Vaccines and Vets: Is Your Holistic Vet Really Holistic?
I was aghast. A dozen years into veterinary practice, I’d just learned that an everyday, common veterinary procedure that I’d been told in vet school was benign, was not only not benign, it was causing illness in the name of preventing it!
Shortly thereafter, I also learned that the common way of using this procedure was useless: it did no good for the animals who received it.
Now my head was really reeling. I was doing this procedure somewhat regularly. In my conventional practice days, I did it a lot.
This eye opening, world shaking, revelatory information was coming not only to me, but to any of my veterinary colleagues who chose to read about it. In my case, it came in the context of rebooting my holistic vet career during my studies of veterinary homeopathy.
What I was hearing were two remarkable truths that had been entirely absent in my veterinary education to date:
- 1. Vaccinations are capable of creating disease (and often do just that).
- 2. Repeating vaccinations throughout life just plain didn’t work.
I was taking the very first Professional Course in Veterinary Homeopathy in 1992-93 in Eugene, Oregon when this really sunk in.
Here I was, surrounded by other holistic veterinarians, some at it much longer than I, and our instructor, Dr. Richard Pitcairn, was showing us case after case illustrating the harm that was coming from vaccination.
More significantly, he was also showing us that sick animals usually didn’t get better without, at some point in their treatment, receiving a vaccinosis remedy.
Vaccinosis, it turns out, is a term coined by the brilliant British homeopath, J. Compton Burnett, M.D. When?
You can still enjoy his original treatise on the subject, called “Vaccinosis and its Cure by Thuja.”
In it, Burnett takes you through his human cases of horrible suffering that simply would not yield to the treatments of his day, even those homeopathic treatments that seemed certain to work.
These folks didn’t get well until he considered vaccines in his patient’s history, and treated specifically to undo the illness that had begun from that procedure.
Seeking a term to apply to this wide group of illnesses that had begun after vaccination, he dubbed it vaccinosis.
First, Do No Harm!
Many of my holistic veterinarian colleagues who were on the same training had seen vaccine illness as well. Dr. Pitcairn’s examples just made it abundantly clear that vaccination was anything but a harmless procedure.
I vowed to stop at that point, and to only do infrequent rabies vaccines.
How could I knowingly make animals sick? Hadn’t I taken an oath to make them well?
Second, Do Nothing Useless!
As our groundbreaking veterinary homeopathy course was drawing to a close, a seminal chapter on vaccinations appeared in Current Veterinary Therapy, one of the most respected books in veterinary medicine. A copy of it was brought in by a colleague and we all read it and discussed it over meals together.
The authors were Dr. Ronald Schultz (University of Wisconsin), and Dr. Tom Phillips (Scrips Research Institute). They are veterinary immunologists. These words stood out from their chapter, and were shared with our clients whenever and where ever we got the chance:
“A practice that was started many years ago and that lacks scientific validity or verification is annual revaccination. Almost without exception there is no immunologic requirement for annual revaccination. Immunity to viruses persists for years or for the life of the animal…… Furthermore, revaccination with most viral vaccines fails to stimulate an anamnestic (booster) response…. The practice of annual vaccination in our opinion should be considered of questionable efficacy…”
Now, my mind was firmly made up: I was not going to give my patients something that was neither good for them nor helpful to them! Damn!
Change? Not on My Watch!
Shortly after we graduated from what many of us felt was training that bested any we got in vet school, the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association meeting was held in Minneapolis.
Many of us attended, and the topic of greatest interest to us was vaccine illness, aka vaccinosis. We heard from Dr. Jean Dodds1 and Dr. Pitcairn about hypothyroidism and other chronic disease that was showing an onset after vaccination.
At these meetings, informal conversations are often as valuable as the lectures themselves, as we cross pollinate ideas with one another.
One comment really left me stunned.
It was on this great new information that we’d been doing harm for years and certainly not helping animals by annually vaccinating them.
One “holistic” veterinarian from Ohio, several years my senior, flat out stated,
Well, I’m not going to stop vaccinating!”
I didn’t hear any logic to that decision, just a strongly stated declaration! From a purportedly holistic vet. Who later went on to become the president of the AHVMA!
My friends and I were agog and our eyes opened to a deeper reality: there are financial reasons behind continuing to vaccinate annually! Stopping would mean losing one’s bread and butter.
While we were already committed to practicing as holistically as possible, many of our brethren were not.
“Holistic vet” was a convenient term that likely drew in more clients, while it was sufficiently vague that it didn’t constrain what happened inside the practice.
I’ll Do Whatever I Damn Well Please!
It should come as no great surprise then that the average, non-holistic vet is not embracing these new understandings about vaccinations even now, nearly 30 years hence.
My colleague here in Texas, Dr. Bob Rogers, informally polled over 400 vets at national meetings, and got the following response in all but one:
I don’t care what the data says, I am not changing.”
This same colleague, in visiting the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medicine, beseeching them to take up the charge for change, was told by a board member that he,
…could vaccinate a client’s pet every week for twenty two years and nobody could tell him not to.”
Attitudes That Damage Your Animal: Beware
As you set about navigating what seem like perfectly clear waters on your way to a vital animal, keep your eyes open for these dangerous attitude reefs.
My profession is bemoaning the fact that veterinary visits are falling, yet refusing to step up to a responsible position on a damaging, useless procedure: repeating vaccinations throughout your animal’s life.
While there’s good value in a regular vet exam, if it comes with the burden of vaccinations, you’ll do well to either get your needs clearly emblazoned on Spot’s chart:
or find another vet who’s willing to work with you while respecting your choice to opt out of this procedure.
And yes, I’m talking about rabies, too.
Unfortunately, the burden is on you to carry this torch. Don’t expect Dr. WhiteCoat to lead the charge. The ease of giving a vaccine and its crazy high markup ensure it will be a bellwether to help you sort the “holistic” from the “fauxlistic” in a hurry.
Tell us in the comments how you interact with veterinary care in a safe way.
So I am relocating overseas and my dog who is currently unvaccinated needs rabies and all the rest to be exported. I considered rehoming her but just cannot do it as we are extremely bonded. What are the homoeopathic remedies I can give her to support her.
? .I have managed to acquire some earth probiotics for her immune system..any other advice greatly appreciated.
To be clear and make sure I understand, only the rabies vac is needed but enough for their bodies. The rest aren’t needed. I don’t vax my kids or myself. I’m getting a new puppy but I’m looking for a clear answer to this. Thank you so much
“Needed” is a very relative term. Some would say the “law” makes it needed. I say “it depends.” I have a good starting place for you to learn more about rabies: Rabies Short Course. And much more in depth, individual answers for my students in Rabies: Knowledge is Power, which opens periodically for enrollment..
And parvo kills puppies. Distemper can also, though it’s far less prevalent. Doing zero protection isn’t wise, but vaccines are not your only choice. Here’s a course that more broadly speaks to alternative ways to protect (and WHY you’d want to explore those). As I write this, the best course to address safe immunization is open for enrollment for a few more days: Nosodes, Tautodes & Titers.
Unfortunately I have to vaccinate my dog. Massachusetts don’t accept rabies titles. I’m afraid that one day my dog will be sick and no clinic will want to take care of him because he doesn’t have the rabies vaccine, this is very sad.
I thought all towns had a vaccination requirement for a dog license. Ours does
Can anyone recommend a holistic vet who will work with you regarding vaccinating old and sick pets?
In the East Bay area.
Ken, see if there’s a woman in East Bay with an acupuncture/TCM practice that’s been there for many long years. Her name escapes me, sorry. Might be Four Paws Five Directions or similar clinic name.
So how do we get around needing these shots to go to a groomer or fly on an airline?
Exactly. I have the same question.
A far more important question: Will you let a groomer dictate critical health decisions for your pet? Is that groomer trained in veterinary immunology, and is making those demands based on good scientific understanding?
I love your thinking and attitude: We haven´t vaccinated our 9 -year old dog (and have not vaccinated our two children, now 17yr and 20yr and healthy.)
Thanks for your informative posts!
best regards from Finland
I have had to rethink how I approach the health of my two dogs. My youngest dog had a dose of Nexgard and within days was extremely sick. Rushed her to the vet- autoimmune.
A long recovery, with constant fear over her well-being.
We refused the last recommended rabies vaccine. The vet’s office discussed this refusal, but in the end gave us a waver for 1 year, to not give her the vaccine. BE proactive with your pets health.
Love the way you’re thinking, V. Ultimately, there’s no one like YOU to take the lead on your animals’ health care. No one cares about them like you. No one.
Luckily my vet does not bother me about vaccines. He just marks his paperwork as client denied. He never pushes the subject and if he did I would be looking for a new vet. I do however wish we had access to a holistic approach in our area as it would be nice to have guidence with it. I try hard to take the natural approach as much as possible but I can’t say I am aware of any vets in our area that are holistic in part or at all.
It takes more to be a holistic vet than saying you are holistic. A holistic vet isn’t someone who follows standard practices and then sells you herbs when your pet gets sick in addition to toxic drugs. It’s akin to pet owners bawling their guts out only to go get a new pet and repeat the process.
Holistic has become cliche and a way for the medical establishment to dig deeper into your pocket. Don’t get conned by a pick pocket thief.
Yes, I did a much better job with my two Maltese dogs Destiny and Freddie. But when I lost Des I saw my shortcomings in allowing the rabies vaccine. No vet will ever come near Freddie or any future dog I might have unless they truly are homeopathic. I don’t blame Des’s vet I blame me and thus I have empowered myself to be in charge of my own destiny and my pets. If you don’t want to get hurt stop jamming your foot into the wall, Evaluate others on what they actually do not on what they say. Talk is cheap kind of like politics. I recently told some politicians I am no longer donating based on empty words but rather to those individuals who are acting in a way that supports my view. So there you go the death of my baby Des or Littlest as I sometimes called her has helped me to have a real growing experience in more ways than vet medicine. My favorite cliche is when life gives you lemons make lemonade.
The happiest outcome to a death of a loved one: resolve that it will never happen again. And, as you wisely point out, Deanna, that means changing your choices of what you allow in and on the next gen of animals in your care. I applaud your resolve and confident stance. Your animals are lucky to have you.
I haven’t vaxxed in many years. I currently have a 6 yr. Papillon who hasn’t had any vaccines. I really have never had to visit a vet, even my holistic vet, for any health issues other than health testing before I breed. It seems that some vets are afraid to lose their licenses if they say they don’t believe in vaccines. It’s all very much kept secret.
What really bothers me is vets who claim to be supportive of not giving vaccines, but when asked to write a waiver for the rabies vaccine, they refuse because they are afraid of losing their license. In a case where a dog has a positive titer, and numerous health issues that a vaccine could make her health worse (such as lyme) a waiver is certainly warranted. I love what Dr Robb said in an interview for the pet cancer series, “if you arent willing to risk your license, you dont deserve to be a vet”
I had 2 “holistic” vets refuse to give me the waiver so I could have my dog licensed, believe it or not I ended up getting a “traditional” vet to write the waiver, because he said “its the right way to do it” He agreed that the vaccine would be harmful to my dog as lyme is about keeping the immune system healthy and vaccines harm the immune system.
It’s just plain lame, Jill. The odds of losing one’s license over doing the right thing on behalf of a patient is minuscule. I’m glad you found someone more sensible, even if he didn’t fly the holistic flag. HE was looking holistically at your dog. The others, fauxlistically.
Anything we can now do to cure her?
Yes: hire a homeopathic vet. I’ve got a “vetted” list of them on this page.
Dr. My cat seems to be looking off like she is seeing something, opening her mouth in an exaggerated way and rippling her back and then runs. My neighbors cat is suffering from this too. I have read of otherd. We were wondering about the topical flea medicine (we have since quit giving them), vaccinations or our food containing something that is hurting them. Help!
In order of suspicion for me would be:
Search out each of those terms and learn all you can so you don’t add to the problem. Start here, with the low-hanging fruit: https://vitalanimal.com/vaccinations-consider-carefully/
My new vet knew I was against vaccinations. Took one of my girls in for her final booster of core vaccines only and I stated I only wanted the core vaccines and named them. Her tech came in with the shots prepared and I said hold on there. What is in those. Vet stated just the core ones I asked for. I specifically said for a third time ONLY distemper parvo adeno and parainfluenza. She said YES. I said absolutely nothing else. YES. Got my bill printed out and saw #5 vaccine listed lepto. I was choked. Ask for vet to call me…she said they use lepto to mix the others in. I pointed out that it was not a core and I had been very clear about nothing else, which included lepto bordatella rabies etc were to be given. Her come back was “Well I can’t take it out now.” I have never been back and friends who were going there were told what she did and said and checked their bills and found out that they too had been given lepto unknowingly. The bills didnt state lepto they had pharmaceutical initials listed like my bill did. Well she lost multiple clients over that. Her staff called me 1 year later to come in for vaccinations and I let them know that their boss was not trustworthy when it came to vaccinations and that they wouldn’t be seeing my animals anymore. I now travel 1 hour one way to go to a trustworthy vet who agrees with the core only protocol. By the way I am now going to go with Dr Jean Dodds newest recommendations. Also I am in Canada and don’t do rabies.
Good catch, Barb, and I’m so glad you’ve let them know why they lost your business (and perhaps that of other you made aware of this).
You may want to take the next step and stop all core vaccines? Why?
1. No benefit: https://vitalanimal.com/vacc-efficacy/
2. Risky: https://vitalanimal.com/vaccination-safety/
All the best going forward.
You did great work with you last gal, and it sounds like you’re up against the commonest chronic disease in dogs now: allergies, showing up as tortured skin. It’s the #1 reason dogs get brought to vets, for over a decade now!
And yep, vaccines are at the root of this, so stick to your guns to do no more for life.
The answers to your troubles are in my free Apoquel Alternatives Report. You can find that on your Member Home link, or if you’re not a Pack member yet, you can also find it on my most popular page, here.
All the best with this itchy gal. You are again on the right track.
A number of years ago, my rescue Yorkie developed encephalitis (probably YNE) a few months after her annual vaccines. Thus began my journey to learn as much as possible about species appropriate diets and the dangers of over-vaccinating. I began feeding her a raw diet and discontinued all vaccines. She lived another 4 years and I never put her on the immunosuppressive doses of steroids (the traditional treatment for GME and other types of encephalitis). She was comfortable until the end and didn’t have to contend with the side effects of long-term steroid use which often kill before the disease does.
I now have another rescue Yorkie and she eats a raw diet and is on minimal vaccines (meaning she had them at the rescue group). My issue with her, however, is challenging. She appears to have flea dermatitis. I’ve tried every natural flea repellent/preventative that I know of–DE, citrus oil, apple cider vinegar, etc. Nothing helps. My vet (who while not holistic, does support my natural rearing) thinks she also has environmental allergies–grass, pollen, etc. I’m not so sure, but she’s MISERABLE and scratches herself until she develops sores.
Against what I wanted to do, and ONLY to relieve her misery, I agreed to give her Nextgard, but ONLY during flea season. That worked for the fleas, but she’s itching all year. So I finally agreed to give her the Apoquel he prescribed.
It seemed like a miracle drug–the sores disappeared, she stopped scratching and for the first time in 4 years is happy and itch-free. But when I began reading about it, I was horrified to learn that it suppresses the immune system, just like steroids.
She weighs 7 pounds and he prescribed 1/2 tablet (3.6 mg), twice per day. I have cut that down to 1/4 tablet once per day (and even skip a day now and then), but the itching is still under control. However, this is not a good long-term solution, but I am out of options.
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. She’s the sweetest little thing and it is wonderful to see her out of misery, but I don’t want the “cure” to kill her.
Please look into supporting microbiome (healthy gut bacteria) — green beef tripe, raw goats milk, fermented veg and prebiotics (to feed the good bacteria) – asparagus is a good one… and make sure she is getting omega-3 (EPA/DHA)- green lipped mussel is a good choice. Try to make sure all toxins are removed from her environment – no fertilizers/pesticides in the yard – no room deodorizers/sprays – no Febreeze or carpet powders – no chemical cleaning products used in the home – no scented candles – even what you wash her bedding with can affect her. There are several all natural laundry soaps you can use. Wishing you and you wee one all the best.
Good Morning Doc,
Thank you for your article. We have three dogs, two older two hours that we inherited when my mother passed and a 13 week old French bulldog.
Nobody is vaccinated. My 14 week old is not walked around the neighborhood and kept away from outside animals. We do our best to provide immune building foods in his diet. My vet recommended that if I was going to skip vavaccines, I really did need to consider Parvo and Distemper. Naturally , she argued with me about the Rabies but she wasn’t going to win that with me. Much to my chagrin , I agreed to Parvo and Distemper for the baby. When she was preparing them, I had a nagging gut feeling, almost a small panic attack, and I immediately said, “NO!”
I chickened out. She was supportive and understood. She explained how careful I have to be and said we could do it when I’m ready.
What are your thoughts on additional immune building practices I can provide my puppy? I had gradually switched him to a raw diet at 12 weeks and after he had a hospital visit and diagnosis of functional ileus, we took him off for now. I was also using a tablespoon of goat milk in his food in which they mentioned was not good for him.
Would love to hear your feedback and suggestions!
Thank you so much!!
No one builds immunity by being sheltered from the world, Tracy. The kids who play in the barn behind rows of cows and wrestle in the grass and dirt don’t get asthma. It’s the ones who grow up with germ killer soap, toothpaste, and wipes.
Here’s a page you want to put to work for this youngster right away. Times a wastin’, and he’s also missing out on good socialization, which you can read about here. That’s a short window, so don’t wait on that, either.
I have thus far avoided all vaccines for my puppy. Unfortunately, even a holistic vet in my area seemed to highly recommend I get her vaccinated for parvo..I understand it is a dangerous virus, but after reading stories online about puppies contracting the virus from the vaccine… I’d like to avoid it if possible, especially considering long-term effects of vaccines in general.
My puppy was 3 weeks old when I found her and had been abandoned by the mother dog so I know she didn’t get the level of antibodies from the mother’s milk that most puppies would have. This makes me even more hesitant about getting her vaccinated. Wouldn’t she be more susceptible if encountering the weakened form of the virus than other puppies? She nearly died from eating Pup-peroni puppy treats so I’m extremely paranoid now about what she is given and the generally “common health procedures.” Back when first researching vaccines, I had read that a holistic vet had taken a group of puppies at the age of 12 weeks to an area know to have raccoons with distemper and a dog park where there might be the parvo virus, let them sniff around for 5 minutes, loaded them up in the car and left, then repeated a week or so later. A titer test was done on the puppies and they had built up an immunity to both distemper and parvo without showing any signs of sickness.
