Although there are not a whole host of vaccines available for our avian friends, there are some. The vaccines available for birds are: pacheco’s, avian pox, and polyoma. I’m not certain if a vaccine for Beak and Feather is nearing availability. Many people are anxiously awaiting the development of a vaccine for PDD.

O.k., I told the list that I would check with Dr McCluggage about vaccinating birds so that we had a respected holistic avian vet’s opinion.I just got off the phone with him. I know this might ruffle some feathers, but if it ruffles yours, take a deep breath and remember we can only continue to learn if we at least consider other points of view, even if we don’t agree. I realize this is a very sensitive subject. I’m not saying this is the end-all to the vaccine question. He said that he doesn’t vaccinate. He said just about the only time he would recommend it was if you are a breeder & you have a case of it *first*, because the vaccine will stop it dead in it’s tracks. He actually stated it was pretty much ‘useless’ (his word, not mine) except in the preceding incidence. He said, without the vaccine, adult birds have a 99% plus chance of surviving polyoma if they are exposed. I mentioned Eclectus specifically and he said he doesn’t feel that *any* bird in a *pet* situation needs vaccinating. He said he couldn’t believe they’re doing that when I told him that certain avian vets in my area vaccinate yearly.

When we discussed vaccines I had many questions that no one responded to. Indicating to me that it is a very personal decision. However, seeing the over-vaccination epidemic in dogs & cats in this country, I felt it was something that should be discussed when raising birds holistically. For any one that wants to read more about vaccines I can suggest The Nature of Animal Healing by Martin Goldstein, DVM. This book deals mostly with cats & dogs, but even gives insightful info on human vaccines. Dr McCluggage’s phone number is (303) 702-1986. If you want more info on the polyoma vaccine, I’m sure he will discuss his opinion with you. Leanne Burton

Thanks for passing that info on to us Leanne. It seems that the idea that we automatically vaccinate (and often) is starting to be questioned on many fronts. Australian homoeopath, Isaac Golden, has written books on vaccination problems in humans and on the results of a study using homoeopathic nosodes as an alternative. The Vaccination Awareness Network (VAN) has also published “Vaccination Roulette” on the problems associated with human vaccines (plus information on alternatives). The Canine Health Concern has a large worldwide study underway on vaccine damage in dogs and I believe there has been a positive outcome from nosode trials on dogs in Canada (but don’t have the details of this as yet).

I assume there hasn’t been any studies done on birds either on the side effects of vaccines or on effectiveness of nosodes or other alternatives?

I am currently compiling information on ill effects of vaccination as well as on effectiveness of alternatives (on animals – as this info in relation to humans is already well documented), so if anyone is able to provide me with any other sources of information (studies, trials, etc.) I would appreciate it. Carole Bryant

Good morning all. I thought I would respond to this thread on vaccines with a quote from a book by Martin Goldstein, DVM “The Nature of Animal Healing”. I got this book a couple of years ago when my St Bernard was diagnosed with bone cancer. Anyway, I’ll just quote on what he says about polio alone (he also discusses smallpox, whooping cough, etc). Here’s what he says:

“in the 3 decades PRECEDING the vaccine, the death rate from polio declined in the U.S. by 47 percent and in England by 55 percent. When mass inoculations began in the U.S., accompanied by stirring stories in Life magazine on Salk as the great healer of the century, the incidences of polio increased sharply. In Massachusetts, to take an extreme example, there were 273 cases of polio in the year leading up to August 30, 1954, when the vaccine was introduced statewide. One year later, there were 2,027 cases.

The correlation in other states and in England, though more modest, was striking enough that doctors at the National Institutes of Health in the 1950’s declared the vaccine “worthless as a preventative and dangerous to take.” They also refused to take it themselves or give it to their own children. Yet the pharmaceutical companies that produced the vaccine had the clout to stifle the naysayers and induce the U.S. Public Health Service to declare the vaccine 100 percent effective. (Here’s what astonished me…) Not until 1976 did Dr Salk (the man credited with the creation of the polio vaccine) acknowledge publicly that his vaccine was likely “the principal if not sole cause” of all reported polio cases in the U.S. since 1961. More recently, the Centers for Disease Control admitted that 87 percent of all polio cases in the U.S. between 1973 and 1983 had been caused by the vaccine, with all cases between 1980 and 1989 attributable to it.

Today, polio has virtually been wiped out in the U.S. But so has it from those European countries that voiced doubts about the vaccine in the 1950’s and chose not to institute mandatory inoculations. Why? Perhaps because only a few unlucky people had the physical predisposition to contract it naturally in its extreme, debilitating form, and so the disease “self-limited” as it ran the course of possible victims.”

Both my dogs have passed on a few months ago…I even hesitate to get another because of my confusion on the issues of vaccinations. If I get another dog, I’ll have to decide and my decision, either way, would affect their life. My birds are unvaccinated and I wonder about the research for vaccines for them. The statistics above shocked me because it seems most people believe polio was eradicated because of the vaccine, even with those statistics. And yet, I know you can, even innocently, manipulate statistics and percentages to say what you want to believe. If anyone has any other information about polio that would help me to solidify an opinion, it would be greatly appreciated 🙂 Many Feathers

Thanks for your thought-provoking post. I have Dr. Goldstein’s book but confess that I haven’t read it in its entirety yet. That includes the part about vaccinations.

I’m uncertain about the vaccine issue. I feel pulled both ways because there seems to be good information from both camps. And, as you said, information can be manipulated.

Whenever I read an ad praising the benefits of a product…sugar, beef, milk, fertilizer, pesticides, etc. I look to see the origin of the piece and it is always the sugar council, beef industry, milk board, etc. When I read information decrying the downside of beef, milk, pesticides, its origin is PeTA, HSUS, or an environmental group.

Each organization, whether it be for or against, slants the information in favor of its own position. Even supposedly non-affiliated organizations like CSPI (Committee for Science in the Public Interest) can be considered questionable sources of information. They carry their own bias. Who can you believe? Which ‘facts’ are true?

Children must be vaccinated in order to attend school. This is a law in most states. Some children have died from vaccinations. Others have developed serious health and behavior problems. Yet others seem to be unaffected. Our pets have had similar reactions to their vaccinations.

If I take my dogs to classes, it is required that they have all vaccinations up to date. If dogs are boarded, they are required to have their vaccinations.

The best thing, if you can afford it, is to have titers done for the diseases. If the dog has a good immunity titer, then it should not require vaccinations…except for rabies, which is required by law. That, however, is the dog’s own needs. Boarding and schools may have other requirements. Maybe you can get a titer certificate that would waive the vaccination requirement.

The same issue will come up for birds. Already there is controversy about the various vaccines. It is kind of ironic. Researchers, like Dr. Ritchie, work so hard to develop a vaccine against dreaded diseases, and then we worry that the vaccines create another set of problems.

Each situation will have its own variables. You have to weigh the benefits and the risks for the particular bird and particular situation….same with dogs. If the dog or bird is never exposed to animals carrying diseases, then there is little risk, so why vaccinate? If, on the other hand, there is a possibility of exposure, then it might be best to vaccinate. It’s pretty much your call.

Don’t deny yourself the pleasure of animal companionship because of the vaccination controversy. Talk it over with a couple of vets, both holistic and allopathic. Talk to the breeder about the genetic history of that line and their response to vaccination. Do your best to come to a decision and the follow through. That’s all any of us can do. gloria

Gloria wrote: Children must be vaccinated in order to attend school. This is a law in most states. Some children have died from vaccinations. Others have developed serious health and behavior problems. Yet others seem to be unaffected. Our pets have had similar reactions to their vaccinations. =======================================================

Actually, this is a general misconception. It usually takes a tremendous effort on the parents part, but in most cases your child cannot be denied an education in the US because the child is not vaccinated. Many people opt out of vaccines & use religious beliefs as their reason (whether that really is or not), because religious beliefs are not arguable, unlike vaccine health risks, which are.

Here’s a couple more articles: This article contains a vaccine exemption example form that you can have a lawyer draw up. Even though it’s difficult if you decide not to vaccinate your children, there’s not even a chance of using religious exemption for pets! My dog has suspected auto-immune problems caused by vaccines (which are improving, BTW, with only holistic care) yet I still can’t get out of the rabies vaccine legally. I guess my dog will just have to be a fugative from the law!

If you question whether or not to vaccinate your bird (or dog or cat), please contact a truly holistic vet for their perspective before deciding. Leanne

The following is from Catherine O’Driscoll’s book “What Vets Don’t Tell You About Vaccines”. This is cross-posted from another list with permission to cross post.

Although there are not a whole host of vaccines available for our avian friends, there are some. The vaccines available for birds are: pacheco’s, avian pox, and polyoma. I’m not certain if a vaccine for Beak and Feather is nearing availability. Many people are anxiously awaiting the development of a vaccine for PDD.

The question for our birds will be whether or not we vaccinate annually. If we do so, will those annual vaccines cause problems? They are causing illnesses in many dogs and cats, when done routinely.

Humans do not continue with vaccinations past adulthood. There is even a heated debate, ongoing right now among scientists, whether children should be given all the vaccinations they are given currently. Just this weekend, I read in the paper that there is a direct correlation between childhood vaccinations and autism.

In my opinion, vaccinations have a place, but they are overused beyond necessity…same as drugs.

This is a subject I have researched in depth – the results of this research are carried in the book, ‘What Vets Don’t Tell You About Vaccines’. Before I start, I want to make one thing totally clear. I am not asking you to stop vaccinating your beloved animals. I don’t believe that any human being has the right to dictate that sort of thing to another human being.

However, I do believe that you have a right to the facts so that you can make an informed choice.

The first fact is this: Annual vaccination is fraud. Strong stuff, eh? here is absolutely no scientific basis for annual vaccination. It was just a practice that was started many years ago, probably because the shots weren’t working and someone had the bright idea to keep repeating it in case it helped.

In fact, we have discovered that, far from helping, annual vaccination is destroying our animals’ immune systems. This is widely known in scientific circles – but vets are reluctant to look at the evidence too closely due to potential lost booster income. I am sorry to say this, but long years of campaigning allow me to develop no other conclusion. The vets who have read my book, they take it very seriously. However, most refuse to read it.

“Once immunity to a virus exists, it persists for years or life.” Dr Ronald D Schultz, head of pathobiology at Wisconsin University. My own six-year-old Golden Retriever – Gwinnie – gives a good example of this. Gwinnie was vaccinated ONLY as a puppy. We got her when she was five months old, already vaccinated. She was never vaccinated again. Last year, at the age of six, Gwinnie had a blood test and this revealed that she still has high antibody levels to distemper and parvo. The advice from Professor Hal Thomson at Glasgow University was “no need to revaccinate”. After SIX years.

Dr Jean Dodds in America has just completed a study that shows much the same thing. You don’t NEED to keep vaccinating your dogs. There is one exception, and this is the leptospirosis component of the vaccine. Lepto is a bacterin, not a virus, and you can’t get permanent immunity to a bacterin. However, the vaccine has been described as ‘useless’ and there have been many calls for it to be withdrawn from the market. There are hundreds of strains of leptospirosis, but only two in the vaccine, AND it provides immunity (if at all) for only between three and six months. This means that your dog is probably unprotected against the two strains for around nine months of the year, and against all the other hundreds of strains for ever. Australian research shows that the lepto component of vaccines can cause horrendous side-effects, so top veterinary immunologists, microbiologists and pathobiologists have advised we don’t use it.

Fact two: Vaccines can cause a whole range of diseases.

Skin problems: Frick and Brooks, in 1983, showed that dogs who were genetically susceptible to develop atopic dermatitis ONLY contracted the condition IF they were vaccinated before being exposed to an allergen. So – vaccines trigger skin disease.

Arthritis: there are many, many studies which show that vaccines can cause arthritis. Vaccine components have even been found in the bones of arthritis sufferers.

Cancer: Vaccine components have been found at the cancer sites of victims. Worse, they have been found at the cancer sites of the CHILDREN of the people who received the guilty vaccine. In other words, vaccines can cause inheritable cancer. Leukaemia: Dr Jean Dodds has linked leukaemia to vaccines. Also, Merck a vaccine manufacturer, has linked leukaemia to a leukaemia-like retrovirus found in birds. Merck were investigating the link between this retrovirus and the eggs they cultivated the measles vaccine on.

Distemper and measles are virtually the same virus, and both vaccines are cultivated on chick embryos.

Aggression: Vaccines are acknowledged to cause inflammation of the brain and, in severe cases, lesions in the brain and throughout the central nervous system. This condition, known as encephalitis, lies at the root of much aggressive and violent behaviour, autism, epilepsy, attention deficit disorder, and other neurological conditions (for example, CDRM, Ataxia, etc).

Autoimmune disease: It is widely acknowledged that vaccines can cause a whole range of autoimmune diseases, such as Cushings disease, Addisons disease, thyroid disease, autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, and many others. The scientific evidence is there for anyone who wants to look at it. Dr Larry Glickman at Purdue University has found that routinely vaccinated dogs develop autoantibodies to a wide range of their own biochemicals. This means that vaccines cause dogs to attack their own bodies – which is what autoimmune disease is all about.

Fact three:  Some animals are genetically pre-disposed to suffer fatal reactions to vaccines. The Merck Manual (the doctor’s bible, published by a vaccine manufacturer) says that children with B and/or T cell immunodeficiencies should not receive live virus vaccines as the vaccine can stimulate a severe or FATAL infection. Not to put too fine a point on it, ‘fatal’ means death. Merck explains that features of B and T cell immunodeficiencies include eczema, dermatitis, heart disease, inhalant allergies, food allergies and neurological conditions. They say that humans suffering with any of these conditions, or from families with these conditions, should not receive live virus vaccines because the vaccine can kill them. Our dogs also have B and T cells, and B and T cell immunodeficiencies. So if your dog has allergies, or heart problems, or neurological problems . . . vaccines represent a life threatening risk.

Fact four:  Vaccines cause more diseases than they prevent. This is the one the scientists are currently arguing about. You can probably guess which way I’ve fallen on the debate. In my humble opinion, vaccination is probably the worst thing we can do for someone we love. Obviously, this is a scarey statement. Let me tell you a little about why I’m here saying this to you. Oliver, a beautiful Golden Retriever, lost the use of his back legs one day when he was four years old. We rushed him to the vet but he was dead by four that afternoon. For two years, I asked every vet I met ‘why?’ No one could tell me until I met a homeopathic vet called Chris Day, and he asked me when Oliver had last been vaccinated. He told me it was a classic vaccine reaction, falling within three months of the shot. Since then I have met many people whose dogs died in exactly the same way.

Prudence, another Golden Retriever, died of leukaemia when she was six. The last time I vaccinated her, her eyes rolled in her sockets, and she climbed up on my back, begging me not to have it done. But we carried on because I thought it was good for her. Distemper and parvo are horrible diseases, of course – but so is leukaemia. You don’t want to see a dog die this way.

Samson’s back legs were paralysed the day after his second puppy shots I thought maybe someone had put poison down because I didn’t know vaccines could do this. The next year he was boosted, and his head swelled up like a football and he ran around screaming – I now know that this was a massive allergic reaction to the vaccine. At the age of two we had a blood test done, and it came back autoimmune disease. He died of cancer at the age of five. Having studied the scientific evidence, I know that Sammie was killed the day a vaccine destroyed his immune system.

Edward and Daniel are three-year-old Golden Retrievers. Neither has ever been vaccinated. Not once. They are the healthiest two Goldens I have ever had the privilege to share my life with. No sickness, no diarrhoea, no allergies, no illness. The vet doesn’t know who they are – they have only ever visted to have their blood tested (both have antibodies to distemper and parvo . . . which means they’ve met the diseases but not succumbed). They also went to the vets a few weeks ago to have ticks removed. The vet remarked on how fit and healthy they were. But that’s it – their entire veterinary history at the age of three. Compare this with Samson’s veterinary history! I was literally at the vet every two weeks with Sammie. Edward and Daniel are fed real food – raw meaty bones, vegetables, etc This means that they have optimal immune systems, so they are in a good position to fight any viruses or bacterins that come along. They also receive the homeopathic vaccine alternative. When they were nine months old, my older vaccinated dogs contracted kennel cough. My two homoeopathically protected pups didn’t cough once. A few days ago on the CHC discussion list, one of our members reported meeting two 17 year old Golden Retrievers on the beach. Both ran and jumped around like young ones. The owner told her that they had never been vaccinated and, as he was a butcher, he had fed them raw meat. Seven years into the campaign, we are beginning to see the results of not vaccinating and feeding real food. Canine Health Concern members are now constantly reporting that their dogs are incredibly healthy, and Don’t blame the ‘irresponsible breeders’ – blame vaccines. Without their lives without the crippling debilitating diseases that have become common in the dog population.

One last fact: Vaccines don’t offer GUARANTEED immunity. Nearly all of the dogs in the CHC vaccine survey – which involved over 4,000 dogs and is still ongoing – contracted distemper, parvo, lepto, hepatitis, etc, within three months of being vaccinated.