Is Your Dog Toxic?  

   Chances are, if you are giving yearly vaccines, heartworm medication, antibiotics or flea treatments, your dog is quite toxic.  This means that he cannot remain in a true state of health.  His immune system is compromised and he is more susceptible to disease, skin problems, parasites and fleas. 
   Before we get into how to clear the toxins and rebuild a healthy immune system lets understand some of the factors harming the immune system. 

    I would say "both", depending on how the vaccines are used.  Given their overuse today, they are more likely to fall into the "foe" category.  Vaccines, as we know, are meant to introduce the disease to the body and the body is supposed to fight it off, building an immunity to that disease. Immunity to disease is obviously good, but there may be some unpleasant riders on that bill.  When you give a vaccine, toxins and preservatives are also introduced to the body.  Now the world isn't perfect and dogs do drink out of toilets, so a few toxins and preservatives don't outweigh the good of vaccines.. However, I want you to consider what 4-way, 5-way, up to an 8-way (Combination ) vaccines are really doing to the body.  You are introducing 4, 5, 8 etc. diseases to the body at one time.  This has never seemed like a good idea to me.  The body can fight one disease (toxins added) and win the war for greater good.  But introduce a group of well-meaning bad boys (i.e., Combination Vaccines) and your dog begins to lose ground with health.  Now, remember that we are doing this to a immature, growing, developing body and we have compounded the problem/assault.  If we do it year after year, we begin to see a myriad of problems which seem to increase with each generation.  Am I suggesting that vaccines are the culprit for all or most of our health problems?  No, but I am suggesting that instead of having the vaccines work for us, we have allowed them to work against us through over-use. 
    I personally give only 1 killed Parvo vaccine to pups at 6 weeks old and they get homeopathic nosodes (preventative) for canine disease from then on.  It has been my experience that not everyone is comfortable giving nosodes until they know someone who has used them for an extended period of time.  You must feel confident about how your choose to protect your dog.  So if you aren't ready for nosodes, this may help.  If I were giving vaccines I would adhere to the following rules: 
1. Never give a Modified Live Parvo vaccine - -only Killed. 
2. Never give a vaccine in conjunction with another vaccine (e.g., Parvo & Distemper) 
3. Never give anything with a rabies vaccine. 
4. If your dog is not in top health (you know him better than anyone) Do not give any vaccine. 
5. Give at least 2 weeks between vaccines. 
6. 1 would not give Lyme or Bordella Vaccines 
7. 1 would not give vaccines after the age of 2 years (other than what is required by law) 
8. If concerned, have a titer for the disease done by your veterinarian rather than give an unnecessary vaccine.  A titer is a test taken to see if your dog has an immunity to the tested disease.
    Remember that children do not get vaccines every year, therefore, we should question why we would give annual vaccines to our dogs. 

    What are nosodes?  There are two explanations to this question, one is a detailed in-depth explanation and the other is one that everyone will understand, we will go with the later.  Nosodes are the homeopathic version of a vaccine or preventative.  A nosode introduces the disease through the molecular memory.  Therefore, when the dog comes in contact with the disease, the body recognizes and rejects it.  With nosodes, there are no toxins or preservatives introduced to the body.  Nosodes work with the antibodies in the mother's milk, rather than against them as with conventional vaccines.  This is an interesting point to consider.  Puppy vaccines are given in a series up to 16 weeks of age.  The vaccine is fighting with mother's antibodies that were meant to protect her babies.  So, the vaccine is given and a war is waged.  The vaccine takes over initially and holds its own until Momís antibodies take over once again, then, Zap!, re-vaccination, and the battle rages on once again.  The period of 0 to 10 days after giving a vaccine is when your pup is at his greatest risk.  Typically Momís antibodies have handed over the baton to the young puppies themselves who's immune system should be strong enough at 16 weeks old to take over.  Instead, what happens only too often is that another vaccine is given, inhibiting the immune system at a very critical time in a young puppy's life. 
    The nosode, on the other hand, assists Momís antibodies helping support and strengthen the immune system. 
Can a dog who has had nosodes come in contact with and contract Parvo?    YES 
Can a dog who has had vaccines come in contact with and contract Parvo?    YES
    Now, again this touchy immune system "thing" comes into play.  The body that has had the nosode is not impaired, thus giving that dog a much better chance of recovery.  The dog who has had vaccines and contracts Parvo is in real danger. If a vaccinated pet comes in contact with and contracts Parvo, this says the immunity that was supposed to have developed, via the vaccine, did not develop. Therefore, the disease that was introduced with the vaccine itself has a foothold.  This, in effect puts the dog who had the vaccination at a much greater risk than the dog who received a nosode.  The immune system is probably not in top shape and this dog will need to fight very hard to survive. 

