The use of Homeopathic Nosodes for Prophylaxis, and comment on Vaccination as currently applied in Veterinary Practice

The Position of the Faculty of Homeopathy, which registers Medical professionals trained in the use of Homeopathy, with regards to immunisation and the use of nosodes for prophylaxis, can be found

This mirrors the long held position of the British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons (BAHVS) which is that:

Where there is no medical contraindication, immunisation should be carried out in the normal way using the conventional tested and approved vaccines. Where there is a medical contraindication and/or a patient would otherwise remain unprotected against a specific infectious disease, it may be appropriate to consider the use of the relevant homeopathic preparation applicable to that disease. This may, or may not, be a Nosode.

However, in the case of mainstream veterinary vaccination protocols, in view of the ongoing and current debate in the profession about the necessity for annual re-vaccination, the safety concerns with regard to annual re-vaccination and about the lack of available evidence supporting current data sheet recommendations for such re-vaccinations, the BAHVS advises veterinary surgeons to carefully review the published evidence, in order to form an opinion and, if necessary to consult other Veterinary colleagues.

In particular the BAHVS would refer members to the published advice of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) in their 2010 Guidelines:

Read WSAVA guidelines 

The document broadly agrees with the statements of many of the BAHVS membership published in 2003 by means of a letter to Veterinary Times.

These can be summarised by comment from the report of the American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Taskforce in JAAHA Vol 39 Mar/April 2003 (3)

“Current knowledge supports the statement that no vaccine is always safe, no vaccine is always protective and no vaccine is always indicated”

“Misunderstanding, misinformation and the conservative nature of our profession have largely slowed adoption of protocols advocating decreased frequency of vaccination” 

“Immunological memory provides durations of immunity for core infectious diseases that far exceed the traditional recommendations for annual vaccination. This is supported by a growing body of veterinary information as well as well-developed epidemiological vigilance in human medicine that indicates immunity induced by vaccination is extremely long lasting and, in most cases, life-long”

We acknowledge the exception to long lasting immunity in the case of Leptospirosis vaccine and the debate over the need for annual Leptospirosis booster vaccination. We also acknowledge the broader concerns over the drift in serovars of that disease now affecting dogs which raises further questions as to the vaccines current use in its current form.

BAHVS Members have led the debate over the unnecessary annual re-vaccination of pet animals for many years and faced criticism for doing so.Their stance has now been vindicated by the WSAVA 2010 Vaccination Guidelines.

It has been stated that the mainstream profession would respond and adapt protocols when the science was there. We would argue that it now is, and has been for some time.

About Nosodes

Nosodes are medicines derived from diseases or disease material (e.g. discharges, tissues, secretions, excretions) and made by the homeopathic method of succussion and dilution. They are widely used in the complementary treatment of infectious diseases, yet many do have other established complementary therapeutic properties in their own right. Their use in the treatment of infectious disease is not usually applicable to home first-aid application nor can the BAHVS recommend usage by any other than a veterinary surgeon trained in their use.

They have also been used as an aid to prevention of infectious diseases, although there is, as yet, no absolute proof of efficacy in this application. There are nosodes for most infectious diseases of animals, including many for which no conventional vaccination is available.

The BAHVS does not give advice on the use of nosodes for disease prevention, except to state that their use should be restricted to prescription by a veterinary surgeon trained in their application. Individual BAHVS members will each offer clients advice based upon their own experience and understanding.

The advice over approved vaccinations notwithstanding, the BAHVS cannot support leaving animals with no form of prophylactic cover against the major, potentially lethal infectious diseases.

Veterinary Medicines Directorate/DEFRA

Following the announcement in December 2010 that Alternative remedies which could be dangerous to pets are being targeted by the Government in a major drive to improve animal health and welfare. Also that the targets include the use of homeopathic nosodes being used in the “belief” that they act as an alternative to vaccination.

BAHVS would state that it welcomes the debate on the use of nosodes for prophylaxis, and would support the restriction of such to animals under the care of a registered Veterinary Surgeon trained in the use of Homeopathy, rather than the current unregulated wide availability of such products.

The Law

The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 forbids the treatment of animals (other than your own) by anyone other than a fully qualified vet.