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Animal Diseases:
A New Look at the Vaccine Question

By Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, PhD

What we are going to do, in this presentation, is look at the question of vaccinations in four aspects. First, I want to tell you how my clinical experience led me to understand that vaccination was important, in a causative sense, in many of my cases. Second, we will look at the homeopathic perspective on chronic vaccine disease, or vaccinosis. Third, I wish to present some ideas on how vaccinosis may manifest in the dog and cat. Fourth, we will consider the question of the efficacy of vaccinations -- do they really do what they are purported to do?

We are looking at this question, also, from my perspective as a practitioner of homeopathic medicine, not from the allopathic model that assumes vaccines to be useful and safe with occasional aberrations. Most of us are aware that vaccine-caused diseases -- such as immune disorders, bleeding problems, tumor formation -- are recently receiving attention from the allopathic community. However, the premise that these are exceptions to a basically safe procedure is not the same viewpoint as that which I am presenting to you today.

My understanding of the importance of vaccination in animal diseases gradually developed over several years. I began homeopathic practice without considering vaccination as a factor of special importance. So, what I did was to consider the totality of symptoms in the case and choose the remedy which seemed to be the similimum based on that picture. This is classical homeopathic procedure and, ordinarily, one which would be effective. However, there were a significant number of cases that would not react curatively. Though there was improvement in some respects, nonetheless, a cure was not forthcoming. Eventually, through following the case over a period of time, the image of the remedy Thuya would emerge -- which when administered would resolve the case which had been so difficult.

What, then, is the significance of Thuya as a remedy? Thuya is the most important remedy to be used for that state induced by vaccination. Other remedies noted to have this correspondence are Sulphur, Mezereum, Malandrinum, Sarsaparilla, Carcinosin, and Silicea among others. Malandrinum and Carcinosin are interesting remedies because both are nosodes -- the former from horses with "grease heel" and the latter from a cancerous discharge from a human being. Thuya, Mezereum, and Sarsaparilla are vegetable remedies -- Thuya from the Arbor vitae tree, Mezereum is known as Spurge olive, and Sarsaparilla an herbal medicine. Sulphur, the element and Silicea, which is silicon dioxide or quartz are mineral remedies. Thus we have representations from all the major remedy classes.

It gradually dawned on me that the underlying problem in some of my difficult cases was a state of illness that had been induced by vaccination. So, rather than simply use a totality of symptoms to choose my prescription, I found it more effective to emphasize the rubric "Vaccination, effects of" almost to the exclusion of other remedies. In this way, I was able to make progress in some very frustrating clinical situations.

Let me give you a few recent cases that demonstrate the usefulness of Thuya.

Case 1: Jack: Ten month old DSH, male cat. Ill since first obtained as a stray kitten about 12 weeks old. Symptoms primarily fever, diarrhea and vomiting. Associated symptoms were red gums, retained baby teeth, offensive breath, thirst, swollen cervical lymph nodes, craving for strange foods (cinnamon rolls, persimmons), blood at end of penis, licking genitals, dragging bottom on floor, and very strong-smelling urine. When neutered at age seven months, he developed fever, fear of noise, trembling, warm head, dilated pupils, pale gums with red line along the teeth, loss of appetite, craving for plastic, cardboard boxes and house plants, extraordinary hysterical fear on being allowed outside, dry stools with constipation, prolapsed third eyelids, crying in pain before passing a fluid stool, and vomiting any water drunk. Several homeopathic remedies were given during this illness with sometimes definite improvement, almost to normal. However, the condition always recurred and the previous remedy would then not be effective. Based on the symptoms of chronic diarrhea of offensive stools, with lots of gas causing sputtering sounding stool, and crying in pain before urinating -- this cat was given Thuya 30C. Client reported almost immediate improvement with return to "97% himself" within a few hours. He has continued to be free of most of these symptoms since this one treatment with Thuya.

Case 2: Jerri: Three and 1/2 year old mixed chow dog. Afflicted with sarcoptic mange and recurrent ear infections for 2 and 1/2 years. Treated allopathically without resolution of the problem (Mitaban and Paramine dips, immune system stimulants, bacterial extracts, etc.). Skin condition characterized by itching, hair loss, thickened dark skin, red irritated skin involving primarily the feet, lower legs, around the eyes, abdomen, top of the head, inside both ears. Patient has also become timid & cautious with the other dogs. Condition markedly ameliorated by a dose of Thuya 1M with regrowth of hair, normalization of appearance of the skin, reduction of ear inflammation, and return of normal personality and behavior. Condition recurred, in milder form, one year later (after use of homeopathic nosodes for disease protection) and was resolved by one dose of Thuya 10M.

Case 3: Monster: Seven year old DSH, tiger stripe. Chronic diarrhea for 1 and 1/2 years with 1-3 bowel movements a day. Very offensive diarrhea with a lot of gas being passed. Thuya 200C, one dose, resulted in marked improvement, with a perfectly formed stool within three weeks.

Case 4: Mei-Ling: Six months old, female charpei dog imported to Brazil from Kansas. Never well since first obtained, now is diagnosed with a seborrhea (biopsy) and skin fungal infection. The skin is dark, itchy, with red, scaly spots. These lesions spread rapidly over most of the body. Client says the puppy was normal until receiving "puppy shots." She began to lose hair all over, especially from flanks and front legs and on the back near the tail. Treated with oral antifungal drug and two ointments without improvement. No effect from treatment with Sulfur 6X; temporary improvement with Rhus toxicodendron 200; rapid recovery after Thuya 200. Change for the better was very rapid with hair growing in faster than ever seen before with this dog. Another dose of Thuya 200 needed three months later, after exposure to plaster and chemicals used in refinishing a room. Other remedies were needed, months later, for some lingering minor symptoms, but Thuya clearly turned this case around.

You can see from these cases that progress was dependent on use of Thuya, the anti-vaccine remedy. Though this was not necessarily the final remedy for these patients, it seemed to be a necessary prescription. It is as if vaccinations have the ability to block response to a constitutional remedy, an obstacle that must be dealt with before cure can be underway.

Homeopathic Discovery of Vaccinosis
Of course, this "discovery," which was actually more the reinvention of the wheel, prompted me to search the homeopathic literature for information about the relation of vaccination to disease. The most important source on this phenomenon is the book Vaccinosis and Its Cure by Thuja with Remarks on Homeoprophylaxis by J. Compton Burnett, M.D. The first edition of this book appeared in London in March 1884.

It is here that vaccination is first clearly described as a chronic disease. The effect of vaccination, besides the physical effects of stimulating an antibody response, is to establish a chronic disease -- one that is long-lasting, indeed, in some cases a lifelong, condition. Burnett refers to the chronic disease that results from vaccination by the name Vaccinosis. So, we will adhere, in this discussion, to the same convention. Vaccinosis is to be understood as the disturbance of the vital force by vaccination that results in mental, emotional, and physical changes that can, in some cases, be a permanent condition.

Burnett gives several cases that demonstrate this. Several of them are in infants and children, showing the profound effects of vaccination on the growing organism. However, I wish to emphasize the long-standing effects of vaccination so will mention a couple of example cases to you.

Case 1: A woman, of about age 50, suffered greatly for 20 years from a condition of terrible pain in the eyes. The attacks of pain were so severe, that she would be confined to bed for days at a time and for some periods as long as six weeks. In spite of many examinations and treatments by allopathic doctors, no relief was forthcoming. The patient was confined to a darkened room, her head bound, and crying from the pain. These attacks were always preceded by what seemed to be "flu" and the frequency of these episodes was such that she was confined to her room about half of every year.

As this patient had been extensively vaccinated, the use of Thuya as a remedy was used by Burnett. Thuya, has a type of cephalgia similar to that described by the patient and, indeed, use of Thuya 30C successfully resolved the condition in six weeks. A follow-up in one year showed that the cure held.

Case 2: A young woman, 19 years of age, suffered from severe headaches for nine years. The attacks were characterized by a pain in the back of the head as if it were being squeezed in a vice with throbbing of the head as if it would burst. These attacks occurred once or twice a week. Associated symptoms were habitual constipation, poor appetite, a tendency towards styes, eruption of boils, cold feet, easily made motion-sick, tendency to faint, skin sensitive to wind which becomes rough with cracks forming in the lips. The patient had been vaccinated against smallpox at three months of age, seven years of age, and again at fourteen years. In spite of this vaccination, she had actually come down with smallpox at age 10!

She was treated with Thuya, in low potency, over a period of several months and was eventually cured of her symptoms. A two year follow-up confirmed the stability of the cure.

