Dog Flu: Fear, Uncertainty and Marketing

When Hyperbole Rules, Your Animals Lose

“Deadly Canine Flu Sweeping the Midwest” reads the headline.“Highly contagious,” says the article.

“Thousands” of dogs sickened in the Midwest, experts say.

“Brand new dog flu strain,” never seen before in the U.S., say researchers.

The canine influenza outbreak is all over the news and social media, and the hype about it is quite remarkable. And there’s news: it’s a new strain, called H3N2, originating from Asia, specifically China and South Korea.

If you have been on the planet for more than 30 years, and have a good sense of marketing and media hype, this is all pretty suspect. Unless you’re a vaccine manufacturer or a veterinarian who stands to profit from fear mongering increasing your sales of vaccines.

Let’s dig deeper to quell the fear the marketers would have you feel.

As you know, if you’ve been reading along here for the last few years, fear sells.

And fear is NOT a good emotion with which to make health decisions, for you or your animals.

Reality Check

So, is this dog flu indeed a deadly disease?

The same articles who emblazon that on their headlines point out that the death toll is now a whopping five or six dogs, which you discover when you read the opening sentence.

This death toll took place from January to March, 2015. In four states.

How many dogs died from being hit by cars in that same period? Or from cancer or heart disease?

A whole lot more, yet that’s old news, and it doesn’t sell vaccines, does it?

It’s irresponsible to share articles like this on Twitter (“Tips on the Deadly Canine Flu Sweeping the Midwest”), where just the headline appears.

Here’s a PhD dog trainer who did just that. Tsk tsk. It’ll get eyeballs to her site, though, and more sales perhaps, so maybe that’s why she shared the Enquirer-style headline.

How about “thousands sickened?” Again, reading beyond the first sentence will clear that up for you.

This article takes getting to the second sentence to read, “infected more than 1000 dogs.”

Last I checked, “thousands” meant more than two. More than 1000? Meh. That could be a thousand and one, couldn’t it?

And those supposed thousands who were sickened, were they dying and causing untold heartache?

No, because “the virus is rarely fatal,” says Purdue. And, further, these scientists tell us

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The percent of dogs with the disease that die is very small. Eighty percent of infected dogs will have a mild form of the virus.

Dog flu is highly contagious. All that means is that it spreads easily.

But only under certain circumstances, largely close confinement of dogs in kennels and shelters.

The average dog out in the open air?

Not much likelihood of catching dog flu. And those that get exposed may not even get sick.

Those that do get ill with canine influenza show

– a cough
– sneezing
– runny nose and eyes
– less appetite
– more sleeping

Mm hmm. Sounds like the flu in people doesn’t it?

What do most people do when they have the flu?

Rest it out, and it’s gone in a couple of days. Very similar in the dog, lasting 5-7 days, though the cough may persist longer.

Get Right on Antibiotics!

That’s some folks’ response to the canine flu.

Dr. WhiteCoat loves this antibiotic "hammer," all too often.

The dog picked up the flu while boarding and the owner was pleased with how the boarding facility handled poor Roxy-Rocket:

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They got her to the vet right away and she was on antibiotics right away…

Hold the phone.

Let’s all get on the same page here: dog flu is a virus, right? A virus from Asia with the alphabet soup of influenza abbreviations, H3N2.

And we’re confident that antibiotics are the treatment of choice?

Last I checked, viruses weren’t being killed by antibiotics.

Beneficial gut bacteria are, and they’re an important part of the immune system.

Isn’t the immune system what we’re counting on to keep our animals free of infectious diseases?

But when your main tool is a hammer, everything pretty much looks like a nail.

But, We Can Vaccinate for Dog Flu, Right?

Well, sure, you can. That’s an option.

But is it your best option?

I found a common thread running through the articles I found on canine flu: uncertainty.

The consensus was, “It is not known if the current vaccine will provide any protection from this new virus” (It’s made from H3N8, the earlier strain from 2004).

That kind of leaves the door open for the vaccine vendors, doesn’t it?

“Well, we’re not sure if your dog will gain immunity from this vaccination, but we’re recommending it anyway. Dog flu is sweeping the nation, you know.”

As everyone is so uncertain, so let’s go to the vaccine mongers themselves and “Ask the Experts!” The Immunization Action Coalition says it very plainly, about human flu:

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Infection from one virus type does not confer immunity to other types…

That’s why the human flu vaccine changes every year, trying to predict what the strain of the new year will be before it hits.

