Are yearly dog vaccinations really necessary?

My Italian Greyhound Daisy (3 years old) had her first allergic reaction to her vaccinations last year. She swelled up facially and through her paws and an emergency trip back to the vet was required. She was given Benadryl and one other substance by injection and these did the trick.

This year I was all the wiser and warned the vet ahead of time. He gave her Benadryl by injection BEFORE the vaccines were administered and she seemed fine until about 4 hours after the shots. She then began the same reaction with her face swollen, only this time added hives (and red wheels) all over her body. The dog threw up every few hours throughout the day and night. It was pretty awful but after a long night of oral Benadryl, sugar water, a bit of Tums, and some plain rice and chicken, I managed to get Daisy back to her old self.

I don't want it to happen again. Are vaccinations really necessary?Can I apply for immunity? Is there anything else that can be given to avoid this reaction?

Asked by Member 796708 on Jan 25th 2009 Tagged allergies, reactions, vaccinations in Vaccinations
Report this question Get this question's RSS feed Send this question to a friend


  • Cast your vote for which answer you think is best!



No, annual vaccines are NOT necessary.

By law, the only vaccine that you are required to give to your dog is the rabies vaccine. It is also the only vaccine that HAS to be administered by a licensed veterinarian. The laws vary by region, some places require rabies annually, some will let you get the shot every three years. If you have a dog with known health issues or vaccine reactions, you can often get a waiver from the vet exempting you from doing the rabies vaccine, too.

The other vaccines do NOT need to be redone annually as long as there are still antibodies present, since you can't create "more" immunity by vaccinating repeatedly. You can instead do "titers". Titering refers to drawing blood, sending it to the lab to read the amount of antibodies present. If they are acceptable, you don't need to revaccinate. It *is* more expensive than shots, though.

If your vet still forces "annual" vaccines, find a vet who's kept up with research.

Abby answered on 1/25/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 5 Report this answer

Bam-Bam, CGC

There is something called a titer that can be done to test the levels of antibodies and determine whether vaccines are really necessary! I would definitely look into before any more vaccines are given!

Bam-Bam, CGC answered on 1/25/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 3 Report this answer


No, annual vaccinations are not necessary! As a matter of fact they are detrimental to the long term health of your beloved canine. Your Daisy sounds like a perfect candidate for developing allergies! Check out Dogboard member Kris L. Christine's post at and discover the truth. Every three years is the recommended vaccination schedule according to the American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines.

Stella answered on 1/25/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Ch. Aspen CGC

I would speak with your vet to make sure it is safe for your dog to get vaccinations first of all but then as far as yearly vaccines I know a lot of people have recently started doing them every 3 years like the Rabies. I personally have started doing DHLPP booster shots every 3 years along with my dogs' Rabies boosters because over-vaccination has become a huge concern with many owners/breeders. Look at the whole claim about children who have been over vaccinated who then become autistic. It's just something to think about! Also since your dog doesn't handle the shots well it would most likely be in her best interest to do the boosters every 3 years rather than every 1. Again, I would ask your vet to make sure he/she agrees. My vet is very supportive of the every 3 years on the DHLPP booster and highly promotes it in her practice though.

Ch. Aspen CGC answered on 1/25/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 3 Report this answer


There is an interesting article on veterinary vaccines which you can read in its entirety at the link below.

Are Our Pets Being Overvaccinated, by Melissa Burden, The Press

(Dr. W. Jean Dodds) “But there is really no breed that is not at risk,” she said. The only vaccination needed, she asserts, is the rabies vaccine because it is legally required. Dogs’ and cats’ immune systems mature fully at 6 months old, she explained. If canine distemper, feline distemper and parvovirus vaccines are given after 6 months, a pet has immunity for the rest of its life.

(Dr. Robert Rogers) “Dogs and cats no longer need to be vaccinated against distemper, parvo, and feline leukemia every year,” Rogers said. “Once the initial series of puppy or kitten vaccinations and first annual vaccinations are completed, immunity…persists for life. Not only are annual boosters for parvo and distemper unnecessary, they subject the pet to the potential risk of adverse reactions, he added.

Member 563712 answered on 3/21/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Vaccination is a proven preventative measure to many severe dog diseases, these diseases can cause a dog to experience a miserable death. Continue or expand your use of quality forums such as this one to educate yourself on the various vaccine regimens. I am involved in research on dog health at a quality dog health research organization.

Member 989389 answered on 5/29/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


It's time to wake up pet owners. Veterinarians are supposed to give owners FULL disclosure regarding ALL possible side effects of vaccines - including death. If you are not getting these before ANY vaccine administered by a vet, you should turn around and walk out. Rabies is the ONLY one required by law and that varies from state to state. Side effects of vaccines include injection site sarcomas, auto-immune disease, hyper-sensitivity to foods, mood changes, personality changes, leg amputation and even death. GET EDUCATED NOW: Over-vaccination is th leading cause of disease and illness in animals - including death. Any decision to vaccinate a sick, pregnant, nursing, old, already compromised animal that has had PREVIOIUS reactions is based upon ignorance and fear. Find out WHAT a TITER test is today to save your pet's life tomorrow. If you wouldn't do it to your child - why do it to your pet? Visit and and and

Member 994202 answered on 6/25/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


"Over-vaccination is th leading cause of disease and illness in animals -" Anyone who says this has never worked at veterinary clinic/hospital. Most deaths are from hit by cars and for puppies many, many die from vaccine preventable diseases like parvo and distemper. I agree that some adult dogs and cats have less exposure to diseases covered in vaccines and their anti-body titers can be sufficient to protect them. Most infectious diseases are obviously spread by other pets in their environment. If your adult dog or cat stays in its own yard or house 99% of the time, then just the rabies vaccine is needed in a time period required by your state. Rabid wild animals are the number one exposure for your pet [for rabies obviously]; so, keep that in mind when you decide on your pet's rabies vaccines. Wild animals also die from distemper themselves and most of the spread of rabies in Africa is spread by pet dogs. So, vaccinating you pet can be helpful to all animals as well as humans.

Joey answered on 9/7/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


i always like to read some good and informative
blogs and this blog is also so good and helpful.
thanks for taking time to discus this topic..
Craigslist Hollywood

Member 1030307 answered on 4/12/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Absolutely not, particularly when your dog has already shown severe acute reactions to the vaccines.

A French study proved that viral vaccines in dogs (aka NOT things like Lyme, Lepto, etc) are good for a minimum of 7 years. It's likely a lifetime immunity.

I would not give this dog another vaccine again given her history of vaccine reactions unless you are legally required to (like rabies) and I would ask your vet to see if you can get an exemption for that.

Samson answered on 5/2/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here keep up the good work.
<a href=" Departments In Islamabad</a>

Member 1059630 answered on 9/28/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer