Vaccines’ Place in Holistic Health
Certain situations call for at least part of the holy trinity of allopathic (Standard Western) medicine. These linchpins of conventional therapy are: vaccines, chemical wormers and antibiotics. With viruses we are talking vaccine. Larger parasite loads are given whatever the latest wormer is being advertised, bacterial infections such as, most secondary pneumonias, are treated with whatever the latest antibiotic is in vogue. When it comes to virus problems, conventional medicine scolds, “Oh, well, duh, it’s too late now, you should have vaccinated for this!”
The three big killers or at least the big three profit-killers in the feedlot industry are: the Bovine Respiratory Syndrome (many viruses, usually acute and undifferentiated), Foot Rot and the Reproductive Syndromes. One of the most powerful advantages of using a holistic herd health program over a complex and always‑evolving vaccine program is that “immune strength is immune strength” and it gives a full blanket of protection from whatever viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites are mutating, spreading and making animals get sick and die.
No one should ever abandon a vaccination program suddenly or without putting the true immune plan in place. Leaving your herd unvaccinated, e.g. naked, is asking for trouble. Most herds are kept alive artificially with drugs, so when the drugs are removed, the wheels begin to fall off of everything; sickness and death will almost assuredly ensue. We will talk about what a true immune protection plan is later.
Here is another use for a vaccine, in circumstances where a certain vaccine is required to legally enter a county, state or country. There are workarounds, but the emphasis in doing so revolves around the word work. These laws were most often put in place with the advice from both vaccine manufacturing companies (who do all the “scientific” research), as well as, the local veterinarians who cannot afford to lose the income from vaccine advise and/or dispensing. Plus, most truly believe in their hearts that they are offering a true service to the herdsman. Likewise, it’s common sense to begin eliminating the vaccines for less serious diseases before jumping to the elimination of the core disease vaccines, which could be those such as, Blackleg or Tetanus, or maybe something that is manifesting hot in your local area.
The trouble with herds that are not the so‑called “closed herds” which includes stocker operations, backgrounding operations and custom‑grazing operations are dealing with problems that other people may have created. We might be dragging in immune‑compromised animals that are vulnerable. In all cases, no animals should ever be left in the lurch without some sort of protection.
Next time we will start discussing how to build natural herd health.