And why that same vaccine usually fails to protect vaccinated humans from the flu year after year.

If you’re a thinking person, you’ll want to weigh your options to vaccinate very carefully. That failure to protect is speaking to efficacy that’s not there.

More important, if your goal is to raise a truly Vital Animal, is the question of safety. Vaccines are not safe and never have been.

So, risk chronic disease like itchy, allergic skin or years of painful, inflamed ears to likely poorly protect against a disease that’s rarely fatal, which most dogs recover from, some never even showing sickness after exposure?

Not something I’d recommend.

Is This Disease Worth Your Worry?

Dog flu is contagious, causes some cold symptoms for a while, is rarely fatal, and last I checked, it didn’t wipe out dog populations in Asia.

And it’s earlier predecessor, the H3N8 version, spread 11 years ago from Florida dog race tracks, and it also wasn’t a deadly killer of dogs.

Most of those exposed to that earlier version fought it successfully and developed immunity afterwards.

And isn’t that the way it works in the world of Nature?

Yes, indeed.

A similar “epidemic” happened several years ago when West Nile Virus went through the U.S. Feared by many, hyped in the news, and most exposed animals never even got sick, they just developed immunity.

Rather than fear the germ called dog flu, I’d suggest you look at ways to be sure your animals have strong immune systems. Pay attention to things like:

– avoiding vaccinations (which confuse the immune system mightily)
– feeding food that nourishes immunity and fits the species
– avoiding poisons for flea control (that also impair immunity)
– using non-toxic means to keep heartworm away (the common drugs often cause autoimmune disease)
– bolstering your dog’s immune system

If you do some or all of these things, I think you can join me in having a big yawn about the canine flu epidemic of 2015 (or its reappearance in 2017).

How about you? Have you seen this dog flu? Seen any significant illness from it?

Tell us about it in the comments.

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  1. Leena Thieriot on June 20, 2015 at 7:28 am

    My 2-year-old yellow lab started coughing Tuesday afternoon when we picked her up from the kennel where she’d been boarded for a week.
    She coughed and vomited all night, took her to the vet early Wed morning. They treated her like patient zero, isolation room, etc.
    Talked me into doing $150 blood test to confirm flu, and then put her on cough suppressant and antibiotics.
    Sure enough, it is flu. Thought the cough suppressant was working at first, but she has taken a turn for the worse, and it’s now Saturday morning, and I was up every 30 min last night to clean up vomit (mostly mucus).
    The coughing and retching is horrible. Poor thing is so miserable and lethargic — she must be in so much pain.
    I’m feeding her wet food, and she’s still eating and drinking, but is vomiting up a good portion because of the non-stop coughing. She barely has the energy to squat to go to the bathroom outside — her legs are very shaky.
    I’m going to call the vet again in three minutes when they open, but does anyone have advice? She’s definitely gotten worse over the last four days.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on June 20, 2015 at 8:38 am

      Advice? Read the next blog post after this one: I tell you how to cure it. Surprised you’ve stopped here. Carry on. And let us know how you do.
      p.s. antibiotics are damaging and don’t kill viruses. I’d stop them in a heartbeat.

      • Leena Thieriot on June 21, 2015 at 10:43 am

        Thank you — I came across this post with a random google search, and am not familiar with your site, so didn’t realize you had a blog entry with treatment options! Sorry about that.
        I bought some phosphorous 30c, and started that yesterday. I’m also diffusing some essential oils, combination of eucalyptus and pine.
        The vet was worried she had an infection because she was running a high fever — I’m giving her a high quality probiotic to counteract the damaging effects of the antibiotic. But you think I should stop the antibiotic altogether?

        • Will Falconer, DVM on June 21, 2015 at 11:03 am

          I’d not hesitate to stop antibiotics, Leena. No sound reason to prescribe them in a viral illness, and they impair the very immune system you’re counting on to best the disease. If you want to help it further, consider adding some Transfer Factor, the best immune support on the planet at present.

