Archive for the ‘holistic vets’ Category

Dogs and Vaccines

New science comes out all the time concerning our dog’s health.  This information can be life altering to you and your dog.

At the top of the list now, is “Vaccines”.  What vaccines are necessary, at what age should they be given and which ones potentially could harm our dogs.

Vaccines are necessary because many diseases are life threatening, but…some of these very same vaccines are now known to cause other problems.  Problems like; joint and hip dysplasia, aggression, lymphoma-yes lymphoma ( a death sentence for your dog. )

Here at White Oak Golden Retrievers we believe in limited vaccines, holistic vet care and of course, a species appropriate diet.

There are many sources that you can research to get the most up to date information on what vaccines to give, when to give them, and which ones can wait.

Visit our website; http://www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com and then click on our “health and diet” page to start your research.  We hope you will join us in our quest to keep our dogs living longer and free of disease.

White Oak Golden Retrievers

http://www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com

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Vaccines For Dogs- New Guidlines that are Critical

What Your Vet Doesn’t Know About Distemper Could Harm Your Dog

Any vaccine given to any dog at any point in his life has the ability to cause harm. This makes it incredibly important to limit vaccinations to only those that will protect your pet. After all, the entire point of vaccination is to protect your pet from harm, isn’t it?

If improved health is the true goal of your dog’s vaccination program, then your vet must understand that any unnecessary vaccine should be avoided. Yet this almost never happens.

The reasons vets over vaccinate are varied: some are just unaware that they are vaccinating too often. Other vets don’t believe that vaccines have the ability to harm your dog. Others just stick to outdated schedules out of comfort or habit. It really doesn’t matter why dogs are over vaccinated – what really matters is that this practice is stopped.

If you don’t think your dog is being vaccinated too often, the following information about the distemper vaccine might offer a glimpse into how many unnecessary vaccines our dogs are exposed to.

What You Need To Know About Distemper

In a study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, renowned veterinary infectious disease expert Dr Ronald Schultz vaccinated puppies with just one dose of distemper vaccine just four hours prior to placing the puppies in a room with distemper infected dogs. All of the puppies (which were vaccinated at 12 weeks), were protected against distemper in this challenge study.

In fact, the distemper vaccine works so well, that it can even be given up to three days post exposure to healthy puppies and still offer protection. Dr Schultz offers his expertise on the subject in the following video taken from New Canine and Feline Vaccination Guidelines: What Has Changed and Why:

What About Booster Shots?

Many pet owners (and some vets) believe that it takes more than one vaccine to protect a puppy. This isn’t true in most cases. It only takes one vaccine to confer immunity, if delivered at the right time. Although two and even three doses of vaccine were the original recommendations made in the AAHA 2003 Canine Vaccine Guideline, Dr Schultz’s research shows that the series of vaccinations is unnecessary.Puppies vaccinated for distemper once at 12 to 16 weeks of age with a high titer vaccine have a virtually 100% chance of being protected. And that protection is most likely for life.

In 2003, The American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Taskforce warned vets in JAAHA (39 March/April 2003) that “Misunderstanding, misinformation and the conservative nature of our profession have largely slowed adoption of protocols advocating decreased frequency of vaccination … Immunological memory provides durations of immunity for core infectious diseases that far exceed the traditional recommendations for annual vaccination.”

“This is supported by a growing body of veterinary information as well-developed epidemiological vigilance in human medicine that indicates immunity induced by vaccination is extremely long lasting and, in most cases, lifelong.”

“The recommendation for annual re-vaccination is a practice that was officially started in 1978.” says Dr. Schultz. “This recommendation was made without any scientific validation of the need to booster immunity so frequently. In fact the presence of good humoral antibody levels blocks the anamnestic response to vaccine boosters just as maternal antibody blocks the response in some young animals.”

Below is the result of duration of immunity testing on over 1,000 dogs. Both challenge (exposure to the real virus) and serology (antibody titer results) are shown below:

Table 1: Minimum Duration of Immunity for Canine Vaccines

Vaccine

Minimum Duration of Immunity

Methods Used to Determine Immunity

CORE VACCINES

Canine Distemper Virus (CDV)
Rockbom Strain
7 yrs / 15 yrs
challenge / serology

Onderstepoort Strain
5 yrs / 9 yrs
challenge / serology

Canine Adenovirus-2 (CAV-2)
7 yrs / 9 yrs
challenge-CAV-1 / serology

Canine Parvovirus-2 (CAV-2)
7 yrs
challenge / serology

It’s important to note that this is the MINIMUM duration of immunity. These ceilings reflect not the duration of immunity, rather the duration of the studies. Dr. Schultz explains “It is important to understand that these are minimum DOI’s and longer studies have not been done with certain of the above products. It is possible that some or all of these products will provide lifelong immunity.”

Dr. Schultz has seen these results repeated over the years. In 2010, he published the following with newer generation, recombinant vaccines. It’s important to note that not only did the vaccines provide protection for a minimum of 4 to 5 years, they did so in 100% of the dogs tested.

So Why Are Dogs Vaccinated Every Year Or Three Years?

That’s a good question and here’s one answer:

“Profits are what vaccine critics believe is at the root of the profession’s resistance to update its protocols. Without the lure of vaccines, clients might be less inclined to make yearly veterinary visits. Vaccines add up to 14 percent of the average practice’s income, AAHA reports, and veterinarians stand to lose big. I suspect some are ignoring my work,” says Schultz. “Tying vaccinations into the annual visit became prominent in the 1980s and a way of practicing in the 1990s. Now veterinarians don’t want to give it up.”

What Are The Dangers Of Over Vaccination?

It’s important that vaccines are only given when necessary because every vaccine has the potential to kill the patient or create debilitating chronic diseases including cancer and allergies. Below is a list of potential adverse vaccine reactions:

Common Reactions:
Lethargy
Hair Loss, hair color change at injection Site
Fever
Soreness
Stiffness
Refusal to eat
Conjunctivitis
Sneezing
Oral ulcers

Moderate Reactions:
Immunosupression
Behavioral changes
Vitiligo
Weight loss (Cachexia)
Reduced milk production
Lameness
Granulomas/Abscesses
Hives
FacialeEdema
Atopy
Respiratory disease
Allergic uveitis (Blue Eye)

Severe Reactions triggered by Vaccines:
Vaccine injection site sarcomas
Anaphylaxis
Arthritis, polyarthritis
HOD hypertrophy osteodystrophy
Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia (IMTP)
Hemolytic disease of the newborn (Neonatal Isoerythrolysis)
Thyroiditis
Glomerulonephritis
Disease or enhanced disease which with the vaccine was designed to prevent
Myocarditis
Post vaccinal Encephalitis or polyneuritis
Seizures
Abortion, congenital anomalies, embryonic/fetal death, failure to conceive

How Much Is Too Much?

It’s well established that vaccines can be harmful and should therefore be limited to as few as possible to protect our pets. “The patient receives no benefit and may be placed at serious risk when an unnecessary vaccine is given” says Dr Schultz. He adds, “Few or no scientific studies have demonstrated a need for cats or dogs to be revaccinated.”

So if the goal of vaccination is to protect animals from harm, how do the following vaccine schedules for distemper make sense when only one is needed to protect a puppy, most likely for life?

Yearly Vaccination

Any dog who is vaccinated three times as a puppy and again at a year, then annually will be vaccinated for distemper 15 times if he lives to 12. Now read Dr Schultz’s research above. Most puppies are protected for distemper within hours of vaccination and most dogs, once successfully vaccinated, are protected for life.

If your dog is vaccinated yearly for distemper, then he will receive 14 unnecessary vaccinations in his life – if he’s lucky enough to survive those vaccinations for 12 years.

Triennial Vaccination

Many vets pride themselves on not vaccinating annually. Triennial vaccination, although it delivers fewer vaccinations to your dog, is just as flawed in its logic as annual vaccination. Most 12 year old dogs who are vaccinated triennially will be vaccinated eight times for distemper. While that’s certainly better than 15, it’s still most likely 7 times too many!

