Vaccines are the basis of the medical and veterinary medical future, the belief being that, if a vaccine can be made to every disease, then all disease can be prevented. This presupposes that 1) disease attacks from outside and has nothing whatsoever to do with the person or animal themself; 2) that vaccines actually always protect one hundred per cent; and 3) that vaccines themselves are only beneficial and cannot cause harm. None of these are true.

There is a growing list of research into and information on the problems that can be caused by vaccines. In the U.K. Canine Health Concern has been instrumental in bringing this subject into the public domain and the following article is one written by CHC founder Catherine O'Driscoll as a hand-out to vets at a seminar at which she was a speaker.

Annual Vaccination - a client's perspective

There has been much debate on the subject of annual pet vaccination, chiefly in response to concerns voiced by pet owners. On the whole, the veterinary profession in the UK has defended annual vaccination, on the basis of information largely supplied by the pharmaceutical industry. Yet there are wider issues to consider. It is acknowledged that certain individuals are genetically predisposed to suffer adverse reactions to vaccines. According to the SARSS figures, these reactions are extremely rare. It is my contention that these reactions are more common than we realise. The veterinary profession is largely unaware of the range of side-effects vaccines can stimulate, and consequently they go unreported. A radical rethink of the vaccination programme is necessary - immunisation programmes need not be abandoned, but reassessed.

The first subject for assessment is whether all animals should be vaccinated, irrespective of their genetic status. The Merck Manual, used as a reference source for the medical community, states, unequivocally, that "patients with B and/or T cell immunodeficiencies should not receive live virus vaccines. Features of B cell deficiencies include respiratory or food allergies; features of T cell deficiencies include heart disease; and features of combined T and B cell deficiencies include dermatitis, neurological deterioration and eczema. Children with known or suspected immunodeficiency diseases should not receive any live virus vaccines, since they could initiate a severe or fatal infection.

"Children receiving immunosuppressive agents (corticosteroids, antimetabolites, alkylating compounds, radiation) may have aberrant responses to active immunisation procedures. Children with fluctuating or progressive neurologic diseases should not be immunised until their condition has been stabilised for at least one year."

Although this is written for humans, one must ask whether dogs, cats and horses have B cells and T cells, and B and T cell immunodeficiencies? Of course they do, meaning that animals with epilepsy and other neurologic conditions, skin disease, allergies, heart disease . . . in fact, any inflammatory or immune-mediated condition, should not be given live vaccines as the vaccine could initiate a severe or fatal infection.

Similarly, as stipulated on all vaccine data sheets, only healthy animals should be vaccinated. The term 'healthy' is rather subjective, however. For example, encephalitis is an acknowledged vaccine reaction (Merck). Epilepsy, characterised by inflammation of the brain and CNS (central nervous system), and lesions in the brain and CNS, is known to be a symptom that may occur as a result of encephalitis. Animals which become epileptic shortly after vaccination might therefore legitimately be suspected as having had an adverse reaction to the vaccine. Having shown this predisposition, it would be safer not to re-vaccinate epileptic dogs. Observance in your own practice will show that epileptic dogs which have been stabilised often revert to the condition when re-vaccinated.

Animals from families that are known to suffer allergic/inflammatory conditions are at most risk from live vaccines. Anaphylactic shock is the most well-known consequence, but other consequences are possible, namely types I, II, III and IV hypersensitivity reactions, which include tissue injury, arthritis, lupus, and kidney and liver damage. Frick and Brooks, in 1983, demonstrated that dogs predisposed to develop atopic dermatitis did not do so if vaccinated after being exposed to an allergen, but did develop the condition when they were vaccinated first and then exposed to an allergen. Expressed another way, vaccines sensitise genetically susceptible organisms.

Vaccines are also acknowledged to cause T cell immunodeficiencies. Around 60% of T cells are in the skin - which explains why it should be that a high proportion (61.2%) of dogs with skin disease in the CHC vaccine survey first developed the condition within three months of being vaccinated. Similarly, arthritis can be an inflammatory as well as a non-inflammatory condition. The New England Journal of Medicine (vol 313, 1985) reported that it is often possible to isolate the rubella virus from affected joints in children vaccinated against rubella, many months after vaccination. The report also tells of isolation of viruses from the peripheral blood of women with prolonged arthritis following vaccination. Stratton Vaccines 97 carries case reports linking tetanus and diphtheria vaccines with arthritis and skin eruptions.

The US National Academy of Sciences IOM report concluded that the measles vaccine can cause death from measles-vaccine-strain infection, thrombocytopenia, fatal shock and arthritis. A paper appearing in the British Veterinary Journal in May 1995, by Bell, Carter, May and Bennet, tells us that dogs with rheumatoid arthritis showed higher anti-heat shock proteins (HSP) antibody levels in both their sera and synovial fluids, compared to control dogs. The paper states that there was a significant correlation between anti-HSP65 and antibodies to the canine distemper virus, and discussed the relevance of the presence of canine distemper virus within the joint.

As it has been demonstrated that a wide range of human vaccines can stimulate arthritis, it makes sense to consider, also, that canine vaccines might also stimulate this condition. A team at Purdue University under the direction of Larry Glickman VDM, DrPh, and Dr Harm GogenEsch, studied the effects of routinely used vaccination protocol on the immune and endocrine system of Beagles. Their paper was presented at the International Veterinary Vaccines and Diagnostics Conference in 1997. One control group was not vaccinated and the other group was vaccinated with a commercial multivalent vaccine at 8, 10, 12, 16 and 20 weeks of age, and with a rabies vaccine at 16 weeks of age. The vaccinated group developed significant levels of autoantibodies against fibronectin, laminin, DNA, albumin, Cytochrome C, transferring, cardiolipin and collagen.

Dr La Rosa of the Hayward Foundation suggested that something in the vaccine could be one of the etiologies (in the genetically susceptible dog) of such diseases as cardiomyopathy, lupus, erythematosus, glomerulonephritis, etc.". Further research is indicated, but these results should concern us. Laminin, as an example, coats kidney cells. If autoantibodies are being produced against laminin, then one would not be surprised if kidney damage followed a vaccine event. Similarly, if vaccines stimulate the production of autoantibodies to DNA, then the vaccine may well be introducing genetic defects.

How many veterinarians think to report a suspected adverse reaction if an animal develops pancreatitis, arthritis, ataxia, skin disease, epilepsy, behavioural problems, allergies, colitis, etc., post-vaccination? And are you looking only for the reaction within a few days of a vaccine event? If anaphylactic shock is the only condition reported, all of these known vaccine-associated conditions are slipping through the net. It should be borne in mind that serum reactions are known to develop sometime after administration, and that some vaccine components are not easily metabolised, remaining in the system for some considerable time.

Ask yourself, also, whether vaccine industry trials are of sufficient duration. Is one year long enough to measure the effect of repeated vaccination over the lifetime of an animal? We find that animals can react to vaccines at any age. They might be vaccinated for many years, without ill-effect, and then suffer an adverse reaction. This has less to do with the animal's genes (although we do know that T cells can be disrupted by vaccines), but to do with environmental factors.

For example, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) is vital for the production of anti-stress hormones. In a study conducted by Sheffey et al, puppies starved of vitamin B5, and then vaccinated, all died. B5 is a highly unstable vitamin, easily destroyed by heating and freezing. Without B5 in the diet, which is vital for the production of anti-stress hormones, an organism is less able to survive the vaccine challenge.