  2. Dede on April 24, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Another great article, Doc; as well as the comments. This made me think of the deathbed utterance by Louis Pasteur, “The germ is nothing. The terain is everything.”
    Pasteur finally got it right. It’s not the “nasties” that are of primary concern; it’s living healthy to build a strong immune system and vital force that isn’t done in by the nasties in our world.
    That said, big pharma and vaccine-junky vets are more than happy to push more vaccinations and drugs; it’s more money for both. Sadly, fear will motivate many people to vaccinate or use drugs instead of investigating for themselves. If I’m remembering correctly, the bordatella vaccine only covers 2 of the 40 possible agents. It’s very ineffective and far from being safe.
    If there’s a bug going around, we increase the foods and herbs that strengthen the immune system and kill off the nasties. Echinacea, garlic, lemon, lime, olive leaf extract, oil of oregano, etc. are some that we incorporate into our diet and the dogs’ too. So far, our pack of little dogs has never been ill, and our two oldest are 8 and 9 yrs. They’ve all suffered vaccine damage so we’ll never again vaccinate.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 26, 2015 at 11:26 am

      Thanks, Dede. It sounds like you’ve really got a Vital Animal Pack there, who need only a bit of prompting to beat the next “new bug” that goes around. Good work!

  3. Ian - TAIL COMMAND on April 23, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    We aren’t in the hot bed, but we do run a Dog Boarding Center in Central IL and it’s been question after question… and quite honestly, I wish there were more articles floating around like this. I’ve spoken with our vets and they have the same views as you and it’s outstanding how a simple headline can affect so many people, so quickly. However, I’m a firm believer in safety and keeping dogs away from illness, but we’ve not had any sign of it and secondly, we run a very sociable, very open-based program. Big dogs, little dogs, young and old. They love it and so do all their owners. The great news is that our facility is capable of being in open air quite frequently, along with the procedures we have in order to protect from ANY illness, infections, etc. The thing I wish people could understand is that this FLU OUTBREAK isn’t anything out of the normal. Quite honestly, we have everyone on Bordetella and the funny thing, everyone thinks that’s the same thing and in January we had our run with an illness that went around. No one died, but quite a few got sick.. It wouldn’t surprise me if that was some kind of weird strain. I feel there will ALWAYS be something going around, it’s just the fact that the news is hyping this, the people are biting because in America, most people (not all) care more about animals, than their humans. Nothing wrong with that, but the News knows how to act and how to keep acting… or spreading fear, when it’s not needed.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 23, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Ian. I’m glad you emphasize the outdoors with your boarders. That’ll go a long way to prevent spread, should you get a flu dog in.
      I’ve got a couple of kennels on bordetella nosode, a homeopathic protection without the downsides of vaccination, and it’s been quite effective. Holler if you’d like more info. The vaccine for kennel cough is pretty worthless, according to those who’ve studied it closely.
      And if you have any doubt of the harm possible from vaccines, just drop that word in the search box and read of few things I’ve posted over the years.
      Happy trails.

  4. Stephanie on April 23, 2015 at 7:34 am

    As the general manager of a dog daycare and boarding facility in the Chicagoland Suburbs- thank you for laying it out! This article will be shared on our social media for sure. The amount of damage this scare has done on the animal industry is just crazy, and the amount of phone calls I have gotten from terrified and frustrated owners complaining that their dogs are going stir-crazy at home is even worse.

  5. Karen on April 22, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    I picked up a dog at the Austin, TX Animal control. She had been vaccinated and spayed. She immediately came down with a cough as her immune system had been compromised by being lost for 3 months. My Service Dog shared a water bowl with her and he started coughing, his nose became congested with a yellowish substance, his eyes watered, he was lethargic and lost his appetite. In 45 years of raising dogs I’ve never seen a “dog cold” but the symptoms were exactly that, sneezing, coughing, congestion just like a cold. 10 days with good food laced with Tumeric & Ginger and they are fine.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 23, 2015 at 4:42 am

      Thanks Karen. I think the likelihood is the stressor was less the being lost, most likely the vaccinations just prior to illness. But nice work! Good to know of your experience.

  6. Em on April 22, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    i consider myself a nonconformist when it comes to the care of my pets. Most have been rescued and I never needed to vaccinate. I always titered. When needed, my holistic vet would try homeopathic and herbal remedies along with acupuncture before more conventional therapies, which were never really necessary. However, I live in Chicago and work with dogs. I would call this an epidemic! It has destroyed the dog care industry here. Most of the dogs I know have gotten this flu. Thankfully none have died, but it is terrifying. Why? Because the dogs get so sick so quickly. We did all the things you described above to prevent it from entering our facility. Unfortunately, one started coughing and we went from boarding 66 dogs to 1 in 6 days! It is worse than it is described. I think some would not have recovered without IV fluids or oxygen tents. Many are so weak that they can’t eat. It lasts for weeks. My dogs have been quarantined for 3 weeks with no end in sight. I am lucky I have a small yard, most people here don’t. They have to walk their dogs, 3 dogs on my block got it from walking around the neighborhood, not meeting other dogs. I don’t watch the news because I hate the fear mongering too. But this time, I think is necessary and urgent that we get the word out! Trust me, we absolutely do not want this to spread!!!!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 23, 2015 at 4:53 am

      Thanks, Em. So you’ve really experienced how contagious it is, just like the scientists are saying. As you’ve seen a lot of dogs, perhaps you’d list symptoms in some detail and I’ll see if I can come up with a remedy for this epidemic. When that’s found (may take a few tries), it can prevent the non-sick from the contagion and help the sick get over it in usually half the time.
      I look forward to seeing what we can come up with. Details matter, things like:
      – color of discharge, if you’ve seen one;
      – whether the sneezing is “paroxysmal” which means many in a row, like a long fit of sneezing vs a couple in a bout;
      – if these dogs get more thirsty or less when ill;
      – if the discharge is irritating, so the nostrils or canthus of the eyes are reddened where the discharge hits;
      – if the cough is wet, dry, accompanied by retching;
      – if eyes get red or discharge and what kind of discharge;
      – if the affected are restless or staying very still;
      – if you see something that brings on the cough, like eating, drinking, getting active, etc.
      I realize they’ll not all the same, but if you see 80% of the dogs with a given detailed symptom, tell me please. I’d love to find what’s called the “genus epidemicus” for this flu. It’s the remedy that fits most patients.

      • Em on April 24, 2015 at 4:27 pm

        We can give you presentation for onset of the first 24 hours, but we sent dogs home at the first spymptoms. We noticed on occasion loose stool and lack of appetite. Dogs would become lethargic and not interested in interacting, eating food or drinking water. Then eye, and and nose discharge which was clear as well as a cough. The cough is dry but can be accompanied by throwing up white expectorant. It sometimes sounds gagging. They will then become feverish but by this time any dog we saw was already on treatment by a vet. I hope this helps! Anything we can do to stop this epidemic.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on April 26, 2015 at 11:28 am

          Thanks, Em. I’d hoped for many more responses to this request for symptoms, but maybe yours and another couple will get me started. I appreciate your help.

  7. Cherie Noullet on April 22, 2015 at 11:24 am

    This is all good & well & I agree with alot this article, but when you actually OWN a boarding facility, things are different. Facility owners do EVERYTHING they can to keep things like canine cough, giardia, canine influenza, feline URI, etc OUT OF THEIR facilities but customers (and some vets) still want to blame the facility for “giving their dog or cat” a sickness. It’s something we fight & worry about everyday. Like we can somehow control an airborne virus. Schools and hospitals can’t seem to control them with humans but we kennel owners somehow should. It seems people have common sense about their kids but not their pets. I try not to make my clients fearful but they also should be informed.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 22, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      Hi Cherie,
      Yes, it’s you folks who are in the toughest position. Best you can do is some screening. Ask each boarding applicant if their dogs have been social with any respiratory sick animals in the past week. Have they had any respiratory symptoms themselves?
      For those who don’t know, and even for all boarders until this dies down, you could ask them to sign a waiver of responsibility before you take their dogs. Word it to the effect that you’ve in an area seeing cases of the illness (if that’s true), dogs may be asymptomatic but still incubating the disease when they enter the facility, and we, the owner, will understand and keep you free of blame should their dog get flu while in your care.
      Best I can think of, besides great management: lots of airflow, outdoor time, segregation of anyone who starts sneezing or coughing, that sort of thing. It’s like a cold going through a preschool — nobody’s likely to die, but it’s a bother for a while. If you spell out the possibility and people sign off aware of that, you’ve done your due diligence.
      Keep me posted if you have any cases. I’ve been wanting to get a nosode made from a sick dog, which could then protect others or hasten recovery in the affected.
      That goes for anybody reading this: if you have known flu in your dogs, contact me via my Contact page and I’ll see if I can’t help shorten this epidemic somewhat.

