Vaccination Ruminations – ViandPet
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Vaccination Ruminations

Posted by Scott Pollak on

By Glen Dupree DVM, Big Run Healing Arts – Big Run, PA

I do not personally vaccinate my pets, nor have I for many years. There are several reasons for this. From my perspective as a Homeopath, vaccines are among the leading contributors to the sycosis miasm. Some of the signs of sycosis are allergies, bladder disease (cystitis, crystals in the urine, chronic, and recurrent problems), behavior problems (rage, jealousy, fears, restlessness), itchy/draining/waxy ears, food intolerances, and inflamed bowels, bronchitis and asthma, arthritis, greasy hair coats, itching, and warts/growths. These symptoms probably sound familiar as they are becoming more prevalent in the pet population.

Another important influence on my decision to stop vaccinating were the references concerning the long-term side effects of vaccinations coupled with the history of low efficacy of most vaccines in the elimination or reduction of the incidence of given diseases in given populations.

A third realization that makes me question the validity of repeated vaccinations is the fact that the same technology and rationale used to develop human vaccines has been used in the development of animal vaccines. When was the last time you were vaccinated against a really major, life-threatening disease? In childhood? Do you get yearly booster vaccinations??? If we expect our immunity and protection to last this long, why do we expect our pets to only have one year long immunity?

I also have faith in the power of Homeopathy and correct nutrition to enhance and optimize wellness and true health. If we strive to support our pets nutritionally and to provide them with the optimal diet for health maintenance, we are not going to see the levels of either chronic, debilitating disease or acute, infectious disease that we tend to see in nutritionally compromised individuals. In the event that we are faced with a serious disease process, it is my belief that careful and correct Homeopathic prescribing will not only offer the patient the best opportunity for overcoming the disease, but also for becoming healthier and better able to resist disease in the future.

Okay, some of you may see this as a radical approach.

There are other options available between the extremes of no vaccines and relative over-vaccination.

On my scale, the next step below the no-vaccine protocol is basing the decision to re-vaccinate on the results of titer levels.

For the caregiver’s peace of mind, a blood sample can be submitted to the appropriate laboratory for measurement of specific antibodies (usually distemper and parvovirus in dogs, panleukopenia 'feline distemper' in cats). Titers offer a way of measuring the individual’s response to exposure. This has been extrapolated to give a relative measure of the protected-ness" of the patient (although the minimal "safe" antibody level varies considerably between labs and does not take into account the innate anemnestic or memory responses the body has from previous exposures, either via natural exposure or vaccination). Interpretation of titers is a complex subject that warrants another article to itself. However, once the titer level is measured, the caregiver can use that information to help determine if more vaccines are warranted (for their comfort if not for the pet’s protection).

Next, on my scale, is the use of Homeopathic nosodes.

The drawback to nosodes is the tendency to consider them very safe and thus use them like "harmless homeopathic vaccines". The rules for nosode use are the same as for the decision to use conventional vaccines - for use in healthy animals only. Overuse of nosodes (especially in the repeated higher potencies) can cause problems, as can the overuse of vaccines. If nosodes are used prudently and correctly, they may provide a safe alternative to conventional vaccinations.

Nosodes to specific diseases are most effective if they are used during periods of highest susceptibility or the time of exposure to the disease. Contact a trained veterinary Homeopath who is versed in the use of nosodes for more thoughts behind their application and a schedule of nosode use suitable for your situation.

This brings us to the limited use of conventional vaccines.

Current conventional medical references are beginning to advocate the use of a two-shot series for juvenile vaccination - one injection given before 12 weeks of age and another after 12 weeks of age - as well as the use of limited valence vaccines (not the vaccines that have everything including the kitchen sink included in one shot). There have also been major changes in yearly booster protocols, with many veterinary organizations and teaching and research institutions suggesting minimal vaccinations every three years in animals who have had previous vaccinations.

These modified vaccine schedules provide good options for breeders who are not comfortable with the heavy vaccination schedules currently used, but are not sure what environment their puppies will ultimately live in. They are also an option for folks who are not yet comfortable with the idea of no vaccinations at all.

Last, in my comfort zone, are the current multiple injection, polyvalent vaccine schedules.

If you do not feel comfortable reducing the use of vaccines, and if you feel it necessary to vaccinate for everything yearly, I would highly recommend finding a veterinary Homeopath who can help you and your pet past the imbalances that routinely arise from vaccine schedules of this type.

The use or avoidance of vaccines is an issue that is coming under close scrutiny from both the conventional and the alternative medical fields. There is no clear consensus on the best approach. It is to the benefit of our pet population, as a whole, that each caregiver spend time researching the options and arriving at the best answer for their individual situation, rather than passively accepting what has for so long been "conventional" wisdom.

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