"How do I get my dog into the groomers or a kennel if he's not current on his shots?"
I hear this question a lot.
And it's lately come to the fore as a recent issue of Vital Animal News spoke of a client who's getting ready to relax her requirements for kenneling.
That's just plain refreshing, isn't it?
So, I'm reposting this blog to bring it out of the archives and make it visible. I've also updated the survey below, so we can get a community effort to list good groomer and kennel folks.
A Brief History of The Why
I've carefully explained the dangers of repeating vaccinations throughout an animal's life (allergies! itchy, funky ears! ADD behavior, aggression! thyroid disease, autoimmune disease, tumors, etc. etc.), and your lights have gone on.
Sometimes the lights really go bright and crackle with this thought provoking question:
Because she knows you're immune from your early life vaccinations, and there's no need to repeat them!
And that's the nub of it. As the veterinary immunologists have been saying all along, once you establish immunity early in life, it doesn't increase with further vaccinations. In their own words:
A practice that was started many years ago and that lacks scientific validity or verification is annual revaccination. Almost without exception there is no immunologic requirement for annual revaccination. Immunity to viruses persists for years or for the life of the animal…… Furthermore, revaccination with most viral vaccines fails to stimulate an anamnestic1response…. The practice of annual vaccination in our opinion should be considered of questionable efficacy…” (Schultz and Phillips, Current Veterinary Therapy, vol XI, 1992)
And, lest you be fooled that the latest trend of vaccinating every three years has any scientific basis, it does not, as these authors hint at. It is, at best, a placation of Dr. WhiteCoat who makes a large percentage of his livelihood by vaccinating animals repeatedly.
Here's what the experts in the AAHA Canine Vaccination Task Force wrote in their 2011 Canine Vaccination Guidelines:
Infectious core vaccines are not only highly effective, they also provide the longest DOI (duration of immunity), extending from 5 yr up to the life of the dog.2
But there's more: the risk of getting or worsening chronic disease is clearly there with each and every vaccination given.
Oh, I GET it!
Now, the lights are really on. Common sense resonates with this idea. We don't get reminders to get more vaccinations, 3 why should our animals??
They should not. That's what Dr. WhiteCoat either has failed to grasp in the past 20 years or the cash cow of vaccination and attendant illness it creates is just too hard to turn loose.
But where do the groomers or kennels, who have even less understanding of immunology than Dr. WhiteCoat (who has precious little, sad to say), get the right to demand more vaccinations to get into their establishments and get your dog groomed or boarded?
It's got to be either a case of CYA4 or blind authority assumption. Maybe we'll get some other thoughts in the comments, as I'd really love to know what prompts this, but most every groomer and kennel owner feels they must require "up to date" shot records. I suspect that means annual vaccines to many of them.
Who deputized your groomer to make demands like this? Even the rabies laws should not be enforced by groomers!
Here's a recent example from email that made me cringe:
I'll spread the word to the legions of conventional owners, one of whom, at groomer's demand, dutifully got the rabies for his 14 yr. old girl with cancer!
Oh, my. That's just plain wrong. It's just plain malpractice, in fact! Every vaccine is labeled "Only for use in healthy dogs, cats, etc." Am I missing something, or is having cancer not equated with being healthy?
And the correlation between vaccinations and growths, from warts to malignancies, has a long history, stretching way back to the grand daddy of human vaccines, Jenner's smallpox jab.
From the groomer demanding this to the vet who carried it out, this was a disaster and should never have happened.
Who You Gonna Call?
As you have learned, if you've read along here for a while, your pet's health decisions really have to be fully owned by you, his owner and caregiver. If you opt to be just a cog in the vaccine machine, you'll end up creating chronic disease that will suck your pocketbook dry and ruin your vital animal's health.
That’s a path you want to avoid at all costs. Countless times new clients have come to me after spending thousands of dollars trying unsuccessfully to fix their broken animals.
Conventional “prevention,” especially repeated vaccinations, is what’s breaking our animals, and repair is never easy or quick. Chronic disease is difficult and time consuming and expensive to cure.
And, if you're keeping score, you may have noticed that conventional medicine never really cures chronic disease. It cannot, in fact.
Alternatives to The Groomer Police
- Mobile Groomers/Pet Sitters
- Enlightened Groomers/Kennels
- DIY Waiver
- Veterinary Waiver Letters
1. Mobile groomers aren’t going to demand “current” vaccinations. They’d better not, anyway, as your animal, living on your property, can be as vaccinated as you choose. Vet students or neighbors or friends will sit your pet in your own home, and the stress load will be minimized compared to a noisy kennel. Vote with your pocketbook!
2. Seek Enlightened Groomers/Kennel Owners
To their credit, groomers and kennel owners are often keen dog fanciers. If they’re keeping their eyes open to new ideas as they troll the internet, some will surely have found out about the damage done by repeatedly vaccinating animals throughout their life.
Who’s not playing sheriff with your pet’s health?
We need to catalogue those who’ve opened their eyes to this and have stopped demanding “current vaccinations” (which you should now know means, “vaccinated when young, immune for years or life.”)
To that end, please click this link to take a poll, and let’s start getting names of good resources.
Once again, vote for these enlightened ones with your spending! They need to succeed while those blindly following the old school vets into vaccination overload illness need to quietly go out of business.
3. Offer to Sign a Waiver
If your dog is obviously healthy when presented to be groomed or boarded, any facility owner worried about liability on taking in a dog “not current on shots” should be happy with this form of CYA :
I’ll sign a waiver: if my dog gets kennel cough from his visit here, I’ll take full responsibility and assign none to you or your establishment.
You might even have one printed up ahead of time that you could just whip out on the spot. Done. Next?
[Did you know: Kennel Cough is just a cold. A deep cough that lasts for a couple weeks is no picnic, but the vaccine is riskier than the disease, and often makes animals more susceptible, and lengthens their recovery. Your vet homeopath can cure it much faster, should it arise. Have you got one on board, yet?]
4. Get Your Holistic Vet to Write a Waiver
Something I’ve done for years with my patients is writing a waiver letter, stating that this animal is a patient of mine, being treated by me, and more vaccinations are contraindicated. I charge for this service, but it’s worked 99% of the time.
Oh, a signed letter from your vet? Okay, sure. C'mon in.
And into the file it goes.
This option isn’t as practical, as maybe you have yet to find your holistic vet and we’re all quite busy trying to fix the broken animals, but you can certainly give it a shot if all else fails.
Once more, the bottom line is this: you have to call the shots for vaccinations, and not allow this decision to be made by groomers or kennel owners or, most times, even by Dr. WhiteCoat, who’s often got a bottom line behind his decisions to vaccinate.
(Can you say, “Conflict of Interest?”)
Let us know in the comments what’s worked for you, and if any groomers or kennel owners have input, please join in. We’re all in this for the health of the animals, but that’s not served by more vaccinations in the already vaccinated.
1A memory response, or secondary response, where the immunity rises even further.
2Source: Pg 13: 2011 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines(https://www.aahanet.org/PublicDocuments/CanineVaccineGuidelines.pdf)
3except the mass campaign to get your flu shot, which you'd do best to ignore if not outright disdain.
4Cover Your Backside.