Vaccine Protocol


(Dr. W. Jean Dodds)


This page describes Articles and Protocols which contain important Information. Please do NOT accept the info you read on this page or ANY other page in this or any website as GOSPEL. Instead, read, learn, study some more, then form your own conclusion after consulting with your own Veterinarian.



Revised 12/05


Dr. Jean Dodds:

Home Office: (Mon/Tues/Fri)

Phone 310/ 828-4804 --Pacific Time

Fax: 310/ 828-8251

938 Stanford St.

Santa Monica, CA 90403 USA Hemopet Office: (Wed/Thurs)

Phone: 714-891-2022 -- PST

Fax: 714-891-2123

11330 Markon Dr

Garden Grove, CA 92841 USA


Please Note: Callers need to be considerate, and in an Emergency, -- explain it clearly-- because Dr. Dodds may be near the answering machine. When dealing with a non-emergency situation, please don't call between 8 pm and 8 am Pacific Time, and also Friday night thru Saturday night, as that is her prayer time.

Titer Test FormsThat You Can Print out

Quote from Dr Jean Dodds: "This schedule is the protocol I recommend and should NOT be interpreted to mean that other protocols recommended by another veterinarian would be less satisfactory. It's a matter of professional judgement and choice."

For breeds or families of dogs susceptible to or effected with immune dysfunction, immune-mediated disease, immune-reactions associated with vaccinations, or autoimmune endocrine disease (e.g., thyroiditis, Addison's or Cushing's disease, diabetes, etc.), the following protocol is recommended:



Note: The following vaccine protocol is offered for those dogs where minimal vaccinations are advisable or desirable. The schedule is one I recommend and should not interpreted to mean that other protocols recommended by a veterinarian would be less satisfactory. It's a matter of professional judgment and choice.


9 - 10 weeks

Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV (e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy DPV)

14 weeks Same as above

16 -18 weeks (optional) Same as above

20 weeks or older, if allowable by law Rabies

1 year

Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV

1 year

Rabies, killed 3-year product (give 3-4 weeks apart from distemper/parvovirus booster)

Perform vaccine antibody titers for distemper and parvovirus annually thereafter. Vaccinate for rabies virus according to the law, except where circumstances indicate that a written waiver needs to be obtained from the primary care veterinarian. In that case, a rabies antibody titer can also be performed to accompany the waiver request.



ONLY a vet may submit blood for the titers. Antech Lab, NYC 1-800 872 -1001 (who does our Combo Titers), and also through Hemopet who will also do the Rabies titer . They titer for Distemper, Parvo, Corona at a total cost of $75 PER DOG. Lepto titers are not diagnostic yet (in other words they can titer for it, but haven't developed a proven Titer for Lepto yet), so if you have Lepto in the area, you should get the vaccine if your vet suggests. Some small dogs react to Lepto many recommend not to vaccinate unless you have to.

Antech Lab, NYC 1-800 872 -1001

Hemopet Office: (Wed/Thurs)

Phone: 714-891-2022 --Pacific Time

Fax: 714-891-2123

11330 Markon Dr

Garden Grove, CA 92841 USA


Jean Dodds recommends that a bitch should be tested before breeding and it should be done on a yearly basis.

She also suggests the use of SBGAand  Echinacea purpurea/ Echinacea augustifolia as a boost to their immune systems. The SBGA is a much more dependable and PROVEN supplement, and Echinacea has proven immune system benefits as well.



W. Jean Dodds, DVM

938 Stanford Street

Santa Monica, CA 90403

(310) 828-4804; FAX (310) 828-8251

The challenge to produce effective and safe vaccines for the prevalent infectious diseases of humans and animals has become increasingly difficult. In veterinary medicine, evidence implicating vaccines in triggering immune-mediated and other chronic disorders (vaccinosis) is compelling. While some of these problems have been traced to contaminated or poorly attenuated batches of vaccine that revert to virulence, others apparently reflect the host’s genetic predisposition to react adversely upon receiving the single (monovalent) or multiple antigen “combo” (polyvalent) products given routinely to animals. Animals of certain susceptible breeds or families appear to be at increased risk for severe and lingering adverse reactions to vaccines.

The onset of adverse reactions to conventional vaccinations (or other inciting drugs, chemicals, or infectious agents) can be an immediate hypersensitivity or anaphylactic reaction, or can occur acutely (24-48 hours afterwards), or later on (10-45 days) in a delayed type immune response often caused by immune-complex formation. Typical signs of adverse immune reactions include fever, stiffness, sore joints and abdominal tenderness, susceptibility to infections, central and peripheral nervous system disorders or inflammation, collapse with autoagglutinated red blood cells and jaundice, or generalized pinpoint hemorrhages or bruises. Liver enzymes may be markedly elevated, and liver or kidney failure may accompany bone marrow suppression. Furthermore, recent vaccination of genetically susceptible breeds has been associated with transient seizures in puppies and adult dogs, as well as a variety of autoimmune diseases including those affecting the blood, endocrine organs, joints, skin and mucosa, central nervous system, eyes, muscles, liver, kidneys, and bowel. It is postulated that an underlying genetic predisposition to these conditions places other littermates and close relatives at increased risk. Vaccination of pet and research dogs with polyvalent vaccines containing rabies virus or rabies vaccine alone was recently shown to induce production of antithyroglobulin autoantibodies, a provocative and important finding with implications for the subsequent development of hypothyroidism (Scott-Moncrieff et al, 2002).

Vaccination also can overwhelm the immunocompromised or even healthy host that is repeatedly challenged with other environmental stimuli and is genetically predisposed to react adversely upon viral exposure. The recently weaned young puppy or kitten entering a new environment is at greater risk here, as its relatively immature immune system can be temporarily or more permanently harmed. Consequences in later life may be the increased susceptibility to chronic debilitating diseases.

As combination vaccines contain antigens other than those of the clinically important infectious disease agents, some may be unnecessary; and their use may increase the risk of adverse reactions. With the exception of a recently introduced mutivalent Leptospira spp. vaccine, the other leptospirosis vaccines afford little protection against the clinically important fields strains of leptospirosis, and the antibodies they elicit typically last only a few months. Other vaccines, such as for Lyme disease, may not be needed, because the disease is limited to certain geographical areas. Annual revaccination for rabies is required by some states even though there are USDA licensed rabies vaccine with a 3-year duration. Thus, the overall risk-benefit ratio of using certain vaccines or multiple antigen vaccines given simultaneously and repeatedly should be reexamined. It must be recognized, however, that we have the luxury of asking such questions today only because the risk of disease has been effectively reduced by the widespread use of vaccination programs.

Given this troublesome situation, what are the experts saying about these issues? In 1995, a landmark review commentary focused the attention of the veterinary profession on the advisability of current vaccine practices. Are we overvaccinating companion animals, and if so, what is the appropriate periodicity of booster vaccines ? Discussion of this provocative topic has generally lead to other questions about the duration of immunity conferred by the currently licensed vaccine components.

In response to questions posed in the first part of this article, veterinary vaccinologists have recommended new protocols for dogs and cats. These include: 1) giving the puppy or kitten vaccine series followed by a booster at one year of age; 2) administering further boosters in a combination vaccine every three years or as split components alternating every other year until; 3) the pet reaches geriatric age, at which time booster vaccination is likely to be unnecessary and may be unadvisable for those with aging or immunologic disorders. In the intervening years between booster vaccinations, and in the case of geriatric pets, circulating humoral immunity can be evaluated by measuring serum vaccine antibody titers as an indication of the presence of immune memory. Titers do not distinguish between immunity generated by vaccination and/or exposure to the disease, although the magnitude of immunity produced just by vaccination is usually lower (see Tables).

Except where vaccination is required by law, all animals, but especially those dogs or close relatives that previously experienced an adverse reaction to vaccination can have serum antibody titers measured annually instead of revaccination. If adequate titers are found, the animal should not need revaccination until some future date. Rechecking antibody titers can be performed annually, thereafter, or can be offered as an alternative to pet owners who prefer not to follow the conventional practice of annual boosters. Reliable serologic vaccine titering is available from several university and commercial laboratories and the cost is reasonable (Twark and Dodds, 2000; Lappin et al, 2002; Paul et al, 2003; Moore and Glickman, 2004).

Relatively little has been published about the duration of immunity following vaccination, although new data are beginning to appear for both dogs and cats.

Our recent study (Twark and Dodds, 2000), evaluated 1441 dogs for CPV antibody titer and 1379 dogs for CDV antibody titer. Of these, 95.1 % were judged to have adequate CPV titers, and nearly all (97.6 %) had adequate CDV titers. Vaccine histories were available for 444 dogs (CPV) and 433 dogs (CDV). Only 43 dogs had been vaccinated within the previous year, with the majority of dogs (268 or 60%) having received a booster vaccination 1-2 years beforehand. On the basis of our data, we concluded that annual revaccination is unnecessary. Similar findings and conclusions have been published recently for dogs in New Zealand (Kyle et al, 2002), and cats (Scott and Geissinger, 1999; Lappin et al, 2002). Comprehensive studies of the duration of serologic response to five viral vaccine antigens in dogs and three viral vaccine antigens in cats were recently published by researchers at Pfizer Animal Health ( Mouzin et al, 2004).

When an adequate immune memory has already been established, there is little reason to introduce unnecessary antigen, adjuvant, and preservatives by administering booster vaccines. By titering annually, one can assess whether a given animal’s humoral immune response has fallen below levels of adequate immune memory. In that event, an appropriate vaccine booster can be administered.


Dodds WJ. More bumps on the vaccine road. Adv Vet Med 41:715-732, 1999.

Dodds WJ. Vaccination protocols for dogs predisposed to vaccine reactions. J Am An Hosp Assoc 38: 1-4, 2001.

Hogenesch H, Azcona-Olivera J, Scott-Moncreiff C, et al. Vaccine-induced autoimmunity in the dog. Adv Vet Med 41: 733-744, 1999.

Hustead DR, Carpenter T, Sawyer DC, et al. Vaccination issues of concern to practitioners. J Am Vet Med Assoc 214: 1000-1002, 1999.

Kyle AHM, Squires RA, Davies PR. Serologic status and response to vaccination against canine distemper (CDV) and canine parvovirus (CPV) of dogs vaccinated at different intervals. J Sm An Pract, June 2002.

Lappin MR, Andrews J, Simpson D, et al. Use of serologic tests to predict resistance to feline herpesvirus 1, feline calicivirus, and feline parvovirus infection in cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc 220: 38-42, 2002.

McGaw DL, Thompson M, Tate, D, et al. Serum distemper virus and parvovirus antibody titers among dogs brought to a veterinary hospital for revaccination. J Am Vet Med Assoc 213: 72-75, 1998.

Moore GE, Glickman LT. A perspective on vaccine guidelines and titer tests for dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 224: 200-203. 2004.

Mouzin DE, Lorenzen M J, Haworth, et al. Duration of serologic response to five viral antigens in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 224: 55-60, 2004.

Mouzin DE, Lorenzen M J, Haworth, et al. Duration of serologic response to three viral antigens in cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc 224: 61-66, 2004.

Paul MA. Credibility in the face of controversy. Am An Hosp Assoc Trends Magazine XIV(2):19-21, 1998.

Paul MA (chair) et al. Report of the AAHA Canine Vaccine Task Force: 2003 canine vaccine guidelines, recommendations, and supporting literature. AAHA, April 2003, 28 pp.

Schultz RD. Current and future canine and feline vaccination programs. Vet Med 93:233-254, 1998.

Schultz RD, Ford RB, Olsen J, Scott F. Titer testing and vaccination: a new look at traditional practices. Vet Med, 97: 1-13, 2002 (insert).

Scott FW, Geissinger CM. Long-term immunity in cats vaccinated with an inactivated trivalent vaccine. Am J Vet Res 60: 652-658, 1999.

Scott-Moncrieff JC, Azcona-Olivera J, Glickman NW, et al. Evaluation of antithyroglobulin antibodies after routine vaccination in pet and research dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 221: 515-521, 2002.

Smith CA. Are we vaccinating too much? J Am Vet Med Assoc 207:421-425, 1995.

Tizard I, Ni Y. Use of serologic testing to assess immune status of companion animals. J Am Vet Med Assoc 213: 54-60, 1998.

Twark L, Dodds WJ. Clinical application of serum parvovirus and distemper virus antibody titers for determining revaccination strategies in healthy dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 217:1021-1024, 2000.

Table 1. “Core” Vaccines *

Dog Cat

Distemper Feline Parvovirus

Adenovirus Herpesvirus

Parvovirus Calicivirus

Rabies Rabies


* Vaccines that every dog and cat should have

Table 2. Adverse Reaction Risks for Vaccines *

“There is less risk associated with taking a blood sample for a titer test than giving an unnecessary vaccination.”


* Veterinary Medicine, February, 2002.

Table 3. Titer Testing and Vaccination *

“While difficult to prove, risks associated with overvaccination are an increasing concern among veterinarians. These experts say antibody titer testing may prove to be a valuable tool in determining your patients’ vaccination needs.”


* Veterinary Medicine, February, 2002.

Table 4. Vaccine Titer Testing *

“Research shows that once an animal’s titer stabilizes,

it is likely to remain constant for many years.”


* Veterinary Medicine, February, 2002.

W. Jean Dodds, DVM, is an internationally recognized authority on thyroid issues in dogs and blood diseases in animals. In the mid-1980's she founded Hemopet, the first nonprofit blood bank for animals. Dr. Dodds is a grantee of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and author of over 150 research publications. Through Hemopet she provides canine blood components and blood-bank supplies throughout North America, consults in clinical pathology, and lectures worldwide.

Site Disclaimer


The Vaccine Controversy

After many decades of yearly combined vaccinations, the general consensus of the majority of veterinarians now say that annual vaccinations may not be needed and are probably harmful to your pet. This opinion is supported by Dr Ronald Schultz PhD who is recognized as a pioneer in clinical immunology and vaccinology and his work is well known in both the allopathic and holistic veterinarian communities.

Dr Schultz and his colleague, Dr. Tom R. Phillips, PhD, wrote the following which is taken from Kirk’s current Veterinary Therapy XI (Small Animal Practice), page 205. Kirk’s manual is the reference “bible” used by most veterinarians:

Annual Vaccinations:
A practice that was started many years ago and that LACKS scientific validity or verification is annual re-vaccinations. Almost without exception there is no immunologic requirement for annual re-vaccination. Immunity to viruses persists for years or for the life of the animal. The practice of annual vaccination in our opinion should be considered of questionable efficacy ……………… unless required by law (ie Rabies vaccinations in some States).

Whilst the established veterinary community has differing opinions as to how often and how many vaccines to give a puppy, as well as what types of vaccines and which manufacturers are best for puppies and adult dogs, it is a known fact that more vaccines do not necessarily translate into better protection for your puppy or adult Cavalier. The more vaccines continually and simultaneously injected into your dog, the more his immune system will be compromised. In the long run, your Cavalier's immune system could give up working just at a time when your dog needs it the most -- in old age.

There is no question that your puppy requires his basic puppy vaccinations (distemper, parvo and rabies) up until he is 18 – 24 months old however the question is how valuable are annual vaccinations thereafter. According to Dr. Schultz, puppy vaccinations last for the duration of a dog’s life and re-vaccination can be detrimental to the long term health of a dog. In order to further protect your Cavalier's long term health and immune system, rather than automatically vaccinating your adult Cavalier annually, blood test him every three years for Parvo & Distemper Titers and Rabies Titers. If your dog's Titers are high, there is no need to vaccinate.

What is a Titer? Vaccine titers consist of a blood test which measures specific concentration of antibodies to different diseases (i.e. canine distemper, parvovirus, herpes etc). The only way we can quantitate any kind of measurement on how the immune system responded to the vaccines is by checking the concentration of antibodies in the blood. However, it is important to understand that just because the patient has developed titers in their blood, it doesn’t mean that he/she will be protected 100%. The same holds true for vaccines; just because the animals have been vaccinated, it doesn’t mean that they will be protected at all. In fact, the USDA-Biologics department requires for the vaccine to be only 52% effective (not protecting the animal but increasing the serum antibody titers)!

It is up to the immune system to react to the invading organism and hence maintain the system in the best shape as possible. There have been studies done in which pets that have no measurable humoral antibody titers, have been exposed experimentally to viruses and they have not developed the disease. In these cases, cell mediated and secretory immune functions have presumably conveyed protection. Remember, memory cells are the ones that will carry the “floor plan” on “how to” build up the antibodies needed to fight the infection.

Current Vaccination Recommendations for Dogs

Distemper & Parvo: According to Dr. Schultz, (AVMA 8/15/95) when a vaccination series given at 2, 3, and 4 months and again at 12 – 24 months with modified live virus vaccine, puppies program memory cells survive for life, providing lifelong immunity. Dr. Carmichael at Cornell and Dr. Schultz have studies showing immunity against a challenge at 2 – 10 years for canine distemper and 4 years for parvo. Studies for longer duration are pending. There are no new strains of parvo as one manufacturer would like to suggest. Parvo vaccination provides cross immunity for all types.

Rabies: It should be a killed vaccine and there are State Laws governing how often a Rabies vaccine should be given.

Turning the world on its head, Catherine O’Driscoll gives ordinary dog owners and lovers the information that vets won’t or can’t tell you. Her aim is to share the truth so that dog lovers everywhere can make informed choices about the well-being of the pets they treasure. There is solid scientific research to demonstrate that vaccines can be harmful. The “tiny minority” of dogs being harmed by vaccination is a significant, significant number.

What Vets don’t tell you about Vaccines. Catherine O’Driscoll ISBN#095230483 X
Available from Our Pets, P O Box 2094, Fort Macleod, Alberta, T0L 0Z0, Canada

Vaccinations NOT Recommended

Multiple components in vaccines compete with each other for the immune system and result in lesser immunity for each individual disease as well as increasing the risk of a reaction.

