Annual dog vaccines may not be necessary

Once a year, Ronald Schultz checks the antibody levels in his dogs’ blood. Why? He says for proof that most annual vaccines are unnecessary. Schultz, professor and chair of pathobiological sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, has been studying the effectiveness of canine vaccines since the 1970s; he’s learned that immunity can last as long as a dog’s lifetime, which suggests that our “best friends” are being over-vaccinated. Based on his findings, a community of canine vaccine experts has developed new veterinary recommendations that could eliminate a dog’s need for annual shots. The guidelines appear in the March/April issue of Trends, the journal of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).

Feeling stressed can lower vaccine’s effectiveness

A person’s state of mind may influence the body’s response to a vaccine against meningitis C, suggests new research. The findings support previous research showing a link between psychological factors and antibody response to vaccines. The results of a broad survey revealed that a high level of perceived life stress, but not actual stress, was associated with low antibody levels. A low level of psychological well being – feeling anxious or under strain, for example – was also linked to low antibody levels.