Should Holistic Vets Vaccinate?

This is taken from a 2006 Canine Health Concern newsletter.

A few weeks ago, we felt compelled to send a letter to every homoeopathic or holistic vet in the UK.  This is because we perceive that there is a problem which needs addressing.  We received two replies, which means we got 108 silences.  This is par for the course – whoever we write to, we are lucky if we get a reply.

In the last few newsletters, I’ve been telling you about the successes and the positive changes that have taken place in the wacky world that is CHC. What I’ve always had difficulty in describing, is how hard those successes have been to achieve.

Indifference and apathy have been the hardest things of all to cope with.  You just can’t go anywhere with silence or dismissal.

Back in 1993, I learnt about the dangers of vaccines from a homoeopathic vet.  It was this man who finally answered my question ‘why?’ – why had Oliver died.  Then I met some other homoeopathic vets who added weight to the belief that vaccines cause a wide range of diseases in humans and animals.

We told them of our plans to research the issues surrounding ill health in the canine world, and they metaphorically held my coat and slapped me heartily on the back as they waved me off onto the front line to ‘fight the good fight’.

I was invited, in the early days of CHC, to speak at the homoeopathic vets’ annual symposium and went expecting all of the homoeopathic vets to be like the ones I had already met.  I expected, unconsciously, that I’d be amongst friends who understood what the CHC campaign was all about.  Instead, I had a very difficult and somewhat unsettling experience.

So there I was, on the platform, talking about the aims of Canine Health Concern, to what I thought was a group of like-minded people.  Much to my own surprise, I started crying.  I was standing on the platform in front of a fairly large audience, crying.  But I didn’t know why.  I had to turn around, collect myself, and keep on going.

Later that evening, we all met in the bar.  I was still pretty shaken by my own emotions earlier.  And then something happened to explain to me what had been going on.  One after the other, the homoeopathic vets came to me to tell me that they vaccinated.  They were deeply honest with me, and I honour them for that.

The reasons were pretty similar. They explained that if a vaccine went wrong, they would have the support of the Royal Veterinary College if they needed to defend themselves against angry clients, whereas if a nosode went wrong, they would be on their own.

They explained that they had wives/husbands and children to support, and that vaccines provided essential income.  One vet told me that he first came into homoeopathy because he himself had suffered a number of vaccine-induced diseases as a child, and that a homoeopath had helped to cure him.  He told me that he cried every time he vaccinated an animal.

I asked him why, then, did he do it?  He told me that he had been given several thousand pounds by a vaccine manufacturer to set up his practice, and that he was tied into them for a number of years.

Later that night, as I put my head on the pillow, Samson – who had died of vaccine-induced disease three months earlier – came to me, and beamed his love into me.  He wrapped his energy around me, and comforted me.  I don’t care if anyone wants to call me mad for telling you this.  It was a very real, tangible, experience, and one of several which have convinced me that the spirit lives on after death, and that the animals are far more than we humans comprehend.

I understood then why I had been crying in front of that audience: I had stood there totally open, without any defences in place, and I had picked up the energy of dislike that was being directed at me.  I was airing an issue that made them feel uncomfortable.  Samson came to tell me that I wasn’t alone.

Since that time, and more especially in the last couple of years, I keep getting told that such and such a homoeopathic vet thinks I am (or CHC is) too contentious.  I also keep getting told by disillusioned clients, that their homoeopathic vet is recommending vaccination, and sometimes they’re recommending titer tests to see if boosters are needed.

I have a problem with this on several levels.  My first problem is that I believe very deeply that no-one has a right to dictate to another human being how they should think, feel or behave.  On this basis, I have to respect the rights of these vets to do what their conscience tells them they must do.

My second problem is that I firmly believe that, if they understood what they were doing, then they wouldn’t do it.  I could be wrong in this belief, but it is nevertheless a belief I hold after years of study.

My third problem is that, having made their minds up about me and CHC, they don’t want to listen to the science we have to share.  All 110 vets we wrote to were invited to read Shock to the System which contains the latest science on vaccine damage.  Only one sent in an order.

