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Dog Vaccinations: Do They Prevent Disease or Cause It?
Dog vaccinations: This is perhaps the most controversial topic in all of dogdom. Some forward-thinking veterinarians advocated changing the yearly vaccine protocol decades ago, believing that vaccine overuse was causing more illnesses than it was preventing. Regarding annual dog vaccinations, Dr. Dennis Macy, vaccine specialist at Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, said: "...that protocol has been totally arbitrary. It’s not based on the duration of immunity studies. The public and veterinarians have become oversold on the vaccine as a cure-all."
Unfortunately, it was not until the last few years that most veterinarians began vaccinating dogs every three years as opposed to every year. While controversial, there is evidence that over-vaccination causes immune suppression and opens the door to various acute and chronic diseases. Dr. Jean Dodds, DVM, says that current diseases or allergies can be aggravated and the immune system disrupted by giving shotgun (multiple) vaccines.
Dr. Roger De Haan, DVM, a holistic veterinarian in North Carolina, believes in a balanced approach to vaccination. “Having seen pets die of distemper and parvo, I know the helpless feeling,” he says. “Vaccinations may be part of the solution, but only part.” Here are some of his personal conclusions and practices:
- Keep the immune system strong through a natural diet that includes immune-building “super food” supplements.
- Give “core” vaccines only. Rotate vaccines: Do not give more than one vaccine at a time.
- Use vaccine brands with proven effectiveness. For distemper and parvo vaccinations, I prefer Progard Puppy DPv by Intervet. It guarantees full immunity at 8 and 12 weeks and is proven to bypass maternal antibodies. For rabies I prefer Merial 3TF, which is mercury free. I personally never recommend 5-way and 7-way (shotgun) vaccines due to the possibility of greater immune system disruption. There is now scientific data that once a puppy receives DPv as a puppy and repeated a year later approximately 99% are immune for life. A vaccine titer test can verify if this is true, and may be repeated each 3 or 4 years if at high risk. The goal, of course, is to avoid over-vaccination.
- To counter potential ill effects of vaccines, I frequently recommend homeopathic vaccine detox remedies, plus I stimulate 5 accupuncture “set points” on the forehead using a class II cold laser. These are 5 balancing points on the forehead, which some liken to the “save” button on a computer, in this case the living computer.
- Vaccine related illness can best be treated with homeopathics, dietary supplements and a natural diet.
Dr. De Haan offers consults on all aspects of dog health, including vaccinations. To set up a phone consult, call his office at 704-734-0061. Note that they’re on Eastern Time.
New Dog Health Info Added
I recently added new information on my web site on canine congestive heart disease and diabetes in dogs. Please visit when you have the chance. I will soon be adding information on dog eye problems. Check back often.
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