Tuesday, Nov. 2nd 2010

Holistic books, vaccines

Yes, it’s another one of those Veterinary Alternatives newsletters!  NOVEMBER 2010


Food Energetics:  White potatoes are neutral.  Turkey is cooling.  Stuffing made from either wheat bread or corn is neutral.  Gravy is fattening even for animals.  Green Beans are neutral and a kidney tonic, while mushrooms are cooling and help drain dampness. Ham can have too much fat for animals, but a bite or two is neutral and salty.   Cranberries aren’t on my list, but their growth habits and color suggest cooling or neutral and blood tonic plus they are full of antioxidants.  If your pets are already used to regular changes in their diet because you are cooking for them or providing various tonic foods, you CAN safely let them have some Thanksgiving dinner!  Just don’t get too silly about it, and don’t feed much to a pet still hooked on kibble unless you like going to see the vet instead of hitting the post-Thanksgiving sales.


Speaking of Christmas shopping:  Here’s a list of a few books for those of you interested in holistic life-styles for yourself, your pets, or your family and friends.

Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats—the encyclopedia of all things holistic for pets.  If you only buy one book of this type, make it this one.

Home Prepared Dog and Cat Diets by Donald Strombeck—reasonably simple diets, good explanations for treating various health issues.  Unfortunately does not address food energetics in terms of Chinese Food Therapy, but is a good place to start.

The Family Guide to Homeopathy by Dr. Andrew Lockie—more for people, but a very easy to understand primer and reference for homeopathic use.  Check Washington Homeopathics online to order.

Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child by Zand, Rountree, and Walton—I’ve bought this for new parents—covers conventional AND holistic options for many common childhood illnesses.

Homeopathy: Science or Myth by Bill Gray M.D.—the best explanation I’ve ever found for how homeopathy is NOT impossible, lots of science presented in an easy-to-understand way.

The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care by Yanall and Hofve—reviewed in a recent Holistic Veterinary journal with good information for cat owners.

Four Paws, Five Directions by Dr Cheryl Schwartz—a fantastic explanation of Chinese Medicine in terms of pets for those interested in the Chinese medical philosophy.

Natural Cat by Anitra Frazier—haven’t seen it myself but it’s recommended by Dr. Nancy Scanlan who is well known and respected in the holistic veterinary community.


Vaccine News:  I recently read and highlighted the heck out of an article in the Journal of the American Holistic Veterinary Association.  It is the official AHVMA Vaccine Position Statement, similar to one the AVMA puts out every year.  Without going into WAY too much detail about immunology and other 50-cent words, here’s a summary.


Core vaccines (DA2PP for dogs, FVRCP for cats, rabies) should be started after 8 weeks of age, (except rabies—more later), given 3-4 weeks apart, finishing AFTER 12 weeks of age.  For cats, a killed vaccine at 8 and 12 weeks; for dogs, 9-10 weeks and 14-16 weeks with modified live or recombinant vaccine is optimal.  Rabies vaccine should be given at about 16 weeks, boosted one year later, and then the 3 year product is recommended.  If your community requires annual vaccines, it is worth the effort to try to get it changed—there’s no reason for it as the 3 year vaccine has been proven very effective and is safer for our pets.  Boosters after the first annual booster for all the above non-rabies vaccines should not be given more often than every 3 years, and any positive titer of antibodies indicates re-vaccination is not needed.  It appears that lifelong immunity to distemper and panleukopenia may occur after the initial vaccines and one booster.


There was a great deal more in this article to support these recommendations.  The concern for adverse effects such as immune-mediated disease and serious reactions is real and justified.  Non-lethal diseases such as bordetella and ringworm don’t really need vaccination for, although many boarding kennels require bordetella; in which case the intra-nasal vaccine should be used as it provides faster immunity with less systemic reaction. Corona is also considered non-lethal and not necessary in this article.  Basically, the authors feel many chronic diseases are at least partially connected to over-stimulation of the immune system by over-vaccination.


