That Time of Year Again - Annual Exams and vaccinations

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby mnp13 » April 5th, 2009, 11:50 am

Malli wrote:
call2arms wrote:They are possibly not so upfront because cases like Yoda's are quite rare and most vets never see one. Which does not mean that they should not talk about it, but doing so may scare a large part of their clients, and then who gets blamed for not pushing vaccines when animals come in with parvo, KC or lepto? They're between a rock and a hard place.

totally. rock and a hard place. And how many clients would totally understand completely both the risks and the benefits? slim to none. I don't even fully understand them :|

I know this comment was not directed at any one specifically, but I find it very insulting. Not being told something "because I might not understand it" is a cop out. If the vet doesn't understand the risks associated with vaccines then they have no business giving them. Knowing the risks and not bothering to tell people about them is very irresponsible.

I feel the exact same way about human vaccinations. Doctors "push" them as a CYA because if they vaccinate for everything then they can't be blamed if the animal or kid gets sick. But how many human doctors tell parents about the ever growing school of thought that pumping kids full of vaccines is contributing to the sharp rise in Autism? Or that the new and popular HPV vaccine that is being pushed on girls is for a disease that is 100% preventable by not doing specific behaviors and since it takes two to tango, that girls are being singled out to receive a possibly harmful injection but boys are not?

Vaccines are not as safe as they are claimed - for people or dogs. Not being told the risks involved is, in my opinion, malpractice.

One of my sister's children had a severe reaction to a vaccination and she has chosen to not give any further vaccinations to any of her children. She is in the middle of a war with the school system over it. It's risk assessment and assuming someone is too dumb to understand does not make it ok to not tell them.
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Postby Malli » April 5th, 2009, 1:08 pm

DemoDick wrote:
malli wrote:totally. rock and a hard place. And how many clients would totally understand completely both the risks and the benefits? slim to none. I don't even fully understand them


If the information is presented clearly it's not that hard to understand. Vaccinate and you risk vaccinosis, decline vaccines and you risk disease. Of course, there would need to be more study and transparency into how many cases of vaccinosis are actually out there. That should be going on any way. I would also expect vets to provide a liability waiver absolving them of responsibility should the dog contract something for which a vaccine exists. No need no expose themselves to punitive lawsuits.

My own vet was very easy to work with on this issue. I mentioned my own concerns about vaccinosis and she immediately gave me a list of alternatives without blinking. I'm fortunate in that regard. And I would never hold her responsible for something out of her control.

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but thats what I mean, some of it, you need a serious amount of schooling to fully grasp. Like exactly how vaccines work(different vaccines work differently) and exactly how each vaccine reaction happens, also information about how each disease works and what the chances of death and/or recovery are, as well as the chances of contracting. IMO its much less black and white then your statement there, and we would have many clients, here anyway, who would be really lost by all this info (not that thats a good thing, it just "is")
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Postby Malli » April 5th, 2009, 1:23 pm

mnp13 wrote:I know this comment was not directed at any one specifically, but I find it very insulting. Not being told something "because I might not understand it" is a cop out. If the vet doesn't understand the risks associated with vaccines then they have no business giving them. Knowing the risks and not bothering to tell people about them is very irresponsible.


I wasn't trying to insult anyone :| As you see, I mentioned myself as well.
see my reply to demo's post above :) its not that the vets don't understand it, I believe they actually spend a fair amount of time in school on the immune system, its trying to relay that information to the people while simplifying it (because, while they might not need to for you Michelle, they certainly need to simplify things like this for me and even moreso for our clients if they want to explain it in a reasonable amount of time at all.)



I originally posted to try and make as many sides of this issue as possible available for thought and help try and give an outlook from the veterinary side of things.This whole discussion is becoming much more heated and I am done.
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Postby mnp13 » April 5th, 2009, 1:28 pm

I know you weren't insulting anyone, I tried to word my post to convey that. I think in general that is insulting, but I also think that it is a VERY prevalent assumption in the medical community as a whole - people and animals. "Don't tell them because there is just no way they can possibly comprehend."

My post was NOT intended as an attack on you.
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Postby airwalk » April 5th, 2009, 1:55 pm

Michelle, while I appreciate what you're saying I to some extent agree with Malli. Hell I deal every day with people that can't understand something as simple as crate training or proper fencing. They can't understand why their intact male wants to NEEDS to breed every female in heat. They think that allowing a dog to get hurt will "teach them a lesson".

I agree that there are a lot of folks that would and do understand and can participate fully in the vaccination conversation....but there are a lot of folks out there that don't vaccinate because they don't want to be bothered, it's just a dog, I don't have the money, if the dog dies I'll just get another - they have no conception of contagious disease and don't care.

These are the folks their dogs go to the vet twice in a lifetime and if the vet gave them an avenue to grasp to avoid vaccination, they would, but it wouldn't be for the right reasons.

Unfortunately I often see the lowest common demominator and therefore may not be a good example...but those are the folks with which I deal and they could care less about vaccinating or not vaccinating based on animal health.
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Postby call2arms » April 5th, 2009, 2:14 pm

Michelle, I understand what you mean, but as you know from working with the public, not everyone does understand. Try to explain that to a person who doesn't even understand his long-haired cat needs to be brushed... But yeah, most clients would totally understand it if explained right.

