Better Than Antibiotics
Exciting Alternatives Revealed
I have some very interesting folks in my life. I recently spoke to a vet colleague on the forefront of stopping the excessive use of antibiotics in agriculture.
Specifically, in growing animals as food.
Now, you probably aren’t doing much or any of that, but this research will apply to your companion animals.
As it applies to your own health and safety.
Read on and see what this groundbreaking and inspiring research is revealing about healthier alternatives to antibiotics.
Why Ag Use of Antibiotics?
Follow the money, honey…
Industrial farms have been adding antibiotics to livestock feed since 1946, when studies showed that antibiotics caused animals to grow faster and put on weight more efficiently, increasing meat producers’ profits. Between 1985 and 2001, the use of antibiotics in feed for industrial livestock production rose a startling 50%. Today, antibiotics are routinely fed to livestock, poultry, and fish on industrial farms to promote faster growth and to compensate for the unsanitary conditions in which they are raised. According to a new report by the FDA, approximately 80 percent of all antibiotics used in the United States are fed to farm animals. This means that in the United States only 20 percent of antibiotics, which were originally developed to protect human health, are actually used to treat infections in people.1
Feeding low-level antibiotics to large groups of animals, especially overcrowded animals where sanitation becomes a concern, aids those animals’ growth to the slaughter stage.
And that’s where the majority of antibiotics are used. Estimates range from 70-80%.
Manure & Antibiotics in the Same Paragraph? Hmmm…
A tale of the tail end of use.
There is an estimated 132 million metric tons of manure produced annually from cattle, swine, and poultry production in the US alone (Dolliver, Kumar, & Gupta, 2007, p.1224). There is 24.6 million pounds of antibiotics used annually in livestock and as much as 75% of antibiotics delivered are not absorbed or used by the animal (Mackie et. al, 2006, p.157). The 75% of antibiotics not absorbed by the animal must exit the body (Mackie et al., 2006). Antibiotic resistant bacteria exit the animal via feces and urine. These contaminated manures are then used for agricultural purposes and eventually end up in groundwater and surface waters as a product of runoff (West, Liggit, Clemans & Francoeur, 2011).2
This is of particular concern in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations or CAFOs.
You know CAFOs?
Those are vast tracts of land jammed with “finishing” animals, i.e. those getting fattened up as they near the slaughter process to become meat.
They make a lot of manure, as you might imagine.
The meat industry is so powerful, they’ve made it illegal to fly over CAFOs. Even with a drone.
They are afraid you’d be outraged if you saw the conditions.
On a smaller scale, antibiotics are likely the most overused class of drugs on the planet.
Therapeutic Antibiotic Misuse: All Too Common
This is true in vet medicine just as it is in humans.
I hear misuse in veterinary medicine frequently, and the logic goes like this:
We did a blood test, and found your animal has an elevated white blood cell count. In order to “help your animal fight” whatever she’s fighting, we’re giving her two weeks worth of antibiotics.
Oh my, Dr. WhiteCoat.
It’s estimated 80% of the immune system resides in the gut.
And you want to whack that immune system with antibiotics? That kill off good guys and bad indiscriminately?
I call that “illogic.”
In humans, it appears you may be a big part of the problem driving antibiotics misuse:
experts agree that one factor influences antibiotic prescribing more than any other. “The overriding theme, in all the research that has been done, is patient satisfaction,” Hicks says.3
Patients who believe they have an illness go to the doctor expecting a fix. They imagine that fix will be an antibiotic. When an antibiotic isn’t forthcoming, they feel the visit didn’t go as planned.
“There are basic social interactions between providers and patients,” Hicks says. “Most doctors want their patients to feel satisfied at the end of the visit.”4
Sounds like we need some “tough love” on the part of these doctors, doesn’t it?
How This Affects You
You are at an increasing risk of getting antibiotic-resistant infections. Largely due to these two influences:
- overuse in agriculture (where the majority of antibiotics are used)
- wrongly prescribed human antibiotics
Fewer and fewer once powerful antibiotics are working against an ever increasing population of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
The Fix: Some Encouraging Research
Here’s the good news (I know, it’s about time, right?)
My friend Joe Ramaekers, DVM is an eager researcher into ways to marshall the immune system to fight disease, infectious disease especially.
Dr. Ramaekers has a background of 40 years as a veterinary nutritionist. He’s the one who developed the formulas for three of my favorite immune boosters that I recommend regularly for patients:
Transfer Factor Canine Complete Transfer Factor Feline Complete Equine Transfer Factor Performance and Show
[Note: 4Life Research opted to kill their animal transfer factor line. Here’s our own update for dogs, you can use this for your cats and your horses, while we continue to develop even better formulas based on these same formulas but improved in immune boosting power. For cats: 1/4 to 1/2 capsule a day. For horses, 3-4 caps/day mixed in moist top dress]
I have yet to see studies showing anything that comes even close to these products in terms of immune boosting.
