Nosodes are a potent, safe and effective way to help dogs build specific immunity to many major canine diseases, without the risks and side effects caused by vaccines.
In today’s world, immunity is a hot topic. Homeoprophylaxis is a great way to build solid protection against disease, and homeopathic remedies, including nosodes, can help with this process. Nosodes can be a confusing topic, but knowing about this wonderful type of homeopathic medicine is well worth the effort. This article reviews nosodes, and provides examples of how to use these valuable tools to help dogs build and maintain optimum immunity.
Vaccines cause confusion or dysfunction of the immune system, and this is not a secret or recent finding. The Purdue Vaccine Study in the 1990s showed autoimmunity developing in dogs after a single vaccine, whereas none of the dogs in the unvaccinated group did so.
What is not widely known is that immunologists do not truly understand immunity, and have really stopped searching for the basis of real immunity without understanding the existing paradox. What paradox, you ask? Dr. Tetyana Obukhanych, an immunologist, addressed this at the Homeoprophylaxis Worldwide Choice Conference 2016, in a talk titled “The Crossroads of Immunology and Homeopathy.”
She stated first that protective immunity is not based on immunologic memory, as previously thought. Humoral immunity (serum) is falsely believed to be antibody-based. This belief persists despite clinical evidence that contradicts the idea. Dr. Obukhanych also presented evidence that cell-mediated immunity alone does not protect, shooting down two widely held beliefs in a short paragraph.
She then stated that protective immunity is humoral in nature, and can be transferred for a short term (maternal immunity transfer, via placenta or breast milk), or immune system
transfer (nosodes might fit in this category, or hyperimmune serum, for example). This all sounds a bit technical, but bear with me, it’s worth it.
Though humoral immunity is believed to be antibody-based, antibodies are neither necessary nor sufficient to cause immunity. Here’s a good example, from the human side:
“Early clinical studies showed antibody production is not necessary either for recovery from or for the development of immunity to measles in children… children with agammaglobulinemia (no antibodies at all) showed a normal measles course with typical rash which faded at the normal time, and was followed by just as substantial immunity against reinfection as would be shown by any other convalescent.”
– Sir MacFarlane Burnet, Natural History of Infectious Diseases, 1940, p. 79
So these children developed full-blown measles, and developed solid immunity against it without any antibodies at all!
Dr. Obukhanych then talks about the difference between protective serum and antibodies. Protective serum titer tests do not measure antibodies — they measure protective immunity, which may be a yet-to-be-discovered carrier of immunity. These titers are usually done in research — serum is incubated with live virus to determine the highest dilution that destroys the virus.
Antibody titer tests measure levels of virus-specific antibodies based on the binding properties of antibodies to antigens. This describes the common distemper and parvo titer tests done for dogs as an alternative to vaccination. The problem is, it does not relate to immunity. Here’s another example illustrating this point:
“Hospital employees working in patient care areas from July through November 1990 were screened for measles antibody levels using a commercially available enzyme immunoassay (EIA). Four healthcare workers vaccinated in the past developed measles. All had positive pre-illness measles antibody levels.”
– Ammari et al. (1993) Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 14:81-86
So four hospital workers, all required to have measles vaccines, all had positive titers and still got measles. This is why Dr. Obukhanych says in her book, Vaccine Illusions, that titers in vaccinated individuals are meaningless. They do not relate to protection.
Let’s talk about a better way!
NOSODES, A REVIEW
Nosodes are potentized remedies prepared from diseased tissues or discharges (products of disease). Gross stuff, for sure. The word derives from the Greek nosos (disease) and eidos (like). Potentized simply means diluted and succussed in serial fashion like other homeopathic medicines.
Dr. Samuel Hahnemann first prepared remedies from diseased tissues, mainly the miasmatic nosodes, for the three major miasms he identified and defined (“miasm” refers to large categories of inherited or acquired chronic disease). The three miasms are
Psora, Sycosis and Syphilis, and the corresponding nosodes are Psorinum, Medorrhinum, and Syphylinum. Only the first two have common use in veterinary homeopathy.
