Dog Vaccinations: Why Detox Is Important

Forty years ago, dog vaccinations changed forever …

For the first time, veterinary researchers started looking at how many vaccines are too many because it turns out vaccines can carry some harmful, unwanted consequences. Limiting the number of vaccines is critical to your dog’s health – you want to protect your dog, but you also want to make sure he doesn’t become sick from his vaccines. And vaccine damage is more common than you think … it happens every day.

And don’t think vaccine damage is limited to your dog’s head swelling up five minutes after the vaccine – there are ingredients in vaccines that can accumulate the body and become toxic, or damage the immune system, resulting in allergies, cancer and inflammatory conditions weeks, months or even years later.

The good news is, researchers have shown that the core vaccines ( like rabies, parvo and distemper) can protect dogs for at least 7 years … and probably for life. So we don’t have to vaccinate our dogs every year or even every three years. And limiting vaccines will go a long way to limiting your dog’s risk of vaccine damage.

But the bad news is, most states require rabies vaccination every 3 years – which is way too often. Or your vet, daycare or boarding facility might require vaccinations – and there’s just no way to get out of it. And even just one vaccine has the potential to set your dog up for health issues down the road.

It doesn’t matter if you vaccinate just once or a bunch of times – it’s critical to help your dog detoxify after that vaccine.

Why You Should Detox Your Dog After Vaccination

There are a lot of vaccine ingredients that can harm your dog. These ingredients have been linked to cancer, allergies, joint disease (researchers found distemper vaccine virus in torn cruciate ligaments and diseases joints but not healthy ones) and virtually any auto-immune disorder (like hypothyroidism, diabetes and more).

These unwanted side-effects come not from the vaccine itself, but from some of the nasty ingredients it contains:


Aluminum is the most common adjuvant in veterinary vaccines (adjuvant means it exaggerates the immune response). Aluminum targets the brain and endocrine (hormonal) system. So this means brain and nervous system degeneration, vaccine-associated cancers, seizures and behavior issues.


Thimerosal is a mercury-based vaccine additive that’s used as a preservative.

In 1967, a study in Applied Microbiology found Thimerosal killed mice when added to vaccines. In 1972, Thimerosal manufacturer Eli Lilly found Thimerosal to be “toxic to tissue cells” in concentrations as low as one part per million (PPM), 100 times weaker than the in a typical vaccine.

Pittman-Moore wrote to Eli Lilly: “We have obtained marked local reaction in about 50% of the dogs injected with serum containing dilutions of Merthiolate (Thimerosal). Merthioiate is unsatisfactory as a preservative for serum intended for use on dogs.” (Director of Biological Services, Pittman-Moore Company, letter to Dr Jamieson of Eli Lilly Company dated 1935. U.S. Congressional Record, May 21, 2003, E1018, page 9).

Since then, repeated studies show the dangers of Thimerosal. In 1967, a study in Applied Microbiology found Thimerosal killed mice when added to vaccines. In 1982, the FDA proposed a ban on over-the-counter products containing Thimerosal. In 1991 the FDA considered banning Thimerosal from animal vaccines.

Finally, in 2006, researchers at UC Davis published a study showing that Thimerosal may make the immune system vulnerable to bacteria and other pathogens. Samuel R. Goth et al., Uncoupling of ATP-Mediated Calcium Signaling and Dysregulated Interleukin-6 Secretion in Dendritic Cells by Nanomolar Thimerosal.

Despite these safety warnings, most veterinary vaccines still contain Thimerosal (even Thimerosal-free vaccines).

Animal Proteins

The viruses vaccines are made of need to grow on animal tissue – so vaccine manufacturers grow your dog’s vaccine on chicken embryos, cow fetuses, etc.

When they make the vaccine, that animal tissue gets ground up with the virus and injected into your dog. Foreign animal proteins aren’t supposed to enter the bloodstream directly and this sets the immune system on high alert so it can destroy the foreign invaders.

But if the foreign invader looks like the body’s own cells, then amid the chaos, the immune system can start attacking the body’s own cells. This is called auto-immunity and nearly all common diseases in the dog today – including cancer, hypothyroidism and allergies – are auto-immune diseases.

Larry Glickman DVM, looked at this in the Purdue Vaccine Studies:

“Our ongoing studies of dogs show that following routine vaccination, there is a significant level of antibodies dogs produce against their own tissues …Some of these antibodies have been shown to target the thyroid gland, the connective tissue such as that found in the valves of the heart, red blood cells, DNA etc.”


Contaminants found in vaccines are also behind many of the adverse reactions we see in dogs. “Contaminant” means anything that shouldn’t be there. That’s anything impure or unclean, is toxic or poisonous, or has the ability to create disease. Vaccines contain contaminants that can cause cancer, leukemia, autoimmune diseases and a myriad of other unwanted conditions.

I hope by now, you’re seeing the value in helping your dog rid his body of these unwanted ingredients that are an unfortunate part of vaccination. So let’s get to the detox!

Detoxing After Dog Vaccinations

There are several ways to help your dog detox from vaccines – they’ll help rid his body of unwanted chemicals and side effects, but they won’t interfere with the vaccines themselves. You’ll want to try these as soon as your dog is vaccinated (don’t wait for symptoms to appear, start the detox right away).


Vaccines can disrupt the delicate balance of bacteria in the gut – this community of bacteria helps your dog manufacture and absorb vitamins and it’s the core of your dog’s immune system. You never want to damage this delicate community!

Adding probiotics (plus their food, prebiotics) will help restore the delicate balance of bacteria in the gut. You can buy a pre-made prebiotic/probiotic blend or you can give your dog some kefir, sauerkraut or kimchi – any fermented food is a great source of healthy probiotics.

Give probiotics twice a day (look for at least 10 billion CFU and avoid dairy-based probiotics)


Homeopathy has a great track record for vaccine damage. If your dog shows any symptoms of vaccine damage, you can consult with a homeopathic vet and they’ll help you find the right remedy to get your dog back on track.

You can also try a pre-made combination remedy that’s designed to homeopathically start the detox process and help remove those harmful heavy metals from your dog.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids will help control inflammation and are an important part of the detox process. Most fish oils are rancid and this can increase inflammation, so my go-to is PhytoSynergy phytoplankton.

Give phytoplankton or omega-3 daily


Micro-algea like phytoplankton, spirulina and chlorella are antioxidant rich, but they also have one other benefit – they’re natural chelators. This means they bind to heavy metals like aluminum and mercury so they can’t wreak havoc with the body.

Feed phytoplankton or micro-algae daily

Garlic and Leafy Greens

Garlic is perfectly safe for your dog in the right amounts. Garlic contains sulphur, which helps the liver detoxify from heavy metals.

Dark leafy greens like kale, parsley and cilantro can help reduce the buildup of heavy metals like mercury in the body.

Give a half clove garlic per 10 pounds and add dark leafy greens to the meals daily

Be Prepared

Detoxification can flush out some really nasty junk from your dog! He might seem off for the first day or two or might have loose stools.

If he seems uncomfortable, slow down … there’s no need to rush. Try adding just one of the above items at a time to keep your dog comfortable.

Make sure you work with a truly holistic vet to make sure your dog never receives any unnecessary vaccines. Chances are, he’ll offer even more great options to help detoxify your dog from heavy metals and keep him healthy for years to come.

About the Author Dana Scott

Dana Scott is Editor In Chief for Dogs Naturally Magazine. She also breeds Labrador Retrievers under the Fallriver prefix and has been a raw feeding, natural rearing breeder since the 90's. She is an advocate for natural health care for dogs and people and works tirelessly to educate pet owners so they can influence veterinary medicine and change current vaccine, food and preventive health practices. Visit Dana's Labradors at Fallriver Labs

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