Who You Gonna Trust?

Girl, dog, dark mist 700

Sorting Signal From Noise

Jen recently voiced a concern I hear fairly often:

I think my biggest struggle is that there is so much conflicting information. It’s seems that you can find information to support or oppose any and all subjects. I am not a vet so making heads or tails becomes overwhelming. Knowing what sources to trust and who to dismiss can get complicated.

Maybe you’ve wondered about this yourself.

On the one hand, you hear Dr. WhiteCoat promoting repeated vaccinations throughout your animal’s life (“Sandy is due for her XYZ vaccinations!” screams the postcard).

On the other, you read people like me telling you that veterinary immunologists have known for decades that there’s no benefit to ongoing vaccinations and that there is a very real possibility of harm if you follow that recommendation.

You’ve been told that heartworm is a deadly disease that is only preventable by giving a monthly pill. Perhaps all year round.

And, contrarily, I’ve been telling you there is a significant risk in using the pesticides sold as monthly “preventatives,” and that there’s a drug free protocol that not only protects against the parasite, but actually makes your animal healthier the longer you use it.

And so on.

Are All News Sources Equally Trustworthy?

Dr. WhiteCoat seems well educated. Caring. Concerned for your animal’s health.

Does he know better than the immunologists who’ve studied how the immune system responds to vaccinations?

Or, is there another agenda behind those recommendations against all scientific understanding?

If real people are reporting sickness and death of their own pets after using popular drugs like Trifexis and Apoquel, are they telling the truth, or are they mistaken? Does it take a double blind study to prove they are right or wrong, or are there enough voices joining that conversation of harm that they deserve your attention?

When Dr. Andrew Wakefield produces a movie revealing how data that showed the link between childhood vaccines and autism was covered up at the CDC, do you believe him and accept his premise?

Or do you buy the loud establishment hew and cry that says any link has been “disproved” repeatedly? How about believing the witch hunt that the British doctors used to discredit Dr. Wakefield and strip him of his medical license?

So much noise, so little signal. How do you decide?

The Buck Stops at Your Mind

Ultimately, you have to sort out the truth and decide for yourself what most reflects reality. And we live in an age where critical thinking is becoming a rare commodity.

The ubiquity of television and internet and Netflix and Facebook brings us easy distraction. As a society, we’ve largely said,

Just make this easy and fun for me. I want sound bytes, not thoughtful discourse.

Much like we’ve said, societally,

We don’t want to see any symptoms of illness. Ever. Make them go away please, and fast.

It comes all the way down to the very food we consume. Crops grown in depleted soil with tweaked genetics fill the grocery store aisles. It’s much simpler to buy that than to garden or make food from fresh ingredients.

And records are broken for the percentages of our population who qualify as obese and likely to die of heart disease or complications of diabetes.

Simple or Thoughtful?

Which do you want? It’s rare that good comes from not thinking, especially when it comes to health choices. If you’d rather hand your health or your animal’s well being over to the experts and their “prescription diets,” so be it.

I’d only ask that you make your choices from a place of understanding. And accept responsibility for the outcomes you’ll face. If you want a quick fix for a chronic problem, there’s a long term cost to that. That cost is far more than an emptying of your pocketbook. It involves a lot of suffering on your animal’s part and a lot of heartbreak for you as you try desperately to shore up her failing health.

If you’ve made the transition to a natural path and have experiences of the “before and after” you can share, the comments below are your chance to shine. There’s nothing like real animals and real outcomes to help you decide who to trust.

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  1. Chris Weigl on June 23, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Just wondering if anyone else has had this experience….Two weeks after treating my 12 year old cat with Advantage, she developed pneumonia and died. Two other cats treated at the same time had no reaction. Before this, she never had any respiratory issues ever. I have used Advantage on my cats for many years with no issues.
    I think there is a connection so I refuse to put any more poison on my cats. My house is now infested with fleas. I have tried several natural products with no results. I constantly use a flea comb and I have also tried putting down salt on the carpet. I even bought a new vacuum! I would appreciate any advice. Thanks so much.

    • peter on June 26, 2016 at 9:41 pm

      Food-grade diatomaceous earth could help with the fleas.

  2. nancy brown on June 21, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks again Dr. Will for continuing to drive home this important topic.
    Like many others we did what we thought was best for our dog (kibble, vacs, deworming meds, flea pesticides, the works) on the advice of our trusted vet which resulted in 9 years of mostly poor health and his death from hemangiocarcoma 2 years ago.
    We have completely turned around our approach to raising our new puppy after doing the research and reading this site from cover to cover. Such a fantastic education here. Knowledge is power!
    Lucky us, we found a breeder who practices these things and has raised some very healthy long lived dogs.
    But its funny how much it takes to convince some people how much healthier their dogs would be if they made the changes necessary for good health.
    I know a sweet older lady who has raised many show dogs over the years and has recently switched her current 8 year old dog from kibble to raw. She also took her allergic dog off of Atopica (allergies started at 6 months of age, hmmmm vaccinosis?) which he had been on for 7+ years after another vet told her that Atopica was a possible cancer risk and wondered why her dog was on it? This was news to her as she just trusted her other vet all those years. So after going raw and with the help of some herbs from a holistic vet, guess what? Poof! No more allergies. Her own daughter is a vet in another part of the country and when she told her of her success with the herbs and raw diet, she wasn’t convinced at all and said they would have to agree to disagree. Unfortunately she still completely believes in vaccination and tsk-tsked me disapprovingly when I told her our pup would not be vaccinated.
    I think the brainwashing we have all been subjected to will take quite some time to get past but it’s sites like these that will slowly but surely re-educate all of us.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on June 21, 2016 at 5:50 pm

      Oh my, Nancy. That’s hard to swallow, isn’t it? I wrote about that, something titled ~ When Seeing Isn’t Believing! “Blinders firmly on, I don’t wanna hear anything that could change my bias!” Tsk, tsk, indeed, and right back at you, Dr. WhiteCoat!
      I’m so glad you’re finding value here I love your transformation. Thanks for sharing that. Powerful stuff.

  3. Kelly Hall on June 21, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Great article Dr. F because when it comes down to it, we have to rely on our gut instinct. Does this feel like the best way? No, then what way would be better? I think most of us have a BS radar and we need to learn to use it and to trust it. My story is when we adopted our third rescue dog – Felix – a true Heinz57. He was considered a runner so we couldn’t let him near an open door. A pain yes, but something about him struck my husband and I and we decided to make him part of the family. By that time, I had developed a good routine for my dogs so Felix really got the benefit. Fed raw with no parasiticides, lots of broth and meaty bones. Well he got with the program fast and decided he no longer needed to run. His rough, dull hair fell out in clumps those first few weeks but was replaced with a shiny, soft coat. He is a funny, clever, happy little guy now who keeps up entertained with his antics. Seeing the beautiful health of all our dogs is the true and only way to me!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on June 21, 2016 at 10:32 am

      Felix: “Home at last, good God a’mighty, I’m home at last!”
      Bonus: he’s shored up your confidence of what’s possible on the Natural Path. From coat to behavior, he’s helped you vote with your base of experience. Love it, Kelly.

  4. Holly Watson on June 21, 2016 at 6:05 am

    I lost both of my healthy dogs last year within months of each other from a rabies shot. We had to board them for two days and they had to be updated on their rabies and distemper. Given one week apart from each other. My 9 year old husky became sick the day of the shot vomiting and loose stools. I called the vet they said it was “normal”. I questioned it in my own mind. Two months later diagnosed with Hermangisarcoma. Died two months later. My golden 13 showed signs of depression after our huskys death but we didn’t realize it at the time had the same thing! Diagnosed in September died in November of Hermangisarcoma. How devasting to lose not only one but two. I told the vet I knew the rabies did it, she said I never say never. I will never return to that office again. I have found a holistic vet for our new husky pup but he insisted on us using a Heart worm preventative, I bought it to satisfy him but never used it. Instead we follow Dr Falconers preventative. I feel confident using it, his clients have been using it for years and from what I see it works and it’s safer than other preventatives. Yes it’s more to remember to do and requires diligence for the prevention. It’s worth it after nursing my dogs for nearly a yearly and watching them slowly die from a vaccination. We will titer test for distemper in a few years and Heartworm test 2 times a year for peace of mind.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on June 21, 2016 at 10:42 am

      Oh, Holly, what a heartbreak! I’m so sorry you lost both of you dogs in such short order after vaccination. It’s heartening at least to know you’re taking their example forward to the benefit of all future animals you have a say in raising.
      Be sure to be fully conversant in what titers can and can’t tell you, so you don’t make the common mistake so many do when the titer falls.

