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Canine Flu Vaccine: Is It Necessary?

Veterinarians across the country are encouraging pet owners to vaccinate their canine companions for the flu. Is your dog at risk? And if so, is the vaccine going to prevent that risk? We’re here with help from Dogs Naturally to cover this popular topic to help you decide what is best for your best friend.

What is Canine Influenza Virus and What Are the Symptoms?

The first US strain of canine influenza virus (CIV), H3N8, was identified in racing greyhounds in Florida in January 2004. In 2015, a second strain, H3N2, was identified in Chicago. Since that time, cases have been reported across the States and a few, more recently, in Canada.

Symptoms include:

  • sneezing
  • dry coughing
  • lethargy
  • loss of appetite
  • restlessness
  • watery eyes, runny nose
  • fever (one of the things that makes it different from kennel cough)

Is Your Dog at Risk for Canine Flu?

The media, many conventional vets and especially vaccine manufacturers would love for us to believe that the canine flu is a major epidemic, that our dogs are seriously at risk at that every dog needs the canine flu vaccine.

This is not the case!

The canine flu is not widespread. In fact, most dogs never come in contact with the virus. While the number of dogs exposed to the virus who will get canine flu is around 80%, the mortality rate is very low. And those dogs that do become critically ill from it are typically those who have other health issues to begin with.

There’s more.

According to the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University, the first strain of canine influenza virus (H3N8) isn’t common among household pets in the US, with studies showing the level of the virus in the population at less than 5%. In some areas, exposure rates have been low even in pets who participate in high risk environments such as training or agility events.

So maybe its the second strain, H3N2, that’s the problem? Here are some numbers from Dogs Naturally to help put it into perspective:

So, on the extremely off-chance your dog gets the flu, what can you do?

How to Treat the Canine Flu if Your Dog Gets It

Just as with humans, the treatment for a dog with the flu is largely supportive. Because it’s a viral infection and not bacterial, antibiotics won’t help. Here are some of the best things you can do to nurse him back to health:

  1. Keep a close eye on him to make sure he’s eating and drinking. Fluids are important to avoid dehydration.
  2. Check his diet. A fresh, raw diet packed with vitamins and nutrients will help your dog fight back against the flu.
  3. Add some immune boosting supplements like turmeric, Echinacea, goldenseal, oregano, and garlic to his food.
  4. Give him lots of rest. Exertion causes the cough to become more intense, so limit it.
  5. Clean up. The virus can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours, and hands for 12 hours, so do a thorough cleaning using white vinegar, which is an effective bacteria and germ killer.

Most healthy dogs get over the flu easily within 2-3 weeks. Since symptoms are generally mild, it’s usually best to let nature run its course. This will also help your dog build up a natural immunity to this and future strains.

Remember – the virus is contagious, so keep your dog away from other dogs to prevent the virus from spreading.

 

What You Need to Know About the Canine Flu Vaccine

So, you understand it’s highly unlikely that your dog will get the canine flu, and if he does, the symptoms will probably be mild, but just in case you’re still thinking about giving your dog the vaccine, there are a few more things you should know.

The canine flu vaccine is a killed vaccine.

The worst vaccine you can give your dog, rabies, is also a killed vaccines. Leptospirosis and Lyme are also killed vaccines. There are countless studies showing the adverse reactions caused by these vaccines, from allergic reactions to death.

A killed vaccine contains a killed form of the virus. Manufacturers do this because they don’t want the live virus to spread.

Supporters of killed vaccines say they’re safer because the virus isn’t live. What these supporters don’t mention is the fact that this also makes it hard for these vaccines to trigger an immune response. So, to make them more effective and longer lasting, manufacturers have to add adjuvants (added chemicals) to them.

Adjuvants are dangerous for your dog. Here are some of the most common ones and why they’re so dangerous:

  • Aluminum is the most commonly used adjuvant in vaccines and it’s a neurotoxin. It messes with your dog’s brain and nervous system, and can cause inflammation in the brain, as well as dementia and seizures. It’s also a known carcinogen.
  • Formaldehyde. Yes, one of the chemicals used to preserve dead bodies is a common vaccine ingredient and also a known carcinogen.
  • Thimerosal is a mercury-based additive that’s meant to preserve a vaccine. It has been proven to cause tissue cell death and neurological disorders. It’s especially toxic to your dog when combined with aluminum.
  • Phenol is another preservative commonly used in vaccines. It’s a highly poisonous, corrosive substance that comes from coal tar.
  • Animal tissue. Most disease micro-organisms are cultured on animal tissue, and when manufacturers make a vaccine, it becomes impossible to divide the two. This tissue is put into the bloodstream, where the white blood cells have to fight it, making it harder for them to fight the other, more dangerous foreign substances.

