Vaccines FAQ

The question of whether or not to vaccinate or not to vaccinate crops up frequently. Some members forego vaccinations for various reasons. Those who forego vaccination feel the animal can build its own immunity from natural stresses in the environment.

Question: What are vaccination concerns?

Those who do not vaccinate are concerned about unnecessary immune system overload, vaccine-induced disease, vaccine failure, vaccine side-effects, and vaccine-related chronic disease. George MacLeod, in Dogs: Homeopathic Remedies, says, “There is a fundamental difference between conventional vaccination by injection and that using the oral route. The former involves the subcutaneous or intramuscular injection of an antigen (vaccine material) which after an interval produces antibodies in the blood stream against the particular antigen.

While in most cases by this method a degree of protection against the particular disease is established, the procedure can be criticized on two grounds. The defense system of the body is not fully incorporated by this means and there is a risk of side effects due to the foreign nature of the protein involved in the vaccine material. This aspect of conventional vaccination has been well documented in many species.”

Question: Are there alternatives to routine vaccines?

There are several alternatives to routine vaccination, each of which has its proponents. Many forego vaccination altogether. Some follow a modified vaccine schedule or use only killed single vaccines in minimal doses. Others use homeopathic nosodes. Many give only a modified puppy series and skip the annual boosters. Your decision will be based on your level of comfort as well as your animal’s overall condition. Most agree (and vaccine companies recommend) that you should never vaccinate or booster an unhealthy animal.

Question: What are nosodes?

Homeopathic nosodes are substances prepared from the infected tissue, disease discharge, or casual organisms of the particular disease of concern. (A similimum, on the other hand, is a homeopathic substance that elicits the same symptoms as those under treatment.) Marjorie St. John provided this description:

“Nosodes give the immune system a ‘picture’ of the virus rather than giving the virus itself as in a vaccine. The nosode is administered orally, so it enters the body in the natural order (by nose or mouth) and not into the bloodstream (as does a vaccine). A nosode is a ‘Wanted’ poster that helps the immune system recognize a particular viral bad guy.

“A vaccine, on the other hand, puts the bad guy in the same room with the immune system in the ~hopes~ that the body can fight him off. To go one step further, since it bypasses the immune system’s first line of defense, vaccination is like fighting the viral bad guy with your hands tied behind your back.”

Question: How can I know my animal is protected?

Some people seek assurances of immunity by checking antibody titers for the disease of concern. Nosodes do not build antibody titers, so checking titers for nosode effectiveness is not productive. If you decide to check your animal’s titers, be sure the lab does post-vaccinal titres so that the numbers accurately reflect your animal’s titers.

Question: Where can I get titers done?

Dr. Jean Dodds Lab does titre tests at Hemopet. Phone:(310)828-4804 Fax: (310)828-8251. The cost was $20.00 for distemper, $15.00 for parvo plus $1.00 for postage.


Natural Immunity: Why You Should Not Vaccinate
The Immune System and Disease Resistance
Vaccination Decisions
Vaccination in Animals