  5. Lucy on June 21, 2016 at 2:31 am

    Dear All
    In the last year, I have gradually moved over to a complete holistic lifestyle for my dogs and cats…except one old kitty who absolutely refuses to give up the kibble. There has been an enormous overall improvement in their health and appearance; shiney coats, clean ears, bright eyes and a calm happy disposition. One or two of them had stomach problems with the kibble despite giving wheat free, grain free, for sensitive stomachs etc. Since giving a natural diet all those problems have disappeared.
    All my dogs and cats are rescues, I live in Greece where life is very hard for animals. Nearly all my animals were taken off the street in appalling condition. Some of them have been rehomed, some are waiting to be rehomed.
    My most recent success was an English Setter that I found a year ago sitting on the roadside in a remote village. This breed is used for hunting here, not as pets, he had probably got lost or been abandoned. He was in ghastly state; emaciated, virtually hairless, scabby and very very depressed. The local vet tested him positive for Leishmaniasis, a blood parasite disease, endemic in the Meditteranean basin. He advised me to put the dog to sleep as he was so bad…life is cheap here. I chose not to and took this opportunity to see if I could treat the dog holistically. I started Jack, the dog, on MMS, a controversial substance, and kibble. I had not yet switched to a natural diet. After 3 months he had not shown significant improvement so I had a blood count done and a kidney test. His kidneys were fine and the blood count was quite low given his appearance. I wish I had had him tested from the get go as this would have shown an improvement or not due to the MMS. At a loss of what to do for him I decided to switch to a natural diet for the dogs and give Jack 20ml of colloidal silver twice a day. From then on he improved daily, gaining weight, growing his lovely silky hair and becoming a happy friendly silly Setter, although the Leish parasite was still present he was in a ‘carrier state’ which is the best outcome apparently, though I’m not convinced that’s as good as it can get. He’s now been rehomed in the UK. Unfortunately as part of the entry requirements to the UK he had to have a rabies shot and a months treatment with a very heavy drug for the Leish.
    I still have a pitbull/Staffie type who was also found in a terrible state also Leish pos, she had a year of Allopuriol but now I just give Colloidal silver and a natural diet, but she’s itching like crazy, and I don’t know what to do for her. I tried Cantharis once, there was a mild improvement, but I cannot find any info on treating Leish homeopathic ally and wholistic vets do not exist here in Greece.
    Any ideas?

  6. Heather quiring on June 20, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    My dogs are visibly younger and healthier since I’ve stopped heart worm pesticide prevention and vaccines! Working with dr falconer has been a miracle. Thank you!!!

  7. Kristi on June 20, 2016 at 11:48 am

    I feel like I doing everything right, mostly, and still end up with the same result, cancer. We just lost our German Shepherd to bone cancer 2 months shy of her 10th birthday. She had minimal vax, no flea/tick or hw meds ever, ate a raw diet her entire life, no chemicals in the house, yard, or garden, plenty of outdoor exercise. What am I doing wrong? This should have never happened. We’re devastated & want our other dogs & cats to live a long, healthy, happy life.

    • Susan Hayden on June 20, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      Thinking of you with love. I lost a beautiful whippet girl 2 weeks ago from an oral fibrosarcoma that went out of control, despite my best efforts. You did everything you could! Please believe that! I am also struggling with the “why” of things; like you, I fed her a natural, mostly homemade diet, used no chemicals in the yard or house, minimal vaccinations, etc – I am sure you know the litany of doggy parenting. Nothing I did would stop it. She would have been 11 in August – for her breed, too short a life. My heart is with you…

      • Terry on June 20, 2016 at 2:05 pm

        Kristi, remember that a lot of diseases can be found in purebred breeders dogs. They inbreed for the looks for the show ring, not longevity’ unfortunately. You did everything you could.