Many other cases are described in Burnett's little book. Lest you think that only head pain is the outcome of vaccinosis, let me hasten to give brief descriptions of some of the others.

* Wasting away (marasmus) of an infant being nursed by a recently vaccinated mother.
* Several cases of skin eruptions, pimples, ringworm.
* Enlarged cervical lymphatic glands and unhealthy lungs tending towards tuberculosis.
* Loss of hair, in patches, on the face of men.
* Unusual susceptibility to influenza and general ill-health.
* Facial acne and nasal dermatitis.
* Diseased fingernails.
* Chronic vertigo.
* Paralysis and muscular weakness.
* Very painful spine, with weakness, inflammation, twitchings, etc.
* Hand cramps and enlargement of the spleen.
* Insufficient growth in children with paralysis on one-half of the face.

These cases and others, in subsequent books, began to present to the homeopathic community the nature of vaccinosis. Indeed, it was possible, from these cases for Burnett to declare vaccinosis a variant of the sycosis miasm. As you will already know, sycosis is characterized by affections of the skin, the lymphatics, the immune system, susceptibility to fungal infections, susceptibility to cold, damp weather, arthritis, affections of the blood, and many other symptoms of this sort. Most importantly, it is typical of the sycotic miasm, and therefore of vaccinosis, to develop growths of all types -- cysts, polyps, warts, tumors and cancers.

Some of Burnett's other books, especially Tumors of the Breast and their Treatment and Cure by Medicines, Curability of Tumors by Medicines, and Delicate, Backward, Puny and Stunted Children especially bring out some of the variety inherent in vaccinosis and the tremendous damage it can do once established.

One more thing I will mention before leaving the subject of Burnett's work. This is his interesting observation that the person that is most susceptible to contracting the disease being vaccinated against is more likely to die (after being vaccinated) when they do come in contact with the natural disease. In other words, rather than protecting some individuals as planned, it actually makes them more susceptible. The vaccination having created a chronic disease ahead of time, can predispose the patient to a more serious natural illness which combines with the established vaccinosis. As we shall see later in this presentation, there is evidence that this is what has happened in vaccinated populations.

Does this extend our understanding of vaccinosis? We can expand our definition to say that vaccinosis is the establishment of, instead of the acute natural disease, a chronic condition which now has the time to develop a multitude of manifestations not ordinarily seen. Another way of saying this is that the process of laboratory modification of a viral disease to make a vaccination strain is the conversion of the disease from acute to chronic. The virus has been changed so that its natural tendency to arouse a strong response it gone. Instead it can be introduced into the body in a form that does not elicit much of a reaction. The result is the establishment of a chronic disease that has never been seen before in clinical practice.

To illustrate what I mean by this, I would like to briefly discuss aspects of three of these vaccine diseases -- chronic canine distemper, chronic rabies, and chronic feline panleukopenia.

Chronic Canine Distemper
Canine distemper, a very old disease of dogs, is well known in its clinical manifestation. According to The Infectious Diseases of Domestic Animals,(1) the major symptoms are:

* Watery discharge from eyes and nose.
* Conjunctivitis, with discharge (eventually purulent).
* Vomiting and diarrhea, loss of appetite.
* Watery feces, mixed with mucous, offensive and often bloody feces; intense malaise, loss of weight, and death.
* Severe, fetid diarrhea.
* Spasms, fits, epileptiform seizures.
* Paralysis.
* Eruption around the mouth where hair meets the naked skin of the lips.
* Swelling of the feet, red footpads.
* Pneumonia.
* Eruptions on the skin of pustules, on the abdomen, inside the thighs, and elsewhere.
* Emaciation.

What I am suggesting to you is that, because of repeated vaccination, the acute disease of canine distemper has changed form to appear as a variety of chronic diseases. The original disease, Distemper, has been, for the most part, replaced by Distemper Vaccinosis, a chronic disease of great variety. This chronic disease also creates a susceptibility to new acute forms of distemper like parvovirus. Because by its nature, chronic disease is more developed than an acute disease, the many ramifications of this condition have been given new names from the mistaken idea that they are different and distinct diseases.

In the table that follows, the acute form of the disease (on the left) has become the chronic (or new acute) disease on the right.

Reprinted with permission from...
A New Look at the Vaccine Question
by Richard H. Pitcairn.
Copyright © 1993. All Rights Reserved.
(The full article is available from Dr. Pitcairn.)

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by Dr. Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, PhD.
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