Are we immunizing our animals and placing them at risk? Do annual vaccinations really work? There seems to be quite a debate going on.
The next time you find that flashy postcard from your vet in your mailbox reminding you of all the shots your dog is due for…STOP. Read the information posted here and decide for yourself if your pet really needs that booster shot.
These are just some of the reactions that vaccinations have been proven to cause:
-Allergic skin reactions - Joint swelling and/or lameness - Loss of energy and stamina - Cornea ulcers - Yeast infections in the ears - Stomach and digestion problems - Hives - Seizures - Weight loss - Epilepsy - Addison's disease - Cancer - Autoimmune Thyroiditis - Inflammatory Bowel Disease - Liver and kidney failure - Systemic Lupus Erythematosus - Autoimmune diseases - Encephalitis
A new term for reactions to vaccinations is called vaccinosis. It is thought that one reason these symptoms may occur is due to the immune suppression brought on by vaccinations. Some dogs react to the suspension in the vaccine, rather than the actual killed virus itself. There are several things a pet owner can do to exercise caution with vaccinations. These include:
- Do not give all vaccinations at once (such as giving rabies at the same time one gives other shots)
- Give shots separately, rather than combination boosters
- Never give a dog a vaccination if they are sick, have a current health problem or at the time of surgery or other physical or emotional stress
- Avoid modified live vaccinations
- Avoid vaccinating older dogs
- Consider not giving vaccinations for conditions that are not life threatening, such as kennel cough.
- Giving shots less frequently, as your local regulations permit
- Waiting at least a month between shots for puppies, to give their immune systems a chance to recover from the first shot
- Do not give heart worm preventative or worm your pet at the same time you vaccinate. Do these a few weeks apart, and always have your vet check the stool before worming
Titers are a test to measure your dog's antibody levels to specific diseases. This can indicate your dog's immunity to the disease. It is done with a blood test by your veterinarian. The results can let you know if your dog needs another vaccine, and also how effective the prior vaccinations have been. For information, you can have your vet get in touch with Dr. Dodds at (310) 828-4804. The titers run about $20 dollars each, and the blood work can be sent directly to her lab in California. The two most recommended are for parvo and distemper.
Things That Can Be Done to Protect Your Dog Before Vaccinating
The idea of a fresh food diet just can't be stressed enough to naturally boost your dog's immune system and keep at their healthiest! Even if the fresh food is foreign to you, it can as easy as adding some whole milk yogurt, canned mackerel or salmon, raw eggs or lightly scrambled and ground hamburger or chicken. Food that has not been cooked or processed has a much better quality of vitamins and minerals, and help enhance your dog's immune system. Since processed dog food is already high in grains and fiber, concentrate on adding more animal protein and fat. Salmon oil is also helpful to regulate the immune system and help the skin and coat. Antioxidants are extremely helpful to keep the dog's system strong and should include vitamin C, vitamin E, B complex and a blend of enzymes and acidolphilus.
A holistic treatment to protect against diseases is called nosodes. It is an oral type of vaccination, only used in minute doses compared to the traditional vaccinations. It is generally given orally over a period of a few days to help protect against the disease. It must be administered by a homeopathic veterinarian for best use. At this time, there has not been any structured study on the effectiveness or efficacy of nosodes. However, more research is being done on this method at this time.
Deciding when to vaccinate, how to vaccinate and which vaccinations to use, needs to be a thoughtful decision. I am providing websites and book references at the end of this article, and I encourage everyone to read and research thoroughly before making a choice. Your dog's health could depend on it.