Timeless Spirit Logo Pet-sense Timeless Spirit Logo

A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. January's Theme: "Health"
Volume 5 Issue 2 ISSN# 1708-3265
Index Meet Our Staff Free Subscription Donations Come Shopping Advertising Archived Issues ***OUR NEW FORUM***



by Jean Hofve, DVM

In 1993, in my senior year of veterinary school, I went to the annual conference of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. Among the many great speakers, one in particular stood out: Dr. Richard Pitcairn, the world-renowned veterinary homeopath who has trained hundreds of veterinarians in classical homeopathy. Dr. Pitcairn gave two lectures on vaccines and vaccine-related disease that forever changed the way I would practice veterinary medicine.

Many people don't realize this, but in addition to being a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Pitcairn has a doctorate in Veterinary Microbiology; his studies emphasized viruses, immunology, and biochemistry. His credentials are impeccable, so his words had great impact. He has had a huge influence on educating both veterinarians and the public on the concept of "vaccinosis."

Vaccinosis is the term given to chronic diseases caused by vaccines. The medical establishment has long promoted vaccines as benign and life-saving, so it is highly resistant to the idea that vaccines can be harmful. However, humans do not usually get vaccinated every year. Animals do. As annual vaccines for pets became more common—and as more vaccines were created—veterinarians like Dr. Pitcairn began seeing adverse long-term effects in their patients. In particular, Dr. Pitcairn found that some of his patients would hit a roadblock in their healing which could only be resolved by the homeopathic remedy Thuja (usually pronounced "THOO-yuh"), which is made from a cedar tree commonly called Arborvitae, the Tree of Life. Thuja has been considered the major vaccinosis remedy in homeopathy for more than 125 years.

Dr. Pitcairn further refined the concept of vaccinosis as "the establishment of a chronic disease (instead of the acute natural disease) which can develop a multitude of manifestations not normally seen. From the homeopathic perspective, every living being has a vital force, similar to the Chinese concept of "Qi" (pronounced "chee"). This energetic force develops and maintains the physical form, and directs energy and information from the energetic level to physical manifestation. When an animal is vaccinated, the normal physical pathway of the natural disease is disrupted, so the vital force of the original virus is expressed in a different ways as chronic vaccine disease, i.e., vaccinosis.

For example, the natural disease of canine distemper features watery eye and nasal discharges, redness and swelling of the feet, vomiting, watery diarrhea, weight loss, seizures and death. If a dog is vaccinated for distemper, it will not develop the acute illness, but over time may instead develop chronic problems such as allergies, food sensitivity, chronic diarrhea, recurrent pancreatitis, epilepsy, and other symptoms which are similar to, but generally milder and longer lasting, than distemper itself. It is as if the disease of canine distemper has been "stretched out" in time to become a chronic condition.

Feline panleukopenia (sometimes called feline distemper) is similarly diverted into a variety of chronic symptoms, including inflammatory bowel disease, recurrent upper respiratory infections, hyperthyroidism, urinary tract disease (bladder inflammation, crystals, stones, and kidney failure), and finicky appetite.

Rabies is another example. Since rabies vaccination is required by law in many states and municipalities, most pets receive this vaccine repeatedly throughout their lives. Symptoms of rabies include restlessness, aggression, anxiety, roaming long distances, loss of appetite, inability to swallow, seizures, and eventually death. The chronic rabies vaccinosis syndrome includes fear and fear-based aggression, suspicious nature, behaviour changes, self-mutilation, finicky appetite, epilepsy, and congestive heart failure.

Another way vaccines can cause chronic disease has recently been discovered. It has to do with the way vaccines are made. The disease-causing organism is grown in a culture medium, such as calf serum or kidney cells. The organisms are then filtered out, and then killed or modified in some other way so they will not actually cause the disease the vaccine is supposed to be protecting against. However, the filters are not perfect, and proteins from the culture medium get into the vaccine and are injected right along with the rest of the vaccine. These proteins have been shown to cross-react with dogs' and cats' own tissues, causing antibodies to be formed. This can set the stage for chronic, low-grade inflammation in various tissues and organs which, over time, could contribute to chronic disease.

All this is not to say vaccines should be avoided completely. I still recommend puppy and kitten vaccines against killer diseases like parvo, distemper, and panleukopenia. However, annual revaccination is unnecessary. Once an animal has developed immunity to a disease (as the vast majority do from the series of puppy and kitten vaccines), giving boosters does not produce any increase in immunity. Antibodies from the first vaccines quickly destroy the virus components in any following vaccines—but as we've seen, booster vaccines can cause chronic vaccinosis disease in your pet.

Vaccination is a medical procedure with risks and benefits. Ask your veterinarian what the purpose of each recommended vaccine is; why your pet should receive it—based on current health status, lifestyle, and risk factors; and what the potential adverse effects are. Make sure every vaccine is well justified, and don't let anyone bully you into complying with their clinic's outdated or inflexible protocols. Don't give multiple vaccines at the same time; space them out at least 3 weeks apart to allow the immune system to complete its full, normal response. Dogs and cats who were given adequate vaccines early in life probably don't need re-vaccination as adults (except where required by law, such as rabies). There are exceptions, based on what diseases are actually in your area; your veterinarian is your best guide here.

If your pet has a chronic disease, no future vaccines should be given. The potential to aggravate the condition is real. Healing is possible with therapies like homeopathy, homotoxicology, Traditional Chinese Medicine (acupuncture and herbs), and other energy modalities. But prevention is obviously better than trying to find a cure after the damage is done. Be an active partner in your pet's health!

Dr. Jean Hofve recently retired from holistic veterinary practice. She founded SpiritEssence in 1995, which remains the only line of essence formulas for animals created by a veterinarian. For more information on pet health, nutrition, and behaviour, please visit the free article library at www.littlebigcat.com.

Copyright (c) 2007 by Timeless Spirit Magazine. All articles are the copyright of the particular writers and cannot be reprinted without their expressed permission. All rights reserved. International copyright laws prohibit reproduction of or distribution of this page by any means whatsoever, electronic or otherwise, without first obtaining the written permission of the copyright holder. We retain legal counsel to protect our copyrights.

Any advice given is for informational purposes only.

Timeless Spirit Magazine NEXT PAGE