Homeopathic nosodes are a vaccine alternative for dogs.
Although homeopathic nosodes have not been scientifically proven to prevent disease, many people use this oral remedy as a vaccine alternative for dogs. Nosodes are made from byproducts of a disease, such as mucus. The substances are isolated and diluted until they retain none of the actual disease, only the energetic components that help the immune system produce antibodies. There is no risk of catching a disease, as all live organisms have been deactivated.
Canine Distemper Nosodes
Canine distemper is a highly contagious, airborne virus contracted from wild animals such as wolves and raccoons. The virus attacks a dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous system and can result in pneumonia, lethargy, seizures and paralysis. There is no cure, and although the risk of contracting distemper is low, many veterinarians still vaccinate for the disease. Holistic veterinarian Dr. Martin Goldstein believes that dogs have a higher risk of contracting a chronic form of this disease from the vaccine itself (called vaccinosis). Many pet parents who believe in holistic medicine and want to avoid vaccines will often pursue the Canine Distemper Nosode for this disease.
While there is controversy over the effectiveness of nosodes in veterinary medicine, Dr. John Saxton MRCVS VetMFHom, a British homeopathic veterinarian, presented a paper in 1991, which showed that “of dogs kept in the kennels for 8 days, 11.67% showed clinical signs of distemper on the 5th day prior to the introduction of nosodes, dropping to 4.36% after the nosodes were introduced. Where the entire kennel population was taken into account…the incidence of distemper dropped from 8.05% to 2.81% after the introduction of nosodes.”
Parvovirus is a contagious viral disease contracted through infected dogs. Parvovirus attacks the intestinal lining and causes high fever, diarrhea, shock and often death. Young dogs are most at risk of contracting it from infected adult dog carriers, many of whom might not ever show signs of the disease.
Although a 1996 veterinary study concluded that parvovirus nosodes do not prevent dogs from contracting parvovirus, Dr. Charles Loops, a holistic veterinarian from South Carolina, utilizes the parvovirus nosode in his practice. He believes that while nosodes are not a vaccine replacement, they can be highly effective when given near or at the time of exposure to disease. He suggests giving the parvovirus nosode immediately before and after a potential exposure for the best protection against contracting the illness.
Heartworm is a parasite carried by mosquitoes. When an infected mosquito bites a dog, microscopic parasites are carried throughout the bloodstream and if left untreated, will eventually attack the heart. The risk of a dog contracting heartworm depends on the geographic area in which the dog resides or travels to. For dogs living in highly susceptible areas, conventional heartworm preventative drugs are recommended by traditional vets and oftentimes holistic veterinarians too.
Dogs who live in least-susceptible areas are often given a heartworm nosode in conjunction with a black walnut tincture, as a preventative from their holistic medicine practitioner. Heartworm nosodes are non-toxic and safer than conventional heartworm preventatives.