Even as veterinary technician vaccinosis is a word that is not even mentioned in our education (it probably should), and if it's not even fully understood by veterinarians (I mean, just the regular allergic reaction is not completely out of the woodworks), then how do you want them to explain it clearly to clients... And it's hard to do it clearly when some go under the radar and you don't have numbers to give as a percentage, people want numbers. It is kind of unfair that they don't mention it, but if you think about it...
It's not a matter of money, (at some point, the vaccine companies do push for sales when the reps come and present new products, but IMO that does not affect the way most vets work), but if you think about it they certainly make more money doing titers than vaccinating. 45 days after a vaccine, a reaction is just not the first thing that comes to mind, and for the most part it's not the case, or perhaps it's a lot milder than Yoda's case, and just passes as something else... Where is the limits about labeling this and that vaccinosis?

Yes, like Maberi said, there IS some learning to do the veterinarian community, (that's why they do research constantly and they do everything they can to improve) but remember that also the specialist Yoda saw is a just that, not a generalist. Your doctor might not know what you have right away, or may treat for something he thinks you have in the first place, and then send you to the specialist... Sometimes it's a sh*tty maze and things get lost in translation, but it's just how it is... Unacceptable but still happens in humans too.
Not defending the whole veterinarian community, there are flaws but so does the human side and so does every system. There's room for improvement everywhere.

Oddly all the info I'm finding on vaccinosis is from sites that I wouldn't consider reliable non-biaised sources. I'd like to read something a bit more founded on it, but can't find anything.

And, I know that every reaction is usually reported to the vaccine company, they will usually record the number of reactions per batch... If you wish to, you can still ask for them to do so (they should legally still have the sticker with the batch number, or they gave it to you on the certificate).

Demo: my childhood dog, an Airedale, was initially vaccinated as a puppy (by the previous owner) but was never titered or vaccinated again. My dad's bad, he didn't believe in vaccination. Either way, it just sucks to lose your dog to something you could prevent. I didn't mean by that that titering in ineffective, just that all ways should be taken to protect your pets, whichever way it is. Cause yeah, when you're 4 and your parents tell you the dog's gone cause she was too sick and they had to euthanize her, vaccines or titers don't matter to you.
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Postby blabsforbullies » April 5th, 2009, 3:24 pm

I think it is important to remember that the AVERAGE pet owner is probably not likely to be someone that we encounter on forums such as these. 8) People who research their breed, strive to learn how we can better care for our animals, and share important information that might serve to help others are not typical pet owners, I'm very sad to say. :( I wish it weren't the case, and if I had clients like many of you on this forum, my job would be so much more fulfilling and enjoyable. :dance:

The truth is that an AVERAGE pet owner is one that although may be able to intellectually understand some of the topics discussed here, really doesn't WANT to understand them. :mad2: And, unfortunately, as well said earlier, most people are far more concerned about the bottom financial line than a risk of one in even thousands with respect to titers vs. vaccinations. :?

I have 20 minutes to get all the information I have into clients before I start seeing that "glazed over, I would rather be somewhere else" look I sometimes get. :neutral: In that time, I do explain the pros/cons of vaccines, and what typical vaccine reactions look like. Why some vaccines are worth doing, and why some are a complete waste of $$, which ones we can titer, which ones we can do less frequently, depending on the case. In that 20 minutes, I also have to discuss parasites & their control (intestinal, heartworm, flea, tick...we have 'em all), weight issues and feeding instructions, why they need to brush their dogs teeth or why they are falling out now :cuss: , how to clip nails, how to clean ears, discuss behavior problems & training, of course address any issue the client is having, and that doesn't event begin to account for the physical exam, +/- vaccines, blood work, or additional diagnostics I may have to do. Not complaining at all, as I love my job, and I am meant to do this. What point is, is that I have a select amount of time to address issues, and although I am in NO WAY trivializing vaccinosis, it is a subject that I would have to discuss at another time. If that meant postponing vaccines during the exam, that is fine. I will spend an hour on the phone discussing whatever a client has concerns about, but it isn't something I can fully address in an office call, generally speaking.

I did a VIN search on the topic "vaccinosis". It came up with zero matches. I looked through nearly 15 pages of just discussion topics (and about 60 pages of discussions within the topics) about "vaccine reactions"... nothing. >( What that tells me is that the veterinary community is either unaware, or needs to be better about reporting these cases. We can ALWAYS do better.... veterinarians, pet owners, everyone. There isn't a day that doesn't go by that I don't learn something about an aspect of my profession, whether that be from a client, a patient, a journal article, a specific case, whatever! I can only hope that those in my profession are in it for the right reasons. :D I know that there are some that are not, just as there are bad representatives in every walk of life. :x
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Postby Marinepits » April 5th, 2009, 3:49 pm

I second everything that Malli, airwalk, call2arms, and Dr Blabs said.
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Postby call2arms » April 5th, 2009, 6:03 pm

Thanks for your other-side of the fence point of view, Blabs.

I hope that even though we may not all agree on this, that everyone gets something from it. I sometimes look at our topics and really enjoy being able to discuss with people that have different views on a same issue, it opens the eyes on more things.
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Postby mnp13 » April 5th, 2009, 8:15 pm

call2arms wrote:I hope that even though we may not all agree on this, that everyone gets something from it. I sometimes look at our topics and really enjoy being able to discuss with people that have different views on a same issue, it opens the eyes on more things.


I agree whole heartedly
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