
[00:17:03] So when you, whatever volume you use, as you see, when I do my vaccines, I do a one distemper parvo at 12 weeks and one at 15, rabies at six months. And I always say, "And then at seven months, we're checking the titer."
[00:17:19] It's part of the protocol to make sure we've achieved it. Don't assume. Don't assume. Make sure. Because when I get those calls and I get them from all over the country, my dog was in the yard. There was a fight with a Coon. It took off.
[00:17:35] "Is my dog protected?" I say, do you have a titer?
[00:17:38] If they say yes, I say, "Yes, you have nothing to worry about." If they say no, I don't have a titer, I say, I don't know. I don't know. I don't know if that dog's protected, because first of all, it says he got a vaccine, but did the vet go in one side and out the other?
[00:17:54] I mean, that happens sometimes, right? We've all done it. Right. And. So a vaccine certificate, doesn't tell you, the dog has immunity. It tells you that we think it got a shot. Right? Exactly. So that's why every time they are in that situation, they're supposed to go get another shot. Right? You have these animals get bit and go in and they've had 15 shots. All they need was a titer, one time and say, he's good to go.
[00:18:18] Yeah. It tells so much.
[00:18:21] John Robb, DVM: Yeah. It tells the whole story.
[00:18:22] Will Falconer, DVM: Yeah. That's beautiful.
[00:18:23] John Robb, DVM: So, anyway, so I just want my colleagues, the young ones, to be taught correctly so they don't have to go through what I went through, learning by my mistakes and killing animals because I'm giving too much. It just shouldn't happen anymore.
[00:18:39] Will Falconer, DVM: I mean, it speaks to the difference between vaccination and immunization. The goal is immunization. We want these guys made immune to these things that could threaten their lives or our lives in the case of rabies. Just plunging a vaccine needle into the animal and squirting, that's vaccination. That doesn't say the dog did anything with it. So unless we test the titer, we don't know, did immunization even take place. So that's, that's a real good refresher to everybody listening is: You want to know if your vaccine worked, you measure the titer to find out. How much later after, after a vaccine, John?
[00:19:17] John Robb, DVM: I measure it periodically. They'll have immunity within probably five days from a rabies shot that soon they'll the, the they've shown the antibody spike very quickly, but so you could probably do two weeks and be fine. But I, I choose a month, you know, just because it's what I've chose. Just wait a month. And a lot of times, if animals are being spayed or neutered during that time, it's a good time to say, well, let's just grab some blood.
[00:19:46] You're here. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Not that I'm proposing that animals should be spayed or neutered at that time, but a lot of people are still six months spay, neuter. Yeah. And it's not always the best thing for them, but people still they're very programmed. We program people. The sad thing you know, they're over at a Petco clinic spending $150 for a bunch of vaccines.
[00:20:06] And it's a 14 year old teeth with it's a 14 year old dog with its teeth falling out and it's suffering. And instead of getting a dental done, they're shooting them up with a bunch of poison and they wait in line for an hour to do that because we've so programmed them about these vaccines. And it's just ridiculous, you know?
[00:20:25] And it's a dog that's 14 and lives in a house on a wee wee pad. Yeah, it's crazy.
[00:20:31] Will Falconer, DVM: Well John, one of the, one of the things that you put your kind of money, where your mouth is, you might say in your history, is that you, knowing what you knew about these small animals, getting reactivity to vaccines, chose in your practice to lessen the dose in these guys to help save lives. Tell us briefly what happened as a blowback from that.
[00:20:54]John Robb, DVM: I'll make it quick, but basically as you know, Mars and other companies are buying up veterinary hospitals and it's corporate owned hospitals are on the rise and it's a really, it's a real problem because you've got now a third entity of business people making money and oftentimes dictating to doctors what they're supposed to do.
[00:21:14] It's very sad, but when Mars bought Banfield and you know, a third of the hospitals were franchises, I owned one. And Mars, I'll just say what they did. They wanted to get rid of the veterinarians, but many of them had 15 years, 20 years on a contract. So they, they threatened their licenses. I, "We found some problems with your medical records..."
[00:21:33] I don't know about you, Will, but especially with what I've been through, but when somebody is going after your license, that's your livelihood. It's scary. So a lot of that, soon as they're investigating their records and talking about state boards, they just got out. And Mars was able to de franchise in five years, there were none left. And they came after me because they saw that I was lowering my volume on the shots.
