|The Pros and Cons of Vaccinating
by Rose Smith
To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? That's
become the burning question of many dog owners in this day
and age. I'm not a veterinarian, just a regular pet owner
like yourself, but would like to impart the information I've
found regarding regular vaccinations for animals. You can
then make your own decision.
I came across much of this information when
researching information on vaccinations for children, of all
things. What I found shocked me. So, I figured if this is
what is being injected into young babies and children, I had
to ask myself - what is being injected into our pets? Here
is what I've found.
Why Do We Vaccinate Our Pets?
In centuries past, most animals were allowed
to have the run of the roads with little supervision. Over
the years leash laws have been enforced and most pet owners
keep their dogs leashed or fenced within their yards. If taking
your dog for a walk, the majority of areas require you to
keep your pet on a leash (although there are more open no-leash
areas springing up). Still, most canines are now supervised
or owners face a fine for allowing them to run loose.
Vaccinations are given to "prevent"
your dog from contracting particularly harmful/fatal infections
from other animals. The vaccinations given come in two forms
- killed viruses or non-pathogenic (modified live versions)
of the virus. The vaccinations are designed to sensitize your
pet's immune system and causes it to produce anti-bodies should
your pet be exposed to certain viruses. The modified live
vaccinations are "suppose" to provide a longer and
better immune response over the killed vaccines.
However, in some recent studies it's been found
that most vaccinations will provide so-called immunity for
5 years and often longer. I say "so-called" because
these vaccines don't actually prevent the animal from getting
the disease and in many cases, may actually cause it.
When Are The Recommended Vaccines Given?
Just like human babies, puppies (and kittens)
when first born are provided with a natural immunity from
their mothers for the first few weeks. The initial vaccination
shots are then usually given between 8 and 12 weeks of age,
with boosters routinely given yearly thereafter.
If you choose to vaccinate your dog - or if
it is currently required by law in your area - then you should
only vaccinate your dog if it is healthy. If your dog is sick
or has a chronic illness, it is advised that you postpone
any vaccinations until they are well.
Should your dog require surgery in the near
future and is due for their shots, you should have them vaccinated
several weeks beforehand, not at the time of surgery. Their
bodies will be under stress at that time and the vaccination
itself can cause major problems.
If you choose to have standard vaccinations
given by your veterinarian, be sure to request that they be
administered separately as opposed to a multivalent vaccination
(combination). In this way, you can monitor any side-effects
that may occur and know which vaccine has caused it.
Government laws will usually require you to
vaccinate your dog for parvo virus (a mutation of feline distemper
which causes heart disease), canine distemper and rabies.
However, the rabies
vaccination should really not be given at the same time as
Many homeopathic veterinarians recommend that
you do not vaccinate for leptospirosis, hepatitis or parainfluenza
and that you vaccinate only every 2 to 3 years instead of
giving them yearly shots in order to reduce the risk of side
The Problems Associated With Traditional
Controversy has grown over whether to vaccinate
or not because of the potential side effects caused by many
vaccines. Some are not very effective and others can have
short and long-term
serious side effects. A study in the United Kingdom by Canine
Health Concern in March 2001 has found that 1 in 10 dogs suffer
from side effects from regular rabies vaccinations which is
contradictory to the vaccine-manufacturers claim that less
than 15 adverse reactions occur out of 100,000 companion animals
It's been noted that yearly vaccines can increase
the frequency and severity of side-effects, most notably the
problems that involve the animal's immune system. Vaccinations
to stimulate the immune system in an unnatural way and your
dog's body could potentially over-react to the stimulus causing
allergies and skin problems. More frightening is the fact
that the over stimulated immune system can cause your pet's
body to produce anti-bodies against itself (autoimmune disease).
Traditional vaccinations have also been shown to increase
the likelihood of infections in pets from ear infections to
bladder problems to cancer.
What's In Those Vaccines?
Well, aside from the live or dead virus, most
people would be shocked and horrified to learn what else is
included in those "safe" shots.
For example, did you know that vaccinations
(for both animals AND humans - yes, these poisons are being
injected into yourchildren too) contain Thimerosal, which
is made up of ethyl mercury. This is a highly toxic metal
that affects the neurological system in all animals. It can
also affect the immune system, motor coordination, increase
behavioral dysfunctions, and appears to be
linked to autism in humans.
Here's an eye opener. Uranium is the most poisonous
substance known to man... mercury comes in second. Once it
enters the body through ingestion, injection or inhalation,
it continues to accumulate. In other words, human and animal
bodies cannot easily clear mercuryfrom their systems.
Aluminum is another toxic metal found in vaccinations,
which many of us know has been linked to Alzheimer’s.
Formaldehyde is used as a preservative and a
tissue fixative. Think about that for a moment. Formaldehyde
is used to preserve dead bodies before burial! Makes you wonder
why they bother to use it after we're dead. After all, both
us and our pets should be more than adequately preserved by
the time we pass on with all the vaccines we get.
How about Ethylene Glycol? In other words -
antifreeze! This ingredient is known to cause kidney and liver
failure and can prove fatal if swallowed.
We've all heard of Borax (sodium tetra borate
decahyrate). Some people use it in their laundry. For the
record, Borax is a pesticide included in ant killer. Guess
where else it's used?
These are just some of the poisons added to
vaccinations. The list goes on. In fact, there are approximately
25 known additives included in vaccines for animals.
What Are The Alternatives To Vaccinations?
Up until recently, there have been relatively
few alternatives in vaccinating your dog. In fact, it is the
law in many countries that animals must have routine vaccinations,
especially rabies shots for animals that are traveling or
if you wish to board them in a kennel or veterinary hospital.
However, alternatives are starting to appear and some veterinarians
are beginning to question the validity of yearly vaccinations.
With the increase in awareness over homeopathic
alternatives in medicines, many people are turning to the
safer and, in some cases, more effective treatment of using
homeopathic nosodes. Like regular vaccines, they are designed
to sensitize the body to a particular virus and are very effective
in preventing infections. Completely safe with no side effects,
they can be given to puppies quite safely and at a very early
age. In fact, these nosodes can be administered to the pregnant
mother so her babies are protected when born.
Homeopathic nosodes are easy to administer as
they come in pill or liquid form, as opposed to being injected
like traditional vaccines. The cost is also lower, saving
you money. However, there are limitations. Most countries,
boarding kennels and veterinary hospitals will not accept
animals that are given Lyssin (homeopathic rabies vaccine),
although this is slowly beginning to change with more and
more homeopathic veterinary hospitals and boarding kennels
popping up across
What If Your Pet Is Exposed To a Virus?
If you know that your dog has been exposed to
a virus, you can help prevent the development of the disease
by administering nosodes immediately after exposure and before
the symptoms develop.
Viral diseases such as canine distemper and
canine parvo virus are basically incurable with traditional
medical treatment, however these viruses quickly respond to
As all diseases are extremely serious in an
animal, you should always seek out professional medical treatment.
If conventional treatment doesn't appear to be working, do
not hesitate to seek out a homeopathic veterinarian for treatment.
What's important is the life of your pet, so seek any methods
available that may help.
About the Author
Article Copyright 2005. Rose Smith is the author and owner
of Caring For Canines, a web site that provides information
on natural dog health care. To learn more about dog medications,
vaccinations and first aid, please visit us at: