About Dog Vaccines

Dog Vaccines

No one disputes the fact that dog vaccines are needed to keep our Miniature Schnauzers safe from diseases but it's also a fact that they pose certain health risks of their own.

So we asked the question: Do our pets really need these annual shots or is it just a way to get us in the vet office? Cha-ching $$$


How often and how many shots our pets need is hotly debated topic. Even professionals do not agree, which further leads to the confusion. As dog owners, we just want to do what is best for our pets. But are we?

Is constantly bombarding the immune system with the multiple annual dog vaccines, causing even more problems for our pets? Are we over doing it? Why is it more and more dogs are getting cancer and other autoimmune diseases? Could all this be from over-vaccinating our pets?

The following article written by Dr. Larry Siegler is presented for informational purposes only and is not intended as an endorsement or as a substitute for visits to your local veterinarian. You should always discuss your Miniature Schnauzer's vaccination program with your veterinarian.

The Truth About Pet Vaccinations

by Dr. Larry Siegler

Most guardians have never been told the truth about pet vaccinations. In fact, you probably get annual reminders from your vet stating your companion is due in for annual booster shots. However, the evidence against vaccinating is quite overwhelming.

Vaccinations represent a major stress to our pet's immune system. Dog Shots & Vaccine Reactions: Dog Vaccines not only have the potential to cause allergic reactions and/or side-effects in our pets, they also contribute significantly to long term chronic disease. Just look at the list of chronic health problems that often appear following pet vaccination:

  • skin allergies
  • arthritis
  • leukemia
  • upper respiratory infections
  • irritable bowel syndromes
  • neurological conditions (including aggressive behavior and epilepsy)
  • auto-immune diseases
  • cancer

I have been practicing veterinary medicine for over 20 years and I see sicker animals at a younger age now than when I began. It is more and more common to see cancer in dogs and cats under 5 years of age. Autoimmune diseases are on the rise as well. Our companions are suffering from generations of over-vaccination, which combined with inadequate nutrition, poor breeding practices and environmental stresses are leaving each generation more susceptible to congenital disorders and chronic disease.

Vaccinations do help prevent serious illnesses, but they should be used with restraint. Before vaccinating, consider the risk. If your cat is indoor only and will never be exposed to unvaccinated animals, the risk of infection is low. The decision about vaccinating your pet is an individual one and should be guided by your own research on the subject, before you go to the veterinarian.

Puppies and kittens should not be vaccinated until at least 12 weeks of age. Developing immune systems are especially vulnerable to the stress of vaccines. It's best to request individual vaccines for your pet with at least a 3 week interval if possible.

Until 12 weeks of age keep your new puppy or kitten safe by:

  • Avoiding exposure to public areas such as dog parks and pet stores.
  • Keep them close to home and only expose them to pets you know are healthy.
  • For puppies consider parvovirus and distemper at 12-15 weeks.
  • Wait until after 6 months of age for rabies. *Legal requirements vary from state to state.

Dog Vaccines & Boosters
Dog Vaccinations do not need boosting. Studies have shown that a single vaccination for parvovirus, distemper and panleukopenia results in long-term protection from disease. Simple blood tests, called titers, can determine if your companion's antibody levels for parvovirus and distemper remain high enough to resist infection. Next time your veterinarian suggests a booster shot, request the blood test first.

I do not recommend vaccinations for Bordetella, corona virus, leptospirosis or Lyme vaccines unless these diseases are endemic locally or at a specific kennel.

Never vaccinate a sick or weakened animal. If your puppy or kitten is showing signs of allergies or skin problems, WAIT. Vaccinating an already compromised immune system is almost sure to compound the problem!

Educate yourself. Your veterinarian cannot make this decision for you, nor should they. You are your companion’s guardian. It is your responsibility to give them the best care you can by researching and carefully weighing your decisions about their health care.


The above article on dog vaccines, provided by Healthy Pet Journal and written by Dr. Larry Siegler is based on his 20+ years of active veterinary practice. Dr Siegler focuses on a holistic approach to keeping dogs and cats healthy and happy with alternative approaches to veterinary medicine. Dr. Siegler’s practice is in Redmond, Washington - The Animal Healing Center.


Veterinary medicine is constantly evolving. What is considered as standard protocol today may not be so in a year from now. For instance, (as of this writing in 2009) new research studies show that the rabies vaccine can provide 3 to 7 years of protection. The Rabies Challenge Fund is researching the duration of immunity of the rabies vaccine. But even though protection from rabies is documented to last at least three years, current law in some states still require booster shots be given annually.

It is also important to mention that vaccinating your Miniature Schnauzer is a medical procedure with risks and benefits. Be sure to ask your veterinarian about the purpose of each and every recommended dog vaccine he wants to give your pet and what the potential adverse reactions and side-effects are for each one.

Mini Schnauzer

And if you do decide not to vaccinate your pet yearly, please continue to have your dog seen by a licensed veterinarian annually. It is during these visits you can ask questions, learn about new advancements, and most importantly have a wellness examination for your pet. Many times it is during these routine visits when a more serious health problem or dental disease is detected. And early detection is the key to battling any dog illness.

So what's the best defense to keeping our pets healthy and strong? A healthy immune system. A healthy immune system helps protect the body and works to fight diseases and infections naturally.

Here are 6 ways you can help bolster your dog's immune system:

  1. Nutrition: Feed your dog a natural, healthy diet.
  2. Supplements: Add immune support supplements, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Antioxidants, and Probiotics.
  3. Exercise: Provide you dog with daily exercise in the form of walks, play time, and/or dog sports (like agility), etc... The amount of adequate exercise and what type of exercise is different for each dog depending on their age, current health status etc...
  4. Veterinary Care: Annual pet examinations can catch potential problems before they become major ones. A wellness exam should be performed annually on your dog and perhaps twice a year for our senior pets.
  5. Dental Care: Good dental hygiene is a super important part of your pet's overall care and immune system. Neglecting your dog's teeth could lead to periodontal disease and the risk of bacteria entering the bloodstream thus compromising the immune system.
  6. Toxins: Reduce your pet's exposure to environmental toxins and incorporate ways to detox your dog.


We must be diligent when it comes to our pets health care. We should keep up-to-date on new information, drugs, diet guidelines, surgical procedures and so on. It's a lot, for sure. But we are their care takers and ultimately the decision makers for them. After all, who better than yourself is going to do the right thing by your dog. Nobody loves and cares for your Miniature Schnauzer more than you.



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Disclaimer: No medical claims or advice is ever given by Schnauzers-Rule.com. The information on our website is provided as informational and educational purposes only. By using the website you acknowledge, understand, and agree that all decisions regarding the health and well-being of your pet are completely your own. At no time is the website information intended to diagnose, treat, or cure your pet and is not a substitute for veterinary care provided by a licensed veterinarian. For any medical or health related advice concerning the care and treatment of your pet, always consult your Veterinarian. Also, keep in mind that veterinary medicine and information changes rapidly, so some information on this website may be out of date. Never disregard professional veterinary advice or delay in seeking professional veterinary assistance because of something you read or saw on Schnauzers-Rule.com. And never give your dog any medication without first consulting with your veterinarian.


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