Similarly, insufficient vitamin C and zinc in a diet can render an organism unable to deal with stress. Vaccines, of course, are designed to stress the body so that it mounts an immune response and develops antibodies against a pathogen.

We appreciate that the financial implication of this debate could be alarming for the veterinary profession, and even more alarming for the vaccine industry. However, there are many options available for the veterinary profession to consider. The first option is to conduct blood tests to assess the presence of circulating antibodies. Vaccine companies have been using this measure as a marketing tool for decades. Now that they run the risk of losing booster income, however, they have announced that circulating antibodies are no measure of immunity. This is true, of course, but titre testing does show that the organism has been exposed to the virus without succumbing to it, and represents a safer alternative to over-vaccination.

Dr Ronald D Schultz, head of pathobiology at Wisconsin University, for example, contends that immunity to a virus persists for years or the lifetime of a host. His own dogs are vaccinated as puppies only. As many of you are aware, advice emerging from America is that re-vaccination should occur only every three years, but only if there is a disease risk in the area, only if titre tests show it to be necessary, and not in geriatric or unhealthy animals.

Pet owners are becoming more informed about the vaccine issue, and many are choosing not to vaccinate at all. This is not a situation I would like to see occur. My own research indicates that the homoeopathic alternative is a valid one, but I acknowledge that there are only a few laboratory tests to prove its efficacy (although there are some!). And so it seems that the best option would be for the profession to examine the frequency at which vaccines are administered, and become more aware of contra-indications. I believe that, from an income perspective, this would represent the best option for vets. Consultation fees are still payable if animals are titre tested rather than boosted.

Your clients are, in increasing numbers, seeking the advice of vets who take their concerns seriously, and abandoning those who are unable to examine the evidence openly. I already know of vets who have adopted this option and reaping the rewards. Finally, it is the greatest wish of many of your clients that veterinarians understand the issues from sources other than the vaccine industry. I repeat, we are not asking you to abandon vaccines altogether, but to examine the options that might lead to a better solution for you, your clients, and their pets.

Catherine O'Driscoll Canine Health Concern PO Box 1 Longnor Derbyshire SK17 OJD Canine Health Concern site

In the U.S.A. W. Jean Dodds, DVM has been the prime mover in this field. Dr. Dodds is the founder of Hemopet, a non-profit organisation that carries out tests on thyroid function, etc., and is the expert on immune-mediated disorders in the dog. She believes that modified live virus (MLV) vaccines and combination MLV vaccines are the causes of the significant increase in autoimmune and allergic disorders in companion animals over the past 20 years or so.

As Dr. Dodds says (in an article in Veterinary Forum, May 1993 pp68-71) "Combining viral antigens, especially those of MLV type which multiply in the host, provides a stronger antigenic challenge for the animal. This is often viewed as desirable because a more potent immunogen presumably mounts a more effective immune response. However, it can also overwhelm the immuno-compromised or even a healthy host that is continually bombarded with other environmental stimuli. This scenario may have a significant effect on the recently weaned young puppy or kitten that is placed in a new environment. Furthermore, while the frequency of vaccinations is usually spaced two to three weeks apart, some veterinarians have advocated vaccination once a week in stressful situations. This practice makes no sense from a scientific or medical perspective. While puppies exposed this frequently to vaccine antigens may not demonstrate overt adverse effects, it is clear that their immune systems may still be immature. Consequences later in life may be an increased frequency of chronic debilitating diseases. Many veterinarians trace the present problems with allergic and immunologic diseases to the introduction of MLV vaccines some twenty years ago. While other environmental factors may have a contributing role, the introduction of these vaccine antigens and their environmental shedding may provide the final insult that exceeds the immunological tolerance threshold of the pet population.........

Veterinarians and vaccine manufacturers have paid relatively little attention to the hormonal status of the patient at the time of vaccination. Because of the known role of hormonal change along with infectious agents in triggering autoimmune disease, vaccinating animals at the beginning, during, or immediately after an estrus cycle is unwise. Similarly, vaccinating an animal during pregnancy or lactation can be fraught with problems, not only for the dam but also because a newborn litter is exposed to shed vaccine virus. One can even question using MLV vaccines on adult animals in the same household because of exposure of the mother and her litter to shed virus. Recent studies with MLV infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) vaccines illustrate this point. These MLV herpes virus vaccines induced necrotic oophoritis in heifers that were vaccinated during estrus. The vaccine strain of virus was also isolated from two control heifers that apparently became infected by sharing the same pasture with the vaccinates. Furthermore, vaccine strains of IBR are well known to be etiologic agents of abortion and infertility following herd vaccination programs."

For more recent (2008) information on the risks of vaccinating pregnant females and immune compromised animals, click here

Jean Lyle, a breeder of Standard Poodles, found that her problems with gastric torsion/dilatation disappeared when she stopped having her dogs vaccinated with MLV vaccines and went on to Dr. Dodds' protocol for giving killed vaccines.

Since heart disease is a major problem in Irish wolfhounds, it should be of interest to know that in the human field, the Merck Manual (published by a vaccine manufacturer) says that patients with heart disease should not receive live virus vaccines. It goes further, saying patients from families with a history of heart disease should not receive live virus vaccines.

Some quotes about vaccines:
" In regions in which there is no organized vaccination of the population, general paralysis is rare. It is impossible to deny a connection between vaccination and the encephalitis (brain damage) which follows it." Journal of the American Medical Association July 3, 1926, p.45
"No batch of vaccine can be proved safe before it is given to children." Surgeon General of the United States Leonard Scheele, addressing an AMA convention in 1955
"The only safe vaccine is a vaccine that is never used" Dr. James A. Shannon, National Institutes of Health


The following is an article by a holistic veterinarian, Dee Blanco:

Vaccines - Are They Safe for Your Dog
The questions surrounding the issue of veterinary vaccinations are many. My intent is to open other doors of thought that might help you make your decisions align with your animals well being, your lifestyle, your left and right brain and most importantly - your heart. ... Because I cannot completely separate from this topic, you will clearly hear my bias, my emotions as well as my perspective from my years practicing allopathy and subsequently homeopathy. I will make recommendations based both on this study of many years and on the way I hope to be of help in the world. I strongly recommend for you to let this info simmer a bit ... please make sure to do more research. And always listen to your inner voice. You are your own authority, you are your animal's primary health care practitioner, on call, 24 hours a day. You may decide some of this info is useful, and some you will let go by. Please make sure you do not allow fear to run your decisions.

I have spent a good amount of time in the last 12 of my 19 years as vet, studying the issue of vaccinations. During this time in holistic vet practice, I have been able to see the clinical manifestations and harmful effects of the use and abuse of vaccinations. I have also been able to see improvements of many common maladies in our domestic animals using holistic medicines, in particular homeopathy. It is from this clinical standpoint as well as my own study of the available info on vaccinations that I present my info. I am continually compiling more info in my 'database', so if you would like to add anything you might have, please feel free to send me your info.

The History of Vaccinations
The birth of vaccinations came when the English doctor Edward Jenner discovered that the people who worked closely with cows seemed to be less susceptible to smallpox. He injected small amounts of the cowpox crusts into healthy individuals (including his own son) and found these people to also be less susceptible to smallpox. Unfortunately, this process may have fatally weakened his son and his son's friends, because he died at the early age of 21 of tuberculosis. Then, during the American Civil War, Louis Pasteur, an accomplished microbiologist, was able to change the vaccines he was using enough that some of the harmful effects were diminished. He was famous for his work in cattle where he was able to prove that vaccines could protect against the deadly disease, anthrax. Thus, he started the new field of medicine called immunology. Pasteur also became famous for his concept of the 'germ theory'. This is still the theory modern medicine uses to explain all illness. Thus we have created a 'war on bugs' that we seem to be losing.