Corona: Corona virus is only a disease of puppies. It is rare and self limiting (dogs get well in 3 days without treatment). Cornell and Texas A&M have only diagnosed one case each in the last 7 years. Corona virus does not cause disease in adult dogs.

Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis vaccine is a common cause of adverse reactions in dogs. Cross protection is not provided and protection is short lived. Lepto vaccine is immuno-supressive to puppies less than 16 weeks.

Lymes: Lymes disease is a tick borne disease which can cause lameness, kidney failure and heart disease in dogs. Lyme disease prevention should emphasize early removal of ticks. Amitraz collars are more effective than Top Spot (do NOT use both at the same time) as amitraz paralyses the tick’s mouth parts preventing transmission of disease. Top Spot (Frontline) kills the tick within hours of the bite and an infected tick must be attached for over 8 hours before the disease can be transmitted. Efficacy of the Lymes vaccine is questionable however Cornell supports the one made by Rhone Merieaux/ Merielle. Unless your dog keeps getting re-infected with Lymes disease (even after the aforementioned Frontline is administered), then I would avoid this vaccine and use Frontline as a protection against ticks. Frontline has been known to be very safe and effective.

Bordatella: If you need to board your dog at a commercial boarding establishment, they often require a Bordatella vaccine. In this case, it is recommended that the internasal vaccine, Inter Trac II, be given. If you do not board your dog, then this vaccine is unnecessary. We have found this vaccine to be only effective against a small handful of kennel cough viruses of which there are thousands of these types of viruses floating around. We have also found that healthy, adult dogs just do not contract the virus and if they do, it is extremely mild.

IMPORTANT: Only ONE vaccination per vet visit should be administered to your dog throughout his/her life. Multiple vaccinations compete with each other and can be harmful.

Vaccine Information from W. Jean Dodds, DVM

Use only killed 3 year rabies vaccine for adults and give it separated from other vaccines by 3-4 weeks. In some states, they may be able to give titer test result in lieu of booster.

Do NOT use Bordetella, corona virus, leptospirosis or Lyme vaccines unless these diseases are endemic in the local area or specific kennel. Futhermore, the currently licensed leptospira bacterins do not contain the serovars causing the majority of clinical leptospirosis today.

Do NOT recommend vaccinating bitches during estrus, pregnancy or lactation

Vaccination Newsflash [CIMDA support] RE; J DODDS VACCINE PROTOCOL
Please be aware that all 27 veterinary schools in North America are in the process of changing their protocols for vaccinating dogs and cats. This is welcome news and you should print this out and take it with you to your Vet should you need reinforcement against over-vaccination.

Some of this information will present an ethical & economic challenge to Vets, and there will be skeptics. Some organizations have come up with a political compromise suggesting vaccinations every 3 years to appease those who fear loss of income vs. those concerned about potential side effects. Politics, traditions, or the doctors economic well-being should not be a factor in a medical decision.

New Principles Of Immunology
Dogs and cats immune systems mature fully at 6 months. If a modified live virus vaccine is given after 6 months of age, it produces immunity, which is good for the life of the pet (i.e.: canine distemper, parvo, feline distemper). If another MLV vaccine is given a year later, the antibodies from the first vaccine neutralize the antigens of the second vaccine and there is little or no effect. The titer is not "boosted" nor are more memory cells induced. Not only are annual boosters for parvo and distemper unnecessary, they subject the pet to potential risks of allergic reactions and immune-mediated haemolytic anemia. There is no scientific documentation
to back up label claims for annual administration of MLV vaccines. Puppies receive antibodies through their mothers milk. This natural protection can last 8 - 14 weeks. Puppies & kittens should NOT be vaccinated at LESS than 8 weeks. Maternal immunity will neutralize the vaccine and little protection (0-38%) will be produced. Vaccination at 6 weeks will, however, DELAY the timing of the first highly effective vaccine. Vaccinations given 2 weeks apart SUPPRESS rather than stimulate the immune system. A series of vaccinations is given starting at 8
weeks and given 3-4 weeks apart up to 16 weeks of age. Another vaccination given sometime after 6 months of age (usually at l year 4 mo) will provide LIFETIME IMMUNITY.

W. Jean Dodds, DVM
938 Stanford Street, Santa Monica, CA. 90403
310-828-4804; Fax 310-828-8251

CKCSC Health Registry, 5+ Year Clear Heart
CKCSC Open Health Registry

American Veterinary Medical Association Vaccination Guidelines:

Important reading:

List of links about vaccines:

Look up any Kind of Health Problem: