The Dangers of Vaccinations: Be an Informed and Proactive Guardian for Your Beloved Animals

My Response to Learning that a 13-year-old Dog With Laryngeal Paralysis Was Given a 3-year Rabies Vaccination

Iwas a participant in an online group for people with dogs who suffer from a condition called laryngeal paralysis. My dog, who died from complications of this condition in July 2011, was suffering with it for several years. What was once a mild breathing issue for him became a more serious and acute problem after his second anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery and second round of anesthesia.
After his second surgery, his breathing became markedly worse and I began to do research on the subject of laryngeal paralysis and the accompanying degenerative myelopathy, especially in the hind legs of dogs. There is a medical term for it called “GOLPP” or Geriatric Onset Laryngeal Paralysis Polyneuropathy.
I joined several online groups dedicated to this canine health issue. It is always a good idea to join these kinds of online groups when you want to learn as much as you can about a disease as quickly as possible and what those in the group have done to help their dogs feel better. In addition to gaining access to information in the files section, you can learn a lot from those who have gone through a similar experience. They can provide recommendations for the best veterinarians and specialists and also offer encouragement and tips.

My Dog’s Breathing Issues Improved with Alternative Healing Modalities

My dog’s breathing issues improved considerably through classical homeopathy and my own ongoing healing work with him that at the time included Reconnective Healing®, Tellington TTouch®, Reiki and acupressure. I believe that Reconnective Healing®, in conjunction with classical homeopathy and Tellington TTouch®, had the most profound effect on my dog’s overall improvement.
A woman in one of the laryngeal paralysis groups wrote to share how happy she was that her 13-year-old Labrador retriever was still with her and doing well after having had tieback surgery. In that kind of surgery, one of the two flaps in the back of a dog’s throat is tied back to enable the dog to take in more air and breathe with greater ease and comfort. It has its risks and aspiration pneumonia is among them. So she had a lot to be happy about.
However, in that same post, while celebrating the health and longevity of her dog and the success of the surgery, she also shared with the group that her dog was due for a rabies vaccination. So she took her dog to get the shot. Her post then incited a flurry of responses within the group and set off many alarm bells for a number of participants.  I was among those who had a very strong response to her post.
The list moderator understandably did not appreciate all the responses, some of which were very vocal, and she ended the discussion. I thought it was a very important topic and I was in the midst of composing a post to send to the group when the discussion was ended.
So I decided to post my thoughts here in an open letter to any guardian who is considering vaccinating his or her senior dog or any dog whose health is compromised. Indeed, knowing what I know about the effects of vaccinations on the immune system, central nervous system, and the lifelong impact on the total health and well-being of an animal, I would caution guardians about re-vaccinating their dogs for any reason.
There are titer tests that can be done to show that a dog’s level of immunity is appropriate and that no re-vaccination is necessary. There are also exemption letters from veterinarians that can be obtained so a dog’s health will not be further jeopardized.
The best defense against disease is a healthy immune system. Unfortunately the over-vaccination of dogs has seriously compromised and adversely affected the long-term function of their immune systems. And those that are over-vaccinated are left to deal with lifelong chronic diseases that manifest in a variety of very unpleasant ways.
World-renowned research scientist and practicing clinician Dr. W. Jean Dodds shared the following information on Helen McKinnon’s website, It’s for the Animals, http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/DODDS-CHG-VACC-PROTOCOLS.HTM:
“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 re-vaccination. If adequate titers are found, the animal should not need re-vaccination until some future date. Re-checking 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).”
Dr. Jean Dodds

 Dr. W. Jean Dodds. Photo from www.enzymes.com

Open Response to a Guardian who Vaccinated her Senior Dog

In addition to what I originally wanted to share with the guardian and those on the laryngeal paralysis list, I’ve added information on the topic to help other guardians make more informed decisions about vaccinating their pets.
I had intended to put up a blog post on vaccinations and am glad that I was prompted to write one sooner than later. What I share below is common knowledge among so many. But for those who may not be aware of studies and data to support minimal vaccinating of pets, here is what I’d also like to share with you, highlighting some important points:
“I was delighted to hear about your success with your wonderful dog, but then my heart sank when I read that you took her to get her 3-year rabies vaccination. I do understand that you were doing what you understood to be best for her and also what was required by the laws of your town and state. And having a 13-year-old dog myself, I understand your joy in having your precious dog with you still. Clearly you are a kind and caring guardian. You wouldn’t be on this list trying to do the best for your dog if you weren’t.
“I greatly appreciated seeing the many thoughtful responses from people on this list concerned for the health and well-being of your dog and I offer kudos and praise to them all. I believe they had you and your dog’s best interests at heart too. Admittedly, some could have had a gentler tone. Indeed, one of them offered you an apology and let you know it was just out of her concern for you and your dog.
“This discussion has been an important one, and perhaps it happened not by coincidence, but by Divine design so that some people on the list could learn some things they might not have known before. I was glad that for a time list participants were able to share their opinions on this very important topic that truly is critical to the health and well-being of all our animals. Indeed, I think it is central.”
Interestingly, perhaps it was also divinely planned for me not to be able to share this post on the group’s site, so I could get the opportunity to share it with everyone who reads my blog and happens upon this post.

Connections between Laryngeal Paralysis, Hypothyroidism and Vaccinations

There have been studies done showing a direct connection between laryngeal paralysis and hypothyroidism, an auto-immune disease. And there have also been a number of studies, including ones done by Dr. Dodds, showing the direct cause-and-effect relationship between vaccinations and autoimmune diseases such as hypothyroidism.
Interestingly, one of the clinical neuromuscular symptoms of hypothyroidism is laryngeal paralysis. So logically, one can easily connect the dots from vaccinations to laryngeal paralysis. Indeed, one of the predominant symptoms of rabies is laryngeal paralysis.
In an article entitled, “A New Look at the Vaccination Question,” Dr. Richard Pitcairn writes:
“We can expand our definition to say that vaccinosis is the establishment of, instead of the acute natural disease, a chronic condition which now has the time to develop a multitude of manifestations not ordinarily seen. Another way of saying this is that the process of laboratory modification of a viral disease to make a vaccination strain is the conversion of the disease from acute to chronic. The virus has been changed so that its natural tendency to arouse a strong response is gone. Instead it can be introduced into the body in a form that does not elicit much of a reaction. The result is the establishment of a chronic disease that has never been seen before in clinical practice.”
Dr. Richard Pitcairn

Dr. Richard Pitcairn. Photo from www.drpitcairn.com

He then shows how the symptoms of the acute diseases of canine distemper, rabies, and feline panleukopenia transform into lower-grade, but similar chronic, life-long diseases after animals receive vaccinations.
Dr. Pitcairn describes one set of the symptoms of the acute version of rabies as follows: “Unable to swallow because of paralysis of muscles of deglutition. Hanging down of the lower jaw.” On the chronic symptom side of his chart, he describes the corresponding vaccinosis symptoms: “Paralysis (or partial paralysis) of mouth, tongue or throat; sloppy eaters or drinkers; tendency to drool or lose saliva.” With this description, he, too, makes a direct correlation in his observations of the connection between the rabies vaccine and laryngeal paralysis symptoms.

Many Veterinarians Have Written about the Dangers and Adverse Effects of Vaccinations

There are numerous articles, many written by veterinarians, on the dangers and adverse effects of vaccinations, from Dr. Richard Pitcairn, Dr. Dee Blanco, Dr. Christina Chambreau, Dr. Stephen Blake, Dr. Patricia Jordan and so many more. Shirleys Wellness Cafe, www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com, is just one of the websites dedicated to holistic health that offers an array of articles from veterinarians on the subject of vaccinations.
There are also a number of books written on the subject, from Catherine O’Driscoll’s Shock to the System and What Vets Don’t Tell You About Vaccines to John Clifton’s Stop the Shots!: Are Vaccines Killing Our Pets? and the award-winning book, Scared Poopless: The Straight Scoop on Dog Care, by Jan Rasmussen.
In his book Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs: Small Doses for Small Animals, Dr. Don Hamilton devotes an entire chapter to the vaccination issue. He also has several online articles about vaccinations for cats and dogs. One of them is on http://www.itsfortheanimals.com.
Entitled “Vaccinations in Veterinary Medicine: Dogs and Cats,” Dr. Hamilton provides a wealth of information about vaccinations and booster shots. This is an article that can help guardians make more enlightened choices. In that article he affirms:
“…vaccines should NEVER be given to unhealthy animals. This is a practice that is gaining popularity among veterinarians for some strange reason, and it goes against the recommendations in all vaccine inserts as well as those of virtually all immunologists. This is malpractice in my opinion.”
In that article Dr. Hamilton also shares the following thoughts about the difficult choices that guardians have to make when confronted with veterinarians who insist on vaccinating their animals, even those animals whose health is already seriously compromised:
“Finally, here is a comment about vaccinations and choice. While the concept of ‘owning’ an animal is one with which I am uncomfortable, I do recognize that this is how the human-animal relationship is viewed from a legal perspective. Otherwise we certainly can be said to be guardians of our companion animals. Within this framework, the choice about vaccination rests with the human who has accepted responsible guardianship. It does not rest with the veterinarian.
“Another trend of the past few years is coercion of guardians into procedures such as vaccination. This coercion may be blatant, such as refusal to provide services, even emergency care, unless the animal is ‘current’ on vaccines. Sometimes even critically-ill animals are vaccinated upon admission for treatment. More subtle means include induction of fear and/or guilt by asserting (as an authority figure) that companion animals are at risk if not vaccinated yearly, and that failure to comply is evidence of lack of caring.
 “Tactics such as this can create feelings of guilt in the guardian, leading to a fear-based decision to vaccinate an animal that is not at risk. This is unethical if not outright malpractice and refusal is an acceptable response. As has been stated above, rabies vaccination is legally compulsive at one-to-three year intervals, so refusal is a legal risk. Fighting to change these laws, however, is appropriate.”

Dr. Michael Dym Shares His Views on Vaccinations on His Blog

Dr. Michael Dym, a homeopathic veterinarian, shares his views on vaccination in his blog at http://blog.petmeds.com/ask-the-vet/vets-thoughts-on-vaccinations-for-dogs-and-cats/. In it he shares,
“Evidence has emerged in recent years that over vaccination has been a major factor in the development of both the epidemic increases in autoimmune diseases, seizures, behavioral and hormonal disorders, and cancer seen in younger and younger pets. I have even read papers that document evidence citing genetic changes have occurred in pets at the level of their DNA because of the viral over vaccination process over so many generations of dogs and cats.”
Dr. Michael Dym

Dr. Michael E. Dym, VMD – Classical Veterinary Homeopathy

Believing that an individualized approach to this topic is needed for each pet, he also shares, “Regardless of what an animal guardian decides, this ‘veterinarian sensitive’ topic should be discussed between client and veterinarian about what is best for their individual pet, and an animal guardian should certainly be supplied with as much accurate and unbiased information on this issue as possible, in order to make as well informed a decision on which vaccinations their pets truly need.”

The Rabies Challenge Study

Dr. Dodds has done pioneering research on vaccinations and how they affect animals. Several years ago, she teamed up with Dr. Ronald Schultz to do The Rabies Challenge Study, www.rabieschallengefund.org. The study is being done to determine the long-term duration of immunity of the canine rabies vaccine, with the goal of extending the state-mandated interval for boosters by possibly five or seven years.
“These will be the first long-term challenge studies on the canine rabies vaccine to be published in the United States,” explains pet-vaccine disclosure advocate Kris L. Christine of Maine, who serves as co-trustee with Dr. Dodds.
If you go to this link, http://dogs4dogs.com/saferpet, you can purchase a DVD of Dr. Dodds speaking at the 2010 Safer Pet Vaccination and Health Care Seminar. All proceeds of this DVD, except for shipping expenses, will be donated to The Rabies Challenge Study.
I have attended two eye-opening and life-changing seminars with Dr. Dodds and two with Dr. Ronald Schultz. I saw them both together in 2009, where they were featured speakers at a NJ fundraiser for their study. In my very first seminar with Dr. Dodds, I learned about how adversely my own dog had been affected by being over-vaccinated.

Dr. Stephen Blake Shares His Thoughts about Vaccinations

There are some veterinarians who believe that even a single vaccination can cause damage and some who believe that rather than protect a dog from disease that vaccinations can instead cause a lower-grade version of that disease and a lifetime of chronic illness.
Here are some thoughts that Dr. Stephen Blake, also known as The Pet Whisperer, shared about the issue of vaccinating pets:
“If you read what I have written on my website, you will see that the decision to vaccinate or not is ultimately up to the caregiver, given their level of fear to vaccinate or not. This being said, I personally do not recommend vaccinating my animals or myself.”
On his website he says: I have been encouraging my clients to not vaccinate or vaccinate less for the past 25 years.
Here’s what he also says:
“As to the question of damage from vaccines: All of the animals that are born are vaccine-damaged from 100 generations of over-vaccinated ancestors. The vaccines they get in this life are but triggers for an already susceptible population born with chronic disease.
 “This does not mean there is no hope for improving their health, but nonetheless the damage has been done before they are even conceived. Giving anything to a chronically-ill animal, whether it is raw food, classically-prescribed homeopathic remedies (i.e., the Simillimum), herbs, nutritional supplements, etc., is no guarantee they will be cured of their chronic disease.
 “All we can do is do our best to avoid the vaccines, chemicals, poor diets, flea, tick and heartworm medications and give them clean water and food, good exercise, and, most importantly, our unconditional LOVE and work on improving their health through carefully prescribed treatment protocols.
“I tell all my clients and readers, there is always hope for any animal, even those that have been vaccinated. Do not be fooled into believing you can give a homeopathic remedy before and after a vaccination and prevent the inherent damage vaccines cause.
My best advice is to avoid all vaccines unless there is no other way.”
Dr. Stephen Blake

Dr. Stephen Blake – The Pet Whisperer (http://www.thepetwhisperer.com)

 

For those who make the decision to vaccinate their dogs, Dr. Dodds has some recommended protocols to follow. You can find them at http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/DODDS-CHG-VACC-PROTOCOLS.HTM. She recommends the optimal age an animal should be for each vaccine administered, appropriate time intervals between vaccinations and she also cautions about giving multiple vaccines in a single shot. In seminars, I have heard her call those kinds of shots that can totally overload a dog’s immune system the “wombo combos.”

My Great Teacher Socrates

Here’s what else I would have shared with those in the laryngeal paralysis group:
“I joined this group because a while back I was worried about my dog’s breathing. He is a 13-year-old English springer spaniel who has had many vaccinosis issues because back when he was younger, I didn’t know better. As Oprah often shares – and she got this important advice from her mentor and friend, the renowned poet Maya Angelou – ‘When you know better, you do better.’
“His name is Socrates and he has been an amazing teacher in my life. He continues to teach me every day, especially now about the canine aging process. Through a combination of classical homeopathy and my own healing work on him, his breathing is so much better. The thought of him even needing surgery has happily faded into the background.
Socrates in Garden

Socrates enjoyed sniffing flowers in the garden. Photo by Donna El Haber, 2008. All rights reserved.

“A number of months ago, thanks to the success of his alternative therapies, I no longer have to worry about the possibility of a tieback surgery for him. What has been more of an issue is the accompanying degenerative myelopathy and his rear-end weakness and general arthritis issues. I am thankful that classical homeopathy, Tellington TTouch®, acupressure and my energy healing work have helped considerably with those issues as well.”

List of Links to Articles about Vaccinations

Since my dog has been so greatly affected by the vaccinations he received, as have so many other dogs, I have been an avid student on the subject and have compiled a list of links to articles about the vaccination issue. The list of links to articles about vaccinations can be found in my e-book, “25 Ways to Maintain a Happy and Health Dog,” that can be downloaded on my home page. It can also be found here on my website in the Resources Section.
Someone in the laryngeal paralysis group wrote that certain members who responded were “stealing the joy” of the woman who had vaccinated her senior dog. He was referring to the joy of celebrating her dog’s successful surgery and her health and well-being.
Here’s my response to that comment:
“As for ‘stealing your joy,’ I truly believe that any of us who wanted to caution you about giving the rabies vaccine to your most beloved dog only wanted to extend your joy with her and only wanted the best for both of you. As it is, I’d say you’ve done incredibly well to have a Lab who is 13. She is clearly a very lucky girl to have such a devoted guardian.
“All of us love our dogs dearly and deeply. We wouldn’t be in this group spending time reading and learning if we didn’t. I think your post brought up an important issue and I hope those who take the time to do more research will then ‘know better’ and make different decisions in the future.
“At any given time, we are all just doing the best we can with the knowledge we have. That’s why all our dogs are such incredibly gifted teachers. I believe it is one of the most important reasons why they come to be with us and grace our lives with so much wisdom and love. They are all so forgiving and know we are doing the best we can for them with the resources that each of us has.
“I would like to offer a prayer that guardians all over the world learn as much as they can on issues affecting the health and well-being of their animals so they can make the most informed decisions in conjunction with medical practitioners they trust. And I would encourage them to become pro-active and to find a strong voice to speak out whenever they disagree with a medical practitioner or believe their animals are receiving improper or questionable medical care. At the very least, if they are ever in doubt, they should make the time and effort to get a second opinion. If they fear they will be questioned or ‘bullied’ or made to feel guilty in any way, then they should come armed with the research that influenced their decisions and discuss it with their veterinarians.”

Dr. W. Jean Dodds – One of my Heroes

Change sometimes comes slowly. Dr. Dodds has been working for many years on the issue of vaccinations for animals and the effects of over-vaccination, especially in how vaccinations have caused an array of autoimmune and other serious health challenges for cats, dogs and horses too. In an article on http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/DODDS-CHG-VACC-PROTOCOLS.HTM, she shares what some of those adverse effects are:
“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.”
Dr. Dodds is one of my heroes not just for her brilliance, but also for the incalculable ways in which she has helped animals with her research and insights. Those of us who know and have sent Dr. Dodds queries about our dogs’ medical conditions and about thyroid and other tests are all amazed and grateful at how quickly and comprehensively she responds to questions, sometimes even when she’s traveling abroad. We also recognize the depth of her brilliance and her keen and conscientious dedication to this work and to helping her clients and animals around the world. Her website, where you can learn more about Dr. Dodds and her work, is http://www.hemopet.com.
I also greatly admire the tremendous courage it took for her to initially speak up about this issue so many years ago when what she was sharing was so incredibly unpopular. At veterinary conventions, with her questions and insights about the dangers of annual vaccinations, she was walking a radical and untrodden path and seemed to be but “a lone and renegade voice in the wind.”
Over the years with her research and her documentation of all the adverse effects of vaccinations, her voice has gotten louder and louder and it has ignited a resounding chorus of voices that include veterinarians, researchers, professionals in the dog and cat worlds and dog guardians from around the world.
What was once a radical opinion has become part of accepted knowledge for many, but, alas, not for all. Indeed, laws have been changed as a result of those brave and insightful voices and studies that have been done linking serious illness and chronic disease with over-vaccination and showing the inefficacy of over-vaccinating. But there are many who are lagging behind with this knowledge.
Indeed, based on what many veterinarians have shared who are on the forefront of this anti-vaccination revolution, so much damage has already been done. The future holds more and more the promise of wise and informed veterinarians who will continue to challenge the status quo and stand up for the rights of our animals who deserve to live much healthier lives free of chronic diseases and debilitating autoimmune issues.

The Rabies Challenge Study

Now Dr. Dodds and Dr. Schultz are trying to show that initial vaccinations have a duration of at least five to seven years and perhaps even longer – maybe for the entire life of an animal. If you want to learn more about The Rabies Challenge Study and if you would like to make a donation, please go to www.rabieschallengefund.org. It is an important study that will serve our animals well and those yet to be born.
Going forward, may we all strive to “know better” and then “do better.” And may courageous veterinarians continue to step forward and speak their truth, even if it means deviating from the majority of their peers. We desperately need courageous souls in all areas of life to be on the cutting edge of change and reform to help all of us move forward in more positive ways.
Dr. Ronald Schultz

Dr. Ronald Schultz, professor and chair of pathological sciences in the School of Veterinary Medicine, at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Photo from www.dogs4dogs.com

