Disease Resistance: Practical Benefit of Vital Animals

The Dividends You’ve Earned

In all this talk of raising vital animals, you may wonder,

What's the practical outcome of all this?

Is it worth the effort to buck the system and raise animals outside the conventional veterinary model?

Yes indeed, my dear, your efforts in natural health reap rich rewards.

  • How about freedom from all manner of parasites, without toxic drug use?
  • How about natural disease resistance, exemplary health and dramatically lowered veterinary bills?
  • How about changing the world?

Working Myself Out of Work

What I've seen over the years is that the people who, even 25 years ago, brought their animals in to get started on the natural path, have rarely needed to see me since!

Oh, they might well have brought in quite unhealthy animals at the start.

I'm a doctor, after all, so that’s what I attract: animals who are sick.

And, before I started teaching via this blog, the Vital Animal Podcast, and courses and such, I saw a lot of sick animals!

And, it seemed there were always many more scratching at my door to join my homeopathic veterinary practice.

More often than not, conventional medicine had let them down.
Unable to cure their sick animals.

Often with stories of spending 1000's before landing at my small clinic.

One reason I’ve taken teaching more seriously and stopped taking new patients is the power of scale:

when I teach a course, I can reach and help innumerable people to help their animals.

When I merely doctor the sick, it's just not scalable:

I'd spend an hour or more just to get an animal started on individually tailored homeopathic medicine.

How many hours in the day?

How many animals are sick and could use help?


It's not a workable model to improve animal health on any kind of broad scale.

So, this website was born, and is now in its third fourth iteration.

And courses are the focus.

To teach you what I've learned in holistic vet practice for the past several decades.

Prevention is redefined in each one, away from what seems to continue to drive conventional medical practices.

Prevention Paying Dividends

When my long time client Sara brought me Austin’s first known case of canine influenza, she already had Mika on a correctly chosen homeopathic remedy from her emergency kit, and Mika was improving.

But, deeper than that, she learned so much about raising natural animals from me in the late ’90’s that her animals had developed natural disease resistance.

My veterinary services were rarely needed.

Sara graciously shared this for the TV interview we gave to KVUE, but alas, her kind testimonial didn’t make the cut.

In favor of the reporter’s blab about the flu vaccines that “vets are not certain will protect against this strain of dog flu.”

(If you’re being cajoled to give the current dog flu vaccine, you can read that last link and join those who know the correct and certain answer.)

TV news aside, I heard Sara’s appreciation of all she learned and how this website provides such useful, free information, and I felt like my teaching had all been worthwhile.

The sick dog she started with in the 90’s got better in short order, but more significantly, Sara learned how to raise Vital Animals

That knowledge was still serving her that, on her third generation of remarkable Akitas.

Yours Got Fleas, Mine Got None

A great example came recently from my client Dana, who learned this stuff well before meeting me. She has a great true story of traveling to a show in a van. Three of her naturally raised dogs packed in for hours with three of her friend’s dogs.

Her friend used everything Dr. WhiteCoat had to offer:

In other words, pretty much everything I’ve been teaching people to avoid over the past 40 years!

After the long drive to the show, this mixed pack of dogs showed and won ribbons, exercised and played in a sand ring, stayed a couple days, and loaded up for the long drive home.

A few days after returning home, Dana’s friend called her to warn her.

Her dogs were covered with fleas!

They were even crawling on her son!

I’ve dosed everyone with Frontline and you should, too!”

After a thank you, Dana examined her own dogs, who hadn’t been scratching particularly.

The result? No fleas!

And none weeks later, as well.

Dana’s years of raising vitally healthy animals by doing all these things I’ve been teaching for years paid off big time.

Fleas But Not Itchy

Many years ago, I had a brief dog sitting stint for a friend’s pup.

This lanky Golden Retriever, about a year old, came to stay at my farm for a few weeks while her owner was sorting out her life.

This happened in Texas.

In the Summer.

That’s a recipe for fleas, which make a regular appearance here whenever the weather warms up.

Stella wasn’t a particularly itchy dog.

She was so busy playing and chewing and running and exploring and just being thrilled with her wonderful life on the farm, that pure joy largely defined her happy, ebullient personality.

One day, while rubbing her belly, I noticed no less than twenty fleas scurrying away from the light!

She was crawling with them!

It struck me at that moment: this is what a “normal” dog experiences when they have fleas:

  • no redness
  • no hot spots
  • not even very itchy!

Why did she have fleas?

Oh, I’m sure she’d been on a kibble of some sort, had a bunch of vaccinations in the pound, along with dewormers and heartworm pesticides and flea chemicals all dumped on or into her before she’d arrived in my friend’s arms.

So, there was plenty of reason to have fleas.

Her resistance had been compromised by these common interventions of conventional “prevention.”

But what struck me was how little effect these crawling, blood sucking menaces had had on Stella!

She really was largely ignoring them, and her body was intelligently dealing with them.

This was revelatory to me, having seen the more common flea allergic dogs in my practice for years.

The dogs who, with one flea bite, would break out into horrible non-stop itching, denuding their hair, chewing their rumps into huge raw, oozing spots, and generally living in misery, their very life defined by their immune over reaction to this common parasite.

If you haven't had a dog like this yet, you've probably seen a few.

So, Vital can have stages.

This pup was compromised and got fleas, while Dana’s dogs didn’t even attract them.

But Stella was not yet impacted enough by conventional veterinary medicine to have flea allergy dermatitis.

I could predict she’d end up there, if her new owner bought into the machine that is so often encouraged by Dr. WhiteCoat.

Worms? Meh.

Another quick story from Dana, who along with a friend, picked up a puppy each from a new litter. Both were loaded with worms.

Her friend calls to say,

This poor pup has worms! So many worms, I can’t believe it. She’s even vomiting worms!”

She goes on to treat her pup with drugs, but Dana waits, knowing her raw balanced diet and “tincture of time” will allow her pup to kick out worms as she gains health.

The worms indeed gradually left, made a brief reappearance at one year old (a few tapeworm segments), and she has been clear ever since. She’s now 7 years old and Vital.

Natural disease resistance includes internal parasite resistance.


Oh, and if you haven’t already, you probably want to subscribe to Dana’s excellent Dogs Naturally Magazine.

So, Worth Your Effort?

So, I hope you can get a glimpse here of what’s possible for your animals when you take the steps to make them Vital Animals.

Your efforts are, at a minimum, building natural resistance to parasites like fleas and worms.

When you build this resistance, will you worry about Lyme or ringworm or the next big plague to make the news?

Not likely.

I suspect you’ll be too busy enjoying your animals and getting compliments at the dog park or show ring.

And that’s really my larger goal for you.

Well, that and changing the world.

Tell us in the comments if you’ve seen similar rewards for your efforts to think outside the box when it comes to animal health.


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  1. Dominique on February 22, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Hello Doctor!
    I was wondering about your thoughts regarding treatment of gut parasites, specifically Blastocystis? I’ll try to keep this short, but I have 4 animals (and myself), and want to share as much info as necessary to explain my theory/worry.
    Last January I started seeing a functional medicine doctor (after years of fatigue, allergies, digestion issues, etc, despite a primal diet for at least 6 months). We discovered I had Blastocystis Hominis and all the other things that can result from it (adrenal fatigue, nutrient deficiencies, improper digestion/absorption). My doctor said that it’s usually found in animals feces… and I have a lot of animals!
    I have 3 cats (16, 12, and 9) and one pit/lab mix rescue who is also 9. I rescued the 9 year old cat directly from the street when he was about 1. He’s had a lot of pooping issues off and on through his life (it was awful for the first 2-3 years), so it doesn’t surprise me that I might have caught this from them.
    All of the animals have been on raw diets for about 5 years. I started out by making it at home (via catinfo.org). I’ve since switched to Rad Cat raw food. Two years ago we had a ‘low potassium’ scare in the 16 year old cat, and then the 9 year old cat, and then 12 year old cat! The 12 year old had been on canned food for about a year because at one point he just started throwing up the raw food after every meal. I don’t like it, but I’m not yet able to get him back to raw (his stomach seems very sensitive and even the tiniest bit (I’m talking .1 oz here) will cause a messy puke session.
    At first I thought it was my homemade raw recipe that was causing a deficiency, or the fact that I was using turkey instead of chicken (high sodium?), but once the 12 year old cat showed low potassium I knew something else was up. The vet loooooved to blame the raw food, but of course didn’t retract that blame once the ‘non-raw’ cat had the same levels.
    My vet has never heard of blastocystis, nor has a lab that would test for it. Even if their fecals came out as positive, their only treatment would be rounds of antibiotics, similar to Giardia.
    I’ve been adding this supplement and some probiotics to their raw food and noticed great results:
    http://www.petwellbeing.com/st/spark-50.html , but there still seems to be random issues floating around.
    The 16 year old doesn’t get this supplement, as he has developed hyperthyroidism (discovered at the same time as low potassium). He started on 5mg of methimazole, had to be bumped up to 10mg (despite still having tons of outward symptoms though his t4 went down to normal). I tried him out on a natural thyroid supplement instead for about 6 months, unfortunately it didn’t work, and now we’re back on 10mg of methimazole. The vet is heavily pushing the radioactive iodine treatment, which seems scary but I’m actually coming to terms with it being better for him in the long run. (Any time my vet highly recommends something I instantly question it.)
    My questions are: have you ever dealt with this parasite? Is it actually something that might damage their bodies (vs. just being carriers)? I took 4 months of herbs to get rid of mine (plus a ton of supplements and meditation!); is there a similar treatment for animals? Or should I just continue to supplement with vitamins, probiotics, and raw diets and hope that over time they’ll all seem like there’s no hidden diseases?
    I understand that the radioactive iodine would take care of the thyroid tumor, which drugs won’t ever, but it also won’t take care of what might be causing it in the first place… and that’s my main concern.
    Thanks so much for all of your information! I’ve been pouring over all of your posts for the last couple of weeks.

  2. Stefanie Dawson on July 18, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    My dogs have been Vital Dogs for years but they do still suffer from fleas. They are itchy and red. Could there be something in their diet that I am missing? We have added to nutritional yeast & diatomaceous earth to their food without an effect. My dogs all love to eat grass which makes me wonder if they are void of some nutrient.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on July 19, 2015 at 11:50 am

      Hi Stefanie,
      How many dogs? And are they all equally affected?
      Let’s start there, and I might be able to unravel this a bit more.

  3. Christine Touw on July 6, 2015 at 6:33 am

    Dr Falconer has been our Vet for the last 6 years. We had a puppy rescue but now work with seniors/hospice cases. We also have a pack of our own dogs ~ large and small. Most of the hundreds of dogs that have passed through have never been seen or treated by Dr F ~ that is because we follow his guidance and the dogs stay healthy. Even when parvo, coccidia, giardia, mange, heart worm, allergies etc have invaded MOST of the dogs never have a problem. We have several dogs that we raised from pups and the most notable is a 5 year old Catahoula mix who has never had a conventional treatment. She had parvo when a youngster but is the healthiest dog we have and she resists all parasites. Our 14 year old Aussie, never seen by Dr F, has been pesticide/vac free and on a raw diet for the last 6 years and while a little slower, she still has a gorgeous coat and beautiful teeth. One last thought. The hospice/seniors all thrive as well. We have had several come to us because they were supposedly only days from deaths call. Well, of course some pass on, but I am always amazed that after a few days/weeks on a raw diet and chemical free, many are up and trotting around ~integrated into the pack! So we are believers and know that it is worth the effort. Thank you Dr Falconer for the treatments and the education!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on July 6, 2015 at 10:48 pm

      Great to hear how you folks are doing, Christine! All the more impressive that you are seeing as good a result in the dogs at the end of their lives as you were when you were scooping up abandoned pups.
      My hat’s off to you. Good going!

  4. Noraa on July 6, 2015 at 1:39 am

    Hey Doc,
    Have you ever used Neoplasene? It’s an anti-tumor alkaloid of some sort made by Buck Mountain Botanicals. Their claim is that it targets only cancer cells, leaving the healthy cells undamaged, unlike conventional tumor treatments which damage healthy cells along with the cancer cells. It’s all plant based compounds–no side effects if dosed properly according to an animal’s weight. It’s available in oral dose for internal cancers, an injectable form and a salve for use in external tumors. It looks like the tumors just implode and fall off in a matter of days! The case history photos are striking. It works on Mast cell, Lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma and bone cancer, but appears to work best on external masses. The taste is terrible, it can cause nausea, and you can’t feed raw with this stuff they say, until the course of treatment is complete. ? Know about this, or used it?

    • Will Falconer, DVM on July 7, 2015 at 8:18 am

      Hi Nora,
      I’m familiar with this bloodroot-based product, but don’t use or recommend it. It’s not going deep enough, and in dissolving tumors, misses the underlying disease. That’s like the surgeon’s knife, just herbal. The result is called suppression. I try to go for cure with homeopathy, though our success rate in this is rather low.

  5. Laurie Matson on July 5, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    I was wondering about this in relation to Heartworm Disease. Does having a Healthy, Vital Dog have any effect on resistance to Heartworm Disease as it does in resistance to worms and Fleas? I have healthy, vital Dogs but I noticed this Spring that the Ticks still Loved them so I got to thinking about Heartworm too.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on July 7, 2015 at 8:20 am

      Hi Laurie,
      I’m so glad you’ve got your thinking cap on! Heartworms are similarly parasites, who prey on the weak. They just take up housekeeping in a different organ.

  6. Amber on July 5, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Hello Dr Falconer,
    I couldnt comment on any article about Transfer Factor, so I figured I would comment here. I hope it’s okay.
    Do you know how they keep their developmental sources (eggs, cow colostrum, etc) pristine and controlled? I have tried asking and never get a response from them, but would really like to know before I buy some. I figured since you promote it you may know.
    My dog has been on homeopathic treatment for about 5 months for allergies and vaccinosis and I wonder if Transfer Factor will help her more.
    Thanks, Amber
    PS. Why is ReelRawDog no longer on your Resources page? 🙁 I switched to them last year after being fooled by another company. Are they no good now?

    • Will Falconer, DVM on July 7, 2015 at 8:28 am

      Hi Amber,
      Every dairy I worked at in my early days knew how to keep milk pure and not contaminated with extraneous bacteria. I’m sure the farms that are supplying colostrum for 4Life to extract transfer factors from have good standards as well. Similarly with egg production. It would not be in any company’s best interest to spend millions of dollars on patented processes of extraction and equipment to do the job only to start with junk starting material. I trust they’ve been over that bridge from day one.
      I know allergies and immune confusion (aka vaccinosis) respond to these gentle but powerful immune boosters.
      Reel Raw moved from Austin, so that was my primary reason for not continuing to list them. I’m sure they are still making great food.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Proud Vital Animal Owner on July 5, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    I love your weekly emails! After loosing 2 dogs to cancer, I stopped everything I was doing and changed EVERYTHING when the 3rd got it. I am proud to say that my girl now was suppose to be dead a year ago. She is living Cancer free. My protocol is intense but it is worth it. My protocol is natural and I now run a pack that is SOOOOO healthy. I am pretty much the doctor now. But let me tell you, I am coming to Texas for you to oversea my pack, it is just gonna take another few months. Bless you for making knowledge mainstream.

  8. Destiny on July 5, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    I couldn’t agree more! I do dog daycare and boarding at my home and have to deal with all kinds of issues – shedding, large smelly stools, constant scratching, ear mites etc.
    One clients dog had 5 ticks on her. After I carefully removed them I checked my dogs over and mine had a tick – was it attached? Nope. In fact it was crawling OFF her. I suspect in fell on her when she rubbed against the other dogs.
    Having one (white) long haired dog people always say “I bet she sheds so much!” and they’re amazed when she jumps off their black clothes and doesnt leave any hair.
    My other dog, at 120 lbs, always gets remarks “I would HATE to clean up after that thing!” and yet she is better than all of the medium size dogs I watch 😉
    Of course, being in my position I try to give people advice in a non judgemental approach and hoping that they see the results with my dogs and it will open up their own eyes to research for the benefit of their dogs. A lot of people are shocked at the things I tell them are actually not “good” or “healthy” and are willing to learn. 🙂

    • Will Falconer, DVM on July 5, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      Way to spread the word, and set an example, Destiny. Very inspiring what you’re up to.

  9. Joyce S Britt on July 5, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    How fortunate we are to have access to Dr Falconer’s expert knowledge. As a registered nurse, I have practiced similar theories for thirty years in my breeding program. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find a local veterinarian who supports my beliefs. And, while my vet readily states that my dogs are the healthiest animals in his practice, he also takes every opportunity to admonish my raw diet, no antibiotics regime. Oh, to have Dr Falconer in my back yard!

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