The purpose of vaccination is to protect your pet from potentially fatal infections by pathogenic (disease-causing) viruses such as distemper, rabies and others. The way this is done is to inject either a killed or a “modified” (non-pathogenic) live virus, which sensitizes the immune system to that particular virus. Thereafter, if your dog or feline is exposed to, let’s say, parvo virus, s/he will be able to respond quickly and vigorously, producing antibodies to overcome the infection.

This sounds like a pretty good plan, on the surface. However, as with any medical procedure, we must ask the simple and direct questions, “Is it safe? Is it effective? Do the benefits outweigh the risks?”

The Problems with Vaccinations

Routine” vaccination, as it is practiced today, is not always effective (especially in the case of the feline leukemia vaccine), and frequently has adverse side-effects, either short or long term. With the use of multivalent (combination: 4 in 1, 6 in 1, etc.) vaccines that are repeated year after year, the frequency and severity of these side-effects in our pets has increased dramatically.

Not surprisingly, most of the problems involve the immune system. After all, the immune system is what vaccines are designed to stimulate. But they do so in a very unnatural way that can overwhelm and confuse the immune system. The body may overreact to normally harmless substances (allergies, especially flea allergies and other skin problems), or even produce antibodies to itself (autoimmune disease). At the same time, the body may be sluggish in responding to those things that it should reject, such as common viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. This can result in increased susceptibility to acute infections (such as ear infections in dogs, bladder infections in felines), chronic tapeworm problems, or in more degenerative cases, cancer.

Lack of Alternatives

The big question has always been: What alternative is there? Despite these potential problems, vaccination must surely be preferable to losing puppies and kittens to distemper, parvo, and other fatal diseases! Until recently, there have been no practical alternatives, so the short term benefits of vaccination have seemed to outweigh the long term risks. Now, however, there is a safe and effective alternative to vaccination: homeopathic nosodes.

Homeopathic Nosodes: A Better Alternative

A nosode is simply a homeopathic remedy that is made from a disease product. Nosodes are not in any way infections, and can be used in the same way as vaccines, that is, to prevent viral infection. Like vaccines, nosodes sensitize the body to a particular virus, so the immune system can react quickly and effectively to natural exposure. Nosodes are at least as effective as vaccines, and in some cases have been shown to be significantly more effective than vaccines in preventing infection.

The biggest advantage of nosodes over vaccines is the fact that they are completely safe. There are no risks or side-effects whatever. And they can be safely given to puppies and kittens much earlier than vaccines can. In fact, the mother can be treated before she gives birth, giving the puppies or kittens protection from the moment they are born.

Nosodes, like all homeopathic remedies, are very easy to administer: they are given by mouth, and don’t even need to be swallowed. They are also very economical – far less expensive, in fact, than vaccination.

Limitations of Nosodes

There are some limitations to the use of nosodes. Rabies vaccination for dogs is required by law in most counties, and the rabies nosode, called Lyssin, will not satisfy that requirement. You should know, however, for the health of your animal, that all vaccines, including rabies are legally and medically approved for use in healthy animals only! So if your dog is showing any signs of acute or chronic disease, s/he is exempt from that requirement and should not be vaccinated.

Despite the obvious advantages of nosodes, most boarding kennels and veterinary vaccinated. This is a problem that will hopefully improve with time as more kennel owners and veterinarians become familiar with nosodes.

If You Vaccinate

As a veterinary homeopath, I do not recommend routine vaccination for dogs or felines, except for rabies in health dogs. If, for whatever reason, you decide that you must vaccinate your pet, I would make the following recommendations:

  1. Never vaccinate an animal with symptoms of acute or chronic health problems, or at the time of surgery or any other physical or emotional stress.
  2. Vaccinate for one disease at a time that is, avoid multivalent (combination) vaccines. For felines, vaccinate for feline panleukopenia alone. The vaccines for the two upper respiratory viruses (calicivirus and rhinotracheitis) can be given together. I strongly recommend against vaccination for feline leukemia or feline infectious peritonitis virus. The vaccine is ineffective, and in my opinion, extremely hazardous. For dogs, give parvo separately from distemper. Do not vaccinate for leptospirosis, hepatitis, or parainfluenza. Never give the rabies vaccine at the same time as any other vaccine.
  3. Avoid modified live virus vaccines whenever possible. Get killed virus vaccines, especially for rabies, canine parvo virus, and feline panleukopenia. (The canine distemper/hepatitis vaccine is not available in a killed virus form).
  4. For middle age dogs and felines, vaccinate every 2-3 years, instead of yearly.
  5. After vaccination, give a dose of Thuja 30c. Wait one week, then give a dose of Sulfur 6 x once daily for 7 days.

Therapeutic Use of Nosodes

In addition to helping prevent specific viral diseases with prophylactic use, nosodes can be used even after exposure to a virus has taken place. If given immediately after exposure, before symptoms develop, these nosodes can prevent the development of clinical disease.

Viral diseases such a feline leukemia, feline infectious peritonitis, canine distemper and canine parvo virus are usually incurable with conventional medical treatment (antibiotics, steroids, etc.). However, they frequently respond very quickly and favorably to homeopathic treatment. If your pet shows any symptoms of illness, specific, individualized homeopathic treatment will be needed. Due to the potential seriousness of these conditions, you should seek professional help.

Homeopathic Vaccination with Nosodes

Schedule for Immunization with Nosodes
“Puppies can be given homeopathic nosodes beginning at three weeks of age…”

The suggested dosage for dogs of all ages irrespective of previous orthodox vaccinations is the same.

One tablet to be given twice daily by mouth for the first three days then…
One tablet to be given once a week for six weeks then…
One tablet to be given once a month continually

Nosodes are prepared from sterilized vaccines by the traditional process of sequential dilution and succession employed in homoeopathic manufacture. They are designed to be administered by mouth rather than by injection. Since the micro doses of the remedy are embedded on the tablet surface you are advised not to handle them. To administer a dose simply tip the tablet into the cap of the vial and from there onto your dogs tongue. If necessary crush a tablet between two clean spoons and dissolve the powder in water. This can then be syringed into the mouth or deposited in the water bowl.

Homeopathy, Immunity, Vaccinations, and Nosodes

An animal, properly fed and cared for, will have a significantly enhanced resistance to disease. The degree of resistance relies principally on nutrition and total care.

Treatment of Disease

Nosodes are typically used in a therapeutic manner, to treat patients with the same illness (isopathic), or a similar disease (homeopathic). For example, Psorinum, the mange remedy, is made from human scabies, and is useful in treating other skin conditions as well.

Nosodes, when properly prescribed, are useful and safe for young animals who, while below the recommended age for vaccinations, have become ill with a particular preventable disease, or similar disease symptoms.

When using nosodes to treat an existing illness, such as EPM and other seriously debilitating diseases, however, it would be a mistake to look at a nosode, or any other homeopathic remedy, as the only solution. One or more veterinarians should be consulted to evaluate the animal’s situation, and the results that follow treatment. For instance, if Hypericum and the EPM nosode are given to two different horses, one horse may have tremendous improvement, and another horse may appear much worse. It is also vitally important to balance the nutrition, to support the horse with vitamin and possibly herb therapy, and to consider other therapies, to get him in a state of recovery. Finding a well-trained homeopathic veterinarian is important if you choose this route. A list of  homeopathic veterinarians is available through the AVH and the AHVMA (see SIDE BAR).

Regarding vaccinosis, if your animal is suffering from the ill-effects of a particular vaccination, the nosode of that particular disease could be used to antidote the effects. Some of the other remedies that may help the body rid itself of vaccinosis include Lachesis, Pulsatilla, Silicea, Sulphur, and Thuja. Chronic conditions, especially, are best left to the professional homeopath.

Prevention of Disease

Nosodes are also being used in a prophylactic, or preventive, manner, such as in healthy young animals below vaccination age. It is viewed by some as a way to expose the immune system to the energies of a disease, without exposing it to the disease itself, thereby stimulating an immune response. Unlike a vaccination, a nosode will not introduce foreign, and possibly harmful, substances into the body.

It is believed by some homeopaths that energetic immunization can be achieved with nosodes, orally, via contact with the nervous system. There are more nerves in the mouth than anywhere else. In contrast to vaccinations, nosodes activate the entire defense system, energetically and physically, thereby yielding a more solid immunity.

Homeopathic Alternative to Vaccines

Homeopathy is a complete system of healing, discovered 200 years ago by a German physician, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. It has its own method of diagnosing and its own special remedies. The remedies are all natural, rarely have side-effects and are not addictive. They are safe for adults, the elderly as well as for infants and children. Even pregnant women can take the remedies safely. Homeopathic remedies are very effective in acute and chronic diseases. In the U.S., homeopathy is a legally recognized method of healing.

Nosodes are homeopathic preparations made from cultures of microbes and viruses. The nosode is prepared by serial dilution. Nosodes are administered in different two basic ways. In the case of nosodes from bacteria and viruses, the preparation carries the molecular imprint of the proteins and other constituents of the pathological agent. The working of the nosode is based on the fact that the immune system is sensitized to this molecular imprint without being exposed to the virulence of the living agent. The use of nosodes as a replacement for vaccination is based on this mechanism.

A nosode from a pathological agent, such as the measles, whooping cough (pertussis), etc., carries the molecular imprint of the agent and therefore sensitizes the immune system in such a way as to prepare the body for the defense against that same pathological agent. This is important in the case of children’s diseases, where a primary infection is necessary to immunize the child, often for life, at a moment when the baby is highly vulnerable.

Whether a baby will be immunized with a vaccine or not, the administration of a nosode for each of the common children’s diseases is an ideal way to start building immunity. Because of the fact that the agent is present in the nosode as an imprint and not as a virulent entity, it is a safe and gentle way to sensitize the immune system. It will protect against shock and serious consequences in the case of infection or vaccination.

Please click on Alternative Vaccines for more information.

Vaccines and preventive medicines are available to parents in safe and effective homeopathic form.


A true understanding of homeopathy comes from understanding how an individual becomes sick and how that individual relates to its environment.

Homeopathy maintains that the “vital forces” of the body may be afflicted with inherent weaknesses. Triggers, such as viruses, stress, bacteria, and poor diet, produce in the body certain recognizable symptoms. Symptoms are signs that the body is trying to heal itself. Treating symptoms of an illness only hides those signs of illness for a short time; eventually, if the illness is still present, those symptoms will reoccur. Homeopathy endeavors to treat the entire patient, using the symptoms as clues, and to recognize the whole patient in the context of its environment.

Chain of Events
When energy fields are upset, illness results and usually the illness follows a pattern of progression. Recovery requires following that pattern in reverse. Normal function of an individual may be impaired, inflammation occurs, pain is sensed, and actual anatomical or physical changes take place. Examples of these changes are bladder stones, arthritic joint changes or thickening of organs with scar tissue.

Time to Treat
The best time to intervene with remedies is when the illness is in the energetic, functional phase. Once pathology has occurred, the holistic practitioner must be very patient and allow time for the pathology to inflame and then heal at the energetic level. Healing may take a time equal to the presence of the illness.

Vital Force
In the early 1800s, a German physician named Samuel Hahnemann described what is termed the “Vital Force” of the body (called CHI by the Chinese). Many modern physicists say that everything is energy or that everything changes from matter to energy. Is it any wonder that energy changing medicines such as acupuncture and homeopathy can affect cures at a more profound level than matter-based medicine? Move that Vital Force out of balance and diseases ensue. Different symptoms may appear in different parts of the body. The goal of homeopathy is to treat the WHOLE individual, not just individual symptoms.

Detailed study is required to understand the interaction of specific remedies and how they interact with each individual symptom in that particular patient. More stress will result in more symptoms, so remedies may need to be modified throughout recovery from an illness. Through the years remedies have been proven to be efficacious in treating diseases that cause symptoms that would occur if that same remedy were given to a healthy individual. This gives rise to the saying “Like treats like”. Remedies that create certain symptoms can successfully be used to treat those symptoms that occur due to abnormalities in the vital force.

Medicinal substances will restore the ill individual’s energy balance, causing a cure. Dr Hahnemann states: “…the stronger disease destroys the weaker: It has a similar action, and because of its predominance, takes over precisely those parts of the organism until then affected by the weaker one, which since it can now no longer act, disappears”.

Homeopathy´s Goal
The goal is to cure – to completely rid the body of disease such that no symptoms of the disease ever come back, to achieve a level of wellness such that acute injuries heal quickly with no intervention, and to acquire and maintain a level of vitality, health, and wellness complementary to the whole being. As Dr. Hahnemann stated “Cure, which is the elimination of all the perceptible signs and symptoms of disease, means also the removal of the inner modifications of the vital force which underlie them: In this way the whole disease has been destroyed.”


Case studies based upon Dr. Chambreau’s practice experience will be displayed to show how the homeopathic approach to treating disease can be beneficial to animal patients.

Most recently, an article appeared in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association entitled “Are We Vaccinating Too Much?”

In this article we begin to address the subject of vaccinosis, the general name for chronic dis-ease caused by vaccines. For some readers the very idea that vaccines are anything but wonderful and life-saving may come as a surprise, and it’s not a very pleasant one. After all, the general population pictures vaccines as one of modern medicine’s best and brightest moments, saving literally millions from the scourge of diseases like poliomyelitis and smallpox. “Dr. Pitcairn DVM, Ph.D

“Holistic veterinarians are finding that vaccines are causing great harm to our animals (and ourselves). To cure an animal of any problem we have found through experience that we must use homeopathic remedies that are known to reverse vaccine related problems as well as fit this individual.”

Dr. McCluggage DVM covered the holistic perspective on vaccinations. He stated that “…we must stop advocating yearly vaccines because of the harm we are doing to the animals we vaccinate. He covered the homeopathic concept of “vaccinosis”. Vaccinosis is a disease entity that may be introduced through vaccinating animals or people. Once vaccinosis develops, there is a disturbance in the bodies vital forces that leads to symptoms of chronic disease that can be very difficult (and often impossible) to cure. Dr. McCluggage also stated that there are no good reasons to recommend annual vaccinations for our companion animals.”

Routine” vaccination has adverse side-effects, either short or long term. With vaccines that are repeated year after year, the frequency and severity of these side-effects in our pets has increased dramatically. Most of the problems involve the immune system. After all, the immune system is what vaccines are designed to stimulate. But they do so in a very unnatural way that can overwhelm and confuse the immune system and can result in increased susceptibility to acute infections (such as ear infections in dogs, bladder infections in felines), chronic tapeworm problems, or in more degenerative cases, cancer.

This page was reproduced with the kind permission of Shirleys Wellness Cafe