Dr. Bob Rogers Speaks Out About the Vaccination Issue to His Colleagues

Back in 2003, Dr. Bob Rogers, DVM, Spring, Texas, http://www.critteradvocacy.org, boldly spoke out about change that was needed within his own profession. Here is some of what he wrote to his fellow veterinarians (you can find the full text of what he said on http://www.critteradvocacy.org/Finding%20The%20Courage%20To%20Change.htm):
“Managing change and transition is not easy, even if the change is positive. Even if it means we benefit financially. But what if it means we don’t benefit financially?
“I am the first to admit when faced with changing my vaccination recommendations I experienced the same reservations, and yes, even fear and anger, just as many of you. ‘The experts must have overlooked something,’ I said. We all experience the same phases when faced with change.
 “Then I got a grip on my anger and disbelief and did some research. I found out the studies have been done, and although nothing is ever completely without a little pocket of unknowns, enough is known to warrant change. I was shocked to find that there are no studies that show antibody titers wane with time for certain diseases. I was shocked to find that no studies have been done to show that re-administration of MLV vaccines like distemper and parvo actually ‘boost’ the immune system. In fact, studies show they have no effect.”
Then talking about how other industries managed ethical challenges, Dr. Rogers spoke about the folly of the Edsel, mathematical errors made in Pentium chips, the crisis in the Catholic Church with child molesters, and the public relations nightmare of accidents caused by faulty tires. He goes on to say:
“The veterinary profession could learn from these examples. We are harming pets by causing fibrosarcomas, possibly hypothyroidism and IMHA (immune-mediated hemolytic anemia). The research has been done to support reduced vaccination recommendations. More importantly, research shows that unnecessarily repeating vaccines has no effect. The AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents concluded that no research exists to support our present prevailing recommendations.  Doctors like Ford, Schultz and Wolf have presented the data and made persuasive arguments with persistence and dignity. After 7 years, less than 7% of veterinarians have changed. I feel it is fair to say many refuse to listen.
 “I have filed complaints about veterinarians giving unnecessary vaccines. I am truly saddened that my complaints have been necessary. I do not think veterinarians are intentionally committing fraud. I am not asking that anyone be punished. I do not want to see our public image degraded.
 “I picture myself as being like that one insurance clerk who brought the issue of tire separation to the forefront. This is a wake-up call.  Look at how long others and I have tried to work within the system. Ask yourself if the public has a right to know the truth and make informed decisions on their pets’ health.
 “I am open to suggestions on how to evoke change. I will remain committed. I will not be drawn off-center by angry remarks. I will not respond to accusations or attacks on me personally. This issue is not about me. I intend to confine my comments to sharing of scientific data only. Feel free to ask me about the science behind what I have said, but do your homework first. If you can point out that something I have said is inaccurate, show me the data and I will be open to change.
 “The AVMA, State and Local VMAs (Veterinary Medical Associations) have circled the issue because it is unpopular.  From articles in magazines from ‘Dog World’ to ‘Readers Digest,’ the public knows more about this than our leaders. Moral leadership and farsighted businessmen have failed to appear to lead our profession through this tough time. We have one of the best public images of any profession. Are we willing to prove we deserve it?
 “Rosalynn Carter said: ‘A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.’ I pray every day that a great leader will emerge from within our profession. All I can do is make waves.
 “I am asking veterinarians to get the facts and make informed and open-minded decisions. Compromise is good as long as it is recognized that it is a compromise. …
 “Williams Bridges, in his book, Managing Transitions points out that before we can make a transition, we must leave our comfort zone, travel through a time of unsettledness, and then finally arrive at a new beginning. We go through times of mixed messages, one step forward and one step backwards, to finally arrive at a new beginning. I know that for most of us, the more we research the data available, the more easily we will realize a path that is clear. …
 “You have a choice and a voice in the future of our profession. I know you didn’t ask for this, but you are a veterinarian, this is your profession, and this is in front of you. You could make a difference.”

We Can All Make an Important Difference

We can all make a difference. My best hope is that I, too, can make a difference with this blog post. It will have been worth it if even a single guardian decides to run titers instead of re-vaccinating his or her dog, cat or horse. It will have been worth it if someone decides not to vaccinate a pet with health issues or a senior animal. It will have been worth it if guardians speak up to veterinarians who insist on re-vaccinating their pets. It will have been worth it if someone decides to switch from his or her veterinarian to another one who is more enlightened and current on the preponderance of evidence about how vaccinations have adversely affected the canine and feline populations.
Dr. Rogers called upon his fellow veterinarians to speak up, be open to change and stand courageously in some new truths. It can also be a call for all of us to be more courageous about standing up for what we believe to be the truth — even if it is unpopular and even if we are but a “lone voice in the wind.”
It takes that first lone voice to begin to create a symphonic chorus. It is sometimes not easy, but it is so important to speak your truth, especially if you know it will benefit others.
May we all summon up courage whenever needed to fearlessly stand in our truth to help make a positive difference in the world. And may we all always stand up to protect and defend our animals and provide them with the best possible health and the best possible lives that we can. When we know better, we certainly should do better.
With blessings, love and light,
Rev. Donna
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