[00:21:55] And I said, well, of course I am. I'm checking titers and lowering my volume because it's dose dependent. But they went to the state board with me. But the difference between me, I think a lot of vets is, you know, they offer me, look years probation and just stop it. But I said, "No, no, I'm doing the right thing. I'm not going to say I did wrong and take probation. I'm doing right. The other vets are doing wrong, whether they know it or not."
[00:22:21] So I refused to back down and I presented science to the state board. They didn't even look at it. They didn't make one comment about it. [Wow]. In my, in their decision, they just said, and you know, the saddest thing, it got heated sometimes.
[00:22:38] And one vet on that state board said, "Look, Dr. Robb, even if you have to kill that pet, you have to give him 1cc." I said, "You are crazy. Did you hear what you just said?" "Even if I have to kill the pet? [Unbelievable.] I have to do it because it's the law?" I said "You don't deserve to be on this board."
[00:22:58] [Unbelievable.] Because we took an oath. And what you're saying is my oath doesn't matter and that's bologna, you know, so it was a tough ride, but I refused to back down and that's what got me the acclaim, because, because I refused to back down and I still haven't backed down and I'm not going to back down.
[00:23:15] And they, you know, they put me on probation 25 years. So when I'm 90, I can give a rabies shot again. [Oh my God.] By that time there'll be titers and they won't be giving all of these rabies shots, but, so what? I can't give a rabies shot, Hey, I'm glad I can't give a rabies shot. You know, I don't have to deal with the whole problem of reactions and the other diseases that are caused.
[00:23:36] Anyway, I wouldn't, I wouldn't abide by the law, anyway. I wouldn't give a shot to a dog that already had immunity. That's another thing I was like, I wouldn't keep giving them a shot. Yeah. I can measure immunity, I'm going to stick a needle in and I'm going to pull it out and I'm going to write a vaccine certificate. Because the point of vaccination, like you said, is to produce immunity.
[00:23:56] So if you have it, why would you give any more antigen to a dog that can cause a reaction ?That's malpractice. Exactly. You're giving an injection of something that has no medical benefit, but could kill the pet. That's the definition of malpractice. That's the definition of toxic… you know, that's against that's humane treatment of pets, that's giving them an injection of a toxin.
[00:24:18] That's illegal. I say, vets are out there doing illegal things every day across this country. Yup. Yup.
[00:24:23] Will Falconer, DVM: And the attitude is such that they're going to continue to do it, even knowing, some of them, things that you've revealed, you know, that there's immunity that lasts a long time. Veterinary immunologists have told us since the early God, it was like nineties, early nineties.
[00:24:41] That vaccines confer a long-lived immunity, probably lifelong, said Dr. Schultz. Yeah. Yeah. So to continue to vaccinate in the face of that, knowingly, is just malpractice. It is. There was a vet on the board in Texas was confronted by a colleague of ours who, like us, had concerns about over vaccination.
[00:25:02] And he went to this board meeting and said to this vet on the veterinary medical board, his concerns. And the vet set down his drink or smoke or whatever he did. And he said, you know, "As a practicing veterinarian, I can vaccinate this dog every week for 27 weeks in a row if I want to. And nobody's going to tell me otherwise!" That was his attitude.
[00:25:27] It's like, I'm all powerful. And I can do whatever I want because I've got a doctors, I've got a license and I've got a DVM. So that's what people are up against. And, and I think one of the things that we're, we're in this world of, you know, looking at things differently for is we want to inform people, the challenges that they're going to face and give them facts and help them sort through.
[00:25:51] "Is my dog really due for another vaccine? You know, I got this reminder email or this reminder postcard is he really due? I've got a titer that says, no, he's probably not due in the immunological sense.
[00:26:06] So Bravo for your work and Bravo for your, you know, standing up to that nonsense, even at the cost of your professional income. Hopefully you're all back on your feet again. And that's a long gone. But not being able to give a rabies vaccine for 25 years, that's not the end of the world. That's for sure.
[00:26:27] John Robb, DVM: No, no, I'm doing, I'm doing well, Will. I, in fact, because of standing up, I have so many clients coming to me because they know they can trust me, you know what I mean? So, so in the end, It's been the greatest marketing tool there ever could have been.
[00:26:41] So I'm doing well and I'm thankful for that. And I've got a hospital again without corporate ownership involved. So everything's worked out, it was a 10 year battle and probably have a few less hairs and a few more gray hairs, but you know, there's still a sting to it, but you go through something like that, you'll never forget it you know. But there was a, but there's no other place to go. I mean, you can't, I mean, I take it serious. I love these little critters, you know? I mean, they just, want to please us, you know, they're the most loving things that you have. How could you hurt her? No, I got to stick...
[00:27:18] When I was in the state board., I said, "You know what? I'm here in this room, but I'm not alone. I represent all the pets out there. Many who have died, but many are still alive. And I am not alone in this room. They are all behind me. I've got millions and billions of fans, okay. And that's who you're talking to, not just John Robb." and that's, I think resonates because it's the truth.
[00:27:44] It really is. If you and I, and I know you stick up for them too, Will, I know that's what you're all about. That's why you have a great following as well. So we're in it because we love them. And we want to help them.
[00:27:54]Will Falconer, DVM: Exactly. They're so innocent. Right? They, they want to please, like you say, so they'll take whatever we give them, right? Whether it's well-intentioned or not, they'll take it because, what are they going to do? They're not going to refuse. So yeah, we have to be on our toes and we have to be honest.
[00:28:12] One other thing I've run into along these same lines just recently, John, is that I had a woman write me because, her local vets were refusing to draw blood so she could, with your help, send in her own titer test and save hundreds of dollars. So have you got any answers for this issue? I was really chagrined to hear that she's up against this.
[00:28:33] John Robb, DVM: Yeah. Well, I can understand, somebody walks into my practice and says, yeah, I want you to draw blood. I'm going to take the serum home.
[00:28:41] Well, what are you doing? You know, I could understand that. So what I tell people, I say, listen, Give them my website, give them my phone number. I have my own practice. I'm a practicing veterinarian, federally accredited. So if they're concerned, is this is this real? Is, is the test going to be done properly?
[00:29:00] Then I can, I can quell those doubts and say, Hey, I'm John Robb, I'm in Connecticut. This is real. And, and when vets do call me, I say, listen, "Did you know, you can set up an account at Kansas State and you'll skip the IDEXX and the Antech middlemen, and your charge that you'll be charged for the lab to do a rabies titer will be 35 bucks.
[00:29:22] Instead, what they're paying right now is 150 and they're doubling that and making it 300. So I said, so some vets I didn't know, I could do it. Yeah. And it's so simple. You get on the computer, submit the information. Boom. They send you a UPS label, slap it on, out the door. So we've gotten a lot of veterinary hospitals to start doing titers at Kansas State.
[00:29:41] That's what we use. So it's really pretty good. So I never wanted to do this, Will, because I wanted to do a titer business across the country. But because so many vets, like you said, now, some of them just, they don't want to do it because they don't want to do titers. Yeah. It doesn't matter if it's a dollar or $50.
[00:29:59] They don't want to do titers. They want to do vaccines. You see? So anything that would encroach on that? That's what that lady's getting, she's got a vet who wants to do vaccines. They don't want to do titers. So they set it as a luxury item and it is impossible. But if they are willing to talk to me, then we can take care of that.
[00:30:15] And I've talked to some vets, but I tell people, find another vet, just find another guy, call around, call around.
[00:30:24] Will Falconer, DVM: And is there anything outside the conventional veterinary world, like a way that a vet tech could draw blood or something?
[00:30:31] John Robb, DVM: Absolutely. In fact, see, right now, actually my wife it's like her little home business.
[00:30:37] I mean, we don't make, look, we add 20 bucks. That's what we do. We add 20 bucks. So you get rabies plus core 80 bucks, just have to get the blood drawn. So yeah, a lot of people are doing titer clinics now, Will. [Good.] We have one lady. She's got a pet store. She just, what you just said, she has a tech come in.
[00:30:55] She does it once a month. People sign up and they show up and the tech comes and draws the blood and they do a titer clinic. [Beautiful]. And sometimes 20, 30, 40 titers in one day. And we've got one coming up in Arizona, so we're starting to do. So this is a good thing you can promote is: get a technician, do a titer clinic. Because if these titer clinics start happening more and more, eventually then veterinarians will start doing titers because they don't want to lose the business.
[00:31:23] And anyway, this is the new standard, Will, I mean, we're going to get there. It is a hard, like you talked about Arizona. We didn't make it through there, but it's hard to push through because of politics in the U S these days, because the morals are so low. It like the politicians know nothing about it. And somebody from some veterinary medical association says, "Oh, titers only last three days!" They go, okay. They only last three days, that's stupid. Can't do that. And it's done. They just make a statement without anything and they believe it. It's ridiculous. That's what we're up against. Just total insanity.
[00:31:56]Will Falconer, DVM: I know a lot of people, you, you must as well, who have like, store. Right. And they sell natural food and they do things like that. [There you go.]
[00:32:05] They could, they've got pet owners coming in and could set up a titer clinic.
[00:32:09] John Robb, DVM: It's good for their business because they'll get people coming, you put a flyer out and then... All you need is a tech to draw the blood. That's all you need. The tubes, a tech and a centrifuge. [Beautiful.] And you're good to go and you're good to go and we'll hook them up. And we'll do it very reasonably. And we've done now close to 10,000 titers now last six years over the internet.
[00:32:33] Will Falconer, DVM: And I'm just curious, John, do you see non-responders in other words, animals who were vaccinated, but made zero titer?
[00:32:41] John Robb, DVM: Very rarely, Will. Very rarely, you know, it does occur, but it's probably less than 1%. Okay. It's very, it's pretty uncommon, but we see it occasionally. But what we see a lot of is the young dogs who weren't able to get a good titer, cause they're just vaccinated too young. And sometimes they need the booster. I would say about 40 to 50% do need the second shot a year later to get a titer.
[00:33:08] But again, some of those it's that 12 week mark, where they got the first one, you know, so yeah. But rarely if they get a shot and a booster, will they need another shot after that. Rarely.
[00:33:20] Will Falconer, DVM: Good to know. And I think that 1% or less of non-responders would be far outweighed by those who had reactions to getting too much of a dose, right, and got injured.
[00:33:30] John Robb, DVM: Oh man. Yeah. I mean, I know this because I, I mean, I can't take the calls anymore. I can't answer the emails anymore. Cause I'm working six days a week right now, but I still get them every day, Will. Sad stories every day, where an unsuspecting client went in and got a shot, the dog didn't need, and they lost them or they're very sick or they're having seizures or whatever. Yeah. Very, very sad.
[00:33:55] Will Falconer, DVM: Well, slowly but surely I think the positive note is yes, things are going to change. We will use titers more intelligently and more often. And. It's probably, you know, like a lot of things in my world and I'm sure yours too is it's got to start from the grassroots, right?
[00:34:12] It's not going to come from the top down. The veterinarians aren't going to suddenly decide, you know, we're over vaccinating. Let's give that part of our income away. It's gonna come from people owning the animals here saying, we don't want to do this unnecessarily because we know there's a risk associated with another vaccine.
[00:34:29] If my animal's got titer and shows immunity, why would I want to risk that?
[00:34:33] John Robb, DVM: For the veterinarians that watch your program, Will, I vaccinate puppies and that's it. Because very rarely does an adult dog need anything. The titers are good, but I am so busy and I'm doing medicine and working my cases up and I'm trying to figure out what's wrong.
[00:34:49] And there's plenty of... you don't need that vaccine money is what I'm trying to say. You actually make less when you take the vaccine money, because even though it's easy money and you get it quick. Look, truth is truth. And people know when things don't happen, right. Even though you say it wasn't the vaccine, they know that something's not right here.
[00:35:15] And when a veterinarian lacks trust of their clients, that costs big time. [Huge] Yep. Huge. And I've got trust. So people flock to me because they trust me. And so I'm, I cannot keep up with the number of people who want to come in. And that's where your business lies and you can make a very reasonable living, but you're going to work hard, but isn't that what we're here to do? Heal animals, keep them healthy rather than make them sick. You know, that's not what we're about. That's not what we're about.
[00:35:48] Will Falconer, DVM: Yeah. Good point. Well, let's wrap up there, my friend, this has been really educational and you guys with small animals, really, you know, the teeny tiny teacup guys. Take this to heart.
[00:36:00] This is episode 30. We're going to have some links from Dr. Robb in the show notes. You can get there from vital animal.com/30 for shortcut to get there. And let's just keep doing the honest work, John, and, and know that we're helping more animals that way than we would from hiding procedures that are unnecessary, et cetera, et cetera, and potentially could cause harm.
[00:36:26] John Robb, DVM: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you again for having me. This is great. The more people who know the better, keep getting the word out.
[00:36:32] Will Falconer, DVM: Will do. Appreciate it. Thanks brother.

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16 Comments

  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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