Autoimmune diseases create a reaction within the body and directs the immune system to attack its' own tissues. In response to a trigger, the immune system will begin producing antibodies that instead of fighting infections, attack the body's own tissues. Common examples of autoimmune disease in dogs include hypothyroidism, allergies, skin diesease, lupus and vasculitis
According to Dr. Becker, DVM, “Similar to humans, autoimmune disorders in dogs can happen suddenly. But what's different is the condition is just recently being heavily researched in dogs because they're dying from it (read more here.)
Research suggests a correlation between over-vaccination and autoimmune disease.
Further, Dr. Becker states, "An overly stimulated immune system, which is both the goal and result of vaccines, can set the stage for disorders in which the immune system mistakes the body’s own organs for foreign invaders, and attacks them. Autoimmune diseases can affect a wide variety of tissues in the body, including blood, joints and muscles, nervous system, thyroid, adrenal glands, kidneys, liver, bowel, reproductive organs, eyes, skin and mucous membranes."
While a safe, individualized vaccination program is important for every pet, research shows that dogs and cats absolutely do not require annual re-vaccinations to keep them protected from disease.
What can you do?
As a pet parent, please ask your vet to do a titer test before administering any vaccine. A titer test is a simple blood test that will measure antibody levels and determine if your animal is sufficiently protected from whatever disease, which they probably are if they had routine puppy vaccinations.