by L.J. Hodek-Creapeau, Editor, Circkles.com
For as long as I live, I’ll never forget the day I went to look at a batch of Shar-Pei puppies from a local breeder. I’ll always remember how unusual that day was and how special the pup we brought home. The breeder told us it was only the second time the pups had ever been outside and they were all busy exploring the new, wonderful sights and smells in the yard, except for one. We had our hearts set on a female because our last Shar-Pei had been a female and was such an integral part of our family, we loved her dearly. As I sat down in the grass to watch the pups for a while, one of the male puppies, a small charcoal-colored pup, sat down right next to me and never left my side the entire time we were there, which I thought was highly unusual for a pup who should have been exploring all the new and exciting things like his brothers and sisters were. He sat right by my side as if he was saying, “I’m ready to go when you are.” When my husband asked me which one I thought we should take, I nodded at the pup sitting loyally at my side and said, “Well I think we have to take this one.”
He was as good as gold all the way home, which was an hour’s drive for him in a scary vehicle he had never experienced before. I tell everybody that the pup picked me that day, I didn’t pick him.
After we got him home, he quickly became the love of our lives. I remember my husband saying to me after just a couple days, “He’s going to break my heart isn’t he?” We didn’t know what to name him at first, until one day, we discovered he had a new talent. He would go to the top of the stairs and drop his tennis ball, then chase it as it bounced all the way down to the bottom. When my husband asked me if I had come up with a name for him yet I replied, “Well, he’s discovered gravity. I think we should name him after Sir Isaac Newton.” So Sir Isaac it was; Isaac for short.
Isaac was an extremely intelligent dog. You know the dogs you read about who perform heroic acts? Isaac proved to be one of them. We had just purchased a ranch in the country and one day I was desperately trying to pick between paint swatches I had just put on the siding of the house, and for some reason, Isaac was barking and barking, and despite my telling him to shut up, he wouldn’t. I assumed he was barking at our new neighbor who was riding his horse on the property next to ours, but it wasn’t like Isaac to just ignore my commands, he was a very well-trained dog and always obeyed. Because he persisted so adamantly in continuing to bark regardless of what I said to him, and he hadn’t moved from his spot for at least 20 minutes, barking the entire time, I decided to walk over to him to investigate the situation more thoroughly. That’s when I was finally able to see it: flames shooting up from a grass pile that I could not see from where I had been painting earlier. The fire had spread from one grass pile to another and jumped to the ground traveling quickly up the hill toward a thicket of very dry brush and pine trees. Luckily it was still within reach of my garden hose that just happened to be hooked up at the time. I grabbed it in a flash and started dousing the flames. The second I started putting the fire out, Isaac quit barking. Meanwhile, my neighbor had seen the flames from where he was and came running over to help, but seeing I had it under control, just hung out for a while to make sure I didn’t require any further assistance. After a few minutes he looked at me and asked, “What made you look over this way?” as it was a good distance from the house and in a very secluded area that nobody could see from their homes. Pausing to take the time to realize the potential disaster that might have befallen our entire neighborhood, I pointed at Isaac with my head so I could keep soaking the burn area and astonishingly replied, “He did.” Isaac had obviously not been barking at the neighbor since he was now standing right in front of us and Isaac was completely quiet, and in fact, not even interested in the neighbor one bit. I spent the rest of the day in awe because I realized that if Isaac had not been barking at the flames and alerted me to them, the entire canyon would have gone up in flames before I was even aware what was going on. We live in a very dry, windy area and it doesn’t take much for a fire to spread quickly and get out of control. He saved us all from a very threatening potential catastrophe. After I had put the fire out, Isaac walked back to the house and acted like nothing ever happened and it was life as usual. After that, I had a new-found appreciation for animal intuition.
Isaac also had a habit of always putting his head in my lap and looking up at me with those sad, puppy-dog eyes whenever I was sick: as if he just knew when I wasn’t feeling well. I have had dogs my entire life, but I never connected with any animal the way I did Isaac. He seemed to be able to read my mind and he was the best dog I ever had.
We had seven short, wonderful years with Isaac until that horrific night that is burned in my memory forever. I was getting ready for bed when my husband came running frantically into the bedroom and yelled, “There’s something wrong with Isaac!” I threw a shirt on and rushed out to the living room to find Isaac foaming at the mouth and acting very strange. Living in the country, we immediately thought rabies, even though we had him vaccinated for it. I didn’t know what was going on with him or what to do at 10 o’clock at night when all the vet offices were closed, so I shoed him outside. The second he stepped out onto the sun deck he collapsed, hitting his head on a wooden planter on the way down. He laid there convulsing uncontrollably for about a minute and a half, then got up and started to run frantically around and around the house in circles. It was the most bizarre behavior I had ever seen. We tried to stop him from running, to calm him down, or just call him over to us because it was dark outside and we didn’t want him to run off, but he ignored us and kept frantically running in circles around the house. Every once in a while when I would say his name, he would stop and look at me, but then continue to run as fast as he could. We finally decided we had better get him back inside so he didn’t run off where we would never see him in the pitch blackness of night. We tried to get him to run into the garage, which we only accomplished after about 2 hours of coaxing. Once inside, he was still acting very strange and like he didn’t recognize us or even his name. My husband and I looked at each other dumbfounded. We agreed that we should somehow try to get him into a pet taxi so we could take him to the vet. His mouth was now full of foam and he had inhaled it into his lungs, I was afraid he was going to choke to death or aspirate so much of it into his lungs he would stop breathing. It was evident we had to take him to a 24 hour emergency vet, but we couldn’t persuade him to get into a pet taxi and we didn’t want to frighten him more than he already was – since he definitely was not himself, we didn’t trust him not to bite or attack us out of fear. We finally called our neighbor – who’s a vet- around midnight, and she and her husband came over to our house to help us try to get Isaac into the pet taxi. The four of us finally managed it after about 45 minutes, and off to the vet we flew. On the way, Isaac kept having seizures and aspirating the foam into his lungs. It was the longest 35 minute ride of my life and I was sure he wouldn’t even make it to the vet’s clinic. Once there, we stayed until 2 a.m before deciding there was nothing more we could do but go back home. The next morning, the vet told us Isaac had had 6 seizures throughout the entire night until they sedated him. We were stunned and shocked to say the least because this all struck without any warning or previous symptoms. Isaac had always been perfectly healthy, playful, energetic, and ready to play frisbee 24/7.
After spending $7,000 on MRIs and testing over the next week, and seeing several different vets, we were given the devastating news that Isaac had GME. Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME) is a progressive, inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS) of dogs. The vet showed us Isaac’s X-rays and all the inflammation of the lining surrounding his brain and I broke down in tears. I knew the prognosis was not good and I knew the poor little guy had to be in a great deal of pain. They pumped him full of meds and sent us home. Over the course of the next few weeks, we got several second opinions. Some vets said he would live maybe a year, some said he could live 2-3 years or the rest of his life on medication. We gave Isaac the best medical care money could buy, but after he was on the meds for a couple months, we realized with all the side effects, such as the staggering and lethargy, that he was not the same dog at all and his quality of life had greatly diminished. The meds he was on had side effects that were almost as bad as the GME, such as possible liver damage and organ problems, so I started looking into some natural treatments so we could maybe get the beloved Isaac that we knew and loved back. I spent every day for the next 2-3 months learning everything I could about GME and natural remedies for inflammation. We decided to try and wean Isaac off the meds and try some alternative remedies.
In just a matter of days, things were looking up. Once the meds got out of his system, we had our old Isaac again. He was running and playing and I had my walking buddy back. We were just starting to believe we were onto something more positive when disaster struck: a night that is etched in my brain forever and still brings tears to my eyes 2 years later and will for the rest of my life. That night while watching t.v., Isaac went into seizures again: two of them back to back and they were pretty severe. Any seizure lasting for longer than a minute and a half has the potential to cause permanent brain damage and these seizures were both about a minute and a half to two minutes in duration. When Isaac finally came out of the second one, we realized that it had blinded him. It was obvious that he was extremely frightened having been instantly thrown into a world of darkness with no idea of what was happening to him. Every time in the past that I had to watch him convulsing uncontrollably and knowing there was nothing I could do for him, then seeing the immense fear in his face afterward, I felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest. Then when I realized that the last one had blinded him and he was even more scared, I tried everything I could to comfort him by just talking to him so he knew we were still in the room with him and he wasn’t alone. He would whine every time it got quiet in the house and he didn’t know where we were. My heart sank into the pit of my stomach because I knew we were not doing him a favor by having him continue to go through this. My husband was adamant we should have him put to sleep to end his suffering. I was not so easily convinced at first, but later believed I was probably holding onto false hope created by the vets, and the best thing to do for Isaac was to end his fear and suffering. My husband called a vet who would come directly to the house to euthanize pets.
I was trying to convince myself we were doing what was best for Isaac because he was so scared I could see it in his face. When I finally came to terms with our decision to end his life, I thought it would be quick and painless, and over with in a matter of just a few minutes. I was wrong. My horror was just beginning. My husband and I decided to leave the room while the vet was administering the drugs to euthanize Isaac because we were both afraid we would chicken-out and not go through with it; me especially. We went into the bedroom and closed the door, but I could still hear Isaac whining for us. I couldn’t bear it. His cries got louder and louder and more constant the longer we were away from him, and I knew he was crying out for me, because I was his caretaker – the one he always came to whenever he got hurt – and I couldn’t be there for him during the scariest thing he had ever experienced because I couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t bear listening to his constant cries, which were going on forever, so I went into the bathroom and turned on the exhaust fan to try and drown him out, but I could still hear him. I finally lost it and crumpled to the floor sobbing with all my heart because he was crying for me and I couldn’t help him or comfort him in his hour of fear and darkness. I never felt such anguish in my life. My husband and I never had kids, so Isaac was like our son to us. He went everywhere with me. I worked from home, so Isaac was my constant companion and I felt like I was letting him down and betraying him terribly by not being there for him. It took 45 minutes for the drugs to finally kick in and for it to all be over with. The longest, most horrific 45 minutes of my life and an event that will never leave my mind for as long as I live. I will never get the sound of his cries out of my head; they are etched there forever along with the memories of that night.
The vet who came to euthanize Isaac said that animals who become prone to seizures will have a very difficult time being euthanized because the procedure itself will cause them to go into seizures again: a fact I wish I would have known beforehand, because I would certainly have put him back on the anti-seizure meds even if just temporarily to make the euthanasia easier for him. But the vet didn’t tell us this information until after the procedure was done and we all had suffered through the devastating and scarring event. This was very wrong on her part; she should have warned us, but said nothing until after the fact.
After Isaac’s death, I continued my research on GME and pet vaccines and was determined to find a way to prevent this, if at all possible, from happening to anybody else’s beloved pet. What I learned about the disease only sickened me further the day I finally had enough studies, evidence and facts to determine that all of this had happened because of an intranasal Bordetella vaccine we had to give Isaac when we decided to board him in a kennel a few months earlier so we could go on vacation. It’s required by law that all pet boarding facilities force pet owner to have their dogs vaccinated against Bordetella, otherwise known as Kennel Cough, or they will not accept them for boarding, even though the disease itself is not life threatening, is equivalent to the common cold for humans and usually can be cleared up on its own with proper care. So of course, by law, we had to have it done so we could leave Isaac in a kennel while we were on vacation. Later I found concrete studies from prominent sources such as universities and other vets which stated that vaccines were proven to cause seizures in some cases. Isaac developed his first seizure within just 3 weeks of being vaccinated – the time frame the studies noted was typical for symptoms of a vaccine reaction to occur. The vaccine also gave him kennel cough. He developed a cough about 3 weeks after the vaccine and it continued for a couple months. I had a similar reaction to flu vaccines a few years ago, and when I mentioned to the nurse that flu shots gave me the flu, she told me I should not get the vaccination because I was having a reaction to it. Isaac had the same reaction to the Bordetella vaccine in that it gave him Kennel Cough. The more I dug into the adverse reactions dogs can have to vaccines, the sicker I became in the pit of my stomach as I realized that we had unknowingly caused all of Isaac’s suffering and pain by following state regulations, and furthermore, that the veterinary profession is fully aware of the dangers of pet vaccines and they never disclosed any such information to us. I was outraged!
