Canine well-being is a series of articles sharing the experience I have gathered while living with and caring for dogs. They will address common canine health concerns. I am not a veterinarian. The contents of these articles are intended to inspire looking beyond conventional ideas and practices. Be responsible and do your own research and seek appropriate veterinarian advice (from a holistic vet such as Dr Pearson from Paws to Heal).
It’s starting to be more widely recognized that our pets are over-vaccinated. Of course, you want to protect your dog. But vaccine damage is more common than you might think, so you want to make sure you’re not over-doing it. There have been many studies and anecdotal reports about health risks of vaccines. The harm they can do isn’t limited to immediate ill-effects but there is also an accumulative danger from the toxic ingredients of the vaccines. The latter might show up as allergies, inflammatory conditions, cancer and other damage to the immune system.
Research has shown that the core vaccines (like parvovirus and distemper) can protect dogs for at least 7 years, and probably for life.
What alternatives are there then?
Instead of re-vaccinating your dog you can ask your vet to do a titer test. A titer test checks your dog’s blood to see if there are still antibodies for the core vaccines present. If that is the case, no vaccination is necessary as your dog’s immune system is still able to do its job perfectly. If your vet doesn’t already know about titer testing, educate them about it! And, just a little tip, your dog’s titer test will be cheaper if your vet gets a test kit for their clinic rather than sending away the blood to a lab.
A titer test works for detecting antibodies against parvovirus, distemper and hepatitis (C3). There is no test for bordetella (canine cough). If you are taking your dog some place where he is required to have a current canine cough vaccination (such as a boarding kennel) ask your vet for the intranasal version (works quicker) rather than the injectable one. Be aware that bordetella vaccination is similar to a flu shot – it only contains one strain, so your dog can still get a cough even when she has been vaccinated if exposed to a different strain!
Also, there is a homeopathic alternative to vaccination available called nosode. Here is one for canine cough. Consult with a homeopathic vet for more information.
I have been using my dogs’ titer tests as proof of vaccination without a problem with dog training facilities, a boarding kennel, the dog swimming pool and also when participating in events (such as Adventure Dog). I obtain a certificate from my vet for each of my dogs stating that their titer test has demonstrated positive levels of antibody from C3 vaccination for distempter, hepatitis and parvovirus and that they have received oral kennel cough protection. These certificates are valid for 3 years.
Detox after vaccination
When your dog does receive a vaccination consider doing a detox – to help remove harmful vaccine side effects without removing vaccine benefits. Definitely, if your dog’s body has a visible reaction. But even if he seems fine, considering the above mentioned accumulative danger from the toxic ingredients of the vaccine suggests that detoxing will protect his immune system. There are specific detox programs available.
Here is more food for thought on the topic of vaccinations: