What are Tumor Related to Vaccinations?
Experts are now saying that annual vaccines are causing a tumor to develop in that exact spot within two or three weeks. One theory is that when your dog gets a vaccine, his body’s immune system will rush to that spot to fight off the invasion, and that inflammation can cause cells to become cancerous and spread, forming a tumor. Another idea is that getting vaccines every year (i.e. rabies) in the same spot is causing a buildup of medicine from the vaccine and scar tissue from repeated injections. Yet another group of experts claim the cause is from the aluminum the drug companies started including in the vaccines after the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) insisted that the vaccines not include live virus in its components. Regardless of the cause, vaccine associated sarcoma is a serious and fast-moving invasive cancer that usually does not have a good outcome unless caught very early. One thing to note, whether you suspect vaccines to cause cancer or not, it is important not to get these vaccines if your dog has cancer. You will have to work with your veterinarian to find other treatments to help your dog resist rabies and other diseases.
Tumor related to vaccination (vaccine associated sarcoma) is becoming more prevalent every year with vaccines more potent, readily available, and our ability to research and understand the effects of vaccines increasing. A sarcoma is a cancerous lesion or tumor made up of connective tissue cells that develops fast and spreads rapidly. Unfortunately, this type of cancer is resistant to treatment, tends to return, and is fatal in most cases.
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Symptoms of Tumor Related to Vaccinations in Dogs
Most dogs with vaccine associated sarcoma do not have any other symptoms other than a lump at the site of the injection that quickly grows and turns into a large ulcerated sore. It is when the cancer starts affecting other parts of the body that you will see these other symptoms:
- Fast heart rate
- Pale gums, lips, and eyes
- Extreme weakness
- Dark urine
- Blood in the stool or urine
Causes of Tumor Related to Vaccinations in Dogs
The cause of vaccine associated sarcoma is controversial, as some veterinarians say that the cancer is not caused by vaccines and others claim that they do. In addition, even the experts that claim vaccine associated sarcoma is caused by vaccines, there are several different reasons behind these claims. These claims are:
- Immune system turning on your dog’s own blood cells, causing cancer
- Buildup of medicine from vaccines in the same spot every year
- Scar tissue from so many needle sticks in the same spot
Diagnosis of Tumor Related to Vaccinations in Dogs
Inform the veterinarian about the symptoms that brought you to visit and that you think it may be caused by an immunization. While many veterinarians may not agree with vaccine associated sarcoma, the facts have shown that there is truth to the matter so they will try to determine if the immunization was the cause. However, a complete and comprehensive full body examination will be done first so the veterinarian can look for signs of any underlying illness that could be causing the symptoms you describe. Your dog’s weight, height, body temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiration rate will be documented and then the veterinarian will order some tests.
The diagnostic tests your veterinarian will perform are blood chemical panel, complete blood count (CBC), blood titers (antibody count), urinalysis, and blood coagulation (clotting) test. They may also do a Coomb’s test (direct antibody test) to determine which antibodies are attacking your dog’s red blood cells. However, the best test to diagnose vaccine associated sarcoma is a biopsy of the tumor. The veterinarian can do this by taking a swab of an open lesion, or with a fine needle biopsy, in which he inserts a thin needle into the tumor and removes cells to be examined under a microscope. Images will also be needed of the area where the tumor is present as well as a whole body MRI or CT scan to determine if the cancer has metastasized (spread). An ultrasound may also be done to find the edges of the tumor as another verification before treatment is done.
Treatment of Tumor Related to Vaccinations in Dogs
The most effective treatment of vaccine associated sarcoma is surgery to remove the tumor and adjacent tissues and lymph nodes if it has not spread to other vital organs. Your veterinarian may decide to do radiation treatment before surgery, after surgery, or both, depending on your dog’s health and age. Chemotherapy is not effective for this kind of cancer.
Recovery of Tumor Related to Vaccinations in Dogs
After surgery, the chances of your dog’s recovery is fair, depending on whether the veterinarian was able to remove all of the tumor and enough of the surrounding tissue. In many cases, the tumor will return, and the best choice at that point is usually just palliative treatment (pain medication and fluids) to make your dog more comfortable in the time he has left. It is best to speak with your regular veterinarian about how often to vaccinate your dog. In many cases, the veterinarian will recommend you only vaccinate your dog every three years, and to be sure to get your dog’s blood titer (antibody level) tested before any vaccines.
Tumor Related to Vaccinations Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
Took our 18 month old chocolate lab Mia to the vet for booster shots. Large lump/mass appeared at injection site a couple weeks later. Took her to the vet where fluid was drawn from the mass, showed to be clear, fatty fluid (no blood/infection present). Given anti-inflammatories/pain meds, with follow up in a week. ??
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My 10 1/2 year old Boston Terrier received a 3 year rabies vaccine in her right side, just above her hip. we noticed a week ago a lump developed which was hard and flat. We took her to the vet where they did a needle biopsy and CBC. They said CBC was good, and the biopsy came back with just indication of inflammation, no cancer, no cyst. After reading your article, I was wondering if tests come back inflammation, but it turns out to develop into a tumor anyway. How long do we go before we get this tested again if it doesn't go away?
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