Not only is the canine flue vaccine a killed vaccine, it hasn’t even been proven to prevent an infection. So you’re risking your dog’s health with something that may not even prevent it! Another risk is that, as manufacturers modify these vaccines to fit different strains, the viruses become resistant, making it so that your dog needs to keep getting these toxic drugs because the old ones won’t work (even though they may not work to begin with!).

So, what are the most important things you need to know about the canine flu vaccine?

  1. It isn’t widespread and your dog is unlikely to come into contact with it.
  2. If he does get it, the symptoms are usually mild and it’s best treated with supportive care at home.
  3. The canine flu vaccine is not the answer. It’s a killed vaccine, it’s toxic, may not work, and is causing the flu to become resistant. Skip it!

 

Unexpected Dangers in Vaccines

There’s a lot to consider when you vaccinate your dog or cat, such as…

  1. Does my dog really need this shot?
  2. What are the risks of vaccinating vs not vaccinating?
  3. What ingredients are in my dogs vaccine?

You can find a lot more on the Dogs Naturally website about adverse reactions and hidden vaccine ingredients, but there’s more to this story, meaning there’s more to worry about when it comes to vaccines.

There will always be reasons to be cautious when it comes to vaccinating your dog. But as a dog owner, you call the shots. Don’t be afraid to ask your vet questions and do a little research before visiting. You are the caregiver, and if something doesn’t feel right to you, don’t be afraid to speak up! Dogs Naturally explains the top 5 dangers in vaccines that no one is talking about:

1. Rabies Baits Bite Back

The governments of the US and Canada drop rabies baits across rural areas in both countries in an effort to prevent rabies in wildlife. These oral rabies vaccine baits are coated with fishmeal to entice animals to eat them, and packaged in little cubes or sachets then dropped from planes and helicopters every year.

You may think this is a good idea, as nobody wants rabid wildlife hanging around their neighborhood. But there are risks with these baits. The USDA claims that they’re safe for more than 60 different species of animals, including domestic dogs and cats. They say that if your dog eats the baits, he may get an upset stomach but “no long-term health risks.”

The main risk of the oral rabies baits is that they contain live virus vaccines. If the animal who eats the bait is healthy, his body should form an immune response to the vaccine and he’s vaccinated against rabies. But if the animal is in a weakened state when he eats the bait, its quite likely that either the vaccine will fail, or it will create the disease it was intended to protect against. To make matters worse, the genetically engineered virus can jump species and can be spread by aerosolization, meaning no bite is needed for these infected animals to spread disease.

2. Virus Shedding is Virus Sharing

Many vaccines given to dogs are modified live virus (MLV) vaccines. MLV vaccines are used because they stimulate cell-mediated immunity better than killed viruses. Examples are distemper, adeovirus-2 (hepatitis, canine respiratory virus), parvovirus, intranasal bordetella, intranasal coronavirus and parainfluenza.

These vaccines can be shed in feces and urine for two weeks after vaccination. Studies on dogs vaccinated with CPV-2 parvovirus show that the virus can remain in the bloodstream and be shed for up to 3-4 weeks after vaccination.

This means that these diseases can be spread through shedding vaccines. If a dog gets a bordetella shot a few days before staying at a boarding kennel, he will be shedding the disease and exposing other dogs to that virus.

3. Retroviruses Can Be Deadly

Retroviruses in vaccines can have lethal effects. Retroviruses occur because viruses in vaccines are grown on living tissue, and they’re often from other species. That’s how monkey viruses are passed on to humans through vaccination, and the same can happen to dogs.

Canine parvovirus suddenly appeared around the world in 1978 and is now widely considered to have come from feline panleukopenia virus (FPV). At some point, the distemper vaccine was grown on cat kidney cells from cats infected with FPV. The distemper vaccine was injected into dogs and the numbers of parvovirus cases began to explode.

4. Virus Mutation Spreads Disease

Viruses can mutate, allowing them to spread more easily. One example is the CPV-2 canine parvovirus, the most common form of parvo seen in dogs. Dr. Patricia Jordan explains:

“There are two canine parvoviruses: canine parvovirus-1 and canine parvovirus-2. CPV-2 is the primary cause of the puppy enteritis that we commonly see. Over the years, parvo has mutated from CPV-2 to CPV-2b to CPV-2c. It seems that dogs may be getting the ultimate revenge on cats: the CPV-2c strain is now crossing species and infecting cats with another brand new virus.”

5. Vaccines are Unpredictable

One problem with vaccine manufacturers’ claims of efficacy of their products is that vaccinated populations don’t live in a sterile lab where their testing is done.

In the research lab. vaccines appear to be very effective. Unvaccinated puppies die of parvo in research labs where vaccinated puppies live. In the field, vaccines are much less predictable. Dr. Michael Fox offers some illustrations of what can happen in the field:

“Wildlife biologist Dr. Roger Burrows noted that lions in Serengeti National Park, followed by those of the Masai Mara of Kenya, died like flies in 1994 from a new strain of canine distemper.”

It turned out that the same strain of distemper found in the lions was also in experimental vaccines on dogs in the area during a rabies vaccination trial. The same strain was also found to have caused death in most of the captive colony of wild dogs in Mkomzai Game Reserve in Tanzania in 2000-2001. This suggests that the rabies vaccinations caused immunosuppression, creating increased susceptibility to distemper.

 

All five of these dangers highlight the risks you take when you vaccinate your dog. Think carefully and do research before you vaccinate. Dogs Naturally offers a Vaccination Schedule that you may find helpful in deciding when or if you should vaccinate your pet.

If you do decide to vaccinate your dog, watch for any adverse reactions, even chronic illness that can appear weeks or months down the road may stem from your dog’s vaccinations.

Vaccine side effects can often be treated successfully by a homeopathic veterinarian. Find one at theavh.org (many will do phone consults, so they don’t have to be local). Or you can ask a Barkery associate about products that can help your dog with vaccinosis.

Protection Without the Needle: Is There a Better Way?

Many holistic veterinarians believe vaccinations create a large percentage of the new chronic disease we see in domestic animals, if not most. It’s also one of the few contributors to disease that we can actually control; whether and how much to vaccinate.

Vaccines are a hot topic among humans and pets alike, and the line between pro-vaccine camp and anti-vaxxers is pretty clear. This article from Dogs Naturally Magazine touches on the fallacy of thinking unvaccinated children and animals pose a great threat to those who are unvaccinated, and a better way to build immunity in your pet.

Are Vaccines Effective?

Many make this point in the face of logic. How can unvaccinated individuals pose a threat to those vaccinated, if indeed vaccines are effective?

The bigger question should be, “are vaccines effective at all, in the first place?” Historical data shows most epidemic diseases were already declining before vaccines began, and many books document this fact.

Homeopaths believe the best way to boost health is to give the most similar homeopathic remedy, as treatment or prevention, and avoid the potentially harmful effects of vaccines altogether.

If vaccinating in the first place is not the best idea, how much worse is the practice of annual revaccination or boosters? This common practice has no scientific merit and causes untold damage to animals in the form of chronic disease of all varieties. Homeopathy refers to this as vaccinosis or the chronic disease state resulting from vaccination. Not every animal vaccinated develops vaccinosis, but a large number shows signs of this imbalance or disease.

An Autoimmune Link to Chronic Disease

The well-known Purdue Study found that dogs develop autoimmunity to most key proteins in their bodies after a single vaccine, including their own DNA. This explains why most chronic diseases of dogs are believed to have an autoimmune basis. Because of this, many chronic problems due to vaccinosis will not respond to any treatment unless we address this condition first.

Many people are conditioned to believe that we should automatically vaccinate yearly, without question (including conventional veterinarians). Dr. Ronald D Schultz, PhD, has been studying the effectiveness of canine vaccines since the 1970s, and pointed out the lack of evidence for this approach back in the early 1990s in the veterinary textbook Current Veterinary Therapy XI.

Not Useful, Necessary, or Required

The rabies vaccine is the only legally required vaccine and should only be given to healthy animals, according to the vaccine label. The others are not useful, necessary, or required.

Rampant over-vaccination occurs in the name of policy and causes untold damage to our pets. Groomers, boarding kennels, and other pet services make vaccines a mandatory requirement regardless of the animal’s condition. The Barkery is proud to offer services to pets without vaccination history, and we recommend using other pet services that will accept vet vaccine waivers or titers as an alternative to revaccination.

A Better Way

There is a better way to build immunity instead of vaccination by keeping the immune system intact and well regulated, not confused or dysregulated. Excellent nutrition is the first key. Next, we look at the homeopathic option.

Homeoprophylaxis involves using homeopathic remedies, or specific types of remedies called nosodes. Nosodes are homeopathic medicines made from the natural products of disease and can help with immunity. Recently, an example of nosodes giving protection took place in Cuba, where more than two million people were protected by a nosode for leptospirosis. To learn more about the usefulness of nosodes, here.

Homeopathy can address the issue of epidemic disease in a way vaccines cannot. This is a very useful fact for anyone dealing with animals and is responsible for their wellbeing.

For more on over-vaccination, visit The Barkery’s Vaccine Advice page.