It's interesting to note that on his deathbed Pasteur recanted his prior work of blaming the microorganism. His last words were "seed is nothing, soil is everything". In Chinese medicine we say "it's not the agent, but the terrain". Both are saying the same thing - the germ is nothing, but the host's resistance is everything. These concepts lay the foundation for all forms of holistic medicine.

How Vaccines Work
The primary intention of the vaccine is to produce a stimulation to the cellular immune system, via the production of antibodies. Antibodies attach onto the virus and render it inactive and harmless. It is through this stimulation and resultant production of antibodies that the body is now prepared for a possible 'attack' by 'foreign invaders' later down the line. These invadersare typically known as bacteria or viruses. This immunity will later provide protection without having to go through the disease itself. It's a bit like the vigilante minute-men always on guard for a possible attack. There are problems with this way of thinking which we will discuss later.

Why Vaccines Cause Problems
Typically, the vaccines are injected into the body; subcutaneously (under the skin) or intramuscularly (in the muscle). These vaccines usually have numerous viruses as well as other ingredients in them. Exceptions to this include the rabies, corona, and bordatella vaccines. Herein lies the second and third problem with the vaccination process. The process of injecting numerous viruses at one time into the body does not mimic in any way what we would see in the natural world. There would never be such an enormous exposure to that many microorganisms at one time. ... These diseases have never, in the real world, occurred at one time, never.

The purpose for which mother nature uses and continues to use acute illness is to thin out the population, whereby the fittest survive. Everything in nature has a rhythm, everything. The rhythm of distemper, of polio, of measles, of influenza, of parvo, of rabies are all on a schedule. This schedule, much to the chagrin of the vet profession, is not determined by the vet profession!

Neil Miller, a father of two, in his desire to understand the issues around vaccinations for his children, decided to explore the issue extensively. He studied the rise and fall and the death rate of the childhood diseases of polio, measles, and whooping cough in both the US and the UK. He compared the death rates and the point at which vaccinations were introduced. Much to his surprise, in all three of these diseases, he saw that the death rates starting in the early 1900s were markedly decreasing by the time the vaccines were introduced. In the case of polio there was actually a bit of an increase after the vaccines. The increased numbers of deaths after polio vaccines were covered up by reclassifying them as aseptic meningitis. Therefore the deaths didn't show up in the records, but it is quite clear that vaccinations did not really have a beneficial impact on the already declining health rate. The reason the diseases were declining had more to do with the increased natural resistance and better understanding about prevention through hygiene.

Thirdly, the process of injecting viruses into the body is a very unnatural method of introducing viruses, with the exception of Rabies virus. Most other forms of exposure are through the mucous membranes - the nose, throat/mouth, even the eyes. This creates another huge insult to the immune system. First we gather a whole bunch of viruses and other 'stuff', then we inject them into the body at one time! I have to ask myself if this could be the start of massive confusion and havoc causing the body to attack itself? In other words, could this be why we are seeing so much autoimmune disease? [Dr. Larry Glickman at Purdue University is carrying out research into vaccination and has discovered during this study that the vaccinated dogs develop autoantibodies (antibodies to their own tissue) and the unvaccinated dogs do not, although so far (three years into the study) none of the vaccinated dogs has developed any overt autoimmune disease - HJ, 8/27/2000]

Fourth, when these viruses are injected into the body, they find their way into the small capillaries, then into the larger vessels and are filtered by the lymph nodes. This sounds fine except that usually these viruses are first introduced into the mouth and nose, where the humoral immune system is stimulated. It produces the powerful immunoglobulins (IgA, IgG, IgM) which provide the first line of defense. When this primary defense mechanism of the humoral immune system is bypassed, you are dependent on the cellular immune system only; this is the branch that produces antibodies. Producing antibodies is a fine thing, but when the natural pathways are bypassed it creates an extra load on the system. Having the natural stimulation of both wings of the immune system is a more balanced approach and isn't what happens with injected vaccines.

Last, but certainly not least, are the other substances that are in the vaccine vials that are potentially problematic. This discussion follows.

What Is In A Vaccine?
The two forms of vaccines available are the modified-live (MLV) and the killed vaccine. For obvious reasons, the Rabies vaccine is a killed product ... the MLVs are the viruses that were once alive and now have been chemically attenuated (altered) so that they are still recognized by the body but are, theoretically, not able to cause the full blown clinical disease. Typically, the chemical agent used to alter the virus is formalin or formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Attenuating the virus so that it cannot attach to a cell wall and infect that cell is a good idea, but not all the virus particles may be altered. Some may escape attenuation and are free to cause disease. This may be part of the reason that we see 'breaks' in vaccinated animals. There has also been much speculation that these MLVs have shed into the environment, exposing other animals, including wild animals, to these diseases.

Additional components of the vaccines are the preservatives that do what preservatives do. These ingredients are also known in current medicine to be carcinogenic agents, including a compound called thymersol, a mercury derivative and aluminum, used to attenuate the viruses. We all know the possible effects of aluminum. Even the cells these viruses are grown on can produce allergic reactions in the body. Some of the tissue lines used are from ducks, monkeys, pigs, and the like. These could be creating much of the constant itching, inflamed bowel, and eczematous ears that are so prevalent.

There are additional ingredients called adjuvants. These are foreign proteins that are added to give a generic, non-specific immune response. These proteins are proprietary (secret) info and are not given out to anyone. It's much like the ingredients on a bottle of BBQ sauce where they list 'herbs and spices' generically. No one really knows what 'herbs and spices' really means. These preservatives and adjuvants are what are believed to be the major cause of the surging incidence of fibrosarcomas in cats. Studies at Colorado State U. by one of my professors, Dr. Dennis Macy, are showing this strong correlation.

It is felt by the biologics companies that if the body doesn't respond to the numerous viruses that are in each vial of vaccine, than surely the body will respond to other foreign proteins. One rep from a major biologics company, at a meeting on vaccines in 1997 I attended, said quite embarrassed, 'We know how to turn the immune system on, but we don't know how to turn it off". This is the fundamental problem with vaccines: they are generically stimulating to the body, usually creating illness where there once was none.

How Do You Tell If a Vaccine Is Working?
The easiest way to determine if a vaccine is working is to take a blood sample and send it to a lab to determine if there are still circulating antibodies against that virus. This is called an antibody titer. This is a simple test, but there has been some controversy as to what titer level will provide protection from the clinical disease, and what level tells you there has been exposure to the disease.

The next way is to believe the biologics companies. This is not my ideal choice since I believed them many years ago when I would vaccinate animals and they would break out with the disease. Perfectly healthy animals coming down with the diseases they were being vaccinated against! It was embarrassing and horrifying that I caused these illnesses. The biologics companies told me their vaccines could never have caused the illness. They justified this by saying that the animals must have been incubating the illness and it coincidentally came out at the time of the vaccine. This never made sense to me but as a young, brain-washed vet, I passed this info on to the clients. I still to this day find it interesting that we are a self-serving profession creating the illnesses that return later through our doors to be treated again. What could be more self-serving?

I believe this is one of the reasons the vet profession turns its back on the issue of vaccinations. It would mean we would have to take a good hard look at what we are doing. It would mean we would have to take responsibility. Enough of my soap box, for now.

One way to determine how long a vaccine is capable of lasting in the body is by duration of immunity studies. These are studies that the biologics companies conduct to determine whether vaccinated animals can withstand a challenge from a live virus contact. The problem here is that there are inadequate duration of immunity studies at this time. These are difficult and expensive tests and there has not been enough pressure on these companies to do these tests. One of the reasons is because the profession has assumed that vaccines are harmless and giving repeated doses or annual vaccinations is 'good medicine'. Because of inadequate studies, the biologics companies are not willing at this point in time to change the recommended protocols. Much info available from numerous sources verifies that the MLVs, if given after 14 wks of age (after maternal antibodies have decreased), are effective for a lifetime. Most rabies titers at this time are showing effective protection at 5 to 6 years after vaccination. I believe the rabies duration of immunity studies would help us change the ludicrous yearly vaccination requirements in many states. Many animals I test are showing protection to parvo and distemper after 10 years or more. The real question here is: how did these recommendations for yearly vaccinations start?

Why Are We Vaccinating Yearly?
This is a really good question, isn't it? The first massive vaccination program began in the 1940s and the 50s for distemper and adenovirus. These early vaccines showed that one third of the puppies did not maintain protective titers to distemper for one year after the initial vaccination. By the way, we have yet to talk about susceptibility, which these researchers did not take into account. This led to the recommendation in 1959 that dogs should be vaccinated annually, as a safety measure. Distemper was a horrible, life threatening disease and was capable of going through a population of puppies very quickly. Usually it caused gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloody diarrhea (much like Parvo), or respiratory symptoms, and in the most severe state would cause neurological symptoms which were rarely successfully treated.

In 1961, recommendations were made that a serum analysis of the blood was the best way to determine immunological protection. Since clients would need to pay for that, plus an exam, and possibly the re-vaccination fee, it would be easier and cheaper, based on the local incidence of distempter, the history of the animal, and the potential risk, that annual vaccinations be given. Thus start the annual standard of practice. There was no science here! Unfortunately, there were few people willing to push for the serum analysis, or to really look at the exposure of each animal, or to look at any other factors influencing susceptibility.

Dr. Ron Schultz and the U. of Wisconsin-Madison, a veterinary immunologist, questions the lack of scientific evidence to support our current practices. In his article in the 1992 edition of Current Veterinary Therapy, Dr Schultz and his co-author, Dr. Phillips, discuss the issue. Their words follow: "A practice that was started many years ago and that lacks scientific validity or verification is annual vaccinations. Almost without exception there is no immunologic requirement for annual revaccination. Immunity to viruses persists for years or for the life of the animal. Successful vaccination to most bacterial pathogens produces an immunologic memory that remains for years, allowing an animal to develop a protective anamnestic (secondary) response when exposed to virulent organisms. Only the immune response to toxins requires boosters (e.g. tetanus toxin booster, in humans, is recommended once every 7-10 years) and no toxin vaccines are currently used for dogs and cats. Furthermore, revaccination with most viral vaccines fails to stimulate an anamnestic response as a result of interference by existing antibodies (similar to maternal antibody interference). The practice of annual vaccination in our opinion should be considered of questionable efficacy unless it is used as a mechanism to provide an annual physical exam or is required by law (i.e. certain states require annual revaccination for rabies)."

Whew! The summary of his statement is this: yearly boosters are unnecessary and the current antibody protection in the body will actually interfere with other new vaccines. Therefore, they are not useful and certainly don't provide more protection if given annually. This report also emphasizes that yearly reminders get people into the clinic to give yearly vaccines and put little to no emphasis on a wellness exam. This is a backward approach, isn't it? Shouldn't we remind our clients to come in for a yearly wellness check and if necessary then suggest the vaccinations? Have we become so complacent and dependent on these little vaccine vials and their financial power? Are there not other methods of preventative medicine? If you choose these yearly vaccines will your animals be protected against all the harmful diseases known to animals?

Who Is Susceptible? And To What?
There is a question as to who is susceptible and to what diseases, which really distills down to: at what age are the animals most and least susceptible, and what diseases are species specific or regionally specific? It is odd to me that the topic of age susceptibility is rarely if ever spoken about and yet it seems to be such an important consideration in the decision about the need for vaccinations. We are not talking about breed susceptibility, we are talking about the ages at which certain illnesses are more likely to manifest. For example, measles and chicken pox are a childhood disease that if allowed to be expressed while young are relatively benign. As the child grows older, the susceptibility to these illnesses decreases. This is the same with many of the animal vaccines. As a clinician it is very, very uncommon to see distemper, parvo, parainfluenza, adenovirus, panleukopenia, calicivirus, herpesvirus, and others in adult animals. These seem to be most dangerous when the animal is young and their immune system is not fully developed. When I see an adult with parvo or distemper, it is frequently a purebred or has other immune dysfunction or is likely poorly cared for. I do see a predominance of parvo and distemper in young animals less than 6-8 months old, and less frequently as they get closer to 1 year old. My question is this: why are we vaccinating animals that have passed the point of great susceptibility? Would it not be similar to humans being vaccinated every year of our lives with chicken pox, measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, hepatitis, tetanus, etc.?

The other question concerns the vaccination of diseases that are not seen at all in a particular region, or that vaccines are not effective against because the viruses have many different serovariants. For example, leptospirosis. This is a vaccine that does not provide long-lasting protection and will not provide cross-protection for all the different strains of lepto. Then why are we using this? Coronavirus is another vaccine enigma. Corona in dogs produces a mild, transient diarrhea and it is known that the vaccine does not provide protection against an infection with corona. Hardly worth the vaccine, is it? Lepto is not seen in my area, so why are we vaccinating? I have seen this practice with Lyme, Corona, Feline Leukemia, Feline Infectious Peritonitis, and many equine vaccines. This seems to be an issue of convenience since the manufacturers supply all over the country/world. It also seems to fall into the category that the practice of injecting viruses into a healthy body, or an unhealthy one for that matter, is a benign process.

What Are the Adverse Reactions, If Any?
Unfortunately, adverse reactions to vaccines have been considered to be the immediate hypersensitivity reactions of anaphylaxis. This severely limits the types of reactions that are ever even considered to be related to vaccines. Other problems surface which make accurate tallying of adverse reactions difficult. At present time there are no easy or effective reporting systems; many vets are reluctant to report even those where an animal dies, and the cause-effect relationship is not always clear. Even to those who believe that many of the illnesses we see, both acute and chronic, are directly related to over-vaccination, it is still at times difficult to show how this works. There are many situations where the perfectly healthy puppy is taken at 6 weeks for his first vaccines. Maybe he has a slight fever or lack of appetite and energy for a day or so. Then he is returned 2 to 3 weeks later for more vaccines. Maybe he will show another fever or maybe a day of diarrhea. Then he is returned in 2 or 3 weeks for more vaccines. Maybe he starts to itch a bit. Often by the time the pup is 6 months old he has several problems going on. He often has loose stools and he itches, but there are no fleas. Thus begins the first stages of chronic illness brought on by the vaccines.

When a perfectly healthy individual is given viruses that cause illness, the animal is going to manifest illness-related symptoms. This healthy individual is asked to maintain a low-level stimulation of a state of distemper, a low level state of parvo, a low level state of rabies, and so on. As long as you are in a low level state of illness you are not in a high level state of health. Therefore, the vaccines provide protection by keeping the body in a diseased state of health. Often the animal will not manifest the illness it is vaccinated for, at least not in its acute form, but it will manifest in other conditions. Usually these conditions are inherited weaknesses. Chronic symptoms look very much like the acute illnesses but they are often not life-threatening unless allowed to continue for years and years. For distemper we often see: " Watery fluid dripping from the nose " Conjunctivitis, eye discharge, entropion " Chronic gastritis, hepatitis, pancreatitis, appetite disorders " Recurrent diarrhea " Sensitivity to food with resultant diarrhea " Epilepsy, rear leg paralysis, spondylitis " Lip fold dermatitis " Excessive licking of feet, eruptions between the toes, allergies " Kennel cough, chronic bronchitis " Chronic skin eruptions, especially lower half of body " Failure to thrive, abnormally thin For rabies we often see: " Restless nature, suspicion of others, aggression to animals and people " Changes in behavior: aloofness, unaffectionate, desire to roam, OR clingy, separation anxiety, 'velcro dog' " Restraining can lead to violent behavior and self-injury " Self-mutilation, tail chewing " Voice changes, hoarseness, excessive barking " Chronic poor appetite, very finicky " Paralysis of throat or tongue, sloppy eaters, drooling " Dry eye, loss of sight, cataract " Eating wood, stones, earth, stool " Destructive behavior, shredding bedding " Seizures, epilepsy, twitching " Increased sexual desire, sexual aggression " Irregular pulse, heart failure " Reverse sneezing For panleukopenia in cats we see: " Lazy cats, lie around most of the time " Finicky appetites " Chronic fever for weeks, with few symptoms " Possible enlarged cervical lymph nodes " Poor groomers " Chronic dehydration leading to cystitis and calculus formation " Emaciation, hyperthyroidism " Inflammatory bowel disease " Chronic respiratory problems, sinusitis

Some of the illnesses you are familiar with include any auto-immune disease such as lupus, red cell aplasia, auto-immune hemolytic anemia, cardiomyopathies; neoplasias such as fibrosarcomas, mast cell tumors, thyroid tumors, etc.; inflammatory bowel disease, eczematous ears, any dermatological condition, warts, lipomas, poor hair coats, stomatitis, periodontal disease, thyroid disease, and the list goes on and on.

Now you could be wondering why I am so bold to 'blame' all these and more on vaccines. The reason is simple: I have an empirical, call it experimental lab where I visit daily and watch the animals, year after year. In the short years of my career I have seen the incredible increase in all these illnesses, some we never even learned in vet school. In fact, my vet school is now primarily an oncology treatment center! This was not the case a short 20 years ago. I have also spoken with many vets who have practiced longer than I and their response is the same. They did not see the level of chronic illness, nor the resistant and concretized type of illnesses that we see today.

Because I am able to use homeopathic remedies to help resolve these effects of the vaccines I am able to see first hand the cause-effect relationship. I have also looked at the info of those who have come before me to help in this process. One such person was J. Compton Burnett, a British physician of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Burnett was a proponent of the smallpox vaccine until he started noticing that the vaccines given to young people in the prime of their lives were causing many 'other' health problems. He coined the term 'vaccinosis' to describe the illnesses caused by vaccines, separate from the illnesses they were protecting against. Much of what Burnett saw closely resembles what we see today in our animals. This is interesting how this human model is actually teaching us about what happens with animals. Burnett further verified his hypothesis by giving the homeopathic remedy, Thuja, to many of these vaccinated individuals, as was described by Hahnneman. He was able to reverse many of these harmful effects. This is still a widely used remedy for the effects of vaccines.

Remember, the body has incredible capacity to provide protection against all sorts of invaders. So, if our approach to protection is from the standpoint of supporting the body in doing its job, which it already knows how to do, we are working at a more fundamental level. If we support the energy and physical systems of the body we will support the immune system, not overload it. Clean hygiene, good nutrition, clean water, plenty of exercise, constitutional treatments (preferably homeopathic), good breeding practices, and homeopathic nosodes, where needed. This all sounds very simplistic and, in fact, it is! Should you decide to use nosodes they must be used under the guidance of a qualified vet, just as with any medication. Nosodes are homeopathic remedies made from the diseased products of whatever disease you are wanting to protect against. For distemper, nasal discharge is used. For parvo, fecal material is used. These are subsequently filtered, and sterilized, diluted and succussed as any homeopathic remedy and are administered orally. I use them starting at 7-9 weeks and continue for the first year of life only. They cannot be used for rabies licensing. Nosodes provide protection by stimulating a non-specific immunological response. They fill the susceptibility the animal has to the disease without actually producing antibodies. If that susceptibility is filled, much like a cup of coffee to the brim, then nothing else can come in and fill it up. You can't be over-susceptible. In my practice nosodes are very effective with the exception of animals with chronic illness and poor breeding practices. The primary nosodes I use are for the life threatening diseases such as parvo, distemper, and panleukopenia. I will also use bordatella for animals in kennel situations.

If You Do Vaccinate
If you choose to vaccinate, please be careful. My recommendations are as follows: wait until 14 weeks for puppies and kittens, until the maternal antibodies are no longer present. If you must use something before 14 weeks, use nosodes; after 14 weeks, give one MLV parvo/distemper combination for dogs; for cats, give one panleukopenia, and one rabies vaccine at least two weeks after the above. OR: One distemper at 12 weeks, followed by one parvo at 14 weeks (these are the single vaccines and are the best, but often difficult to find). All other vaccines, except rabies, I cannot recommend, period.

Other Issues
We have yet to discuss the topic of rights, animal rights, and guardian rights. This is one you can play with on your own. Additionally, we have yet to talk about the laws that mandate rabies requirements that don't reflect the current science. I hope to see these laws changed as there is more info from the duration of immunity studies. It will be up to the grassroots movement to initiate this as most vet associations will not support a law that will hurt the pocketbooks of the vets. So, you can see there is quite a bit of info to assimilate, and there is more! With this, I believe there is enough to shed some light on a topic that even confuses most vets.


Should You Really Be Giving Your Dog or Cat All Those Shots?

by Gene Franks

When Mary Phillips' dog Peanut died following a routine rabies shot, Mary, who lives in Liverpool, NY, started looking into the ailment listed by the veterinarian as the cause of death. Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AHA), she learned, causes the body to attack its own red blood cells. A Cornell University researcher attributed the condition to "chemical or toxic agents or immune-mediated destruction." Merck's Veterinary Manual more specifically states that "exposure to live parvo vaccine may be the initial cause in canines." The rabies vaccine box itself, which apparently no one ever reads, warns: "Tissue-origin vaccines contain extraneous protein in addition to rabies antigen that can lead to autoimmune disease."

Mary's research led her to the realization that a great many veterinarians are very much aware that the vaccinations they routinely give can cause significant harm to animals. She found that there is even a name, vaccinosis, which is used to describe the chronic illness that results from vaccination. According to Dr. J. Compton Burnett, MD, "Vaccinosis is to be understood as the disturbance of the vital force by vaccination, that results in mental, emotional and physical changes that can, in some cases, be a permanent condition."

Research into animal vaccines led Mary to an article in the May, 1995 issue of Wolf Clan magazine. Several veterinarians were asked by the magazine to comment on problems associated with routine animal vaccines. I think you'll be surprised at their candor. It is obvious that vaccines, the bread and butter of the veterinary practice, are held in low esteem by many in the profession. The following comments were excerpted by Mary Phillips from the Wolf Clan article and published in the Spring 1996 issue of The Civil Abolitionist. Here are some things the veterinarians and medical doctors had to say:

"The first thing that must change with routine vaccinations is the myth that vaccines are not harmful.... Veterinarians and animal guardians have to come to realize that they are not protecting animals from disease by annual vaccinations, but in fact, are destroying the health and immune systems of these same animals they love and care for." Dr. Charles E Loops, DVM, Pittsboro NC.

