The goal of vaccination is to prevent dogs or puppies from contracting the wild version of a virus or pathogen. The method and mechanism of vaccination however, lowers immunity and brings on deeper disease processes.
According to Dr Yubraj Sharma (Immune Function, i90, July 2003), vaccines create five main categories of dysfunction in the body:
- Low immune resistance to other pathogens with chronic and recurrent infections
- Chronic mucus
- Autoimmune disease
- Chronic allergies
Low Immune Resistance
The idea behind vaccination is to inject into the subcutaneous or intramuscular space of the body a sample of the microbe for which protection is sought. This microbe is attenuated or partially deactivated, usually by removing much of the cytoplasmic contents and genetic material – leaving some of this alongside the cell wall.
Enough of the microbe exists for the immune system to recognize it and mount a reaction. The injection must bypass the skin and mucous membranes (which line the nose, airways, gastrointestinal tract and urinary system), otherwise the large macrophage white cells at these sites would destroy the strains before they had a chance to engage with the deeper immune cells. Of the lymphocyte class of white cells, the T lymphocytes are the overall key guidance for the rest of the system. The B lymphocytes are instructed to manufacture a large number of antibodies, predominantly of the IGM class (which are specific proteins recognizing the antigen or microbe), which, when released, act to mark the microbial material. This leads to direct deactivation or promotion of other phagocytic white cells to enter the scene and mop up residual material. Normally this process takes a few weeks to create enough specific antibodies for that pathogen and provides one part of the overall immune response.
By administering booster doses of the vaccines a few weeks or months apart, the level of antibody production is much increased. After the event, the B lymphocytes recruited for the process do not return back to the general pool of B cells (which circulate within the blood, lymph nodes, spleen, liver and bone marrow). Instead, they are placed into ‘hibernation’ within these tissues; able to retain a memory of the antibody produced. Any future contact with the wild type of the pathogen leads to activation of this cohort of B cells, leading to a rapid response of antibody production, effectively mopping up the pathogens before they can significantly infest the body. Of course, the theory is very attractive, and leads many medical doctors and vetss to believe we should vaccinate more often and to many more diseases. The safety is unquestioned and any attention to the risks often suppressed.
However, the immune system is now working overtime in manufacturing the very high levels of antibodies required. (unhealthy chronically inflamed Th 2 bias-humoral bias now replaces the healthy Th 1 bias) There is never, in reality, a situation of multiple infections by several pathogens all occurring at the same time. Instead, the body tends to experience one infection at a time, such as bordetella followed by a chest infection and then gastroenteritis. It is definitely impossible for any dog to become infected by parvovirus, distemper, adenovirus, canine influenza, leptospirosis, bordetella, Lyme disease and rabies all at the same time. Even a few of these pathogens do not co-exist as a single infective episode. However, the immune system is forced to manufacture antibodies to all these pathogens, and all at the same time.
With the frequent booster doses given to young dogs, the immune system is never given a rest from specific antibody manufacture. This leads to chronic immune deficiency with respect to any ability to respond to other pathogens. Vaccination commits immune cells to the specific antigens involved in the vaccine, and thus renders them incapable of reacting to other infections. In effect, the immunity is lowered. Puppies contract other infections they would not normally have – which leads to unnecessary antibiotic use.
The Defense Chi
Of vital importance in Chinese medicine is the Wei Chi or Defense Chi of the body. This is a defensive layer of energy around and through the entire being, and is governed by the adrenal/kidney chi and lung chi. It prevents exterior pathogenic factors (which equate to our modern understanding of microbes and environmental triggers such as pollens and damp weather) from invading the deeper body. It broadly equates also to the mucosal immunity referred to in western medicine, which is regulated by the large macrophage white cells within the skin and mucosal membranes. These are specialist sentry cells able to engulf invading matter before it penetrates the core of the body. There is also a production of a different class of antibody, the IGA type, by B lymphocytes in the mucosal linings. These are the first line of antibody defense and are not stimulated by vaccines. By injecting disease material past the surface layer of immune cells, the body experiences a rift in its Defense Chi. It can no longer trust its mucosal immunity. The result is the easier penetration of other microbes and environmental factors into the core of the body, aggravating the tendency to recurrent infection and allergy.
The high level of white cell activation alongside the bacterial waste leads to mucus or pus (which is a matrix of fluid, dead and live white cells and bacteria). Mucus is actually a gel, and, as such, it becomes watery and runny when warmed, and thicker when cooled. Fever is the body’s response to an infection or inflammation, and is triggered by special pyrogenic hormones from the hypothalamus. By suppressing the fever, dogs can end up with chronic ear problems. Mucus also tends to accumulate within the gut and urinary system. In doing so, this mucus becomes a culture medium for further bacterial growth, aggravating the state of recurrent infections.
So many antibodies are produced by the immune system during the first few years after vaccination that many become abnormal. There is only so much a young immune system can do, and the vaccination regimen has pushed it way over the limit.
Therefore, many B lymphocytes are under immense strain and do not produce antibodies specific enough to the vaccine. In addition, protein metabolism becomes chaotic and disorderly, leading to mutant antibodies becoming auto-antibodies. These attack the body’s own cells and tissues, leading to a large number of increasing diseases, such as hypothyroidism, joint disease and inflammation and cancer. The fact that many of these problems surface several years after vaccination is irrelevant – it takes this long for the abnormal antibodies to eventually build up to pathogenic levels.
The immune system is guided to react to other foreign agents with the same hyperactive production of antibodies. Rather like an abused child, the immune system becomes extremely vulnerable. It becomes hypersensitive to environmental triggers, no longer able to discern friend from foe. This has contributed to the enormous increase in allergies.
Although the exact allergenic trigger is important to identify, the fact remains that the underlying immune terrain is abnormal. Many puppies acquire allergies within weeks of the vaccination, although a lag phase of several weeks or months is not unusual, as the immune hypersensitivity builds up.[3,4]
The dangers of vaccination are beginning to be revealed and the best time to start your research is before you vaccinate your dog, not after he has suffered an adverse reaction from an unnecessary vaccine. You can learn more about vaccinating your puppy with our Puppy Vaccination Guide.
Homeopathic solutions are also available, both as an alternative to vaccination and to treat adverse events. Read here to see how nosodes can help your dog.
1. Krober MS, Stracenar CE and Bass JW. Decreased measles antibody response after measles-mumps-rubella vaccine in infants with colds. Journal of the American Medical Association 265(16): 2095-8. 1991.
2. Maciocia G. Foundations of Chinese Medicine. Churchill Livingstone. 1990.
3. Cookson WOCM and Moffat MF. Asthma: An Epidemic in the Absence of Infection? Science 275: 41-2.1997.
4. Martinez FD. Role of viral infections in the inception of asthma and allergies during childhood: could they be protective? Thorax 49:1189-91. 1994.