Originally published May 2 2012
Nosodes: The Homeopathic Alternative to Vaccines - by Celeste Yarnall, Ph.D
by Celeste Yarnall
(NaturalNews) Vaccination has become a highly controversial subject, those of us who challenge the concept are treated as if we are against apple pie and motherhood. I consider conventional vaccines to be extremely risky.
Many veterinarians agree that vaccination is one of the most harmful things we do to our animals because of the severity of potential reactions, both short and long term, many of which are fatal.
Why do we vaccinate? We're afraid our children and or our animals will get certain diseases. If we were offered a single vaccine to protect the ones we love against any possible ailment, we would welcome it without question. However we have to ask ourselves, "What are we doing to the whole animal, and their whole immune system? Why are, dogs and cats becoming more unhealthy, living shorter life spans, and having smaller litters? New diseases have appeared even since we started vaccinating so heavily.
Are there alternatives to vaccinating against specific diseases? And if you feel your dog or cat needs immunization but are now fearful of conventional vaccines, see http://www.naturalnews.com/032708_pet_vaccines_scam.html what can you do? The answer is, you can consider nosodes, which are homeopathic remedies. For a discussion about homeopathy for our pets see http://www.naturalnews.com/033853_homeopathy_pets.html
Note: our discussion here will not include the legal requirements of vaccination, its pro's nor cons, just the use of nosodes and what they are. In a perfect world the choice would be ours alone.
If you decide to use any nosodes or homeopathic course of therapy either for a disease condition or prophylactically, please contact a homeopathic veterinarian for recommendations as to 'how and when' to administer them for your dog or cat individually.
The intent of this article is for information purposes only and not to be used as a 'DIY' guide. Even though nosodes are deemed to be safe by the homeopathic veterinary community who have used them for many years, caution is advised.
What are nosodes and how are they made?
Nosodes are made from diseased tissues or discharges from an infected but unvaccinated and untreated animal. Many people think of nosodes simply as homeopathic vaccines but this is not their only function. Nosodes can be administered either therapeutically (in order to treat a disease) or prophylactically in order to prevent a disease.
Though nosodes do contain a causative organism, their efficacy doesn't depend on the presence of the organism itself. It is the substances formed by the animal's immune system in response to invasion by bacteria or viruses that make nosodes effective. In homeopathic terms, the substance in the nosode was taken from an animal suffering from a disease that manifested itself in a certain symptomatic picture, so the nosode is adminisered to an animal (or person) whose condition resembles that picture. For instance, the nosode, distemperinum may be used to treat distemper and the immune response to this or any nosode offers a more natural response to disease without the introduction of killed or modified viruses and harmful preservatives that can weaken the immune system when injected directly into the blood stream. It is important to note that very few diseases are introduced directly into the blood stream. Unlike vaccines, nosodes are said to be safe and many homeopathically trained veterinarians feel they are highly effective and valuable tools in the prevention of various feline and canine diseases.
A nosode is considered to be a particular homeopathic remedy, that can be administered to both cats and dogs rather easily, because the nosodes action works with the mucous membranes in the mouth. Your dog or cat doesn't need to ingest or swallow the remedy, its coating merely dissolves in their mouth which doesn't have to be opened. It's fine if it is dissolved under their tongue or around their gums or inside the lip. They come in tiny pellets or even powders. Some homeopathic vets will make up an easy to administer liquid form, as well.
Many nosodes have been 'proved' homeopathically ('proving' is the homeopathic procedure for ascertaining the effects of substances by administering them to healthy subjects in order to observe and record symptoms) and have an established homeopathic picture, but since most veterinary nosodes have only recently been developed, there have been no in depth 'provings.' The nosodes are primarilty used today for the prevention of a given disease or in its treatment. In some cases, the use of nosodes has brought out symptoms of a latent disease, but we don't know of their ever having produced the disease itself.
As with conventional vaccines, nosodes should be administered only to healthy animals when used preventatively. When they are given to sick animals (even those with only subtle symptoms such as thirst, a red line on the gums, or a dry coat), some dogs or cats may actually exhibit deeper signs of existing illness.
Currently nosodes are controversial for several reasons and even homeopaths pose the question as to whether or not the nosodes should be used at all for prevention? Just like the age old question in homeopathy is examined and debated often as to whether they should or should not be administered in combinations, ie kennel cough, distemper and rabies, or one at a time with a break in between. Should they be used routinely for prevention, like 'boosters', or only after exposure to a particular disease, or as a remedy when the animal has actually contracted the disease? For how long do they protect the animal? You can see by all these questions that much more work needs to be done to evaluate and standardize the use of nosodes, but none the less it is a protocol often advised by homeopathic veterinarians and one that is certainly worth our time and consideration as a safe and effective alternative to traditional vaccines.
My advice is to do a consultation via telephone with a holistic veterinarian. Richard Pitcairn, DVM is perhaps the most famous of our living homeopathic veterinarians and an extraordinary teacher on the subject. He offers a list of practitioners who have passed his training course.
Some of these practitioners will advise that it's best to boost your dog and cats immunity with a species specific homemade raw meat and raw bone diet, with whole food supplements, such as advocated in, The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care: An Illustrated Handbook or Natural Dog Care: A Complete Guide to Holistic Health Care for Dogs. Others prefer homeopathic treatment, and some promote the use of nosodes not only as being perfectly safe but as being the best alternative to conventional vaccination. Of course, nosodes are not always effective -- but neither are conventional vaccines.
The British homeopath, C. E. I. Day has shown that homeopathic vaccines may effectively protect against kennel cough. This was well documented in, "Isopathic Prevention of Kennel Cough -- Is Vaccination Justified?" International Journal for Homeopathy, Apr. 1987, pp. 45-50.
Day showed the use of conventional vaccination to be ineffective during an outbreak of kennel cough among forty dogs. Eighteen of the forty dogs had been previously vaccinated with P13 and Bordetella before the outbreak. Every one of the vaccinated dogs became ill with a cough (100 percent), but only nineteen of the remaining twenty-two unvaccinated dogs developed symptoms (86 per-cent).The symptoms were severe, and the owners decided to try the kennel cough nosode. Over the next several months, a total of 214 dogs were treated with the nosode and observed.The incidence of kennel cough decreased in the previously unvaccinated dogs.
Historically, nosodes and homeopathic remedies have been most successful in the midst of human epidemics, which is probably when to best use these remedies in animals as well. Many holistic veterinarians advocate that your new dog or cat should be put on a fresh food diet consisting of grass fed, pasture raised raw meat and raw bones, some food processed raw organic vegetables, and quality whole food supplements to boost the immune system naturally and that good health will naturally ensue. See the reasons why here: http://www.NaturalNews.com/032830_pet_food_ingredients.html
If you have consulted with a holistic veterinarian you already have learned this no doubt and perhaps he or she has treated your dog or cat with homeopathy for a previous vaccine related or other health issue in order to eliminate any of the subtle signs of underlying energy imbalance.You have purposefully chosen to not undermine the system by immunizing the animal further.Then lets suggest hypothetically that you go to a dog or cat show, a dog park or bring home a stray that you've rescued and soon after you hear of an outbreak of distemper (canine or feline) at the show or in the neighborhood.Your vet advises you to give one 200C dose of the nosode for distemper as well as herbal or dietary supplements to further stimulate the immune system, and you watch and wait to see if any symptoms develop. If they do, you treat them homeopathically with the help of your holistic veterinarian. Unfortunately, the notion of using nosodes on an ongoing basis is slipping into our modern rationale of protecting the body with something artificial because it can't be healthy enough to protect itself. But far better than using vaccines or even nosodes -- supposedly to prevent or control disease -- is to have your dog or cat be so healthy that you don't feel the need to protect against any specific disease.
Indeed, there's a trend among many holistic veterinarians to use nosodes in place of vaccines. Many homeopathic vets feel they're far less risky than conventional vaccines as a preventative protocol. Nosodes are most often given orally, but they can be injected as well; and can be done into acupuncture points by a qualified practitioner trained in what is known as the BHI/HEEL homotoxicology method http://www.heelusa.com/About/default.aspx or using the Guna Method http://www.gunainc.com/pagina.php?mnu=7&id=35.
One reason so many people like to use nosodes, as opposed to traditional vaccines is that they are extremely easy to administer, not traumatic at all to the animal, and can be given to both kittens and puppies much sooner than traditional vaccines Even pregnant female cats or dogs can be treated with nosodes prior to giving birth, it is hoped that this will provide some additional immunity to their litters before they are born.
Single nosodes today (rather than combinations) are probably the most popular and most vets will be using ascending potencies (30C, 200C, and 1M for kittens and puppies) of the individual nosodes
If you are caring for the health of very young pups or kittens some homeopathic vets might suggest that you begin nosodes at eight weeks of age or older, according to the following protocol (one dose is three granules given orally or a drop or two of a liquid preparation):
One dose of 30C twice in one day.
One week later, one dose of 30C.
One week later, one dose of 200C.
One month later, one dose of 200C.
One month later, one dose of 1M.
Six months later, one dose of 1M.
Another alternative which some homeopathic vets prefer is to use only the 30C potency on the same timetable.Yet another protocol is to work only with LM (50 millesimal) highly energetic, potencies on a more frequent basis for the first five to six months of the pup or kittens life, but these potencies should only be prescribed by very experienced homeopathic veterinarians.
This schedule may be "boostered up" every six months if your homeopathic veterinarian feels it's necessary or used only after potential exposure.Your veterinarian will advise you about what the best regimen is for your particular dog or cat and which nosodes to use. Again you will find the two schools of thought out there regarding combination or individual nosodes. If you are advised to go with the individual nosodes most vets will start with the distemper nosode and wait until step 3 in the above schedule before adding any other nosode.
Some holistic veterinarians ecommend and advise the oral administration of nosodes, with follow-up doses to be put in the water bowl.This may according to some, be problematic as nosodes are not food supplements but extremely energetic remedies. First of all they should only be used in distilled water, in glass vessels, on an empty stomach and it is always best that they be used under the strictest guidelines, so seek a second opinion if this manner of administration is suggested to you.When used haphazardly or on a long-term basis, nosodes may cause an aggravation (symptoms that actually mimic the remedy, that is, look like the disease you're trying to prevent), as can any homeopathic remedy. This scenario would be unlikely to occur when using very energetic remedies such as the highly energetic, LM potencies.
Keep informed by reading what holistic veterinarians and practitioners in the holistic community share on line as we all care deeply about the welfare of companion animals. Feel free to share information with all of us as we tend to network actively.
Remember, the jury is still out on nosodes. Opinion is deeply divided and has been for some time.To repeat my feeling about using any substance, conventional or not: A healthful lifestyle, with plenty of fresh raw meat and raw bones for both dogs and cats for all the reasons I have outlined here, http://www.NaturalNews.com/032830_pet_food_ingredients.html along with proper hygiene, are what keeps our animal companions immune systems at their peak.
Let's encourage research dollars whenever and however we can to be spent on natural ways to build up the immunity of both ourselves, our children and our companion animals so that we can, at long last, prove the efficacy of holistic health care and homeopathic options!
To take part in being proactive with regard to vaccine dangers and what you can do to be proactive visit: http://www.petparentsactiongroup.org/supporters-list.html
About the author:
Celeste Yarnall, is an author/blogger and holistic heath care advocate for both people and pets and specializes in anti-aging modalities. She is the author of 4 books on holistic health care for dogs and cats. Her latest book is entitled, The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care, an illustrated guide, co-authored with Jean Hofve, DVM. Holistic Cat Care is the first anti-aging book written for pets and won the 2010 CWA Muse Medallion Award. Celeste and her husband Nazim Artist have created the Art of Wellness Collection, which combines various holistic modalities and life coaching services for people and pets with fine art, which includes an all natural glaze on Nazim?s paintings that cleans the air of mold, fungus, bacteria and odors. They live and work in Los Angeles, CA with their 3 Tonkinese Cats.
Celeste can be reached through her website, www.Celestialpets.com. She can be followed at her Art of Wellness Collection blog at