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Holistic Approach to Vaccination

By Jessica Tremayne

Christina Chambreau, DVM, a holistic veterinarian with Healthy Animals, Healthy People in Sparks, Md., says responsible pet owners should be given the option of a titer versus vaccinating, or wait longer between vaccines.

“If a veterinarian is concerned about being penalized when a vaccine is forgone, they can always have the client sign a document relieving the veterinarian of malice if the animal does (however unlikely) contract the virus,” Dr. Chambreau says.

“If you talk to 100 holistic vets, 90 would say vaccines cause problems. I have conducted in-house, long-term tests to determine ailments–to find problems would occur a couple of weeks after being given a vaccine.

“The problem is, in the U.S. we want results fast–have the dog vaccinated and check it off the list. But issues don’t always happen in 48 hours and by the time a problem does occur, vaccines aren’t considered as a culprit. If we have a cough, we take cough medicine and expect it to be cured immediately, but things don’t work that way in reality and things don’t always go wrong immediately, either.”

Chambreau says 70 percent of the chronic problems she treats are caused by vaccines and they include just about everything, including cancer.

“There are websites dedicated to this topic, such as rabieschallengefund.org,” Chambreau says. “At annual American Holistic Veterinary Medicine Assn. conferences, this is always a topic.

“Little has changed as far as awareness of this issue in 10 years, but maybe with more exposure, things will change.” <HOME>

Related Feature Article:

Titers Join Debate on Vaccine Frequency

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Holistic Approach to Vaccination

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Reader Comments
I stopped annual booster shots for my dogs years ago after starting phone consultations with a holistic veterinarian. I have titer tests done instead. Of the four dogs I had from that time to now, three always had enough antibodies for all the viruses. Only one had low test results for parvo & was vaccinated for that only. For the past two years I've been having my dog treated homeopathically by a veterinarian trained in Classical Homeopathy by Dr Richard Pitcairn. He also recommends titer tests over automatic annual booster shots. He has also informed me of the changing attitude regarding the necessity of annual rabie shots, even among vets who practice conventional vet medicine only. Hopefully this can be a choice someday also.
Adele, Bayville, NJ
Posted: 8/1/2010 4:21:56 PM
I have reared indoor-outdoor cats who lived for 22, 21, 21, and 20 years old on the assumption that their original vaccines were sufficient to keep them healthy. I had to put these animals down, not because they were really sick, but because they were no longer able to handle their bathroom needs. These were truly "senior cats." They were happy and healthy to the end...they only visited the vet when they got into an occasional fight or had a urinary tract infection. I believe that their long lives were partially attributable to their lack of vaccinations.
Lauretta, Hollandale, WI
Posted: 8/13/2009 5:35:15 PM
How many people’s dearly loved pets have to get sick and/or die to provide proof that over-vaccinating dogs and cats with core MLV vaccines is causing serious illness and even death?

In the quest for proof, perhaps we should ask what is the scientific justification for vaccine manufacturers’ recommendations to revaccinate annually with core MLV vaccines?

As I understand it, there is no scientific justification for annual revaccination of adult dogs and cats with core MLV vaccines… (Ref. 1, p. 76).

According to the Guidelines for the Vaccination of Dogs and Cats, compiled by the Vaccination Guidelines Group (VGG) of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA): “Vaccines should not be given needlessly. Core vaccines should not be given any more frequently than every three years after the 12 month booster injection following the puppy/kitten series”. (Ref. 2, p. 2).

The WSAVA Guidelines note: “Most vaccinated dogs will have a persistence of serum antibody (against core vaccine antigens) for many years. Immunologically, this antibody reflects the function of a distinct population of long-lived plasma cells (memory effector B cells). Induction of immunological memory is the primary objective of vaccination. For core vaccines there is excellent correlation between the presence of antibody and protective immunity and there is long DOI for these products”. (Ref. 2, p. 5).

In a chapter titled “Considerations in Designing Effective and Safe Vaccination Programs for Dogs”, Professor Ron Schultz notes “…for those vaccines that provide immunity for 3 or more years, I believe that annual revaccination is contraindicated – the increased risk of adverse reactions from revaccination provides no benefit”. (Ref. 3).

Core MLV vaccines that have been demonstrated by the manufacturer to provide 3 years’ protection have been registered in Australia since 2005. (Ref. 4). So why are core MLV vaccines that recommend that adult dogs and cats be revaccinated annually still on the market? They should be taken off the market immediately to ensure unnecessary annual revaccination with core MLV vaccines does not occur.

The Fact Sheets of the WSAVA Guidelines note that DOI after vaccination with MLV core vaccines for CPV-2, CAV-2 and CDV is 7 years or longer, based on challenge and serological studies (Ref. 2, pp 15-17), so even the notion of revaccinating every 3 years is suspect…

On the topic of adverse reactions to vaccination, the WSAVA Guidelines note “there is gross under-reporting of vaccine-associated adverse events which impedes knowledge of the ongoing safety of these products”. (Ref 2, p. 8).

For a pet owner’s personal experience of veterinarians’ under-reporting of “adverse events”, see my previous comments on 2/14/2009 at 10:38:50 PM and 2/16/2009 at 2:13:50 AM. Also see my comment on the “Titers Join Debate on Vaccine Frequency” article on 2/16/2009 3:17:59 AM.

See references below

Elizabeth, Australia
Elizabeth, Seattle, WA
Posted: 2/18/2009 1:48:26 AM
References for my comment above:

Ref. 1: Schultz, Ronald D. Duration of immunity for canine and feline vaccines: A review. Veterinary Microbiology 117 (2006) 75-79

Ref. 2: Guidelines for the Vaccination of Dogs and Cats, compiled by the Vaccination Guidelines Group (VGG) of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA): LINK

WSAVA website: LINK

Ref. 3: Considerations In Designing Effective and Safe Vaccination Programs For Dogs: LINK

Ref. 4: Check the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) PUBCRIS site for vaccine details: LINK

Elizabeth, Australia
Elizabeth, Seattle, WA
Posted: 2/18/2009 1:36:52 AM
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