Vaccine Alternatives

Vaccine Alternatives

You can be sure that I do not advocate leaving dogs totally unprotected against viral disease. Is it, however, possible to protect your dogs without risking vaccine adverse effects. Firstly, though, it’s important to understand that even vaccines do not guarantee protection. Dogs who are fully vaccinated can (and do) still come down with the diseases they were vaccinated against. Nothing is guaranteed.

Homoeopathic Nosodes

The homoeopathic nosode is one alternative, although it is controversial and has come under attack by pro-vaccine interests. Some say that the nosode is ineffective; others say it is effective.

There are very few scientific studies supporting nosode use, although there are some. This might be because you cannot patent nosodes, since they are made from naturally occurring substances. As such, they will never become blockbuster drugs or generate billions in revenue for the pharmaceutical or vaccine industries. The people who typically fund scientific research – the pharmaceutical companies – don’t fund research that has no chance of producing massive revenue.

To produce a nosode, homoeopaths take a virus, usually from saliva, and dilute it until it cannot even be measured by scientific instruments. The energy of the disease is thereby introduced, enabling the individual to recognise the virus and use the body’s innate healing capacities to deal with it.

Nosodes are usually given in pill or liquid form as a preventative, and they can also be used to treat disease. The vet or homoeopathic pharmacy you obtain your nosodes from will provide dosage instructions, since instructions can vary. However, as a general rule, it’s usually something like: twice a day for a week, and then two or three times a week for a few weeks, followed by a repeat dose every six months.

A number of nosode trials have been conducted. Here are some examples:

Kennel cough:

A kennel in Oxfordshire experienced a kennel cough outbreak, and invited the homoeopathic vet Christopher Day in to control the outbreak.  Chris also invited a vaccine manufacturer in so that the merits of the nosode and kennel cough vaccines could be scientifically assessed.

There were 40 dogs in the kennel; eighteen had been vaccinated against kennel cough, 22 had not. All vaccinated dogs had developed a cough, whereas only 19 of the 22 unvaccinated dogs had developed a cough.

A homoeopathic nosode was given to all the dogs who entered the infected boarding premises subsequently: one dose on entry, and twice daily for three days. There were 214 dogs entering the kennel during the rest of the summer, all of whom received the nosodes – 64 had been conventionally vaccinated, and 150 had not prior to entry into the kennel.

Of the 214 dogs, three of the 64 vaccinated dogs contracted kennel cough; one of the 150 non-vaccinated dogs contracted kennel cough. Apparently, the homoeopathic nosodes had halted the outbreak in its tracks.

As a further exercise, any dogs showing just one very transient sign of kennel cough were recorded. This showed that 51 of the 64 vaccinated dogs showed evidence of slight symptoms, whereas only 40 of the 150 dogs who were not vaccinated showed any symptoms. Chris Day felt that this actually showed that vaccines were harmful in this situation!

Mr Day concluded: ”Whatappears to emerge from this study is:

a) Nosodes can very effectively stop, in its tracks, an outbreak of a highly transmissible disease (viz. kennel cough)

b) That it does so, in this case, more effectively than the presently available vaccines

c) That vaccination impairs the ability of the animal to respond to the nosode.

However, it is also worth noting that kennel cough vaccine datasheets state that the vaccine can cause ‘mild’ cases of kennel cough in vaccinated dogs.  These dogs then go on to infect other dogs.


John Saxton MRCVS VetMFHom, in IJVH Volume 5, No 1, 1991, presented a paper describing the use of the canine distemper nosode in disease control. Although not presented as a clinical trial, it was presented as a report upon a clinical problem which was significantly relieved by the use of nosodes.

This involved a boarding kennel dealing solely with stray dogs under contract to the local police authority. As such, vaccination status was unknown. All animals not claimed or rehomed were destroyed on the 8th day after arrival.

When the dogs arrived at the kennels, they were screened by experienced lay staff and those with no obvious signs of disease or injury were admitted directly into the main kennels. All others were placed in an isolation block for examination by the veterinary staff.

It became clear that there was an unacceptably high incidence of clinical distemper associated with the kennels, despite all possible screening and management procedures. It was therefore decided to use the canine distemper nosode as a control measure in addition to general management measures. The homoeopathic nosode was prepared from a local clinical case, using nasal and ocular discharge, plus a swab from the tonsils. Prepared as a liquid, the nosode was administered via the dogs’ drinking water.

The results showed that, of dogs kept in the kennels for eight days, 11.67%  showed clinical signs of distemper on the 5th day prior to the introduction of nosodes, dropping to 4.36% after the nosodes were introduced. Where the entire kennel population was taken into account (including those dogs who left prior to the eighth day), the incidence of distemper dropped from 8.05% to 2.81% after the introduction of nosodes.

Interestingly, the incidence of distemper rose markedly in the 8th and 11th months of the trial. Upon investigation, it was realised that one of the kennel staff had left the homoeopathic supply in direct sunlight for several hours prior to administration. When this storage practice was remedied, incidences of distemper dropped once again – indicating that the homoeopathic remedies were, indeed, having a positive effect.

Tularaemia in mice

This trial was conducted by W Jonas, A Fortier, D Heckendorn and C Macy during 1991, and a paper was presented at the 5th LIBI meeting in Paris. The paper was entitled ‘Prophylaxis of Tularaemia Infection in Mice Using Agitated Ultra High Dilutions of Tularaemia Infected Tissues’.