  8. janet on April 22, 2015 at 7:28 am

    I’m dealing with this dog flu right now. My son came for a visit on the weekend from southern wisconsin and didn’t realize his dog was in the early stages of it. Within hours of his visit my dogs started to sneeze. I cant believe how contagious this is. So far it seems like a mild form, my dogs are still eating and all are active. I am concerned about the nasel congestion. One of my dogs has a lot and is coughing more than the other two. Is there something I can give him to minimize the congestion such as benedryl? Its hard to stand by and do nothing even tho I know their immune systems will take care of this

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 22, 2015 at 10:11 am

      Hi Janet,
      It’s generally a mistake to give “anti-” drugs when an animal is fighting disease. Benadryl is antihistamine. Is his congestion wrong, and needs to be countered? No, it’s part of his “fight,” part of Nature’s way of battling this virus, just like sneezing or a fever.
      The trick is to not get caught up in how you feel about him, but focus instead on how he’s doing. Still eating? He’s not very sick. Still active? Ditto.
      He’ll get better faster if you don’t intercede with drugs. If you want to hasten recovery and support his fight, get a vet homeopath on board and list off symptoms to him/her. Then, a remedy can be found that helps quicken recovery. My Resources page has the AVH list there, that list vet homeopaths by geographical region as well as percentage of their practice that is homeopathy.

      • Janet Ludvik on April 22, 2015 at 3:57 pm

        Thanks Dr. Falconer I needed to hear that! I’m pretty new to the homeopathic movement and I’m learning a lot on the journey. It seems that this flu is a pretty fast moving virus. My dogs started sneezing on Saturday but none of them ever gave up eating and were as active as ever. Other than the sneezing and some congestion and once in a while coughing, you wouldn’t know they were sick. Hopefully by the weekend this will be all over. I appreciate all your help!

        • Will Falconer, DVM on April 22, 2015 at 4:04 pm

          Perfect, Janet. It sounds like they are “fighting the good fight,” and you’re right, this too shall pass. With improved immunity as a result!

  9. Carol McE on April 21, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    I have a 12 month old show dog who is entered in several shows coming up. He is now healthy and vaccinated for the usual dog diseases, including kennel cough back in November but caught a strain of it anyway when he
    arrived here in December. We live in California. Should I keep him home from the shows I spent hundreds of dollars to enter?

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 22, 2015 at 10:05 am

      That’s the socially acceptable thing to do, yes. Highly contagious.

  10. anne on April 21, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    What is the non-toxic means to keep heartworms away?

  11. Susie Wills on April 21, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Thank you so much for this information.

  12. April on April 21, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    I have many friends in the Chicagoland area who have experienced this personally. One of the deaths was friends HEALTHY 7 yr old Bulldog. Another friends healthy 4 yr old lab was in the hospital for 3 days as a result of this virus. Sure, many dogs can and do fight it off but do worry for MY dogs. I titer, feed raw, avoid chemicals, etc but I have an almost 14 year old Bernese at home who is recovering from liver failure and an immunocompromised 10 yr old BMD. Not to mention my two other seniors. I also have two young, healthy dogs who frequently come to work with me as I am a vet tech. What would you advise?

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 21, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      Hi April,
      The old Bernese are at risk, both have clearly compromised health. I’d not be bringing your dogs to work. I’d have a set of clothes and shoes that stays at work and only comes home in a plastic bag that goes straight to the washer and dryer. If you can ride out exposure for these two for another month or so, this will likely all die down as the healthy dogs build immunity and the virus dies off.
      And I question the health of the 7 year old Bulldog. Health is often narrowly defined in conventional medical circles. Odds are good he’d had many vaccinations in 7 years and heartworm and flea pesticides putting him at risk. Let us know if that’s clearly not true.
      Can’t count how many of my patients, before they became my patients, went to Dr. WhiteCoat for illness and were vaccinated in the face of that illness. Were they healthy? No, but the vet behind the needle must have somehow thought they were “healthy enough.”
      If your Berners do end up with the flu, I’d recommend seeking out a good homeopathic vet, by the way, rather than following your doctor’s recommendation for antibiotics. Better yet: start homeopathy (with a professional’s help) now. Their diagnosis is pretty hopeless if they stay in conventional medicine.

  13. Judi on April 20, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    In the midst of all the media hype over the canine influenza, we have continued our business as usual, with some minor changes. We are no longer allowing our boarding dogs to socialize with the daycare dogs until this blows over. We have still not had one case of it. We are not requiring the vaccines and have asked our customers to please keep their pets home for 2 weeks if they decide to get them vaccinated.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 20, 2015 at 5:50 pm

      Judi, thanks. Readers: Judi has a kennel in the “hotbed” of canine influenza, the burbs of Chicago. She’s a stand out among the others in that she’s working with nosodes and not demanding vaccinations for flu (which can shed and cause illness to other dogs).
      My hat’s off to you, Judi. We need many more kennel owners and shelter managers with sensible thoughts like you have.
      A small plug: at least some of Judi’s knowledge comes from Dogs Naturally Academy, where I teach and we have ongoing discussions about pertinent topics like this. Am I right, Judi?

      • Judi on April 20, 2015 at 6:22 pm

        I am so grateful for Dogs Naturally and Dr. Will. They have provided me with excellent information, homeopathic options and support through out this media frenzy. I am hoping that everything will blow over uneventfully. So far we have not experienced any cases of it. We have used the nosodes twice when we panicked over a dog sneezing. It was just a dog sneezing!!!! I was pretty worked up when it was all over the daily news stations of boarding and daycare facilities closing. We have had a drop in daycare, due to the Veterinarians warning people not to come. That is okay with me because I want people to feel safe. My goal now is to learn more about homeopathy to help calm dogs that are stressed while boarding. I want my pet resort to be a pleasurable experience for both the pets and their owners.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on April 20, 2015 at 7:24 pm

          Thanks, Judi. And I hope the furor is dying down as Chicagoans see what a tempest in a teapot this whole disease really is.
          One non-homeopathic but easy way to help calm your charges: put a drop of Rescue Remedy in the water bowls of everybody now and again. A mister bottle, as I’ve described in Vital Animal News, is also effective. You could just go up and down the aisles and make it airborne.

          • Judi on May 4, 2015 at 6:29 pm

            Thanks Dr. Will for the vote of confidence. I will try the mister bottle and a drop in the water bowls.
            As of today, still no cases at our resort. I am not trying to brag because someone could come down with it. I am just very happy that we are not one of the statistics. Daily, we have 20 dogs in grooming, 45 in daycare, 50 – 120 in boarding, 75 in training and agility and so far so good. THANK HEAVENS!!!!

          • Will Falconer, DVM on May 4, 2015 at 6:44 pm

            Awesome, Judi! For readers: Judi is in the heart of it, in Chicago! Now, with that kind of non-incidence, dare we say the epidemic is over??
            Let’s hear from a few more, but this is really encouraging to me. It was Chicago and the Midwest in general that had the 4-5 that died and the many hundreds who fell ill with canine flu.
            Thanks for the great news, Judi. Carry on!

    • Joyce on April 21, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      Sage advice, as always Dr. Falconer. Big shout out to you Judi!
      So happy to see what you’re doing at your boarding kennel!
      Keep on, keepin on being the change you want to see in the world!

  14. Elle on April 20, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    OMG! How tragic is this terribly obvious fear-mongering and marketing hype! I had no idea about any dog flu since I don’t participate in social media.
    It’s clearly and obviously always marketing hype by the vaccine manufacturers whether geared towards humans or animals. Another way to guarantee billions in profits for the vaccine manufacturers as well as all those that get sick as a result of being injected with live viruses, bacteria and toxic chemicals who’ll be put on meds, fattening the wallets of the shareholders of the big pharma cartel.
    Sadly, I have many acquaintances and certain family members who have dogs that are under the care of conventional vets and those dogs suffer all kinds of hideous diseases and they die prematurely causing untold agony for their owners, not to mention multiple thousands of dollars in vet bills. The brainwashing called marketing is so effective that people don’t give any thought to what the real causes are of their animals’ illnesses.
    Like the cancer quackery protocols. You treat a dis-ease by attacking the physical body and destroying it in the name of trying to cure the illness instead of getting to the core of the belief or trauma and working from the inside out.
    If only the patients were referred to a homeopath or other alternative practitioner before their life force is so terribly damaged and diminished by the typical insane protocols of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation that their own body becomes unable to bring itself back to health.
    Speaking of insane protocols, click here if you want to see what passed for medical protocols in the not too distant past: It may appear that we’ve come a long way since those times, but have we really? In retrospect, we are shocked by what the public accepted as medical treatment as a result of the hype and marketing back then, just as those forward thinking folks are shocked at what passes for medical treatment today. Thank goodness for choices.
    Thank you again, Dr. Falconer, for addressing the topic of vaccinations and marketing.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 20, 2015 at 5:47 pm

      Yes, Elle, lots of whacky things were once accepted as medicine. Allopathic medicine has never had a strong foundation that remains unshakable, like that of homeopathy. It’s a path of short cuts and hopeful “one size fits all” prescribing, and things will continue to come and go, like mercury and bleeding.
      Imagine: the founding principles of homeopathy from it’s beginnings 200 years ago still apply today. As do the remedies those early prescribers discovered healed the majority of suffering patients. You’ll not find much like that in all of medicine. Perhaps TCM comes close.
      The bright side to the craziness that went on with mercury is that we homeopaths learned about its use as a remedy (safe, diluted form) from the patients who were poisoned with it at the hands of their doctors! It’s a major remedy today, thanks in part to that understanding of how it poisons.
      My hope is that, before too many years and autistic kids go by, we’ll stop vaccinating, and look back, shaking our heads and saying, “OMG, I can’t believe we thought that was ever a good idea!”
      Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

  15. Karin on April 20, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Thank goodness I’m old enough to remember stories my Grandmother told me of growing up on a farm with my great grandparents. She told me dogs didn’t get sick. They didn’t get cancer and they certainly didn’t get “human” illnesses like the flu. They ate scraps from the farm table and from butchering. They didn’t live indoors but they enjoyed healthy lives without vaccinations or medications or even vets. Veterinarians were for the livestock. Dogs didn’t die before their second decade if they weren’t hurt in an accident. Things really changed when people started treating them like human children instead of dogs. Of course we haven’t done that great with our human children in the past few decades either, but that’s a whole other topic, isn’t it? 🙂

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 20, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      Good perspective, Karin. Fits well with my view that most of the damage we see done today to domestic animals comes from “prevention” done wrongly at conventional vet clinics.
      And yes: the more kids got vaccinated, the more autistic, ADD, and allergic they’ve become. The deniers will say that’s only correlation, not causation. What ever. I’ve seen enough to not need double blind studies!

      • Karin on April 20, 2015 at 12:21 pm

        I agree with your final paragraph 100%. And yes, I should clarify – dogs don’t need “conventional” vets anymore than my child needs a “conventional” pediatrician. But I’m extremely grateful that I have a Vet like you with a great perspective and other health care advisors for the family that aren’t ramming vaccines and routine antibiotics or pharma down our throats.
        Love your newsletter!

  16. Adam on April 20, 2015 at 11:05 am

    I was hoping your next blog would touch base with this canine flu. Even though I could guess how you would address this situation, I still wanted to gear your thoughts.
    Thanks always for the blogs and all the information on vitalanimal! I really appreciate it.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 20, 2015 at 5:39 pm

      You’re welcome, Adam. I’m glad I read your mind on this topic 😉

  17. Ellen on April 20, 2015 at 10:11 am

    I’ve only seen and read fear mongering and panic leading to irrational assumptions and decisions. Always reminds me of Chicken Little. Foolish statements like ending all imports from China. I might agree but not because of flu…
    You can share this article and Dr. Dodds’, but I think some thrive on drama and don’t want to see logic or that it’s about yet another vaccine push. Thanks, Doc!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 20, 2015 at 5:38 pm

      And drama sells news (though that’s getting so diversified, it may not be as clear as selling newspapers or commercial air time for a news show once was).

      • MICHAL CLINE on May 5, 2015 at 2:47 am

        We live in the southwest of southern France and have two standard Poodles. Our dogs have received no vaccines since the age of two.
        To my knowledge there is no dog flu in France. We are in close contact with our vet and a dog/cat refuge. Thus if there was the flu in France, I would have heard about it by now.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on May 5, 2015 at 4:35 am

          Thanks Michal. You’ve got some of my favorite breed of dog there, and good to hear the flu in not present in So. France.