Some in the holistic community are against all vaccines. I am not one of them. I worked at a humane society for five years and witnessed firsthand the deadly consequences when animals were not vaccinated properly. Vaccinations are an important part of pet healthcare. The incidence of certain deadly diseases such as distemper, parvovirus, and rabies has been greatly reduced thanks to the widespread use of vaccines in US pets.
At the same time, this medical procedure needs to be applied prudently. Like any other medical intervention, there can be adverse events associated with vaccination. Therefore, pets should be vaccinated according to their risk of exposure. Every animal does not need to be vaccinated against every disease. Also, booster vaccines should be given only as needed by the individual pet. In other words, it is best if vaccine protocols are individualized for each pet.
The Dark Side of Vaccines
Because vaccinations are routine procedures for pets, some people take their safety for granted and are unaware of possible complications. Many pets experience a few days of achiness and sluggishness after vaccination. This common side effect demonstrates the powerful systemic repercussions of this procedure. Vaccines contain components called adjuvants that stimulate the animal’s immune system. This unnatural immune system excitation can stir up allergies and possibly cancer.
Vaccines have also been linked to the development of autoimmune disease in pets. Autoimmune disease includes a group of illnesses brought about when the immune system becomes deranged and starts attacking various cells of its own body, leading to life threatening consequences. In addition, certain cancers in pets have been linked to vaccinations. These more serious vaccine adverse reactions are rare but their incidence increases with every vaccine dose, so it makes sense to use this tool wisely.
Try Titers Instead
There is a blood test, called a blood titer, which can be done to see if your pet has immunity against distemper and parvovirus in dogs and distemper in cats. I recommend that this test be done instead of having your pet vaccinated on a regular basis. This will spare your pet from unnecessary vaccines.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Healthcare for pets is changing from the outdated, one-size-fits-all method to a more holistic, individualized system. Medicine works best when each patient receives care that is tailored to her unique needs. This approach is especially helpful when it comes to pet vaccine protocols. Pet owners need to pay close attention to all medical procedures being applied to their pets and take an active role in the decisions being made. The potential benefits need to be balanced by a consideration of possible side effects. When it comes to vaccines, sometimes less is more.
I personally have decided to put vaccines to the test. I have to confess that I’m running an experiment on my own dog. I do not suggest that others follow my experimental vaccine protocol without doing the extensive testing that I am doing.
I have a Maltese named Katy. Her last distemper-parvo combination vaccine was given when she was 12 weeks of age. At that time I gave her ½ the recommended volume of the vaccine. (Another issue I have with vaccines is that the same dose is given to any sized dog from a half pound Chihuahua pup to a 200 pound Great Dane). I have been doing blood titers every year since then which show that her vaccine immunity has lasted 10 years and counting. If I had been following the vaccine label, my little Katy would have gotten 20 times more vaccine in her life so far! Who knows what damage that may have done?
How often does your pet get vaccinated?