Dr. R’s formulas reflect his fondness of medicinal mushrooms, particularly the Cordyceps, Agaricus, Maitake and Shitake species, all powerhouses of immune enhancement.
These are in the formulae for the animals as well as the one I take daily, TF Plus.
But, here’s where it gets really interesting.
Livestock Don’t Lie
Dr. Ramaekers has studies ongoing and past, showing how the use of transfer factor/mushroom products have actually outperformed the use of antibiotics in livestock!
And, like pets, these animals don’t make this up: they either respond or they don’t, and it’s measurable.
At present, Dr. R has 600 beef cattle on a study, sorted into groups with his immune boosters, a conventional antibiotic called tylosin, and a growth promotant called Rumensin.
So far, the data are showing the immune boosted groups way ahead of the other tests!
30 sets of 20 head each, we may be able to prove that we can raise antibiotic free beef…
… got 90,000 turkeys on study as well antibiotic free, that is coming in good as well.
Turns out there’s a huge demand from China, of all places, for antibiotic-free meat.
Years ago, Dr. Ramaekers showed he could prevent deadly pneumonia in young steers, shipped hundreds of miles, with just a one time treatment of his transfer factor mix, right before they got on the truck.
This compared favorably in both cost and lower sickness rates with the usual high powered antibiotics used previously.
A Way Out of the Darkness
So, there’s a light at the end of this rather ominous tunnel of antibiotic overuse and super-resistant bacteria that threaten us humans.
It takes the smart approach of boosting immunity instead of using carpet bombing antibiotics, which can have long term detrimental effects.
Immune dysfunction is only one of those effects. The list of gut flora related functions is long.
Your Next Bold Move
Here’s what I’d suggest, next time you get the “we’re going to help her fight, with antibiotics!” pitch.
Oh, good to know she’s fighting something. But no to your antibiotics. We’ll boost her immune system instead of crippling it!
Tell us in the comments if you’ve had similar mind-expanding conversations with your own Dr. WhiteCoat.
Spread your natural path wisdom every chance you get! You’ll never know whose gated mind suddenly bursts open.
And that can only be a good thing.
The Effects of Antibiotic use on Livestock Animals, Groundwater and Humans |, Gross use amts, manure –> groundwater, http://blogs.umass.edu/natsci397a-eross/the-effects-of-antibiotic-use-on-livestock-animals-groundwater-and-humans/
A Third of People Given Antibiotics Don’t Need Them, People demands fuel overuse/misuse., http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/11/a-third-of-people-given-antibiotics-don-t-need-them/
Sustainable Table | Antibiotics, Antibiotics, http://www.sustainabletable.org/257/antibiotics, GRACE Communications Foundation
Colloidal silver is a great natural antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal that can be used topically and internally. So so many uses for it. Healed my cat’s abscess years ago after using regular antibiotics following surgery. The abscess returned, the vet wanted me to use ABs that required the use of gloves when handling it as it could cause bone marrow changes. No thanks. Used CS and everything healed great. Use for cuts, scrapes, eye infections, ear infections, respiratory issues, skin issues, cancer, fungus, household cleaning, keeps my teeth/gums healthy, remineralizes teeth, repairs cavities (my mother is currently using along with oil pulling to heal an infected tooth) and many more conditions. Lots of scientific studies and anecdotal reports on it’s effective use. Buy a maker for under $200 and make your own. The Silver Edge has a great library of articles, but I have the Silver Puppy maker myself, a bit easier to use I believe.
An interesting phenomenon which is happening where I live is that if you refuse treatment for your animal you may well get a visit from the SPCA…a friend recently rescued an old dog and had made an appointment to get a lot of dental work done. She then cancelled without immediately rebooking. She got a call from the SPCA. Another was reported for refusing anti-biotics. My friend and I have decided it may be wiser to take the drugs and then not use them. My pup has had surgery for broken teeth and neutering. I have helped him through with homeopathy, guided by you and the book that came with your homeopathy course. Thank you.
Unbelievable. This is getting children torn from parents in various states, if they have a diagnosis that the parents seek non-conventional treatments for. Some call it “medical kidnapping” and bad things happen to these kids far too often (from what I’ve read). This is the world we now live in. Best to get your needs met as quietly and “under the radar” as you can. Sorry to have to say that, as it’s a sad reflection on where our freedoms have gone.
Several years ago I decided to forego the surgery for cutting and draining and antibiotics prescribed by my vet for whenever my cats had an abscess from a cat bite. My husband and I have been strict followers of naturopathic health care for several decades and the idea of allowing allopathic vet healthcare for my animals just didn’t sit right anymore. I started doing some research and the next time one of my cats was in a fight and an abscess appeared, I applied echinacea tinture right into the wound through one of the tooth holes. Miraculously, the abscess was completely gone by the next morning. Another time, I couldn’t find a tooth hole so I just rubbed the echinacea tinture all over the outside of the abscess and achieved the same results. I have also use colloidal silver with the same success. No antibiotics for my fur boys anymore. And, no more surgeries to drain and clean the wounds either.
I’ve gone 180º on abscesses as well, Deborah, though I’ve never heard of your herbal approach. Oral homeopathic silica will treat the majority to ripen and drain. Hepar sulph is the 2nd choice, especially indicated if the abscess is painful to touch. Thanks for the tincture idea!
Thank you for responding to my comment. Several years ago we moved ourselves and our two cats to the arctic of Norway where we work. Living in Norway has its advantages, such as the magnificent beauty and peacefulness of our surroundings in an arctic village, however, we are far from cities and access to holistic care or supplies. Out of desperation and lots of research online, I had to come up with hopefully safe and successful treatments for my cats on my own. Norway does not recognize holistic health care for humans or for animals, therefore we are on our own with our cat’s healthcare and our own (we wouldn’t let their “white coats” near us or our cats unless it is a dire emergency). We thankfully brought with us from the US a supply of various herbal tinctures and colloidal silver, so that was what I had to turn to for treatments. I was expecting my cat’s abscesses to ripen and drain with the application of the herbal tinctures and colloidal silver as you mention, but they never have. They just flatten out and disappear! Sometimes by the next day (and I am not exaggerating). And they haven’t come back. This not only surprised me, but relieved me, for a trip to a vet here for cats usually ends up in euthanasia!! Thank you for your tips on homeopathic remedies. I will try to get a hold of them the next time I am in a country where I can purchase them.
How can I purchase another jar of the Total Inmune, Vital Health? It has helped my dog very much. Thank you!
Oh, absolutely, Isabel, I’m sorry I’m seeing this somewhat late. Here’s the link to order: https://vitalpethealth.com/product/canine-immune-complete/ Glad to hear about your dog doing so well on it!
good morning, I am very interested in boosting my dogs immune system but have a BIG problem. I am very allergic to mushrooms (and Penecilan). I am so sensitive that if I eat broth that has had mushrooms cooked in it I will get bruises that are totally out of proportion to the injury if I bump something. how can I use a supplement containing them? besides that I have a bunch of dogs so price also comes into play when considering supplements
I’d start by determining if ALL mushrooms cause you problems or not. These are medicinal mushrooms in the mix with the transfer factors, very unlike culinary mushrooms. If you are reactive to all mushrooms, I’d simply avoid this product and any others that contain ingredients you’re sensitive to.
Hi, first of all great informative article and comments! my Dog tested positive for anaplasmosis (blood parasite) with extremely low count on white blood cells.. 11,000 – the vet we use has a very homeopathic approach and recommended Transfer factor plus.. a week later my dog started bleeding inside the skin and we got very worried and took him to emergency at a regular vet (not homeopathic approach) the red and white blood cells results were really bad – white cells had gone up after one week of using transfer factor from 11,000 to 22,000 – they gave him a shot of IMIDOCARB, and sent him on a 1 month doxycycline cycle.. the following day I called my homeopathic vet and explained her the situation.. she said she opposed the antibiotics but due to the situation escalating to the Dog bleeding inside the skin she said ok- Maybe is necessary at this stage.. I guess she could Feel my concern and as mentioned in the article some pet owners want to feel
Something is done now- now..
My dog has not taken antibiotics in years, we avoid it – we will do a follow up blood test and if white blood cells results are better I want to get him off the antibiotics I just fear about his blood parasites/ anaplasmosis Since I think it should be treated
To get a dogs teeth clean when they have plaque costs a fortune every 6 months when you have more than one. So can you give me some easy natural ways that will keep the plaque off? Alternatives to keep the teeth clean dogs hate brushing teeth.
Sure, Antoinette, search in the little box on this page: “bones” and you’ll find your answer. “Dental” will also get you there.
Thank you Dr. Will. That Insider Immune PDF was do helpful!
Dr. Will, is there any chance at all that Transfer Factor’s continual “stimulation” of the immune system could cause something such as a mast cell tumor?
A very late reply, but the answer is no. Those who study the immune system far more deeply than I have told me “a stimulated immune system is a balanced immune system.”
When it’s more balanced, it means it’s more effective at its prime job: ferreting out the “foreigners” which include not only pathogens like viruses and bacteria but the cancerous cells that arise quite regularly in all of us.
I adopted a kitten from a shelter that tested positive for coccidia. The vet wanted to start him on a round of antibiotics even though he had just come off of antibiotics at the shelter. I said, “no way, I’ll research for a better way”. I found a product called Kochi Free from Wolf Creek Ranch that was entirely natural, identifiable! ingredients and started both of my cats on it. After a month I took fecal samples from them to the vet and they were still positive, so, I gave them the K.F. for another month, did another fecal test and both were completely clean! Of course the vet wasn’t interested in hearing what had worked, even though she had told me that even antibiotics wouldn’t necessarily kill the coccidia!
Nice work, Pattie! Gotta love it when you’ve had a triumph over conventional medicine, and Dr. WhiteCoat isn’t even interested. Wouldn’t you expect a bit of curiosity?
Nice at least that you got the admission that the antibiotics wouldn’t have even worked, while they screwed up your kitty’s immune system, gut flora, digestion, maybe even behavior!
Carry on, you’re got my hat in my hands for being a pioneer.
The treatment for coccidia, my holistic vet told me is a coccidiostat, not a coccidiacide. Years ago I declined treatment for a stray and kept her until she tested clear. I treated her with una de gato and raw food, and in about a month she was ready to adopt.
Thanks for all the eye opening reporting! My 7 year old Westie has had 3 positive heartworm tests in 2 years. No worms visible on the ultrasound though. 3 Vets want me to do immiticide treatment but I am too frightened by the reports of it. The last vet (board certified heart specialist) wants me to give her 1 month of antibiotics to kill Wolfbaccia along with steroids. I have not done so because I’m thinking it will just kill her natural immune system. Is the Tranfer factor product a good one to help boost her immune system to fight these? I am also using artemesia complex, hs11, black walnut and coq10. It has been 5 months and it is still positive. (maybe too soon for a negative) I am having difficulty finding a vet that will work with me on this. thankyou in advance.
I think TF is a good adjunct treatment to boost the immune system, yes. I usually use homeopathy, tailored to the individual, to cure my HW cases, few as they’ve been over the years. It works, but it takes hiring a homeopathic vet to pull it off.
Ancillary support comes in the form of a heart glandular made for dogs and yes, transfer factor.
They are usually negative in 6 months.
When I worked with a holistic vet (Dr. Russell Swift), we treated 4 dogs for HW. We used homeopathy, raw diet, and different herbals (based on Hulga Clarke’s protocol for parasites). Three went negative, and the fourth (which was a stray I rescued) did not, but he had no symptoms and there’s a big difference between being heart worm positive and having heart worm disease. Heart worms don’t reproduce in the animal, so if you just prevent reinfection by keeping the immune system strong (giving the dog a raw diet, avoiding vaccinations,for example), the worms there will eventually die and the animal will be free and clear.
Dr. Will: I am giving my dog TF Plus. He at one time had immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, 8 years ago and has been in remission. Will this product in any way “boost” his immune system and cause the thrombocotopenia to reoccur? He is 17 lbs and he gets 1/2 capsule a day.
Also, is it right to give it continually, or should it be stopped then started again and at what schedule?
Great question, Terry, and the answer from the scientists is no: a stimulated immune system is a balanced immune system.
I had this same concern. Wouldn’t stimulating an out of whack immune system make it even more out of whack, sending it attacking more cells of “self?”
No. So, knowing this, I routinely give TF to autoimmune patients, and often, if they are in crises, high doses, to try to get them back from the “immune confusion” that they are immersed in.
I generally advise to stop and start periodically, as well as push the dose around, just to keep the immune system on its toes. I’ve written about this in my free ebook, Insider Immune Protocols. Every pack member has access to that to download on your Member Home.
A solution to the problem for humans might be to eat more plants and less or no animals.
Are you psychic or something? You always seem to pick a topic eerily related to what’s going on with me & my fur babies! We just had a nasty go-round with Dr. Whitecoat, who insisted Blackie needed dosing with antibiotics because of an infected bite. This was a new tech I’d never dealt with in this practice, she was condescending and made me quite angry. “No, just lance it please, so it’ll drain,” I replied. “But he has a high fever and white blood cell count…” she says. Needless to say, I stuck the antibiotics in the cupboard, (what to do with those?) and dosed him with colostrum and a blend of seventeen medicinal mushrooms. He was fit as a fiddle in two days, romping like a maniac, picking on his sister, and stealing Pookie’s food, as usual. No diarrhea, no upset stomac–nothin’. Their attitude really chapped me. I’m normally quiet, but I raised my voice to their insanity. How can they be so darn brainwashed?