I recently received this email:

My 5 month old 8lb Cavapoo just went to the vet. I am a new dog owner, I’ve never had an animal and I apparently made the mistake of just trusting my vet. During that one visit they gave her Nextguard chew, a heartworm chew, a lepto shot, rabies, distemper, de-worming, bordatella, and lyme vaccine. She was very sick throwing up and diarrhea over the next week.  I’ve been told … that my dog is going to die and I’m freaking out and can’t stop crying. 

I agree with the owner; I can’t stop crying. This should never have happened to her or her dog. This is in NO WAY the fault of the owner. This is a new owner who had trust in the educated individual on the opposite side of the exam room table.

I do not want to bash veterinarians – we have enough problems with high suicide rates and criticism from owners. But I DO want veterinarians to stop and think. Does it make ANY sense to give an 8 pound dog over ten vaccines at one time? (Lepto is a 4-way, distemper is at least a 3-way, bordetella is 2-4 ingredients.) On top of that three different chemical combinations (Nexgard, heartworm chew, de-worming) were given at the same time. TO AN 8 POUND DOG!

Never mind the fact that I think oral flea and tick insecticides contain some of the most toxic ingredients we have ever given our dogs. Just the fact that so many chemicals were given together makes me cringe.

I work diligently every single day to educate pet owners so this sort of damage is not perpetrated on their pets. My question: How do we reach the veterinarians? How do we change their education to support a common sense approach to medicine? How do we get them to understand that vaccinations come with risks including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, seizures, and anaphylaxis? Do physicians give ten vaccinations at one time to infants and children? (apparently they do and I’m just naive) Would we give oral insecticides and parasite-killing medications to our children?

I cannot fault this owner. It’s easy to blame her and say she should have known better. But HOW WOULD SHE KNOW BETTER? She trusted the professional. And I believe this professional made a grave error giving all these injections and chemicals together. It takes an army to make changes. It’s time for pet owners to be armed with knowledge. Please help me educate them so they do not have to go through the anguish this owner is suffering. I pray her dog will be okay. Please hold her in your thoughts and send her good energy.

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