Animals properly immunized against the clinically important viral diseases have sterilizing immunity that not only prevents clinical disease but also prevents infection, and only the presence of antibody can prevent infection.
An animal with a positive antibody titer blood test against these viruses has sterilizing immunity and should be protected from infection. If that animal were vaccinated it would not respond with a significant increase in antibody titer but instead may develop a hypersensitivity/allergy to vaccine components (e.g. fetal bovine serum, adjuvants.) This could result in an acute allergic reaction (that can be fatal) or long-term side effects (immune blood problems, arthritis, cancer, etc.) In my practice, it’s no coincidence that many of my patients who come for my help for various disorders (seizures, allergies, cancers, etc.) have received numerous (unnecessary) vaccines and often received vaccines shortly before their diagnosis. One should avoid vaccinating animals that are already protected.
Here are some of the myths Dr. Dodds exposed in her recent article in a leading veterinary medical journal.
- There is little to no risk of vaccinating animals that are already immune.
- Vaccines contain material designed to challenge the immune system of the pet, and so can cause adverse reactions. They should not be given needlessly and should be tailored to the pet’s individual needs and based upon titer testing.
- Half-dose vaccines cannot adequately immunize small toy dogs.
- Some experts advocate the whole amount, as it provides the minimum immunizing dose. Our recent research giving half-dose of distemper and parvovirus booster to adult toy dogs elicited sustained protective immunity.
- Pets with diseases such as cancer or autoimmune diseases, or adverse vaccine reactions/hypersensitivity can safely receive booster vaccinations.
- MLV products should be avoided as the vaccine virus may cause disease.
- Vaccination with killed, inactivated products may aggravate immune-mediated disease or be ineffective.
- Vaccines can be given less than two weeks apart if a different vaccine is being given.
- The safest and most effective interval to immunize is three to four weeks apart.
- Puppy and kitten vaccine series should start early and continue until 16 weeks of age.
- The last dose of vaccine given at 14 to 16 weeks old in dogs and 12 to 14 weeks in cats should immunize them, but use titer testing to be sure the pets are adequately immunized.
- Vaccinated animals will not be immunized for several weeks after vaccination.
- This is dependent on the animal, the vaccine and the disease.
- Fastest immunity is provided by canine distemper vaccines, within 24 hours. Immunity to canine parvovirus and feline panleukopenia virus takes three to five days.
At Paws & Claws Holistic Animal Hospital, our focus and specialty is on functional medicine. Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and doctor in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole pet, not just an isolated set of symptoms.
Why Do We Need Functional Medicine?
- There is a sharp increase in the number of pets who suffer from complex, chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, allergies, arthritis, and other serious immune problems.
- The system of medicine practiced by most veterinarians is oriented toward acute care, the diagnosis and treatment of trauma or illness that is of short duration and in need of urgent care, and doctors apply specific, prescribed treatments such as drugs or surgery that aim to treat the immediate problem or symptom.
- Unfortunately, the acute-care approach to medicine lacks the proper methodology and tools for preventing and treating complex, chronic disease. In most cases it does not take into account the unique genetic makeup of each individual or factors such as environmental exposures to toxins (too many vaccines, drugs, and chemicals.)
- Most veterinarians are not adequately trained to assess the underlying causes of complex, chronic disease and to apply strategies such as nutrition, diet, and naturopathic remedies to both treat AND prevent these illnesses in their patients.
How is Functional Medicine Different?
Functional medicine involves understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease, and includes:
- Patient-centered care. The focus of functional medicine is on patient-centered care, promoting health as a positive vitality, beyond just the absence of disease (many pets “look healthy” but testing shows underlying issues that must be addressed or illness will occur.)
- An integrative, science-based healthcare approach. Functional medicine practitioners look “upstream” to consider the complex web of interactions in the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle that can lead to illness. The unique genetic makeup of each patient is considered, along with both internal and external factors that affect total functioning.
- Integrating best medical practices. Functional medicine integrates traditional Western medical practices with what is sometimes considered “holistic” or “integrative” medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of drugs and/or botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, and detoxification programs.
We are happy to be the only hospital in North Texas to offer our patients functional medicine, and are committed to health using the least invasive and least toxic therapies!