Holistic pet health – Minimizing Vaccines

On our little 8 acre hobby farm here in Southern Ontario, we have lots a animals that we have rescued or that have found us! Animals have always been an important part of my life, and I have been rescuing and caring for them since I was very young.

I became interested in holistic health when I was in my early twenties, after having digestive problems that doctors could not help me with, and healed myself through diet. It was at that time that I became vegetarian, and later switched to a vegan diet.

Because our animals are part of the family, I also believed they would benefit, and have seen the positive results of them living as chemical-free as possible and utilizing a holistic health approach. An excellent resource book in my personal library is Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats. It has a lot of great information and an excellent resource. Unfortunately we don’t have a holistic veterinarian in our area, so I rely on educating myself and then working with our local traditional veterinarians.

In Dr. Pitcairn’s book he states, “…there are some problems with vaccinations that I should be understood by anyone interested in a holistic health approach. Vaccines are not always effective, and they may cause long-lasting health disturbances.” He also goes on with alternatives he uses in his practice and other recommendations if you do not have a holistic veterinarian in your area. But the one point I would like to address here is his recommendation to avoid annual boosters. He states, “There has never been scientific justification for the yearly booster shots recommended by veterinarians, even though it has become a popular practice.”

When you look at the life span of your pet, it just does not make sense to vaccinate them every year. Humans who, live a much longer life than the average dog, cat or other companion animal, are not recommended to have that large number of vaccines, unless you count the flu shot, which is a whole other topic of something that is pointless and I don’t do! Also, within the human medical profession we have seen ill effects and allergic reactions to vaccines, so it makes sense that our animal friends, would suffer some of the same problems.

I did some research into titer testing, which is most commonly done when a vet or vet tech draws blood and send it to an outside lab for testing for immunity to the various common diseases that your pet is normally vaccinated for. However, this is very expensive. So I did some more searching and found out there is a company that manufactures an in-house titer test that any veterinarian can perform in-house at a very low cost. It is called VacciCheck and here in Ontario the local distributor is Aventix. I contacted Aventix directly and inquired if there were any veterinarians in the area that they supplied with VacciCheck.

In our area, the is only one veterinarian who uses VacciCheck, so last year I made an appointment for our dog with her. For under $70 we found our dog was healthy and did not need the annual vaccine that most other veterinarians would have given her. I had the results sent to our regular veterinary hospital, which is only 10-15 minutes from our house. This year when they called to remind me to make a appointment for our dog’s annual check up, I asked again about the in-house titer test. They asked me to send the information about Vaccicheck, but basically said that I was only the third person who asked about a titer test so they did not see a need, and most likely would not use the product. I told them that I know a lot of dog owners in the area who would be very interested, if they knew about it, and recommended they talk to a local pet store owner who specialized in raw food, and other holistic pet products, even providing her contact information and letting her know.

Hopefully some of this information and the resources I found will help you in finding some one in our area who administers VacciCheck or in educating your local veterinarians to start, and help you and your animal companions! I will be posting more about holistic health for people and our animal friends, so please follow and feel free to contact Wendy with questions!

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