        • Kristi on June 20, 2016 at 2:34 pm

          She was European working bred, from imported parents. They were both totally health screened before breeding.

        • P_Smith on June 21, 2016 at 6:41 pm

          Not necessarily, I know people of who raise show quality English Mastiffs who average life span is 16 years and another who raises Newfoundlands that regularly hit their late teens. It’s really all in if the parents and grandparents and even great great grandparents have been treated conventionally. Hence the shorter lifespans and diseases at an earlier age. RE: Epigentics.
          On another note, I know a lot more mix breed dogs that are inbred than show quality purebreds. Again, all depends on the breeders ‘methods’.

      • Kristi on June 20, 2016 at 2:32 pm

        Thank-you! It still feels like I didn’t do enough.

    • guest on June 20, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      Even miniumal vaccines can cause cancer. Maybe he was so sensitive that the few vaccines did him in. So if your dog received one rabies vaccine, that may have been the one that caused the severe damage.
      I know people who ship in dogs from countries that do not require the rabies scam. They pay $1,000’s for totallly unvaccinated natural raised dogs that are flown here. The USA law does not require rabies vaccine to ship in a dog from a country that does not require rabies vaccine. They say they buy these dogs because they are so healthy, and they maintain the absolutely no vaccines, raw organic eggs, raw food, raw veggies, raw fruit, no flea tick pesticides, no heartworm pesticides, no pesticides and no herbicides in the yard, no cleaning chemicals and they do everything natural. No toxic carpet in the house, etc.
      Even one vaccine is very damaging. Thats all it takes to ruin the health of some pets and people.

      • Kristi on June 20, 2016 at 2:37 pm

        I live in an area of the country where distemper & parvo are very real threats. Even my holistic vet recommends those vax for puppies. I know of natural breeders in my area that also recommend that puppies be vaccinated. What do you do? If I can’t keep a dog healthy enough to prevent cancer, how am I going to keep a puppy healthy enough not to get parvo or distemper?

        • guest on June 20, 2016 at 3:37 pm

          I bought parvo nosodes and distemper nosodes.
          So many said their vet would not help save their puppy from parvo, so they treated and saved very sick parvo puppies with parvo nosodes.
          Many many have had great success with parvo nosodes and following the treatment of parvo protocol with fluids every hour or two for several days and the parvo nosodes.
          Yes, many dogs and puppies get parvo, but the non vaccinated parvo puppies have the greatest chance of surviving parvo..
          After I researched, and read the comments of so many that never vaccinated with parvo and used parvo nosodes with great success.
          Unfortunately you must not have a holistic vet or they would have recommended parvo nosodes and the parvo protocol if a puppy or dog gets parvo.
          Most conventional vets are clueless on treating parvo so yes you must research the correct protocol and treat yourself.
          They said the worst part was ordering the parvo nosodes after the puppy or puppies got parvo and having to wait three days for the parvo nosodes to arrive.
          They all recommend to keep parvo nosodes in the cabinet so you have immediate access if needed.
          I used parvo nosodes and distempter nosodes to strengthen my dog’s immune system and my puppy has been busy taking puppy classes with lots of puppies and visiting with lots of other friendly dogs out on dog walks, dog hikes, etc.
          Meeting with other dogs will strengthen my puppy’s immune system even more.
          Stop the parvo vaccines and go with parvo nosodes that really work.

        • chris on June 20, 2016 at 4:21 pm

          Distemper and parvo can be very real but I had two puppies I got in Oct and neither of them got it. Any disease can be beat if you give the immune system time to work. When you vaccinate even for something like parvo and distemper, you are depressing the immune system. My dogs were exposed to everything gradually to build up that system and now are older and just fine.

