Wimberley Complementary Pet Care, PLLC
Pet vaccinations and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) are the subject of this season’s newsletter. Full disclosure necessitates that this column is informational only; the facts put forth in the body of this newsletter are substantiated and have been reviewed by veterinary pathologists and researchers in private, industrial and university communities.
Pet owners have asked me about vaccinating their pets against the standard diseases that can continue to be a problem in the “real world”. Canine distemper, canine and feline parvovirus, rabies and others, a long list no matter who is asked, can and do occasionally surface in Central Texas. The most troubling, from the public health standpoint, is rabies, a viral disease that is almost uniformly fatal, carried by bats, feral cats and coyotes, and is capable of infecting humans if they fail to observe common sense when interacting with animals that may be rabid. Our rabies-vaccinated pets are the “buffer” we need to maintain to help best keep us from harm. Because of this fact, and because rabies vaccines are mandated by county laws, this article will not address this vaccination protocol, except to recommend having your pets vaccinated with the appropriate product at the appropriate interval; usually a three-year vaccine is administered after the first year and, unless otherwise indicated by the manufacturer, is given every three years for life.
Vaccination for other pet diseases should be given during the first few months of life, along with initial examinations and lab checks for parasites, internal and external. Upon completion of a good immunization protocol, the “core” vaccines (distemper, rabies, parvovirus, adenovirus, etc.) are bolstered after the first year and thereafter “when appropriate”. Conventional veterinary medicine has determined, scientifically, that a well-vaccinated puppy or kitten, in a state of good health, should be protected for many years following their initial boosters at one year of age. Why is this important?
TCVM recognizes disease states as a condition of imbalance, usually a state of deficiency or of excess. Viral diseases are seen as invasion of heat (an excess), one of the six pathogens with which the body must contend. This is an excess condition. Ironically, vaccines are seen to be an invasion of heat also, and, as such, can lead to conditions that are unrelated to the diseases for which the vaccines were administered. One example is the development of injection-site sarcoma in cats. This is a devastating cancer that can be detected anytime from 4 months to 13 years following an injection, usually a product that has an adjuvant to enhance the immune response of the patient.
In TCVM, the healthy pet, having been appropriately vaccinated as a youngster and as a young adult, should be able to withstand any exposure to the diseases mentioned above. Qi, specifically Wei Qi, or Zheng Qi, is present on the surface and will protect against pathogenic invasion. Wei Qi is produced by good nutrition and healthy life-style. When there is a deficiency of Qi, invasion of one of the pathogens (wind, cold, heat, dryness, dampness or summer heat) can easily happen.
When heat invades the body, changes in the Yin/Yang cycle can lead to anything from a fever to a malignant tumor. Blood vessels and body fluids are damaged by internal heat, which can lead to autoimmune diseases and development of “damp” conditions, such as chronic skin and urinary “infections”. Damaged Wei Qi can lead to parasitic skin diseases in mature pets that are rarely seen after the first year.
The cause and effect of over vaccination is hard to prove, and depending on one’s point of view, is easily overlooked or overemphasized. Discuss vaccines with your pets’ primary care provider. Request and expect annual examinations for healthy adults and more frequently for older, senior pets. Do not accept a chronic condition as permanent; TCVM can often resolve the issue if time enough is afforded. NEVER allow a vaccine to be given to a pet whose health status is in question. Try to avoid vaccination of pets undergoing a stressful time, i.e., surgery or hospitalization. In short, ask that vaccines be given at appropriate intervals with the most appropriate product.