[RC] The West Nile Thing, Part two - Jennifer Judkins
Vaccinations in general are coming under more scrutiny, not only in the holistic vet world, but among mainstream veterinarians. The AVMA protocol currently being recommended is that annual (or even more frequent) vaccines are probably not necessary and may in fact be contributing to stress on the immune system and other health problems. Vaccinating only every 3 years is suggested as being adequate and perhaps more appropriate. Also, cautions are being issued against vaccinating horses that are debilitated or experiencing any chronic or acute health problems. The "one size fits all" program of the "Spring Thing" for every horse may be no longer appropriate, individual considerations are a must. Vaccinologist Dr. Ronald Schultz of University of Wisconsin-Madison, describes the risks from the rhino vaccine as "mild to severe allergic reactions, viral latency, and abortion if given during pregnancy".
Horse Journal, January 2002, states, "If you are concerned about over-vaccination and would like to pay for an assessment o
f your horses' blood titers, ask your vet to contact your state's Department of Agriculture, Division of Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory. These labs are far more likely to be set up to do the necessary serology than are commercial labs. The USDA Veterinary/Animal Biologics Lab (515/663-7331) is a good general contact for questions about serological testing and/or laboratory facilities. You can also contact the National Cooperation for Laboratory Accreditation for a list of certified labs: NACLA Secretariat, Office of Standards Services, National Institute of Standards and Technology, PO Box 4045, Gaithersburg, MD 20885-4045, 301/975-6472 or email naclasecretariat@xxxxxxxxx"
Among holistic veterinarians, the concensus is even stronger that vaccines may be either ineffective or harmful, or both. Dr. Donna Starita of Boring, OR, feels that if vaccines are given to horses, they can safely be given to yearlings as single vaccines, spaced a month apart. That should confer lifetime immunity and in the case of a broodmare, she f
eels the offspring should even inherit the immunity from that dam's yearling shots. Dr. Kim Henneman of Park City, UT, does not vaccinate her own horses at home. For competition horses, she gives only Eastern and Western Encephalitis and Tetanus, and those only every 2 years. She feels that some of the nerve culture based vaccines are predisposing factors to EPM, that horses are the most over-vaccinated of all domestic animals, and that every vaccine has side effects and repercussions in the future health of that animal. Dr. Henneman also recommends that if you choose to vaccinate competition horses, do so at least 4 weeks prior to an event. Dr. Paul Bruton of Southlake, TX, feels that the respiratory vaccines (flu, rhino, strangles) are a total waste of time. American Holistic Veterinary Medical President Dr. Joyce Harman believes that frequent vaccines of any kind weaken the immune system and thus perpetuate the very diseases they were designed to prevent. She feels most cases of rhino are minor, and disagrees with the use of ant
ibiotics and Bute or Banamine. The fever is needed to "cook" the virus and antibiotics are ineffective against a virus, and only weaken the immune system more. She recommends boosting the immune system with vitamin C and probiotics. All recommend that Thuja homeopathic 30 C be given right after vaccination. Use single vaccines only, no combos, and do not give a vaccine in conjunction with any other stressors such as worming.
As usual in health issues, the key is in making informed choices. As for me and my horses, we will do the basic Dynamite program as we have for 20 years, with perhaps a little extra Hiscorbadyne and SOD for both 2- and 4-leggeds. Solace is always on the shelf. I personally do not vaccinate my horses at this point in my life, and have not for about 12 years now. But if you choose to do so, there are some ways to mitigate the stress. Please do understand that vaccination is a major medical event, and as such should not be combined with any other stressor such as worming, hauling, dental work, competition
or any other chemical, physical or emotional stress. Multivalent (combined) shots are best avoided, as recommended by holistic veterinarians. Regan's article "Taking A Shot" is in DynamiteOnline.com and has appeared in the newsletter in the past as well. He recommends the use of Release right after removing the needle, followed by a soothing Miracle Clay poultice to help pull out toxins and heavy metals in the vaccine. DynaPro is always in order at stressful times, along with a big boost of vitamin C. Super Stress, Hiscorbadyne and Ester C are all great C sources. Even though horses supposedly make their own vitamin C (unlike humans, who do not), I still prefer to boost it at times of extra stress.
to be continued...
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