My fourth problem is that vets, of whatever persuasion, are so used to being worshipped and adored by their clients, and so brainwashed by the educational system into thinking that they are right and pet owners know squat, that they are not open to listening anyway.

My fifth problem is that homoeopaths – supposedly – are taught about the vaccine miasm, and so they should already know that vaccines cause a vast myriad of diseases, and that vaccine damage is passed down the line.  The problems with vaccines don’t stop with the dog they vaccinate; they can cause misery and suffering in generations to come.

One of the two holistic vets who did kindly reply to our letter wrote, ‘No dog at our practice just gets a vaccine without discussion of the pro’s and con’s for the individual animal involved…  All vaccination is not bad, it is how and when the vaccines are given that is often the problem and as with the diseases themselves there is always some risk.  As for nosodes, we simply do not have enough evidence to show that they protect against anything if they are not active within the animals energetic system at the time it encounters the disease …. The two or three studies done so far in the UK are not sufficient to convince me that they forward protect and in my time I have seen both parvovirus and leptospirosis in so called nosoded dogs, some of which have died.’

In my reply, I pointed out (amongst other things) that ‘Vaccines alter DNA; a recent scientific theory suggests that inflammation is an indication that the pathogen is deliberately creating confusion in the immune system so that the virus can wreak havoc undercover; and it is becoming more widely known (and research is constantly being presented to say) that vaccines can cause diverse immune-mediated diseases, many of which are not routinely attributed to their cause.’

I also pointed out that vaccinated animals can also die of the diseases they are vaccinated against, and that whilst not enough is known about the nosode to say it guarantees protection, plenty is known about vaccines to demonstrate that they cause immense harm – through generations.

And, furthermore (I said more politely than I’m saying now), if not enough is known about nosodes, then isn’t it time the homoeopathic veterinary fraternity did something to find out about them?  Certainly, the homoeopathic vets I first came in contact with don’t vaccinate, haven’t done for many years, and have (as far as they’ve told me) no reason to doubt the efficacy of nosodes.  So get your collective act together!

Everything is made more complicated by the classical homoeopathic fraternity who say that nosodes shouldn’t be used as a preventative, because they can cause harm.  On the other hand, one well-known homoeopathic vets says it is ‘irresponsible’ to leave your dog with neither vaccines nor nosodes.  So how is the ordinary pet owner expected to make sense of all this?

Actually, it’s not easy for me to say all of this in public, in the newsletter.  I don’t want to attract even more dislike from the homoeopathic veterinary fraternity, and I don’t want to cause offence.  But perhaps, by addressing the issue, people might think, and communicate, and the animals might be better served.  It is not my place to dictate what other people do, think or say – but neither is it anyone else’s place to censor me (or you)!  I think it’s important to talk about this since the animals have no choice.

The homoeopathic vet who wrote and I were both able to agree that correct husbandry (i.e., appropriate food and care) raises the energetic and physical bodies so that they can  better withstand disease.  But if the research I have seen on vaccines is anything to go by, you simply cannot serve the energetic and physical bodies by vaccinating, because vaccines cause imbalances in these areas.  They totally destroy the intelligence of the immune system.

Of course, there is another side to the story. Whilst I am questioning the homoeopathic veterinary fraternity, I also know that they are good people who deeply care about the animals, and who do what they think is best.  It’s not personal.  It’s about the animals.

I understand that it would be hard for a vet to advise their clients not to vaccinate; there are all sorts of issues involved.

And yet a small number of homoeopathic vets are doing just this. They seem prepared to take the consequences, whether they be good or bad, because they believe that the adverse effects of vaccines are worse than dealing with viral disease.  They suffer financially by refusing to take vaccine income. They also know that if they don’t vaccinate animals, there are plenty of vets lining up to do it, giving their clients the freedom to choose.  What they won’t do is perform a medical procedure themselves that might cause harm.

I do try to see the other fellow’s point of view.  But if vets are performing potentially harmful and often unnecessary medical procedures on the animals, then vets – who are in a position of respect and authority – must demonstrate a balanced view, and an educated view.