"Injected vaccines bypass normal defenses. They implant mutated microorganisms, preservatives, foreign animal proteins and other compounds directly into the system. This is done in the name of preventing a few syndromes. If an animal is in an optimal state of health, he or she will produce the strongest immune response possible. This response offers protection against all natural challenges. The irony is that vaccine labels say they are to be given only to healthy animals. If they were truly healthy, they would not need them. Those who are not healthy are the most severely damaged." Dr. Russell Swift, DVM. Ft Lauderdale FL.

"Vaccinosis is the reaction from common inoculations (vaccines) against the body's immune system and general well being. These reactions might take months or years to show up and will cause undue harm to future generations." Dr. Pedro Rivera, DVM, Sturtevant WI.

"In a general and frightening context, I see the overall health and longevity of animals deteriorating. The bodies of most animals have a tremendous capacity to detoxify poisons, but they do have a limit. I think we often exceed that limit and overwhelm the body's immune system function with toxins from vaccines." Dr. Pat Bradley, DVM Conway AZ

"If an animal already has problems, those problems are contributed to by vaccines. So I don't want to give any more (shots)." Dr. Michael Lemmon, DVM, Renton WA.

"Routine vaccinations are probably the worst thing that we do for our animals. Repeating vaccinations on a yearly basis undermines the whole energetic well-being of our animals. Animals do not seem to be decimated by one or two vaccines when they are young, and veterinary immunologists tell us that viral vaccines need only be given once or twice in an animal's life. First, there is no need for annual vaccinations, and second, they definitely cause chronic disease." Dr. Christina Chambreau, DVM, Sparks MD

"Unfortunately our society is in the grasp of a health panacea and this panacea is fueled by the biomedical and pharmaceutical industries. Vaccinations have become the modern day equivalent of leeching. First of of all, introducing foreign material via subcutaneous or intramuscular injection is extremely upsetting to the body's defense system. In response to this violation, there have been increased autoimmune disease (allergies being one component), epilepsy, neoplasia (tumors), as well as behavioral problems in small animals. Even though man and animals have been around for thousands of years, interestingly, the increase in cancer, respiratory disorders (most air quality standards are higher today than in decades past.), and autoimmune problems have likewise escalated alarmingly during the previous decade. Vaccines are not the only culprit for these increases; however, I feel they are one of the primary offenders." Dr. Mike Kohn, DVM, Madison Wl

"Vaccines are not always effective, safety is unproven, and long term consequences are unknown. Despite this, the government requires their use, resulting in a lack of incentives for drug companies to produce better products. Additionally, mandatory vaccine laws make it impossible to conduct properly controlled studies, so we'll never know if vaccines are truly safe, as is claimed by the government and medical profession. Similar to other procedures, the right of informed consent, i.e. the right to say 'NO', should apply to vaccines." Dr. Kristine Severyn, RPH, Ph.D., Director Ohio Parents for Vaccine Safety .

"I believe that vaccinations, especially the rabies vaccines, are contributing to a lot of the "allergic" skin problems seen today, leading to a problem known as vaccinosis, which is characterized by itchy, dark, thickened skin; especially over the abdomen and under the legs. It is seen in both dogs and cats, but is more obvious in the dog. Dr. Ana Maria Scholey, Holistic Veterinarian.

"Every time a dog is vaccinated for parvo, the number of white blood cells in the circulation decreases for a while. This means their immune system won't work as well during that time. Every veterinarian who has been in practice long enough has seen reactions to vaccines, ranging from lethargy, mild fever, sore neck, to vomiting and sleeping for 24 hours, to total collapse and shock. In cats we now recognize that time can cause fibrosarcoma, a nasty cancer. This is officially recognized by the veterinary community, and if this isn't a form of vaccinosis, I don't know what is." Dr. Nancy Scanlan, DVM, Chino Hills CA .

Mary Phillips can be contacted at Liverpool Animal Protection Society, Inc./ PO Box 352/ Liverpool, NY 13088. The Civil Abolitionist's address is PO Box 26/ Swain, NY 14884.

Homeopathic veterinarian Charles F. Loops, DVM wrote "Homeopathic veterinarians and other holistic practitioners have maintained for some time that vaccinations do more harm than they provide benefits. Vaccinations represent a major assault on the body's immune system. Attentuated organisms or chemically killed viruses or bacteria are injected directly into the blood stream, an unnatural route of infection. This profound insult, avoiding the body's first line of defenses, and flooding the system with millions of organisms or viral particles, stresses the immune system in a way not of natures design. This insult causes irregularities and abnormalities in the immune system which then manifests as chronic diseases in animals. These chronic diseases range from life-threatening conditions such as auto-immune crises to conditions destroying the quality of life of an animal as in chronic skin allergies.

"What we are now seeing are generations of over-vaccinated animals and these current offspring are suffering the penalty of this medical abuse. In an attempt to control a naturally occurring process of population control and survival of the fittest, the medical establishment has convinced people that mass innoculations are for the good of all, overlooking the health of the individual. Where vaccinations have helped in eradicating or reducing the incidence of severe, acute disease processes, the result has been to plague humanity with more insidious, chronic diseases that are much more difficult to treat and that lower the quality of life for many individual animals and people. In all of this, there needs to be BALANCE, and the following are my recommendations for vaccinating or not vaccinating and some comments about diet.

1. Puppies under three months of age should not be vaccinated. Vaccinations are much more stressful on the underdeveloped immune system. Also, these vaccinations are much less effective at providing immunity before three months of age. If you feel you must vaccinate, do so with one vaccination of Distemper at three months, followed by a vaccination for Parvovirus at four months of age, and stop with that. If you can't find a single Distemper vaccine use the Distemper-measles combination. Use killed vaccines only.

2. Kittens should only be vaccinated for Panleukopenia and not before three months of age. All other vaccinations should be avoided. One vaccine is sufficient.

3. Puppies and kittens can be given homeopathic nosodes beginning at three weeks of age, if there is a potential for exposure to Distemper, Parvovirus, or Panleukopenia. These nosodes can be used until vaccinations are given or continued periodically for the first year of life, if vaccinations are not given. Common sense should be used in avoiding exposure of very young animals to other, possible unhealthy, animals of the same species.

4. Booster vaccinations are completely unnecessary. Studies are now showing that these vaccinations are effective for many years and most probably for life. Vaccinated animals do not need any boosters. Homeopathic nosodes can be given periodically if you are concerned or if you think your animals live a high risk life style.

5. Rabies Vaccinations should be given as dictated by state laws. Lyssin, the homeopathic nosode, should be given within a few hours after the vaccination. Clearly, the rabies vaccination is effective for many years more than state laws require booster vaccination.

6. Booster vaccinations can cause SEVERE set-backs when an animal is being treated homeopathically for chronic problems. They can completely erase any progress that has been made towards improving an animal's health.

7. My personal recommendation is NOT to vaccinate at all. The best road to good health is feeding a diet rich in fresh foods, raw meats for the carnivores, and avoiding vaccinations and allopathic medications. Antibiotics and other allopathic drugs should only be used in situations where their use is clearly indicated, and this should be only in potentially, life-threatening situations. Every time you suppress a symptom the body produces, you are potentially lowering the health status of the body system. Treating with the correctly prescribed homeopathic remedy, herbs, or other non-invasive therapies, not of a chemical nature, will enhance your health and your companions health.

8. Commercial diets should be carefully chosen. Your companion is at the mercy of your good or poor judgement in selecting foods. Cats and dogs which have free access to the outside can to some degree supplement their diet. Otherwise, they are totally dependent on you. Science diets and Hill's dog and cat food products are not good diets. They use chemical preservatives that have been shown to cause problems in some animals, and they use by-products, which are words on the ingredient label that need to be avoided at all costs. This generally means food not utilized for human consumption. If you feed a carefully selected commercial food, some supplementation with fresh food is necessary to maximize your companions' health. Raw poultry, beef, lamb, or rabbit and occasionally liver should be added to the diet at least three times per week, and fresh vegetables in small amounts should also be offered.

9. The best diet is a RAW FOOD DIET and we have recipes. There are also many good books with recipes for raw diets."


What Is Coming Through That Needle?
The Problem of Pathogenic Vaccine Contamination

By Benjamin McRearden

Some of the newest types of vaccines are called subunit and naked DNA vaccines. Without going into the intricacies of their production, they involve techniques used in genetic engineering. Subunit vaccines generally will insert a viral or bacterial DNA section into the DNA from yeast, which is allowed to reproduce in large quantities. The protein intended for inclusion in the vaccine is then separated from the yeast cells. In the case of naked DNA vaccines, the viral or DNA gene is first reproduced, then spliced into a plasmid (which is essentially free DNA, widely used in recombinant technology), reproduced in bacteria or cells, and then separated from them for inclusion in the vaccine.

Recombinant gene vaccines can also be produced via these methods for instance, hepatitis B is now an exclusively recombinant vaccine (103, 104)

One of the major concerns with these methods is the unpredictability and interaction of the final vaccine product with the proteins or DNA of the host. A document from the FDA states: Genetic toxicity: Integration of the plasmid DNA vaccine into the genome of the vaccinated subjects is an important theoretical risk to consider in preclinical studies. The concern is that an integrated vaccine may result in insertional mutagenesis through the activation of oncogenes or inactivation of tumor suppressor genes. In addition, an integrated plasmid DNA vaccine may result in chromosomal instability through the induction of chromosomal breaks or rearrangements.? (105).

Another group advises, Research findings in gene therapy and vaccine development show that naked/free nucleic acids constructs are readily taken up by the cells of all species including human beings. These nucleic acid constructs can become integrated into the cell's genome and such integration may result in harmful biological effects, including cancers. (106).

And to reiterate the danger of tumorigenic cell lines, a researcher says, More recently, recombinant DNA technology has expanded beyond bacterial cells to mammalian cells, some of which may also be tumorigenic. (107).

It seems obvious that there needs to be a new and open dialog regarding vaccines among the regulatory agencies, manufacturers, research and medical community, and the public. Many have been ridiculed for refusing vaccination for themselves or their children, but considering the occurrences of short-term adverse events and questionable efficacy (108), possible long-term health damage, and now also facing the potential of wide-ranging loss of civil liberties (109), is it so surprising that many are questioning what the actual benefits are surrounding most vaccination protocols?

Are the cases of damaged children, non-functional adults, the huge increases in cancer rates, immune and chronic diseases to be simply and blindly accepted by the public as tolerable losses?

As a citizen with a right to good health, please be advised of the following issues. Vaccine quality in the U.S. (therefore in the world) relies for the most part, on manufacturers reporting to the FDA. Here is a relevant statement from the CDC: Manufacturers are required to submit the results of their own tests for potency, safety, and purity for each vaccine lot to the FDA. They are also required to submit samples of each vaccine lot to FDA for testing. However, if the sponsor describes an alternative procedure which provides continued assurance of safety, purity and potency, CBER may determine that routine submission of lot release protocols (showing results of applicable tests) and samples is not necessary. (110)

Yes, this is the scope of the quality-control protocol that oversees a market worth billions of dollars, yet allowing all these contaminants into the vaccines. It may be helpful to have an idea of the scope of the operation to understand what we are dealing with here. We are advised that Large-scale cell culture operations for biotechnology products use millions of litres of complex media and gases as well as huge quantities of organic and inorganic raw materials. These raw materials must always be assumed to contain contamination by adventitious agents (111). And because there is a potentially large number of animal and human viruses (or viral segments) that could be entering into the final vaccine products, it would take an equally large bank of molecular probes, as well as frequent, wide-spread testing, to screen for presence of these contaminating agents. This would obviously add time and expense for the manufacturers.

What needs to be decided is this, is the effort and cost involved in cleaning up these admittedly filthy medical products, worth the resultant benefit to the public health? And since certain animal products are necessary for the production of vaccines, it may also be necessary to clean house at several levels, including the agricultural sector. It is no secret for instance, that commercial chicken flocks raised for meat and eggs are often carrying infectious avian leucosis virus, mentioned earlier in this report (112, 113, 114)

For the record, the smallpox vaccine ordered by the U.S. government from Aventis is being produced on two types of continuous cell lines, the human embryonic MRC-5 and the green monkey Vero cells (115). We might also be advised of one researchers thoughts, that normal embryo and foreskin cells presumably represent a state in development which is genetically unstable, rendering them considerably more susceptible to malignant transformation.? (116). Are remnants of these types of cells something we want injected into our bodies?

The decision you make in accepting or refusing a vaccination can be a very personal one, but whatever you decide, do try to be informed of the true benefits and risks. Nobody should be forced to submit to any medical procedure, especially one of questionable value. Please view the entire article at:


In the human field, the Merck Manual (published by a vaccine manufacturer) says that patients with heart disease should not receive live virus vaccines. It goes further, saying patients from families with a history of heart disease should not receive live virus vaccines. In research into heart disease (particularly cardiomyopathy) in large and giant breeds of dogs, parvovirus has been found in the heart muscle of dogs that had or developed cardiomyopathy and dogs that did not. The possibility is that it is virus from the vaccines, since it seems unlikely that all the tested dogs would have come across the natural disease.

There is also a lot of doubt as to whether canine parvovirus is a natural disease, the theory being that it was caused by vaccines - the vaccines for other diseases given to dogs having been contaminated with the feline vaccine equivalent of cpv, which then jumped species. As cpv occurred in several countries at the same time, it was felt impossible it could have occurred naturally.

What does go into vaccines? The following was posted on the k9health List:
"These are just some of the ingredients used to make a vaccine
a.. Ethylene glycol (antifreeze)
b.. Phenol also known as carbolic acid (this is used as a disinfectant , dye)
c.. Formaldehyde - a known cancer-causing substance. According to the Poisons Information Centre, "There is no acceptable safe amount of formaldehyde if being injected into a living human body. It is a toxic substance and should be avoided at all costs." Up to 90% of the decrease in infectious disease occurred before the introduction of vaccines or antibiotics. In the case of scarlet fever, the disease has disappeared despite there never being any treatment for it.
d.. Aluminum which is associated with Alzheimers disease and seizures also cancer producing in laboratory mice (it is used as an additive to promote antibody response )
e.. Thimerosal ( used as a mercury disinfectant/ perservative) can result in brain injury and autoimmune disease
f.. Neomycin , Streptomycin ( used as antibiotic) have caused allergic reaction in some people
These vaccines are also grown and strained thru animal or human tissue like monkey kidney tissue , chicken embryo, dog kidney tissue, calf serum, human diploid cells ( the dissected organs of aborted fetuses as in the case of rubella and chickenpox vaccines) The problem with animal cells is that during serial passage of the virus thru the animal cells animal RNA and DNA can be transferred from one host to another and undetected animal viruses may slip past quality control testing procedures as in 1955 thru 1961 with SV40 which stands for simian virus#40 (meaning the 40th virus found) which has oncogenic properties ( cancer causing) What other viruses could be slipping by that we don't know of?"

