Kill Germs! (The Fool’s Fix)

But Will That Cure My Animal?

“We cultured your cat’s ears, and she’s got staph in there, so she needs to be quarantined away from your other cat and take these antibiotics. We know how to kill germs!”

This was actually recently told to a client of mine, who was seeking more information from a local conventional vet to see why her cat’s ears continued to produce debris and wax.

Blaming it on a germ? Unbelievable.

But it’s also very revealing of a modern societal fallacy: germs are the cause of disease. Kill germs and the disease will go away.

Now, germs certainly can cause disease.

Flu viruses make people sick, as do cold viruses, right? But why not everyone who’s been exposed? Have you ever noticed that?

Say you go to a gathering, and your friend Susan is sneezing.

Runny nose, hanky in hand, maybe red-rimmed eyes, and telling you she doesn’t feel well. We’ve all been there.

You go home and a day or two later, start sniffling yourself. Maybe feel a little run down. “Oh oh, now I’m getting that cold! Darn it!”

You might even talk with friends who were at the same gathering, interacting with Susan like you were, and some of them are also starting to get sick.

Germ Theory 1, Common Sense 0

When you think about it, it seems pretty obvious that you “caught” this cold bug from your sick friend, and so did some of your buddies.

Some. Of. Them.

Often times, we stop there in our search for meaning. “Susan had it, now I’ve got it, and Janet got it, therefore, it’s infectious. Damn virus!”

But if you ask far enough, you’ll likely uncover others who, though being in the same party, did not get sick.

They were also exposed, but they are going about their business as usual.

Why is that? Is it really all about evil germs and “infections?”

I think not.

Pasteur Flipped

Louis Pasteur, though only one of several researching germs and illness, is often called the “father of the germ theory.”

The theory goes that germs spread from the sick to the well person, make the well person sick, and on it goes.

And that’s partially true.

That’s why some people get the same cold or flu you had, shortly after you got it.

At the end of his life, Pasteur supposedly said, “Bernard (his contemporary with opposing views) is correct. The bacteria are nothing. The soil is everything.”

Rudolf Virchow, another “father of the germ theory”, stated in his later years,

“If I could live my life over again, I would devote it to proving that germs seek their natural habitat — diseased tissues — rather than causing disease.”

The Animal Experience

Indeed, we see evidence of Virchow’s brilliant idea frequently in veterinary medicine. Two common areas are the ear and the skin.

If your animal develops allergies, a common aftermath of vaccination, the ears and skin are often the organs that go wild with reaction.

A single flea bite can set a flea-allergic dog into wild scratching and chewing, often to the point of bleeding.

Certain cases will show staphylococcus (staph, for short) overgrowing on the skin.

The “staph infections” are almost uniformly treated with antibiotics, at least if Dr. WhiteCoat is involved.

To whit, my client with her cat’s wax laden ears.

Dr. WhiteCoat cultured a swab of the ear, found staph growing on the petri dish, and said, “Ah, HA! The cause of this poor cat’s suffering is this germ. She has an Ear Infection! It can get the other cat sick, and must be killed with antibiotics!”

Fact: you and I and every mammal on the planet have staph on our skin. Normal flora.

It’s all part of living in bodies as we do.

The second cat isn’t going to “catch” staph from the cultured one with all the ear wax.

She’s already got it. It’s not overgrowing because her ears are healthy.


In homeopathic practice, as is true in other holistic veterinary practices, like acupuncture or herbal medicine, we are often called upon when this “kill germs!” approach fails.

Your animal has had repeated rounds of antibiotics, maybe with steroids to quell the inflammation, and STILL the poor dear keeps bouncing back into her same illness.

Though it often gets worse, and less responsive with each attempt.

So, we are often the Doctor of Last Resort, D.L.R.

And, knowing there’s got to be more to the case than germs, we set about improving nutritionstopping vaccinations and toxic pesticides, and, at least in homeopathy, look for the proper medicine that can spur the individual to “fight the good fight,” and beat the disease finally and all.

Why are there so many failures before we get the patient?

Largely because the germ was there as a result of the organ being diseased.

Here’s how it often goes:

  1. Your animal was vaccinated.
  2. After a few weeks to a month, allergies started. Maybe to fleas, or foods, or pollen, or grass. Often to many things, all at once.
  3. The allergic response inflames tissues of the body, commonly skin or ears. In people, it’s the lungs and sinuses.
  4. The inflamed tissues lose their natural resistance, their natural balance of friendly flora, and some opportunist “germ” overgrows. A staph bacteria. A yeast, like candida. Many others are possible and will be found on culture.

The conventional medical mind is hung up on germs as the cause, and equally enamored with antibiotics. Ever heard the saying,

If your only tool is a hammer, pretty soon everything starts to look like a nail?”

That’s what we’re seeing here. “One size fits all, no-brainer” medicine.

Bigger Hammers Don’t Help

When the initial antibiotics fail, the next step is often ever more powerful ones.

Not only do stronger antibiotics not solve the underlying vaccination illness (aka vaccinosis), but they carry with them negative side effects.

  • Collateral damage.  Good bacteria (now known to outnumber the host cells by at least 10 fold!) are killed, along with the intended victim in your animal’s ear or skin.
  • Further compromised immunity. When beneficial bacterial populations in your animal’s gut die off, her immune system, already in a state of disrepair (allergy), takes a hit, making recovery more difficult.
  • Antibiotic resistance. The so-called Super Bugs that antibiotics cannot kill.
  • Toxicity, which can result in deafness, joint pain, kidney failure, and more.
  • Expense.

Back to the Soil

Traditional Chinese Medicine has recognized for about 4000 years, that the terrain, not the germ, is the thing.

Restoring lost balance in the body is the approach, and

When the body is healthy, the germ no longer has a home.

We see the very same thing time and again in homeopathic veterinary practice.

We improve your animal’s diet, stop the negative influences (largely, vaccinations and flea poisons), give a tiny dose of a remedy that can start a response by her vital force to right the imbalance, and stand back in awe as your animal gets well.

This happy outcome is the reward for focusing not on killing germs, but rather on restoring health.

Let us know in the comments if you’ve seen this “Kill the germ, wage WAR on the virus!” mindset in your world. Lots of it around COVID-19, as I update this article.

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  1. Paula on October 1, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    I have seen this and have been trying for almost 2 yrs. to help one of our shepherds w/chronic ear infection. The past 9 mos. to a year, they have been sloshy and tinged w/blood. We’ve tried everything. Early on, I reluctantly took her to vet twice and used claro, but when it didn’t help, we decided we’d just have to find what works on our own. We’ve tried so much and even tried a homeopathic formula that didn’t help. Now, I’ve resorted to olive oil w/oil of oregano drops in it and also colloidal silver in aloe gel (I added some grapefruit seed extract to both of those concoctions, also). Everything seems to help initially, but then fails.

    Is there something you can recommend to help w/our dog’s ear suffering?

    Our other shep just recently started having these eruptions that scab up all around her neck and down her back. Not sure what’s going on there. They are both 3 (10/7), and it’s been 2 yrs. since any vaccine. I despise vaccines and fretted over giving them the parvo and rabies one, but we almost lost a shep to parvo and we didn’t want to chance it after much research. We waited until they were 16 wks. before the parvo and a year for the only rabies they’ll ever get.

  2. NT on June 7, 2020 at 9:33 am

    Hi! You are correct. Germ Theory, is only a theory and not truth. There is a doctor who agrees with you, even in the face of CoVid19(84). See Dr. Andrew Kaufman.

  3. Corinne Chapman on April 3, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Hello Dr Will,
    I am a holistic Vet in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I have been really struggling with Vet medicine for several years. Finally started moving out of the White Coat paradigm in 2001 (graduated in 1997) and have slowly been figuring out things since. I added TCM to my practice in 2005, but I just never found it to work well. Always searching for a truly curative medicine, I have finally hit upon homeopathy! However, I now have so many options in front of me!! I would really love your advice on course recommendations, books, etc so I can obtain a good education in this challenging field of medicine. I was recently offered an online course with Julie Anne Lee, but she “offered” said course for $30,000!!!! I would love to hear what you recommend when you have time!
    Thanks in advance for you time and help,
    Corinne Chapman, DVM

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 3, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      Hi Corinne!
      Nice to hear your direction. My own path was much like yours, and after using needles for a few years, I, too, was just not satisfied. It was then that I started poking around in homeopathy. I found it both enticing and confusing! I heard lectures at holistic vet meetings by people practicing it in quite different ways.
      Somehow, I luckily heard a couple lectures from Dr. Pitcairn, and it sounded more balanced somehow. When he offered his first Professional Course in vet homeopathy, I jumped at the chance, and started flying every other month from Hawaii to Oregon for the training. I was hooked from his very first case report.
      I’d highly recommend this course as a basis for understanding and practicing quality classical homeopathy. You can find out when and where the next one begins at drpitcairn dot com.
      I wish you all the best, and hope to see you one day at an AVH meeting. P.s. I’d join that group now, even before training, just for the journal, so you can see what cured cases look like and get a feel for prescribing tempo, evaluation of response, etc.

  4. Christine Touw on April 2, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Howdy Dr Falconer ~ I am really enjoying your weekly postings and finally have a minute to respond. This week’s topic hit home. A couple of months ago I came down with a cold that last for 3 weeks and it was probably the flu. I was chilled, weak, couching etc and unable to take care of our rescue pups and our own dogs. My husband Phil took off from work and picked up the slack. We were both worried because we thought he’d get sick as well. Two days into my illness Phil was achy & chilled so he took a nap and took some honey tea. The next day he was fine. As we look back Phil was healthy and eating nutritious foods. I was sleep deprived and snacking on junk because I was overdoing it with the bottle babies. No wonder who got sick! Thanks for all you do.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 2, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      Hey Christine,
      Thanks for adding this. I hope you’ll follow Phil’s lead. Those pups will be better off if you’re on top of your caregiver game. We gotta keep balance, eh? Perfect example of the terrain at work.

  5. Betsy on April 2, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Dr. Falconer;
    Finally I read an opinion that makes so….. much sense. My 13 year old “Moose” female rotty was diagnosed with a bladder infection 1.5 years ago. Symptoms: Urinating 3-4 times on walk instead of her normal 2. Went to traditional vet and you know the rest. Took urine sample (crystals), took x-ray confirmed crystals, blood in urine due to irritation and sample came back positive for “staph”. Was on antibiotics for 14 days, all went well then it came back. Went to my holistic vet: she put her on tinkle tonic, l-methionine, crystal free, etc. and check her pH. Even with the addition of kidney beans, celery and cucumber (cooling foods) Moose pH is still about 7-7.5. She eats freeze dried food for years now, no vaccines, no chemicals AT ALL. I have decided to start cooking real food for her and her sister because I am tired of all these recalls.
    Thanks for your article!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on April 2, 2013 at 7:23 pm

      Hey Betsy,
      Glad this resonated. You’re heading in a good direction, though, from experience, I see that nutrition and supplementation has limits. If you find yourself still dealing with off pH and/or more symptoms in a month, please consider getting a professional homeopath on board. I’ve seen the proper and careful use of remedies turn even metabolism around. It’s just deeper than nutrients, more subtle, more able to cure.
      I wish you all the best, and glad you joined the discussions.

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