A healthier way to vaccinate

Are vaccines really the best way to keep your pet protected from disease?  Rather than just relying on vaccines, it is important to look at what causes disease in the first place, and the natural healing response of the body.

A healthy immune system is key to optimal health.   The majority of the immune system resides in the intestinal tract, so keeping the gut lining healthy and maintaining a balanced microbiome is essential to preventing disease.  Proper nutrition is the most important element here, so feeding fresh, whole food ingredients is a must.  Additional support in the form of herbs and supplements may also provide value here, but this will vary from pet to pet.

Puppies and kittens get their initial disease protection from their mother’s milk in the form of antibodies she has generated.  The standard of care in veterinary medicine has been to start vaccinating at 6-8 weeks of age to build longer-term protection against disease.

The problem with vaccines, however, is that they are not given through a natural route of exposure.  This causes the immune system to sometimes react inappropriately, and often excessively,  causing inflammatory disease such as itching and diarrhea.  When given repeatedly, vaccines can lead to more serious autoimmune diseases, seizures and cancer. Over vaccinating at a young age can actually weaken the immune system, making it less effective at fighting disease in general.  This is the opposite of what we are trying to achieve.

The best way to grow a strong immune system is through natural exposure to disease.  Since we do not want our pets to get sick, what is the best alternative? Here is an outline of the protocol that I follow.  Of course, there may be modifications based on individual circumstances:

  1. Determine your pet’s vaccination history
  2. Determine the current level of immunity by doing a titer test.
  3. Consider your pet’s risk of exposure to the diseases that vaccines potentially protect against.
  4. Evaluate the overall health of your pet.  Only completely healthy pets should receive vaccinations.  In Colorado, a Rabies exemption is an option for pets with any form of disease.
  5. Check for upcoming or past medical treatments or procedures. Pets should never receive vaccines within 14 days of any anesthetic procedure.
  6. We consider legal requirements from your county and state, plus requirements from facilities such as daycare, grooming, and boarding

Based on the above, we will determine if vaccines are indicated.  If so, we implement the following safeguards:

  1. Only use single component (monovalent) vaccines
  2. Only give one vaccine at a time
  3. Do not vaccinate prior to 10 weeks of age
  4. Use titers to determine if your pet has responded to the vaccine and to monitor lasting immunity.
  5. Use Rabies exemptions for sick pets
  6. Understand the rules and regulations in your area regarding Rabies.
  7. Use supportive measures such as homeopathics to minimize vaccine side effects
  8. Assure that your pet is on an appropriate diet and life style to establish an appropriate immune response.

I have seen puppies, vaccinated at 10-12 weeks of age using this protocol, and followed with titer testing maintain a healthy immunity into their adult years.  This is with only one set of vaccines.  In my opinion, this is a HUGE advance in disease prevention – we are benefiting from the immunity provided by the vaccine without causing additional side effects.

Vaccines are not benign medicine, and over vaccinating can, indeed, cause harm to your pet.  Consider your pet’s risk and use only those vaccines that are indicated.  Remember that a strong immune system will be able to fight disease on its own, without the help of vaccines.

Do you know what is in a vaccination?


Do you know what is really in the vaccines that are given to your pet?  Vaccines are used to build immunity against certain diseases and will contain a modified or killed form of the organism.  Vaccines also contain other ingredients that may cause adverse reactions in your pet.  All vaccines will have preservatives of some sort.  These are typically either antibiotics and/or thimerosal, which is a mercury based preservative.  Vaccine companies and the FDA will consider these substances safe if present in certain low percentages.  The problem is that you never know if your pet is going to react to even a small amount of a chemical preservative or antibiotic.

I recommend that you ask what is in the vaccine that is being given your pet.  I have also found that package inserts are not complete.  In an effort to investigate the ingredients in certain rabies vaccines, I found that the package insert only listed gentamycin as a preservative.  When I contacted the company asking about any other ingredients, I was sent the MSDS (material safety and data sheet ) that report the presence of neomycin(another antibiotic) and thimerosal.  You can ask to see the MSDS sheets or find them your self online if you know the brand of vaccine that is to be used on your pet.

Remember – vaccines are not benign, and can cause reactions including skin disease, vomiting and diarrhea, autoimmune disease, seizures and cancer.  You have the right to be informed and deserve full disclosure of what your pet is receiving.

Nosodes – fact or fiction?

Nosodes are a type of homeopathic vaccination that will not cause the potential side-effects of traditional vaccines – see vaccine reactions .  Nosodes are made from exudates or discharges from an infected animal.  These substances are diluted to a degree such that there is no real biological substance remaining.  The reasons that nosodes cause fewer side-effects include:

1. There are no toxic preservatives or carriers that can cause the reactions seen when traditional vaccines are given. 

2. Nosodes are given on the mucous membranes of the mouth which is a more natural route of exposure than traditional vaccines, which are injected. 

When an unknown substance is injected into the body, there is often no established way for the body to deal with it at that level.  This causes unusual inflammatory reactions that can result in disease elsewhere in the body.  These reactions are not necessarily immediate, but can occur up to several months later, and recur on the anniversary date of the vaccine.

Nosodes do not generate a measurable antibody level in the blood, and can thus be a hard sell in traditional medicine.   There is, however, a great deal of clinical evidence from veterinarians that have used nosodes in clinical practice that they are equally as effective as vaccines, and most importantly, NO side effects.  I believe that a great deal of disease is caused by the overuse of vaccines in veterinary medicine.  If there is an alternative that is equally as effective, with no side effects, then it should be the treatment of choice.

Nosodes can also be used in the face of exposure, unlike traditional vaccines that are only effective if given in advance.  This is a huge advantage, especially in very contagious diseases such as kennel cough.

There are legal issues when it comes to vaccines, and Rabies is required by law in most places.  There is a homeopathic remedy called lyssin that can be given after the Rabies vaccine to help prevent adverse effects of the vaccine.

Nosodes can be a very effective alternative to traditional vaccinations.  A variety of different protocol have been used effectively, so it is best to treat your pet under the guidance of a holistic veterinarian.

Vaccine alternatives

A great deal of veterinary care for pets has been based on the use of vaccinations to prevent disease.  Traditional vaccines, however, can cause a wide range of side effects, some of them life-threatening.  I believe very strongly that vaccines should be given on a case-by-case basis, and their use based on an animal’s risk of exposure to a certain disease.  Pumping pets full of vaccines each year is not only unnecessary, but can cause debilitating disease in some individuals.

There are alternatives to vaccines called nosodes.  Nosodes are homeopathic dilutions of discharge or bodily fluids from a diseased animal.  They are so dilute that there is not any actual biological substance remaining, only the energy of the substance.  This energy is so potent that it will help stimulate the animal’s own energy to help fight disease. Nosodes have been shown to be very effective in preventing disease, or treating a pet after an exposure to disease in order to prevent the development of symptoms.

Nosodes may not be accepted by kennels, day care facilities, or groomers and are not recognized as a substitute for the Rabies vaccination as dictated by state law.  Although they have limitations, nosodes are a viable alternative to traditional vaccines in many cases.  For more information about nosodes and your pet, visit http://belleviewanimalclinic.com/homeopathy/vaccine-alternatives .

Do dogs get the flu?

Yes, dogs can get the flu, just as humans can.  There is a Canine influenza virus that was recognized in 2004.  The flu virus is very contagious and about 80% of dogs will get symptoms such as a runny nose, cough, sneeze, lethargy and fever.  20% of exposed dogs may not have any symptoms.  The fatality rate is very low in otherwise healthy individuals.  Most of the outbreaks are in shelters and kennels where dogs are confined under stressful conditions and exposed to many other dogs. The average house dog is at very low risk of even contracting the virus.

Should you vaccinate your dog against the flu?  The majority of flu cases in dogs will heal uneventfully, just as you and I do, in about 2 weeks.  There will be a few that progress to a more serious pneumonia that can become life-threatening.  The thing about vaccines is that they are not benign.  Vaccines can cause a number of side-effects and weaken the immune system rendering it ineffective to manage future disease exposures.  A healthy dog that goes through a disease exposure and recovery will build strength in its immune system and be better able to fight disease in the future.

It really is ok for your pet to get sick.  It is a part of life and will help your pet gain strength.  http://www.belleviewanimalclinic.com/vaccine-alternatives

Vaccine reactions or coincidence

Has your pet every gotten sick after a vaccination?  I see pets on a regular basis with conditions such as skin disease, diarrhea, behavioral issues and neurological disease such as seizures or vestibular disease that begin shortly after a vaccination is given.   These are often referred to as ‘idiopathic’ in nature,  which simply means that no direct cause has been identified.  I have seen enough of these cases that I believe firmly that there is a connection between some of the chronic and unexplained diseases that we see in animals and the vaccinations they receive.

Vaccinations are designed to stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies.  Unfortunately, this response can be misdirected towards certain issues of the body causing inflammatory disease that may present as itching, diarrhea or vomiting, changes in behavior and seizures among other symptoms.  This is often compounded in puppies who are given too many vaccines at a very young age, which can overwhelm an immature immune system.

For example, I recently saw a 12 week old puppy that had been itching badly for 1 month after receiving vaccinations at 6 and 8 weeks of age.  This pup had otherwise healthy skin with no signs of mites or other external causes of itching.  His itch was an internal reaction – just a coincidence that it started after the second puppy booster?  I think not!

In order to help your pet when symptoms are due to vaccine-related illness, it is important to support and heal the immune system and help the body to detoxify.  Conventional medicine that only treats symptoms will not eliminate the underlying cause and your pet will need to stay on these medications forever in order to keep the symptoms under control.

Holistic treatment alternatives can help clear the effects of the vaccination and aid in resolution of the symptoms.  Not only will your pet be more comfortable with resolution of its symptoms, but will go forward in a state of better health. http://www.belleviewanimalclinic.com/vaccine-alternatives