With all the recent hype around vaccines causing health problems I decided it was time to give you an update on vaccines from my perspective. If you are confused about whether or not your pet really should undergo vaccination for distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus, I have a fairly simple, reliable solution for you. (For the record canine neurodiversity, such as autism, is currently inadequately researched for any true links to be established). While I know work in urban holistic medicine, I have seen and treating deadly parvovirus epidemics in rural Australia.
As a ‘strategic vaccinator’ I focus on 2 important questions before proceeding with vaccination;
1. Does your pet really need a vaccine? Answering this question efficiently means you can avoid unnecessary vaccinations. The easiest way to establish if you pet needs a vaccine is to perform a vaccine titre test, if the results come back higher than 1:80, then your pet definitely doesn’t need a vaccine, or even a repeat titre for some time.
2. Should your pet really have a vaccine (even if it is “necessary”)? Answering this question can sometimes be a little more complex… we need to compile a pros and cons list for your individual pet, what is known scientifically as a “risk-benefit analysis”. Now, Did you know that the vaccine manufacturer label instructions say for vets to “only give to healthy pets”? If your pet has never had a vaccine, or has a titre that has come back very low, i.e. < 1:5, then they probably should go ahead with a vaccine (but at a time when they are well), however, what if your pet has previously had pancreatitis, or perhaps has a beef intolerance diagnosed using a food elimination trial, maybe had a low grade (phew!) mast cell tumour completely removed surgically 2 years ago. Is your pet healthy enough to undergo vaccine? Hmmm, as I said it’s complex and unfortunately some vet’s are not as ultra-conservative as others when it comes to establishing what is a healthy pet. What about if they have generalised anxiety disorder or osteoarthritis? What about if they have dry eye or get anal sacculitis? What about if they had a cytokine storm or got a swelling from their puppy vaccination? What if they have Cushing’s Syndrome? All of these conditions have the potential to be disrupted by the vaccine’s effect on the immune system. There is a lot of fierce debate about the possibility that vaccines do have effects on the immune system and contribute to inflammation, however, there appears to be gaps in the research. I am not here to answer all the what-ifs, and say adamantly that vaccines are safe or dangerous, I am here to point out that with titre testing you can avoid a complex risk:benefit analysis, because from our 15 years of testing at All Natural Vet Care, Australia, we have found that provided dogs have had one vaccines after 10 weeks of age while well, the results are far more likely to be adequate versus inadequate. Some people may disagree with the science behind titre testing, but I look to human medicine and organisations as meticulous as the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS)... If they accept titre to keep Australia Rabies Free then I think we can rely on titre testing to keep our pets free from over-vaccination.
Feel confident to just wing it, this is not a reasonable strategy, vaccination have their place in humanity and have had some tremendous wins in reducing some major life-threatening diseases for both humans and animals. It is our responsibility to protect our pets from disease, we shouldn’t become complacent that diseases such as distemper are rare these days, it may rear its head again, as such its important to monitor that our pet populations do not become inadequately protected. In the age of information, we have the ability to be more strategic than ever with regards to how we engage with science and health-care.
And before you go calling me an anti-vaxxer, I would like to share an article where I was strategically encouraging pets to undergo vaccination based on risk:benefit analysis.
It is time for considered individualised medicine for our pets. Blanket recommendations are great on a population level, but with a thorough, well-thought out preventive health strategy our pets can live their best lives.
For more information regarding vaccines and immunology I recommend reviewing the opinion of Dr Jean Dodds here
Please Share if you found this article helpful, and leave your comments below, I am open to healthy respectful debate.