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Thimerosal Concerns for Pets


Thimerosal Concerns for Pets

By Charlene Shirk
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- There are growing concerns over the use of Thimerosal in vaccines for both children and pets. The preservative is used to increase the shelf life of the vaccines in multi-dose vials. The controversy is over the amount of mercury in Thimerosal and questions over its safety.

"Every chemical and every drug does have a toxic side effect at some level. So the less of those types of ingredients you can keep in your system, the healthier you'll be." That's why Lynn Lamoureaux owns Pet World on San Jose Boulevard. It's a holistic store which sells natural and organic pet foods.

Lamoureux wants pet owners to know there is a risk out there when getting pets vaccinated. She is not advocating the refusal of vaccinations, she says she just wants pet owners to become educated about their choices.

Veterinarian "Dr. Skip Hightman says he's seen cases of animals having bad reactions to vaccines. "As far as anaphylactic reaction, cellulitis, sarcomas and many other problems and sometimes even death." Dr. Hightman's own cat died of cancer shortly after receiving a rabies vaccination. He says there is one company that's responded to concerns from veterinarians and taken Thimerosal out of its vaccine.

Merial one of the world's leading animal health company now produces a Thimerosal free rabies vaccine. Its website explains that due to the concerns over additives like Thimerosal used in human vaccines, the company wanted to offer its customers a Thimerosal free product. It goes on to list a number of other vaccines it offers that are also Thimerosal free.

Dr. Hightman says that this move at least offers pet owners an alternative until more is known. "Basically a lot more research needs to be done."

Some pet vaccinations are required by law. The requirements vary from state to state. Check with your veterinarian for more information.

Created: 3/2/2004 5:28:58 PM
Updated: 3/2/2004 8:54:20 PM
Edited by Charlene Shirk, Anchor
© 2004 First Coast News . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, or redistributed.

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