The thing is, we are not just having an intellectual argument. We aren’t just disagreeing on theories. We are talking about lives.  We need to discuss these issues.  It’s important – because the dogs matter, and the people who have to watch them die matter.  Silence and ignorance (ignorance is the act of ignoring) are not good enough.

Someone once said that the greatest sin against your fellow human beings is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them.  In the Bible God is purported to have said something like, ‘you can be hot or cold, but if you are lukewarm, I will spew you out of my mouth’.  Running CHC, caring deeply, and being met with silence, apathy and indifference, and political concessions, wherever I go, I agree with God!

I would rather those 108 homoeopathic vets wrote back to me, even if they said harsh things, than to simply be met with silence.  Silence breeds misunderstanding, mistrust, and misinformation.  Of course, there is another factor to consider: perhaps they think I am meddling in something I have no right to meddle in?  Perhaps they only respect their fellow vets, and not an organisation which represents clients?  Who knows – you can only guess if people don’t talk to you.

Vaccines and skin problems

Atopic dermatitis is an hereditary condition in which individuals react to allergens with an inflammatory skin condition. It belongs to a group of allergic disorders that include food allergies or intolerance, allergic rhinitis, and asthma. Dogs appear, as a species, to be particularly prone to dermatitis. There are many accounts from holistic practitioners who say that skin conditions in dogs flare up shortly after a vaccine event; they often attribute skin problems to the vaccine miasm (a condition whereby vaccine damage is passed from one generation to the next).

Back in the 90s, Canine Health Concern surveyed dogs to see if there was any correlation between a recent vaccine event and the onset of illness. The results of this survey, involving some 4,000 dogs, are published in my book ‘What Vets Don’t Tell You About Vaccines’. We found, amongst other things, that 46.2% of dogs with skin problems first started to have the problem within three months of a vaccine event. It can be statistically concluded, at 99% certainty, that vaccines can trigger skin problems

Supporting evidence comes from two scientists named Frick and Brooks (1) who showed that dogs who are genetically predisposed to develop atopic dermatitis didn’t develop this inheritable condition if exposed to an allergen before they were vaccinated. But they did develop atopic dermatitis if they were exposed to an allergen after being vaccinated.

From this we can hypothesise that individuals (whether human or animal) can have latent genetic traits that may remain dormant until something – such as a vaccine – triggers the predisposition. One study in humans stated that the condition has increased twofold to threefold since the 1970s.

Studies linking vaccines to atopic dermatitis

A number of studies have linked atopic dermatitis in humans to vaccines, specifically the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, measles infection, and the BCG (tuberculosis) shot (2,3). Measles and distemper are ostensibly the same virus, so I query distemper virus in MLV vaccines as being a possible underlying cause for canine atopy.

Another study (4) looks at the role of IgE antibodies in atopic dermatitis and refers to post-vaccination specific IgE responses to tetanus and diphtheria toxoid, which could result in adverse events to future vaccination or exposure to the diseases. This refers to the fact that, in IgE responses, the first exposure to an allergen sensitises the individual, and the second causes an allergic response which can lead to fatality.


Diverse views

Unfortunately, the evidence isn’t clear cut. There is no acknowledged single cause for atopic dermatitis, and it probably represents more than one condition. There are many theories regarding the underlying mechanisms. Current research is investigating the roles of gene mutations, defects in the skin cells (5), the immune system, skin surface microbes (bacteria, viruses and yeasts), and ‘environmental’ factors.

Family studies support a genetic basis for atopic dermatitis. When both parents are atopic, their offspring have a 70% risk for atopic dermatitis, with a higher risk of inheritance if the mother is atopic. The mode of inheritance appears to be complex and likely involves several genes. To date, no specific single gene has been identified as a unique marker for atopic dermatitis or atopy in humans. (6)

Viruses are parasites that incorporate themselves into their host’s genes. I wonder if any geneticist has looked for an association between vaccine-strain viruses and heritable atopy?

The same problem appears in canine studies. I could find no evidence of clear genetic markers. Rather, the full potential of the high IgE response gene appears to be fulfilled only under certain conditions, such as early and repeated allergen exposure. One study showed that dogs born in April in America had a higher incidence of atopy, indicating a possible link to pollen overload in these cases.