What Should Your Dog’s Distemper Vaccine Schedule Look Like?

One. Uno. That’s it. Some dogs may require a second distemper vaccine as puppies if maternal antibodies block the first one, but if a puppy is vaccinated after 12 to 16 weeks of age, he will most likely be protected, for life, with just one distemper vaccine.

What About The Other Vaccines?

We’ve just focused on distemper here. Most dogs also receive other components in their vaccines including parvovirus, coronavirus, adenovirus, parainfluenza, Lyme disease, leptorspirosis, bordetella, rabies and more. Clearly, the number of unnecessary vaccines our companion dogs endure – and the potential damage they pose – are out of control. So what can you do?

Take Back Control

If the information we’ve presented in this article makes you think that you should lighten your dog’s vaccine schedule, then do it. Don’t expect your vet to do it for you. And don’t go to groomers, training facilities or boarding kennels that require too many vaccines. There are enlightened vets and businesses out there and your dollars would be much better spent supporting these fine people instead of the businesses who are asking you to subject your dog to an unnecessary and dangerous vaccination protocol.

Dr. Schultz summarizes his 40 years of research with the following:

“Only one dose of the modified-live canine ‘core’ vaccine (against CDV, CAV-2 and CPV-2) or modified-live feline ‘core’ vaccine (against FPV, FCV and FHV), when administered at 16 weeks or older, will provide long lasting (many years to a lifetime) immunity in a very high percentage of animals.”

Like anybody who is exposed to too many drugs, the first step is to admit you have a problem. The second step is to stop the vaccine addiction immediately. That may mean saying no to your vet or, preferably, it means finding a vet who is paying attention to the damage vaccines can cause and is using vaccines (or not using them) to do what they were designed to do: protect your dog!

Dogs Naturally Magazine

The world’s best resource for natural canine health care!

This very astounding information comes from Dogs Naturally Magazine. It is something to be shared to every pet owner. Take back control of your pets life.
White Oak Golden Retrievers
http://www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com

Heartworm Medications For Dogs

Are drug companies honest about Heartworm?

By Dr. Peter Dobias

Holistic look at the Heartworm prevention

 

A few days ago,  one of my friends living in Vermont called me. She was wondering what I thought about heartworm prevention and if I could help her determine, if the monthly administration of heartworm preventive medication is really necessary.

The question threw me back in the 90’s, when the manufacturers of heartworm preventive drugs decided to take North America by storm. I remembered he drug reps visiting vet clinics on a regular basis telling us that it was only a matter of time and heartworm would widely spread in Canada.  These visits were also accompanied by a subtle suggestion that selling the heartworm tests and preventive drugs could be a significant source of income for the practice.

 

 

As time progressed,  the heartworm doom and gloom case scenario didn’t happen and that the risks of heartworm infection in my areas were clearly exaggerated.

On the basis of my findings, I made a decision not to recommend Heartworm preventive drugs in the area practice because the risk was practically zero and administering of any drugs is never optimal.  In reality no one can be absolutely certain if down the road preventive medication doesn’t  increase the tendency to chronic disease, organ failure or even cancer.

On the other hand, my friend’s situation is quite different because she lives in the Eastern US where heartworm is a real possibility.  I saw her question as a great opportunity for me to review the lifecycle of heartworm once again to  see if drug companies were honest about their recommendations of monthly prevention.  To me, the monthly administration frequency  seemed to be kind of peculiar because as far as I know, parasites do not carry an iPhone with a calendar and schedule.

I decided to bring clarity in the current situation to see what  the frequency of  heartworm preventive drugs really needed to be and also tell you more about the heartworm prevention alternatives that I use with my dog Skai. In order to do so, I need to give you answers to the following questions:

  1. What is the risk of heartworm disease in the area?

  2. What is the minimal frequency of administering preventive drugs?

  3. Are there any alternatives?

 

Here are the answers:

 

1. Heartworm incidence:

Heartworm life cycle is dependent on temperature that must remain above 57 degrees F  (14 C ) for at least 45 days straight and at least 2 weeks of temperatures over 80 F ( If these conditions are not fulfilled, the parasite cycle cannot be completed and your dog is safe.