    Many breeders will not give heartworm medication to any breeding animal.  Is this valid?  Are they putting these special dogs at risk?  Once again, we are back to weighing the pros and cons.  Lets look at why we are giving heartworm medication.  We obviously love our animals and do not want them to get heartworm.  The treatment for heartworm is expensive and perilous.  So, because we care so much and are reacting from a base of fear, we have chosen to give our special pets a poison on a monthly basis for something that they do not have.  Does this sound like a good idea to you?  As a breeder and canine professional, I feel that the damage to the body far outweighs the risk of heartworm, and not only will I not give it, I strongly advise my puppy buyers not to give heartworm medication either. 
    Are there any alternatives? -Yes.  In herbology there are many avenues open to us. In Homeopathic medicine, you can get a heartworm nosode from a licensed Veterinarian who is holistic.  It has shown to be as efficacious as the allopathic heartworm medications and does not damage the body in any way.  I must mention that a dog in a true state of health will naturally fend off heartworms.  So, our well-meaning treatment demeans their overall state of health and puts them at greater risk for everything we fear.  Are you beginning to feel that you want to get off the merry-go-round?  An added bonus is that homeopathic heartworm nosodes (after the initial dosages) are given 1 tablet by mouth every 6 months and a 5 year supply for one dog is going to cost you less than $20.00. 

    My "pros and cons" way of thought, is especially valid with antibiotics.  Any healer that pushes one practice, (i.e. allopathic vs. holistic) to the exclusion of all others is self-limiting and is not doing the best they can for those who come for their help.  I feel, along with much of the world, that we have become a drug based society and the art of healing has been squashed by the penchant for prescribing.  We have an heard about the serious consequences of over use of drugs, especially antibiotics. 
    Ask yourself if what you are dealing with is life threatening.  If the answer is "yes" then you may wish to palliate or suppress the symptoms. @ buys you more time to work on a cure.  Often this is where antibiotics are a blessing and a gift.  Remember, that antibiotics retard healing and impugn the immune system and do not work on anything viral.  Antibiotics are not the answer in an cases, in fact, they are the answer in a rather limited number of cases.  But, when they are indicated, they can be life saving. 
    If the answer is "No", it is not life threatening then please learn to school yourself to give the body a chance to do its job.  Do not treat what you do not see.  Find ways of assisting the body in its journey to a cure.  This is where a holistic practitioner or holistic veterinarian will be invaluable to you. 
    How to treat or not to treat, which modality to use, can be intimidating at first and there is so much information to impart that I cannot go into it here in the detail it deserves.  Here is a list of basic rules I follow that may work for you also: 
1. If it isn't life threatening wait or assist the body with nutrition or one of the holistic modalities that is indicated. 
2. If it is a skin problem, steer clear of antibiotics.  There is a lot you can do, but again, this is another whole subject. 
3. Never give cortisone in any form, unless without it the animal would die. 
4. Think "health and cure", not "quick fixes".
    I have to make mention of the whole flea situation because the way we deal with these pests is almost comical.  These "masters of the itch" have most of us in a state of anxiety a good deal of the time.  So once again, we poison our dogs because we love them so much. [I think there is a pattern here.] Let's talk about fleas.  If I lined up 10 dogs and let out a bucket of fleas, then examined the dogs, the fleas would not have gone to the dogs equally.  Without further examination I can tell you that the dogs with the most fleas have a slightly elevated temperature and that something is going on in their bodies,( i.e.., their immune system is down).  There are a few other factors that can make a dog very attractive to fleas - foremost being diet.  Again, another subject and one which I will address at another time. 
    So, we have this dog that has the dreaded "fleas" and our response to the signals of an impaired (from slightly to extensively) immune system is to poison his and our environment with chemicals.  First we begin by applying chemicals inside and outside our homes, then we bath them with more chemicals, then the greatest insult, administering yet another chemical to the body directly.  Lets think about what we are doing when we give our dogs something that brings their body to such a state of toxicity that when a flea bites them, the flea dies.  All along, what your dog was saying to you is that things aren't perfect with his body.  Maybe he was stressed, tired, has an earache, eating poor quality food or something more serious.  Our response would be much more appropriate if we evaluated his diet, increased certain vitamins and cleared the toxins.  If we "nuked" the planet, the fleas would survive, so, isn't our present approach a bit silly, not to mention counter productive. 
    If you have a flea problem there are many ways to deal with it.  First and foremost, evaluate what is going on with your dog.  Build their immune system and correct what the problems are.  Along with this, you must rid your environment of the fleas.  Add tea tree oil, (from health food store) approx.. 10 drops, with your regular dog shampoo and wash your pet.  Daily, spray your dog with a mist of water and apple cider vinegar, which makes him less attractive to the flea.  As a bonus, the vinegar is good for the coat.  If you have skin and coat damage from itching, the vinegar will help heal it.  Give him a dose of homeopathic sulphur 30c twice daily for a week, then once a day for another week.  A dose is 3 to 6 pellets by mouth, given 1/2 hour away from food. (Do not put any pellet that has touched your hand back into the bottle as it will contaminate the bottle.  Store homeopathics away from electromagnetic fields such as those given off from TVs, refrigerators, microwaves and sunlight).  As for the environment itself there are many viable avenues.  I have used Diatomaceous Earth with success.  Use only the food grade, as the pool grade has been treated with a chemical and can be hard on your lungs if inhaled.  This is actually a small sea urchin that has sharp points.  When a flea crawls over one it cuts the fleas shell and they dehydrate.  So sprinkle (it is a white powder) the diatomaceous earth, over all floors, bedding, and furniture that you wish to rid of fleas.  It takes a couple of days and sometimes more than one treatment, but it does work. 

