I am a subscriber to your magazine and remember a keen discussion about the pros and cons of annual injections. My friend's Jack Russell has just had his annual injections which seem to be the reason he has turned into a nervous wreck. He has become afraid of the dark and of going out for his walks. Thank you for any help you can give.
Margaret Rogers, by email
Richard Allport, alternative vet, advises:
Two points here – first, are annual vaccinations (or indeed any vaccinations) necessary? Here is my own personal advice on vaccinations:
· 1st vaccination: 12 weeks (or later)
· 2nd vaccination: 16 weeks (or later)
· (leave at least four weeks between vaccinations)
· Booster at fifteen months (or later)
· Any further boosters at not less than three yearly intervals
· Consider Leptospirosis yearly only if your dog is at risk and if the manufacturer can guarantee their vaccine contains the strains of Leptospirosis likely to be encountered by dogs in the UK.
· Consider requesting blood tests to check antibody levels, rather than administering regular boosters. Many dogs are found to have sufficient antibodies for anything from five to ten years following the last vaccination.
Do not vaccinate if your dog:
· is not in good health
· is on any medication
· has had a previous adverse reaction to a vaccination
· is otherwise at risk (e.g. family history of autoimmune disease or epilepsy)
Whenever vaccination is to be given, help protect against adverse reactions by giving homoeopathic Thuja 30c:
one dose three times daily for three days before, and five days after, vaccination.
If your dog cannot be vaccinated for one of the reasons mentioned above, consider administering homoeopathic nosodes. Nosodes are not guaranteed to confer immunity, there is no proof of their efficacy, but they may give at least some protection. It is important to obtain nosodes from a reputable supplier and dose according to the recommendations of a qualified homoeopathic vet.
Please note this vaccination advice is my own personal view and your own veterinary practice may suggest a different regime of vaccination.
Secondly, if the stress of the vaccination has triggered the acute fear of the dark and walks, the Jack Russell in question would certainly benefit from the help of a suitably qualified and recommended behaviour therapist, together with natural calming and anxiety relieving agents such as:
Kalm Aid (a good combination of two anxiety relieving amino acids)
Skullcap and Valerian (a calming herbal mixture)
Dr Petals Fears (a flower essence complex that does what the name on the bottle suggests – calms and soothes fears and phobias)
If you would like any more information on any of the supplements mentioned do contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.