Based on the recommendations of Dr. David Knight and Dr. James Lok from the American Heartworm society, even with the most cautious conventional medical protocols, all year around heartworm preventive schedule is exaggerated with the exception of Florida, some parts of Texas and Hawaii.  According to their conventional opinion, preventive treatment is unnecessary in the winter months and definitely doesn’t  need to be started before or after the months noted on the map in their paper.

 

2. Heartworm life cycle

Before you sucumb to the marketing pressure and fear to administer heartworm medicine monthly,  I  urge you to learn more about the heartworm life cycle. The heartworm development goes through several stages before reaching maturity and it takes 2.5 to 4 months before the tiny stage of microfilaria leaves the muscles and starts settling in the pulmonary artery. When heartworm reaches its final destination of pulmonary artery near the heart, it takes about 3 – 4 months to reach maturity.

One doesn’t need to have a degree in math to figure that it takes somewhere between 5.5 to 8 months for microfilaria to mature into an adult worm and that your dog  should be safe if you administer heartworm meds only once every every 3 to 4 months if your live in the area where heartworm occurs.

So why would the drug companies recommend monthly heartworm prevention? The reason is clearly identified  clearly in the study of Drs. Knight and Lok’s study on page 80 :

“…given what is presently known, continued adherence to a policy of superfluous chemoprophylaxis is disquieting because financial expediency for the veterinarian conflicts with clinical objectivity and client consent is predicated on unrealistic expectations. Clients mistakenly believe that they are purchasing additional protection for their pets, but in reality they are not. If the truth was known to them, few clients would agree to unnecessarily double their expense for heartworm prevention.”

In real language  and life translation most vets are too busy to question the recommendations that drug companies give them about heartworm prevention.  I strongly believe that the main  reason for over recommending heartworm prevention ( chemoprophylaxis ) is that drug companies can double or triple their revenues.

 

3. Safe alternative to heartworm preventive drugs

My dog  Skai and I travel to Hawaii approximately twice a year for 2  months and I had to face  the dilemma what  to do about  heartworm.   I  never felt totally comfortable about giving him any  drugs because in my mind, there is no such thing as a little bit of poison.

Luckily, advances  in heartworm testing offers DNA testing on the basis of PCR technology which allows me to test 3 times a year for any presence of heartworm.  This test has virtually no false negatives which is great news for your dog.

I can see that these tests are  a serious threat to the heft profits of  manufacturers of heartworm meds. They are simply not needed if you follow this formula  considering the duration of the heartworm seasons you can find out from the map  on page 79

 

Season Duration   Number of Tests Required
    (the last should be done at the end of HW Season)
Less than 4 months   1 test
4 – 8 months   2 tests
8 – 12 months   3 tests

 

 

Consider the facts above, in order to prevent heartworm and keep your dog safe, all you need to do is test your dog if you live in an affected area. If the results are positive (heartworm DNA is present) make sure that you consult your veterinarian before administering any heartworm meds. Heartworm preventive medication can be used only if adult heartworms are NOT present because using preventive drugs on adult heartworm can cause serious problems and  a different treatment protocol must be used.

Conclusion

I regret to say that similar to the vaccination scam,  monthly heartworm prevention is yet another dishonest marketing plot.   What I am confused about is why drug companies continuously try to trick us and frighten us instead making a living the honest way.  No matter what they are planning to try next, I believe that eventually they will have to become more honest in order to survive because it is much more difficult  to hide the truth in the age of world wide web.

Wishing you a happy, more informed heartworm season.

 

With gratitude,

 

Peter Dobias, dvm
 
This is a wonderful site to visit to get the latest information on research and health of dogs.  I just can’t say enough about Dr. Dobias and his love of dogs and their health.
 
White Oak Golden Retrievers