Dr. Ana Falk, DVM


This Month’s Question is on the Subject of VACCINATIONS

Having lived in both Ecuador, where most people do not vaccinate their pets, and in the USA, where most people do, I have a unique advantage in evaluating the response to vaccines.

First, what is a vaccine: a vaccine is made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe or its parts. When injected into the body, it produces an immune response that protects the body if exposed to the real disease.

We do not use homeopathic vaccines (nosodes) for prevention of disease; in this matter we agree with one of the best known human homeopathic doctors in the world, Dr. George Vithoulkas: “the concept of prevention in homeopathy is not a valid one. The reason being, a remedy will act if you have the symptoms of the remedy”. If there are no symptoms of disease what would the remedy do? Using nosodes for prevention will at best do nothing, and at worst the patient may prove the remedy.

In this instance, prove means to develop the symptoms of the remedy. Homeopathic medications are developed by administering a medication to a group of healthy individuals (usually humans) and recording the symptoms the medication produces in these individuals. This is called a proving of a remedy.

In Ecuador – where only a minority of the canine population is vaccinated – dogs with parvovirus and distemper are hospitalized on a daily basis. Sadly, most of these pets die, despite aggressive traditional and holistic treatment.

An example of proper vaccination: vaccinating only healthy animals, vaccinating at the appropriate age, and with the appropriate vaccine schedule. This procedure is effective, and does protect against the particular disease the vaccine is made for.

During my ten years of practicing in the United States, I have seen about five times the number of confirmed (by test) parvovirus cases in unvaccinated dogs, or dogs that had only received one vaccine.

I have yet to see here a pet with distemper. What used to be a daily concern in Ecuador is almost nonexistent in my practice in Iowa. This is due to over 90% of the pets receiving regular vaccinations.

The notion that vaccines are ineffective is invalid. Vaccines are effective but may come at a price.

Dr. Vithoulkas states: “the experience of astute homeopathic observers has shown conclusively that in a high percentage of cases, vaccination has a profoundly disturbing effect on the health of an individual, particularly in the relation to chronic disease”.

The adverse effects of vaccines and reactions make for a lengthy discussion; they are well documented by Dr. Jean Dodds at hemopet.org.

It is my belief – and that of most homeopathic doctors – that many chronic illnesses are the result of over vaccination. Having said that, however, I would prefer to treat a pet with chronic skin allergies than one with parvovirus or distemper. Someone who answers otherwise probably hasn’t had a patient that did not respond to any form of treatment and had a seizure that resulted in death, all from a disease that could have been easily prevented with vaccination.

To summarize, vaccines allow us to protect companion animals effectively against serious disease, but that protection comes at a price. To minimize the price, we recommend a vaccination schedule that is customized to our patient’s situation. One size does not fit all.

For protecting pets we evaluate the risk to an individual patient, recommend a cautious use of vaccines, and use vaccine titers, so we vaccinate only when needed.


Dodds, J. (2009, August 6). Treating Adverse Vaccine Reactions [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://www.dogs4dogs.com/blog/2009/08/06/treating-adverse-vaccine-reactions-by-jean-dodds-dvm/

Dodds, J. (2010). Vaccine Protocol 2010 http://www.dogs4dogs.com/puppy-shots.htm

Hahnemann, S. (1982). Organon of Medicine. ‘s Organon, § 121, 126, 141, 143.

Pitcairn, Richard H. (1995). Natural Health for Dogs & Cats, 2nd ed., Rodale Press, INC Emmaus, Pennsylvania, pp. 321-326

Vithoulkas.com/content videos, 2nd video. http://www.vithoulkas.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1693

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