Homoeopathic dilutions from tissues of mice infected with Tularaemia were administered orally to a group of mice; a control group was treated with dilutions of ethanol. An LD of F tularensis was then administered and survival time and mortality were evaluated. After 15 experiments, the very high homoeopathic dilutions produced a significant increase in survival time and a significant reduction in total mortality compared to non-controls. (Homoeopathy – a frontier in medical science, published by North Atlantic Books.)

Human nosode use

The principle of homoeopathy was proven in the human field in a significant breakthrough which took place in 1986, when it was shown, in controlled trials, that homoeopathy was helpful in preventing hay fever. Also, in 1995, a team from Glasgow University succeeded in proving, in controlled trials, that 30c (homoeopathic) potencies of pollen and house dust mite were more effective than placebos in treating hay fever and asthma respectively.

Japanese Encephalitis

The Indian government used homoeopathic Belladonna, Calcarea and Tuberculinum in 2000 in an attempt to control the incidence of Japanese encephalitis.

In 1999, there were 1,036 JE cases and 203 deaths.

In 2000 there were 343 cases and 72 deaths

In 2001 there were 33 cases and 4 deaths

And in 2002, there were no cases.

The Finlay Institutes Leptospirosis campaign in Cuba – 2007

During 2007, three provinces of the eastern region of Cuba were affected by strong rainfalls causing flooding of large areas and damage to sanitary and health systems. The risk of leptospirosis infection rose to dangerous levels with about 2 million people exposed to potentially contaminated water. The Finlay Institute prepared a leptospira nosode using 4 circulating strains. A multidisciplinary team travelled to the affected regions to conduct the administration of the nosode. Coordinated action with public health system infrastructures allowed the administration of a preventive treatment consisting of two doses of the nosode to about 2.4 million people. The coverage of the intervention rose up to 95% percent of total population of the three provinces at risk.

The epidemiology surveillance after the intervention showed a dramatic decrease of morbidity two weeks after and a reduction to zero of mortality of hospitalized patients. The number of confirmed leptospirosis cases remains at low levels and below the expected levels according with the trends and rain regimens.

See this link for more examples:

Transfer Factor

Transfer factor is a component within colostrum – mother’s milk.  When a newborn arrives, he doesn’t have an immune system.  In dogs, the immune system develops over six months. It is provided initially by mother’s milk until his immune system develops.  Transfer Factor supplements are the active concentrated part of mother’s milk.  It is not only useful for disease prevention, but it can also help a dysfunctional (over or under active) immune system to return to normal.  In a paper published in the American DVM magazine in 2003, the vet Kenneth L Marcella explains how Transfer Factor can kill bacteria and viruses, as well as protect individuals (human or animal) from cancer and other immune-mediated illnesses. Further information is available on this web link:

It would be a reasonable precaution to give a puppy Transfer Factor (which comes in capsule form) daily for the first six months of his life to protect him from viral and bacterial disease until his immune system is fully developed. No harm will come from giving Transfer Factor daily for life; it is likely to protect you and your dogs from viral and bacterial infection, and also reduce the effects of inflammation and autoimmunity.

A Natural Diet

Diet is the cornerstone of good health. Hippocrates, the founder of modern medicine, said: “Physician, let food be thy medicine”. In fact, modern drugs are all about the management of disease, they are not about disease prevention. Diet is about disease prevention.

Nutrients are known to help the body fight infection. Without adequate nutrients, the immune system has a hard time dealing with viruses and bacterins. Even fully vaccinated dogs, if deficient in key nutrients, may be unable to mount a defense against viral disease – which is one of the reasons for vaccine failure.

This is why Canine Health Concern promotes natural feeding for dogs and warns dog owners of the inadequacies of processed (junk) pet food. Most pet food brands contain industrial waste (the inferior left-overs from the human food and agricultural industries), and these ingredients are cooked at high temperature to kill-off bacteria and fungus. Cooking destroys nutrients. Many nutrients are also flushed down the drain when water is extracted to form dry kibble.

Dogs are predominantly carnivores. If left to their own devices, they would catch small to medium-sized prey such as rabbits, pheasants, rats, mice, lamb, chickens and so on, and eat them raw. They might also eat fish. In addition, they would scavenge – eating wild berries, wind-blown fruit, eggs, insects, and even faeces.

Dogs also moved in with humans tens of thousands of years ago and shared our food. Since there was no processed factory-made food in those days, like humans, dogs have evolved to eat good quality (i.e., not factory-made) human table scraps.

 A good balance of raw meaty bones, plus a variety of the foods mentioned above, will keep your dog in good health, with a greater ability to withstand viral and bacterial disease. There are many very good books available to help you understand and implement raw feeding for your dogs. See the CHC website for suggestions.


This is a herbal blend that supports dogs who have developed parvo and other viruses. Parvaid is said to have a very high success rate. Its sister product, Vibactra Plus, is a companion herbal blend that is another useful tool in your medicine chest. It is excellent at dealing with digestive upsets and upper respiratory tract infections, and is a natural antibiotic. Both of these products are available from the CHC store (

Canine Health Concern also has a list of members who keep Parvaid and Vibactra in their medicine chest, since both products have a long shelf life. We have on several occasions called upon our members to rush these herbal blends to people locally when their dogs or puppies have contracted parvovirus (despite being vaccinated in many cases). Speed is of great importance here – so do please telephone us in an emergency or, better still, consider stocking these lifesavers yourself.

There are also many other natural antibacterial and antiviral products, including grapefruitseed extract, olive leaf extract and colloidal silver. Garlic is also shown to be anti-viral and anti-bacterial, so a fresh clove squeezed into your dog’s evening meal two or three times a week will be beneficial. CHC also stocks Neem products which help support the immune system.