ACVIM 2010 Forum– Poster: Vaccination and Immune-Mediated Disease

 Apparent Lack of Association between Primary Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia and Recent Vaccination in Dogs
A.A. Huang; J. Coe; G.E. Moore; J.C. Scott-Moncrieff

I’ve written about the proposed association of vaccination and immune-mediated diseases, in particular immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (destruction of red blood cells). For that disease, the evidence is contradictory, and in general it seems likely that very rare cases of immune-mediated disease are triggered by vaccination, but this is not a common or widespread problem, and the vast majority of cases occur from natural exposure to triggers in the environment, probably in dogs with a genetic susceptibility since there are breed predilections.

This study looked for an association between vaccination and immune-mediated thromboctopenia (ITP, the destruction of platelets, necessary for blood clotting). Looking back through medical records at dogs diagnosed with ITP and then comparing them to dogs of similar age, sex, and breed with other diseases, the authors did not find that vaccination increased the odds of developing ITP.

Again, all the usual caveats about small, retrospective, case-controlled studies apply, so these results cannot be viewed as the final word on the question. But even this qualified evidence is more reliable than the wild guesses, hunches, and clinical impressions of those who confidently blame vaccines for diseases like ITP.

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2 Responses to ACVIM 2010 Forum– Poster: Vaccination and Immune-Mediated Disease

  1. Claire Grove says:

    What are natural exposure to triggers in the environment?
    We are devastated that out 5 yr old female Norwegian Elkhound passed away on April 7. She had started with a low platlet count was given prednisone and mycophenalate

  2. skeptvet says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Unfortunately, almost anything can trigger an autoimmune reaction, and we don’t have any way to identify which of the thousands of things we are exposed to every day is the culprit in any individual case. Additionally, whatever triggers there are, of course, are experienced by all the individuals who don’t get the condition as well, since there is an element of individual susceptibility based on genetic makeup that we don’t understand very well either. Lots of questions, and unfortunately no simple answers.

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