There is a vast amount of information on vaccination on the Internet, most of it against. Some of it is on vaccination of humans, some of animals, but it is all relevant to those wanting to inform themselves of possible deleterious effects. The following are links to some of the available sites. The Whale Vaccine site with masses of information and links The Think Twice site The Tetrahedron Publishing Group website Vaccinations...Too Many, Too Often? on the website The von Hapsburg Gt. Danes page on vaccination It's For the Animals site on vaccination
IrishWolfhoundABC The Irish Wolfhound ABC site's page on vaccination

What are the alternatives to conventional vaccines? The homeopathic nosodes (remedies made from disease causing organisms or disease processes) are used by many people as a prophylactic (preventative). They are given in the 30c potency and a dosage regime could be as follows:-

one twice daily for three days, then
one daily for a week, then
one weekly for a month, then
one monthly for six months

There is probably no reason to be attempting to protect adult animals, as all the life-threatening diseases are normally only so in young animals whose immune systems are not yet mature, although some weak, sickly animals may well be at risk later in life. If you are continuing to give nosodes beyond the first year, then each year a booster is given of one twice daily for three days, or you could continue giving one dose a month throughout life. In the UK, Helios Pharmacy (tel. 01892 537254) do a combination remedy for all the canine infectious diseases covered by the conventional vaccine, which is called "Dog Combination".

The cause of illness is not outside agencies against which the animal has no defences. Infectious agents, and internal and external parasites only affect animals which are susceptible for some reason. The main reason for such susceptibility is poor diet and nutrition, and often lack of daylight, plus environmental factors such as conventional flea treatments and being surrounded by chemicals (cleaning products, fly killers, air fresheners, vacuum powders, new carpets or furnishings, etc.) all of which put a strain on the system. Vaccination adds to this damaging overload, especially the multivalent vaccines. The fact that in puppies the vaccines are usually given at times of maximum stress (move to new home/change of diet/loss of dam and siblings) is going to have an even greater effect. The effect may not be immediate; it can lead to immune system or degenerative disorders which only bring obvious symptoms later in life.

A good diet is the best way to strengthen the immune system (see Nutrition page), especially supplementing with a good mineral/trace element supplement. It has been found that animals in which the trace elements are balanced do not get infectious diseases, nor do they become hosts to internal or external parasites. The very best way to achieve such a balance would be for all farm and agricultural land to be tested for and then balanced with trace elements so that the food itself would provide all the right nutrients, but actually such land is mainly being unbalanced by the use of chemical fertilisers.

Natural light is also a strong boost to the immune system. Keeping animals indoors (glass cuts out a vital part of the natural light spectrum) for all or much of the day is not beneficial to their health. The use of daylight bulbs within the home is a sensible alternative to being mainly outdoors.

In some cases where a puppy or an adult dog is not on the best diet, then it may even be better to have it vaccinated because it may not be healthy enough to not contract infectious diseases, although some dogs that are several generations down the line of poor feeding may not be able to mount a normal immune response even if they themselves are fed a good diet (as was found by Dr. Pottenger with his cats). The problem is that such dogs are also more likely to have adverse responses to vaccination. A useful article on vaccination by veterinarian and wolfhound breeder Mel Mercer, DVM can be seen here. Some holistic vets think that the safest way to deal with such a problem is to give killed vaccines for only distemper and parvovirus and to give them separately.

Remember that puppies and dogs (and any other animal) should not be vaccinated if they have anything wrong with them. This includes allergies, skin disorders, recovery from an accident or surgery, digestive upsets, or any other problem however minor it appears. All the vaccine information states that vaccines should only be given to healthy animals.

Update (2008) on the administration of vaccinations

Vaccines are intended to be administered to HEALTHY dogs -- it is an advisory issued on vaccine labels, in veterinary literature and guidelines, as a dog's health status can have an impact on a vaccine's effectiveness and fail to elicit an immune response. Startlingly, the AAHA task force indicates (see quote below) that vaccination in a "severely immunosuppressed" dog can result in the dog acquiring the disease it is being vaccinated to prevent.

On Page 24 of the 2006 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines, it states under the "Sick Dogs" heading that: "As with pregnant dogs, veterinary medicine has advised against vaccination during illness, due to concerns about suboptimal sero-conversion, or worse, conversion of vaccine to disease." In other words, if you vaccinate a pregnant or sick dog, not only do you run the risk of a less-than-desirable immunological response, but you run the risk of your dog contracting the disease it is being vaccinated against.

Under the "Immunological Factors Determining Vaccine Safety" column on page 16 of the American Animal Hospital Association's 2003 Canine Vaccine Guidelines it is written that: " attenuated pathogen in a host which is severely immunosuppressed, or genetically more susceptible, may result in the vaccine causing the disease for which it was designed to prevent." Further on that page, under "The Immune System and Frequency of Revaccination," it cautions that: "When vaccinating an animal, the age of the animal, the animal's immune status, and interference by maternal antibodies in the development of immunity must be considered. Research has demonstrated that the presence of passively acquired maternal antibodies significantly interferes with the immuneresponse to many canine vaccines, including CPV [parvo], CDV [distemper], CAV-2 [hepatitis] and rabies vaccines."

The Merial Imrab 3 vaccine label for dogs and cats [click here: and then click on IMRAB 3, then on "label"]: "INDICATIONS: IMRAB® 3 is recommended for the vaccination of healthy cats, dogs, sheep, cattle, horses, and ferrets 12 weeks of age and older for prevention of disease due to rabies virus." (Note: the link for this website is no longer functioning, which is why it has been removed - AHJ)

For Rabvac 3 [click here then click on "label"]: "Rabvac 3 is a killed virus vaccine for the vaccination of healthy dogs, cats and horses against rabies." (Note: the link for this website is no longer functioning, which is why it has been removed - AHJ)

This link will take you to an article by Dr. Moira Drosdovech entitled "Pet Vaccinations - A Time for Change", in which she states what all the veterinary medical schools and vaccine companies declare, that: "Although I have stated this in previous articles, I cannot emphasize enough that any pet receiving a vaccination should be 100% healthy. This excludes vaccinating pets with any health problems whatsoever, including diseases in "remission" such as skin diseases, cancer, thyroid problems, to name a few, and especially not those with a history of autoimmune disease. Please understand that you are not benefiting your pet at all by vaccinating while unhealthy."

If anyone would like copies of the American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines, the 1992 French challenge study demonstrating that dogs were immune to a rabies challenge 5 years after vaccination, the 2003 Italian study documenting fibrosarcomas at the presumed injection sites of rabies vaccines in dogs, as well as Dr. W. Jean Dodds' papers on vaccinal adverse reactions, please e-mail me.

The 2003 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines are accessible online at

The 2011 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines are downloadable in PDF format at

By Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
The Rabies Challenge Fund

An article by Craig E. Greene of the University of Georgia on Vaccine Reactions can be found on the next page


What Vets Don't Tell You About Vaccines by Catherine O'Driscoll

The Nature of Animal Healing by Martin Goldstein, DVM

The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care by C.J. Puotinen Article on the subject of vaccination by Information from Dr Charles E Loops DVM, homeopathic vet Site on homeopathy Shirley's Wellness Cafe page on homeopathy for animals The page on alternative medicine for dogs on the site of Gloria Dodds, DVM

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Updated 12/18/2011