    • chris on June 20, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      I am not second guessing your bone cancer diagnosis but my german shepherd girl was diagnosed with this at age 6. Because I asked for a second opinion and a 3rd, I found out from the 2nd and 3rd opinion that the first vet was wrong (and she was a good vet). Bone cancer does not cross the joint and it was really bad osteoarthritis in her elbows. But if I had blindly followed the first vet, things might have turned out differently.
      Unfortunately we can do all the things right like you are doing and still have our dogs die of things like cancer. I have been told by my homeopath who has breed for years that even if you do things right, you have to remember that they are also inheriting what their parents had (especially if they are kibble fed and vaccinated up the wazoo). She says it takes at least a few generations to breed some of that inherited stuff out.
      I feel your pain because we lost our german shepherd girl at 8 years (I had four different vets tell us four different things) and we were not expecting her to die like she did. It has been 10 months and I am still very raw from that because she was my girl and my first german shepherd. Even with four of them still in the house, it still hurts. But I will never be without a german shepherd in my house again because even if they have short lives, their lives will be good with us (car rides and chiropractor visits and homeopathy and all the raw hunting meat and bones they can eat).

      • Kristi on June 20, 2016 at 4:32 pm

        So sorry to hear about your dog. It’s always so hard when we lose them. Even harder when their lives are cut short. I’m very conflicted about vaccines vs nosodes. I need to do more research on nosodes. When you have a holistic vet and a natural breeder both recommending vax, that will tell you how much of a threat it is. I’ve dealt with this vet for the past 20 years & the only time that he recommends anything conventional is when it’s truly the right thing to do.
        I have so much guilt about the death of this dog, I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I had a puppy get parvo or distemper & die. I don’t think I’d ever forgive myself. There are no easy answers. I’m trying to do the best that I can for all of our dogs & cats.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on June 20, 2016 at 10:00 pm

          Hey Kristi,
          A page that should help for the next pup who comes: Prevent Parvo and Distemper Without Vaccinations.
          And a remedy for the grief and adjustment you’re processing: Bach Flower Walnut. Take with Rescue Remedy for a week or more, until you feel better and realize this wasn’t your fault.
          All my best to you and your pack.

  8. Judy L Dughman on June 20, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Hi Dr. Falconer,
    I have done rescue work for the last 20 years so all my dogs are rescues, that have come to me thru fostering or other means. My latest success story is the eight year old boxer who came to me with multiple worms (whip, hook & tape), multiple large mast cell tumors, urinary problems, ear mites (his ears are permanently damaged), and other things! I immediately put him on a raw food diet, stopped ALL vaccines, heart-worm, and topical treatments, removed the mast cell tumors, and started giving him a supplement for them, hoping only to slow their progress in returning. He’s 11 now, cancer free, and no-one can believe how old he is! Except for that white face, you’d never think he was 11. I go only to holistic or homeopathy vets who support no vaccines and raw food. Because all my dogs are rescues I have many stories, I turned around a two year old French Bulldog with severe ulcerative colitis, gastritis and pancreatitis. She’s almost ten now, and doing well! Please keep all your advice coming, it’s greatly appreciated.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on June 20, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      Wow, inspiring work, Judy! Hats off to you bringing dogs back from the brink like this. Really shows what’s possible when we support instead of intoxicate these bodies!

  9. Barbara Schermerhorn on June 20, 2016 at 10:46 am

    I still need a valid argument for no more vacs I titer test even tho vet laughs at me

    • guest on June 20, 2016 at 2:34 pm

      Fire this vet.
      Hire a real holistic vet. If a vet laughs at you that is because he she is mad that you are a critical thinker and know how to research the truth. The sign of an intelligent person.
      Most people are brainwashed and believe everything on the news (lies) media. Most people find it easier to believe the lies instead of using their brain to learn and research the truth. In the USA everything is based on profit not health care.
      Don’t trust anyone wearing a white coat. Do your own research.
      I have fired many vets. Many times I use a vet one time for an emergency.
      If a vet gives me any crap, they are fired.
      I expect a vet to be a team player and value that I am an exceptional pet owner looking out for the health of my pets.
      If the vet lies to me and I find out in my research. They are so fired.
      I hate spending money so some vet can lie to me.
      I want an honest vet to work with me as a team player in the care of my pet.
      I fire any vet that is condescending.
      I have met so many vets thru the years
      that hate that I am so informed and willing to learn the truth and will do my research.
      I am willing to spend money for a vet that is a team player, listens to what is important to me and my pet, and is honest with me.
      I want a good vet to guide me. I hate doing so much on my own, but in the USA, one is mostly on their own, as so few real holistic vets.
      I only use a vet for emergencies.

