Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ December 2013

Holistic Health

Preventing Cancer in Pets:  Vaccinations

By Anna Pritchard

Second in a Series

To recap:  preventing cancer in pets can be divided into three important areas:  feeding the proper diet, vaccinating the least, and avoiding and eliminating exposure to toxic environmental chemicals.  In the last issue, we discussed diet.  Now, let’s talk about vaccinations.

Vaccinate the Least

This is a really hot topic and is extremely important to understand correctly.  When I first met my cat Tasha’s holistic vet when Tasha was three years old, she told me she wasn’t in favor of giving Tasha any more vaccinations.  Tasha was up-to-date on her shots at that point.  The vet explained that current thinking was that there are risks to vaccination, and that vaccinating may be unnecessary, anyway, since Tasha is an “indoor” cat.  I was so glad to hear that because I had read about the risks of vaccinations.

Dr. Barbara Royal, DVM, says, in her book The Royal Treatment, A Natural Approach to Wildly Healthy Pets (Atria Books, New York, N.Y., 2012), “I am not against vaccination; I am for a healthy immune system.”  Dr. Christina Chambreau, DVM, who founded the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy, said, more strongly, in her lecture on “7 Keys to Healthy Animals” that 70 percent of all illness in animals occurs after vaccinations.  She also said that vaccines harm animals in two ways:  (1) they contain heavy metals and other chemicals and animals don’t detoxify these substances well, and (2) they “push” the immune system which leads to bad results.  Both veterinarians agree that vaccinations are given too often.

Dr. Chambreau says that studies show immunity antibodies are high for 10 to 16 years longer than the guidelines for distemper and parvo in dogs.  She recommends a few vaccinations when dogs and cats are babies, and then no more.  All holistic vets I am familiar with recommend doing a “titer” (a blood test that shows if the animal is still immune) before giving any repeated vaccinations.  A titer can also show the appropriate dose of the vaccine the animal needs, if they need it at all.

Rabies Vaccines Every Seven Years

Regarding rabies vaccines, Dr. Royal says that studies are showing the three-year rabies vaccine actually provides immunity for five to seven years.  The FDA is investigating this and may soon recommend giving rabies vaccinations every five to seven years.  Owners of cats kept indoors may be able to sign a waiver to avoid giving them a rabies vaccine, but certain considerations apply.

Dr. Royal also says, “Building immunity against a life-threatening disease is a good idea.  But vaccination where immunity already exists makes no sense.”  When immune cells are over-stimulated, it is often at the expense of other immune functions, so there can be a greater risk of imbalance and disease.”

Royal says that “administering vaccines to cats is not a purely benign procedure.”  She adds that she is always concerned when she administers one to an animal and asks herself a number of questions before giving it.  She says in her book that, “Cats can develop vaccine-associated sarcomas [tumors] at the sites of vaccines.”  She goes on to say that new protocols were developed because of this.  Cat vaccines are no longer given in the neck area and are now given in the leg so that if cancer is found there, the leg can be amputated!  She says safer vaccines and safer vaccine protocols must be developed.

Homeopathic Immunizations

Some holistic veterinarians now use some homeopathic immunizations.  Dr. Richard Pitcairn says in his book, Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats (Third Edition, Rodale, 2005), that there should be absolutely no vaccinations for an animal with cancer:  “It is like pouring gasoline on a fire.”

In her book, Dr. Royal gives her recommended vaccination protocol and guidelines for dogs and cats on page 260.  She also recommends “detoxing” with homeopathic medicines prior to and after a vaccine is given, on pages 352-353.  Also, for more details on vaccinations, please go to Dr. Chambreau’s website,, and look at all of her information on the subject, or e-mail her with your questions.  Before making decisions about vaccinations, because it is such an important topic, I highly recommend consulting a holistic veterinarian about your specific pet.

[Pritchard is a licensed massage therapist, certified Montessori teacher, nutritional counselor, Doctor of Naturopathy, and R.N.  She also is trained in reiki for animals.  She lives on Ladson Road and can be reached at (contact information redacted).]   ■

Part 1: Feeding the Proper Diet Part 3: Avoiding Toxic Chemicals

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