I have since met and spoken with many, many other experts, researchers, pet professionals and owners who have experienced the same thing that happened to Isaac. Vaccine reactions are not as rare as the medical profession would have us believe, but have happened to literally hundreds of thousands of pets and their owners. Because many reactions go unreported, or manifest in a way that can’t be directly linked to a vaccine, the vaccine manufacturers and vets have an easy way to avoid being held accountable for not giving disclosure on what they know to be true about vaccines. Merck Pharmaceuticals (the largest U.S vaccine manufacturer) admits in their own vaccine manual (which is published online for anyone to read, but most people don’t, the link is below) that their own research proves vaccines can cause brain damage and seizures in some cases. I also know now that vets will call anything that causes inflammation of the brain in dogs, even a reaction to a vaccine, GME. I was even further outraged that the only treatment for this condition is antibiotics which Isaac’s vets refused to put him on. I came right out and asked them about putting him on antibiotics and they said it wouldn’t do any good. Yet Merck claims antibiotics are the best treatment for “infections” caused by vaccines. We took Isaac to several different vets and all they would do was give him anti-inflammatories and pain killers that only addressed his symptoms and didn’t treat his condition one bit, which is why he continued to get worse and why they told us he would have to be on meds for the rest of his life – which I also later found out through my own research was not true. The most devastating part of this whole ordeal was finding out after the vets told me there was no cure for GME and Isaac would suffer for the rest of his life, that if they had only administered antibiotics, Isaac would probably have completely recovered in just a few months. But we believed the vet’s lies that GME was not curable and had Isaac euthanized. A perfectly good, wonderful, otherwise healthy dog had his life ended prematurely because the veterinary profession refused to be honest with us for fear of a lawsuit.
Looking back after a few weeks, I remembered telling the vets specifically that Isaac had just had a vaccine 3 weeks earlier and asked them if that could be the cause of Isaac’s sudden seizures. The vet stood right in front of me and said it was probably NOT the cause. However, the second I mentioned this information to the vet, his student receptionist, who was in ear-shot, suddenly dropped what she was doing and shot a startled and surprised look at me. The alarmed look on her face should have been all the evidence I needed that there was something to my concerns about the vaccine and that the vet was standing in front of me lying to my face. At the time, I took the vet at his word, I realize now that was a huge mistake on my part; I should have listened to my gut instincts and all the research I had been doing.
The Merck manual only covers human reactions to vaccines, but Purdue University conducted a study in 2011 which also confirmed that dogs develop autoimmune diseases from vaccines. The Purdue study is not completely applicable to all pets however, because they only used puppies for test subjects not older dogs that have received multiple vaccinations and are even more likely to have a reaction to continual vaccinations. In spite of the lack of adequate test subjects however, the Purdue study confirmed that vaccines are linked to extreme inflammation in pets that can manifest in many different ways, and autoimmune diseases are highly likely and are re-triggered every time the animal is re-exposed to the virus/vaccine. Even their puppy test subjects developed autoimmune diseases. There is also an on-going study conducted since 1970 by a veterinarian in Wisconsin named Dr. Shultz which confirms that we are over-vaccinating our pets, and it is not necessary to vaccinate every year for many illnesses, and some need not be vaccinated for at all, such as Bordetella. Pets are much more heavily vaccinated than humans are and in 90% of the cases, unnecessarily.
“The Merck Manual (the largest-selling medical textbook) defines encephalitis (brain inflammation) as occurring when ‘A virus or vaccine triggers a reaction that makes the immune system attack brain tissue (an autoimmune reaction.’ Anyone who studies the FDA Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) will surely notice many thousands of reports of rapid-onset encephalitis after vaccination, including many with Merck vaccines.
My research over the years since Isaac’s death has confirmed my worst fears: that the Bordetella vaccine caused his “GME” or brain inflammation as admitted by many research studies and Merck themselves. The inflammation caused by vaccines can manifest in different ways in different people and animals: such as GME (encephalitis), seizures, arthritis-type inflammation particularly along the spine, severe allergic reactions, cancer has been noted in cats at the injection site etc. Are pet vaccines shortening the lives of our pets as well? They are certainly being proven as studies are conducted to cause many severe health problems and lead to seizures, comas and death.
Until we unite to bring about change in this matter, many more pet owners and the companions they love will suffer the consequences. I am literally sick to my very core that I was not educated enough to the dangers of vaccines before this all happened, and moreover, that I trusted the vets over my own instincts which kept telling me the logical reason for Isaac’s sudden seizures could only be the vaccine. My ignorance and trust in the veterinary profession caused all the pain and suffering this wonderful little dog had to endure. If I had been educated in the least about this danger, I would have found any way possible to insure Isaac’s safety. He deserved so much better than the way he went out of this world. He deserved to live a happy, healthy life free from illness and fear perpetrated by the greed of the veterinary profession – those he should have been able to trust his health with.
No pet and no pet owner should ever have to experience the hurtful devastation my family did. The veterinary profession loves to use scare tactics to coerce pet owners into getting unnecessary vaccinations. Help us to educate other pet owners by “sharing” this page and spreading this information and Isaac’s Story. Since you have read this far, I want to thank you, and Isaac would thank you, for your sincere desire to educate yourself and others on this tragedy in order to bring about change. And the next time you go to your vet, demand full disclosure and don’t settle for anything less. If you think they are lying to you, go elsewhere and keep looking for a vet you can trust. There are a few out there who care more for animal welfare than money. But, don’t just take their word for it, do your own research and educate yourself. Stand up for your pets, you are the only one they can trust.
The fact that there has been such a dramatic increase in the number of adverse reactions to vaccines in both pets and people in recent years tells us something is drastically wrong here. The purpose of this page is to increase awareness regarding the need for more thorough research in this area. Isaac’s Story explains why it’s so necessary for pets and their owners to be educated on the issue, but it’s also crucial that we determine if vaccines are indeed linked to autism in children. Government institutions and vaccine manufacturers don’t want the public to know there’s a problem for fear of lawsuits, so they will only take their research so far and they certainly won’t disclose any incriminating findings. To find the truth, we need to support independent studies and circulate awareness among the public. Until there is enough public awareness and outcries to bring about change, it will not happen.
We also want to make it clear that we are not against vaccination entirely- some of it is necessary. We are against the abuse and overuse of vaccines by vaccinating for illnesses that are not absolutely necessary and vaccinating far more often than is necessary, which leads to an increased risk for adverse reactions and fatalities. Vaccinations should not be used for avoiding the fact that none of us like to be sick, such as vaccinating for the flu, which most people can overcome with proper care. And in the case of pets, the Bordetella vaccine is completely unnecessary and is a very good example of the abuse of vaccines. Pets are vaccinated far more than humans and often unnecessarily, and are experiencing severe health problems due to it which is a blatant abuse by the veterinary profession.
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http://www.news.wisc.edu/8413 (Dr. Schulz Study.)
http://www.whale.to/vaccine/adjuvants.html (specifically mentions adverse reactions to Bordetella.)
http://www.whale.to/vaccine/blaylock12.html (Very interesting findings on vaccine fraud by a British PhD.)
More on how unnecessary, ineffective, and fraudulent the Bordetella vaccine is: http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/bordatella-vaccination-dogs/
Video from the 2008 University of Calgary Study on the effects of Mercury on the brain. This applies to pets and humans.