    • Dede on June 20, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      Better than a “valid argument” are the facts. This is long but well worth the time to read it. It tells that the “vaccine experts” know these toxins are causing all kinds of damage, including brain and DNA damage, autism and much more. This was shared in a different Dr. Falconer article on this site.
      Who Am I Gonna Trust? God. He’s never wrong, and has given us all we need to thrive, not just survive. My experience and that of many others like me who’ve seen the total disaster that Dr. WhiteCoat, big pharma, big food and conventional pet rearing bring…and then seen the wonderful results that natural methods give. I also trust homeopathy and Dr. Will since I’ve seen those amazing results. These are evidence, proof – not fake scientism.

    • deborah rhoads on June 26, 2016 at 5:06 pm

      I also for several years have our vet do a titer on our small dog. (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel). I learned from another small pet owner, which she found out the hard way, not to vac your pets at the request of the vets. Our vet will give her the blood test, and so far we have not had to revaccinate her. She is now 13years..
      So far so good on that front..

  10. Diane on June 20, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Thank You! I totally agree.
    We lost our golden at 7 1/2 from mass liver cancer within 2 months of having his yearly booster and rabies in one visit. He got yearly boosters along with the lepto shot and rabies every 3 yrs. He also got flea/tick topicals every month for about 9 months out of the yr. He had hot spots a lot and bad junk in his ears all the time. He was fed kibble. He developed a fatty tumor at the injection site of steroids that they gave him once for the hotspot, so I stopped them.
    The golden we have now is just over 2 yrs old. He has had 2 puppy shots, 1 at the breeder and 1 when he was 4 months old. Rabies at 3 months and 1 topical at 9 wks old because he was loaded with fleas from the breeder and I could not get rid of them….. Since then – no topicals, no more shots, he gets a homemade diet with supplements. His coat is so shiny, I have never had to clean his ears, his eyes never have junk in them and no hotspots.
    He did get Lymes this past winter because I never thought we would have ticks in the winter in the Northeast and I did not spray with the natural spray I make.
    I bought doxy, but decided to do Ledum instead. He has no signs at all, and I will have him retested in a few months.
    Still trying to learn more about treating lymes naturally and hopefully I can find out more about it so I don’t have to use a powerful antibiotic.
    Wish I would of known this type of stuff years ago, I would of done things differently like I am doing now.
    Thanks so much for all your info. I really enjoy reading your posts.

    • guest on June 20, 2016 at 3:24 pm

      If the ledum works that is great to hear. I bought some and I bough lyme nosodes to prevent lyme disease as one can never totally prevent ticks.
      I have several tick disease nosodes so I am hoping this will help my dog avoid getting a tick disease if bitten by a tick with lyme, e canis and I bought several other tick disease nosodes.
      E canis or ehrlichia is very important nosode for dogs as if your dog tests positive, it can be fatal within a few months.
      Conventional vets try to treat with antibiotics and antibiotics do not work on the tick diseases, they may mask the symptoms temporarily, but when you stop the antibiotics, the tick disease is even stronger and will either make your dog sicker or possible die.
      I had a dog that died from E Canis, so I learned the hard way. This time I want my new puppy to build up the immune system so hopefully to not contract e canis, or to be strong enough to survive E Canis tick disease. I have bought the E Canis nosodes.
      Some treat tick diseases with the Dr Rife machine that kills numerous parasite diseases. I know some dog rescues have bought the Dr Rife machine and say it helps treat a lot of dogs that come in positive with tick diseases.

    • Sherry on June 20, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      If you don’t mind you mentioned an all natural spray you make would it be possible to get the spray ingredients from you please? You can email it to me at sherry.richardson@atmosenergy.com I would really appreciate it a lot and this does work on fleas and ticks…right?
      Sherry Richardson