I have received several emails from bird hunters asking of my opinion on certain bird dog immunizations including the Rattlesnake vaccine by Red Rock Biologics. I have not vaccinated my dogs with this vaccine because of the USDA conditional license status this vaccine carries (If you read the bottom line on the photo which reads, “This product license is conditional. Efficacy and potency have NOT been fully demonstrated.”). I think the concept is great, but I’d need to see numerous cases/studies that proved the mettle of this vaccine before I’d inoculate my partners with it.
This brings me to the point of free thinking…before running out to get the latest H1N1 (or whatever other vaccine…medicine…food…product…etc) immunization for ourselves…think about the motivation behind the product! It’s a gazillion dollar industry!!!!!!
Furthermore…find a veterinarian who truly understands bird dogs and is open to freethinking and questioning! Ask loads of questions.
I’m off the soapbox…4 more months ’til grouse season!
Below is an excerpt from the AVMA’s (Full Article Click Here) Vaccination Principles:
Vaccine Licensing and Labeling:
Biological agents are regulated by USDA, not FDA, and thus are not subject to FDA regulations that address extra label use. It is generally recommended to follow label instructions, however, in most cases veterinarians may legally use vaccines in a discretionary manner if medically justified and in compliance with State/Federal restrictions that apply.
USDA licensing at the full approval level provides a baseline standard for efficacy, safety, purity, and potency, but the clinical need (relevancy) or usefulness (applicability) of a product may not be completely assured by the licensing process. In some instances, the number of animals used in pre-license safety testing might be inadequate to identify rare but relevant safety concerns. In other instances, product efficacy and/or safety can be impacted by the use of concurrent therapeutic approaches that may not be cited as a contraindication or warning on the product label.
The USDA must approve labels for biological products. However, current labels frequently contain revaccination interval recommendations based on historical precedence and acceptance rather than specific duration of immunity data; consequently, some product labels may fail to adequately inform practitioners about optimal revaccination and long-term use of a product. Newer products and some older products with updated labels have revaccination recommendations based on data on file with USDA.
Labels on licensed vaccines make different claims and should be carefully studied when evaluating products. Claims may, for example, declare the product (a) prevents infection, (b) prevents disease, (c) aids in disease prevention, (d) aids in disease control (reduce disease severity, duration, and/or onset), or (e) other (control of infectiousness through reduction of pathogen colonization and/or shedding in animals). Each of these claims represents a different level of performance outcome that might be important in selection of a specific vaccine.
USDA approved products, under conditional licensure, have demonstrated host-animal safety and a reasonable expectation of efficacy. Autogenous vaccine regulations do not require confirmation of 1) efficacy, 2) potency correlated to efficacy; or 3) host-animal safety to the USDA prior to product licensure and use.