In one attempt to establish a colony of dogs with atopic dermatitis, only 13 out of 72 dogs of the progeny of patients with AD developed clinical signs of the disease. All of these dogs were between 13 and 24 months of age. Again, no difference in total serum IgE levels was found between clinically normal dogs and dogs with dermatitis. There were no indicators identified that could be used to predict the development of atopic dermatitis (7). However, there are antibody responses other than IgE in canine atopic dermatitis, which this study failed to look at.


About Antibodies

Food and inhalant allergies, as well as sensitivities, often lie behind dermatitis. Antibodies are proteins produced by B cells that are used by the immune system to identify and neutralise foreign objects such as bacteria and viruses. The problem with atopy is that the immune system is recognising normally harmless proteins as harmful.

IgM antibodies can be found in saliva; their presence indicates a first-line defence against infection. IgA antibodies, also found in saliva, defend against invasion by inhaled and ingested pathogens.

Food allergy is a severe, immediate and acute IgE response to eating a particular food. One example might be a peanut allergy, where the individual might die if she doesn’t have adrenalin on hand.

Food sensitivity and intolerance relates to slower-acting and chronic symptoms, such as digestive and skin-related conditions, and is more commonly associated with IgA and IgM responses.

The body may also mistakenly make antibodies against itself – autoantibodies – treating healthy organs and tissues like foreign invaders. This is called autoimmune disease.

Inhalant allergies in dogs are characterised by feet chewing and licking, biting and scratching, and recurrent ear infections. The worst itching will be on his feet, hind legs, groin and armpits.

Symptoms of food sensitivities / intolerance may be ear scratching, head shaking, itchy skin, licking and biting of the back legs, rubbing his face on the carpet, inflammation in his ears, coughing and, in rare cases vomiting, sneezing, and diarrhoea. Hot spots and skin infections can be caused by food sensitivities / intolerance, as can aggression and other unpredictable behaviours in dogs and cats.

Familial predisposition is reflected in the Merck Manual which advises that a child with, or from a family with, B and/or T cell immunodeficiencies should not receive live virus vaccines due to the risk of fatality. Merck states: “Features of B cell deficiencies include respiratory or food allergies; features of T cell deficiencies include heart disease; and features of combined T and B cell deficiencies include dermatitis, neurological deterioration and eczema.”

Although Merck warns of potential death from vaccines for immunocompromised individuals, some studies conclude that viral disease is so awful, and adverse vaccine reactions so ‘rare’, that we should vaccinate them anyway!

T cells, by the way, belong to a group of white blood cells known as lymphocytes. They play a central role in cell-mediated immunity. There are several types of T cells which perform a variety of functions, including the maturation of B cells, the production of cytokines which assist in the immune response, destruction of tumor cells, prevention of autoimmune disease, and providing memory against past infection. Th1 deficiencies are associated with autoimmune disease, and Th2 deficiencies are associated with atopic disease.

AW Taylor, University of Leeds, wrote in Allergy: “Asthma, tuberculosis, cancer, myalgic encephalomyelitis, and Gulf War syndrome have all been linked recently to a shift in the immune profile favoring a T helper 2 (Th2) cell bias. This situation has been associated with the multiple vaccinations given to troops before Gulf combat. The incidence of asthma is on the increase and so is the use of multiple vaccination procedures. When pertussis is combined with diphtheria and tetanus (the DTP vaccination given in the UK to 8-week-old babies along with Hib [Haemophilus influenzae] and, in some cases, tuberculosis), the same immune deviation develops, a bias towards Th2 responsiveness.

“Multiple vaccinations shift this delicate balance [between Th1 and Th2], favoring the development of atopy and, perhaps, autoimmunity through vaccine-induced polyclonal activation leading to autoantibody production. An increase in the incidence of childhood atopic diseases may be expected as a result of concurrent vaccination strategies that induce a Th2-biased immune response. What should be discussed is whether the prize of a reduction of common infectious diseases through a policy of mass vaccination from birth is worth the price of a higher prevalence of atopy.” (10)

Perhaps this is why some dog owners have noticed positive effects when rejecting multivalent vaccines and giving distemper and parvo separately, separated by a few weeks.