The major nosodes all underwent provings, and their use in veterinary homeopathy is the same as with any other remedy, matching patient symptoms to those of the remedy. Later in the 1800s, veterinarians began to use nosodes developed for specific diseases, such as anthrax in cattle (Anthracinum), and distemper in dogs (Distemperinum). During this era,
Dr. Constantine Hering introduced the nosode Hydrophobinum from the saliva of a rabid dog, and used it to treat and prevent rabies in dogs and humans, usually giving 30c every three to four days, and increasing the interval as the patient improved. This is the same nosode we call Lyssin today, commonly used to deal with bad effects from the rabies vaccine.
More recent examples in veterinary homeopathy include using Distemperinum (nosode from canine distemper) in a large shelter to decrease cases in dogs (Saxton 1991), and controlling a kennel cough outbreak in a large boarding facility just by adding the nosode to drinking water (Day 1987).
Most homeopathic veterinarians agree on the protective effect of nosodes. There are few custom-designed trials to support this notion, however, so the idea of nosodes being helpful remains contentious. But several cases of homeopathy being used on a large scale to curb epidemic disease exist in the scientific literature, and a recent example involves a disease well known to many dog owners, Leptospirosis (the “L” in DHLP).
LEPTO, CUBA AND NOSODES
Most tropical regions have major problems with Lepto, which peaks each year with the rainy season. The disease in humans is similar to that in canines, and causes serious illness with death rates as high as 50%. Conventional efforts to control this disease involve vaccination programs which are very expensive and often harmful to health themselves.
In 2007, 2.1 million people (88% of population) in three high risk provinces of Cuba received a Lepto nosode (Nosolep). In the fall of 2007, each person in this large group got two doses of Nosolep 200c, with seven to nine days between doses. About one year later, another two doses of Nosolep 10m were given, also seven to nine days apart, to 2.3 million people (96% of population) in the same three provinces.
The results were amazing.
The incidence of Lepto cases in humans dropped 84% in the provinces given nosodes, while cases in the provinces not receiving nosodes increased 22% (even though they were at lower risk and vaccinated). The nosode provinces were also considered higher risk for Lepto, and still showed a drastic decrease in cases.
The icing on this cake is that the cost of nosodes was only about 2% the cost of vaccines.
HOW TO USE NOSODES
Nosodes carry the energy pattern of a disease, just as other homeopathic medicines carry the energy pattern of their original material. The energy pattern of the disease includes both the causative agent, and the host’s response to that disease. This modified, vibratory disease energy can fill the susceptibility of the patient to the actual disease. Nosodes work best when given shortly before to shortly after exposure to a disease, and protection is only transient, so intermittent use is best.
I’ll explain how I now use nosodes, although it’s by no means the only method. The key idea to remember is that nosodes work best when given close to exposure time; as noted above, a few days before or after at most. Most practitioners recommend a 30c potency given one to two times weekly until the animal is six to eight months old, then dosing based on exposure risk after that (training class, boarding, grooming, dog park, etc.).
Since it is impossible to know when all exposures occur, and nosodes do not seem to provide lasting protection, we need to repeat at regular intervals until immunity is solid. Most dogs have a competent immune system by the time of puberty, so no longer need nosode protection after that; they have developed good natural immunity from natural exposure, especially if not vaccinated (which blocks natural immunity in most cases).
Over the past ten years I’ve had great success giving each pup a single dose of Canine Combination nosode (Hahnemann Labs, California) 200c. This contains nosodes for distemper, parvo, hepatitis, lepto, kennel cough, and hydrophobinum.
We then send home a one-ounce glass dropper bottle with filtered water and parvo nosode 200c, and a small amount of brandy as preservative. I recommend giving this weekly until
the pup is at least six months old. During this period, we have lost no pups to parvo if they only received nosodes; the only deaths occurred in pups previously vaccinated. We have also seen a steady decline in parvo cases over the past three years, possibly due to the culling of vaccinated dogs from our client population over time.
Heartworm nosode also offers a great drug/chemical-free option to boost immunity to this
parasite. We have yet to see a dog test positive while taking the nosode, and have even used homeopathy and/or nosodes to treat heartworm-positive dogs that come in from outside the practice. I recommend either 30c or 200c given every one to two weeks during heartworm season, which varies with geographical location.
In a veterinary world characterized by excessive vaccines, drugs, toxic chemicals and processed foods, nosodes offer a potent, safe and effective option to help dogs build specific immunity to many major canine diseases, whether viral, bacterial or parasitic. We do not have to understand the exact mechanism of action to say that nosodes have a
beneficial impact on health, without the risks and side effects inherent to most conventional drug options.