The problem will be convincing most veterinarians to comply with this plan.  Many are not yet convinced that over-vaccination is harmful, and they feel many pet owners will not get their pets examined regularly unless they get the card saying they need vaccines boosted.  I do feel annual exams are a necessity for our pets, as many diseases can be caught early by a good exam and blood work and treated much more effectively (kidney failure, heart murmurs, cancer).  SO, if you choose not to have your pet vaccinated annually, PLEASE promise yourself and your pet to take them in at least once a year (twice a year for our senior citizens over the age of 7 or 8) to be checked out.  I am willing to provide letters to my active clients if one is needed for a boarding kennel to prove currency on distemper vaccines.  I will need to have verification of last vaccine date from the vet who gave it.  You should comply with local statutes on rabies vaccine, but try to have requirements for annual vaccines changed in your community.


“So, Dr. Leonard, what do YOU do?”  I vaccinate my puppies and kittens for their distemper combos at 8-9 weeks and about 3 weeks later.  My cats also get two feline leukemia vaccines at 12 and 16 weeks since we live in the country and strays are common (and some get adopted into our household).  Rabies is given at about 15-16 weeks of age.  I boost all these at about 1 year of age.  Rabies gets boosted every 3 years after that, but NO other vaccines will be given for about 5 years, at which point I will once again boost those core vaccines.  Bordetella is given to my dogs ONLY if they will be boarded at a kennel that requires it, which is fairly rare.  Be aware that your veterinarian may well be rather insistent that you boost all vaccines every year, vaccinate your dog for Lyme disease and your cat for ringworm, etc.  Rabies is the only vaccine legally required, so feel justified in holding your ground and refer them to the American Holistic Veterinary Association for more information.  And if your pet, or that of someone you know, develops immune-mediated arthritis or anemia, kidney failure, diabetes, thyroid disease, or other immune-related illness, remember that Veterinary Alternatives is all about quality of life and we’ll work with your pet to optimize their health despite their chronic illness.


One last word about vaccines:  Thuja is the homeopathic remedy used to treat vaccinosis, or systemic adverse reaction to vaccines.  When my kids get vaccinated, I give them arnica just before the vaccine to minimize pain and swelling, then give them a dose of thuja when we get home.  It minimizes that arm pain from the tetanus shot, or the fever from many vaccines.  AND, we do not, never have, and probably never will get flu shots.  We also usually don’t get the flu (it’s been several years in our family of four).  Refer back to my earlier newsletters for information about oscillococcinum for one reason why.


New Pet Food Store: Ran across a new natural pet food store today in Hawthorn Plaza on the southwest corner of 119th and Roe in Overland Park, KS.  It’s near Chipotle’s and a couple doors down from my friend Susan’s store S-Scents (home of essential oils, scented alcohol lamps, and all things good smelling).  While I was a bit disappointed that many of the natural diets relied on chicken/fish/lamb meal for their main ingredients (read over-processed and less digestible), he did carry the Wellness line of foods which I do like, numerous natural treats, some fun toys and other accessories, and a whole cooler of frozen raw diets.  While I do have some concerns about commercial raw diets carrying Salmonella and E. Coli, I know many people find them excellent.  Do your research, but I suspect I would rather see my patients on such a diet than just about any dry kibble, even the Wellness.  Of course, preparing the diet yourself is even better, but I’m realistic and know not everyone has the time or energy for that.  But you might be surprised how easy it is!  Check it out if you’re in the neighborhood! (and pop in to see Susan while you’re at it—you’ll LOVE her store!)

Posted in General | Comments Off on Holistic books, vaccines

Comments are closed.

Whole Health Pet Center
18011 E St. Rte 58
Raymore, MO 64083

Facebook Google+ YouTube

In order to better serve our clients, we ask that you contact us to make an appointment.

Payment expected upon provision of service.

© Whole Health Pet Center. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy
Site Created by KC Web Specialists, LLC.