Hopeful that this would work for my puppy, I’ve taken her unvaccinated little self to the dog park many, many times. I suppose the only way I’ll know for sure if it worked is to pay for a titer test.. but part of me worries “what if her immunity levels show very low and the vet pushes the idea of getting her vaccinated?” She hasn’t had any of her puppy shots, and I wish to avoid all of them, safely. I’ve heard some people who have lost their dogs to vaccination decided not to vaccinate their dogs whatsoever and took them around highly populated dog areas all the time without any issues. What are your thoughts on this approach. Is it safe? I would perhaps opt for nosodes if there were a holistic vet near me who did that as an alternative to vaccines; but nearly all vets here are conventional.
I’ve shared that very protocol of natural exposure on this post, Olivia. Vets can push “ideas” all they want (and will, quite often). It’s up to you to decide what you want to do. And yes: highly recommend a titer test. You don’t mention how old your pup is, but if over 9 mo. of age, with all the exposure she’s likely had, you likely won’t need nosodes.
Finally, homeopathic vets need not be near you to help you. See this post for those who do mostly/only homeopathy and consult by phone.
Yes, it takes some time to select a Homeopathic Veterinarian. I went to the AHV site and put in certain selections for what I was looking for as a “Consulting Vet” meaning they do consulting over the phone and email. They do charge, of course. But, I found several in other states here in America because there are virtually NO Homeopathic vets here in Texas (of all states!)…except for Dr. Falconer and he only does teaching now mostly. He is not accepting any new clients.
I found one in Augusta, Maine and will have my first phone conference with her on Monday, February 6, 2017 ! From her website and her extremely helpful assistant, Kat, I do believe I have found a good one. She is 75-100% homeopathic according to her website. I have two dogs that were WAY over-vaccinated and are now paying the price with very itchy skin, paws,… they are miserable…two dogs…one 4 years old and one 6-1/2 years old. On top of that they both received Bravecto twice in a six months period of time in early 2015, just when I was getting their itchy skin under control with the use of a program called Nzymes .nzymes.com My third vet, who claimed to be “hollistic” said Bravecto was completely safe and would not harm the dogs…as the poison does not enter their organs…so she said. However, I now know it does harm the dogs by entering their bloodstream !!!
I did not discover about these harmful affects of what I now know as “vaccinosis” until late 2014, unfortunately and hope to get their immune systems back to normal so my “children” can live a normal happy life without constant itchy skin.
The homeopathic vet in Maine is Dr. Judith K. Herman and her website address is judithhermandvm,com You can fill out an application form about your pets online on her website. She has been certified by the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy (AVH), which is what you will want to look for in finding a homeopathic vet. The AVH website is http://www.theAVH.org and there is a “find a homeopathic vet” link on their website where you fill our certain criteria in finding a telephone consulting vet in any state, or in the world for that matter. There were 17 new graduates this past fall of homeopathic vets by the way. So, it appears, things are looking up for the homeopathic veterinary field. It needs to … 🙂
Jo Ann, I live in the Dallas, TX area. Where are you? I am just entering/learning the natural arena and looking for a homeopathic vet (scarce to none in TX). Since your post was a fairly recent one (2/17) could you let me know how it’s going with Dr. Herman? Maine is a long way away, so I’d like to know how phone consultation is working and what advice she offers. I just yesterday purchased raw frozen food for my 3 yr. old, 15 lb. Bishon/Shih tzu mix who is very itchy. I hope to hear from you.
Mary Carpenter 972-361-0505
I have to agree with Debbie, 10% lies might be the straw!
I lost my loving friend and feline companion to cancer, the cancer formed
on the back of the neck, where the vet normally gave shots, and the vet
admitted he had seen this before. be aware that vaccines make money,
and buyer beware.
That “holistic” veterinarian from Ohio, several years my senior”
is probably a “gatekeeper.” First let me state that I don’t believe
the vet trade organizations are just innocently naive about the
dangers of vaccination. They know vaccines harm/kill; therefore
they are E-V-I-L. There are indeed a group of evil elites on this
planet that aim to control the masses. This senior vet was put
in charge of “controlling the opposition.” It’s a classic tactic used
by “them.” Everyone should be on the look-out for these disinfo
agents. They give you 90% of truth so you’ll buy their 10% of
lies. . . lies that will detour from seeing the big picture!
I agree with you except I believe they only give 1% truth. 99% is false.
I have the joy of having a double appointment with my vet having two dogs. He gives me the entire time to sit and have a chat after the exams are over. So I questioned him on it. We discussed what I had read about and he gave me his input. I now titer and with no disputes. Dr. Paul McCutcheon in a wonderful vet.
That’s super, Sandra! I’m so glad you’ve found someone on board with this understanding.
Now, you may want to take it a step further: there’s no need to titer repeatedly. Many mistakenly believe that when a titer runs out, immunity is gone. Not so. Here’s a page to take your understanding up another notch.
And, of course, share your discovery with Dr. McCutcheon, who should be understanding this, too, and perhaps already does. Many vets do not.
Dr. Will — I appreciate the degree to which you have strayed from your colleagues in veterinary medicine. It takes guts to do that.
However, being true to the real victims of the veterinary profession — the animals — requires going further. The term “holistic” has been used as a foil against conventional approaches, but it is as deeply flawed in the way it is being practiced. As people learn how harmful, arrogant, destructive and ignorant conventional therapies are, they are scrambling for another dependency, rather than taking the opportunity to declare their independence. I realize that you give people more of the latter than most vets because at least you embrace raw feeding, but you are still not cutting them loose to take full responsibility for their animals.
For example, you still seek to suppress symptoms by administering foreign substances. There are no curing substances. The body, and only the body, heals itself. The benefit of homeopathic preparations is that they are extremely dilute and therefore do not do the same additional harm that other so-called remedies do. However, they do not heal or “assist” the body. That’s a belief system, like any other religion, and it has no place in any endeavor that represents itself to be evidence and reality-based.
The best way to approach disease is to remove the cause. The causes of disease in dogs and cats is almost always related to what they are fed. Proper feeding and therapeutic (extended) fasting should be the first tools utilized. Then, sufficient time should be allowed for healing to take place, with no remedial intervention except perhaps for the management of pain in some cases. (In those cases, homeopathic remedies are not often useful because of their ineffectiveness, but certainly since they are preferable to stronger medications they should be tried first.)
These methods work very effectively in the majority of cases. When they do not, then and only then can it be concluded that damage is irreversible and symptom management is the only avenue. In the vast majority of cases, unfortunately, these very effective methods are not used, even by so-called ‘holistic’ or homeopathic vets. Feeding mistakes are not corrected, assumptions are made that problems are due to genetics and/or vaccination, and treatments are administered which only compound original causes.
Homeopathic vets such as yourself are much closer to the truth than your conventional peers, but you are still far from the mark. On many occasions I have seen extended fasting resolve health issues that had already been treated homeopathically. Fasting and proper rotational or intermittent feeding are being ignored by homeopathic vets in favor of expensive preparations, because nobody makes any money from empowering people. In this way, the homeopathic vets are guilty of the same profit-motivated “I’m not changing, no matter what” attitude that you describe in your article above. If this is not true, and your mind is truly open, Dr. Falconer, I would welcome a dialog with you about my experiences with truly natural healing via therapeutic fasting and dietary modification.
I have not read any posts about the bortatella vaccine. It is required by my groomer. I have been informed by my vet that they have recended the every six month dose to a yearly. What are your thoughts??
I recently took my precious Mimi (6 lb chihuahua) in and actually received no grief about not getting her “yearly vaccines” that were DUE.
I was shocked.
Reading all these comments about over-vaccinating is making me crazy!
I commented on another thread about my dogs Thunder and Rocky.
Thunder was over vaccinated with rabies vaccine and suffered from what the vet called Seizure Related Aggression. He passed way to early at 8 years old from liver failure caused by Prozac.
No one at the time ( 16 years ago ) ever told me that rabies vaccine would cause my otherwise loving basenji to go insane and bite me one minute and kiss me another.
My other basenji, Rocky is now suffering from Fibrosarcoma in his mouth. No one ever told me that rabies vaccine causes this too.
Every three years you go for a rabies shot, otherwise you can’t get a license.
I must mention that I should know better as I’m a breeder and don’t vaccinate my pups until 16 weeks as Dr. R Schultz says.
I do this because I don’t wean them until 10/12 weeks and antibodies from mom are still present.
But, rabies is a different story.
The laws must be changed and one day they might be. What do you do until then?
I do feed a raw diet to my dogs and as they show and race, they must be kept in the best health.
I am doing everything possible to keep Rocky’s immune system up so that he can fight the cancer. It has not grown and even looks reduced,so I’m hopeful.
NO MORE RABIES SHOTS FOR MY DOGS !!!
I have learned so much already! The vet I have been using for almost 15 years isn’t so “happy” to hear I wont be vaccinating or anything else. Any talk of doing otherwise is frowned upon. They have “package plans” now and if you chose something ala cart you pay more! A lot more!
I told my vet the breeder told me to wait until 6months for rabies and he said no, the law states 3 months (Texas). so….
I’m ready to take the natural vital path, just need to figure out where to start.
Bravo for standing up, Rachelle! Your efforts in understanding the risks vs benefits of vaccinations is the best place to start. My Start Here page has a fair collection to read on this. Most important decision you’ll make is how much/if you’ll vaccinate.
You’ll see links for natural diet on that page, non-toxic flea control, and drug free heartworm control as well. Dig in, learn all you can, and make wise choices for your pup going forward.
For some reason this topic keeps showing up on all my forums. Curious… Why all of a sudden is “Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia Diagnosis” Running so high? I am seeing this thread on many different breeds, do you see this often? Is there a place to get some information on homeopathic ways to treat this?
I don’t see it often in my practice, but the fact that this piece is touching a nerve and people are coming forth to tell of IMTP cases in their own experience is very telling. I hope it serves a larger purpose: seeing how repeated vaccinations throughout life is a dangerous idea, besides being completely ineffective at “boosting” existing immunity.
Treating a life threatening disease like this is best left to professional homeopaths. It’s a challenged even for us, definitely not DIY, like some acute diseases can be. This one has the immune system turning on its host, a scary proposition. TheAVH.org can be a good Resource for trained vet homeopaths.
After loosing my beloved rescue red dobie to cushings I started to read and search. About that time there were several books out about raw feeding, Billinghurst, and Schultsze (sp? ) and Lonsdale and others.
When I met the new vet that took over the practice I had been going to I decided not to keep the fact that i fed raw a secret. After all, my dog, my money. I asked the new vet how he felt about a raw diet. Oh he said I am against it. Why I asked. Well bacteria and balancing the diet.
Well I have fed myself for several generations ( I won’t even admit how many ) LOL and as for bacteria, well dogs eat lots of grose stuff and lick their buts so I don’t worry about bacteria. Anyway this dog that I had just brought in for blood work, which was perfect btw has been raw fed since we found her and she is about 17 now. He looked at me in disbeliefe. She is raw fed and 17 yrs old? Yes I said, so the proof is in the pudding. Needless to say I found over the years I got less and less attenntion when I did need some sort of help. As for trying to tell them something that might be helpfull to someone else, forget about it. No one wants to hear it. Thankfully there is one vet that I go to for the rabies vaccine. When he pulls out he vile and seringe I just shake my head NO. He puts it away and gives me the certificsate.
My last several dogs are rescues and I know they have been vaccinated to death. They are on a raw diet now and no fle products or vaccines. Their coat glows in the dark they are so healthy. When we just went in for the annual checkup on my male dobie there was not much for the vet to do. She listened to his heart but admonished me to be aware that even though she didn’t hear anything it didn’t mean there was no problem. She knew I didn’t to any vaccines or heartworm meds or flea products so she didn’t even try to push them. So sadly she said I guess we are done and conscluded the visit.
I am so glad to have found you Dr. Falconer. I was in Austin over thanksgiving and may move there. I would certainly love for you to take care of my doberman gang.
This post is in the topic of VACCINOSIS.
This is a story that I was reminded of recently and is one that has been on my mind to share. I am thanking a very special dog, Valentine right about now.
Val, a 6 yr old Brittany Spaniel family and hunting dog who was with me in high school back in 1997, was one of my greatest teachers. She had been annually vaccinated as our vet recommended.
A couple months after her vaccines, she collapsed in my bathroom and urinated a large amount of orange urine and could not get up. Her gums were white, she was extremely lethargic, and her abdomen was swollen. The emergency vet where I was working, diagnosed her with Evan’s Syndrome (Immune mediated hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia). Basically her immune system was attacking her own red cells and platelets leaving her severely anemic and with blood that could not clot, leading to purple bruises all over her abdomen, ears, and gums.
Val went to specialists who prescribed chemotherapy drugs that I had to use gloves to administer (Immuran-azathioprene) and steroid (Prednisone) at high immuno-suppressive doses. We were led to believe this would manage Val and bring her to a good quality of life-and of course at the time they thought vaccines did have something to do with this-so no more shots (if she even survived this)!
Watching her pant non-stop, with a bloated abdomen, with no energy, and nearly white gums, Val was not enjoying life. She could hardly eat and did nothing more than lay around.
Thanks to the yellow pages (and a brand new driver’s license), I found a homeopathic vet across Houston-she took Val as a case and prescribed glandulars (standard process) and homeopathics and educated me on a raw diet for her. She explained to me how vaccines caused her illness and she was pretty far gone, but we would give her our best try.
As it ended up, this was my first education into the holistic/homeopathic vet world. I knew NOTHING of that world. I read everything I could on vaccines, the immune system, questioned the “internal medicine Specialist” at great length and got nowhere. I got Dr. Pitcairn’s book and began trying to help Val. It was too late.
I woke up early one morning in December and Val was dying on my bed. I was 17 and remember vividly how peacefully she passed as I petted her. As I look back, Val was my first teacher and started me and every animal in our home on a holistic path.
I was reminded of Val Saturday while at the dog park with my vital dogs in the making, Finn and Loma. We saw a woman with 7, yes Seven, Brittany Spaniels…and it began to sink in what a gift Val was for me and every animal I have met since then.
Later in college, I wrote my senior Biology paper on Over-Vaccination in the Veterinary Field. Vaccinosis. I am glad Val guided me to this early on in my career.
Hello Dr Falconer (and avid subscribers). Thank you for this vital information that will help me provide better care for my best friend. I’m replying to this earlier blog-post because I just came to it via a link from Natural News (thank you Mike Adams / Ethan Huff) – folks who are very concerned about the damage vaccines can cause in humans, and leader in providing information on nature-based health. After starting with this post, I’ve read through others on titers, rabies, transfer factors … Lot’s to learn! I’ll be back. And very happy to be #1399.
Best regards, Abbott
Welcome, Abbott. Glad you’ve come and hope you’ll enjoy your time on the Natural Path here!
This my first time reading on this website. It won’t be my last! It’s obviously something I’ve been hoping to find for a long time. Congratulations to you, Dr. Falconer.
My dog was accidentally vaccinated twice within three weeks about eight years ago. Within two years, he developed kidney failure and died a year and two months later. I was able to connect with a wonderful holistic vet who treated him with low level current equipment and other homeopathic treatments and kept him very comfortable until the end.
More recently, we adopted our min pin from a shelter. I refused to vaccinate her until I knew her titer levels. I am so grateful to have chosen the titers. Most of her levels were three times the acceptable levels! I do not understand why these vets insist that a 6-7 pound dog be given the same amount of vaccine as a 150 lb. plus giant dog. It seems criminal to me.
We feed our dogs Taste of the Wild food and supplement with digestive enzymes, probiotics, and a few others. They seem to be doing well. They have lots of energy, shiny coats, never bothered by fleas, and still get playful with each other. We never need the vet except to check the vaccine levels. We wouldn’t do that except we occasionally board them to visit far away relatives.
Thank you for all you do!
Welcome, Jean, we’re glad you’re here. I’m glad you were able to help your stricken dog with natural methods right up till the end. And your current crew is reaping the benefits of your careful attitude. Checking titers was a very smart move! Just be sure to understand that a waning titer at some point in their lives in no way equates with the need for more vaccinations.
You can use the search box on any page and drop in a term like “titer” to discover more.
Of my 3 cats, 1 has been diagnosed as diabetic recently and we are treating him with insulin. We have started a raw food diet (for all our cats) in hopes of getting him off the insulin. I can’t Thank You enough !!!!
My daughter was just ‘made’ to get her dog re-vaccinated for Rabies. There is active rabies present in our rural county of No. California. It is a requirement to have your dog licensed and in order to get the annual dog license, you have to have a yearly rabies shot for your dog! Crazy! And my daughter really has not wanted to get the rabies shot for her beloved dog; she actually goes longer between the re-licensing and has to pay a fine for doing so. Her dog almost always has an allergic reaction (intense wheezing, swelling of face and itching) to the shot. She has to pay for a shot to counteract the vaccine and then has to take Benadryl for a few days as well. How to get around the County ordinance? Thanks so much for your articles.
This is a land mine on the Natural Path, and it’s getting stepped on repeatedly. Your daughter’s poor dog is going to react her way into an early grave from unnecessarily repeated vaccinations, against a disease she’s been immune to since the first or second vaccine, at most. It’s beyond crazy.
Each successive vaccination, against a disease she’s already immune to, doesn’t make her “more immune,” in fact, it adds zero benefit. And it risks her health.
I’d do what ever it takes to avoid this. I thought your state broke ground on allowing waivers if a pet is previously vaccinated and ill (which your daughter’s dog is, on both counts). If no one is going door to door checking on licenses, I’d quietly drop out, ignoring the reminders. If it’s a police state, say the dog died, and drop out that way.
This is extreme irresponsibility on the part of the state, and dangerous to this dog’s health. Your daughter has to take responsibility and that may need to take a devious form if that’s her only option.
We wish you the best. Anyone who’s found a way can add to this discussion.
My pet peeve on this topic is when animals are “pre-medicated” for vaccines. I see it all the time and as a vet tech this drives me crazy, given that I practice holistic methods for my own animals.
My first question is why go so far as to pre-medicate them…they should not be given the vaccine in the first place if they have this history.
These animals (have seen this in horses, cats, dogs) have a history of vaccine reactions. To prevent symptoms of these reactions in the future, these dogs are medicated with some heavy immune-modulating and suppressive drugs. In horses, they are commonly given an anti-inflammatory (Banamine) since these horses tend to get colicky after vaccines (~75% of the immune system lives in the gut…where colic starts). Watching a horse during a vaccine reaction ie.) anaphylaxis is horrible…and to see that vet get ready to vaccinate it again later, medicated, even worse.
The answer for all these animals should be no more vaccines PERIOD! Then, start walking the Vital Path….because they are already on the Perilous Path… and I have seen these animals die-right then and there. Alternatively they succumb to a lifetime of allergies or cancers, or both.
Our puppy did a lot of scratching in her first summer of life (2012) as we had battled fleas and struggled with which flea products did any good? However, I didn’t know if her scratching was entirely from that, or if she might have had some allergies; the pup’s mom is in our family, and in asking about it, it was confirmed the mom-dog did have some allergies herself. I also didn’t know which puppy shots our pup had received before we adopted her, but i was pretty sure they had given her some. (Btw, she is a small dog.) I needed to get her spayed somewhere around the end of summer/early fall, and when I called to book the appointment with my vet, the receptionist stated she would need to get her rabies shot at that time. Well, I didn’t want her to get a rabies shot at this point, because I really didn’t know if her season of scratching had been flea-related, or allergy-related. And I knew that more vax would exacerbate an allergy problem. I simply wanted to wait and get through a winter—see if the scratching died down when the fleas did, so I could rule that out. Anyway, I went to the vet’s office a week prior to the appointment and paid for the spay early, so at the same time I could “clear” it with them in advance that she would be able to delay getting a rabies shot. Well, the staff worker had no problem with that and I paid in advance for the appointment. The next week, when I brought the dog in, however, a different receptionist was working. She was most definitely NOT ok with us asking to skip the rabies shot. There was eye-rolling, and guilt-tripping, and she was adamant about the rabies shot being given. I tried explaining my side of things and even offered to PAY NOW for the rabies shot—just don’t give it yet, until I could rule out allergies. The best I could get out of her was that she would let the vet take a look and decide. I walked out of there with tears welling up in my eyes–it was so frustrating. Of course, when I picked her up later, they had given her the shot. I later brought back some printed out articles about vaccinations, from my understanding of them. The truth was the vet himself didn’t have a problem if an owner wanted to skip the vax–he literally said “It’s your dog.” But it had been the receptionist’s rude handling of the matter. Although this vet’s office is only 5 mins. from our house, we now drive 25 mins. to another vet. Lastly, within about 2 weeks we did notice a slight behavioral change with our dog. Nothing else in the house had changed except she was spayed and rabies-vaccinated. Once she recovered from the spay, she was noticeably more “barky” at the cats. We had never heard her do that kind of barking toward them previously…..it was the same cats we always had, etc. Now, she had this annoying yappy-growl at them…. that was new. But we had to wonder about it….
Ah, Susan, a sad experience with front office staff, not unusual. I always prompt my clients who I rarely send to a conventional vet for diagnostic work to announce to everyone in earshot what they expect: “I’m only here for diagnostics.” Various players can be on different game plans, and the bigger the office, the greater the likelihood you’ll get something you don’t want.
All the best with the creatures in your care.
What about rabies shots? Thanks, Mac
Here’s a good page to start with, but you can also drop that word in the search box for more, Mac.
Hi, thank you for all your doing to educate us on vaccines for our pets. Do you think puppies need any vaccinations ? If so, at what age, what vaccines, and how many repeats ? The schedule now is a 5way with corona vaccine at 6 to 8 wks old and then another same three weeks later, then two more of the same with Lepto added also. I decided to just get
the first two 5 way with corona puppy shots and that’s it. What do you advise ?
It’s good to see a vet who’s turned from the dark side speak up on this issue.
We’ve been helping people treat Canine and Feline Parvo at home using natural products for years, and we are always seeing cases of dogs either getting Parvo immediately after being vaccinated, or dogs who are fully-vaccinated still getting the virus (even adults), and occasionally even dogs dying as a result of the vaccinations (mainly because some vets insist on vaccinating dogs who already have the virus or who they know have been exposed to the virus).
I find that often it’s the older veterinarians who are more open as far as not vaccinating. I have 3 wonderful holistic veterinarians, Dr. Swift, Dr. Bernstein and Dr. Fudens,all of whom are against vaccinating but unfortunately, none of them has a clinic for surgeries or other emergency care. My conventional vet, Dr. George, who must be almost 80 never says a word about vaccinations to me, although his office is filled with reminders. He accepts that I don’t vaccinate (& don’t use allopathic treatments at all) and cheerfully confers with the other vets. If there’s an emergency with one of my animals I don’t have to worry about fighting the vaccine battle as well.
You’ve found a gem of truth, Cara: the older guys remember we didn’t always do this craziness of repeated vaccinations throughout life! One and done, if that, was the rule.
Cara, it’s been nearly 6 years, but if you get this can you please reply and tell us where these holistic vets are (Swift, Bernstein, Fudens) and Dr. George? Are you still seeing any/all of them?
it is impossible to find a truly educated holistic vet who also has the practice to perform surgical procedures and bloodwork. i live in a large city where we are forced to take our sweet dogs to a conventional vet for any of these necessary services. where is the continuity?
I suspect that’s largely true, as it is in my case. I’ve given my practice over entirely to homeopathy for the last 20 years, and try to find colleagues in my city that won’t badger my clients when they need lab work done or rarely, surgery. It hasn’t been easy.
Ask your holistic vet for a well thought out referral, and go with your eyes open and a strong message on your lips: “We’re only here for diagnostics” is one very useful one I have my clients armed with.
In my case, it’s a conscious choice. Homeopathy takes a lot of work to practice well. It’d be a huge switch in gears to put on a surgeon’s gown in the midst of that. I decided I wanted to be really good at a modality that can cure chronic disease, and not be distracted with other aspects of practice.
I wish you the best sorting out your options.
In following the workings of Dr. Ronald Shultz I will no longer if bother running Titers as he has said, and I believe it to be true, that the dog’s memory cells will create anitibodies in the event of disease exposure so no measurable Titer makes no difference in the dog’s ability to mount a defense to a disease.
Right on. I’ll expand on this in next week’s blog post. The unmeasurable is the more important piece of the equation, once you’re sure there’s been some response from the initial vaccines.
Well, I’m blessed to say that the veterinary care of my dogs is in the gifted hands of Dr. Will Falconer.
I couldn’t ask for a more knowledgable, caring, and intelligent soul to consult with on the care of my beloved furry companions.
Dear Dr. Falconer,
Thank you for writing such a great article on vaccinating your beloved pet. After I lost my dear doberman to cancer at 8 years old, 15 years ago. I have done extensive research on the subject and long ago stopped vaccinating my dogs and cats. Unfortunately back then you just stopped bringing them in. The vets would not listen at all and they definitely did not educate you about titer testing.
I have a wonderful 14 month old Golden Retriever pup now and the breeder is adamant about only doing puppy shots and after that doing titer testing, no more vaccinations, plus feeding your pup healthy, raw foods and no grain foods and lots of Vitimin C.
Ann Chase, of Honer Golden’s, put me int touch with Dr Dodd when I adopted my Golden Quinn, who is 14 moths old. Ann, is wonderful, and is doing everything she can to educated people about the harm they are doing to there beloved pet when they over vaccinate. She has a release form for anyone’s vet to sign that states the vet is not responsible if the owner decides to not vaccinate their dog. It helps when you are having that push back from a vet who does not agree with you.
I forward all of your information to as many people as I can to help educate them about this subject. Thank you for standing up to all the white coats that don’t agree, and are greedy enough to continue to do what they are doing and making our beloved pets sick.
Pleas keep up the fight! I have attached below the release form for vaccinations. I will understand if you can not use it on this blog. I does help to let your vet know where you stand.
VACCINATION RELEASE FORM
I, the undersigned owner/guardian of the companion dog or cat named ___________________,
understand that veterinarians have traditionally recommended that cats and dogs receive annual
vaccinations for many diseases. Recent research and publications indicate that the yearly
administration of vaccines for all diseases may not be necessary and may pose a health risk.
However, the government, veterinary community, immunologists at veterinary schools,
manufacturers of vaccines, and leaders of the American Veterinary Medical Association are in a
state of flux as to the frequency with which such vaccines should be administered.
I am aware that one year in the life of a dog or cat is equal to five to seven years in the life of a
human. Because of that rapid aging process and new knowledge indicating that the immunity
provided by today’s vaccines may last longer than originally expected, it is essential that my
companion animal receive a yearly physical examination. I understand that until the scientific
community clarifies these issues, vaccination protocols may vary from those previously
recommended, thus requiring me to make an informed decision on behalf of my animal
I have been advised of the risks associated with not vaccinating. However, I request that yearly
antibody titers be performed and sent to HEMOPET / W. Jean Dodds, DVM, 11330 Markon
Drive, Garden Grove, CA 92841, Phone: 714/ 891-2022, instead of my animal receiving “annual
vaccine boosters”. I agree to hold the veterinarian harmless should my companion animal
contract a disease for which my dog or cat was not vaccinated.
I CHOOSE NOT TO VACCINATE MY DOG OR CAT WITH “YEARLY BOOSTERS”
UNLESS THE TITER TESTS RESULTS INDICATE OTHERWISE.
Signature of Owner/Guardian Date
Signature of Veterinarian Date
One copy to be placed in the client’s file
One copy to be retained by the animal’s owner/guardian.
Copyright 2003 Helen L. McKinnon, http://www.ItsForTheAnimals.com All Rights Reserved
Permission is hereby granted to print-out this form for personal use
Thanks for stopping in and commenting, and for passing the word along to others.
While I understand the intent of the waiver that Helen has written here, it’s really not liability that drives veterinarians to repeatedly vaccinate your animal. They know as well as you that immunity is long lasting (likely lifelong) from the early vaccines unless they’ve truly been hiding under a rock for the past 20 years!
No, there’s only one motivation that makes someone say, “I’m not stopping vaccinating!” in the face of the evidence. I think we all know what that is, but I posted about it earlier.
Thanks again for walking with us on the natural path. We’re glad you’re here.
Pamela, Thank you so much for sharing that release form with us! Great idea for sure.
Thanks for a wonderful article. For the last several years I have been learning more and more about the harm of vaccinations. My epiphany came when I realized that as a child I wasn’t vaccinated every year so why should my pets. Duh! One of my furbabies is a little Chihuahua named Ricco who has an enormous amount of skin issues and allergies. When I discovered he had been to about 4 different households in his life before me, I realized that his issues are more than likely due to vaccinosis. He is now slowly on the mend and all my furbabies now get yearly titers. It might initially cost more than a vaccination but in the long run their health is better and their overall healthcare costs are much less. Thanks to vets like you Dr. Falconer I am continuing to learn and apply more holistic avenues for keeping my babies vital animals.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Cheryl. And you’ve given me the idea for next week’s post! It’ll save you money, as yearly titers are not necessary. I sort of allude to this on this page, but I’ll go more into it next week. I think there are likely way more titers being taken than need be, and I suspect they are often interpreted wrongly.
Thanks again for walking the natural path with us.
Thank you so much Dr. Falconer. This article is outstanding and very timely to the needs of so many. When I first saw your website, etc., and I read your banner, I was convinced you were the doctor I wanted to consult. I think it alluded to something like healthy animals are vital animals. Change can be very hard for people sometimes, and they seem to hate to think that something they’ve done forever could have been so very wrong. It is very important for people who are aware of these facts to get the ball rolling in a different direction so that more animals will not have to suffer as before. The whole nation has been so brainwashed that we totally buy into “a pill” or “an injection” will be the cure. You have to look at the “whole” animal or person. And first, do no harm, as you said. Great work Doctor Falconer, and I thank you from the very bottom of my heart!
You’re most welcome, Cecile. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving your thoughtful comments.
I only work with veterinarians who will agree not to bug me about vaccinations. When I first meet a new veterinarian I state my case very clearly and politely…nothing adversarial. Usually they just think I’m silly and move on. But after they work with me and my animals for a while they understand that I care deeply and am well educated about what I am doing. I read a lot and offer to share it with them…so far, no takers. But they also see the great health of my animals, so even if they don’t believe me, they know that I am making good decisions, despite them. Seeing is believing.
One of our older dogs needed some surgery, and I knew he was going to hurt. As soon as I saw him, I gave him a dose of 200C Arnica. He came home and went about his life like nothing had happened to him. Now that is a result that I can live with!
Nice, Jane. It sounds like you are clear on your needs and make them known, yet still get done what you need without being put upon. And yes, I love it when Dr. WhiteCoat gets to see animals thriving on the Natural Path. So very good, as there’s no evidence like the health of the living, breathing animal right in front of us!
And arnica — amazing for any kind of injury, including surgery.
Thanks for your comments, Jane.
What if they report you to the authorities?