I realized a few months ago, after owning dogs for the better part of my life, that I did not realistically understand the immune system of a canine. Unfortunately, I had been sucked into the medical community’s fear mongering about parvo and other diseases as a way to leverage more money into the pockets of the veterinarian. This is a page taken from the human medical practice, where there is a hidden disease lurking around every corner and actions MUST be taken to become immunized against the latest virus or germ.
What this has done, in both human and canine health, is to seriously compromise the same immune systems that we are being told the vaccines and antibiotics are taking care of. Here are some related questions worthy of further research:
1. Do antibiotics in fact destroy beneficial bacteria, which are vital to maintain normal digestion and other body functions? I’m not saying you never should give antibiotics to a dog to handle infection. What I am saying is that the animal then needs a thorough replenishing of intestinal flora. Otherwise you are throwing the baby out with the bath water. Probiotics are available in human grade that will stay in the dog’s intestines long enough to redevelop. Otherwise, you are opening the door to other infections and issues from a weakened immune system.
2. Does immunization benefit a puppy prior to four months of age? I have been told by more than one vet that the ‘puppy shots’ given at eight weeks, etc are pretty much ineffectual against viruses, since the pup is still being protected by the mother’s colostrum. So, why do it? Because every time you bring a pup to the vet, it costs you thirty or forty bucks, that’s why. Here is an interesting article on Leerburg’s site about immune systems, vaccinosis and vaccinations. The only shots I give now are to satisfy legal requirements when a pup is sold, or after 16 weeks (one shot for the life of the dog), which ever comes first. This business of continuous vaccinating a dog because “my vet says so” is simply the owner listening without really researching the facts. Study, learn and decide for yourself.
3. Does diet, exercise and exposure to normal environments help build up the canine immune system? I was told many years ago by a well known local Rottweiler breeder/handler (who was also a successful canine holistic health practitioner) that he would always take his pups out wherever he went to help build up the immune system. This follows the facts regarding immune systems in humans. If you were to stay in your house and never breathe the outside air or expose your body to other humans, animals, environments, etc , then you would never give the body the chance to adapt and develop normal immunities. Immunity is what the body naturally develops to survive. I know of people who never leave their house, who then develop continuous allergies, infections and general declining health.
So, research this subject, get all of the facts that are available and develop judgement on the subject of your dog’s immune system. The healthier the dog, the fewer the vet visits!