Primary and Secondary Immunodeficiency

Immunodeficiency is differentiated between primary and secondary. Primary immunodeficiency is caused by genetic or developmental defects in the immune system. These defects are present at birth but may show up later on in life. There is, incidentally, a correlation between hypothyroidism and IgA and IgM deficiency (8) (i.e., if your dog has skin problems, check his thyroid function with a complete thyroid antibody profile).

Secondary or acquired immunodeficiency is the loss of immune function as a result of exposure to disease agents, environmental factors, immunosuppression, or aging. Secondary disorders occur in normally healthy individuals who are suffering from a disease that weakens the immune system temporarily. All of these factors, bar aging, would point to vaccination, since vaccines contain disease agents, cause immunosuppression, and are ‘environmental factors’. Skin flare-ups in non-atopic dogs post-vaccination would therefore be possible.

Bacterial, viral (and presumably vaccines containing bacteria and viruses), protozoan, worm, and fungal infections may also lead to B and T cell deficiencies.


More severe vaccine-induced skin conditions

Merck also tells us that serum (found in vaccines) can cause Type III hypersensitivity reactions, including a highly inflammatory skin condition involving painful local lesions leading to tissue necrosis (the death of cells), as well as widespread vascular (blood vessel) injury.

This reminds me of Spangler, the Golden Retriever whose skin began to split and die shortly after he was vaccinated. The vaccine manufacturer of course denied any possible link, although the independent path lab was ‘unable to rule a connection out’. Spangler’s story can be read in full at Unfortunately, Spangler’s skin was so badly damaged, and he was in so much pain, that he had to be euthanised.

There is also a case of a Shar-Pei called Sumo in What Vets Don’t Tell You About Vaccines who required extensive skin grafts after his skin began to split post-vaccination. Another case involves a human child who also required extensive skin grafts post-vaccination. Extensive skin splitting, of course, is a relatively rare and extreme response to vaccination.


Food in Vaccines

A food allergy is defined as an adverse response to a food protein. Vaccines, by their method of manufacture, contain many ‘foreign’ proteins, including animal serum, usually cow blood product. Professor Larry Glickman, who I have often quoted in relation to the Purdue vaccination study, has acknowledged that the autoantibodies dogs developed post-vaccination to a wide range of their own biochemicals in his study were likely due to the dogs mistaking their own biochemicals for the invading cow serum in the vaccine, which was directly injected into their blood stream.

Additionally, some ingested proteins or fragments of proteins become resistant to digestion, and those that are not broken down during the digestive process are tagged by IgE antibodies. These tags fool the immune system into thinking that the protein is harmful. Allergic/sensitivity responses to the protein include dermatitis, gastrointestinal and respiratory distress, and can also include life-threatening anaphylactic responses which require immediate emergency intervention to avoid death. I will discuss the role of the digestive process in relation to atopy later.

Apart from cow serum in vaccines, many vaccines are cultivated on eggs and the body parts of various species. Some vaccines contain peanut oils. I don’t doubt that the rise in human allergies to dairy products, eggs, and peanuts might have something to do with the vaccine programme. Egg albumin is used in laboratories to induce anaphylaxis, and the peanut allergy/vaccine connection has been well made. Putting food in vaccines might also explain why dogs are now becoming allergic to their biologically appropriate carnivorous – protein – diet. These foodstuffs are being injected directly into the bloodstream where they are recognised by the immune system as invaders. Would it surprise you to discover that wheat germ, corn and soy oils are also used in vaccines, and that wheat, corn and soy allergies are on the rise?

Science has known about this problem for many years. In 1901, French scientist Charles Richet coined the word anaphylaxis to designate the sensitivity developed by an organism after being given an injection of protein or toxin. In 1839, the French physiologist Francois Magendie created allergy-like symptoms in animals, finding that animals sensitized to egg white by injection died after a repeat injection. Brandt and colleagues induced an allergy to chicken eggs in a group of mice by injecting them with an egg protein.

Professor Tara Shirakawa, published the results of a Japanese study on 867 infants who received BCG vaccine. Thirty-six percent developed allergies. The number of TB cases in the province didn’t increase, but the incidence of severe allergy did. (Science, vol 275, 3 Jan 1997)

A study published in Pediatric Allergy & Immunology (19 (1): 46-52, February 2008), looked at the potential causal factor in the development of atopic disease due to the effect of pertussis immunization on specific IgE antibodies. All associations between vaccination and atopic disorders were positive. The report concluded: “Egg-related allergy is common, particularly in children with asthma or general allergies, and may be as high as 40% in children with atopic dermatitis. The risk of egg-related allergy after vaccination depends on the presence of egg protein in the final product.”

It’s worth noting that protein glutamate is added to vaccines to preserve the virus in vaccines. Meat, fish, eggs, milk and cheese tend to be high in protein glutamate. High levels of glutamic acid have been shown in animal studies to cause damage to parts of the brain unprotected by the blood-brain barrier, leading to a variety of chronic diseases (11). Vaccines and permeability of the blood-brain barrier; vaccines and brain damage – well that’s another story…


Allergic Response Exacerbated by Aluminum in Vaccines

Allergy 1978, Jun:33(3):155-9 reported that aluminium phosphate stimulates the IgE response in guinea pigs to tetanus toxoid. “It is hypothesized that the regular application of aluminium compound-containing vaccines … could be one of the factors leading to the observed increase of allergic diseases.”

In Pediatr Allergy Immunol 1994 May;5(2):118-23, the role of aluminium for IgG and IgE responses to pertussis toxin, as well as side effects, was investigated in 49 children with known atopy status. The addition of aluminium to pertussis vaccine was associated with strong IgG antibody response, and a stronger IgE antibody response. The study concluded that the role of immunization in the development of allergy merits further studies.

Eminent vaccine researcher Dr Patricia Jordan states: “It has been known for a very long time that aluminium in vaccines causes atopy. NATO documents show the link; there are many references to show how aluminium increases IgE response.”


The hygiene theory

There is another theory that needs to be discussed in relation to atopic dermatitis, called the hygiene theory. Scientists have found a correlation between the hygienic Western way of life and the rise in atopy. There is also a negative association between the presence of parasitic worms and atopy (12). In summary, the incidence of atopy in human children is lower if there is infection and some exposure to worms.

Dr Viera Scheibner, astute vaccine researcher, has found that vaccinated children are more prone to cancer and leukaemia than children who have suffered childhood infectious diseases. In one study, measles infection was negatively associated with house dust mite allergy (13), supporting the premise that viruses have a protective role, and that sensible breeding and proper husbandry is the best defence against viral disease (allowing the individual to mount a strong immune response and survive infection).

The use of broad spectrum antibiotics appears to increase the risk of atopy (11, 12). Atopic individuals are also more prone to yeast infections – this relates, in part, to under-functioning antibodies; the term ‘lazy immune system’ has been suggested (14). Yeast is also used in vaccines. Additionally, imbalanced gut bacteria and the paucity of dietary enzymes (found in raw food) play a role in atopy and lead to yeast overgrowth.

One could postulate that maternal yeast infection might pose a high atopy risk to subsequent puppies, and that breeders and new puppy owners should be aware of yeast overgrowth and know how to deal with it quickly. As stated earlier, bacterial and fungal infections can lead to B and T cell immunodeficiencies.

It seems clear that Western animal husbandry, reliant as it is upon processed food, vaccines, wormers and antibiotics, not only predispose to inhalant and food allergies, and dermatitis, but they also predispose to more life-threatening autoimmune diseases. Vaccines not only derange immune response, but by preventing infection, they prevent the immune system from establishing homoeostasis.

Note: Dr Jean Dodds has developed a saliva-based testing tool to diagnose food sensitivities and intolerance. See



  1. Frick OL, Brooks DL. Immunoglobulin E antibodies to pollens augmented in dogs by virus vaccines. Am J Vet Res 44: 440, 1981.
  3. AD exacerbated by BCG vaccine