Barbara (BJ) Andrews
April 2011 -
1993 and Jan. 2001 (Part 1 of 2)
If your dog suffers from disease, a weakened immune system,
or reproductive problems, don't let your vet blame it on genetics.
That is what usually happens
when a baffled vet sees no obvious answer for missed or flakey seasons, failure
to conceive, weak, deformed puppies, or autoimmune disease.
The adjuvant in vaccines can alter DNA just as can chemical
or radiation bombardment. As a "responsible breeder" you have to be your own
diagnostician when all else fails. Failing health and reproductive
problems are more often traced to vaccines, toxins, chemicals, electromagnetic
fields and radiation than to genetics.
written for the dog fancy for nearly twenty years, it seems fitting that my first column in
this first 1993 issue of ShowSight magazine should be about canine health,
something dear to my heart. Read today, you may find 1993 glimmers of
knowledge even more interesting today. I say that only to ask you to keep
in mind what we DON'T know, right now, in early 2011. Oh we think we do,
but I'm going to prove how uninformed we really are... I haven't edited the old
stuff, just updated it with new insertions and thanks to Dr. Patricia Jordan,
new reference links below.
gland malfunction is (or soon will be)
discussed by every serious breeder. I have no medical training and I don't give
medical advice. Like all of you, I simply "know" some things. I
finally made the connection between an increase in immune-related diseases - and vaccines.
What's really, truly KNOWN about thyroid function in companion animals is but a
speck of dust compared to the city dump of what we DON'T know. It's the stuff
nightmares are made of and I'm about to introduce you to the bogeyman.
Most researchers link hypothyroidism to a deficient immune system. OK. That's
like saying you'll get bad gas mileage with a faulty carburetor. A bad immune system is
about as hereditary as is good veterinary education. Since the
late 60s we've been told everything short of a broken leg is hereditary.
that means BREEDERS are to blame. Here you go; take this new pair of eyes so that you
can see past the blame-shifting. Blaming everything on genetics and
breeders is an easy cop-out for the befuddled vet. As a career breeder, you have a right to demand
more than than that from vets - and from journalists.
As research into the canine immune system progressed, Dr. Jean Dodds published some interesting papers relating immune system problems to thyroid.
Later, she linked thyroid gland breakdown to commonly prescribed antibiotics and
Although she pretty much sticks to the "predisposed" terminology, I applaud her
observation that known external influences like radiation can precipitate thyroid
Red Mange, Demodectic Mange, Demodex
It hasn't been so very long ago that something was either inherited or it
wasn't. That was before the "predisposed" word was invented. Take demodectic
mange, commonly called demodex or red mange. First we were told it was hereditary and so a lot of good show prospects
were petted out.
Then a top university concluded that the mites were everywhere
but only weak, ill, or overly stressed puppies "broke out" with red mange.
I was a Dog World columnist back then, in the early 70s. Norma Price, DW Editor,
and I were thrilled to have what we had both
been saying for years proven true. Breeders were not to blame.
Radiation & Chemical Exposure = Reproductive Problems
Breeders are to blame for believing what big business wants us to believe.
Dog Breeders suddenly went crazy on hip x-rays in the 60s. Everybody made
out, from the vet to the new Orthopedic Foundation For Animals (OFA).
Let's see, speaking today and as this is updated in 2011, I think we can agree
that was right about when a lot of new "diseases" began to be discovered. And coincidentally (?) just before
reproductive problems became so prevalent as to encourage a whole new field in
canine veterinary medicine!
Did you know that the constant radioactive leaks, including iodine-131 from the Hanford
Reservation in WA was a hundred times greater than the infamous 1979 Three Mile Island
accident? The Hanford nuclear site (on the Columbia River!) was part of the
Manhattan Project (plutonium for the first nuclear bomb) and remains classified
as the "nation's most contaminated nuclear site." These radioactive
disasters were "before internet" and were therefore easily suppressed but that doesn't mean we
shouldn't consider the impact on human and animal life.
We no longer hear about Chernobyl but the people there
haven't forgotten. Since the Russian nuclear accident, strontium and platinum radionucleids in humans have increased 2.5 to 5 times. According to
Biotec Technical Report No. 9201, over 25% of The Republic's children have
nitrate presence in their bodies two to three times higher than permissible
Now there's Japan's nuclear meltdown and this month, despite
one third of our radiation detectors being defective or totally out of
commission, airborne radiation levels have significantly increased even on the
east coast. This is not meant to frighten you, it is simply an inescapable
fact made known because today we do have internet and digital reporting.
It is not enough to "poison" you or your dogs but it is something to note.
Right up there with radiation exposure, toxaphene, sulphur dioxide, and many COMMON chemicals, pesticides, and
manufacturing by-products are proven to cause thyroid gland disease, including
thyroid carcinomas - cancer.
Environmentalists, scientists, EPA officials, investigative reporters – most know the dangers and how widespread such toxins
are. The public has been shown the tip of the iceberg but would rather
not think about it. You might remember "The Love Canal" was all
about dioxin. The grim news was underreported, then relegated to footnote status once
the area was evacuated.
As successful breeders, we must NOT to depend on doctors
or vets to be informed enough to take care of us. For the most part, they do a splendid job
but environmental toxins are a whole 'nuther field. There's been very little research on thyroid function
in companion animals until just the past decade. Human medicine is light-years
ahead of veterinary endocrinology so it made sense to question medical doctors
and people who are or have been afflicted with thyroid problems.
I found not one
who considers hyper or hypothyroidism to be hereditary. Not one.
The logic is as clear as the question which begs an answer. I'm tired of being battered by
ignorance and conned by drug companies. As immune system problems spread through the purebred dog population, I'm
way less comfortable
with vets who depend on drug companies for their continuing education. Simply
put, there is a conflict of interest in medical practitioners who are in one
form or another, subsidized by drug companies. (2011 update - see Dr. Patricia
Why should breeders be the scapegoat? Sure, some things are hereditary and Career Breeders (those who
survive the first ten years with sanity intact and ten or twenty Champions under
their belt) know what they are. We work hard to eradicate problems because we know darn well
they'll come back to haunt us. To imply otherwise is just the veterinarians and
pharmaceutical giants passing the buck!
We love our dogs, we build dreams around great ones not yet born. We
work so hard at it, why would we
disregard their genetic health? Give us the right tools and we can
create a work of art. Don't give us flawed logic and double-edged ethics and
then blame us when the paint peels away.
Ask yourself, do you think researchers, marketing strategists, and
drug companies care
about achieving a disease-free life for our best friends? As individuals,
probably yes. As a corporate entity? The answer is all
too obvious. The truth is that for each wonderful cure, there is a new disease emerging; for
each new surgical procedure, there is a need; for each new vaccine, incredibly, there is a
brand new virus....
You might want to read that again.
I warned you this was the stuff nightmares are made of. Before you turn out the
light, answer this question. How many of you had thyroid or immune problems
BEFORE parvo virus emerged? Stop and think. I forget the year but I was a
columnist for THE DOG (the pre-Canine Chronicle newspaper) and I theorized about parvo,
about the safety and efficacy of the stop-gap feline vaccine, and later, about
the wave of resultant reproductive problems. And Dr. Erbeck, The Dog's veterinary
columnist, was swamped with letters supporting his theory that parvo was born in
a test tube, not at the Collie National.....
If research, marketing, and drug companies were to concentrate less on
getting their corporate share of the breeders' money and more towards development of health care products tailored to today's
environmental challenges, we would all be healthier. If the many toxins
that weaken human and animal immune
systems could be safely eliminated; if vets questioned the many prescriptions which, though profitable represent an unacceptable risk in
the long run; well, just think how much our dogs' health could be improved and
how the incidence of "hereditary" problems would decline!
We would like to hear from any person who can
prove that thyroid and immune system problems were as common before parvo,
corona virus, kennel cough, and Lyme vaccine and the push to x-ray our
dog's hips (reproductive organs) without radiation shields!
Please don't say it's because we're
better at diagnosing such problems. Vets ARE better. Labs are better. But
smart breeders are tuned in to their dogs and to the world around them and we
must be better at knowing when something is going on...
This subject will be continued in
Part Two. In the meantime - will anyone take my $500!
Now there's Lyme news. Well,
it isn't new but under the Freedom Of
Information Act, it has gone public on the
internet. With Cass Sunstein seeking to control
the web and our President under scrutiny for
considering an "emergency internet blackout", things
are a little shaky so you might want to click on
Plum Island Bio-Warfare Research Facility Moving
To Mainland to continue (Lyme
disease) and Foot and Mouth experiments
in the cattle belt...
began in 1981 as a personal crusade initiated by
an implausible explanation for the first parvo
outbreak (at the collie national specialty).
Barbara Andrews speculated on a dark side of the
pharmaceutical industry in her column for The
Dog Newspaper. That was the first article
in dog publications) questioning the efficacy,
safety, and ORIGIN of modern vaccines. Dr.
Erbeck followed up with questions from a
veterinarian's perspective. Andrews and Erbeck
speculated that Parvo came from a lab accident,
not from a mysterious mutation as was repeatedly
stated by the pharmaceutical industry.
Writing for every major dog magazine, including
the AKC Gazette, Kennel Review, Canine
Chronicle, Dog World, and ShowSight, Andrews has
fueled a growing vaccination skepticism. The
internet was recognized as a way to reach
millions instead of thousands and in 1998,
Andrews launched and funded TheDogPlace,
followed by The Dog Press in 2004.
was initiated in 2002 and finally resulted in
and progress has been made in veterinary
medicine. In 2005, TheDogPlace promoted Kris
Christine's efforts to expose rabies vaccine
risks. Her determination resulted in the Rabies
Challenge Fund. In July 2005, Senator Kennedy
warned of mercury in vaccines and the first
questions were raised about vaccines causing
autism. March 2006, the American Animal
Hospital Assoc. (AAHA), the licensing board for
veterinary practices, caved in and published an
official position on "core" and "non-core"
vaccines with the first new
belatedly released by the AVMA.
will not be complete until every owner is aware
of the risk vs. value of non-core vaccines and
booster shots and all vets practice "good
medicine" which can be as profitable as - the
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