Vaccinations are a hot topic. You know that when used wisely and judiciously, they save lives. However, you also know that they are not without their risks.
The word "vaccinosis" is defied in the medical dictionary as, "Chronic illness, discomfort, or malaise that results from immunization." Clearly "adverse" side effects from vaccines are real.
Unlike humans, common veterinary procedure for our dogs and cats is to receive annual vaccines for various illnesses. This is where the debate heats up. It makes sense to most vets, including holistic vets, to administer some puppy and kitten vaccines for serious diseases. There are only a few "core" vaccines that experts recommend as necessary: panleukopenia for kittens, parvo and distemper for puppies and rabies for both.
For decades the question has been, why would we continue to inoculate a dog or cat for a disease they are no longer susceptible to when repeated vaccines have been proven to weaken the immune system and cause other physical problems. The good news is, it's possible to test your animal's antibodies to a particular disease before administering more of a vaccine to prevent that disease. These blood tests are called titer tests. Titer testing has successfully shown that most dogs and cats retain immunity from their puppy/kitten shots for years, if not for life. Plus parvo and distemper are more prevalent in puppies and panleukopenia in kittens than in adults (with exceptions.) So what's a responsible companion animal parent to do?
DO YOUR RESEARCH! Sorry, but I can't emphasize this strongly enough. Find out what puppy and kitten vaccines are recommended by vets who have researched vaccines extensively. See my resources below for a place to start.
1) Learn about what each vaccine is for. As I mentioned above, the "core" vaccines that experts recommend as necessary are panleukopenia for kittens, parvo and distemper for puppies and rabies for both. Check out what the other vaccines are and decide what you want to do.
2) Find out ALL the potential side effects of each vaccine before vaccinating.
3) Look into how to mitigate or treat reactions so you're prepared if your companion has one.
4) Vaccine reactions do not always happen within a week or two of the vaccine! Sometimes it takes a month or longer for a problem to crop up.
"Suzie," a dear dog I worked with recently began to vomit, turn away from food, eat less and less and lose vitality. This was a month after receiving vaccines. When I tuned into Suzie, I felt she was experiencing a vaccine reaction. My client consulted with a homeopathic vet who agreed, found the right remedy to clear the vaccine reaction for Suzie and the results were immediate! Suzie felt better, looked better and started eating again like her "old" self. (This vaccine sensitivity also indicated to her person that Suzie should not receive vaccines that are not required by law as her reaction could be even worse the next time.)
5) Remember that annual vaccines are not benign. They challenge the immune system in ways that can weaken the vitality of an animal, setting them up for illnesses, chronic allergies, shorter lifespans and diminished quality of life.
6) Do not vaccinate a sick animal. There is no question here. This is stated on the box that the vaccine comes in. Even though your companion may be due, it's not the time to do it. I also ask, does it make sense to vaccinate an animal who is about to have surgery? The animal's body will be under a great deal of stress and vaccines will challenge the body further. This could make recovery more difficult.
I am not a vet, so I refer you to your integrative or holistic vet to discus this charged topic further. Once you've done your research, have a conversation with your vet. They should be open to what you have learned and willing to split up vaccines, space them out, and going carefully to be sure your companion isn't having reactions and proceed with your approval. Your beloved's healthy life depends on this level of cooperation.
Finally, remember you can do an animal communication session with me after the vaccines so you can hear how your beloved is feeling and what they need to clear or reenergize after the vaccines. Click here if we haven't worked together yet, here if you're a returning client.
Together, with your integrative vet, your animal, you, and me, we're a dynamite team!
With Love, Your Voice of Animals,