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Are All Those Pet Vaccinations Really Necessary?
Would you like to save money and have a healthier pet? Let me tell you a story. One day, my German Shepherd asleep, as usual, when suddenly, he started convulsing so intensely that I thought he must be dying. It went on for a few minutes, which seemed like forever. After, I couldn't believe he was OK. It turned out to be a seizure, and it was then that I began to learn about alternative medicine for pets.
The most interesting thing I found out was that vaccinations seem to be a main cause of seizures in dogs, and annual vaccinations are not necessary, possibly causing more harm than good. After that incident, we stopped vaccinating and the seizures became less and less. I'm going to tell you how it's in both your and your pet's best interest to avoid yearly vaccinations. Annual re-vaccination is simply not necessary.
Here is an excerpt from page 205 of Current Veterinary Therapy XI, a reference considered to be the premier resource for the entire veterinary field.
"A practice that was started many years ago and that lacks scientific validity or verification is annual revaccinations. ALMOST WITHOUT EXCEPTION THERE IS NO IMMUNOLOGIC REQUIREMENT FOR ANNUAL REVACCINATION. Immunity to viruses persists for years or for the life of the animal."
If you're concerned about not vaccinating yearly, you can get proof of immunity even years after the shot, by a blood test called a titer. Many veterinarians, especially holistic vets, will provide these tests. See http://www.AlternativesForAnimals.com for a directory of holistic vets.
Overvaccination can even cause more harm than good. This is something that almost all holistic vets agree upon, and some of the top vets in the country attribute many health problems to vaccines.
Dr. Richard Pitcairn, a holistic pioneer and well respected vet who researched immunology extensively, believes that the biggest factor contributing to epilepsy in dogs is yearly vaccinations. (1) Many seizures happen within a few weeks of dogs getting their shots.
According to this theory that overvaccination causes harm, vaccines work with immunity, and overvaccination weakens the immune system. This in turn causes auto-immune problems in cats and dogs like skin problems, hair loss, tumors, and arthritis. A weakened immune system leaves your pet open to all kinds of potential health problems. (2)
Why do almost all conventional vets recommend yearly vaccinations? It's been the industry standard. According to veterinarian Dr. Carolyn Blakey, it accounts for up to 80% of a vet's business. To recommend less frequent vaccination, vet businesses would take a big financial blow.
If it concerns you to avoid vaccinations, are there any alternatives? There are a couple options. Some holistic vets follow a modified program of vaccinations, giving them at less frequent intervals.
Another option is homeopathic. Homeopathic nosodes are a remedy administered to pets that are believed to assist in disease prevention. Nosodes are made from the actual virus, just like a vaccine, but are made differently and are totally safe.
According to Donna Starita, DVM, a leading homeopathic vet, many studies show homeopathic nosodes to be just as effective or more so than conventional vaccines in preventing disease. (3)
Some breeders, such as author Celeste Yarnall, Ph.D., that are interested in more natural methods use exclusively nosodes in place of regular shots. They swear by it's effectiveness and they say their animals are much healthier than earlier generations that got shots. (4)
So, it's OK to question the necessity of yearly pet vaccinations, with their questionable necessity and potential adverse effects on your pet's health. This is the beginning of this movement, and over the coming years, it's my opinion that we'll probably see more movement away from such frequent vaccination. Some veterinary schools are already changing their curriculum to advocate changes in vaccination frequency. In the end, it will save us all money, and we'll have healthier pets.
So next time you get that little reminder card in the mail that your pet is due for their shots, think twice! And switch your pet's care to a vet that is more careful about the use of vaccines.
See http://www.AlternativesForAnimals.com for a FREE online directory of holistic vets.
Sources:(1) Natural Health for Dogs & Cats by Pitcairn & Pitcairn(2) The Natural Remedy Book for Dogs & Cats by Diane Stein with excerpt by John Fudens, DVM(3) The Dangers of Vaccinations, and the Advantages of Nosodes for Diseases Prevention by Dr. Donna Starita Mehan(4) Cat Care, Naturally! by Celeste Yarnall
Angela M. Predhomme is the owner and creator of the online holistic pet directory, Alternatives for Animals, http://www.alternativesforanimals.com. Click on this link to find holistic vets and practitioners using alternative medicine for pets, as well as a directory of natural pet products.
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