As I have said before, nutrition is the cornerstone of health and I will devote an article specifically to nutrition and nutritional therapies in the near future.  The products on the market have been so lacking for so long and the labels have sought to deceive the public that in defense I and a host of experts formulated an all natural food for dogs aimed at top nutrition and digestibility.  I want to give you the basics so that you can make informed choices.  As with other subjects there are a few rules to good feeding. 
1. Only feed an All Natural Food 
2. Low Protein, High Fat 
3. No By-Product of any kind 
4. No Chemical Preservatives 
5. No Beet Pulp 
6. No Fillers 
7. Yes Chelated Minerals 
8. Yes Digestive Enzymes 
9. Yes Balanced proteins, fats, carbs
    Hopefully, you have evaluated the food you are feeding and your canine friend is now or still eating the best.  The next step is to clear the toxins, which is actually the easy part.  Armed with knowledge and desire we can all help our dogs live longer and have fuller lives. 
    You can get the following from a health food store or a homeopathic vet. [It does not matter if they chew the pellets, swallow them or just let them dissolve in their mouth.] 

Homeopathic Sulphur 200c  Give I dose (3 to 6 pellets) by mouth, one time, it helps to clear toxins & excellent for the skin 
wait 2 weeks and give
Homeopathic Thuja 200c  One dose by mouth one time-clears toxins, especially vaccine toxins. 
Now we are going to do a few extra things to build up the immune system.
Echnecia Tincture (liquid)  5-6 drops in water bowl daily for about a month; natural antibiotic and builds immune system
Fresh Garlic or Garlic Gel Capsules  It is a natural antibiotic.- add it to the food
Vitamin C in the form of Sodium or Calcium Ascorbate or Ester C.  I use Sodium Ascorbate due to cost, 1 tsp. is 4000 mg.. Vitamin C is a mustduring times of stress, illness or recovery.  Give it in the food or water.  Vitamin C only stays in the body for about 4 hours so it is a good idea to give smaller doses several times daily.  I give 20OOrng in the AM and 2000 (1/ 2tsp) in the PM.  Do not give ascorbic acid (the Vit C we take).  Dogs do not metabolize it as well and it can be tough on their stomach.
Vitamin E is an enabler for everything else to work better with the body.  I always use it with injuries, but it is invaluable in building an immune system. Only use natural Vit E and don't believe what is written on the bottle, check for yourself.  If it says d-alpha, it is natural.  If it says dl-alpha, it is synthetic.  Give 4OOlU to 8OOlU daily depending on the situation.  The 4OOlU dosage is a good maintenance dosage for a medium to large dog. 1OOlU to 2OOlU for small dogs.  In times of injury or illness I give the 8001U, again less for small dogs.
    You are now well on your way to taking your dog to a greater state of health.  If you have specific problems, there is a list of homeopathic veterinarians at the end of this article that you may call.  If you know of a good homeopath that I have not listed, please send me their name and address and I will include them in future publications. 
    The material presented here is not meant to convince you to turn your back on allopathic medicine.  It is meant to give you enough information to question what you have done in the past.  Look at your dog and determine if he is truly healthy.  We have gotten so used to accepting degrees of health, that we no longer expect true health in ourselves or our canine companions.  So look hard, evaluate and be open to another way. 
Dr. Stephen Tobin 
Dr. Jeff Levy 
Dr. Steve Blake 
Dr. Don Hamilton 
Dr. Iris Prestas 
Dr. Sandra Priest

Susann Everett is President Beowulf Natural Feeds Inc.; formulator and manufacturer of BACK TO BASICS, a SUPER PREMIUM FOOD FOR DOGS; and owner/breeder of Beowulf Mastiffs.  Ms. Everett lectures throughout US and Canada on canine nutrition and holistic medicine.  She is a professional handler and a canine behavioral consultant. 

This material is copyrighted, 1997.  May not be used in, whole or part, anyway or shape with out written permission from the author.