Homeopathic Alternative to Vaccines
The purpose of vaccination is to protect your pet from potentially fatal infections by pathogenic (disease-causing) viruses such as distemper, rabies,and others. The way this is done is to inject either a killed or a “modified” (non-pathogenic) live virus, which sensitizes the immune system to that particular virus. Thereafter, if your dog or cat is exposed to, let’s say, parvo virus, s/he will be able to respond quickly and vigorously, producing antibodies to overcome the infection. This sounds like a pretty good plan, on the surface. However, as with any medical procedure, we must ask the simple and direct questions, “Is it safe? Is it effective? Do the benefits outweigh the risks?”
The Problems with Routine Vaccinations
Not surprisingly, most of the problems involve the immune system. After all, the immune system is what vaccines are designed to stimulate. But they do so in a very unnatural way that can overwhelm and confuse the immune system. The body may overreact to normally harmless substances (allergies, especially flea allergies and other skin problems), or even produce antibodies to itself (autoimmune disease). At the same time, the body may be sluggish in responding to those things that it should reject, such as common viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. This can result in increased susceptibility to acute infections (such as ear infections in dogs, bladder infections in cats), chronic tapeworm problems, or in more degenerative cases, cancer.
What alternative is there?
The big question has always been: What alternative is there? Despite these potential problems, vaccination must surely be preferable to losing puppies and kittens to distemper, parvo, and other fatal diseases! Until recently, there have been no practical alternatives, so the short term benefits of vaccination have seemed to outweigh the long term risks. Now, however, there is a safe and effective alternative to vaccination: homeopathic nosodes. Like vaccines, nosodes sensitize the body to a particular virus, so the immune system can react quickly and effectively to natural exposure. Nosodes are at least as effective as vaccines, and in some cases have been shown to be significantly more effective than vaccines in preventing infection. The biggest advantage of nosodes over vaccines is the fact that they are completely safe. There are no risks or side-effects whatever. And they can be safely given to puppies and kittens much earlier than vaccines can. In fact, the mother can be treated before she gives birth, giving the puppies or kittens protection from the moment they are born. Nosodes, like all homeopathic remedies, are very easy to administer: they are given by mouth, and don’t even need to be swallowed. They are also very economical – far less expensive, in fact, than vaccination.
Limitations of Nosodes
There are some limitations to the use of nosodes. Rabies vaccination for dogs is required by law in most counties, and the rabies nosode, called Lyssin, will not satisfy that requirement. You should know, however, for the health of your animal, that all vaccines, including rabies are legally and medically approved for use in healthy animals only! So if your dog is showing any signs of acute or chronic disease, s/he is exempt from that requirement and should not be vaccinated. Despite the obvious advantages of nosodes, most boarding kennels and veterinary hospitals will not accept them in lieu of vaccination. If you need to board your dog or cat in a boarding kennel or veterinary hospital, you may be forced to have him/her vaccinated. This is a problem that will hopefully improve with time as more kennel owners and veterinarians become familiar with nosodes.
If You Decide to Vaccinate
As a veterinary homeopath, I do not recommend routine vaccination for dogs or cats, except for rabies in health dogs. If, for whatever reason, you decide that you must vaccinate your pet, I would make the following recommendations:
- Never vaccinate an animal with symptoms of acute or chronic health problems, or at the time of surgery or any other physical or emotional stress.
- For adult dogs and cats, vaccinate every 2-3 years, instead of yearly.