Lack of association between repeated vaccination and thyroiditis in laboratory beagles

J. Catharine Scott-Moncrieff, Nita W. Glickman, Lawrence T. Glickman, Harm HogenEsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Background: Intensive vaccination protocols have been suggested as partially responsible for an increased prevalence of autoimmune diseases in dogs in recent years. The aim of this study was to determine whether repeated routine vaccination in dogs is associated with an increased prevalence of thyroiditis. Methodology/principal findings: We conducted a prospective experimental study with 20 healthy purpose-bred Beagles. Five dogs were vaccinated with a multivalent vaccine and a rabies vaccine. Five dogs received only the multivalent vaccine, and 5 dogs received only the rabies vaccine. Five dogs were unvaccinated controls. The multivalent vaccine was administered at 8, 10, 12, 16, 20, 26, and 52 weeks of age and every 6 months thereafter. The rabies vaccine was administered at 16 and 52 weeks of age and then once a year. Blood samples were collected 1 week before euthanasia for evaluation of thyroid profiles and measurement of antibodies directed against canine thyroglobulin. Dogs were euthanized at 5.5 years of age, and the thyroid glands were evaluated histopathologically. Thyroiditis was present in 8 of 20 (40%) dogs at postmortem examination. No association was found between a dog being vaccinated and the prevalence of thyroiditis at postmortem examination. However, the power of the study to detect such an association was low because of the unexpected high prevalence of thyroiditis in the unvaccinated control dogs. Thyroid function tests were abnormal in 2 of 8 dogs with thyroiditis but were normal in all dogs without thyroiditis. Conclusions/significance: There was no evidence to support an association between routine vaccination and thyroiditis at postmortem examination in beagle dogs after repeated vaccination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)818-821
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Thyroglobulin
  • Thyroid gland
  • Thyroiditis
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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