Dog's death prompts questions about pet vaccinaions

Like a good pet owner, Pat Wohrley followed her veterinarian's advice and took her dog in every year for vaccinations. Now she thinks the vaccinations, including a rabies vaccine that the city of Wichita requires yearly for dogs and cats, cut her dog's life short.

Sadie, a shepherd-setter mix, had to be euthanized in 2002 after she contracted an autoimmune disease that caused her body to attack its own red blood cells. Veterinarians at Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine told Wohrley they thought Sadie's illness was a "reaction from all the vaccines she'd been given throughout her life," Wohrley said.

Most dogs and cats get their yearly vaccinations and suffer little more than an annoying sting and maybe swelling at the injection site. But with a growing number of pets suffering vaccine-related reactions ranging from hives to potentially fatal tumors and autoimmune diseases, more pet owners -- and veterinarians -- are asking: How many vaccinations do pets really need?

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